Imagine your online marketing as a funnel.
The bottom of that funnel is your goal: customers. The step before that could be email subscribers. And the step before that could be user engagement.
Regardless, each step in your funnel leads people to become loyal customers.
And at the very top of the funnel is traffic. Everything you do online starts with traffic.
You need traffic that is going to buy from you and become loyal customers for years to come.
And thats usually where people go wrong.
➀How to Pick the Best Online Marketing Channels for Your Business:If you want the kind that turns into loyal customers, then you need to pick better traffic channels.
➁5 Traffic Hacks: A Cheat Sheet to Generate Web Traffic:You need to figure out what youre good at and focus intently to shine above everyone else.
➂New Site Launch: The No BS Way to Start Getting Traffic Immediately:Website traffic doesnt just fall from the sky. That makes getting a new website off the ground extremely difficult, requiring detailed strategy.
➃Website Traffic Tips to 2X Your Growth:Most companies know how to grow their website traffic 10% year over year. But how do you grow it exponentially?
One of the most common online marketing mistakes is that people focus more on the quantity of traffic, instead of the quality.
For businesses using the internet to get customers, it doesnt matter if you have 5,000 visits in one day or if your blog gets 100,000 visits each month.
If that traffic isnt turning into leads, you dont want that type of traffic.
Which means you need to look deeper.
Your website traffic is actually made up of different marketing channels and mediums. So if you want better traffic that turns into customers, then you need to pick better marketing channels.
Now I know what youre thinking.Great! Just give me those channels and Ill be on my way.
Unfortunately, it doesnt work like that.
Because it all depends on your unique situation.
One tactic might work well for one person, while its a complete waste of time, money, and effort for another.
Here are 5 principles that will guide you.
You can exploit newtraffic generationtactics for a short period of time before they start to lose value.
For example, a year or two ago you could use Twitter Search to find out who was talking about your area of interest, andTweetto them directly.
But then everyone started doing it, and it became spammy and less effective.
Years ago you could easily manipulate SEO and get free traffic from Google. But after a few tweaks to Googles algorithm and the latest Penguin update, SEO has become much more difficult to master.
And you used to be able to build a business by loading up on cheap AdWords clicks. But now its too expensive. Unless you make high margins on each sale, it probably doesnt make sense to use Google AdWords at all.
Marketing tactics have a brief window of opportunity.
Take Mashables article on5 digital marketing trends that will die in 2017.
Youre probably already competing in these spaces and wasting valuable time and money.
And once your competition moves in, these outlets become too expensive to compete in.
Not only that, but what works well when you launch a new website, wont work as well when youre bigger.
So you have to constantly be on the lookout for new, fresh ideas.
The biggest problem with online marketing is thatyou wont know what will work until you try it.
And the same goes for getting traffic.
Until you try a new tactic and give it a chance, you wont know how it will pay off.
And as mentioned before, a tactic that you heard worked really well last year may not be as effective anymore.
The solution? Use arbitrage marketing to experiment.
You need to make a fewlittle betsand evaluate their effectiveness.
Once you have a winner (or two), then you need to double down on these while also cutting your losses on the losers.
In the long run, every business needs to have a diverse set of traffic sources to consistently grow over time.
Sure, some channels will be responsible for the bulk of your traffic. But you cant rely too heavily on any one, single tactic.
There are three main ways you get traffic online:
Organic search (SEO) traffic is high value because its consistent and based on
. But its also hard to get. It takes time and expertise to build up the right factors, and the rules of the game are constantly changing.
Referral traffic comes from other websites. Think of these as the communities around other blogs, social networks, etc. They provide great boosts of traffic, but taper off over time. It also takes weeks, months, and years to develop the relationships needed to generate substantial traffic from these sources.
Paid traffic is both predictable and highly-targeted. But it costs money up front, and you need to know how to value each lead properly if you want a positive ROI.
In other words, each major source of traffic has their own unique risks.
So diversify your traffic channels like your personal investments.
If Googles Penguin Update makes you lose half of your SEO traffic, then you need to figure out how the other two are going to replace it.
Or if you rely heavily on Google AdWords, but the price jumps 50% per click and becomes too expensive, then you need SEO and Referral traffic to make up for it.
A mix of traffic also gives you standards of comparison. So youll be able to tell what channels and tactics are working better than others.
If youre only using one tactic to get traffic, leads, and customers, then you really have no idea how well youre doing.
