HOW TO GENERATE TRAFFIC
The number one question we get at Turnkey is this… How do I generate traffic? Or some variation of this. Traffic leads to sales. This is how it works with a website. Of course, we all wish that we could provide a simple one line answer to this question, however, as in most things in life, the answer is much deeper than that. No matter how cool your site or how fabulous your product, you’re not going to generate enough sales to make your business viable unless you can generate traffic. You have to get the word out about your site and give people a reason to visit it, or else you’ll go the way of the dinosaur.
This page unfortunately is no different. This page offers detailed, researched solid advice, but it also requires work. Success never comes easy, but it can and will come to those who work smart and consistently strive for success.
No traffic, no leads – No leads, no sales. – No sales, no business
- Blog and forum Commenting – There are several top blogs and forums in your niche (like this one) that get hundreds if not thousands of visitors on a daily basis. The proper way to do blog or form commenting is to thoroughly read the post and if you have something useful or meaningful to add to the conversation, then leave a comment. The purpose of commenting isn’t to drop a link, but to add value to the conversation and to grow your network. Use your real name as the commenter and a percentage of readers will click through to learn more about you. If you have content on your site related to the post, use that URL as a link rather than the home page. Those who do click through will then have an even better user experience. This technique is also called back linking. Make Your Blog’s Content SEO-Friendly. Search engines are a massive opportunity for traffic, yet many bloggers ignore this channel for a variety of reasons that usually have more to do with fear and misunderstanding than true problems. As I’ve written before, “SEO, when done right, should never interfere with great writing.”. One small note, Google+ does not always offer the most traffic, but remember it is a google product who also plays the number one role in search engine placement. They are both owned by Google so spend the time. Target Long-Tail Keywords with your blogs Long-tail keywords account for a majority of web searches, meaning that if you’re not targeting them as part of your paid search or SEO efforts, you’re missing out.
- The Right Content – Content that generates traffic. Content that gets you traffic from Google. Content that establishes YOU as an expert (and someone people want to buy from). In other words, rock solid content that you can build a business on top of. The content of your website should focus mainly on one keyword per page. Old school rules allowed for up to 3 – 4 keywords per page, but in today’s world, limit your keywords per page to just one.
- Target Your Content to an Audience Likely to Share – When strategizing about who you’re writing for, consider that audience’s ability to help spread the word. Some readers will naturally be more or less active in evangelizing the work you do, but particular communities, topics, writing styles and content types regularly play better than others on the web. For example, great infographics that strike a chord (like this one), beautiful videos that tell a story (like this one) and remarkable collections of facts that challenge common assumptions (like this one) are all targeted at audiences likely to share
- Social media links – Bet you saw this one coming. For most people, Facebook offers the best opportunity for traffic. Depending on the niche, Twitter, Vine, Google+ and Instagram have all proven to be successful in driving significant traffic. The formula for success is pretty simple: Optimize your Facebook profile and link back to your website. Twitter has 271 million active users every month. Facebook has over 1 billion active users. Google+ has over 300 million. LinkedIn is over 300 million. Together, these networks are attracting vast amounts of time and interest from Internet users around the world, and those that participate on these services fit into the “content distributors” description above, meaning they’re likely to help spread the word about your blog. Provide useful and fun content on a regular basis. Make it easy to share your website content on Facebook by using a share button. To save time, use an auto posting service so that you can optimize your time and only write it one time.
- Optimize your existing posts – Comb through your old posts to make sure they have unique and relevant title tags, URLS and meta descriptions. Not only does this save time on new data creation, it also helps in your search engine rankings showing activity.
- Newsletters – If your site offers a free opt-in newsletter, contest, quiz or “tip of the day”-in other words, any information that people will want to share because it’s fun, valuable or exciting-include an “E-mail this” button in that feature as well. There’s nothing more powerful than a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague. Use e-mail promotions to present your visitors with offers they can’t refuse. Yes, it’s true: E-mail promotions are one of the top two ways to attract qualified traffic to your site. If you have a list of customer or subscriber e-mail addresses, then you’re ready to get started. Encourage visitors to frequently return to your site by e-mailing them attractive promotional offers, such as e-coupons or discounts on new products you’re offering, notification of a sale or a contest you’re running, or even free services or products you’ve decided to give away to a limited number of people. Another reason to love email is the conversion rate of 3.34 percent. Compare this to search at 1.94 percent and social at 0.79 percent and you can see just how productive this form of marketing can be.
- Get your visitors to tell their friends about you. – A good way to drive visitors to your site is to ask your existing customer base to do it for you. There are lots of sites that offer free “tell a friend” buttons you can place directly on your site in order to encourage visitors to send e-mails to their friends telling them about your site. Social Media SHARING BUTTONS WORK. Use them!!!!!!!!
- Implement Schema Microdata – Implementing schema (or another microdata format) won’t necessarily increase traffic to your website on its own, but it will make it easier for search engine bots to find and index your pages. Another benefit of using schema for SEO is that it can result in better rich site snippets, which can improve click-through rates.
