Imagine this: Your client is a brand new B2C company that generates all their revenue from online sales. We’ll call this business ‘Soaps and Stuff’. They have their site up and running, but they didn’t consult an SEO specialist during the design process and they don’t have any marketing strategies in place. They’ve noticed that they aren’t showing up in organic search results, and they want YOU to help them get traffic to this new website. Now all you have to do is learn how to get traffic to a new website…
In the first scenario, we’ll pretend they’re looking for quick sales to compensate for the cost of the website. In scenario two, they have the time to invest in long-term strategies that will build their brand’s reputation and ensure they pop up for plenty of search queries. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the different tactics to deal with each of these scenarios, including cost, time needed, tools to utilize and how ROI can be measured. Now, let’s get ‘Soaps and Stuff’ on the map!
Scenario 1: Quick Results
Before we get into the ‘quick results’ section, keep in mind that not all website traffic is high-quality website traffic. You can be pretty sure that paid ads will bring in the right people to your site, but you need a conversion-worthy landing page to bring in the big bucks. SEO, social media and content marketing ensure you have an inventory of media for long-term sustenance. Take this quote from Forbes:
“Think of it like buying seeds to grow your own vegetables versus buying the vegetables directly from the store; with the right time and care, your garden will return far more riches to your initial investments, but sometimes you need a shortcut to tide you over.”
With that in mind, you’ll need a combination of ‘quick revenue’ tactics and long-term reputation building strategies to attract visitors to the ‘Soaps and Stuff’ website.
It may feel demeaning, but cold calls and ‘spam emails’ can be one of the best ways to draw immediate traffic to your site. To avoid the ‘spam-y’ reputation, you can target/segment your emails by demographic/conversion path and get users to voluntarily sign up for a newsletter.
When you’re starting out, you may not have the traffic to build up much of an email list, but you can always use programs like Nimble (a CRM) to find potential customers. You can also partner with other companies for a giveaway. For ‘Soaps and Stuff’, you might reach out to other beauty product companies in your area and pool money for a tempting giveaway. Then, reach out to a larger company that’s a part of the same industry and ask if your giveaway can be added to their newsletter. When users sign up for the contest, they’re automatically added to the mailing list for all participating parties. You can be sure that those receiving your emails are interested in your niche industry.
We recommend cold calls more for B2B businesses, but you should always do some research about who you’re calling before you make the call. If you’re a website development agency, point out some critical errors you noticed on their site. Or, ask if you can send them an audit that you drafted up. There are plenty of free audit tools out there, like Seoptimer. We’ll go more in-depth about site audits in the next section.
It’s also important to use emails for retargeting. Cart abandonment emails are one of the best ways to bring high-intent customers back to your site to complete the conversion. You can check out our guide to ecommerce website development that covers effective cart abandonment email templates! Best of all, you can automate your emails to cut down on costs. Lower-cost marketing automation platforms like Autopilot and Hatchbuck would be an ideal option for smaller businesses. ‘Soaps and Stuff’ could benefit from bi-weekly automated emails covering the promotions they’re offering. Once you’ve got a hefty email database compiled, you’re next step is to automate emails.
- Cost: Autopilot pricing starts at $20/mo (full price list here), Nimble starts at $10/mo (full price list here) and Hatchbuck starts out at $89/mo (full price list here)
- Time needed: 30 minutes drafting email template
- Tools to use: Nimble, Hatchbuck or Autopilot
- Measuring ROI: Google Analytics email tracking code
Think about this: If you went into a store that had slow lines and incorrect sign information, would you be impressed? Or would you flee to a competitor? The same theoretical can be applied your website. If your site takes forever to load and has a ton of site errors, people are going to bounce from your website. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to check the current load time of your site on mobile and desktop.
In addition to deterring visitors, slow load time and site errors bring down your search engine rankings. Completing a site audit can help you check for these errors. You’ll want to be especially wary of robots.txt errors. This file can be used to prevent crawlers from crawling and indexing pages on your site that you want hidden from public view. These might include admin pages. What you have to watch out for is when these files are accidentally applied to pages that you do want to be indexed. If you’re consistently uploading content to your site and aren’t seeing results from your efforts, the robots.txt file might be to blame.
