Excelerate Online was featured in the original article published on InetSolutions.org by Doncho Karaivanov, January 12, 2016
Website traffic is a huge problem for many businesses. They have the great product or service, but they just can’t seem to get the traffic to flow to their website. To solve this problem, InetSolutions.org asked 21 marketers for their best tip on driving traffic to a website in 2016. Their answers might not be what you expect…
2016 Website Traffic Tip #1: Guest Publishing
When I say guest publishing, I’m referring to writing for high quality industry publications in your niche. It’s a step above guest blogging, because you’re actually reaching your target audience with this type of content, instead of using a shot gun approach (which is what guest blogging usually devolves into).
By placing a strategic link to some high quality content on your site, you’ll get the SEO benefit (link juice) from the authoritative publication, as well as any referral traffic that comes knocking. You’re tapping into an audience that already exists on another platform, and driving them to your website with good content.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #2: Video Marketing
Our goal at Anvil is to secure at least 1 top tier client via our video marketing efforts. Late last year, we invested in an interview with Kathy Ireland on her show Worldwide Business with kathy ireland.
We plan to leverage strategies and tactics outlined[in this article] to get the video in front of target brands worldwide (including adding a promotional link from our home page and driving traffic via paid search ads).
2016 Website Traffic Tip #3: Influencer Marketing
In 2016, a focus on influencer marketing will be extremely important for product and service based businesses as a key traffic driving tool that will drive not only traffic, but traffic farther along the sales funnel that should be closer to converting. Identifying key influencers in your niche through tools like Moz’s Followerwonk or BuzzSumo is a great place to start.
They will have valuable credibility and sway over your leads and traffic coming from them will be more valuable. Your next step is outreach to said influencers, making an arrangement where they will promote your product or service through their channels.
This could be free product, percent of sales, recurring monthly payment, anything. Influencers with mass followings are pro’s at this and usually have media packages that tell you what they expect. These campaigns are cost effective, have high conversion rates, and are very measurable.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #4: Combining Your Online Marketing Efforts
Driving traffic in 2016 is becoming more about building a strategy that uses a combination of your online marketing efforts versus creating a separate strategy for each tactic. For example, try combining the use of content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing to build a consistent flow of traffic that will keep coming back.
My favorite digital marketing strategy right now involves the use of 1) valuable blog posts, 2) Facebook advertising that drives traffic to those blog posts, 3) capturing emails on those blog posts or lead pages, and 4) creating an automated email series that goes out to your new email subscribers periodically with links driving traffic back to your website.
Additionally, you can use all the traffic from your Facebook ads to re-target more specific call-to-actions, promotions and lead generators. The key for this strategy is to provide valuable content the user can use, for free, and in return, this will boost your credibility, boost your traffic and optimize your web presence.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #5: Understand Your Customers’ Moments
It’s critical to understand the moments your customers go through and the content they want to read. You can then build a content strategy around them. For example, for complex financial services like life insurance, most search volume is around information seeking moments.
This means having the best and most informative content that explains what life insurance is and that has definitions, jargon and options explained is essential. As consumers move through to other moments, the same process works. Understanding and planning for moments ensures your content is there, visible and performant.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #6: Offer Interactive Content
People are looking for interesting content that speaks to them, that they have an opinion on, content that makes them want to say “that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard” or “I agree so much with that statement that I want to add my own opinion in re-affirmation along with a smiley face!”.
Any business, product, brand, or individual needs to speak directly to their audience. Ask questions on social media that will drive responses that will in turn engage people to visit your site. Keep your advertising interesting and memorable to make people click it. Invest in Google AdWords and test new copy all the time. [But] above all else, be original!
2016 Website Traffic Tip #7: Creative Long-Tail Keyword Phrases
Be creative, find long-tail keyword phrase in the form of a question, and create a landing page for it that serves as its answer. Optimize the page with as many variations that, develop a strong internal linking structure to support it and backlink the best you can.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #8: Create Controversy
Daniel Ndukwu, the Founder of The Experiment, thinks that controversy is the thing you should aim for in 2016:
No one can help but click on a title that goes against the grain of conventional wisdom like in 2014 when Mark Schaefer wrote the post “Content Shock: Why Content Marketing is Not a Sustainable Strategy”.
