Nov 21
Eclipse Creative Ways To Increase Traffic To Your Website

Your site is probably one of the most important parts of your business. It’s your shop floor online, it’s where people go to get to know and learn about you, but it means nothing if you don’t have people visiting your site. Getting traffic to your site can sometimes be frustrating but in this post I’ve put together a list of areas worth considering when you are thinking about how to increase traffic to your website (in no particular order).

Before you read on, please note the key highlight is this thought process:

The more visible you are, the more traffic you are likely to receive.
The more traffic you receive, the more business you are likely to gain.
The more business you gain, the earlier you are likely to retire (this is my carrot!)…

SEO

You should make sure that your website is optimised for search engines, things like page titles and descriptions, image alt tags, link structure, keyword content and so on are all very important. Offsite SEO i.e. link building and social media will also build up your domains search engine power. SEO is a fine art and it’s always best to get help from professionals if you’re serious about boosting your rankings. Companies like Climb Digital, SEOMoz, SEO Consult and SEO Book provide tools, training and services to help you achieve higher rankings.

Avoid ‘black hat’ techniques at all cost i.e. keyword stuffing, duplicating content, redirects and so on. This is not the way to rise in the SERPs quicker, this is a way to damage your SEO rankings permanently and waste your time and money!

Blogging

It’s a good way to generate fresh, rich content for search engines but also provides good material to share with others – a chance to showcase your business ethics, portfolio and general points of view. If you make it interesting enough for people to want to share you’re also likely to gain new readership and the increased chance of people coming back to your site again and again to find more interesting articles.

For tips and information about blogging I recommend you check out the Who’s Blogging What Better Business Blogging in 2011 ebook via HubSpot – it’s well worth a read!

Another part of blogging or indeed social networking is to engage via comments on other blog posts that you find interesting and that relate to your business and articles. You can build strong relationships and showcase your knowledge in these comments and by including links back to your site, you can increase discoverability.

Email Marketing

Still a very powerful tool for getting people back to your site if used properly, the key is to give a good incentive and stand out from the hundreds of other newsletters people get sent. Try to send regular segmented email communications to your opt-in database with very relevant information but stick to the time frames that you specify at sign up. If you say it will be a weekly newsletter, send one every week, there’s nothing worse than misleading people.

There are many uses of email marketing and many benefits too and if you get a moment, check out the Econsultancy Email Marketing Best Practices Guide for some very useful learning.

Social Media

You’re home from home, so to speak, the place where you can directly engage with fans, followers and peers… but before you undertake your social media journey, take note and try not to make the same Social Media Mistakes as these guys.

Social Networking sites allow you to have a voice and serious online presence away from your website – just try make sure that “all roads lead to Rome”. Complete your profiles with as much detail about the company as your allowed and include a URL back to your main site within every profile description. Try to join in discussions regularly be it directly related to your business or not, share articles and pages from your website, become a fan / follow other businesses that interest or relate to yours, just get out there and get involved! Statistically the longer you spend on social media for your business the greater the improvements in website traffic.

There are many sites you can incorporate in your Social Media marketing, however as with the past few years the “Big Four” are still the most popular sites. The recent Econsultancy, LBi and bigmouthmedia State Of Social Report 2011 shows just how popular the main social media sites are:

Eclipse Creative Ways To Increase Traffic To Your Website Social Media Websites Graph

Search Engine Marketing – Google AdWords

Google AdWords can help you put your business right in front of people at the exact moment they are searching for the services and products you offer. There are many ways you can use AdWords and I would recommend you learn the tool inside out before attempting to use it as it is quite a delicate offering.

One way of using AdWords effectively would be to run targeted banner adverts through the display network to raise brand awareness and increase the number of searches for your business. Co-inside this with text adverts on the search network to prompt a direct response and click throughs to the website.

Use Analytics

Not only is this very useful for monitoring how effective your efforts have been and how users interact with your site but it can also help you identify any possible partnerships and advertising opportunities with referring websites.

