The 7 Strategies… Strategy 2: Drive Traffic

Driving traffic step 2 of 7.

What is ‘Driving Traffic’?

In this second of 7 steps (or strategies), we’ll talk about the traffic to your website. Note that this step is very close to

What is the benefit to you?

Traffic means potential customers. It’s just like a brick-and-mortar store; the more foot traffic you bring in, the more chances to sell or gain leads.

But not just traffic, but targeted traffic. However, it is important to understand that just bringing in any traffic is not enough. You have to make sure that the right audience comes knocking on your door. If someone lands on your website and does not want to buy what you have, it doesn’t make any difference how much traffic you can build — you’ll make no money.

Without 'foot traffic' to your website, all is lost.

The Elements of Driving Traffic.

The Players.

Search engines. Search engines play a big role in traffic, especially new traffic. As discussed in Strategy 2 last week, there are the BIG sites (Google, Yahoo!), the specialty sites (WholesaleCentral.com, Technorati.com), and the local sites (Google Maps, MerchantCircle.com, etc.)

Direct traffic. Anyone that knows your web address can do directly to it, like from a business card, typing it in, etc. Social sites. Social sites are, of course, great sources of traffic. They are also more devoted to visiting your site than search engine traffic (they have had contact with you before.)

Traffic can come from many sources.

Your newsletter. The true devotees of your business and site. They have opted in previously and are watching what you say.

Other people. Other people can refer you, by placing a link on their website. They can also refer you through their social network of friends and acquaintances.

Paid Advertising. PPC (pay per click) or marketing with affiliates is a way to gain traffic to your website. It can become pricey, however. It also goes away as soon as you stop paying.

Traffic Stream Relative Volume Strength of Tie Type of Traffic Tactic Involved Notes
Search engines. Med-High Weak Potentially interested SEO, Keyword analysis, content writing Strength of tie goes up if you write compelling text.
Social sites. Med-High Good Fans Buzz, social media marketing Overloading fans lowers traffic rates. Make sure you release information only if good solid stuff.
Direct traffic. Low-High (varies) (varies) Networking, Branding Varies depending upon where the visitor found you.
Your newsletter. Low Strong Followers Email marketing, creative writing This is your ‘tribe’ of followers. Make them happy!
Paid Advertising. Low Weak Potentially interested How much $$ you have, PPC Relative volume of traffic is low unless you’re shelling out vast amounts of cash or you haven’t done proper SEO.
Other people. Low (varies) Interested in You Creative writing, networking Somebody might have referred to an article of yours, or you might have popped up on a website for many reasons.

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The Tactics Involved

SEO. Search engine optimization is one of the most solid ways to increase ‘cold visitor’ traffic, new traffic from first-time visitors. It involves conditioning pages to include keywords that your patrons would be searching for.

Keyword analysis. As we discussed in last week’s article, keyword analysis is a powerful method to discover how people search for what you do. Without doing this important research, you might be missing out on 90% of your traffic!

Content building. The more pages you have, the more keywords you can target for search engine rankings. The most important thing to remember is that you should not just stuff your website with pages and keywords, but with articles and pages that actually make sense for you audience. Ask yourself this question: Would your audience like to read it and be informed about the content that you would publish? If the answer is yes, then go for it!

Copywriting & Creative. Creating an attractive search result is important. For instance, which do you like better?

  1. SURFEX.COM — Welcome to Surf Express!
    Load SURFEX.COM home page, The People of Surf Express, Click for IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFO, SurfEx shirts, hats, and more… Post your surf reports and pictures! . …
  2. Surf Travel Surf Travel with Wavehunters!
    Wavehunters is full-service surf travel agency, with airfares and custom packages to prime surfing areas around the world. …

See what we mean? It’s important to remember that when you actually start to show up in search engines, that the search results for your pages are easy to read, and compelling to click on. So, driving traffic is not just about visibility; it’s about making a search result exciting!

Branding. By branding yourself correct, you can bypass the need for other types of marketing. After all, if someone knows you by name, they can find you without searching for you. At the very least, when someone enters your brand name, it comes up first. For instance, if you type in meetup on Google, you get Meetup.com first. And there you are.

Paid advertising. You can pay for click-throughs, that’s called PPC (pay-per-click). That’s a whole world unto itself. However, gaining organic results through SEO and other methods creates a far more lasting effect (more bang for the buck). Also remember that most visitors know you paid to be there, so they favor it less than organic results.

However, you can run A/B testing on paid ads, and get data within days on whether certain phrases beat out others. For instance, you could say…

  1. Lose weight now, fit into those old clothes you have!
  2. Lose weight now, be the envy of your friends!
  3. Lose weight now, look 10 years younger!
  4. Lose weight now, start eating healthy!

…then you can track the incoming traffic on all four streams and see which one ‘pulls ahead’ of the others. Nifty, huh?

Email Marketing. There are many ways to increase the number of signups to your newsletter. Email marketing is an art, and we might just write an article on that in the future.

At the very least, create a list of benefits of signing up for your newsletter. Take a look at our page for signups. We show you what you’re going to get. We also take away your fear of being ‘spread around the internet’ (we keep your email information private). We also include the phrasing ‘Special offers not found anywhere else’ – so if they don’t sign up for your newsletter, they might be missing out on something.

And when you have your newsletter signups, that’s where the real promotion begins. These are the people that really want to know what you’re up to. Make sure you deliver the goods with timely information and great stuff!

For even more tactics that we employ,
check out our
Drive Traffic service page >

What you can do, right now.

How to Identify if “Driving Traffic” is not working.

If you haven’t signed up for Google Analytics yet, which is free, then do so right away. You must have some type of analytics installed if you’re going to be able to monitor your traffic. Without analytics, you’re just guessing on how you’re pulling in traffic.

Do something about it.

You don’t have Google Analytics installed. Start here!

You do have Google Analytics installed. Read these articles on how to get the most out of Google Analytics!

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How can we help?

Further reading on how we drive traffic here. We’ve been creating specialized traffic campaigns for over since 1998.

Next week… Being Sticky!

Greg Cox

Analytics Geek. Gregory likes Motorcycles, Cooking, and Sciencey stuff.