There are several other site errors, like image size, that could be causing low traffic, so conduct a complete audit. If image size is slowing you down, you can use any of these tools to compress and optimize the images on your website. With SEMrush’s site audit tool, we’re able to conduct quick site audits that break down the site’s crawlability and performance.
- Cost: SEMrush is available for as low as $100/mo (other pricing options here)
- Time needed: 30 minutes to run audit
- Tools to use: SEMrush site audit tool
- Measuring ROI: Google Analytics
Paid advertising is a monster of a topic that requires more in-depth information. We’ve provided these helpful blog posts to get you started and to help perfect your current campaign:
- Digital Advertising 101: AdWords, Bing, LinkedIn and Twitter
- Hiring a Google AdWords Consultant
- AdWords Tips from a Digital Marketing Agency in Kansas City
- Internet Ads and Internet Marketing in Kansas City
Scenario 2: A Time Investment
Time investment tactics can take weeks (or even months) to come to fruition, but they’re well worth it. If you run them in conjunction with our ‘quick result’ tactics, your website traffic is sure to flourish!
Social Media Marketing
We wrote a blog post on ‘The Future of Digital Marketing’ and covered a hot-button issues within the article: Net Neutrality. The topic was trending on Twitter because of a recent vote on the issue, so there were plenty of people searching the phrase. We went through the tweets that included the #NetNeutrality hashtag and targeted those with the highest engagement rates.
By showing our support for Net Neutrality within the comments section and including a link to our article (a relevant piece to the topic), we were able to garner 4,685 impressions, 18 detail expands and 7 retweets. All from one comment! Piggy-backing off a bigger influencer and targeting trending keywords are necessary for an effective social media marketing strategy.
Since ‘Soaps and Stuff’ is a B2C scenario, we’re going to target Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Pinterest and Instagram because they’re visual-based platforms (we’re selling a product, not a service) and Facebook because it’s the most widely-used social platform out there. We’ll focus on Pinterest for now since it’s the platform marketers struggle with the most.
Because Pinterest has more female users and the soap industry’s target market is going to be women, Pinterest is ideal. You should create Pinterest boards that relate to the content published on your website and target keywords within the descriptions. These boards might correspond with your product offerings. For ‘Soaps and Stuff’, you might have separate boards for bar soaps, liquid soaps, detergent, etc. These tactics will help you get the most ROI for your pins:
- Using the board description to throw in keywords and a call-to-action.
- Promoting pins.
- Using high-quality photos of the product and keeping some consistency (ie: similar background or filter) to help with branding.
- Including product description information, like price and color options.
Setting up your Pinterest account is just as important as how you maintain it. According to this article from Elegant Themes, your Pinterest company profile name should be your business name+ a keyword. In our case, it would be ‘Ontarget Interactive Digital Marketing’. Within the ‘about’ section of your company page, you should include a call-to-action (visit our online store!). Make sure your account is verified so it will show up in the search engine results.
Besides drawing traffic to your site from your own Pinterest account, you can draw added traffic from those who are already on your site. Implement a ‘Pin It’ button on your website images to make it easy for users to share interesting content through their own Pinterest account. You can download the ‘Pin it’ button here. You’ll have the option to select different ‘Pin it’ images or create a custom image button that appears on the corner of your website images.
Other Pinterest best practices include:
- Adding a watermark to your visuals to ensure they aren’t stolen and you receive credit
- Using 2:3 aspect ratios on your image, since Pinterest is optimized for taller images
- Pin infographics
- Try to incorporate text overlays and step-by-step instructions (ie: ‘how to’ images)
- Relay images back to your website (modify the source)
- Repin other people’s stuff
- Incorporate rich pins (shows pricing and has direct link to website’s product page)
Another great thing about rich pins is that they send out email notifications when the price drops for your pin (‘read-time pricing feature’). It can be a good strategic decision to pin a product right before a major clearance event.
