It is only after a lot of thought and consideration that you have finally designed your own business website and it looks brilliant. However, it can be quite a pain to simply sit and wait till people actually visit your website!
Your website might only be an extension of your actual business or it can be your actual business. No matter which category you fall in, you are going to want more and more people to come and visit your website. There is a lot of time, money and human working hours that have gone into it. So, once you have your amazing website ready and launched, it is time you got to work and drove some meaningful traffic on to your website.
Now, we have often talked about “driving traffic” and you must have heard it as a buzz word among many who are familiar to the worldwide web. Now, this is something that you really want to do, trust me when I say that! You want to drive more and more people on to your website, simply because, the more the number of people who come to your website, more are the chances of them being converted to your paying customers thus contributing to your revenue.
Why is Website Traffic important?
If you are familiar at all with the brick and mortar format of the business (which you probably are) you must have understood the importance that location plays in the business. Having a bad location has been known to lead to a sure-shot bankruptcy! This is simply because if you have a poor location, no matter how good your merchandise is, you are going to be struggling with light foot traffic. The bottom line is that if your business is not visible to the customers, they wouldn’t even know that they can stop and take a look or make a purchase. This, I need not even mention, can be disastrous for any business.
If however a store or any other place of business has a good location that has high visibility, how do you think things are going to go for them? People covet only what they see. This means that when people can see the storefront, the chances of them walking in are considerably brighter.
When you have a good business website, it is almost like having an extra employee who is dedicatedly working for you 24 by 7! It can not only become the face of your company in the virtual web world, but can also give people information, answer their queries, and in the ideal scenario, even make sales for you! However, all these wonderful things only happen when you are getting decent traffic on your website!
The real idea, however, doesn’t stop at getting the people to ring the bell at your store, they need to convert as well. In terms of your business website, this means that getting a lot of traffic is important but the more important part here is to get clicks on your website.
Often the website traffic is referred to as a vanity metric. This is only true when you keep relying on it, even after you have established regular traffic. To begin with, however, before having established some reliable sales, website traffic can prove to be one of the most important metrics to keep an eye on.
Now, if you have only just begun your research on ways to drive traffic to your website, you probably have been thoroughly confused already by the huge number of options that different people might have been throwing at you from different places and viewpoints. This might have led you to believe that driving traffic to your website successfully is nothing short of rocket science. However, that simply is not true!
You can do it yourself! Penguin Apps Builder has been in the field for a long time now and has put together an easy to follow the guide when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Whether it is about leveraging SEO, making good use of social media marketing, guest blogging or anything else that might help you get to your goal, we have brought together a comprehensive bag of tricks and tips for you!
1. Reach Out with Email Marketing & Newsletters
Do not underestimate the power of email marketing, because it is one of those rare conventional methods of marketing that still hold a lot of relevance and value. While you are starting out, it is imperative that you include this method of marketing in your efforts of diverting more and more traffic to your website. Your tryst with the number of newsletter subscriptions might be a little volatile and erratic, but that does not prevent it from being recognized as one of the indispensable tools of marketing for any business!
In the most rudimentary of its forms, a newsletter or email marketing might mean sending out communication about your latest blog or about a sale that you are going to hold in the online store. However, email marketing might also be a great way to say “Hi!” to your subscribers and keep your memories fresh in their minds.
Here are some great tips for drafting your newsletter or the marketing email:
- Create succinct subject for the mail The packaging of any product holds great value and I need not tell you of its importance. Packaging not only talks about what lies within but also acts as the first point of attraction for the target consumer. The subject line that you draft out for your email is essentially just that – the packaging! Not only should your subject line be ‘to the point’, but also be appealing enough for the user or subscriber to want to tear into it and find their prize!
- Keep it crisp Make sure that you are being direct and clear when you are drafting your newsletter. This is not the time to go gaga about your latest blog and begin describing it in detail! If you drone on, you are going to lose their attention. The better way to do this is to simply greet the subscriber and tell them what you are offering in the least possible number of words. This should pique their curiosity without giving away too much information so that they are encouraged to click!
