First and foremost, traffic is just one part of the equation to get your business booming via online marketing. The other two aspects are having a good converting website and having a solid back-end process once your business receives an email, phone call or inquiry from the Internet.
Here’s the great news though, even if your website is the biggest load of cow dung on the Internet and you have zero conversion strategies on it, if you have 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000 people visiting it each and every month, then you still have a potential goldmine of a business.
With a stampede of traffic coming to your site on a daily or weekly basis it’s easy to make a few changes and HEY PRESTO your phone starts ringing and orders start flying in.
However, if you have the best converting website in the world and no traffic coming to it, then you are dead in the water. My point here is: Don’t worry too much about getting your website right in the beginning. You will definitely need to change it on an ongoing basis anyway (whether you want to or not).
Internet marketing is changing so rapidly your site needs to change with the times, for if it doesn’t you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble real fast.
Check out the strategies below to discover the best way to get traffic to your site.
What exactly are the best traffic getting strategies?
- Google Maps
In fact, to dominate Google, the goal is for your site to get found on the front-page of Google as many times and towards the top as much as possible.
You can use this section now as your Marketing Road-map for online success, as I’m going to breakdown exactly what you need to do to get the most out of the strategies above.
If we go back to the stats mentioned earlier it’ll show you what I mean.
· 98% of searchers choose a business on page 1 of the results gathered from their search
· 41% of clicks go to the #1 ranked site in a search
· 12% of clicks go to the #2 ranked site in a search
· 8.5% of clicks go to the #3 ranked site in a search
Let’s break it down and look at what you can do to tap into the majority of people looking to do business on any given day.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization or SEO is vital to the implementation of your online marketing plan. While this is a part of the 5 one-time things you must do to get your plan started successfully, it must also be monitored and updated. You do this to make sure you keep your local business results and your natural search results ranking near or at the top.
Google Maps (Local Business Listings)
Local business results will impact not only on the traffic to your website, but will also impact the phone at your place of business. Once your business is successfully located at the top of these results, you’ll find your phone ringing more often. It’ll ring because your phone number is listed in the local business results.
Submit your business to the three major local business results sites. Monitor and update listings regularly to secure top spots. Make sure your listings are search engine optimized.
The two sites you must be on are:
· Google – the most important one as it owns more than 2/3 of online traffic
· MSN/Bing – Growing in importance, but not as prominent as Google and Yahoo
These local business results each pick up on select keywords and use different location modifiers when ranking listings. However, most listings include address, phone number, directions to a physical address, website and customer reviews.
The ones with the best reviews containing targeted keywords, in addition to location modifiers, will find their way to the top of the search results.
To be listed in the top 10 search results, follow these 7 tips:
1. Optimize every aspect of your listing with strategic keywords.
2. Get reviews from clients.
3. Obtain backlinks from local online directories.
4. Strategically choose the areas you want optimized; even establishing different addresses and phone numbers for other areas.
5. Get listed in about 4 to 5 categories related to your business for your business results listing.
6. Place coupons with the listing to increase conversion rates.
7. Use YouTube videos and photographs with your keyword in the title.
After listing in the top local business listings, seek out other directory listings to use such as Kudzu, City Search, cmac.ws, Best of the Web, local, and more.
Track changes you make. This way, you can keep the listing as relevant as possible. It will also help you monitor what works and what doesn’t. Be patient, it sometimes takes 3-4 weeks to see your listing appear.
Organic listings are also referred to as FREE or natural listings, as they are generated by the search engines themselves and are not paid for. They are typically placed below local searches with the map and paid searches, many people consider them the most valid type of search results.
It is possible to get a variety of listings in the natural results. Anything with relevant content on it, especially if it has been search engine optimized, can be included in natural search results. Search engine rankings can include:
· Your main website
· Social media content
· Press releases
· Web 2.0 content
· Landing pages
· Social bookmarks
· Directory listings
· Blog posts
Keyword research is vital to the successful ranking of your website, and more important in the natural results of search engines. Therefore this step is not to be overlooked. The relevancy of your content is very important to placement. Other ranking factors which impact where your content shows up in ranking include:
· Content congruency / consistency
· Keywords used in page links
· Keywords used in content
· Links pointing back to your site / content
· Google page rank
In fact, good relevant content and on-page SEO combined with the proper keyword usage, and enough backlinks, will be sure to make it to the top of many categories within a given period of time. Get links to your site from local directories, article marketing/press release syndication, Web 2.0, blogs, social bookmarks, and video marketing. The more quality links you have to your site, the more successful it will be in ranking.
Pay-per-click advertising is one area where many people are already investing in online marketing. You may be one of those who recognize the value of such campaigns in finding potential clients.
One of the major advantages in PPC campaigns is you can be up and running with traffic actually coming to your site in as little as one day.
Other major benefits, you can easily and accurately measure results and you can achieve incredible ROI (return-on-investment) from well-structured campaigns. Then you can monitor and optimized for success.
