For businesses looking to stay competitive on search engines and social media, the ability to draw eyeballs can make the difference between a top-ranked website and an also-ran. But for some businesses, traffic-generating strategies can appear obscure at best, if not impossible.
It is possible to boost traffic to your digital offerings without dumping money into a black hole. Digital marketing requires businesses to take a patient, multi-faceted approach with a huge payoff on the back end. If you are willing to reconsider the fundamentals of your marketing approach, you can see the traffic numbers that you want.
Here are three strategies I recommend for businesses to achieve increased traffic with little to no spending required.
1. Become a student of marketing.
Many companies focus, rightly, on creating and selling the best possible products and services. But giving your products the best possible chance to succeed requires a strong foundation in marketing principles. Luckily, there are a host of websites that have years of experience in digital marketing that are willing to share their knowledge with you.
If you are new to marketing or have years of experience, revisiting digital marketing principles like SEO, pay-per-click advertising, local listings, and more can help refresh your well of information. The key thing for business owners to note is that they should go out of their way to not only research best digital marketing practices but also reach out to experts in the field. By joining a community of digital marketers, you can gather information to help boost your online performance.
Here are a few things I recommend to maximize your marketing skills:
- Search out blogs and professional sites that will give you an introduction, refresher, or advanced concepts in digital marketing.
- Join professional marketing groups on social media platforms. Having a group of like-minded professionals at your fingertips will help you gather new tools to boost your business.
- Invest time into monthly marketing meetups. Meetup events allow you to not only gain new tools for your business but also network with other professionals.
2. Invest in tools that boost your traffic.
A crucial concept in digital marketing is that statistics are your friend. Because of that, some digital marketers find that investing in software that tracks your performance is necessary for success. These resources offer the sort of granular-level detail that can provide you solid direction on what aspect of your digital portfolio is driving traffic and what isn't. They can help you boost your traffic without having to wing it.
A few of things these tools will help you track include:
- Keyword rankings: The performance of keywords on your site is directly linked to your placement near the top of search engine results.
- Backlink performance: Backlinks from authoritative and highly-ranked sites tells search engines that your website is authoritative, too.
- Content tracking: Great content is authoritative, unique and is frequently shared online and on social media platforms.
Those are just a few of the measurements that you can expect if you invest in a great digital marketing measurement tool.
3. Hire out if needed.
Even with great tools available for you to maximize your digital marketing all on your own, sometimes your team doesn't have time to commit. That's where digital marketing agencies can step in.
Some businesses look at outside agencies as a luxury they can’t afford, but some small marketing firms can offer you tailored packages that fit within your budget.
Business owners should understand that while agencies do charge for their services, they also provide expert direction on what is needed to help you succeed. Agencies often already have access to marketing tools that give their clients quality-assured content and predictable results. Particularly with SEO, it's helpful to have an agency on board who can perform a full-scale audit of your website and give you strong recommendations based on hard statistics.
Here are just a few reasons an outside marketing agency can help you succeed:
- Access to marketing tools: Instead of you having to invest in digital marketing tools, an agency often has those tools and knows to use them efficiently.
- Custom solutions: Digital marketing agencies come in all shapes and sizes so it's helpful to look for a firm that can commit to keeping your voice and style on the page.
- Tailored price points: All marketing agencies don't cost a fortune, and some agencies even offer tailored plans that fit your budget.
4. Treat your marketing approach as an investment.
Although businesses often want to see results right away on their marketing strategies, patience helps. All of the advice listed above should be thought of as long-term investments in the future growth of your business. Regardless of whether you hire an outside agency or try your hand at marketing alone, keep in mind that results take time.
If you do invest in learning marketing, you may find that becoming an expert comes with perks for your business. Not only can you realize more traffic and customers, but you can also take pride in learning a new discipline.
Instead of obsessing about your website’s traffic, consider other areas of improvement that your business can take. If you take on digital marketing as part of a holistic approach to building your business, you will realize far more about yourself than traffic figures will ever tell you.
Most importantly, set up a plan for what you want to accomplish your business and website, and start taking the steps now to bring that plan into reality.