- Link Internally – The strength of your link profile isn’t solely determined by how many sites link back to you – it can also be affected by your internal linking structure. When creating and publishing content, be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities for internal links. This not only helps with SEO, but also results in a better, more useful experience for the user – the cornerstone of increasing traffic to your website.
- Make Sure Your Site is Responsive and fast. – The days when internet browsing was done exclusively on desktop PCs are long gone. Today, more people than ever before are using mobile devices to access the web, and if you force your visitors to pinch and scroll their way around your site, you’re basically telling them to go elsewhere. If your site takes forever to load, your bounce rate will be sky high. Make sure that your pages are as technically optimized as possible, including image file sizes, page structure and the functionality of third-party plugins. The faster your site loads, the better.
- Build an army of affiliates to drive traffic to your site for you. Without a doubt, an affiliate program is the probably the best way to increase your site’s exposure. You can get your affiliates to drive qualified traffic to your site using all the techniques we’ve mentioned so far, as well as other effective advertising techniques that require an initial investment.
- Advertise – This one is so obvious, we’re going to look at it first. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people. Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you reach for your credit card. Google AdWords and Facebook are the most effective online advertising because you can limit your advertising dollars to those who actually are interested in your product.
- YouTube – YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Web, processing more than 3 billion searches a month. To put this in perspective, it’s bigger than Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and AOL combined and should not be ignored. In my experience, the best performing videos for many e-commerce websites are how-tos and tutorials. Niche videos can drive tons of traffic.
- Add Graphics, Photos and Illustrations (with link added to the meta data) – If you’re someone who can produce graphics, take photos, illustrate or even just create funny doodles in MS Paint, you should leverage that talent on your blog. By uploading and hosting images (or using a third-party service like Flickr or Niice to embed your images with licensing requirements on that site), you create another traffic source for yourself via Image Search, and often massively improve the engagement and enjoyment of your visitors. Google’s “Visually Similar” Search – Clicking the “similar” link on any given image will show you other images that Google thinks look alike, which can often uncover new sources of traffic. Just reach out and ask if you can get a link, nicely. Much of the time, you’ll not only get your link, but make a valuable contact or new friend, too!
- Conduct Keyword Research While Writing Your Posts – Keyword Explorer can come to your research rescue. Not surprisingly, a big part of showing up in search engines is targeting the terms and phrases your audience are actually typing into a search engine. It’s hard to know what these words will be unless you do some research, and luckily, there’s a free tool from Google to help called the AdWords Keyword Planner. Type some words at the top, hit search and AdWords will show you phrases that match the intent and/or terms you’ve employed. There’s lots to play around with here, but watch out in particular for the keyword filters, keyword options, and include/exclude features: When you choose “exact match” AdWords will show you only the quantity of searches estimated for that precise phrase. If you use broad match, they’ll include any search phrases that use related/similar words in a pattern they think could have overlap with your keyword intent (which can get pretty darn broad). “Phrase match” will give you only those phrases that include the word or words in your search – still fairly wide-ranging, but between “exact” and “broad.” I also use and recommend Keywordtool.io, which mines keywords from Google’s Suggest function: When you’re writing a blog post, keyword research is best utilized for the title and headline of the post. For example, if I wanted to write a post here on Moz about how to generate good ideas for bloggers, I might craft something that uses the phrase “blog post ideas” or “blogging ideas” near the front of my title and headline, as in “Blog Post Ideas for When You’re Truly Stuck,” or “Blogging Ideas that Will Help You Clear Writer’s Block.”
- Enable Subscriptions via Feed + Email (and track them!) – If someone drops by your site, has a good experience and thinks “I should come back here and check this out again when they have more posts,” chances are pretty high (I’d estimate 90%+) that you’ll never see them again. That sucks! It shouldn’t be the case, but we have busy lives and the Internet’s filled with animated gifs of cats. In order to pull back some of these would-be fans, I highly recommend creating an RSS feed using Feedburner and putting visible buttons on the sidebar, top or bottom of your blog posts encouraging those who enjoy your content to sign up (either via feed, or via email, both of which are popular options). RSS Feeds with Feedburner. If you’re using WordPress, there’s some easy plugins for this, too. Once you’ve set things up, visit every few weeks and check on your subscribers – are they clicking on posts? If so, which ones? Learning what plays well for those who subscribe to your content can help make you a better blogger, and earn more visits from RSS, too.
- Watch your analytics – know where your traffic is coming from. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend a dime to figure out where a large portion of your audience can be found on the web. In fact, you probably already know a few blogs, forums, websites and social media communities where discussions and content are being posted on your topic (and if you don’t a Google search will take you much of the way). From that list, you can do some easy expansion using a web-based tool like Google’s Display Planner: Your demographics is important on where you should spend your time. Measure the profitability in your demographic area. You may be marketing to the wrong people. If your highest returns in traffic yield the lowest profits. Analytical data can show you this… Take the time to be an expert at this.
- Be Consistent and Don’t Give Up – it takes time. There is no overnight strategy. I’m sorry to give you the bad news but this is reality. On the other side, Success happens to the prepared therefore don’t give up. Adjust as you go along. See what works and let go of what does not.
If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to contact us.