It’s been said that a website should be your cheapest salesperson—an always on, 24/7/365, one-stop resource about your company, available products or services, competitive positioning, and enough tailored calls-to-action to persuade a visitor to express interest. No human can come close to providing these services. But how do you get your website to do this? It starts with traffic.
When thinking about driving traffic to your Website, one question is fundamental: Do you want quantity or quality? If your business is new (or your product is in beta) and your goal is to get the word out, then quantity is key. Furthermore, if your product has broad appeal, quantity is arguably better than quality. Most clients tell us, however, their goal is to increase the number of qualified visitors to their website. There are a number of ways to accomplish this goal, but one sure-fire investment that has an immediately trackable ROI is search engine marketing.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is about adapting your online presence and web assets to enhance your brand online, increase website traffic and lead conversion, and overall increase leads and ultimately sales. Search engine marketing has many facets, including analytics, data feeds, information architecture, calls-to-action, and landing pages. But the two most popular are search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.
Search engine optimization (SEO), also referred to as organic search or natural search, refers to listing results that are produced by search engine indexing algorithms rather than sponsored links (see image below). Search engines rank the search results according to your website’s indexed relevance to the search terms. Relevance is determined by many on-page and off-page factors, and each search engine has its own unique algorithm to determine relevance. A search engine’s algorithm criteria changes regularly in a continual process of attempting to deliver credible, optimal results to its users. The higher a site scores against the
requirements, the higher ranking it will receive in organic results.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC), also referred to as paid search, is a pay-for-performance bidding system that enables bidding for placement within search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo (see image below). When used effectively, a paid placement strategy can increase qualified site traffic, boost sales potential and lower acquisition costs. The key to effective paid search is in-depth strategy planning, key phrase analysis, expert copywriting, tailored calls to action, and detailed reporting and analysis.
Other starter tactics to drive website traffic include:
- Place your website URL in your email signature
How many external emails do you send in a given day? Make sure your email signature calls attention to your site.
- Submit your URL to search sites and directories
Doing so helps to ensure all of your pages are found, indexed, and available for display when a search is performed.
- Email your community to announce the launch of your website
Use your eNewsletter (you do have an eNewsletter to maintain customer contact, right?) to announce your new site to clients. Be sure to emphasize how the site benefits them.
- Issue press releases
Not only do press releases serve as a good link-building activity, but few ways are better to generate traffic in a short period of time.
And finally, ensure your site is optimized to cater to different types of visitors with proper information architecture and calls-to-action. That way, no matter how a visitor arrives at your site, you can be confident that if they’re qualified, they’ll respond—the most important end result of increased website traffic. To do this, and to make sure you achieve the desire results for all the aforementioned items, make sure you work with a reputable search engine marketing firm that knows what they’re doing.
Stay tuned–we’ll explore more way to increase your lead conversion in future posts!