Monday, 20 August 2018

Best Practices to Drive Traffic to Your Newly Launched Website

Have a unique product that can deliver tons of value? You’re all set to sell it. Okay. What’s next? You get your website developed. You go live. Something’s amiss. Oh yes, customers. Any business owner or marketer, when asked what their favorite thing in the world is, will say “customers”. What’s the online equivalent of potential customers?

Traffic.

Say you’re based in Pennsylvania. Search engine optimization is the way to go when it comes to generating massive amounts of traffic for your website. Your first preference would be to get in touch with the best SEO company in Philadelphia. While SEO is great should it be your only tool to rely on to gain traffic? Let me put it this way –

Do you want your website to crash and burn with just a small change in Googles Page Rank algorithm?

Exactly.

Photo credits: Neil Patel

Have a look at the pie chart below that shows which internet marketing avenues account for how much traffic. Search accounts for 34% which is great. But you might want to tap into other avenues to maximize your traffic as well.

Online Ads
Online ads can generate a decent amount of traction to your site.
With the advent of new social media platforms that more than half the world uses, getting your ads across targeted audience has become very convenient. But since you don’t have an endless supply of funds for your online adverts, it’s important to know how much you’re about to spend and how much you’re going to make from this traffic. You need to find a way to generate a good ROI from your ads too.

This big challenge can be broken down into two separate ingredients.
· Advertising what people are actively looking for.
· Creating engaging, compelling, high-quality ads that encourage your potential customers to click on them.

How to create high-quality ads?

There are 2 things to consider here-
· The design of the ad (Ad copy and image).
· The targeting of the ad. 

Design
I would urge you to study some of the ads that your competitors are running successfully.
You can also subscribe to your competitors’ newsletter list. You’ll be added to their Custom Audience list on Facebook, used to retarget campaigns. Now you have access to your competitor’s ads on Facebook’s newsfeed. These ads can be used as references to draw inspiration for how to design them.
The formula is simple – Do what works.

Targeting 
Every platform has its own way of targeting and so you’ll have to do your homework regarding that platform before you actually begin targeting. Lookalike Audiences has made targeting a lot easier and convenient.

Photo credits: Neil Patel

Let’s assume that a certain segment of your audience (say 1 out of 5) is responding and converting better than the others.
Lookalike audiences enables you to clone that high-converting audience so that Facebook can deliver ads to a similar group of potential customers. It lets you select a percentage (such as 1%, 5% or 10%) and your target country as in input to tell tight or constricted your range of audience should be. This helps avoid wasting your ad budget to promote your site to some people who may not be interested in your ad.
If I publish a blog on online dating, I only want to target the dating-savvy audience. So I will target a Custom Audience of people who are interested in (and so visited) Online dating pages and blogs using keywords within that niche.

Photo credits: Neil Patel

Above is an example of targeting an audience that views a lot of Instagram related content.
After creating your Custom Audience, ask Facebook to show your ads to those who have visited specific pages on your site within the past 30 to 180 days.
The advantage of this approach is that ad campaigns that target custom audiences do well with Facebook’s Relevance Score which is a quantifiable measure that signifies how well your ad is going to do with your target audience. A higher score corresponds to higher expected traffic.
You may not have access to the custom audience targeting feature right off the bat and might have to use internet targeting. However, with increased engagement, you will be able to shift to a custom audience which will become available to you. Bear in mind that your online targeting costs will vary from industry to industry which seems to be the case with Facebook.
Photo credits: Neil Patel

There’s no need to blow up your entire Ad budget right away. You could always test the waters starting out with about $10 daily and see what works and what doesn’t.
First get comfortable with the working of any one media platform. Then do the same with others. Get a feel for how different platforms work for you. Experiment with all of them.
 For B2B advertising, LinkedIn should be your MVP. Studies show that 4 out of 5 Linked are influencers and decision makers in their companies. There’s more – Linkedin makes up for more than 60% of traffic from social media channels to company landing pages.

Photo credits: Neil Patel

You have access to 8+ million business pages on LinkedIn with its contact targeting feature using which you can market to your own contacts and prospects simply by linking to your CMS or just uploading your target email id list.
Blog Commenting

The basic idea behind this approach is that you can leverage high DA (Domain authority) blogs in your niche by leaving insightful comments in the comments section and hope to draw a piece on the traffic there, onto your website or blog. Easy peasy right? But most blog commenters have their comments deleted by blog moderators hours after posting their comments. Here’s why.

Most people will visit the article, scroll right down (without even reading it), and finally leave some generic comment like “Hey Max, I really liked that article”. Not only will your comment likely get deleted by most bloggers but by posting such a dry comment you are capping the amount of traffic you could’ve potentially drawn to your website.

