Perhaps, you’ve been discovering that the traditional approaches to marketing, PR, advertising, and online activities aren’t drawing customers to your website like they used to, and now the question is, what’s next? The answer is online marketing, which is a level up from traditional marketing that uses a combination of tools and methodologies specifically designed to drive traffic to your website.
One aspect of successful online marketing is making your site more visible by understanding and using Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is used to target customers. SEO is the practice of making adjustments and updates to the content and links on websites so that they will receive more traffic and rank at the top position of Google or other search engines’ search results. SEO focuses on rankings in the organic (non-paid) search results. Moving up in these rankings means your site will be more visible and likely reach more people.
1. Optimizing Keywords: The layout of your website and the content that it publicizes can affect how highly it ranks in search-engine results pages; however, it’s more important to utilize relevant keywords on a web page and discover the foremost keyword that each page will target. Incorporate the keyword as naturally as possible throughout the page, without overstating it. Use keywords that describe processes as well as the objects you make. Your foremost keyword might be a single word, such as “mugs” or a phrase such as “plates and bowls.” Long phrases are useful for new brands with online marketing because they encounter limited competition from other websites.
You can use Keyword Planner, a free Google Ads tool, to search for keywords and see how a list of keywords might perform. Keyword Planner is useful for both new and experienced advertisers. It’s like a workshop for building a new search network campaign, a group of search-related websites where your ads can appear. Keyword Planner can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to boost your campaigns.
2. Social Networking: Creating high-quality social-media content and believing that your website, in turn, will receive attention isn’t how it works. Be proactive. To boost traffic toward your website, utilize social-media channels to promote your content. Twitter is typical for short and tempting links, whereas posts on Facebook and Instagram can benefit your site by helping it to show up in personalized feeds and search results, and seem remarkably effective in niches. Attract customers by posting product images to visually focused sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
Respond to comments on social media without spamming them. Be considerate on Twitter and you will receive tweets and retweets in return. In other words, being responsive, prompt, and courteous wins you goodwill, increases customer engagement, drives traffic toward your website, and builds an image for the brand.
3. Magnetism: Magnetism marketing is about networking with popular or influential people and their followers to get noticed by millions of people that you might not be able to reach otherwise. Endorsement from an influencer also supplements value and trust for your brand. It’s often tricky for small businesses to afford influencers. You may have to pay them in order for them to post about you or your work to their followers. Or else look out for a local celebrity that’s well known in your area, but not a national figure to reduce your costs.
An alternative option is to collaborate with another business to reach each other’s followers. First identify a suitable influencer for your product. Then, keep monitoring your influencer, and when an opportunity to communicate arises, reach out to see if they’re interested and follow up. Be personable, and always personalize your introduction rather than using dry form emails. Many online influencers may already be fielding a number of pitches from brands, so don’t try to push an influencer to endorse your product. As much as a brand may love the exposure they’d get from a tweet by Kim Kardashian, it’s not as simple as sending them a message asking for some support. Instead, aim for mid-level influencers—while they may have a smaller audience than celebrities, their followers are loyal and they have a smaller volume of requests so they are more likely to be able to consider yours.
4. Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing means gaining a commission by promoting other people’s (or companies’) products. It’s based on revenue sharing. The idea is to choose a product you like, then work out an agreement with the original producer, promote it on your website, and earn a percentage of the profit per sale. If you have a product and want to sell more, then you can offer promoters a commission through this affiliate program. Or, if you merely want to make some money, then you can promote a product that you feel has value and earn an income from it as an affiliate marketer. In short, you can be both the originator and the marketer.
5. Blogging: Writing a guest post on a well-known blog or for websites related to your brand can increase link-driven traffic to your website and help build your brand. The more online content you create, the more results you can expect from your content marketing efforts. In short, quality isn’t enough. You need quantity, too. Be proactive and reach out to reliable blogs. Make sure these blogs have elements that add credibility to your website.
In addition to posting content to other blogs, request people in your niche to guest blog on your own site. Hopefully, they will share and link to their guest article, which can bring new readers to your site. Only post high-quality, original content without spam links that you pre-approve, or else it might hurt your brand. An inbound link is a hyperlink back to your website from others’ websites. It’s a consistent and reliable strategy in Search Engine Optimization that sites with a variety of high-quality inbound links rank higher in the search engine results pages. Link building efforts should not be multiple low-quality, spam links. It won’t do you much good, your website will never rank in the top 10 on Google, and you will also risk getting penalized.
