So let's just say you're an entrepreneur. You've gone into business for yourself and setup that all-important website. It's your digital storefront. No need for that brick-and-mortar store anymore. No need for the random person to patronize your shop from the street. Today, all you need are those virtual visitors - people that are keenly interested in buying what you're selling.
But how do you go about drawing them in?
The problem that most people face isn't about how they can setup a website or even start a blog; it's about how they can actually drive traffic to that digital destination floating about in the bits and bytes of cyberspace. If you're not a seasoned online marketer yourself, you've likely struggled with getting the proverbial word out there.
Why? Today, we're faced with a plethora of disinformation and misinformation, crafted and concocted by clever minds looking more to extract money from you than help you to earn it. That latest "proven traffic system" that you just plopped down $997 for isn't going to bring you the results you expected. That new video series by the latest raving internet marketer on how you can drive "unlimited" traffic to your website? Nope. That isn't going to work either.
So where do you turn? What do you do? How do you get people to notice you in a sea of abysmally overwhelming digital overload? In an ever-crowding space, the truth is that it's becoming increasingly difficult to get noticed. It's become a monumental undertaking to drive traffic to any website simply because there is just so much noise. To rise above that noise, you need to understand some basic principles. This isn't just about implementing the latest secret for driving traffic or hacking your way to the top of Google's search results pages. No. This is about instituting tried-and-true methods that the biggest online marketers use to create authority and drive traffic over time.
Authority? Yes. If you don't have authority, then you don't have Google's trust because trust breeds authority over time. If Google doesn't inherently trust you, which it won't do in a matter of months, then where do you turn? Simply put. It doesn't happen overnight, so don't expect it to. However, there are ways that you can drive traffic to your website and actually churn a profit as long as you understand some of the fundamentals behind just how traffic works. We're talking about things like SEO, social media marketing, email marketing and so on and so forth.
While traffic itself is great to have, it will literally be useless if you're not capturing those people as leads through a free offer and dropping them into your sales funnel, which can help you to sell your products and services on autopilot. As you come to understand some of the rules behind what drives consumers to purchase from you, you'll better absorb some of the methods for driving traffic to your site, blog, squeeze page to your latest info product or wherever.
Understanding The Sources Of Your Website Traffic
There are effectively two ways that you can drive traffic to a website. The first way is free. It involves things like search engine optimization, setting up a blog, social media marketing and so on and so forth. The other way is paid. Everyone knows that paid ads can drive traffic to a website, but it can also get costly. If you don't understand things like conversion rates and tracking of clicks to see how much a sale costs you, then you'll surely fail with paid traffic. Either way you slice it, there are some great ways to drive traffic to your website that fall into both of these categories.
However, the more organized you are, and the better you've presented your offer at the outset, the more likely you'll be to succeed with any one of these traffic methods or strategies. So, how do you track all of your efforts to ensure that you're doing the best to understand where your visitors are coming from when it comes driving traffic to your website?
The most basic and straightforward way is to use Google Analytics. And I'm not just talking about installing Google Analytics. I'm talking about using the UTM (short for Urchin Tracking Module, which relates to the old Urchin analytics system that Google acquired to create its tracking tool) variables that exist in Google's Analytics to ensure that you know where they're coming from. In fact, Google has a great tool that you can use to build your URLs if you're not too tech savvy. You can find the tool located here. Two fields are required, which are the 1) URL itself, and 2) campaign source. The campaign source can be anything like email or cost-per-click or any other source you're leveraging to place ads and drive traffic.
You can also add the campaign name here such as facebook_offer or summer_sale or new_product_lineup or anything else for that matter. Be sure to separate the spaces with underscores. And, if you're placing ads on Google, YouTube or any other platform, and you're bidding for keywords, place the campaign terms in there, separated by plus signs such as best+running+shoes or best+mens+polo+shirts or anything else for that matter.
This way, when you do drive traffic, you know where that traffic is coming from. Otherwise, you're left in the dark. For example, if you do some content marketing on Quora.com or Medium.com, you could use the campaign source as simply Quora or Medium and the campaign medium as content_marketing and the term as the term you're working to rank for. Get the picture? Then, you'll see all the beautiful results directly in Google Analytics and you'll know specifically where your traffic came from.