But if you have a mix of sources, and are constantly experimenting with new ones, then you havedata and insightto compare against. And youll be able to tell the winners from the losers.
So youve experimented with a mix of new tactics. But how can you tell which ones are worth the time and effort?
Think about what it willcost you to scaleeach tactic.
Most people (and businesses) are either short on (1) time, or (2) money.
So when youre looking at traffic tactics, figure out what works best for you.
For example, a lot of small businesses are afraid of wasting money on advertising. But thats because they dontunderstandit.
Advertising might be a better option if youreshort on time, because you dont have to spend time managing it day-to-day. It will also give you immediate returns, where inbound marketing (Content + SEO + Social) takes months and years of effort before you start to see a return.
Now compare that cost to the value of the traffic it brings.
Not all traffic is created equal. Some of it will convert better than others.
And that leads us to the final point.
You can get thousands of visits from Pinterest, but if 90% of it bounces, then it was a waste of time.
Which highlights the last important principle: you need to know how each traffic channel is converting, so you can compare that with itscost.
Youll want to track the total (quantity of) conversions per source, and the performance (percentage) that each converts.
Your marketing time, effort, and investment should go towards these channels that are performing the best for you.
Sidenote: This becomes a problem when analyzing individual social networks. They dont convert directly rather they aid the conversion process indirectly and dont show a high conversion rate (which is why its so hard to identify the ROI of social media). So be careful when youre allocating resources and not to underestimate the impact of your social media presence.
People believe that when they launch a new website, traffic will start pouring in immediately.
In fact, its 100x more difficult to build traffic to a brand new site.
So you cant just sit around and wait for it.You have to go out and get it.
You need to take consistent actions that willdrive trafficfrom other places to your website.
You should now have a better understanding of how to generate high-quality traffic.
Now, lets take a look atspecific examplesand try to match them with different types of businesses.
So no matter who you are, you should get several concrete examples and new ideas on how to get traffic that will turn into customers.
Check out Part 2: How to Pick the Best Online Marketing Channels for Your Business below:
Some of it will become your loyal customers, and some of it will bounce forever.
If you want the kind that turns into loyal customers, then you need to pick better traffic channels.
Some channels and tactics might work great for one business, but not for others. Pinterest might work for some businesses, while its a complete waste of time for yours.
How do you know what channels will work best for your business?
Heres a guide to help you pick the best online marketing channels for your business.
Every business needs organic search (or SEO) traffic.
Its one of the best sources because people are showing intent for your product, service, or information (so it converts at a higher percentage than most).
And it flows into your site consistently, growing exponentially over time (so you dont get locked in a fixed ratio like advertising).
If you have a small, unestablished site, or are launching a new website, then you probably cant go after the main keyphrases in your niche.
Youre probably too small, too new, and too inexperienced to compete and win themoney keyphrases.
Pro Tip: How to Compare Your Website Against the Competition
You need to compare your sites value against the competition currently ranking for your specific keyphrases.
Head over , enter your domain URL and the URLs of the other top competition and compare the overall Domain Authority for each site.
If youre close or bigger, than go for it! But if youre not within a few points, then stick to a long-tail SEO strategy.
Big, popular keyphrases can be worth thousands and thousands of dollars to companies. So theyre going to investhuge sumsof money into dominating those search engine result pages (SERPs).
Instead of competing head-on, you should use along tail SEO strategy.
Go after less popular and less competitive keyphrases (typically 3-5 words)
Create awesome content around these long-tail phrases
Get high-quality links back to these blog posts
Online advertising is a great option if you (a) can measure results properly, and (b) have more money than time.
There are a few different types of online advertising.
And there are different ways you can pay for it.
But they all depend on how your product or service is priced.
This is because when youre doing online advertising, your cost to acquire each customer has to be less than the lifetime value of that customer.
So lets take a look at some examples.
You can afford (and usually need to) spend more to acquire each new customer.
So you can use Cost-Per-Click type advertising, like Google AdWords, and even Facebook advertising to get more Likes, and then drive those Likes back to your offers.
Another effective option is paying others for leads or sales (aka Cost-Per-Lead and Cost-Per-Action).
Affiliate or Joint Venture partnerships are common online, but offline theyre typically known as Revenue Shares.
Youre essentially giving other people a percentage of the revenue made, when you make a sale based on their recommendation.
Because you cant afford to give away as much money per sale on a low price or low margin product/service, you need to reach people for the least amount possible.