6. Marketing Funnel: Once traffic is coming into your website, you want visitors to take an action, such as buying a product or signing up for a workshop or classes. Locking up straightforward and powerful funnels not only generates traffic to your website, but also converts a subset of visitors into a group of customers that frequently return to the site to make additional purchases. Funnels start with capturing a broad audience then narrow it down to those who will take the desired action. Basic principles of the funnel approach include brand visibility to a large number of people, drawing the most relevant and interested customers into the funnel for better customer experience, discovering more about expected customers, and nurturing them to increase promoter activity and customers’ lifetime value. The steps in a funnel are:
1. Build Awareness: The audience notices your business or offers. Maybe they have seen an ad/link on Twitter or Facebook.
2. Maintain Interest: The targeted audience is momentarily aware of your business presence and they decide to find out a bit more about your business/practice/website. Maybe they read your blog post.
3. Consideration: Now the audience is interested in your business but not yet ready to buy—maybe comparing your products against the competitors’.
4. Conversion: Now your targeted audience is ready to buy your products from your website.
5. Loyalty: The same customer is regularly buying your product instead of choosing your competitors’.
6. Advocacy: A customer recommends you to potential buyers, joins your Twitter thread, and protects your business reputation.
Broadcasting regular newsletters and promoting offers through email is a great way to funnel and direct traffic to your website. Provide useful information and links to pages on your website where people can make a purchase, such as through blog posts and landing pages (pages developed on your website for promoting particular offers).
7. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a valuable tool for marketing as it facilitates forwarding traffic to your landing page or your website through LinkedIn publishing. A landing page is a standalone web page designed explicitly for a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor lands when they have clicked on the link provided by you. LinkedIn allows you to publish articles within their platform (just like a blog). Individual posts from users get hundreds, even thousands of impressions in a short space of time and can potentially rank remarkably well in Google searches. They can receive great traffic because you can place links to promote your landing page throughout the article and at the end of the post—so your article can turn into leads or sales.
8. Q&A Websites: Millions of people enter questions into a search engine such as Google each day to find the most relevant answer(s). Websites like Quora, WikiAnswers, Yahoo Answers, and Answerbag bring people with questions and those with answers together. One approach to gaining visibility is to go to these sites, join, and provide responses to the topics that are related to your business’ focus. Add the address of your website in your profile/answer credentials to draw free landing-page traffic.
9. YouTube Channel: YouTube is an online platform where you can share and build communities using professional or homemade video through a personal or business channel. Once you are a registered user and are signed in, go to your account settings to create a channel and click on “Create a new channel”. Next, click on “Use business or other name” and you will be prompted to create a brand account. Once the channel is created, you can upload videos to it. This is a favorite digital marketing tactic because it can efficiently repurpose your video content. When determining what to post, consider that some people prefer absorbing content via video. Make tutorial videos of you working on the wheel, decorating pots, or mixing glazes for example, or just giving a glimpse of your body of work to potential customers, and then redirect them to your website.
Optimize your YouTube channel to make it easier for people to find when searching for related topics by adding a keyword-rich title, description, and tags so it acts as a traffic generator, then link back to your landing page or homepage on your website.
As you begin to see increased traffic, pay attention to the rise in visits to your landing pages to ensure that you’re reaching potential customers. Google Analytics is a web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic. It’s the most widely used internet analytics service on the web. This service also gathers usage data from the iOS and Android app, known as Google Analytics for Mobile Apps.
How does it work? Google Analytics embeds several lines of tracking code into the HTML code of your website. This code reads various activities of your users/customers when they visit your website, along with the attributes (such as age, gender, interests) of those users/customers. It then sends that information to the Google Analytics server once the user exits your website. Here are a few potential benefits to using this service:
1. Target your online audience.
2. Evaluate traffic flow on your website.
3. Know what visitors are searching for on your website.
4. Customize data and reports.
5. Set and monitor goals.
6. Automate emails.
You don’t have to use all the tactics listed here in order to generate new, high-quality potential customers and visitors to your website. Select a few ideas to start developing your business. Though increased site visitors and traffic are excellent, it’s the quality of the traffic and visits that matter.
Mamta Gholap received her MBA in finance and is passionate about handbuilding with clay.