Your Website – A Complementary Marketing Tool
As a web developer, I sure appreciate the importance business owners assign to my trade, but at the same time, I feel a professional obligation to let you know that your website is not your primary marketing tool. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very important element in your marketing chain, and yet, I want people to give up the idea that someone discovers them out of the blue online via their website. It can happen, but that will always be a very small percentage of your new business.
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Getting Website Traffic
Your website can be perfect – if it gets no traffic it has zero value. This means that you have to take action and guide as much traffic to your website as you possibly can. Let’s take a look at the different traffic sources.
Organic traffic is the traffic that you receive because search engines have listed you favorably. Getting a good search engine ranking takes patience and discipline by following a set of best practice guidelines. I have written previous articles about these topics. You may want to read:
Especially at the beginning of a venture, you can’t rely on organic traffic to be significant enough to generate good leads for you. This can change over time, but it takes a coordinated effort to get a good SEO ranking.
This is self-explaining. Paid traffic can be very effective, but it needs to be done right. This usually means that you need to have a good understanding of who your target audience is and what they truly care about. Being able to see the world through your customer’s eyes is essential. Empathy is king!
Don’t shy away from paid traffic, but use your marketing dollars wisely. Make sure to track relevant metrics to measure success. Utilizing paid traffic in a smart way can put your website in front of thousands of people for relatively modest amounts. Common paid traffic opportunities are:
- Social media platforms
- Search engines
- Google Adwords
- Remarketing techniques
- Sponsoring blogs or newsletters relevant to your industry
- Sponsoring podcasts or video blogs relevant to your industry
- Affiliate marketing programs
Referred traffic consists of links pointing from other online platforms to your website that have not been paid for. Social media is a big one here which you can support by creating and implementing effective marketing strategies. Don’t mistake random and distinct actions for a strategy. Creating and implementing a social media marketing strategy requires expertise and must not be underestimated!
Get in touch with other relevant website owners in your industry and ask them if they want to publish a link to your website. Fostering strategic partnerships like that can be beneficial for both businesses. Moreover, every external link from a quality source is a SEO booster.
Do you like to write articles? Many people are desperately looking for good content. You can ask people if they are willing to publish a guest post, and you can return the favor.
Finally, I would like to highlight an email newsletter as one of the best ways to generate referred traffic. Writing a newsletter for my followers is my favorite marketing tool ever, which is why I will dedicate an entire future blog post to just that topic. Just think about it – is there any better way to show that you are knowledgeable, disciplined, reliable and relatable? Some very successful online marketers claim that their income is proportional to count of their list subscribers. I have no doubt that is the case.
Direct traffic gets generated when people type your domain name directly into the browser address bar. Here are several reasons someone might do that:
- Print advertisement
- TV/Radio commercial
- Business cards
- Bandit signs
- Car wraps
- Word of mouth
WORD OF MOUTH – This one deserves a special mention. The text below has been kindly provided by a very knowledgeable and skilled mortgage banker here in San Antonio. Ryan Edwards who works for Sente Mortgage is one of the sharpest young minds I have come across here in San Antonio. He strongly believes that excellent customers service, professionalism, and just being a nice person is the best thing you can do to promote word of mouth. Reach out to him and you will quickly see that his values are based on professionalism and integrity.
Word of mouth (WOM) is sort of the holy grail of marketing right? It’s inexpensive, leveraged, and self-perpetuating when done correctly which is why I think a lot of people tend to pursue it strategically.
So if you look at these businesses who want to get more referrals, you’ll see the predominant plan for driving more WOM marketing involves providing inducements for consumers who refer a friend and bring that business another customer.
(Ex: an apartment complex offers $400 for a new resident referral)
It’s weird that more often than not we see people approach WOM marketing strategy from that angle, ☝️especially considering how often it fails, and there’s a reason.
It runs against the grain of conventional consumer behavior. Think about the last 3 things you shared with your peers: odds are, you didn’t share those things to make a buck. That might feel a little slimy right? Especially if they found out you made $ off them later on down the line
Odds are, you didn’t share those things for any self-benefit at all; what’s more likely is that the last 3 times you shared, you did it for the benefit of those you care about (To make them feel good, help out, give advice, etc). That’s the human aspect of WOM marketing, that’s often ignored.
People instinctively want to have something of value to share with their peers. It feels good to be the guy who knows a guy, to be able to give your friends the hook-up.
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