So Cost-Per-Impression (CPM) advertising, like display ads, are typically more cost-effective than CPC advertising.
One inexpensive solution to look at is a self-serve marketplace likeBuySellAds. You can also find direct buy opportunities, where you pay a set amount for a specific interval (like monthly) that will get you traffic but wont break the bank.
Another twist on this idea is through reaching the communities of media properties (i.e. content-driven websites, blogs, etc.). Here, you can explore all types of content sponsorships, advertorials, and paying for product or service reviews.
Find relevant bloggers you like and respect, strike up a relationship with them, and pitch them ideas if theyre open to it.
A lot of bloggers dont have monetization figured out, so theyre woefully under-compensated for all the work they do.
If they support your product and service, then paying them or giving them a share of revenue to endorse you may help them a lot as well.
Referral traffic comes from other websites and blogs.
It usually spikes and tapers off. So you have to consistently feed it to keep the traffic coming.
Content marketing on other sites is a great way to generate inbound traffic, links, and potential customers.
Some of the most popular and well-known tactics are through submitting blog articles, interviews, and product reviews.
Like most tactics, the effectiveness of your content marketing depends a lot on (a) picking the right audience to reach and (b) your execution.
So spend some time picking the best, most active online communities you can find, and look for blogs or media-sites with the most engagement.
Then really focus on your content marketing ideas and make them the highest quality possible.
You can use social media for business development by getting to know bloggers and journalists, reaching out to other media properties, partnering with complimentary brands for promotions, etc. etc.
This is the best way to drive traffic and grow your brand.
Find relevant communities of people, and figure out how you can give their influencer value, in exchange for recommendations (sometime in the future).
Of course, you also have each individual social network
The social network you should use will depend on either (a) the type of your business, or (b) where your audience is on thetechnology lifecycle adoption curve.
Facebook is good for almost everyone except for the innovators and/or early adopters, who would rather be on Twitter or Google+.
Twitter is best for early adopters. But its also a great tool for getting to know bloggers/journalists, reaching out to other brands, and other business development tactics.
LinkedIn is great for Business-to-Business leads, and promoting your company/personal brand.
products/brands, with an emphasis on women.
As you can see, theonline marketing channelsyou should pick depend a lot on your specific business and unique circumstances.
So invest in yourself to learn, grow, and hit all of your marketing goals.
Youre either short on (1) time, (2) energy, or (3) money.
Thats totally normal. Not everyone is blessed with the budget and staff of a Fortune 500.
But heres the issuetheres too much noise today. And this problem is only going to get worse.
Because youre not just competing against the competition.
The first goal of marketing is to grab and hold peoples attention. So that means youre competing against every other alternative that people can choose from. So everything you do needs to be excellent.
You need to figure out what youre good at and focus intently to shine above everyone else. And because you have limited resources, that means you need to choose what youre going to do (and what youre going to ignore) very carefully.
Below youll find 5 different types of traffic tactics to help you generate web traffic on a consistent basis.
Each one has multiple options, and you need to be able to prioritize one over the other (depending on how they fit your business).
In todays world, SEO cant exist on its own. It needs content marketing to fuel it, and social media to promote it.
Lets start off with a trick question.
Search engine optimization seems like the obvious choice here, right?
Its one of the best sources of direct traffic because it consistently sends people to your site who haveintent, and are looking directly for the page they land on.
In todays post Penguin world, SEO cant exist on its own. It needs content marketing to fuel it, and social media to promote it.
If you want to improve your SEO, then you need to improve your content marketing first.
Outstanding content marketing will attract links, sharing, and visits to your site. But you dont need to reinvent the wheel every time.
You can easily get more traffic byrepurposing your existing content.
Social media is sexy. But email marketing is profitable.
You should obviously invest inbothemail marketing and social media.
Ill answer that with another question.
The job of sales, is to sell. And its easier to sell to higher quality leads than lower ones (obviously).
The job of marketing then, is to deliver high quality leads. These leads are potentially worth the most money to your organization.
Email marketing has the highest ROI of any online channel (by far). So its your best source of high quality leads.
According to a recent study byMarketingSherpa(an online market research company),
Email marketing can be amazingly efficient. B2C marketers report an average 256% ROI from the channel pulling in $256 for every $1 invested.
But when asked if these companies had a way of quantifying the ROI of email marketing, 59% saidNO(probably because they were wasting too much time on Facebook)
And theres some additional benefits to email:
Email has a longer lifespan than individual social networks, which trend in-and-out of popularity.
