It’s easy to spend the majority of your new website budget on design and development without money left over for promotion and marketing, and now you need to grow website traffic.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in this situation?
The good news is you can do a lot to promote your website to the right audiences without spending a lot of money.
But, it just requires a plan.
1. First, Write Useful Content
Writing useful content is the #1 way to grow your website traffic. We recommend our customers create a calendar for the content they want to write and a plan to publish weekly.
Your strategy should include both relevant product articles, such as how your offering addresses a problem, and useful industry resources.
An easy strategy for industry resources is list building. Lists are popular and most of the content is already available – you consolidate it in a new article.
Our Best 2017 Marketing Conferences is a great example of this.
Don’t have time to write an article once-week?
Offer guest blogging spots, conduct interviews, or hire a writer. You can hire a writer to write content for as little as $25 per blog.
2. Publish Where Your Audience Is
Prospective customers aren’t going through your traditional funnel. And a new follower on Twitter, LinkedIn or your blog can lead to your next sale.
However, these new customers aren’t going to find your content unless you promote it where your audience is.
A good publishing strategy follows a hub-and-spoke model.
Create stand-alone content on a variety of sources such as Youtube, SlideShare, LinkedIn, Medium.com, and Facebook. Next, cross-link back to articles and content on your blog will drive website traffic.
For example, publishing on LinkedIn is a great way to reach a B2B audience. Similarly, publishing on Facebook is a great way to reach a B2C audience.
You’ll find both B2B and B2C audiences on every “channel”, but each tends to skew towards a certain audience demographic.
3. Write Amazing Headlines
Most people are going to skim your content and read the headlines (probably what you’re doing).
This means you need to write amazing headlines that are useful and connect with topics your audience wants.
Plus, great headlines will get shared by individuals, and content shared by people is always more authoritative than advertising or paid promotion.
Checking your headlines
Lot of great free tools, such as Headline Checker, will look at the HTML headlines you are using and analyze them. Use these and read your content with only the headlines. You will change what you have written.
4. Invest in What’s Working
You can approach your content strategy semi-scientifically while your website traffic is growing.
Skyscraping, is a technique to build on existing content, is perfect for building on content that is already valuable.
Skyscraping describes a technique to build-on existing articles, write opinion pieces, or build on popular articles.
We recommend using skyscraping for your own content.
Use Google Analytics and review your existing website traffic to identify the content that receives the most views. Find ways to expand or link to other related content.
For example, we have a customer that has a very popular technical blog. This blog gets over 60% of the websites overall traffic, but also has a very high bounce rate. A technique we recommended was to connect blog articles with specific ways that this company could help customers solve problems.
5. A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words
Include media in all your content because a picture is worth a thousand words.
Above I said to write amazing headlines because most of your audience is going to skim your content. You should include images because they will help convey meaning to the headlines.
Images and quick videos are an effective tool for conveying a lot of information very quickly or setting the emotional tone of the content.
Including videos in your articles is a great way to increase the interest level of the article.
The good news is there are great sources for free image content that you can include in your articles.
And, if you are cross-publishing on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn an image with your article will help your content stand out.
6. Communities not Comments
Comments on your content are a powerful way to engage with your audience.
However, routinely review what is published and have the ability to remove content that doesn’t adhere to your terms of service. If you do not have the ability to do this, don’t add comments to your content.
While it is easy to add comments to virtually anything, unless you have a plan for routinely reviewing the comments we recommend leaving them off.
Instead, use a dedicated community for customers or participate in one of the many online communities. There are many available, such as Reddit, Quora, Stack Overflow or others dedicated to topic-driven conversations.
Participating in customer communities is a great way to publish where your audience is and drive additional website traffic.
7. Keep it Easy to Read
You have less than 2 minutes to engage with your with a website visitor. So make sure your content is easy to read.
Easy to read content is both well designed: good line spacing, use of whitespace, uses a variety of headlines, bolded text, and media and is easily read.
If you are using WordPress there are plugins that automatically score the readability of your content. You can also use services like readable.io that score your content on grade-level and other readability metrics.
8. Grammer and Speling Maters To
Yes, that headline is incorrect on purpose. And, you noticed it right away didn’t you?
Grammar and spelling matters when it comes to your content.
One of my friends told me a story once about a college admissions essay reader who reads thousands of essay submissions. One, in particular, stood out: a student who wrote about his peasant hunting trips with his father.
Just because your content passes a spell check doesn’t mean it’s ready to be published. If you are writing in English and it isn’t your first language, or you aren’t the best writer, try a service like Grammarly.
9. Convert on Content
The goal of your website is to promote your offerings and increase your reach. Every piece of content is part of the process for winning new customers and growing your website traffic.
We are big fans of welcome and exit offers as part of this conversion process especially for building mailing lists.
In full disclosure, this is a capability of the DailyStory Customer Engagement Platform – so it should not be a surprise!
Popup offers, also called welcome mats and exit intents, quickly grab your visitor’s attention and promote a call to action. Popup offers have a surprisingly high conversion rate and can decrease your bounce rates.
10. Promote your Best Content
Pay to promote your best content. You don’t have to pay a lot, but to reach potential customers you have to market to them.
Paying to promote content works very well if you know what the customer journey looks like for your website traffic.
For example, if you identify a series of posts or articles on your website that customers read before converting, pay to promote those.
Boosting a post on Twitter or Facebook can cost you as little as $20 and can expand your audience and brand reach significantly.
If you have other tips or suggestions we’d love to hear from you.