Pay-per-click campaigns can also be quite expensive. However, they can be greatly downsized and often completely eliminated by the effective use of an online marketing strategy. You can easily spend a lot less on your PPC campaign than you have previously (when your business is consistently at the top of search engine results).
However, PPC campaigns are still important tools that can remain as a part of a good online marketing strategy, especially for extremely competitive keyword searches.
The Right Keyword Research
Keyword research is the key (excuse the pun), that makes your PPC campaigns work like never before. If you have your keyword research done correctly, you will have a list of keywords used when people search for something your business can provide, including very specific long-tailed keywords.
These keywords will not only be the ones most commonly used, but also the ones that have the fewest PPC matches for them. This means when someone uses those keywords your ad will appear at the top, not mixed in somewhere with endless others.
Keyword research makes all the difference between hit-n-miss PPC campaigns. Keyword research makes all the difference between a set of keywords that really work, and the ones with a high click-through rate of conversions to sales. Having professional management of your PPC campaigns can mean having huge savings and much greater results.
Geo-Targeting Your Ads
This is one of the most awesome features of running PPC campaigns, as you have the option to target PPC ads to only the people in your area who are searching for a given term.
Using a geo-targeting search from someone in your geographic area for a generic term like “electrician” would reveal your ad; whereas someone in another state or area that you don’t serve who searches for “electrician” would not see your ad, (unless you wanted them to).
Using Google Ads and other PPC services, you can choose to have your ads shown only to people living in certain zip codes, cities or regions.
By doing so you can bid on very generic terms that previously would not have been a good choice. This is possible because search engines know where searchers are located.
You can choose to target:
· Actual location
· Narrow geography such as city, state, metro area
· IP Address
In addition, you can choose to do PPC campaigns on works with a location qualifier attached to them. Many people will actually choose to include the location qualifier in their search, such as “Miami plumber.” By using both the searcher’s actual location and where the searcher is looking, you will have the greatest success possible in your pay-per-click campaign.
The advantages to geo-targeting generic terms for your PPC ads are:
· Cheaper click rates
· Fast traffic results
· More targeted traffic
· Lower competition
· Higher conversion to sales
The Importance of the Landing Page
A landing page is the page a prospect reaches when they click through your ad, a link in your article’s resource box, or a link in a press release, video, or audio. The best-designed landing pages have a way these visitors can trade their contact information for a special report or some other content that’s valuable to them.
The landing page is a very important component in the online marketing strategy for pay-per-click campaigns. It should be relevant to the ad that you have placed and should contain keywords related to the search. You should have a different landing page for each PPC ad you place. Include navigation links to other parts of your site for even better results in Google.
Content Network PPC Campaign
Content network PPC allows you to sell advertising space on your own website and use space on other websites that relate to yours.
What’s most effective about advertising with the content network is, mostly the time people spend online aren’t using search engines, but visiting their favorite sites. Content PPC allows you to get your ad in front of them while they are on these popular sites.
A large number of websites collaborate in a content network and you get the advantage of the traffic attracted to each of them. Your ad can be much more than a text ad like traditional PPC. You can opt for images and even a video to capture the attention of potential clients. Content network PPC is wide open right now and is an excellent option to explore in your internet marketing plan.
Report Generation, Testing, Tracking
Report generation must be done regularly to stay on top of the performance of your online marketing plan. Through testing and tracking you can effectively and clearly see what is working and what is not. By doing more of what is working and less of what isn’t working, you’ll grow faster at less cost.
This is a very important part of your business and must be done at least quarterly (unless you are functioning at beyond full capacity). As you are implementing, or even prior to implementing your new marketing strategies, take time to test and track so you have a baseline to compare against.
Use the following types of data in your analysis of your marketing:
· Traffic sources and volume
· Visitor data
· Visitor actions and behavior
You will need to track the main site rankings for the different keywords. This will tell you where each keyword ranks. You can get an idea of the ranking possibilities for the content you put out there using that keyword. You can use rank checker tools to assist you in tracking rankings for keywords. Check those of your competitors also.
When testing your backlinks for your site, you need to find out where links are coming from. This is simultaneously a test to make sure links are actually working. Track how many backlinks your site has and how many are recognized by Google.
Do the same for your competitor’s, especially those who already have a good degree of online domination. This will give you ideas of where you need to link from. You can access link and backlink tracking tools to facilitate the process.
Traffic Sources and Volume
Traffic sources and the volume of traffic need to be tracked and optimized. This will tell you where your visitor’s are coming from and the number of visitors you are getting from each source.
It is important to know if they are direct visitors, referred through natural search engine results, referred from other sites or referred through paid search engine ads. This type of tracking will also reveal the keywords that are working to get visitors to your site. There is traffic tracking tools available for this.
What Are Visitors To Your Site Doing?
Visitor data should also be tested, tracked and optimized as a regular part of your marketing program. You want to know where they are located, which web browser they use, the type of operating system they use, connection speed and if they are a brand-new visitor or a repeat one.
This will help you create the best visitor experience possible for those who come to your site. The same tracking tools that provide traffic data will also help you track visitor data. One of the best free tools for this and to measure visitor behavior is Google analytics. All you need to use it is a free Google account
Visitor Actions and Behavior
You will also need to track visitor actions and behavior information. Details like the page of the site the visitor entered on and exited from will divulge the relevant information they were looking for.
