You have a beautiful website full of helpful yet sales-driving content with a brand-spanking-new design. But where are all the readers? Alas, it seems “If you build it, they will come” only applies to mystical baseball diamonds!
Your website is instrumental to your digital marketing plan. And, to actually get a strong digital marketing ROI, you need to drive new traffic to your site, but how? Check out the digital marketing fundamentals you need to know below.
Among all the ways to market your business online, there are a few core go-to’s for driving traffic to your website:
SEO (that’s Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (also known as Search Engine Marketing)
Search engine optimization and search engine marketing are two crucial aspects of digital marketing. In fact, 93% of all internet traffic starts with a search engine. Wow!
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of strategies to help your site appear higher in search results. These strategies involve identifying relevant and common keywords, back-end web data, content optimization, and more. Basic SEO techniques and best practices are absolutely a requirement when building and implementing a website. If you choose to ignore the basics then you can “basically” forget your site appearing in search results.
Search engine marketing (SEM), on the other hand, involves the use of paid ads on search engines. For instance, the top few Google search results marked “Ad” are examples of SEM. This type of advertising is most commonly referred to as PPC or Pay Per Click advertising and includes the use of Google Adwords, Bing Ads, etc. to drive targeted traffic to your website.
Management of PPC campaigns should be left to someone who is familiar with the various advertising platforms as well as how to get the highest return on investment from PPC spend because you can lose significant amounts of money if you do not know what you’re doing.
Because a search engine is how so many people search for businesses and products, SEO and SEM make the list of top digital marketing fundamentals for driving traffic to your website.
Today’s consumers are bombarded with information from all angles. That’s why they’re discerning and will only engage with high-quality, relevant information.
Content marketing is the strategy of creating content to educate, not to sell. For instance, a plastic surgeon should write blogs like “Top Tips for Facelift Recovery” rather than “Why You Need a Facelift Now.” This should apply to blogging on your business website, social media content, email marketing, and more.
Should your content marketing strategy completely ignore keyword and SEO research? Not necessarily! It makes sense to look at what keywords are being used to search for businesses like yours and to implement those keywords into your content marketing strategy when and where it makes sense to do so.
For example, by doing keyword research we discovered that the term “digital marketing fundamentals” is something that a competitor ranks for while we don’t. Since we offer “digital marketing” services and can speak as an authority on the topic of “digital marketing fundamentals” it makes sense for us to generate content about this topic … a.k.a. the blog post that you’re reading right now. However, if we didn’t offer services relevant to this term or if we didn’t have the knowledge to provide informative content on this topic then it wouldn’t be a good fit for our content marketing strategy.
The aim of content marketing is to get readership from people who genuinely want your information.
These people will recognize you as a trusted, known resource. The next time they need a service you offer, they’ll call you first because they recognize you. Also, when you create and share useful content, it attracts readers to your website where they can learn more about what you offer and, hopefully, become a paying customer.
Consistent Social Media Interaction
It does vary by demographics, but most businesses can reach a treasure trove of customers on social media. But note those two extra words in our header: “consistent” and “interaction.”
You need to post on social media platforms consistently. Probably one of the worst mistakes we see businesses make on social media platforms is creating profiles and then abandoning them completely. What message does it send to potential customers when they visit your Facebook page and you haven’t posted anything for the past 2 years? It looks sloppy and as if you don’t care or that your business is mismanaged. There are affordable ways to keep your social media populated with content so don’t use the excuse that it’s too expensive or that it takes too much time.
And take advantage of the true power social media holds: interaction. Don’t just blast out information. Engage with your followers and with others in your industry. Social media is just that … social … and interacting with your audience solidifies your relationships with them as well as the image of your brand.
But how does social media drive traffic to your website?
Post links to your website and to your blog posts on your social profiles! Don’t make that the only type of content that you post, but definitely include it in your social marketing strategy. As your audience interacts with your content, their audience is exposed to your content. And, if your content includes links back to your website then you’re effectively driving traffic to your website. Boom!
This tends to surprise business owners, but videos are hugely beneficial – even if they don’t go viral.
Videos are great content to share on social media, on your website, on YouTube, and more. They don’t have to be high-budget, either. Today’s viewers favor content over production value. And, they should almost never be longer than a minute or two. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but many of us don’t have the attention span it takes to read an entire blog post (hey – thanks if you’re still here!) and 10 minute videos that ramble on about a topic will rarely be watched in their entirety. So, be sure to keep your videos short and digestible. You lose 60% of viewers by the two-minute mark, so aim for 2 minutes or less.
If I had a dollar for every time a client asked for a viral video, I’d be writing this blog post from my yacht.
Additionally, and more importantly, videos placed on your website lead to longer “dwell time.”
What the heck is dwell time?
Well, that’s how long a visitor sits on your web page. If a visitor to your blog post is watching a 2 minute video that you’ve embedded on the top of the blog post then, guess what? His dwell time will be at least 2 minutes. It’s believed that the amount of time visitors spend on your website pages affects how your pages rank in search results. So, you definitely want visitors to “dwell” on your pages and videos are a great way to do just that.
Driving Website Traffic
We all hear about those off-the-wall, innovative marketing strategies. But before you get adventurous, the digital marketing fundamentals above are the perfect place to start driving new web traffic. For more hands-on help, reach out to our digital marketing professionals.