Seven Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website
How can I drive traffic to my website? Or how do I increase web traffic? This is a question we get asked a lot – and one that we have put a lot of work into figuring out for ourselves. Generally, when people ask the question, they are looking for a quick fix, the silver bullet, the ONE THING they can do to drive people to the site in droves so that they all buy.
The truth is that web traffic doesn't work this way. There isn't a single action that you can take to drive traffic. Instead, value comes from consistent action, taken over time that creates meaningful answers to the questions that people have. Create great content, and the traffic will come.
What we've come up with are seven fundamental ways, key strategies, that if followed over time, will drive traffic to your website.
First, create a Google My Business account
I am amazed by how many people do not have My Business account. This is very easy; just go to google.com/business and sign up.
Again, this isn't a magic bullet, but it is straightforward and helps. The reason it helps is that it establishes your business as a real entity, you are telling Google that you are for real. One metric Google uses to drive traffic is your authority, and this begins to establish and enhance your authority.
You can also post short posts to Google My Business – I have no idea of the value of these posts but since it is all with Google and Google likes to promote their things… well, it makes sense that these posts will help.
Step Two: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is a big topic in and of itself. Here is the 30-second version.
SEO will increase traffic to your website, but the process takes four to six months to start yielding results.
Of course, there is no time like the present to get started: If you start now, you start to get real traffic four to six months from now. If you start four to six months from now, you begin to get traffic four to six months after that.
When we start talking about SEO, eyes glaze over; it seems so complicated and full of “hacks” and tricks.
However, there is only one trick that matters: write good content.
Google ultimately wants to find good content – it continually adjusts the algorithm to do away with the tricks and hacks, and prioritize good content.
The best place to start is targeting “long tail” keywords. These are keywords tied to specific questions. There are fewer searches for these keywords, but it is easier for you to rank on Google, then you build from there.
To find long tail keywords, use Google itself: start typing a question into Google, one related to what you do, and see what Google suggests. If you want more suggestions you can systematically go through the alphabet: type in an idea, say marketing, add a space and type "a" you will see suggestions from Google with marketing and an "a" word. Then you can try "b" and so on all through the alphabet.
There are some technical things to get right.
Have clear titles on blog posts.
Make sure your site is fast and mobile friendly.
Use headings appropriately (Title is heading one, then heading two for subtitles).
Add content into meta descriptions.
Make your writing easy to read: part of Google prioritizing your content is the experiences that others have, whether they read the material once they click on the link.
Have blog posts focus on specific topics with minimal overlap.
These details aren't going to make lousy content shine, but they will help good content get the attention it deserves. When one of my clients, the Yoga Garden in White Plains, fixed some of the basics we doubled her traffic within days. This happened because she had great content but was showing up as a blank in search results.
So, the technical stuff can help, but it worked at the Yoga Garden because they had good content.
How do you find and write good content?
Start with the story. The value of the Engagestory is that it forces you to think about your clients, what is missing in their lives and the problems they face.
That is where you start: talk about a problem your prospect has, offer a solution and show what life looks like after the problem is solved.
Step 3: e-mail marketing.
Email marketing plays well with the site traffic: the more visitors you get, the more e-mail addresses you can collect, the more email marketing you conduct to send more people back to your website.
Remember, you want prospects to visit many times, not just once.
You can also use social media to create your mailing list, or even buy lists, though that isn’t very effective.
Then you create autoresponders that ping your list regularly. Again you use problem, solution and what life looks like, and you relentlessly focus on solving problems. Short versions of your blog posts that link back to longer version on your website are a great way to drive traffic.
Step 4 post to social media.
Social media is an excellent way to get in front of people. The problem is that these channels are becoming more expensive and are trying harder to keep people on the platform.
Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, in particular, would rather users stay on their networks, so that creates some barrios to sending traffic to your website. You can still use these channels; it is just a question of price.
Pinterest, Quora, and Reddit are better places to look at for sending traffic to your website.
Step 5 Engage in conversation on Social media.
One thing to keep in mind is that digital media have evolved as digital equivalents of standard offline practices.
So social media is like networking,
webinars are like speaking engagements,
phone and video are like meetings,
blogs and online publications related are like print publications,
email relates to direct mail,
search and cold mail are like cold calls,
online advertising is like print advertising,
online groups are like conferences, associations, and trade shows
Therefore, digital channels are just equivalents to in-person activities. I think that we tend to look at these things as different or that there's some magic on the digital side, but it's precisely the same thing that we do on the non-digital side.
So, beyond posting, think about having a conversation. You wouldn't necessarily meet somebody at a networking event and then expect the person you met to come running to buy your product.
You must engage in conversation with them.
You do the same thing online, and that's going to help drive traffic and drive interest in what you do.
Step 6: affiliate programs, influencers, and directories.
Especially if you are selling products, affiliate producers and traffic from influencers can be a huge benefit. Just be sure you have something valuable on the website for them to visit. Also, make sure that you are adding value to your affiliates and influencers as well.
Step 7: Paid Ads
Develop ads, and you put them on Google, you put them on Facebook, you put them on the different channels, on Linkedin, on Pinterest and you use them to drive traffic.
This can be expensive, or you can find some of these long tail keywords, and you can bid it down a little bit, get lower. The narrower the niche, the less expensive this will be. If you try to buy an ad for "strategy consultant" it may cost you hundreds of dollars per click.
If you look at strategy consultant who works on cat skinning techniques in White Plains who live with a family of four, that type of ad is going to be a lot less expensive.
There are two types of ads. There are the ads people click on the first time to visit your site. Then there are ads that you serve up to those who have already been to your site. These second ads are “remarketing” ads, where you market to the same people again.
Remarketing can be a great way to reach people who have already shown interest. It is especially powerful for product businesses but does apply to services as well.
These are seven ways to drive traffic to your website. As I said at the beginning, there is no magic bullet. On the other hand, create good content consistently over time, and you will have more visitors on your website.