- A LOUD & clear CTA (Call To Action) Be a little ‘in your face’ with the CTA you are going to place on your newsletter. This actually follows what we described in the rule above. As soon as you have conveyed to your audience what the newsletter is actually about, do not waste too much time in introducing your CTA. The location where you place your CTA is going to be of great use and is more likely to succeed. Ideally, the CTA must be placed strategically at such a spot that the reader feels compelled to click and convert!
In recent times, as an email marketer, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get your marketing emails noticed by the intended readers because they end up in their Promotional tab on Gmail. I can solve this problem for you with a simple guide that can help you land all your marketing emails in the Primary tab of the subscribers’ Gmail account.
2. Leverage Social Media!
This is the year 2019, and do not have a social media marketing plan in your bag of marketing tricks is the modern-day equivalent of burying your head in the sand. You cannot avoid being active in social media! Having said all that, it is quite surprising to know that there are quite a few businesses who are yet to explore this arena. It is these organizations that are missing out on the big gains that exploring this medium of marketing can bring to you.
It is imperative that you understand that irrespective of the size, scale, or station that your business website enjoys, your target audience or prospective customers are definitely active today on at least two different social networks. When you create content for social media that is relevant to your industry and the products or services that you offer to your users, you would definitely succeed in drawing in a meaningful followership. Social media can be leveraged quite successfully for enhancing customer service and increasing engagement. This can further help you build a community and a loyal following of your own. When done right this loyal community of your followers will return the favor by sharing your content and your website among other relevant communities, thus expanding your influence and authenticity.
These social networks that you build should tie in closely with your own brand and assume the role of acting as an extension of your brand, its image, and its identity. If you have a new blog post on your website, or a new sale coming up, post it on all your social media accounts and encourage people to head to your website to know more about it or avail intellectual or material benefits from it.
Make sure that your website link is mentioned in all your social media network profiles so that your users can go to your website and increase your traffic. The reverse must also be taken care of, which means that on your website make sure that you incorporate a social media bar on your website so that all your social network profiles are easily accessible to the website visitors directly. A relevant hashtag can take you a long way in establishing a strong network of followers and creating curiosity and interest among them. This practice (when done correctly) can help you extend your reach beyond the network and get discovered by users who are searching online for the products and services that you have on offer.
One important point to remember is that while Twitter is perfect for content that is short and catchy and has a higher rate of clicks on the integrated links, promotion on Google+ can help your site gain visibility in personalized search results, hence are known to be especially effective in the B2B niches. If, however, you are a company with a B2C model, you may discover that image-heavy social media networks like Instagram or Pinterest might be your best bet. So what I am trying to tell you here is that each and every social network has its own unique attributes and sometimes a combination of two or more of them are required for you to be able to actually get any benefit from it.
3. Get Your Website Listed on Online Directories and Forums
This is another one of those methods which people these days are quick to dismiss as only an outdated measure. However, I reiterate that just because it is an older method does not necessarily mean that it is ineffective or outdated, on the contrary, this is one method that can bring in a whole world of benefits to your marketing plan for the website you made. The bottom line here is that the process of getting your website listed in the online directories comes for free, which means you do not really have anything to lose by enlisting over here! The process too is very simple and doesn’t really take a lot of effort from your end. Most of the platforms like this only need you to submit your URLs and any other information that you might want the prospective users to have about you and your business. Doing this would add your website to a suitable database or directory. This means that whenever someone that is searching within the relevant content categories, you would feature in their search results. Another benefit (though minuscule) is that you would have another external website linking back to your website which can enhance your SEO.
Like most other businesses, your business too must specialize in a certain area, it is a good idea to go looking for various online forums that are dedicated to these specific areas of the industry you are a part of. This effectively gives you an opening to engage in a discussion about topics that are of mutual interest to you and to the other members on the forum, also it gives you an opportunity to leave a link back to your website. However, while you are doing this, you must do it with tact and relevance, otherwise, you might end up looking like a spammer. After establishing your authority and expertise in the field, you can develop a forum of your own too!
4. Lay Optimum Emphasis on ‘On-Page SEO’
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is essentially the process of increasing the number of visitors to a certain website by making sure that the site is ranked higher on the search results returned by the search engine. There are a great number of SEO tactics that you can perform on each of your website pages in order for them to rank higher on the search engines in order to get more visitors.
