Ah yes, the holy grail. If only there was a silver bullet to increase traffic, we’d all be rich. Instead, there are MANY ways to increase traffic, but they all fall into a few main categories:
This is simply getting more new users to your website. By increasing the amount of new visitors a day, you’ll increase daily traffic. Generally, most advertising and marketing is in this category, to reach new customers and get them onto the site. Bottom Line: There’s lots of people out there who shop on the first visit, but don’t know about your site.
This is retaining users to your site as returning visitors. By increasing retention, you’ll accelerate the growth of your active user base. Bottom line: There’s lots of people who prefer to come back later to make the purchase, after thinking about it and looking around.
Naturally, once you HAVE the traffic you want from these two major angles, Conversion is the next step in this revenue generation life cycle. But, since we’re just focusing on traffic…
Within these major categories, each of which you could easily spend a huge budget in, are many strategies, channels, mechanisms, features, campaigns, and other ways to gain the traffic growth you want. Here’s some of the most widely used.
1. Content Marketing (+ SEO Content Optimizing)
As google as established and loves to repeat: “Content is King”. Without this, the rest of your SEO efforts will be futile. This is the base layer for everything organic – the most cost effective channel to be winning in.
Write on-site content with content about your products, your industry’s content or relevant trending events, speak to your target audience with unique, rich content, etc. There’s a million articles on how to write substantial quality content.
SEO optimize your content so it gets crawled and shows up for the searches you want to capture. You would be amazed how content is not done with much level of commitment or quality for MOST companies. By sitting down and writing a thoughtful, substantial article (300 – 500 words, at least one image, subtitles, paragraphs, well written sentences, good explanations), you will most likely out-do 75-85% of the market right there with your on-site content relevance and quality. Check out Google Webmaster tools for how it sees your top content keywords and what it thinks your website is really about.
To SEO optimize your articles well, use the Yoast plugin provided for you beneath every article editor in your platform CMS. It will tell you exactly what you’ve got and what you’re missing.
This will be noticed, and it will build quality that google recognizes. Now just add back links off site pointing back to your content to justify your content credibility (see link building), and you SERIOUSLY have a strategy that will get you within striking distance of the first page of google, if not already on there just with that content work being coupled with the rest of the platform’s features in UGC and volume of keywords. Balance that out with your well written content to show google this is a hand made, knowledgeable, human made website.
Another way if off-site content marketing. Do guest blogs on other sites or ask blogs to review your site or your product (may require sending a gift card to get a sample, or just sending a sample if it’s not a custom product). Or, if you know their company, put their logo on it for them and send it to them.
2. Traditional Online Advertising (CPC / Paid)
Start a campaign on the Google Ad platform to run your ads targeted for the exact searches that someone would do for your product or category.
CPC = “Cost Per Click” and that’s how you pay. Google runs your ads when people search your targeted phrase(s), so you know it’s targeted, and you pay anywhere from 0.05 to $1.00 typically per click. Most commonly, $0.25 – $0.80. Being a manufacturer with high margins really gives an advantage in budgeting this into customer acquisition cost and still having a profit left. If your margins are extremely slim, you’ll need a low cost to conversion average at a low CPC, which will be outbid by the companies that have higher margins. In this case, it’s a good short term acquisition tool and great way to test the site with targeted traffic, but not a cost effective ongoing ad spend. Finding a nice sweet spot of profitable CPC bid amount is the entire trick of it, but not as easy as it seems, but it’s possible, and easier with more margins to dig into. This is why Paid CPC can never be as cost effective as SEO or organic traffic, as each of those visits comes for free, every single day. But, if you need to force some traffic, jump start some sales, this will do it even if it’s not the most profitable. Every new site should test their cost to conversion at least once or twice a year before the holiday season to get a grasp on what sells.
