Everything begins with web traffic, people seeking and visiting your website. It is simultaneously the most difficult and most mystical part of digital marketing.
Launching a new website in no way guarantees web traffic.
Most websites on the Internet get nearly zero visits per day. Contrary to popular belief web traffic does not come without active marketing and promotion. There’s no magical freeway with millions of customers whizzing by, ready to visit your website as soon as it pops-up.
Generating lead generating web traffic requires a disciplined formula to research, generate, measure, and optimize web traffic. These activities might look something like this:
- Keyword Research – Use SEMRush or Moz to research your keywords, looking for the most popular keyword searches in your market and possibly some overlooked, highly specific gems perfect for your business. You also want to research and discover your online competitors for these terms–looking for ways to navigate (waste money) these highly competitive spaces, at least initially.
- Traffic Acquisition Strategy – Armed with a knowledge of what people are looking for and how they search for your products and services, it’s time to develop your traffic acquisition strategy. For this I typically use a combination of organic (combining content and SEO) and paid (combining content and PPC) strategies to gain traction as quickly as possible.
- Organic Traffic Generation – I like to begin my traffic strategy with the organic or search engine optimized design because it requires a complete and organized set of content, which can be re-used for my paid traffic generation. In my experience, the best way to begin this process is to create a series of ‘guides,’ focused on helping people through common problems or pain points your business addresses. These guides should consist of a top-level page overviewing the larger concept and then linking to a variety of supporting, more specific content providing deeper detail or specific case studies.
- Paid Traffic Generation – Once your organic traffic generation content architecture is in place you can start to layer in your paid traffic strategy. Typically this consist of Adwords keyword campaigns to specific guide pages, matching specific keywords to corresponding highly relevant, detail oriented pages. In addition, I like to begin a series of content distribution campaigns, using OutBrain, Taboola, Reddit, and other like publishers, where I can buy positions and impressions in places relevant to the audience I am trying to attract.
- Measure and Evaluate Traffic – Sometimes in the excitement to build out our content and paid campaigns we forget that we’re trying to attract people to our brands, not just a lot of traffic. That’s why it’s critical to make sure that you have tools in place to measure and evaluate your web traffic, before you begin driving any significant traffic to your website. This can be as simple as Google Analytics or as sophisticated as Kissmetrics or Mixpanel, but make sure you have these tools installed and properly optimized to bring you clear insight into what traffic and traffic sources are yielding you the most value.
- Optimize Traffic – Once you begin gathering web traffic, you need to begin to immediately sift through it looking for the right traffic. This means reviewing the sources of traffic and the behavior of the visitors from each channel to zero in on the combination that brings you the best visitors. One of the simplest, and most underutilized ways to do this is by using Google Analytics Goals to identify optimal behavior on your website.
Once you’ve identified productive traffic sources and behavior, the next challenge is to acquire more of the most profitable traffic.
Here are some of the most common ways that I scale traffic and leads:
- If I notice that my best traffic is coming from organic search engine results (keywords), then I will begin to build out more logical content around that profitable keyword. These additional pages, carefully cross-linked and indexed on your website, will continue to increase the density of content around this profitable keyword–yielding more related search engine positions and resulting traffic.
- If I notice that my best traffic is coming for my paid search or content distribution channels then scaling requires a combination of optimizing the bids on your current keywords or placements and searching for other similar pockets of keyword or content placement traffic on which to bid. It isn’t quite as simple just buying more of the same.
- If I notice a certain path or behavior on my website producing quality lead flow then I will begin to test shortening the path or optimizing the behavior. I use Google Analytics Goals to look for revenue generating paths and CrazyEgg to look for strong behaviors that I can monetize.
As you can see acquiring traffic and leads is more of a formula–requiring the right mix of critical elements to generate the perfect chemistry for a promising compound.
What will be your next lead traffic experiment?
For more information on generating traffic and leads: Download my Growth Hacking ebook.