Eclipse Creative Ways To Increase Your Inbound Traffic Referrals

Guest Blogging

Providing interesting articles to other blogs, which can be featured on their site can help you reach a previously unattainable audience. It’s important you include links to your website in the author description and if possible in the copy, perhaps links back to related articles.

A good way to get started would be to take a look at businesses you already have relationships with and see if you can feature or guest post on their blog. You can also join a guest blogging community like MyBlogGuest to try and get your blogs posts placed. You can also use things like Google Blog Search and Technorati to find related blogs you’d like to feature on and contact them directly.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile is one of the fastest growing marketing sectors and with the availability of smartphones, this area is becoming increasingly important. There are several things you can do with Mobile to increase your site traffic but you must seriously consider creating a web version of your site to ensure the user experience is optimised.

Explore the possibility of QR codes, NFC and Augmented Reality… all have unique and interesting uses which should allow you to find the one(s) that you could possibly use in an creative but effective fashion. You can also build an app, specifically for your business, that works across multiple platforms and devices. There is also the option to run adverts across specific mobile apps and the mobile web using tools like AdMob.

Check out how Tesco used Mobile Marketing in South Korea:

Release White Papers

Something agencies and research companies do quite frequently is release White Papers on key subjects or provide guide / best practice documents. It’s more time consuming and detailed than a simple blog post, however if the content is something fresh and of interest it can draw a large amount of traffic of people looking to download it. It also provides a good opportunity for you to gather new subscribers, fans and followers which can in turn help increase your returning site traffic.

Social and Mobile Games

Team up with social gaming companies to include your brand / business within the game to build brand awareness and links to your site, like Cascadian Farm did with FarmVille.

Or you can generate your own game related to your business and have it branded. A very good example of this is the TimeKiller app released by Scandinavian Airlines which included four small games to keep non SAS flyers busy when their flights were delayed:

Not only is this a fun way to have your brand talked about but with including links back to your site form the app you can increase your website traffic and potential sales.

Guerrilla marketing

Unique offline campaigns that really grab people’s attention through the WOW factor. Not only does this help achieve the initial objective for the campaign e.g. to grab attention, but if done well it is very likely to increase online searches for your business. There is also likely to be an increase in links to your site through, blog posts and news articles written about you and the campaign resulting in free media coverage. Here are just a few good examples:

Direct Mail

Considered by some as “old school” but still very effective if done properly by targeting the messaging precisely rather than sending out campaigns to all of your contacts. We recently ran a direct mail campaign for IHS. The campaign was so successful that IHS is now running their global direct mail campaigns through Eclipse.

Trade shows & exhibitions

Purchase exhibition space, host a speech/seminar, provide training workshops… all of these will help to raise your brand’s awareness and gives you a great opportunity to promote your business website. We recently helped Premier Foods launch their new product Bird’s Ice Cream at the LACA exhibition where we created all of their banners and stands to make people aware of the product and it’s microsite.

Face to Face

Obvious, I know, but people do forget to do this… talk to people about your website and the articles on it at meetings, networking events and any other applicable conversations.

How do you increase website traffic?

I’m sure there are more ways you can get people to visit your site, so I want to ask you, what techniques do you use? Please leave your feedback below and other tips on how to credibly boost your website traffic.

10 comments on “14 Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic

  1. Climb Digital SEO

    Hi Drew,

    Thanks for the mention of Climb Digital SEO. I thought your post was very comprehensive and covers all the bases. Even as a business that sell marketing services to other businesses, we realise there is more to online marketing than just SEO so it is good to see a breakdown that covers each area.

    The fact you have “blogging”, “social media” and “email marketing” all after SEO are all tools we use for increasing rankings, as social signals play a big part in rankings, and to leverage the long tail and increase brand presence through PR we would recommend a blog depending on what stage a client is at with their current website. We also use email for contacting new link partners.

    Thanks,
    Mark Cann

    Reply

  2. Chris Drinkut

    FYI –
    I tried to watch the gorilla marketing video and it came up as “private.” Nice list btw – thanks for the ideas!

