No matter the industry, goal, or strategy, the most important aspect of websites is traffic. Your site can be the biggest, baddest, most beautiful display of coded art and imagery the free world has ever seen, but if it's not attracting people (i.e. the right people like your target audience and potential customers) it's not an effective tool. Here's why your website has to work.
Inbound marketing is often referred to and symbolized as a magnet because these efforts aim to attract online wanderers (those potential customers) to your website. After your goals are set, the attraction phase can begin. Within the framework of inbound marketing, this is referred to as traffic generation - and here's how traffic generation fits into the five most important elements of marketing campaigns.
Generating traffic to your website does a few things. First, it introduces your company and its offering to potential customers. Hopefully, your website makes a lasting impression so potential customers will recall you, along with their website experience when entering into the buying phase. Secondly, traffic generation organizes online wanderers and potential customers in one spot where you can entice them into entering into the sales funnel.
Traffic generation is dependent on your “find-ability” and quality of useful content. “Find-ability”, generally speaking, is search engine optimization (SEO). If online wanderers can’t easily find you, your amount of traffic is going to suffer.
Quality and quantity of useful content give online wanderers a reason to visit your website. If you don’t provide anything of value to potential customers, they won’t be attracted to you or your offering. Additionally, the more useful your content is, the more likely your potential customers will share it with other potential customers.
Boosting Your Traffic
There are multiple channels available for you to utilize to increase traffic to your website. All of these channels require continuous attention and involvement to stay relevant online and at the top of your potential customer’s mind.
Keywords are the words and phrases users are entering into search engines. For this reason, these words and phrases are recognized by search engines. This is important because search engines connect you to your potential customers. However, you should choose keywords based on your users, not the search engines. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Ask yourself, “What might I search for to find me and my products or services.”
Keywords should be the foundation of your website’s content, in addition to building them into the code on your website. Choose one keyword per webpage and optimize your content using that single keyword and variations of it throughout. This rule implies (and it holds true) that the more webpages you have, the more opportunities you have to rank for keywords. Blogs are so valuable because they create a new webpage for a new keyword on a regular basis, constantly increasing the number of webpages on your website. According to HubSpot, 60 percent of marketers make blog content a top priority in their content strategies. Blogging success transitions into quality content.
While you are creating additional webpages to increase your opportunities for appearing in search engines, keep in mind that these webpages must contain quality content. It isn’t enough to add webpages with little or poor, low-value content. No one is going to visit or come back to these pages (maybe even your website) if there isn’t anything valuable. Address relevant issues people are having, share significant industry news, provide tips and tricks for improving something that relates to your offering in your blog.
If you provide something your potential customer finds useful, helpful or entertaining, he or she may share it on social media, recall it when making a purchase decision, discuss it with friends or continue browsing your site for additional information. All of these actions will have a positive impact on your brand’s awareness and your quantity of website traffic.
Social media offers endless opportunities for sharing your quality content and enticing your followers to visit your website. The most common social media channels are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. There are also additional channels that tend to be more industry-specific. Which social media channels you participate on should be determined by your business, industry, and offering.
To increase your traffic through social media you need to give it daily (probably even hourly) attention. This point can’t be stressed enough. Engage with your fans and followers regularly to show them that you care and appreciate their involvement with your brand.
A Smarter Way to Approach Marketing
All of your inbound marketing efforts will live on and on. Your content can remain on your site and on the internet forever. Even more importantly, it can remain relevant and continue to drive traffic to your website if you give it the attention it requires. Inbound marketing efforts and activities build on one another – the more you create the more opportunities there are for traffic generation.
My fire is fueled by the relationships I make, build, and cherish. I love hearing people’s stories, what makes them who they are, and where I fit into their lives. As the Creative Content Lead at Leighton Interactive, I'm a storyteller. I’m lucky that I can use my natural ability to help people find their voices, tell their stories, and reach their goals so their businesses can get results. Outside the office I get excited to find sunshine, consume iced coffee, work out, or add unique pieces of jewelry to my ever-growing collection. I also tell stories on behalf of my local AAF chapter, and serve as the Board's Past President.