You can begin with developing producing some high-quality content that your audience is searching for, then go on to write crisp and specific meta descriptions for your pages. The meta descriptions are the text lines that appear right below your URL in the search results. When the users know what the page is all about, and what will appear in front of them once they click on the URL, the chances of them actually click on the link are a lot higher.
There were times in the recent past when the impact and effect of SEO were being questioned. However, in truth, optimizing the content for search engines is still a practice that is of great value and proves to be of great worth. Some of the questions that you want to ask at this point are as follows:
- Have you done enough with image alt text?
- Have you been creating internal links to new content?
- Have you paid attention to meta descriptions?
In this world today, not getting into SEO would only be doing yourself a disservice. It is important to discover the nuances about the process so that you can opt for the right kind of traffic delivery strategies that would bear the best results for you. One important thing to remember is that while it is good to be enthused, it is important that you do not get carried away and indulge in the black hat SEO practices which may sometimes even lead to a ban on your website.
5. Write Blog Posts about your industry
As a small business owner who has dabbled with SEO or has spoken to people who know about it, you must have heard at some point of time about the benefits of a blog for your website. Let us tell you right at the start, that it is not hearsay and that it has been established resoundingly through thorough research that having a blog for your website brings in great SEO benefits.
The search engines and the ‘bots’ are dedicatedly looking through and examining all that is there online and are perpetually on the lookout for new information that may be indexed. Now, if you have a blog for your website that you keep updating frequently, these search engine ‘bots’ would know that it would bear results to come to your website and thus come to you more frequently. The real deal is that the more often these search engine bots come to your blog and index your content, higher are the chances of you getting higher ranks for your keywords on the search engine!
In addition to all these things, there are a few things that you can keep in mind while writing your blog.
- Make sure that your website and the blog you are writing for it are connected in order to maintain a certain cohesiveness about it. If you are using a third-party platform for blogging all you need to do is simply add the link to your website menu and make it easily accessible for the visitors on the website.
- Make sure that you maintain consistency. If you are trying to bring the full range of SEO benefits from your blog, there has to be a considerable amount of commitment required from you in making it all work. Stick to your posting schedule and do not commit the mistake of going for long periods of time without posting anything on your blog. SEO efforts take time to bring any fruition and your blog will too. Give it time.
- Make sure that it is easy for the readers to delve deep into the content on your blog. As a long-standing member of the industry, it is only natural that you have garnered expertise in your niche. This is the time and the best platform to share your knowledge and insights with everyone. This content or insights that you share would be of great interest to your readers and would afford you a series of opportunities to promote your own business. One important thing to remember here is that the reader must be able to easily access your website from within your blog without having to struggle for a perceivable link.
- Make sure that you post evergreen content so that your content is always relevant. While you are developing different kinds of content for your blog, consider going for the “Evergreen” type. This is the type of content that will always be relevant without having to be updated, repurposed or dumped altogether as it gradually loses its meaning. This might include pieces about history or evolution of the industry you are writing about or a series of “How To’s”.
- Make sure that you devote some time to repurpose your older blogs. If you have been doing this for some time now, it is only natural that you have certain older blog posts that aren’t doing so well in terms of the traffic they garner. It is important that you dig these up and repurpose them into being more relevant to the audience and the industry.
6. Invite Guest Bloggers To Contribute
The same flavor of writing and similar topics and content bring in monotony in the blog which might lead to some of your readers leaving your site. It might be time to ramp up your blog with some unique content for your readers. This might need a lot of research and analysis of the findings to understand which kind of change people or your targeted readers are hoping for. However, it would be a good idea (and probably a cheaper one) to find yourself a good guest blogger for your website blog.
Having a guest blogger contribute to your site can prove to be beneficial in more ways than one. This way your readers would have some fresh content coming to them and offer a different perspective. In fact, it is totally possible that the guest blogger might carry expertise in a subject or topic that you and your team might lack. One more added benefit here is that the followers of one might head to the blogs of the other once the post has been published. This effectively creates a win-win situation for both entities involved.
