Updated: Apr 23
Increasing traffic is the most important aspect of your website. But don't focus on just any traffic, it should be the right traffic that will lead to sales and the ultimate growth of your business. I’ve seen companies increase sales year over year, even though they had a dip of 50% less traffic to their website. This was because they focused on their target customer and their top converting sales channels, rather than just focusing on getting as much traffic to their site as possible. They overcame the dip in traffic because they focused on their customer and their needs.
Before you focus on getting traffic to your site, as you know, there are numerous ways you can launch a website. If you know how to code you can build one from scratch or you can use one of the many platforms available. These platforms are great for the average user because they don’t require design or coding knowledge. Some top sites include Wix, WordPress, Shopify, and BigCommerce.
Shopify was launched in 2006. It is an e-commerce platform that allows you to quickly launch your business online. Since every business is unique they provide website templates so you don’t need to know how to code. They have thousands of apps and features built by 3rd part developers to customize your store.
BigCommerce launched in 2009 and is another website builder that provides e-commerce tools for retailers. It allows retailers to scale their business with strong SEO support. You will likely be comparing this to Shopify to find out which platform is right for you. Overall the pros for BigCommerce are they have an incredible amount of built-in sales features and no transaction fees according to their website.
Wix was founded in 2006 and it provides customizable website templates that allow people with no coding experience to drag and drop copy, images, videos, etc on their site.
WordPress is an open-source platform that is known for its extensions and plug-ins. It also requires you to find a web host and install it on your own. It's likely you'll be comparing this against Wix. WordPress allows you to create large sites but requires more technical know-how than Wix does.
How Can you Get Traffic to your Website?
Start with your Ideal Customer.
Whether you’re just starting out or you have been in business a while it’s critical to get the right traffic to your store. Not just anyone will do! Be sure you know who your ideal customer is or who they should be. If you’re not sure where to start, read my post and download my free template: Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Buyer Personas (+ Free Templates).
Get to Know the Marketing Funnel
Now that you know who your ideal customer is or should be: let’s discuss the marketing funnel. In its simplest form, it is broken down into awareness, intent, purchase, and loyalty. Each part of the funnel requires a different strategy and customers can move from various parts of the funnel in an organic way.
On average, a person is exposed to 5,000 ads per day. That’s a lot. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a strategy and a plan upfront so you don’t get stuck focusing on tactics and messages that don’t drive value for your business. Or worse yet, using tactics and messages that just confuse your customer.
If you’re not sure where to get started read my post on Quick Guide to Launching a Successful Marketing Campaign. Or contact Tenth Man Marketing today to get help on building a plan that works for your needs.
"An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing"
My favorite quote from Dale Carnegie is “An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.” This is so true in the marketing world. Be sure you build the right plan before you start focusing on social posts, content, and SEO to drive traffic to your website. It will save you so much time.
Now that you have a plan, Let’s start with how to drive more traffic to your website or store.
If you’ve just launched your site, ideally you should focus on awareness and letting as many people as possible (in your target market) know about your company with the hope they will visit your website.
There are 2 metrics when launching a company or product - reach and frequency. Reach is exactly what it says, how many people you reach with your message. Frequency means how many times someone is exposed to your message.
You should focus on frequency if you're launching anything. Why? Because overall, it takes 8+ interactions before someone can recall your company, service, or product. And it can take 8+ interactions with a social post, or content piece before someone even visits your website.
I'm reminded of a time my daughter was 4 and we kept hearing a radio ad for a specific type of coconut water on the drive to daycare every morning. It took a few weeks, but the ad was so consistent, and the messaging was so powerful that my daughter wanted to try coconut water. She asked for it every day until we bought some. And it had to be that brand. So while this was the radio and not online, it shows the power of selecting the right channel, the power of the consistency and the power of frequency of the message.
While you will need to monitor your website and channel metrics to see how much traffic you're driving, you should focus your initial plan on frequency overall. That means selecting the top channels your target audience interacts with, and then building out a communication plan to ensure you are repeating your message at least 8 times or more in each channel.
Once people get to your site you should be monitoring your conversion rate (as a whole for your site and by channel), bounce rate, top products/ number of leads, and average order value.
Areas you can work on to drive traffic to your site: SEO, content, social.
If You've Had a Website for More than a Year:
If you already have a website, but you’re seeing a drop off in sales or traffic, avoid trying to fix things until you have pinpointed the potential cause. You should conduct SWOT analysis & look at your reporting to figure out potential issues/ causes.
I’ve spoken to numerous businesses who don’t look at their reporting because they don’t know what to do with it.
Start with a SWOT analysis
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Strengths and weaknesses are key internal items about your business, products, and services. Be honest and write a list of the key strengths and weaknesses of your business. They can be in any area of your business.
Opportunities and threats are key external items that can impact your business. Is the market suddenly saturated with competitors, did Google just update their algorithm and you saw a drop in search traffic, is there an opportunity to be first to market with a new product?
Next, look at your reporting and see where they could be a change or drop off. This means Google Analytics, Google Search Console for your search results, Email marketing matrics, your website host report, social media comments, brand mentions (you can set up google alerts here), customer feedback, customer reviews, and more.