How To Drive Traffic To Your Website
Okay, so that gives you a sense of the general areas that your traffic will come from and how you should go about tracking your traffic. Remember, if you're not tracking the traffic that's coming to your website, you're wasting your time marketing online. When you drive traffic to any site, blog or wherever, you need to understand where it's coming from so that you can scale your efforts.
The other important thing about tracking is to utilize conversion pixels so that you can effectively determine, specifically, down to the cent, how much each sale cost you. For example, if you spent $100 on Facebook ads, which resulted in 200 clicks, without knowing precisely how many of those clicks resulted in a sale, you just wasted $100. Lets just say that out of the 200 clicks, you received 3 sales, which were tracked with a Facebook conversion pixel. Those 3 sales resulted in $800 in revenue. So your $100 investment just drove $800 in sales. Now, this is simply a generic example , but when you know how to track your ads or other marketing efforts, then you'll know what's paying off and what's not.
Use this knowledge to understand your conversion rates per ad spend. If you spent $100 to make $800 then you made $8 for every $1 you spent. Conduct more tests, then scale out your efforts using the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20-Rule, which states that 80% of your results are coming from 20% of your efforts. Use meticulous tracking to discover the efforts that are leading to the biggest results. Simple as that.
Organic Traffic Methods
Want the skinny on how you can drive traffic to your website? The following traffic-driving strategies are organic in nature. You won't have to pay a single dollar for traffic that falls under this bucket. But you will have to trade your time. And since time is more valuable than money, in that it can only be used once then it's gone forever, there's still a significant cost involved depending on your skill level.
1 - Implement Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Today, if you don't understand SEO, you're doing yourself a disservice. Discover the nuances about SEO so that you're engaging in the right type of traffic delivery strategies. You don't want to bend or break the rules. Plus, by really having an understanding of SEO, you could quite literally supercharge your results. Find a good course or audiobook about SEO and learn like the wind.
2 - Write Insatiable Content
Content is king. As long as you create insatiable content on your site or blog, you'll keep the visitors coming back for more and more. Also, the better your content is, the more engaged your visitors will be. They will share your content for you, helping to promote your site on autopilot.
3 - Answer Questions on Quora
Quora is a great medium for driving traffic to your site. Answer questions on this platform and link the right keywords to anchor content on your site or blog. However, don't use this platform to spam. Ensure that your answers are detailed and that you know what you're talking about
4 - Create YouTube Video Tutorials
YouTube is a great resource for driving free organic traffic to your website. Maybe it's because Google loves YouTube, and considering that it's the second most popular search engine in the world, gaining exposure on YouTube could be huge. Create useful tutorials and videos that add an immense amount of value and be sure to link to your content through the description.
5 - Get Social On Instagram
Everyone knows that Instagram is a wildly-popular platform for sharing photos and connecting with others from around the world. Yet, few people know how to leverage Instagram to drive traffic to their website. However, many people have built multi-million dollar businesses solely by using Instagram as their main method for driving traffic.
6 - Leverage LinkedIn's Publishing Platform
LinkedIn's publishing platform is a great method for marketing the content that's already on your website. Publish a unique, high-quality post on LinkedIn that delivers an enormous amount of value and ensure that you link that content to anchor content on your blog or website to gain that all-important authority bridge to your primary post.
7 - Post On Medium.com
Medium is one of my go-to platforms for marketing my content and provides another authority-site domain that gives you the versatility of link-dropping the way that you normally would through any blog post on a CMS like WordPress. Leverage Medium to create intuitive content marketing posts that also link back to your primary posts on your site or blog.
8 - Utilize Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your site or your blog, and to promote any offers, but it also means that you need a list to market to. Create a lead magnet and build a sales funnel immediately if you haven't already done so, in order to build up a list that you can eventually market (not spam) any of your offers to.
9 - Update "Expired" Content On Your Website
Historical refreshes of content is a good thing, especially if some of your content has expired. Note, this does not mean re-doing your content; simply refreshing it to bring it current if it isn't already evergreen content. Look at ways you can update outdated content on your site to drive more traffic through visibility on search engines like Google.