For example, target “Design your own ____” as your phrase and start with 0.25 CPC and $10/day to $100/day (whatever your budget permits). Increase your bid until you’re getting thousands of impressions and some clicks every day. Watch for the first sales and get your general Cost-to-Conversion. If your cost is less than your margin on the sale, you’ve got a profitable ad campaign. Double your budget, increase your bid, expand your keyword set if you max out your keyword’s volume, and purchase traffic directly at a bid / budget level that is profitable.
3. Link Building (seo)
Links to your site from relevant sites, ideally within context on the remote page that is directly about your target keywords.
Guest blogging, review articles, PR, and other methods can get you lots of back links. But, if you literally have zero connections or interperonal skills, this can be done manually too and can be extremely effective if done right. Here’s what you do:
1) What’s your exact on target customer searching? (“Design your own rocket ship” let’s say)
2) Search that on google. Look for ANY blog articles, forums, discussion boards, chat boards, Yahoo Answers questions, news articles, informational pages, or ANYTHING where you can post yourself in the comments or directly in the thread, anywhere really as long as it’s on that page that was a top google search result (sometimes I’ll go as deep as page 3). If it’s a brand new site and you haven’t even gotten into the top 3 pages yourself for any searches, go deeper (page 5, page 10 even). The point is that google already looks at any results in this range as relevant and quality for the search YOU want to be there for! If you get on that page, post a comment or a post reply or whatever, include some sentences with your keywords / talk about the topic enough to NOT look like a spammer with no actual thoughts to contribute, your link will be allowed, and Google will crawl this page and say “Oh, this page points at ______ site, that site must also be quality.” If all sites on a topic point at a single site, that single site WILL be #1 on google as long as it has quality content. That in itself is the most basic well known algorithm google started with to judge a website’s rank.
3) Drop your link, SEO consciously. Write relevant content when you do.
This will get people clicking on your link directly, as a bonus to Google seeing your links. There is an art to getting your blatant advertising attempts to not get rejected by the site owners, to take advantage of other people’s sites without being labeled a spammer and blocked / removed from their site. The key is to say something relevant about their article. It shows you at least semi read the article and aren’t just a bot pasting links.
4. Sharing / Referrals
Getting your users to share can be an explosive growth mechanism. They share their designs or other pages on their facebook account and get clicks in. Any single share by a user can get anywhere from a few clicks (common) to a few hundred clicks (rare but happens), depending on the winds of the social world. There’s a million ideas on how to get people to share, but some common incentives include:
- rewards or points
- Viral Videos
- Memes or Cartoons
- Helpful Articles
- Funny Articles
- other unique content or media that would be more interesting than the average link, to make someone want to share it
Metrics to measure results are pretty straight forward. In your google analytics account, you’ll be able to see the increase in traffic, if any, including who the top referrers are. For your rank you should search your target search on google and find your best result and write it down. Monitor it’s position minimum a couple times a week, if not every day, and watch for the change. This is somewhat done for you for a 30 to 90 day graph in Google Webmaster tools, where you can toggle “with change” and it will show you the change in position you’ve gotten on your top searches. All in all, if you’re creeping up the first page of google results for your search, and traffic has increased, your methods have worked. We’ve done this exact set of techniques ourselves for many of our own sites and client sites, and seen first hand that it’s possible to reach page 1, even top 3 results for a target search beating our major, major, large budget competitors. It almost seems impossible, but in the end, companies don’t take the time to write the content and post their links and it creates a very low-barrier opportunity. It will take time, but you can reach page 1 with a new site within weeks to months, and then use the other techniques here to increase growth, but ultimately organic is where you want your base level sales to be, and then everything else can be paid traffic or experimental features or share mechs to increase growth.
Even though the technical complexity of writing good content and back link building is low, it can be tedious and time consuming. If you don’t have the staff, resources, or time to do your content, seo, or advertising, we can do it for you in 1 month (or other) scheduled campaigns. You can purchase these services at any time in our MyStyle client marketplace here: