A website is all well and good, but people need to see it. Even more than that, the people that are likely to convert into customers need to see it. Ensuring you get quality traffic to your website is business-critical, then – but how do you do it?
Digital marketing offers a number of tools that can help improve the quality of traffic your website attracts. From identifying target keywords to developing content strategies, you can take charge of your website’s user profile – and start to make real differences to your conversion rates.
There are four key means of achieving better traffic, and at their most basic levels, they involve organic traffic, paid ads, social media and content writing. Let’s go through each in turn.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
>Tried and tested, search engine optimisation is the suite of techniques that digital marketers employ to ensure that each search engine lists a given website advantageously – that is, puts it in front of the right searchers.
Search results are arrived at by complex algorithms. These consider a range of different factors in order to return the most relevant websites for given target keywords. SEO is about tweaking your website so that it appeals to those algorithms.
From incorporating target keywords in website copy and image alt tags to using the best navigation structures and latest accessibility features, building a website that is informed by the latest search engine optimisation techniques is absolutely essential to ensuring good organic listings on Google, Bing and the rest.
Another acronym, PPC stands for “Pay Per Click” and covers the range of options open to a business that wants to supplement their organic marketing efforts with paid-for advertisements.
Google is well known for offering paid-for advertising, especially its search ads. Businesses bid a certain cost-per-click for given target keywords. If that bid is sufficient, then their ad will appear in the search results for those keywords. Although usually more costly than SEO, it can be a great way to increase visibility and site traffic in a short space of time!
Facebook, Twitter and other services also provide PPC advertising options and are only increasing in popularity – especially now that people have so much more time to spend on social media.
The power of social media is that it is primarily user-driven: you can pay for your content to appear in people’s feeds … but users will always trust content more if they see their friends sharing it.
That means you should harness your customer base and encourage it to share your content. If they enjoy your products and services, they may well want to tell their friends. Offer them content that is attractive, useful and most of all relevant – this will make it even more likely to be shared.
Equally, offer discounts and rewards for social sharing: a ‘refer a friend’ bonus, for example, or a special reduced rate on a purchase if the customer also shares the product to Facebook. These “organic” social media posts will go a long way to spreading the word about your business.
Digital marketers use this term to describe a method of attracting customers by providing content for free. This might be text, imagery, video or audio – the key is that customers should want to engage with it.
Think free blogs and podcasts, a YouTube channel or an Instagram account. Businesses have found all sorts of creative ways to build communities online using great content. Often this content doesn’t directly sell a product or service, but instead shares stories and expertise with an audience that forms around a shared interest – and will form bonds of trust with your brand, too.
Search engines reward regular content; social media accounts are powered by it. That makes content marketing, not just an end in itself – one which converts users more surely than any paid ad – but a channel which also supports all the other work of your digital marketers.
These are just four of many pillars for digital marketing: search engine optimisation, paid advertising, social media and content marketing. One can be more effective than the other – depending on a multitude of factors including your industry and your location. That is why the most important tip is to do your research and develop a strategy that is carefully tailored to your needs.
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