Below is an example of what NOT to do.
Photo courtesy: Quicksprout

Instead of just trying to suck value from the blogger, try adding some of your own value. Let it be a barter. Provide some of your insights or recommendations to the blogger. Maybe a case study that covers a technique that the blog hasn’t covered. More valuable the comment, more the referral traffic you will get.

Below is an example of what to do.
Photo courtesy: Quicksprout

Okay, let’s get into the how-to of blog commenting.
1. Go to Alltop which is a blogging directory that maintains a curated list of the best blogs in various niches.
2. Search for the blog of your niche. Say its ‘SEO’. You will then have a list of the best blogs within the SEO niche.
3. Check these blogs out one by one to see if they accept comments. There should be a section that says “Leave a comment” or “5 comments” or so.
4.  Post value comments as opposed to boring generic promotional comments.

Another place to visit to find blogs is Follower Wonk.
1. Go to Follower Wonk.  After logging in, click on search twitter bios.
2. Enter your preferred keyword and hit “do it”. The result will have all the Twitter bios relevant to your search phrase. Scroll down and look at the list different bloggers. Open their Twitter profile and find out what blog they’re associated with.
3.  So once you have a list you’re satisfied with going, ensure that you’re among the first few to comment because even if your comment sucks, it’s going to get way more traffic at the top, one at the bottom or the middle. Your timing matters as well beside the quality of your comment.

That will do it for blog commenting.

Social Media

According to a study by Hootsuite and We Are Social, there are 3.773 billion global internet users of which active social media users are 2.789 billion. Quite a number, yes? That’s about 75% of the total worldwide internet users. Social media can have a huge impact on your business’ ability to generate traffic and sales.

Unlike a salesman that can just eavesdrop into your conversation at any given time, the way things work on social media is a little different. You first need to give value and develop some goodwill with your potential followers. This is exactly when content marketing and social media make such a great combination.

Content marketing helps provide value to potential customers as we discussed earlier. If your content relevant and engaging, your viewers will look forward to viewing your subsequent posts as well. They will also be more open to following you on your social media handles which helps them to drive traffic when you next post any content.

 Photo credits: Neil Patel
Warning: Avoid the practice of constantly posting the same message over and over again. Activities like this will get you labeled as a spammer and can be detrimental to your social media marketing campaign as your viewers will likely ignore your messages. You can overcome this issue by framing one piece of content in different ways for each status update.
The image above shows some other principles you can adopt to avoid coming across as a spammer. 
Another way is by describing a single piece of content in different ways in each status update. While some people connect with data-driven status updates, others are more inclined to curiosity-style updates.


One important tip when it comes to your social media presence is to humanize it. People respond to authenticity more than just plain informative content.

Use the analytics platforms for all the social media platforms you’re using to find out what time of the day has the highest engagement from your followers. Post during this time frame to drive the highest engagement possible.

Incorporate visual content into your posts to enhance them and encourage click-through. Also, include statistics and data which betrays a sense of certainty in your posts adding more value to them.


Above is a cheat-sheet by Likeable media highlighting the pros and cons of different social media networks.

Reducing Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. High bounce rates are responsible for a reduction in page views, lesser conversions and can likely hurt your rankings.

Techniques to reduce bounce rate :

· Bucket brigades – these are words and phrases that keep people hooked on your content.


Above are two examples of bucket brigades. Notice how these words create a sense of curiosity about what is going to follow.

Other examples of bucket brigades include “Here’s the deal”, “But there’s a catch”, “What’s the real story?”, “The best part?”, etc.

· Print content above the fold – Most viewers online have really short attention spans and patience because of the vast amount of options they have available when it comes to content. Avoid starting your content with images, videos, and ads. This makes your visitor more inclined to hit the back button. Instead, get right into the content. Start with the title followed by your first paragraph. Images can come later.


· Short Blog Post intros – Don’t post intros that go on and on and on. Your viewer will eventually get fed up, waiting for you to get into the meat of your blog and eventually “bounce” from your site. Cap intros at 9 sentences or less.


· Shorter Paragraphs – Why? Because huge blocks or text intimidate users even before they start reading. No matter how great your content is, if it looks long and boring like a research paper, well guess what?

BOUNCE.

Limit your paragraphs to 3 sentences or less. It creates a more pleasant and enjoyable experience for the user, especially on phone and tablets.

So those were 4 main strategies you could use this year to increase traffic to your blog. Like we discussed earlier, assuming you’re an internet marketer based in Pennsylvania, you could hire a Philadelphia SEO agency to optimize your site but also market yourself over other avenues discussed above to have a more whole marketing approach.





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