Now how do you think you are going to go about looking for a guest blogger? It is only natural that the idea might leave you a little stumped, or overwhelmed indeed, but it doesn’t really have to be that way. A great place to go looking for a guest blogger would be the different social network channels like maybe a Facebook Group of bloggers. Once you pitch the idea, there is a good chance that you would find many people willing to take it up. One more way to do this is to check out websites that are dedicated to websites like Blogger Link Up and more such sites to take on the task. It is important to remember that the way you approach your guest blogger is of great importance. The first time you reach out to them, you can’t simply send out a vague email and expect them to respond to you favorably and enthusiastically. Draft a well-worded mail that is direct and give out all the details of the content of your existing blog. Also, in the mail convey that you believe they can contribute and enrich the blog with their expertise. Anticipate and prepare for questions that they might have and answer them while being as forthcoming and informative as possible without actually writing a whole blog post in your mail introducing yourself.
One important thing, however, is to make sure that the guest post you are accepting from people who are not just passionate and knowledgeable about your particular niche but must also write well. The idea of inviting a guest blogger is to economize on time, not spend hours proofreading and editing the post that has been poorly written. Even worse would be ending up with incorrect facts on your blog or website which might invite criticism from your audience.
7. Reach Out with Outreach Techniques
In this crazy competitive world, it is quite a task to get any sort of attention for your business among the millions of others that exist, each armed with a robust business website. Hence, to get any of the desired attention you are aiming to get, you would have to put yourself out there! This can be accomplished quite successfully when you make the first move and leverage outreach marketing.
To put it in the most basic of ways, outreach marketing means establishing connections with other bloggers or influencers in the industry with the intent to increase the exposure of your website and to promote your offerings.
What you need to do here is creating a database of targeted bloggers, influencers, websites, or any other entities in the industry and then sending out well crafted emails to scope out the possibility for any potential partnership, and then following up as and when required in order to build a relationship to last a long time.
8. Try Your Hand At PPC
While most of the methods we have and are going to suggest to you here do not involve paying anyone anything, PPC or Pay Per Click is a technique popular in the world of paid ads. This basically means that every time anyone clicks on your ads, you pay for it.
- Search Engine Ads like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and etc. PPC is often equated with search engine marketing. The process here is quite similar to others because in both cases you would have to bid for a particular phrase so that your website appears in the results that appear when people search the phrase. Now when people click on your ad, you pay the bidding price set by you while creating the ad.
- Social Ads. Social media is everywhere, and everyone is on social media. It might, therefore, be a good idea to go social with your ads. This kind of advertising can bring in great benefits for your business as it can help you narrow your target down and display ads to a certain audience.
- Facebook Ads allow you to set quite precise parameters about the audience who would be exposed to your ad, including their demographics, location, behavior, hobbies, & interests.
- Twitter Ads have a unique model that would let you set a particularly specific goal like increasing the number of followers and grow the website traffic, etc. The fun part here is that you only have to pay for the clicks that lead to your website when using Twitter Ads. So everything else, including the impressions or engagements gained from all your Twitter ads are absolutely free.
9. Design Stellar Landing Pages
This is one aspect you must not ignore at any cost. Landing pages can be thought of, today as a conversion machine. The landing pages have many advantages like bringing in a great boost in traffic and more importantly help you turn prospective customers into real customers.
It is important that you create landing pages that are specific to the offers you want to extend to your customers like maybe for redeeming discount codes, downloading a tutorial or guide for free, or a free trial of the premium product for a limited period of time. These landing pages can be a great means to capture the details and contact information of the interested or current customers which they can leave behind in return for some value that you have on offer.
However, when you are designing a landing page, remember that the message conveyed between Ads and the landing pages are consistent and not confusing for the visitors. This is true not just for the text you put out on both, but also the visual content and color theme you are going to follow including details like fonts. A disconnect here might spook your target users into thinking that there is some malintent and they might entirely abandon the page for fear of being duped.
When you have a fair idea of the design that you are developing for your landing page, it is important that you perform A/B testing on every possible element. Make your landing page mobile-friendly, include a lucrative “Call To Action” button, and if possible include a video in your landing page content to make it more engaging and convincing to help your conversions.
