Using search, social, and email marketing to boost website traffic
Your online marketing approach, from the channels you choose to how you make use of them, can make a huge difference to the overall success of your website. As the saying goes, having a website without any traffic is like having a billboard in the desert… not the best use of your time and funds, and not likely to be all that effective!
To get the best results for your business, your website needs the support of other channels like search and email marketing and social media. These work to drive traffic to your site, build brand awareness, and establish your reputation. They also play a part in nurturing relationships with people who might not be quite ready to buy the first (or second, or third) time they land on your website.
Unless they have a direct link to your site, the usual place people are going to find you is through a search engine. People are increasingly relying on search to make their purchases and to influence their buying decisions beforehand. You want to make sure your site is among the first listings they get on the search engine results page (SERP) when they search for terms related to your brand, product, or service, and you do this through search marketing.
There are two elements of search marketing you should be considering, and the two work best together. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your site so it ranks as highly as possible. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) lets you place ads on the SERP which display above or below the organic (unpaid) listings for certain terms based on how much you’re willing to pay “per click” and how high-quality the search engine perceives your site to be.
Rather than focusing on one of these elements, it’s best to incorporate both into an integrated strategy. SEO tends to take some time before you see results, and depending on how competitive your area is you might be naturally limited in how well you perform compared to major players. PPC on the other hand can get you in a good position quickly, but requires a financial investment which can be significant, again depending on how competitive your area is. Striking the right balance between the two gets you results in good time and at an affordable cost.
While SEO and PPC get your site in front of people when they’re actively looking to buy, your social media presence works to establish brand awareness and manage your reputation. Done well, your social media presence can help to ensure that consumers are familiar with your brand so when they see your listings in search they will be more likely to trust you and more comfortable with making a purchase or sharing their information with you.
As with search marketing, there are both paid and organic elements to social media. You can share organic posts and content through your brand page, which is free to set up, but you can also pay to “boost” these posts and display them to people who haven’t yet “followed” you or otherwise interacted with your page. You can also advertise across some platforms with display ads or banners, directing people to either your social profile or your website. A combination of both will help to grow your follower numbers and establish brand recognition with the right audiences.
Not everyone who visits your website will be ready to buy right away. If they are willing to share their contact information with you – say through signing up to your newsletters, downloading gated content or filling out other contact request forms – you can touch base with them periodically to share useful information or notify them of sales or special offers.
Hitting on the right combination
The various elements of your online marketing strategy, including your website, work better together than they do alone. You want to connect with your existing and future customer bases across a number of platforms and in a variety of forms, so your strategy should consider all of the above elements to get the best results.