You own all of your email data while your Fans and Followers belong to Facebook & Twitter.
You have more control over that data. So you can see whos opening emails and clicking through to your website. You can tell
And you can easily quantify email subscribers. So you know who your best customers are, and how much money youre making.
Social media is sexy. Email marketing is unsexy. So people ignore it.
And most organizations dont havesystemsfor capturing email leads and nurturing those leads over time.
Build high-quality, opt-in email lists so youll have an engaged audience.
Send simple emails, highlighting one main Call-To-Action (CTA) for each.
Mix information and education with selling in your emails.
Learn some email best practices so you can
And set up lifecycle emails to go out automatically based on
Focus on getting the foundation in place,thenyou can start to experiment in different social networks.
It doesnt matter if celebrities are on Twitter and the media always talks about it. If youre audience isnt there, then you can ignore it.
Choose between the big social networks by finding where your core audiencehangs out.
Theres typically very little overlap, and users will gravitate towards one over the others.
Its also helpful to bring in the context of thelifecycle adoption curve:
The lifecycle adoption curve depicts the adoption of new technologies.
or obsessed with pop culture? Then focus on Twitter.
If youre selling to other professionals (Business-to-Business), then LinkedIn will give you the best bang for your buck. The LinkedIn audience is typically
For almost everyone else, you should focus on Facebook. The Facebook audience is typically made up of everyone between the
Again, this doesnt mean you should only use one of these.
It simply means that you need to pick one channel over the others.
It doesnt matter if celebrities are on Twitter and the media always talks about it.
If youre audience isnt there, then you can ignore it and gohang-outsomewhere else.
Google+ isnt Facebook or Twitter. Its a social spine to Googles universe.
Is Google+ right for your business? Or is Pinterest a miracle, or a waste of time?
Is your product or service extremely visual?
Does usingvisual imagesmake the experience exponentially better than simply writing about it?
If it is, then Pinterest may be a good bet. (Just be careful of copyright issues).
But you also have to look at the audience.
Pinterests audience is predominantly women between the ages of 18-44. So again, if thats your target customer base, then its a great match.
Now Google+s active audience is mostly tech-savvy, early adopters at this point. But it also integrates heavily with the other Google products, including YouTube. And its poised for growth because Googles search engine serves over3 billion people per day.
So if you have a (1) visual product/service, and are (2) marketing to women between the ages of 18-44, then prioritize Pinterest.
But if not, then you should figure out how to use Google+s unique features like YouTube or Hangouts. (YouTube especially will continue to grow, because TVs are becoming internet-enabled.)
Facebook Ads wont convert as well as Google AdWords. But theyre a fraction of the cost.
Note: With any online advertising, yourknowledge, ability and skillmakes a huge difference. Generally, the better your ads perform, the less youll pay overall. So invest the time to learn, test, and get good, or invest the money to hire a professional to manage it.
Google AdWords is still the most direct and effective way to advertise online.
The beauty of AdWords is that people searching haveintent.
So your advertisement is actually helping them, and theyre much more likely to opt-in or buy something if they go to your site.
But of course, it has its own problem.
Its popular, which means more people are using it, which means its more expensive.
So it takes more money up front to get started, and you also have to pay moreper click. This is fine if you have a high margin business. But if you dont, then paying a high Cost-Per-Click (CPC) might not make sense for you.
And thats where Facebook Advertising comes in.
The traffic wont convert as well, but its also a fraction of the cost.
So if you have low margin products or services, and dont have as much capital to invest up front, then Facebook Advertising could still be a valuable option.
Theres noone-size fits allwhen it comes to marketing.
The way you implement each tactic depends on your business and customers. But there are certain things you should be doing (or ignoring) that will help you see results quicker.
For example, there is a specific approach to social media marketing thatacceleratesyour growth. And there are clear-cut ways to apply SEO, or use content marketing to get traffic and attract leads.
Its not difficult or very time consuming. But it still takes effort.
Because tactics dont work if you only do them once or twice. Like anything in life, consistency is the key.
If youre ready and willing, then all you need is some ideas and insight.
And some personalized help along the way.
Website traffic doesnt just fall from the sky.
That makes getting a new website off the groundextremelydifficult.
Youre desperate for traffic, so you start picking up the latest tactics you keep reading about like Pinterest.
But heres the thing most people miss.