10. Develop A Robust Long-Tail Keyword Strategy
Here we go with SEO again. You might be tired of hearing it again and again, but the fact that it keeps coming up in every discussion about driving traffic to your website means that there is great value to it. This is simply based on the premise that if you want potential customers to find your business website then your website must show up in the search engine results. A good keyword strategy is one of the most important things when you are developing content that is of any value to your target market and want your website to show up on the search engines. One of the most critical elements of a successful keyword strategy is – long-tail keyword discovery.
Short keywords that are generic like “restaurants”, “laundry service”, or “Men’s shoes” would bring in thousands of results and it might almost be impossible to get a high ranking on such generic terms especially for the smaller businesses. In fact, one more thing that might limit your benefits is that even if you did manage to rank highly on these generic short keywords, there would be very few of these people who would actually convert into paying customers.
For example, if you were looking for a new realtor, you would not go and search with a generic string of keywords like “real estate” or “realtor”. Instead, you might search for terms like “real estate agents in Brooklyn” or “how to list your property with a real estate agent”. It is these specific phrases that are referred to as long-tail keywords and these can be used in a great way when it comes to getting a high ranking on search engines. It is a good idea to make a list of the keywords your target audience may be searching for so that you can create online content that would appear in their search result when they want to buy it.
When you target the long-tail keywords you have brighter chances of getting ranked higher in response to the search query related to the range of products and/or services you are offering. And as we all know, higher ranking means better visibility & discoverability, which directly leads to better traffic. This is especially relevant today when the search engines and voice to text capabilities are advancing people are getting more used to putting in more specific phrases while searching for things online.
11. Keep an Eye on The Analytics
It is only by experimenting with new things and stepping out of your comfort zone that you are going to bring about a change in results. It is also easy to get carried away with things and lose track of the real-world impact these changes have on your website. It is important that all these efforts that you are making bear results and that you are aware of things that you are doing right and things that might need certain tweaks or changes in order for your website to fare better in terms of the traffic they are receiving. In addition to this, you need to know where is it that your visitors are coming from in order to be prepared for the kind of traffic you desire.
One of the most effective ways to take care of this is through analytics and the most popular one among the tools is Google Analytics. When you are implementing marketing, the campaign makes good use of tracked links and keep an eye on the website analytics. Once you have relevant data in your hands you would be able to determine which strategies and which kind of content is going to work the best, which kind of content needs to be tweaked, and which are the ones that you should move away from.
Google Analytics can prove to be one of the richest sources of data on almost every possible element and aspect of your site, whether it is about the most popular of your pages or about the visitor demographics.
The data you collect from Google Analytics or any such other analytics tools must be examined in order to spot the trends and patterns that would help you make key decisions about the website. For example, if you notice that you are getting a whole lot of referral traffic from Quora or a similar platform, you would then understand that you would need to pay attention to this particular source and spend a lot of time answering more questions and helping more people on that platform and then directing them to your website.
Also, it would do you well to investigate sudden spike ups and dips in the traffic you are getting. A sudden dip in traffic or your search engine ranking might happen due to a low-quality backlink or an instant peak in the graph might have happened because of a blog article written by you or any other content on your website that went viral. It is important to have this data and to determine the reason for any changes in the pattern so that you know the way forward.
12. Create Headlines That Grab Attention
Remember when you got all your information from the newspapers? What was it that helped you decide what you want to read or not read, or which pieces to read first? Most people (like you and I) would go for the pieces that had attractive headlines which piqued their interest and curiosity. The headlines would determine not just the order of the articles or pieces, but also whether or not we actually end up reading them.
Not much has changed in this respect, but one thing that has drastically changed is that there is a huge onslaught of content that is being bombarded on everyone who is going online for any conceivable reason. This means that there are a whole lot of things vying for their attention and you are only one of them.
Headlines that you write for your content is extremely important, in fact, it is the most important part of it. You might have crafted one of the best pieces with great information and oodles of insight, if you do not have a compelling headline for it, chances are it will remain unread by the people you wrote it for! Therefore, it would be wise not to underestimate the kind of power it holds.