Content marketing brings in users to your website by establishing the company as an expert in their respective topic. People want to visit the website to access content that entertains or informs. Content can include blogs, eBooks, videos, podcasts and infographics.
In September, we wrote a blog post on the Best Social Media Accounts in Kansas City. Let me tell you why we chose this topic. For one, we knew that businesses with the best social media accounts would 1) be active on social media and see that we gave them a shout-out and 2) feel flattered enough to share our post (after all, the one sharing is the one who’s receiving the compliment!).
We chose to target Kansas City to help build our brand recognition in the city. We also chose KC because we were familiar with these social media accounts and the businesses that ran them. This topic also allowed us to show off our own social media expertise by pointing out all the things these businesses did right and how we could help others replicate their tactics.
Within hours, all four of the businesses/organizations we highlighted had either shared, liked, or commented on our blog post. That month, it earned our site 507 page views and had 266 social shares. Plus, the average time on page was 4 minutes and 41 seconds—a pretty good score! We knew that people were landing on the page, and we were able to utilize Lucky Orange to track which parts intrigued viewers the most. Part of the website traffic came from businesses who wanted to know whether they had made the list of ‘best social media accounts in Kansas City’. A good portion of it though came from the fact that we shared on our social media accounts and tagged all the businesses that were featured.
Think about how this tactic might apply to our ‘Soaps and Stuff’ scenario. If their brand is focused on clean and healthy ingredients, you might do a blog post on ‘5 Kansas City Businesses with the Cleanest Ingredients’. You could list ‘Soaps and Stuff’ as one of the top 5, and be sure to give a shout-out to the businesses receiving the recognition on social media. If you don’t receive a response, you can try emailing the business directly and giving them a heads up.
Not only would you be making connections with others in your industry, but you’re drawing in traffic to your website. And not just any old traffic either—people who are interested in businesses that boast healthy ingredients! You might even reach out to local (or non-local) magazines that would be interested in sharing your article. The worst they can do is say no! Avoid being too spam-y though; If they act uninterested or don’t reply, take them off your contact list.
Side Note: One of our blog posts on ‘The Top KC Startups’ landed us a backlink from the startup’s press release page! This means more traffic to our site and boosted SEO. Target businesses that have a ‘press releases’ page on their website.
- Cost: Most bloggers bill at $115/hour. For a high-quality blog post (1,500 words), you’re looking at 4 hours of work ($460).
- Time needed: Blogs can be done in about 4 hours, and social sharing takes about 30 minutes.
- Tools to use: Upwork if you’re looking for a contractor to write your posts and Lucky Orange to receive a real-time recording of user interaction on your site. SumoMe for easy social media sharing.
- Measuring ROI: Google Analytics. Keep in mind that ROI may be difficult to measure. This tactic is great for increasing brand recognition.
We created a quiz (using the WP Quiz plug-in) that drew in 898 visitors and received 149 social media shares. The personality quiz, titled ‘Which KC Bar is Your Match Made in Heaven?’, took into consideration factors like price range, environment preferences and location to determine which KC bar was the quiz taker’s perfect match. We included a brief description of the venue to give users a better feel for the place once their perfect match was revealed. At the end of the article, we also threw in links to each of the result options and a map with Google reviews.
Mini Google Maps with reviews can be added by going to Google Maps, typing in the name of the business, hitting ‘share’, hitting ‘embed map’, and copying the link to the HTML code of your post. You can also choose what size you want the map to be. This could also be used for business feature blog posts.
We took a page from BuzzFeed and focused on what types of content performed best. We knew personality quizzes played into our natural narcissism, and we knew that people visiting Kansas City might like to find out which bar they should visit while in town. A couple of the mentioned bars shared our quiz, and people were excited to share their results with others on social media. A cool aspect of the plug-in is that it provides buttons within the results box to share your results on social media. It’s essential to make social sharing easy for users.
‘Soaps and Stuff’ could use the WP Quiz plug-in to create personality quizzes about ‘Which Autumn-Themed Soap is Your Perfect Match’ or a Quiz testing the user’s ability to identify smells. Beneath the quiz, they could include links to the different soap result options and a brief description of price and size. Interlinking within a website is a great way to spread link juices and keep a user on your site. Ultimately, you want these quizzes to results in a conversion. Keep ROI in mind while strategizing content marketing.