10 - Create A Free Online Course
Creating a free course is a great way to drive traffic to your site. You can use Udemy, Teachable or any number of websites out there in order to do this. Ensure the course delivers an enormous amount of value and then pushes and links students to additional content and offers on your site.
11 - Create And Share High-Quality Infographics
Building high-quality infographics is simply one form of clickbait. There are loads of clickbait examples that you can utilize, but not all of them are created equal. However, if you can build a great infographic that many people will link to, you can essentially create an automated marketing machine for your site. Ensure you hire a great designer to do this.
12 - Build Industry-Specific Surveys
I'm always linking to industry-specific surveys through content on my blog. This is a great way to draw in droves of links by delivering something of value. Ensure that it's specific to your niche and relevant to the content on your site or blog and then share that survey with the world.
13 - Focus On Mobile Usability
Serious about driving traffic? Then you need to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Use Google's Page Insights Tool to check the friendliness of your mobile layout and see if it conforms to guidelines. You should also make sure that all your posts and content are AMP-specification ready.
14 - Implement CDNs And Browser-Caching Tools
Content-Delivery Networks (aka CDNs) are a great way of speeding up page delivery across the world. Google and other search engines are inherently concerned about the speed of your site and page content. Use Amazon's AWS, MaxCDN or any number of other tools out there to leverage CDNs along with browser-caching tools like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache and others.
15 - Create Free Webinars
Free webinars offer a great platform for driving traffic to your website. You can automate your sales presentation with webinar platforms like Demio, GoToWebinar and others that exist out there. Use the time to deliver value while also directing viewers to your site and its content along with any offers.
16 - Post Useful Content On Reddit
Another great way to drive traffic to your site is to use Reddit. Reddit is a wildly-popular platform where you can share useful information and engage in conversations with millions of people from across the planet. The domain is extremely popular, making any link from the site extremely useful for boosting your visibility across the web.
17 - Develop SlideShare Presentations
You can use a platform like SlideShare to deliver powerful PowerPoint presentations that are Google-friendly, ultimately increasing your visibility. If you do it right, and your presentations go viral, which they easily can on this platform, and that presentation links to your site, you will drive a large amount of traffic for free.
Paid Traffic Methods
Clearly, paying for ads and other initiatives is always one method to drive traffic to your site or blog. If you have a small budget, and you track things properly, you can come up with a cost-per acquisition (CPA). If your CPA is high enough, you can comfortably scale your advertising revenues. Be sure to implement things like Facebook and Google tracking pixels to determine the effectiveness of your ads.
18 - Use Outbrain or Taboola To Promote Your Content
Sites like Outbrain and Taboola are great for promoting your website or blog as long as you have some sales funnel setup and an ability to track those individuals who arrive from these platforms. These sites will promote your content across thousands of other similar websites across the internet for a fee. However, be sure to do your due diligence and test things out before diving in headfirst.
19 - Purchase Ads Through Facebook
Want access to the global populous? Clearly, you can advertise on a platform like Facebook. As long as your offer is enticing enough, and you can convert that traffic into sales with a great sales page or free offer, then you can scale this marketing initiative out infinitely to drive nearly unlimited sales.
20 - Leverage Google Re-Targeting Ads
Google re-targeting ads are a terrific way to get more traffic to your website. But not just any traffic. Re-targeting ads focus on people who've already visited your site and have left for whatever reason without completing a sale. This involves the usage of a conversion pixel for purchases and it's a great way to reach people who've already been to your site and aggressively market to them on Google's search engine shortly after they've left.
21 - Advertise On Instagram
Instagram now has a clear revenue strategy, and that includes placing ads on the social network. This is a terrific way to reach people in your area and offers you a highly-targeted approach to reach potential customers to buy your products and services. Find out more about advertising on Instagram here.
22 - Partner For Paid Giveaways
Partnering with companies that have a large footprint is one way to drive interest and visitors to your site. You'll need to give something away of value here. If you have something you can give away, then locate potential local or regional companies that you can partner with on an initiative.
23 - Engage In Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a great way to get your message out to millions of people without having your own large audience. You can leverage influencers on Twitter, Instagram and any number of other social networks. Find people who are entrenched in your niche or industry and reach out to them. This won't be cheap, but it could potentially bring you droves of customers and sales in the near term.
By R.L. Adams