So you want to drive traffic to your website.
Of course you do.
No point in putting the site up if you don’t intend to attract visitors, is their?
But what are you doing about it?
Given that we all know traffic is the lifeblood of any website, it’s surprising how many people fail to have a comprehensive traffic strategy. Some people rely solely on organic traffic, others PPC, other still solo ads. Perhaps for you it’s something else.
The point is, if you’re relying on one source for your traffic, you’re effectively handing control of your business over to a third party. A change in a search engine algorithm may result in a fall in your sites ranking to the extent that it is no longer found. A hike in the cost per click may price you out of the market, at which point your traffic dries up instantly. Over reliance on a particular solo ad supplier could cause a disruption to your business if, for some reason, your unable to contact them.
But although the effects can be dramatic, the solution is straightforward. You simply need to drive your traffic from several different sources. And that calls for a traffic strategy.
Prioritise Your Needs
We all have limited resources, so the idea that you’re going to pursue every traffic generating method available just isn’t realistic. Before deciding which ones you are going to use, take some time out and consider exactly who your target market is.
Once you know this you can then start to research where these people hang out on the web. This will give you an idea of which traffic generation techniques may be best for your business. After all, it’s no use advertising on Facebook, if your potential customers don’t use the site, and likewise there’s no point advertising your dog training product on a cat lovers site!
Content is King
If you think ahead and imagine a successful traffic generation strategy, then it’s not enough to simply lead people to a site. Once you get them there, you want them to take action. And that means that you need to take them to something they’re going to be interested in.
After all, what’s the point in putting time, effort and money into driving traffic to your site if, when people arrive, they simply click away?
That’s right. There isn’t any.
So as far as I’m concerned, after identifying your potential customer, the next step to all successful traffic strategies is quality content. It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving traffic to your website, blog, squeeze page, affiliate offer, fan page, YouTube video, whatever. If your visitor doesn’t see something that is relevant and interests them, they’ll be off to the next site without a second thought.
So with that taken care of, what do you do next?
I’d start with SEO, and by that I mean on page SEO. It’s quick. It’s easy. And it works! I once published a review site and as a test the only optimisation I did was on page SEO. Not only does the site get traffic, but I’ve also made sales from it. If you’re using WordPress there are numerous plugins which can help you optimize your site. I use WordPress SEO by Yoast. As you optimize your post it gives you feedback, helping you to not only optimize your post, but also write better content.
Once you’ve completed your on page optimisation, you need to turn your attention to off page optimisation. This essentially means backlinks and social proof.
Following the Google Penguin update, asking a third party to create thousands of keyword stuffed backlinks to your site from predominantly low quality sites, will no longer give you an advantage in the search engine rankings. However, I believe backlinks are still important. After all, they can drive traffic to your site from sources other than search engines.
A few links, with carefully chosen text, from reputable sites is what’s called for here.
One of the easiest ways to obtain backlinks is to repurpose your content. This simply means converting it into different formats and publishing it to other sites. Because it’s a different format it won’t be considered duplicate content. Just make sure that before you publish it you include a link back to your site.
Popular sites you can publish your repurposed content to include,
Submitting your content to numerous social bookmarking sites can also expose your content to a wide audience. Just make sure that the sites you choose are related to your subject matter.
The rise of social media has meant that social proof, Likes, Tweets, Views etc., have become more important in the quest for higher search engine rankings. They indicate that content is popular, interesting and worth knowing about, which is exactly the type of content search engines want to display to their users. So the more social proof content has, the higher it’s likely to rank. But don’t forget the customer research you did before commencing your traffic generation strategy and only focus on the social networking sites where your customers are likely to be.
The problem with organic traffic is that getting results can be slow. If you’re looking for quick results then paid traffic is the way to go. Google Adwords is the platform most people think of first. It can generate huge amounts of targeted traffic. But it comes at a cost.
If you want fast results but are looking for something cheaper you might want to try different sites. Here’s a few PPC networks that might fit your bill:
There’s plenty more available, just Google terms like “ppc networks” and sift through the results.
While attracting lots of traffic may be encouraging it’s really ROI you’re interested in. Making a loss on a new campaign that you’re testing is to be expected, but after a while you obviously need to turn a profit. To speed up this process it’s essential that you track your results. You need to tweak your campaigns until they become profitable. Obviously if it doesn’t look like they will, ditch them.
By combining a number of different traffic techniques, whilst keeping them to a manageable number, you should be able to reduce the risk exposed to your business whilst at the same time benefiting from the greatest return on your efforts. Before long you’ll be able to drive traffic to your website almost at will. And all it takes is a simple traffic generation strategy – and some action of course!
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If you’d like to share what works for you when it comes to driving traffic to your site, please leave a comment below.