Each month, the phrase “SEO is dead” is searched about 210 times, providing evidence that a smattering of marketing professionals aren’t entirely sold on the benefits of using search engine optimization to increase website traffic. But they would be mistaken in following that line of thinking because SEO isn’t dead, or even dying. Recently, it’s become an artistic practice that calls for the perfect mix of advertising and marketing strategies all working together. The best marketing professionals will tell you they use a combination of search, social, influencer and content strategy to gain leads and website visitors.
People conduct over 3.5 billion Google searches per day, so we should never take SEO for granted. Several years ago, being first place in a Google search meant you’d receive 50% of all clicks. Zero Limit reported the first five organic results on a Google search page now account for 67% of clicks, and results 6-10 account for less than 4%. You can make an incredible impact on web traffic by rising to the top of website rankings. Whilst you can’t and shouldn’t cheat the SEO system, you can put some strategies to the test to see an influx of website visitors.
Think of creating a strategy for accruing website traffic like creating a mix tape—your focus, time and energy should be spent on only the best (and highest yielding) techniques. It isn’t only about bringing a high number of people to your site. You’re looking for the people who might eventually purchase your product or service. I’ve worked with many big name brands, from Qdoba to Fiji Water, to level up their integrated marketing campaigns. Here are 6 easy-to-implement, yet efficient “tests” that should increase your web traffic:
Garner the clout of influencers. For each dollar marketing professionals spend on influencer marketing, they produce $6.50 in revenue. There are an abundance of experts in your industry whose large social followings completely trust their suggestions and expertise. You’re directly reaching the perfect audience when influencers share your company’s story. Consider using influencers to tell engaging stories and link to a deal on your website. It’s a tiny expense that can yield the incredible results of reaching their large network.
Be resourceful with your content strategy. We are past the days where everything is valuable for a brand in terms of content. Evolved marketing professionals will tell you that the depth and delivery of content matters. It’s easy to spot the gaps when applying content intelligence to understand how your content is spreading awareness, building engagement and generating conversions. Run an experiment for the next 90 days by posting content on your blog and other channels. Examine the metrics to discover patterns as to what content drives the most traffic to your site. As Brandon Anderson, founder of Ceralytics puts it, “Content intelligence provides the data-driven foundation for content strategies. It takes you from guessing what content will work to knowing what content will work.”
Experiment with several offers. When something is only available for a short time period or exclusive, it appears to be more attractive to customers. You can typically see positive results and metrics within a few days of running a special “offer.” These short term deals are a great experiment for driving web traffic. While offers will vary across industries, the general rule of thumb is that all offers should have a deadline, and you should be sure new customers taking advantage of a short-term offer get the best initial impression of your product or service. Play with various offer types to decide what duration and messaging might be best at encouraging website clicks and registrations.
Develop video content. YouTube has the best conversion rate of any social channel. Though the upfront cost of creating a video can be exorbitant, it’s usually worth the time and effort. The average YouTube video holds 37% of viewers’ attention to the last second, according to Hubspot. Aside from YouTube, all other big name social channels are putting substantial importance on video content – it’s captivating, it’s winning and it produces results for companies that incorporate it correctly. For Facebook, video is achieving powerful results for brands interested in profitable and practical ways for developing engagement.
Start with social media marketing.. Before moving to paid options, consider using social media marketing as a completely free option for a fast experiment. But don’t just start posting content without formulating a strategy first. Begin by watching your social media mentions to find discussions happening across your industry, and reply with insightful, informative comments and links. Twitter is usually the choice channel for quick conversations. Although organic reach has diminished significantly, this is a good place to start as you’ll have a benchmark before you start paying for awareness and engagement.
Dive into the social world. Paid advertising, especially if you’ve never explored that as a marketing avenue, is usually a reliable tactic. But push past Google AdWords that you’ve always done into paid social ad domain. Facebook and Instagram are potent when it comes to producing web traffic, with LinkedIn coming in a close third. Apply Facebook retargeting to generate even more traffic. If you want to explore paid ads short term, it’s more practical to start with one social network and see what kind of immediate results you get.
A mixture of “tests” might be what you need to gain the website traffic required to create your brand. The majority of seasoned marketers will rightly insist upon the significance of experimenting and the willingness to try new things. Just because a certain strategy created results one month, doesn’t mean it will work as well the following month. Success isn’t about finding one method and sticking with it– it’s about being spirited enough to test out a winning blend– and never being too timid to change your techniques.
About the Author
Duncan Alney is the CEO of Firebelly, a social media marketing agency. He is a nationally recognized social media marketing provocateur, who speaks across the country and is regularly featured in the media. As CEO of Firebelly, Duncan leads the team to grow audiences, create convert engagement, web traffic and more. Firebelly has been doing social media marketing since 2007 and has helped hundreds of clients including FIJI water, Qdoba, Ponderosa, Dow Brands, Upland Beer Company, Bozzuto, Indiana University, Sony, Beckman Coulter, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Cisco, Pearson Education, Web.com, Wiley Publishing, Visit Fort Wayne, American Cancer Society, United Way and numerous others. In addition to advising some of the most successful brands in the United States, he is a leading practitioner in the influencer marketing and social intelligence spaces.