With such information, you will learn how well your landing pages and other content are working for you. You can also find out how long they stayed on your site; which will help you come up with ways to keep them longer.
Record the links that get the most click-through traffic, so you know what information attracts visitors most. The most important feature of tracking visitor behavior is to find out the number of people who took action and what they actually did. There are a variety of technologies which allow you to track such information.
By regularly testing and tracking your site by the collecting important data, you will be equipped to optimize it so you’re getting the best results possible. You will know what is working well and what needs to be changed.
Discern what the data actually means, so you can change content or make site adjustments if necessary. This will help you improve your business by getting the right people to your site (who will then convert to sales).
Here’s the link for Google Analytics free download: http://www.google.com/analytics/
Other Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Site
Never underestimate the power of a Press Release. A few well-placed keywords throughout a well-crafted press release can produce a volume of high traffic. Some use a sales/marketing/press release as a single tool to perform multiple functions. A good writer can spin the content around an entire PPC campaign.
As mentioned above, you can write an article about your product or service (or have a creative writer write one for you), then use a group of articles for press releases/marketing and promotions. Simply take the original content, add some facts or stats about your business, add keywords to link to your site, and you have it.
There are as many good reasons for your business to participate in the Facebook community as there are people on the web. It’s a great way to connect to people searching for what you sell. It’s also an easy way for you to converse directly with your customer-base.
You have an opportunity to create a community around your product or service. It’s easier to generate leads from someone you know or who is in your circle or who knows someone you know. Additionally, you can use your Facebook posts to create and build your SEO Rankings.
By the time Twitter came along MySpace was pretty much spammed out. Twitter quickly became the hot new thing everyone was talking about. It suddenly became cool to Tweet. Rest assured those small Tweets you perform within seconds grow big nest eggs. It’s one of the fastest ways to grow your brand presence.
Send people to YouTube to watch your videos. Use Facebook as your gateway to connect with people, and then send them to YouTube. Because of the importance of Facebook, it’s particularly essential to incorporate content from all social media like YouTube to extend your reach across the web.
If you’re not familiar with SlideShare, it’s quickly becoming a busy slide hosting service. You can upload files privately or publicly using PowerPoint, PDF, etc.
If you’re unfamiliar with Pinterest, then get to the website and create an account. Why is this important to you? Because it is now the most effective means of driving traffic (and sales) to your website and it’s a more powerful tool for social networking than Facebook and Twitter.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with nearly 200 million members at time of writing this and rapidly growing. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.
LinkedIn gives you the ability to create a professional profile that helps establish your credibility in the marketplace. It also enables you to find experts and ideas to help resolve business challenges with a specialized search feature that lets you explore their network of professionals by name, title, company and location.
Additional Traffic Strategies
By using a wide variety of traffic strategies, you will have the best chance of being able to attract the maximum number of potential clients to your website. Apart from the techniques already mentioned, there are other ones that will help you drive traffic to your site.
Some of them are completely free, while others involve a varying amount of investment (depending on the quality of equipment you want to use to create them).
By placing carefully created online classified ads you can easily drive traffic to your website. Many of these websites are free of charge, like craighslist.org. You can choose to put an ad in the sections which best fits the services or products your company provides.
You can even put links directly back to your website in many of these ads. The sheer volume of traffic on such sites will help people find you and your website more readily, as there are numerous people who use such sites as their go-to resource for many things.
To get the maximum amount of use from your classified ads, create links to your ad using social bookmarking sites and other social networking sites. This will create additional backlinks to your ad and help it get ranked in the search engines.
Any content that gets ranked in the search engines is excellent for your online marketing.
Make sure the ads you place on classified ad sites are search engine friendly (like all of your online content). Use keywords correctly, without stuffing them into the ad, this will maximize your search engine result ranking.
Such ads need to be placed monthly to stay current in the search engines. Vary the content though and add seasonal specials, if appropriate.
Some of the best classified ads include:
Local Online Discussion Forums
Make sure you are active in local online discussion forums. This will help you reach even more potential new clients. Many times people seek out forums in an attempt to solve a problem they are facing. By being present and taking part in discussions, you can offer your services to solve appropriate issues.
In addition, you will be connecting with potential customers who speak openly about what they can’t find or what is not being offered. It is great to do, because you’re researching to fine-tune your offerings. This will ensure you are actually meeting the needs of those you want to buy from you.
You can find such local forums by doing a simple online search on them. Most require you to create a free account and profile. Your profile should include information on your business and include a link to your site.
Some tips for optimal use of local online discussion forums as a part of your marketing strategy include:
· Start or contribute to conversations in a relevant way.
· Pay close attention to the forum rules.
· Realize blatant advertising is a no, no.
· Use an anchor text keyword in your signature.
· Use “how to” articles as good posting content for the forums
Post weekly or monthly on local online discussion forums to take advantage of the benefits, such as multiple backlinks generated from each post.