When readers search in the SERPs or run across the content you share on social media, or even get a newsletter or emailer from you, it is the headline that they notice first. Master the art of writing headlines that would compel the reader to click on the link so that they at least access the content that you have painstakingly crafted.
Did you know that the writers at Buzzfeed and Upworthy spend time crafting multiple options for headlines (sometimes up to 20 different ones) before deciding which is the one that they want to go within order to be able to drive the maximum traffic? So, take a moment thinking about your headline before you hit “Publish”.
13. Unleash the Potential of Video Content
Most of the techniques and content strategy with regard to driving traffic to your webpage revolves around content that is text-based. This is good, of course! Works pretty well too! However, it must be acknowledged that there are a certain charm and curiosity that get piqued by video content.
We are visual by nature and video content is more likely to grab our attention than a whole wall of text interspersed with some pictures. When you include video content as a part of your content strategy, you are effectively attracting new visitors while engaging the existing and frequent visitors keeping them on your pages for longer times.
Apart from attracting more people in an effective manner, videos can do a lot in the matter of making the content more memorable. It has been proven through research that people retain more information when they consume the said information in the video format as compared to the information they get through text content. This means that developing a video content strategy can be an effective way to get the attention of your audience and hold it for long while boosting up the traffic to your website simultaneously.
Each one of these strategies would bring great benefits your way, but it is the synergistic combination of multiple techniques that would help you get the best results. It is a good idea to try out different combinations of length and format for your content and make it as appealing as you can.
Do you know of any other ways to drive more traffic to a website? Have you tried a unique technique and have benefited from it, let us know! We’d love to hear from you!
14. Integrating Internal Links
Here we go talking yet again about an SEO technique. Let’s say you end up on a blog and begin reading it. Now as you are reading it, you discover that there are certain links incorporated within the text and you might even have clicked on them to reach another page within the website which further leads to more pages within the website and you end up spending a lot of time going through a whole lot of pages on the same website while enjoying the experience as well. Now compare this to a scenario where you reach a blog page which has decent content for you but no internal linking, you would simply be done with that page and navigate away from the page and go to some other site to find relevant information for yourself increasing the bounce rate for them. This is what internal linking can accomplish for you!
The link profile that you build for your website is strengthened considerably when you have a healthy number of sites linking back to you. But that is not all, it can also be affected greatly by the internal linking structure you have built up for it. This means that whenever you are creating and publishing content, you should keep an eye out for opportunities for creating internal links.
When you do this right, you stand to get a lot of help with your SEO efforts while building a more positive, enhanced, and valuable experience for the user which finally is bound to bring in a lot more traffic to your website. The simple idea here is that if people spend time going through multiple pages on your website, the chances of them buying something or more accurately, the chances of them converting are promising.
15. Conduct Interviews with Industry Thought Leaders & Influencers
At the risk of stating the obvious, I say here that interviews can be big crowd pullers for your blog. Everyone wants to know about the BIG fish. Interviews give us a peek into the lives of those we idolize, admire, and those that inspire us. When you have a business website, you should look into interviewing the thought leaders and influencers in your industry and give your readers a perk to come to your portal. The people you interview need not be celebrities like Jackie Chan or Siti Nurhaliza, or any celebrity at all.
Choose the people you interview well. You can think about all those people who are mentioned in the articles or materials pertaining to your industry. This would ensure that the people you interview are familiar among the people connected to your industry and would lend you credibility through the robust reputation they have built up in the field.
There is a common misconception that getting the industry experts to respond to your questions and interviews is only for the big forums or platforms that have gained considerable eminence. It is pleasantly surprising to notice how many of them would respond positively to a request for an interview. You can send a well-worded email requesting for an interview and may even attach a questionnaire for them to answer. An important thing to remember here is to give them a choice in how they would want to answer your questions, email, telephone, or a video. Once you have the response with you, all that remains to be done is to publish the interview on your blog.
Once you do this, your credibility increases by association, plus there is a good chance that the interviewee might even share the interview on their social network profile. This can only mean good or who knows even great things for you!