Online Traffic 101: The Complete Guide to Promoting Your Website
Dear website owner,
Congratulations for taking matters into your own hands! When you made the decision to create a website, you stepped through the door of new and exciting opportunities. Our duty here is to make sure that you have everything you need to grab these opportunities and get a spectacular online presence for your business, your music, your organization or your art.
Launching your very own site was the first step in reaching that goal. The next stage starts now and it’s just as important, if not more so. Welcome to Operation Traffic Star. The objective: Increasing high-quality traffic coming into your website. The means: Implementing a multi-tiered strategy for promoting your site successfully.
The traffic doctrine
Before we dive into the details of how to promote your website, there are a few key points you should keep in mind as you go along:
High-quality traffic: There are many ways to increase incoming traffic significantly. The challenge is how to get relevant traffic – visitors who are interested in engaging with your content, who do not immediately exit your site because it’s totally irrelevant to them and who are likely to convert into fans or paying clients. In short, your efforts should focus on bringing in traffic that corresponds to your target market.
Long-term growth: The visual graph of your traffic statistics should show continuous growth, not occasional spikes that quickly diminish. Your strategy should always look two steps ahead. If you’re planning a short campaign and expect a blitz-attack for more traffic – that’s great! But don’t forget to leverage this spike into something lasting.
People are not numbers: On the traffic battlefront, it’s easy to forget that those numbers of visitors represent real human beings. Resist that tendency! In order to attract relevant traffic and conduct meaningful interactions on your site, you need to understand your visitors’ interests and desires. Get to know them better if you want to push their buttons successfully.
And now, website owner, we’re ready for the nitty gritty. Let’s help you prepare a strategy for promoting your website.
Make SEO a priority
Search engines are a key resource for traffic. The higher your website is ranking on search engines the more organic traffic you will get. So how do you make sure your website gets to those desired spots on the search results? You prioritize SEO (search engine optimization) in your content strategy.
By building your site and content around SEO you make it more attractive for search engines. Your SEO efforts take place on two fronts:
On your website – and beyond: Search engines crawl your site and look for relevant information that they can cross with whatever people are searching for online. Start by finding the right keywords and then strategically integrate them into your site. “Where in my site,” you would ask. Great question! Your site texts, images, links and meta data should include these terms and words. Review these quick SEO techniques to make sure you know how to use keywords in order to improve your site’s visibility. Your goal is to get Google, Bing & pals to associate your site most strongly with searches that are relevant to your activity.
On other websites: The SEO value of your site increases significantly when other websites link directly to you. The more quality links you get, the more search engines respect your site. The art of gaining external links is a delicate one, but it is definitely a skill worth mastering if you want to see your traffic increase. This is a great article that can help you build strong backlinks and earn search engines “street cred.”
Jump into the Google advertising pool
Small businesses and independent website owners often assume that online advertising is out of their limited budget. But Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is actually the perfect solution for low-cost promotion that is highly targeted – and no click, no money spent, so you’re safe. By setting your own budget restrictions and by defining in advance who gets to see your online ads, PPC brings you the most relevant traffic without spending even one dime more than you want on search engines. While your organic ranking is climbing slowly on Google, your paid ad is a great alternative to ensure you appear in the right place and get visits!
Your PPC campaign’s success depends on a number of factors: the keywords that you choose as triggers, the websites you choose to advertise on and how you phrase your ads. These PPC expert tips should prep you well before you launch your first campaign. The Traffic Generator app is a great tool to manage your campaigns and track their success rate.
Build a community
Social media is an important platform for generating a consistent flow of traffic. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. offer a uniquely direct channel of communication where you can engage with your target audience in a fun and friendly tone. This is why so many brands, choose to conduct much of their online marketing efforts directly on social networks.
To build a tight social community around your own brand, you first need to choose the right social platforms, the ones that are most appealing to your target market and most relevant to your own style. Once you have that figured out, you can start building a strategy for social branding – find the right tone of voice, come up with an effective content schedule (when to post, how often and in what frequency), and interact with your community members.
Advertise, the social edition
While social media is a great sphere to grow organic traffic to your site (i.e. traffic that is not generated through advertising), most social networks also offer terrific opportunities for young brands to expand their reach through paid campaigns.
Like PPC, advertising on social media doesn’t have to be an expensive ordeal. You can set your own budget, the way you want to spend it and even determine what demographics gets to see your ads and target them further according to their interests. Facebook advertising is a great place to start planning your first big social campaign.
Blog to show yourself
Once new visitors arrive to your site you need to lure in with grade A content and beautiful design. Once thing you can do to boost your site’s content and traffic is to add a blog, where you can frequently upload terrific photos, interesting articles, news updates and other kinds of information that appeal to your target market.
Not everyone is a natural born blogger, but that shouldn’t stop you from adding a blog to your site. You can always come up with creative ways to communicate with your readership, even if writing is not your number one skill.
Connect directly with email marketing
Every seasoned marketing expert will happily vouch for the strength of email marketing in keeping site traffic growing. A powerful email brings your messaging directly into your audience’s mailbox. With a smart subject line, relevant content and beautiful images, your email campaigns easily convert readers into site visitors.
Take advantage of online directories
The web is a friendly place where website owners help each other to succeed. That’s the principle that guides online directories, websites that offer other websites the opportunity to promote their content to larger audiences – for free! (almost always) In addition to exposing your domain name to interested site visitors, online directories are great for SEO.
Remember when we mentioned backlinks and how influential they are in getting your website recognized? Online directories do just that. Getting your site listed on them is super simple. You only need to submit the link and maybe add a title and a short description.
Even in the online era, good old face-to-face interactions are still super important, especially if you’re interested in establishing local ties with your community. Consider which forums would be most beneficial for you to network in – meetups, workshops, conferences, launch events or any social constellation that is relevant to your niche. You can even plan your own events (alone or together with other site or business owners) where you could promote your brand.
Networking opportunities happen all the time, even when you’re unprepared for them. That’s why we recommend that you develop an elevator pitch that you can drop in random conversations and meetings.
Get video action
Video content is a big trend right now. With the success of Facebook Live and the continuing professionalization of YouTube, video is clearly becoming a marketing avenue with great potential. You can use videos to attract visitors to your site – either on social media or through email marketing. Once you get them there, keep visitors engaged with beautiful video content streaming directly on your site. Oh, and did we mention that you can also spice up your site with gorgeous video backgrounds?
Track, analyze and improve
Knowledge is power, and in online marketing knowledge means tracking your website’s performance statistics. You can follow all the steps listed above to promote your website like a real champ, but if you neglect to do your homework and analyze the impact of these efforts, you will inevitably limit your own progress.
Stats and data show you exactly which efforts were most successful with what audiences, what traffic sources have proved most effective at what time, and what keywords are bringing you more exposure online. Staying informed helps you make smarter choices about future campaigns and marketing strategies. Bam! And that’s how you get continuous growth :)
Ready to boost your online presence?
Create a website with us today!