Side note: We recommend the SumoMe Share App, a tool which makes it easy for people to share posts, schedule posts for sharing later, and send over email. It also shows how many people have shared on each platform, giving added legitimacy to your post.
- Cost: The SumeMe plug-in is free, and it will cost about $115 if you want to outsource someone to create the quiz.
- Time needed: Quizzes take anywhere from an hour to two hours to complete using the plug-in. Sharing on social media takes about 30 minutes.
- Tools to use: SumoMe Share App, Google Maps, WP Quiz Plug-in
- Measuring ROI: Google Analytics
We implemented a Midwest Business Spotlight to bring marketing directors and business owners together for mingling, backlinks, interviews and a WINE TASTING. This monthly event allowed us to meet marketing directors (potential leads) and interview them about their business, marketing process and products they’re currently promoting. We would draft up an article from the interview and send it back to them for final approval. Once we had the go-ahead, we would add it to our website and share the article on social media.
The businesses would normally share through their social channels as well, bringing in extra traffic to our website. On top of that, we began ranking for their brand names! This Spotlight for the Kauffman Center has brought in dozens of visitors just from search alone. Interviews are a great way to connect with leaders in your industry, and you can even pitch your product or service during the interview!
‘Soaps and Stuff’ could draw users to their site by interviewing influencers in their industry and posting the interview on their site. If they wanted to make it a series, they could do monthly interviews and give it a name like ‘Clean Talk from Soaps and Stuff’. These interviews could even be recorded for podcasts. Consider dangling a carrot to get influencers and potential leads through your door. Our carrot was a wine tasting and the promise of a backlink, but ‘Soaps and Stuff’ might offer a free sample of their product.
Use Buzzsumo’s influencer search tool to find the people you should interview. You’ll be able to search by specific keywords and view stats by each influencer. These stats include influencer’s reach, retweet ratios and reply ratios. You can also search for micro-influencers by filtering influencer type to ‘Regular People’. Plus, you can look specifically for journalists or bloggers in your niche.
If you want to get a mix of reach and engagement results, you can sort results based on authority. Once you’ve identified the people that you want to interview, send out emails requesting a meeting. Or if you choose to go the event route, an invitation to the event. Make sure the invitation looks professional and is personalized. You can even use a site like evite if you need help with the template.
- Cost: Buzzsumo (pricing options here)
- Time needed: 1 hour for an interview, 30 minutes for draft updates/upload, 30 minutes for sharing on social media
- Tools to use: Buzzsumo Influencer Search and evite
- Measuring ROI: Google Analytics
Bonus tip: For stellar headlines, consider asking questions, inducing curiosity, using lists, creating a sense of urgency, triggering an emotion, using power words and emphasizing the value a reader will gain from your content. Also, use shorter paragraphs (under 6 lines) to make the read easier for your content marketing pieces. Regularly sift through your content to see what can be kept, improved, consolidated and removed.
The main things you want to look for on your site is whether it’s 1) scalable 2) crawlable and 3) tiered. SEO is an incredibly broad topic, so we recommend these blog posts to get a more in-depth look at what it is and what measures you can put in place to achieve optimal search rankings.
- eCommerce Development: Contact Fields, SEO and Platform Options
- 15 SEO Tips to Get Your Balls in the Right Pocket
- 4 Kansas City SEO Tips to Boost Your Ranking
- How Schema Markups and Rich Snippets Can Drive Traffic
- Kansas City SEO Basics
- Using Your Franchise Website for Local SEO
- Affordable Search Engine Optimization
Google Analytics is a tool that lets you see how many unique visitors you had (within any specific time frame), how many pageviews you received, how many pages each person visited, a user’s average time on site, bounce rate, traffic sources (direct, search and referral), and which pages users exited from. This information can be used to see where there’s room for improvement and which demographics you should be targeting for conversions. If you’re not sure how to get traffic to a new website but you’re trying out our tactics, you can use this tool to measure efficiency.