So you need traffic to your website. Who doesn’t? But how do you get it?
You need to formulate plans. One plan isn’t enough; have both long term and short term plans in place. Don’t think short term now and long term later. Later will never come if you don’t think about it now, and a long term plan may not deliver the immediate results you crave.
Flashing, Neon Site
Before you start any type of plan, first and foremost, make sure your landing page is attention grabbing. If it’s boring, dated, or generic, it doesn’t matter which tips and tricks you use to get traffic to your site, no one is going to stay. You have a matter of seconds to get your audience’s attention. Traffic coming to your fantastic, eye-catching, interesting site and staying there is one thing; traffic leaving after one second of seeing the internet’s most generically boring site is another. You want people to come back, and you want them to send their friends. You don’t want them telling everyone they know to avoid your site like the plague.
Know Thy Audience
It may seem obvious, but it needs to be said: know your audience. Who does your site need to attract? A site directed at 40 year old balding men with a penchant for drinking beer while watching professional sports will use a different strategy than the site directed at 18 year old women attending a liberal arts college who enjoy patchouli and protests.
Once you’ve discovered exactly who you want on your site, see who’s been there already. Look at your email list. Those are the people who have been there and more than likely, requested information. Send them an email. Let them know what is new and happening. This will drive immediate traffic to your site.
Cross promote with other sites in your niche. Don’t wait for them to come to you, go to them. If you have a friend with a related site – it doesn’t have to be the exact type of site you have, but one with similar target audiences – see if they will let you send an email to their list. Or see if they will post a promotion to their site. Don’t forget the quid pro quo. You should offer to let them do the same with your site and email list.
While you’re cross promoting, don’t forget to guest blog on other sites. If you know of anyone else in your niche, or a related one, or even just one with the same target audience, ask to guest blog. Again, don’t forget to scratch their back while they’re scratching yours. Offer a guest blog spot to them as well.
Don’t forget to ask your friends and fellow guest bloggers to promote you on their social media pages. Having your site front and center for a popular blogger’s followers will definitely drive traffic your way. They may even post it on their pages for their followers. Your traffic can grow exponentially.
Ad It Up
Ads are your friends. Whether it’s Google Adwords, or just posting one on good old Craigslist, make an ad. Put key words in your ads, make them snazzy enough for someone, especially someone in your target audience, to click on them and arrive at your site. Don’t forget to check out Yahoo, too. Remember, any ad is better than no ad when it comes to driving traffic to your site.
Part of your long term plan should also include standard SEO writing. It takes time to drive the traffic to your site, but in the long run the time investment will pay off. It may seem daunting, but in the end, it’s your site and its future. How badly do you want this traffic?
If all else fails, buy some. Pay per view or PPV ads usually come as pop-ups on pay per view traffic sites. Many times these are networks with users who have opted in to receiving ads. This type of traffic is often targeted at particular urls or keywords. So when a user types in one of those, a tailored pop-up ad will appear. Again, have a great landing page. If one click on a pop-up brings a yawn to the user, forget more clicks.
This is where pay per click also comes into play. Now, if you aren’t using Google Adsense, you can use paid per click advertising. Adsense hates paid per click, so don’t even think about using both at the same time. Don’t get all excited about the cost. Make it as cheap as you can afford. Any sort of incentive to get people to click through. It can even be a discount or offer on your site. Get creative.
And what marketing plan wouldn’t include rolling up your sleeves and pounding the pavement? Cold calling isn’t only for insurance salesmen and real estate agents. It’s for internet savvy, website developers just like you.
Go to one of those websites that offer free business cards and get some printed. When you’re out running errands, make it a point to stop by local businesses you think may be interested in your site. Hand them a business card and tell them to go to your website. If the weather is bad, call them on the phone. Just because you run a website and not a brick-and-mortar store doesn’t mean you are supposed to be holed up in your house eating microwaveable pocket pies.
Getting more traffic on your website doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task. It can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. Come up with a solid plan and don’t be afraid to implement it. Don’t just read the tips and tricks and think you’ll randomly use them one at a time. Actually write your plan, make it step-by-step, and follow it. Keep in mind your target audience and tailor any marketing or advertising to it.
You have a lot of competition for your audience’s attention. What are you going to do to keep it?