What Can You do to Drive New Visitors to Your Site?
It seems like the online marketing world is obsessed with traffic. And traffic does matter. If you are going to use your website as your online marketing “headquarters”, you need traffic.
But getting traffic is only a piece of the online marketing puzzle. What does it matter if your website enjoys a flood of visitors if none of them ever buy from you? Or if you attract lots of first time visitors who immediately leave your site and never come back?
You need visitors who arrive on your site and stay for a while, who go from page to page, who like what you have to offer so much that they share it with other people and who come back to your site again and again.
Today, let's talk about three distinct, very important parts of the online marketing equation:
- Getting website visitors
- Keeping them on your site longer
- Persuading them to return, preferably often
Getting Website Visitors
Traffic matters. And it doesn't just happen. You have to work to attract site visitors. Somehow in the early days of the Web, we fell for this silly notion that all you had to do to “strike it rich” at Internet marketing was to put up a website. “Build it and they will come” helped make Field of Dreams a wonderful movie, but it's a lousy strategy for trying to succeed at online marketing.
So what can you do to attract new visitors to your site?
SEO/SEM – These strategies work well for many companies, and one or both may work very well for you. But this isn't an area you want to stumble into blindly. SEO can be very complicated, expensive, time-consuming and rarely produces impressive short-term results.
SEM can be a very effective tool for attracting new, targeted traffic to your site, but it can also be very complicated and VERY expensive.
This article talks about both SEO and SEM, so we won't go into more detail here today. But remember this: If you have little or no experience with either of these traffic-generating tools, invest in the services of a qualified professional.
SEO and SEM get the lion's share of the attention from marketers trying to drive traffic to their websites, but they are by no means the only tools you can use to win new visitors. Here are some more that are proven for attracting website traffic:
Social Media – Social media is a great tool for helping you build awareness for your online ventures. Do you have a blog that you regularly post fresh, new content to? Every time you put a new article on your blog, announce it through your social media channels.
Be sure, of course, to include a link to the article and a compelling, curiosity-arousing title that will make viewers anxious to click through and find out more about what you have to say.
Note – If you decide to blog, have it as part of your website, for example www.mydomain.com/myblog. Do this instead of using a free blogging platform like Typepad.com. Why? Here's one very significant reason you want to include your blog on your domain, that is on Internet “real estate” you own and control.
Events and Trade shows – This can also include public speaking engagements; often these are a great way to drum up traffic to your website, but you have to prepare beforehand. Have cards or brochures printed up before the event to hand out the day of. On these printed cards, include your URL and a compelling reason for those you give the cards to to visit your website.
Text Messages – If you have a local retail business, and you use text messages as part of your marketing – a very smart idea!, you can send text messages to your list, messages that include a link to the mobile-optimized version of your site and a compelling, persuasive reason to visit, maybe an announcement of a big sale!
Keeping Visitors On Your Site Longer
Congratulations! You've leveraged all of the above tools and you now have a steady flow of new website visitors. You've made progress toward your goal of winning new business through the Internet, but you haven't yet reached your goal.
Remember that traffic does not necessarily equal more sales. You still have to convert visitors into buyers.
And a big intermediate step in accomplishing that is to get them to stay on your site longer. It's been said, in regards to retail businesses, “The longer you are in the store, the more likely you are to buy something”. Large retail chain stores are “engineered” to get visitors to buy stuff. If you've ever been to your local supermarket with the goal of buying one or two small items and walked out with a basket full of groceries, you've seen this in action.
You can use similar tactics to your advantage as an online marketer, but you need to take critical steps to keep visitors, including first-timers, on your site longer. How?
Include strong visual images on your site, especially on the pages, like your homepage, where visitors are most likely to enter your site for the first time. Do not use boring, generic “stock” photos that have little or no relevance to your site's written content to merely take up space.
The human eye is initially drawn to visual images more than words, so images can be very useful to attract visitors and make them want to take a closer look at your site. But to get them to stay longer, you need to offer them written content as well.
But not just any content. It needs to be focused on them and their needs. They are visiting you because they want a solution to a problem. Show them you have the solution they are looking for. What a powerful way to grab their attention and make them want to spend more time on your website!
Your site's content needs to be easy to read and digest. Use what marketing and copywriting expert Bill Glazer refers to as the “double readership path”.
In addition to your short paragraphs and simple sentences devoid of complex language, add key elements to your content that will allow “skimmers” to get the message you are trying to convey even if they don't read it all. These include key sentences in bold text and italics, headlines, subheadlines, relevant images with strong copywriting in the captions, and so on.
Make your site's navigation structure simple and intuitive. Put yourself in your site visitor's shoes. Review your site as if you were a first-time visitor. Ask yourself as objectively as possible if your website provides a pleasant, uncomplicated user experience. Make changes as needed as you attempt to make your answer to this question an enthusiastic “Yes!”.
Also, if you want to keep visitors on your site longer, don't distract them with anything that would direct their thoughts, or their clicks, away from your site. Don't make the mistake many website owners make by putting lots of affiliate links and Google ads on their sites. They often end driving traffic away from their website, because they've given visitors so many enticing options for other places to navigate.
How To Get Visitors To Return To Your Site...Often!
So you've gotten a steady flow of traffic, and you've succeeded in getting them to stay around a little while. Wouldn't it be great if you could now get them to come back and visit your corner of the Internet on a regular basis?
You can. By doing so, you have more chances to sell them your products. If you are a consultant or professional service provider, you give yourself more opportunities to persuade them to call you for an appointment.
So how can you get them to return on a regular basis? By using a proven, tested tool, email marketing. A lot of marketers have had great success using it to help them build a thriving business. You can too. You can use it to get previous visitors to return to your website again and again.
Here's a way you can combine email marketing with your blog to attract repeat visitors: when you publish a new blog entry, send a notice to your email list members. Put the first few sentences of your oh-so fascinating blog entry in the email in order to “hook” readers into wanting to read the whole thing. But here's the catch: if they want to finish it, they have to visit your website.
In all of your email marketing messages, your success depends a lot on a critical piece of the email marketing puzzle – your subject line. Your subject line has to grab your potential reader's attention and make him want to click through and read more. This article gives tips on marketing message titles, tips that apply directly to email marketing subject line success.
The Ultimate Goal
So why do you want more traffic? Why do you want visitors to spend more time on your site? Why do you want them to visit your site again and again?
Ultimately, the answer to all three of these questions is because you want more sales. Reaching the point where you have robust traffic flow that spends time on your site and returns on a regular basis is going to take a lot of work.
And wouldn't it be frustrating to put in all that time and effort and repeatedly lose sale after sale at the most crucial point of the conversion process? The point where visitors are making that often stressful decision to take the leap from shopper to customer?
You want all of the “links” in your marketing chain to be strong, especially at the point of sale. This is why you want your landing pages to rock! You want and need a landing page that will enhance, not detract, from your sales efforts.
You want the easy-to-set-up landing page platform from Lander. Just take a look at what we offer online marketers like you:
- Advanced A/B testing capability – helps you fine-tune your marketing campaigns, so you can enjoy greater and greater results
- Intuitive, easy-to-use editor – saves you much time, effort and frustration compared to trying to set up a landing page “the old-fashioned way”
- Built-in video support – 52% of consumers say online video makes them more confident in buying decisions
- Google Maps integration – a very useful tool if you run a local retail store
We could go on and on; this list of features and benefits barely begins to scratch the surface of what Lander can do for you.
Here's something you'll love: you can try Lander out for free with no obligation!
Got questions? We have answers, and we'd love to visit with you!