With your small business website in place, it's time to start thinking about traffic. Think of your website like a billboard -- a website that gets zero traffic is like a billboard on an abandoned country road. Likewise, getting tons of traffic is like having your "website billboard" on the busiest intersection in the most populated community. In this post, you'll learn how to get your website in front of as many qualified website visitors as possible.
NOTE: This is part of a five-part blog series, which explores the 5 key components of building a powerful small business web marketing plan that works! If you enjoy this post, please be sure to read the other posts in this complete series:
Traffic vs. Qualified Traffic
Before you start working to build your website traffic, you need to stop and accept an important reality. There's traffic, and then there's Qualified Traffic. Obviously, if you're going to build a successful website and a successful small business marketing plan, you want the Qualified Traffic! You want visitors who actually care about the products and services you're offering. You want visitors who are more likely to opt-in and enter your marketing funnel.
Getting that good Qualified Traffic to your website means focusing on laser-targeted methods for bringing those visitors to you. This is exactly why the foundation of any solid small business web marketing plan is CONTENT. As Bill Gates once put it, Content Is King! Adding lots of content to your website helps you build a presence on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It also helps you create buzz with Social Media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
You may have heard the term "Content Marketing" already. It's a great way of capturing this idea that content should be at the very center of everything you do. (This, by the way, is true offline just as much as it's true online.) Content Marketing should be the foundation of your PPC (Pay Per Click), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and Social Media strategies.
Natural SEO Traffic vs. Paid Traffic
I'm going to assume you don't know too much about SEO or PPC yet. If you already do know a lot, great! But do review this section just to be sure you're up to speed.
SEO is the fastest way to get that "natural qualified traffic" to your website. Sometimes this is referred to as organic search traffic. Basically, this happens because your website shows up on the first page of Google (ideally) for a particular keyword phrase your prospect uses to look for information.
PPC, by contrast, gets your website to page one of search engines instantly -- you just have to pay for it (and do a little optimization work too). Click costs will vary from industry-to-industry but you should count on paying $5-$50 per click. Costs will depend upon how optimized your PPC account is and how much competition exists in your marketplace.
Most people assume that SEO is better than PPC. This is not always the case. For some industries and for some entrepreneurs, PPC can be an extremely effective way to get massive results very quickly. Still, SEO does tend to create the most lasting long-term results. And, SEO tends to bring better quality customers. According to some research, SEO visitors are more likely to trust your website and thus your business than PPC visitors.
In both of these cases -- SEO and PPC -- you're going to need great content to get great results. For SEO, lots of strong Landing Pages and Blog Posts (more on blogging later in this post) will be necessary to get higher rankings. For PPC, you'll also need Landing Pages to improve your Google Adwords Quality Score and some SEO optimization elements to improve your overall PPC performance.
Social Media Traffic
Another excellent strategy for attracting Qualified Visitors to your website involves leveraging Social Media Marketing. Social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus ("the big 5" as we like to call them) allow you to "hang out" where your prospects hang out and then drive them to your website.
Social Media Marketing requires a subtle approach, though. You simply will not be effective if you try to be heavy-handed and "spammy." The first word in social media marketing is SOCIAL. If you expect to get clear results, you need to be social. You need to make connections and build relationships.
For some people (and for some types of businesses) this will come very naturally. For others, you'll definitely want to seek the advice and help of others to make this work.
Blogging + Social Media = Quality Traffic
A formula that we've developed at Convert With Content involves combining Blogging with Social Media for a 1-2 power punch that attracts qualified traffic and helps increase your visitor-to-lead conversion rates. Here's a quick breakdown of how this works:
1. Write and publish blog posts daily (or at least 2-3x per week).
2. Share your blog posts on social media networks.
3. Interact with other social media users and influencers.
4. Share other content to establish your authority.
5. Watch the traffic roll in.
At the core of our formula is this concept: CONTENT + INFLUENCE = RESULTS.
You need great content (that readers will love) and you need to build your online influence (on social networking websites) to get results with a Content Marketing approach.
There will be lots of very positive side effects with this kind of approach. Your SEO will definitely benefit as even the most stringent search engines like Google love websites that publish content frequently. And building a strong social presence helps rally your marketplace around your business and your website.
Tracking Your Traffic
Be sure to setup a tool like Google Analytics or StatCounter (we use and recommend both) to keep your finger on the pulse of your daily, weekly, and monthly traffic. If you use WordPress, both of these tools can be setup easily with plugins or by simply editing the code.
What questions do YOU have about building a powerful small business website? Please leave your comment below.
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