So who cares if you did actually get 10,000 visitors one day from StumbleUpon or Pinterest. Because this type of traffic bounces immediately and never returns.
Instead you need to buildconsistent,loyaltraffic if you want people to join your mailing list and actually buy something.
So forget about magic potions and secret formulas to flood your site with traffic. Heres a No BS way to manage a new website launch by taking proactive steps each day.
New websites should forget about SEO, and focus on making connections instead
SEO is one of the best sources of consistent traffic to any website.
But if youre new, then forget about it.
When you start a brand new site, you wont get any traffic from search engines, because youre too new and lost in the sea of millions of other websites.
Search engine algorithms are designed toreward trusted, authoritative websitesthat people like and recommend.
But when youre new, nobody knows whether youre an authority or trustworthy.
So if you cant count on SEO, where will your traffic come from in the beginning?
Your early traffic will come from other websites.
In the beginning, you need to spend your time where your audience is, get in front of them, and bring them back to your own site.
If you do it right, thisReferral Trafficwill be some of the highest converting traffic sources you have.
So this is how youll get the best marketing ROI from your time and effort.
The most obvious source of referral traffic comes when other sites mention you.
When a major site links to your business, you can expect a large amount of high quality, relevant traffic.
Now theres a few different ways to do this. You could usenewsjackingto slide in front of journalists.
For this tactic toreally work well, you need to first build relationships with these people.
Partner with people who influence communities of your target audience. That could be a journalist, niche blogger, even a complimentary business that serves the same customers.
But this takes time. You need to invest some weeks, months, and even years for the best partnerships to pay off.
So lets look at some other sources ofreferraltraffic that can give you aquick wintoday.
Content marketing kills three birds with one stone: traffic, links, and customers.
Content syndication basically means getting your content on other websites.
This is a valuable option because media and content-rich sites are always on the lookout for new, good content.
Lets say you create high quality videos that are informative and entertaining.
Video is a tough skill and not everyone is good at it.
So reach out to media sites with your same audience and offer your content to them. Give them the embed code, and all you need to ask for is a link or two back to your site.
Now you can publish this same material on your site, and others.
Another option is to write guest posts and distribute them on larger sites. This is a great way to include your links on other peoples sites, and get theright kind of trafficcoming back to your website.
Besides getting referral traffic, youre also able to build your brand recognition and SEOlink profileat the same time.
Online advertising should be an investment, as long as your driving people to a goal.
That means you take someone to a relevant, dedicated landing page for your service, product, or mailing list.
Google AdWordsis one of the best ways to advertise directly to people looking for you. But unless you a
product, it will probably be too expensive.
You can use a marketplace likeBuySellAdsto get inexpensive banner ads on different websites in most industries. You can also use this service now to have a website sponsor or tweet about your company, website or product.
Another affordable option is to pay other people to review your product or service. You can find bloggers to write an advertorial that puts your
message directly in front of readers.
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, andStumbleUponeach have millions of users and provide easy, inexpensive advertising opportunities. You should try all available options with $20 on each, and then use arbitrage marketing to find the winners.
The key to online advertising is tohave a purpose.
Get them to sign up, subscribe, or purchase.
Dont just send them to your homepage, a random blog post, or worse one of your social media profiles.
Wait I thought you should forget about SEO traffic?
You should, but you need tostart building a foundation.
If you use a long-tail strategy, you should start to see consistent SEO traffic in a few short months.
Ill give you an example of how this works.
I have a relatively new site (roughly 6 months old), andorganic searchwas the largest source of traffic accounting for about 37% of the sites total.
But the largest keyphrase that sent trafficonly accounted for 1.3% of overall traffic.
That means all my search traffic is coming from a ton oflong tail keyphrasesthat arent difficult to pick up, and arent subject to danger from Google changing their algorithm.
You should target highly-relevant, but less competitive keyphrases using theGoogle AdWords Keyword Planner.
Start by entering relevant phrases that describe your site, and it will also recommend new ones to choose from.
Note: Please understand that these numbersarent very accurate. So youre looking for relative positions, not absolute data. And make sure you switch from Broad Match to [Exact Match] so its more accurate.
Now search forlong-tail keyphrasesthat usually have 3 5 words.
Look at the Local Monthly Search Volume column for keyphrases withless than 500 Local Monthly Searches.
Thats the great part about creating content.
Youre able to add content and hit less competitive keyphrases on a daily or weekly basis.
Then once you build high-quality links to these post.