One of the biggest challenges we face as marketers is attracting the right traffic to our website. Most people think the important part of this sentence is "traffic". They believe any traffic is good traffic, no matter who it is. But this is the wrong way of thinking.
While bigger numbers make us feel like our marketing is working, it's more important that we look at additional numbers like visitor to lead conversion rates and lead to customer conversion rates.
Because what it all comes down to is this: is your marketing generating business results?
If you can confidently say that the traffic you are driving to your website is converting into leads and then converting into customers, then that's fantastic. But I think what most of us will find when we start digging into these numbers is that the traffic isn't generating the results we thought it was.
So what does it take to attract qualified traffic?
Step 1: Identify Your Buyer Personas
This is the most important step you can take for your marketing. If you don't have your buyer personas identified (i.e. who your ideal customers are), then who are you marketing to? I'm not going to say that all your efforts would be wasted, but I can assure you that without a clear target audience in mind, your marketing will not help you achieve your goals.
When you're identifying your personas, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself:
- What is their job role / title?
- Are they your champion?
- How do they define professional success?
- What are their biggest challenges?
- What key messages will resonate with them?
- What are their online watering holes and preferred social media channels?
- How do they prefer to interact (phone, email, etc.)?
Step 2: Develop a Persona-Driven Keyword Strategy
Yes, search algorthims have changed and search terms are now encrypted, but that doesn't mean that having a well honed keyword strategy has become obsolete. Keywords are still relevant and essential for attracting the right people to your website, especially when they are geared towards your buyer personas.
When you have clearly identified who you want to be targeting by answering the questions above, you will see that finding keywords that are relevant to them might not be as hard as it seems. You've already outlined what their pain points / challenges are, so what phrase would they type into a search bar to find the solutions? These are going to be part of your keyword strategy.
When we advise our clients on choosing keywords, there are three criteria that we judge the viability of the word:
- What is monthly search volume? We like to see at least 50.
- What is the difficulty/competition? We like to see anything under .6.
- Is it a long-tail keyword? We have found more success targeting long-tail searches than short-tail. Long-tail refers to a phrase rather than just a single word. For example, "How to start a business blog" would be long-tail and "blog" would be the short-tail version.
Once you've pulled together a list of keywords, you can start mapping out your content strategy. Assign keywords to your blog posts, content offers, campaigns, web pages, etc. A great tool to help you build this out in an organized way is our Blog Editorial Calendar Template.
Step 3: Start Blogging
Now that you know who you are targeting and what keywords you're going to use so they can find you, it's time to start putting this into action and developing content. Blogging is a great way to drive qualified traffic to your website.
Here are some stats to prove it:
- Companies who blog see a 55% increase in traffic to their website
- 82% of companies who blog daily have acquired a customer through their blog
- 79% of companies that have a blog, report a positive ROI for inbound marketing
As you can see, blogging is a proven marketing strategy that drives business results. But these stats might not necessarily convince you that blogging is a way to attract the right people to your website.
So, how does blogging bring quality traffic to your site?
First, think about how many pages are on your website. I'm guessing not too many. Now, how often do those pages get updated? Again, I'll venture a guess and say not too often.
Blogging fixes that. Each time you write a new blog post, you're adding additional content to your site, and one more page is getting indexed by search engines. Google in particular looks at when a site was last updated as it shows them the site is still active and relevant. Additionally, each blog post provides another opportunity for you to get found in search. And since your keywords are aligned to your personas, the traffic you're attracting will be the people you want!
Step 4: Get active on Social Media
Promoting your content on social media is another great way to drive traffic to your website. Social media is a place where sharing is encouraged and more than likely, through social media promotion, your content will have a wider reach.
But we also know that for someone just getting started with social media, it can feel like an overwhelming and daunting task. If you aren't currently active on social media, we recommend that you first do an analysis of the landscape.
- Where do your customers spend their time?
- Where are they most active and sharing content with their networks?
- Where are they the most likely to engage with content related to your industry?
The answers may surprise you. But you will see where you should be spending your time and focusing on growing an audience. Put your efforts into that channel, develop an editorial calendar, share your blog posts, share industry news, comment and respond to interactions you have.
You will see that by targeting your social presence, you'll not only see an increase in traffic to your website, but that this traffic will be your ideal customers.
Step 5: Wrap it all together
Developing a marketing strategy takes time. Don't give up if you aren't seeing results right away. But what we can promise is this: if you go through each of these steps thoroughly, you will see an increase in qualified traffic coming to your site.
Now, it's time for us to ask you a question. What strategies have worked for you? How have you been able to increase the quality of traffic to your website? Leave us a comment and let us know!