    Reply

    • Drew Harding

      Thanks Chris – that’s such a shame they’ve changed the video to private as there were some great examples on there! Never mind, I have now changed the video to showcase some other ideas for Guerrilla Marketing, hopefully you’ll enjoy them :)

      Reply

  3. Dan Smale

    Good post Drew, but there’s a couple of points in your bit on

    Search Engine Marketing – Google AdWords

    That I’d like to comment on:

    “There are many ways you can use AdWords and I would recommend you learn the tool inside out before attempting to use it as it is quite a delicate offering.” Realistically this just doesn’t happen. In order to fully understand Adwords sufficiently to avoid wasting budget or just not producing satisfactory results, you would need to spend a lot of man hours on it. Google makes the basics of setting up a campaign very simple, running one effectively is a whole different story and most who try to do it themselves will waste money. You’d really be better recommending they get professional advice than ‘have a go’.

    “One way of using AdWords effectively would be to run targeted banner adverts through the display network to raise brand awareness and increase the number of searches for your business. Co-inside this with text adverts on the search network to prompt a direct response and click throughs to the website”

    I could write several pages in response to that. But some brief points:

    Actually if you’re using the display network then this isn’t really search engine marketing. It is display advertising using the Adsense network and whilst some traffic may have used a search engine to arrive at the adsense partners websites (and some may not), they weren’t necessarily searching using keywords in the advertisers campaign. Within Adwords, display and search offer two entirely different strategies one proactive (display) one reactive (search). You’d use them for different reasons and whilst they may run in tandem successfully for some clients you’d only use one or the other in many cases.

    Showing on the display network is a default setting for Adwords and failure to understand the difference between this and the search network is one of the biggest pitfalls most unwary diy adwords fall headlong into. Part of this is the mistaken belief that there’s always some relevance between the sites Google selects for your automated placements and your products and services. Often there isn’t.

    Whilst display can be used effectively at low cost for brand awareness, it rather depends what your products or services are. The type that lend themselves to ‘window shopping’ such as a Ferrari dealer, or holiday company, could burn a massive budget on display, whilst other types of business may get few clicks and cheap brand awareness.

    My point in all this is that generalisations about which online marketing options any business should be trying just don’t work. Every business needs professional advice and the different routes to market online need to be analysed in light of their particular target audience and what they are trying to sell/achieve with their campaign.

    Reply

    • Drew Harding

      Hi Dan, thanks for reading the article and providing your feedback.

      I agree that having a professional take care of your AdWords campaigns would be more beneficial than simply having a go yourself but for those that are keen on understanding how to use AdWords effectively (for financial or personal reasons) I would always recommend they learn the system inside out first. We all had to learn it from scratch and Google have provided some great learning material to make using AdWords effectively possible, provided you have the time to learn it of course. As you and I have both said, you can end up wasting money if you don’t know what you’re doing with it and if you do not have the time to learn AdWords, 100% you should seek a professional to manage the campaigns for you.

      I see what you’re saying about the display network… this short section was written to focus more on Google AdWords as a whole rather than just SEM. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to title it slightly differently?! And I agree you would no doubt use the display and search networks for different reasons. The example I provided of running banner ads on the display network and text ads on the search network would be suited to a business with larger budgets but I felt it necessary to touch on this to give people food for thought.

      This article is a generalisation of methods people can use to raise the amount of traffic their website receives and by no means a detailed tutorial of how to use each method. I really appreciate you taking the time to provide your comments Dan, it adds much more value and learning for anyone that reads it – I would hate for people to be misled and think that AdWords is easy, but hopefully by providing the link to the AdWords Classroom they will take the time to either learn the tool or realise it’s more than they can cope with and seek professional services.

      Thanks again,
      Drew

      Reply

  4. Sion Williams

    One other you may like to add to the list, is running competitions or incentivising people to visit. It can tie your website with direct mail and email campaigns. The single best open rate email I have ever had was publishing the winners of a competition. And just because an email, web page, direct mail is about the competition, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about core services or other offers while you have their attention.

    Reply

  5. dave

    Telemarketing is also an option to consider

    Reply

    • Drew Harding

      Hi Dave, thanks for this! Telemarketing is another option without a doubt… thanks for contributing.

      Reply

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