Some areas to focus on first are traffic, conversion rate, and cart abandonment rate:
Is traffic low? Look at your traffic channels and see if one of them is not driving the traffic it used to or if they’re not conversions you had in the past?
Is your cart abandonment rate double suddenly? It’s possible your checkout process needs updating.
If your bounce rate is high check Google Analytics to see why your customers are leaving so quickly. The average bounce rate can range from 40% to 60% depending on your industry. This likely means you’re driving the wrong traffic to your site. Check your conversion rate and bounce from each channel you drive to your site to see if you can pinpoint what channel might need a review.
Check your average session duration, the best way to increase average duration is to focus on strong visuals, such as eye-catching images, videos, and infographics.
Once you look at your reporting and have pinpointed possible causes ask yourself why 5 times using the 5 why method. There are usually multiple reasons why something is not working and this will help identify possible causes. Remember, this is an ongoing process. You should be monitoring your reporting at least once a month or more.
If you find this step overwhelming, contact us. Tenth Man Marketing will review your reporting and help you pinpoint issues and provide a plan that works for you and your size of business.
How Can I Grow my Website?
You're probably asking yourself how can you first grow your site for free. I agree you should focus on channels that don't cost money, and then jump into paid advertising depending on your target market and what media they consume.
The top ‘free’ channels are email, SEO, content, and social. I use ‘free’ in quotes because they do take time and should be part of an overall strategy. And they work well when your message is consistent and your brand has a consistent look and feel. Sometimes it's worthwhile to hire someone to manage this for you so you can focus on what you do best in your business.
See Below for 10 Ideas:
Be sure your website is loading fast, especially on mobile. Over 50% of people are viewing websites on mobile. You can check your site speed with PageSpeed Insights.
Focus on SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization and ensures your website shows up with people typing in a search term that relates to the services or products you provide. Be sure each of your pages aligns with SEO best practices. Most platforms like Wix, and Shopify have an area where you can set this up. SEO takes time and is a constant process.
Key areas to start with are the URL, title, header, and meta description. Be sure you have keywords mapped out for each page on your site. The URL, Title, and Header (also known as H1) will be the driving force behind what keyword you are focusing on for that page. They will fit into one of the four types of searches - called search intent ( Transactional, Navigational, Commercial, and Informational).
The meta description for each page should be written with the intent s to get clicks to your site (so focus on copy for each page that is relevant and gets the customer to click through to your page).
As part of your SEO strategy, target long-tail keywords. It is difficult to rank high for competitive keywords on search engines. Instead, you can focus on long-tail keywords that don't get a lot of traffic but are high converting.
Post to social consistently. And at the right time. Social media marketing can drive engagement and help you reach new audiences. Connect with micro-influencers, press, and bloggers to reach new audiences or even guest blog on someone's site. Engage in conversations on social, and get friends and family to share your posts to increase engagement. There are so many social channels out there so be sure you connect this back to your target customer and only focus on 1 or two channels, so you don’t spread yourself too thin.
Write a blog or event guest post on someone else's blog. Sharing your knowledge or your content on other sites that your target customer might visit is a great way to get new visitors to your site.
Create different types of content. Content marketing is best paired with key distribution channels like social and email to attract customers or stay top of mind with existing ones. You can produce a podcast, videos, or write a blog to provide info or solve problems. Be sure it is high-quality content that customers will value. If you have little time, quality beats quantity. Posting a valuable video once a month will be more effective than trying to create one every week that doesn't hit the mark.
Link internally. Be sure you are linking internally across your site with a consistent strategy.
Get reviews. Reviews are critical to your business. Customers are risk-averse. They want to know that buying your product is the right decision. Reach out to your top customers to get reviews for your Google merchant store, on your website, or build case studies of work you have done in the past.
Get referral traffic. Publish your site to referral directories like Reddit or review sites. Don't spam Reddit, be sure you look for a quality subreddit and look for examples of what other businesses have done in the past.
Host a live chat, be a guest speaker at an event, or host webinars. Live chats and live social shopping are on the rise and they are great if you are a retail store. Being a guest speaker or hosting websites works in the B2B and B2C world and can be a great way to share your expertise or help other businesses.
It is 5x harder to acquire a new customer than retain one.
Always remember it is 5x harder to acquire a customer than retain one. Once you secure a customer be sure to nurture that relationship. Consider starting with an automated thank you email after the first purchase. It’s a genuine way to say thank you and make the customer feel appreciated. One of my favorites is the mail I received from X. I live it because it didn’t try to sell me anything and was signed by the CEO.
Once you have fixed quality traffic to your website be sure you are also looking at improving conversion, boosting the average order value or quality of lead, and reducing cart abandonment rate, at the same time. It would be disappointing to drive traffic to your site only to have a clunky checkout experience or products that don't speak to customer needs.
As you grow you can look at upsell or cross-sell strategies to get repeat purchases from existing customers.
Finally, always look at your reporting and metrics each month, and don’t forget to test, test, test!