It’s generated over one thousand comments and tens of thousands of views because it took the content marketing world by storm. It also created a slew of responses by Content Marketing Institute, Moz, and CopyBlogger to name a few.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #9: Give The People What They Want
One of the best strategies to drive traffic to your website is to first find what your customers are looking to learn in relation to your product or service, and then write an article that answers their needs and provides extra benefit to them. Your content is a product that must be enjoyable and helpful in order to be shareable.
A great way to find out what questions customers are asking is through Google’s “related searches”table at the bottom of any search query. For example, if you sell sunscreen and one of your popular blog articles was “how to apply sunscreen”, you can see in related searches that people are also looking for “how to apply sunscreen over makeup”.
Another method is through Google’s autocomplete mechanism in the search bar. Finally, once you have your topic, craft an article that not only answers their question, but goes above and beyond their needs – be creative!
2016 Website Traffic Tip #10: Blogging
Blogging is one of the most valuable tools businesses have to engage with customers, make their lives easier, and promote themselves as experts in their industry. If you’re not blogging, it’s time to get started or get left behind.
Having a blog on your business website helps your search engine optimization, or SEO. If someone is searching for something related to a topic you’ve blogged about, that person may stumble upon your website in a search. Let yourself be discovered!
2016 Website Traffic Tip #11: Social Media Marketing
First you must have a call to action in your bio and use your website link to direct traffic to your website in exchange for your link bait. Link bait might include a free mp3 download for a musician, a PDF infographic with 3 tips for your industry, or a free e-book, a 5 – 10 page article to help your readers learn a specific tool or gain knowledge in your niche market.
Next place a Facebook tracking pixel on your site to be able to re-target your tracked audience of everyone who visits your website. Then use Twitter advanced search and the search function on Instagram to find people who may be interested in your product or service.
The first technique is to search for a hashtag and to favorite/heart all of the photos on Instagram and Twitter posts related to that hashtag. If you like 1000/day you will start seeing an increase in followers as well as people coming back to your website.
The second technique is to find an influencer in your industry and follow their followers. In a few day after following about 100 people/hour use either the Crowdfire app or Instagress to unfollow all of those accounts that did not follow you back.
These techniques will drive traffic back to your site to get the link bait and gain you new followers on your social media accounts simultaneously.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #12: Look Back
Review older, highly trafficked organically ranking pages. Update content with natural internal links to new or less trafficked pages. While you are exploring the far corners of your site’s library, make sure each page has unique and relevant title tags, URLs, and keyword rich (rich not stuffed) meta descriptions.
While it won’t help attract new visitors, review the call to action (CTA) for the page. If you make the most of the people on your site by increasing the conversion rate maybe you don’t need as many new visitors as you thought!
2016 Website Traffic Tip #13: Giveaways
Create valuable giveaways (not your product) with something your target demographic would eat up. Require an email address to get an entry into the giveaway, and then reward them with more entries for social sharing (KingSumo or Rafflecopter are great tools for this).
You’ll not only have a ton of traffic but also some email list growth to boot. You will have to filter out some of the spam emails, but you can do this easily by offering a free white paper or other lead magnet to your new email subscribers and only keep those that download it.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #14: Inbound Marketing
In 2016, we plan to focus more on our inbound marketing, instead of traditional outbound marketing like Google AdWords and Facebook advertising. Specifically, we want to focus heavily on our blog and publish fresh new keyword driven content out as often as possible.
A big reason for this is because the price of Google and Facebook advertising keeps on increasing year after year. We sell some products for as cheap as $4.00, so as those costs continue to rise, our profits continue to fall.
With investing heavily into our blog, we feel that we can create a stream of steady and sustainable traffic year after year. The great thing about switching over to an inbound marketing approach through blogging is that the startup costs are very low.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #15: Create Detailed Guides
Last year we did a lot of content in terms of blogs, social media and downloads. That got us a 99.97% increase in traffic but our returning visitors were not as much as we would have liked.
So in 2016, we will focus on building content that has more “shelf life”. We have identified our target personas and building detailed long form content (over 5000 words) separately for all our personas.
We will then promote this content at relevant communities (like Inbound, GrowthHackers, etc) and through some very targeted LinkedIn advertising. We will also tap into the influencer network to get maximum visibility for this content.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #16: Giving And Receiving
David Mercer, the Founder of SME Pals, believes that you should first give before you actually receive:
People are so jaded by mountains of spam and low quality sites that infest the Web that decent outreach (i.e. getting influencers and high quality blogs to talk about your site) is near impossible.
