So, you want more traffic?
In this article I’ll go over
- my thoughts on what most marketers overlook– content creation
- tactics you can use to drive more traffic
- how to build a marketing plan that drives REAL results
Inbound Marketing isn’t sexy, but do you want longterm results?
A lot of marketers focus on Facebook ads and other paid marketing channels, but they leave quality content creation on the back burner.
Inbound marketing isn’t as ‘sexy’ as paid ads: it costs a lot of upfront to create great content, but done right it can drive results for the long-hall.
If you want REAL traffic for the long haul you’re best bet is creating great content.
With paid ads, you put money in and that’s it. If done right, content is an investment that keeps on driving traffic for months, if not years to come.
Do you want to generate targeted traffic without spending money on ads that drives results? Well, if so, inbound marketing could be an incredibly valuable asset to growing your business online.
Case Study: I worked with Furnishr, a home-furnishing startup, and after three months utilizing some of the inbound marketing tactics below I was able to drive a 43x increase new leads per month coming from inbound traffic.
Now that you’re thinking about content, let’s talk about your audience.
Be Selective About What You Post
Your content is not just suppose to drive visitors, it’s suppose to drive customers.
You want to be posting content that adds true value to your target audience life.
Who is your target audience?
In the case of this blog I’m targeting funded startups and small to medium sized businesses who want to grow their traffic and revenue. That being said, in every post I should be trying to add value to those people.
The goal would be for me to provide content that is so compelling and so valuable that my target audience would reach out and hire me to do consulting and or marketing execution for them.
Now let’s talk about some real techniques for growing traffic.
You need to blog consistently if you want to grow traffic. It’s been confirmed over and over again by Noah Kagan, Kiss Metrics, and many other marketing giants.
You need to set a schedule. Whether it’s once per week or twice per week or once a month, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are consistently blogging.
Lindsay Kolowich at the HubSpot blog found that: “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.”
Lindsay Kolowich also found that: “Companies that had published 401+ blog posts in total got about twice as much traffic as companies that published 301 – 400 blog posts.”
Write Longer Blog Posts
Google favors great content. Both Noah Kagan at OkDork.com and Peep Laja at Fizzle.co have found the longer content wins. Part of what helped Peep Leja grow the Conversion XL blog to 50,000 in one month was writing posts that were 2,700 to 3,000 words. Noah Kagan found that same was true when he grew his blog to 100,000 visitors in less then a year.
Comment on Other Industry Blogs
Blog commenting can be incredibly effective at driving a few thousands extra visitors a month. With every blog comment you write you shouldn’t be thinking about it as an exercise to drive traffic, but instead an exercise to add value online.
If you engage with other peoples content, give them feedback, and offer value, then they will want to check out your site. Inbound marketing should be about helping people. You don’t want to spam your links across in comments instead you want to provide real value.
To see significant results with blog commenting you generally have to comment on hundreds of blog posts. When I’m working with clients I suggest that if they want to see an increase of 1,000 visitors per month from blog comments they post at least 200 blog comments a month for 2 to 3 months.
When blog commenting what I like to do is find posts that are 24 hours to one week old. These posts are brand new and by commenting as one of the 1st commenters your comment will get seen more.
Another way to find blog posts in your niche that have a high likelihood of driving traffic is by targeting blog posts that rank in 1st for long tail keywords in your niche. These blog posts are likely to be less crowded with blog comments then the posts that rank for short tail keywords.
Since there are less comments on the blog posts that show up in search for long tail keywords your comment will probably be seen more often. This of course isn’t always true, but for the most part I’ve found that it works well.
Message Relevant People on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
An easy way to get your content shared by influencers is to reach out to them. If you want to get your content shared you should be actively sharing other content from people in your niche.
Try to find five to ten people in the given niche and share those people’s content consistently. Tweet at them. Build relationships with them. After a few weeks of sharing their content and engaging with their posts, then go ahead direct message or email them.
Another way to get influencers to share your content is by mentioning and or tagging them when you share content. It sounds to simple, right? Really it works though. For this to work your content has to be relevant and of real value to them.
For example, once I publish this post, I will tweet it at several people in the marketing industry that I think would really enjoy the article. I will try to tweet it to five to ten people per day for one week.
It’s important to personalize your message each time when tag or mention someone. You want to show them that you know their audience and specifically thought their audience would benefit from the content your sharing with them.
Post Valuable Content on Online Forums
The number one rule about blog commenting and forum posting is adding value.
I know have said this already, but it is so important that to help people.
That image above is from a thread created by G_Alexander on The Fastlane Forums.
G_Alexander adds a ton of value to the forum by documenting his journey to building up a 6-figure income, purchasing apartment buildings, and launching two different businesses.
Great forum content has the potential to send your site tens of thousands of visitors. A quick tip is to add your website link in your signature.
