“How do I drive traffic to my website?”
Our support team receives countless phone calls from customers asking this exact question, in different variations.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is anything but simple.
Neither a short, one-hour phone conversation nor an educational webinar will suffice. There are no “quick-fix” answers to this question, nor are there one-time remedies for low site traffic.
Paradoxically, there is only one word that sums up the answer to this question: persistence.
Persistence is the key to a successful marketing plan. The only way to establish a steady “flow” of traffic to your website is to keep trying.
Your email marketing campaign, blog entry or exhibition might be successful at driving traffic to your website for a short period of time; equally they might not (marketing is quite frequently a case of trial and error!). But the key thing is that the effect is temporary. If you have high traffic, you have to work to keep it high. If you have low traffic, you have to work harder to bring it back up, and then keep working on it some more.
That being said, there are basic on-page features you can implement that will increase your small business’ SEO. Any time you spend optimizing your site for search engines is time spent wisely. Without SEO, most of your digital marketing efforts are wasted.
The basic on-page SEO features you need on your website are as follows:
- Keyword Density- The frequent use of keywords and phrases that fall in line with your product or service. The formula is: ((word count x word occurrence)/total word count)x100
- Optimized Website Design (Visuals)- If customers are turned-off from your website design, they are increasingly less likely to trust your product or service
- Landing Pages- A landing page is any page that has the following features: 1.) a form, 2.) exists solely to capture a visitor’s information through that form (HubSpot)
Once you optimize your website for search engines, it is then necessary to establish a database of online content. The more content you produce and promote, the more traffic you can potentially drive to your website. I say potentially, because posting content is NOT the simple solution to your small business marketing problems. Many factors contribute to the success of content marketing success.
Here are a few things you need to consider when developing your content marketing strategy:
- Who is my target audience?
- What does my target audience like to see online?
- On which social platforms does my audience participate?
- When does my target audience go online? When are they on particular social media sites?
- What is the tone-of-voice for my target audience?
- How can I reach my target audience in a unique, innovative way?
Once you have an answer to each of these questions, you are ready to develop a content marketing strategy. Without a target audience, your content will have no affect on your lead-gen.
It is fundamental that you create and maintain a blog; this is the only marketing tool that I suggest to all small businesses. Here is why your business needs a blog!
While nurturing a blog is extremely beneficial for your business, it will do no good if you fail to promote your content.
I like to think of the Internet as outer space. When I press “publish” on my blogging platform and I walk away from my computer, I am letting my blog drift around in outer space; no one will read it. But, if I tag my blog with keywords, I ground the content by sharing it on various social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), and I commence a discussion around my blog topic, I am providing a sense of direction for my blog, in turn, increasing the likelihood of engagement.
Wondering how to post your content to various social media sites? Here is a platform by platform breakdown.
- You must preface your blog URL with a description. The more enticing, the better. What would make you click on a tweeted link?
- Upload the “featured picture” into your tweet along with your blog link. Visuals are more stimulating.
- It won’t behoove you to just post your content. You need to curate, too! Show other small businesses that you are not too self-involved to support their great content.
- Mentions, replies, and favorites are your best friend. Use them AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!
- Hashtags are also a good friend. But, only if you use them sparingly! No more than 2 relevant keywords.
- Facebook has updated their platform to a less business friendly version. Which means, unless you want to pay to promote your content, you need to be a nag. A nag? Yep! Make sure you get your employees, friends, and family to share your content whenever possible. The more shares and “likes” you get on your posts, the higher your content is ranked in importance.
- Use action words or phrases such as “Please share,” “Like if you agree,” “Comment with your opinion,” etc. Studies show that your content will get higher engagement if you tell your followers what to do.
- When posting your blog link, you want to make sure to delete the URL link in the textbox. Make sure to do this ONLY after the thumbnail pops up under the textbox.
- If the picture that accompanies your blog in the thumbnail is ill-fitting, or there isn’t a designated image, make sure you add your own image. There is nothing worse than a pure text thumbnail, it looks cheesy.
- The best option for posting your blog content to Google+ is to post your URL in the text box, remove the thumbnail that pops up, and add an image instead. Google+ loves posts that feature pictures and videos.
- Once you have posted the blog to your profile, you want to post the URL to all related communities. Google communities are amazing! When you post your blog to relevant Google+ communities, you are posting your content to users who have already established an interest in that particular content. Talk about a win for content producers. You want to make sure that you are not only posting links, but also engaging with other community members’ posts as well. In some communities, they will remove you for being selfish (good move, moderators).
- Hashtags are also promoted on Google+. Type the “#” sign and then your keyword; generally a group of popular hashtags will drop down, and you can choose the one that is most relevant to your post.
Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are the best social media platforms for posting your blog content. Use them as much as you want! Think you’re ready to take your digital marketing game to the next level? I review every social media site and provide tips for navigating each one in my Digital Marketing eBook. If you’re feeling creative, here are some more tips for enhancing your social visuals!
When it comes to marketing your small business, I could write a whole book. That’s why the question “How do I drive traffic to my site?” is such a tricky inquiry. Entrepreneurs have yet to create a magic wand that perfects traffic growth (though I hope they never do, or I would be jobless), so until then, you MUST practice persistence in your marketing endeavors.
There are a TON of great articles on the Internet that will help you develop a marketing strategy for your small business. Stay tuned for my next blog, which will feature 50 tools to help with your small business marketing strategy.
Summary: You cannot answer the question “How do I drive traffic to my site?” simply; it would take a novel. Persistence is the key to marketing success, and I’m sure that every marketer would agree with me. If you don’t develop your SEO, your content will go to waste. Keyword density, optimized website visuals, and landing pages will help you with on-page SEO. In order to provide lead-worthy content, you must establish your target audience, and research as much as you can about that group. Once you have developed your target audience, start creating content and post it to all of your social media profiles. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are the best tools for posting blog content; take full advantage of them. Download my free Digital Marketing eBook for a useful marketing tool to help you with future endeavors. May the force be with you!