It was only when we started doing useful stuff for specific influencers “before” asking them for anything that we started getting good quality backlinks. A good example comes from a service we help out with called RankTracer Enterprise.
We used this service to track the sales of books of leading marketers (our target influencers in this case). As it turns out, Guy Kawasaki’s book was outselling all the other by a significant amount. So we put a post together, complete with sales graphs, estimates, and analysis.
Then we shared that info with Guy in a tweet. He was so happy about it he shared that with his millions of followers leading to a sustained and significant increase in traffic for RTE.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #17: Repurposing Content
I’m a big proponent of content – when done right, it can drive tons of traffic to your site. You spend time researching, writing, and then promoting a great piece of content that resonates with your target audience, why not repurpose it into different formats?
Your audience will consume content in different ways, and everyone has their preferred type of content. A great topic can easily turn into a blog post, an e-book or white paper available for download, a video of tips, a slidedeck, an infographic, and more.
You can even make a recording of it, so your audience can consume that content as audio. For an interesting, relevant topic, the possibilities are endless. Just remember, researching and creating the content is only part of the process – if you want people to see it, you have to promote it too.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #18: SEO & Social Media
My advice is to stake your claim on the web using search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. The key steps are to ensure that your website is mobile and responsive, use meta tags and keywords in the HTML of your page, add a sitemap and get registered with the major search engines including Google, Bing, and Yandex.
Next, identify the best social media sites for your business. For instance, video goes over well on YouTube, Instagram, and Vine depending on the length. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are great for inspiring an audience daily with fitness and fashion content.
Set up 1 – 2 social media accounts that can easily be managed by your staff. You want your social content to follow the 80 – 10 – 10 rule – 80% sharing news and information, 10% information about your business, and 10% selling.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #19: Customer Match Marketing
Luke Lynam, the Founder and Director of Haystack Search, thinks that 2016 will be the year of “customer match” marketing a.k.a. “lookalike audiences”:
A lookalike audience is an algorithmically-assembled group of users whose online characteristics match that of your current customers. Facebook were the first to introduce this form of targeting, allowing marketers to take advantage of the wealth of data stored by their users.
By simply uploading your customer email addresses, the social network runs their algorithm and decides which of their members “look like” your target market based on what they know about your current customers.
These members are then made available as a highly relevant audience pool that marketers can specifically target. Twitter soon followed suit and in September 2015, Google announced their own solution that marketers can utilize across paid search, display and YouTube advertising.
The granularity in which new customers can be targeted is perhaps the most exciting part of customer match marketing. Think of all the segmentation possible with your customer database. All these segments can be experimented with, changing bid levels, keyphrases and creative.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #20: Game It
Aron Ezra, the CEO of OfferCraft, think that your website needs to be more fun and engaging, which will in turn produce a positive impact on its visitors and increase the returning visitor percentage:
Too often websites are static, stale and boring. Schedule a demo. Buy this product. I’m the best! many are downright annoying, as ads pop up and insert themselves everywhere.
Why not make the website experience more fun? Why not turn your website into a place to play games? Again and again, games have been shown to dramatically increase the chances of someone remembering information and feeling more positively towards it.
That’s a big part of the reason we built our company: to make it easy for web developers and designers to use ideas from game psychology to create more enjoyable, memorable, and ultimately more profitable website experiences.
We often double or triple redemption rates by creating user experiences that customers genuinely enjoy. So next time you’re thinking about how to create a website that will appeal to your customers, my tip is to make it a game. You’ll win every time.
2016 Website Traffic Tip #21: Improving With BuzzSumo
Ed Brancheau from Goozleology doesn’t believe in reinventing the wheel, but rather in making it better:
I love to use BuzzSumo to discover what my audience is currently interested in reading and then I give it to them even better and in my slightly obnoxious voice. Works like a charm.
So there you have it. The techniques and strategies 21 marketers believe will help you generate traffic to your website in 2016. As you saw, most of them are simply different “variations” of content creation. As you probably already know, content is what gets traffic and that’s that.
You just need to be smart about it, not only in terms of its promotion and engagement, but also in terms of its research and creation. The latter will set the foundation of a successful website that will surely start receiving a ton of traffic in no time. But above all, provide as much value as possible to people and just watch your traffic skyrocket – sooner or later depending on the work you put in.