Hire an Inbound Marketer
Hiring a freelance content writer and or inbound marketer is actually pretty affordable.
You can find some pretty damn good inbound marketers for just $500 to $2,000 per month on UpWork and Freelancer. Look for marketers who can show you past results they achieved.
It doesn’t really matter if they worked for one well-known client, if they don’t have results they can show you that’s a bad sign.
As for hiring a content writer I usually go find articles I like and make a list of the people who wrote them. Then I contact all of those writers asking if they are available for hire and if so I schedule a call to speak a bit about the client’s project.
The one caveat to hiring an inbound marketer is that if you have never done inbound marketing before and you lack the skills to know exactly how to direct them or measure their results, then hiring lower end inbound marketers probably are not worth while.
The same rings true for hiring a virtual assitant to do marketing related tasks. If you don’t have a good marketing strategy then spending money on either a virtual assitant and or a UpWork or Freelancer.com inbound marketer is probably not going to be worth it.
For startups or small companies with proven marketing strategy: if you are on a budget you can hire a virtual assitant and teach them how to execute each marketing task. To teach a virtual assitant what I like to do is too use Screen-o-matic to record them live video walk through of how to perform specific marketing tasks like blog commenting and or forum posting. Once they understand how to do a given task they can do it and while you had to spend the initial time teaching them you may have saved thousands of dollars on hiring an experienced inbound marketer.
Create Video Content
If you want to drive a lot more traffic from Youtube you really have to do a lot of worth, but overtime that traffic can be worthwhile. Great video content helps show that you are article, thoughtful, and demonstrates you are an expert in your given field.
Alex Berman does a great job demonstrating his authority as a cold emailer on Youtube and while his videos are not getting a ton of views they are driving leads to his agency. Alex says on his podcast that Youtube has been high quality source of inbound leads for his company Experiment27.
Repurpose Your Content
If you want to build traffic quickly it’s important to post repurpose your content.
Use Medium.com. Use Quora. Use Reddit.
Share you content widely and respond to every commenter.
Thank every person who shares your content. Be available.
Leverage Your Network
There are a ton of ways to leverage the connections you have built in college, through a jobs you’ve worked at, or an industry events you’ve attended. The deal is we all to some degree have a network of people, companies, and organizations that we have build relationships with.
Sit down and in spreadsheet write a list of all the people, companies, and organizations you can think of whom might benefit from hearing about your site. This could the alumni relations network at your college, it could be an old boss your friends with, it could be executive at another company in your industry, etc…
Now that you’ve got the list of contacts written down the question you’re probably asking is, “what do I email these people?”
Well, it’s different person to person of course, but you want send them an email and kindly share with them what your up-to.
Make a Marketing Checklist
While it’s great that I’ve written a ton of tactics you can use to drive traffic, but it means nothing if you can’t them to work. To actually get up to 10,000 visitors per month we have to work backwards. This is where creating a marketing checklist comes in. Go to create an excel sheet and divide it into weekly columns. Click here, you can use this template that I’ve created.
For each week you should have listed out all the marketing activities you’re going to be doing. Also I like to write a small estimation of how much traffic you think each activity will drive. I’m a real fan of the 10x Rule by Grant Cardone and I usually like to take some of my marketing techniques and 10x the effort I put in assuming that this my goals are 10x harder then they actually are to achieve. Later on using Google Analytics you can figure out how much traffic each activities actually drove.
After you’ve completed your 1st week of your marketing checklist you should have a good idea about which activities are driving the most traffic. You can now adjust your weekly activities to continue to dial down on the the most effective ones.
After two weeks of marketing utilizing your the marketing checklist you should be able to dial down even further on what’s working and what’s not. Now is the time that I like to begin to scale things up.
10x all your marketing activities!
No, not really, but it is time to sit down and write a 90 day marketing plan.
Once again, let’s say the goal is to grow to 10,000 monthly visitors.
Now that you have some data from the 1st two weeks of marketing, I like to breakdown what tasks I need to do each month to hit my target of 10K visits per month. Then I break those three months down into what activities I need to complete each week, and then finally I write down which tasks can be outsourced, automated, and or delegated.
Moving forward it’s pretty simple. You should have incredible plan (if you don’t you, you can always hire me to make you one) and now you can begin executing! Everyday you should be watching your Google Analytics Data and measuring the effectiveness of each of your marketing activities so you can continually choose to do the highest value activities.
If you want to grow your traffic you need to be calculated. You need to use data. There are a ton of different tactics, but it’s all about figuring out what works for your specific niche.
That’s done by determining your target audience, making assumption about what they respond too, and where they hangout on the web, and then testing those assumptions.
If you liked to sharing it would be appreciated!
What are your favorite methods for driving high quality traffic?
Comment to let me know.