Traffic Booster Secrets: Discover the top secret tips and strategies to get tons of traffic and boost your sales!
Over the last several decades, the real world has moved online, and so has the money. Whether it's for a commercial website, personal blog, turning a profit through online advertising, or finding a way to improve the exposure for your business, today's currency of success heavily relies on being able to cultivate more traffic to your website.
While the world may be getting smaller, the Internet is quickly getting much larger, and it seems that everybody wants a piece of the pie.
The good news is that a majority of visitors to the millions of websites get funneled through the rather narrow search engines to the various sites. This leaves the market far from saturated regarding a division of resources. Therefore, there are still plenty of ways that you can successfully direct more people to your website.
Unfortunately, with everything good, there has to be something terrible. Most of the ways that you can drive traffic to your site as evident as they may be are only entirely understood by those people who have dedicated themselves to understanding Search Engine Optimization, (SEO) and digital marketing strategies, merely because they are more driven to do so.
Consequently, a job that is so simple anyone can perform it with the basic understanding of how to operate a computer ends up being done by specialized digital marketing firms that increase the operational costs for small businesses like yours.
In this guide, you’ll learn what organic traffic is; why organic traffic is the most important form of traffic you can get to your website and the best ways to increase your organic traffic levels.
Let’s get started!
What is Traffic and Why is it Important?
For beginners to SEO the terms organic traffic, paid traffic, direct traffic can be confusing but they don’t have to be.In this chapter, you’ll learn what organic traffic is; why organic traffic is the most important form of traffic you can get to your website and the best ways to increase your organic traffic levels.
What is organic traffic?
Organic traffic is the term used to describe visits to a website coming from a search engine’s organic results and not paid ads.
When the user types a query in a search engine (Google or Bing), a set of results are shown that include both page rankings on the top positions and a set of ads which are usually denoted with the Word Ad to differentiate them from the organic results.
When a user clicks on any of the organic results and visits a website this is recorded in analytics tools as organic search traffic.
The difference between Organic Traffic and Paid Search Traffic?
The main difference between organic traffic and paid search traffic is that organic traffic is free while paid traffic is paid for.
There are two ways to get traffic from search engines. The first way is to rank your website high in the search results using SEO and the second way is to use Google Ads to place your ads on top of the organic results with advertising.
With SEO you can get traffic for free 24/7 but it’s not instant. It takes time for SEO to work and generate results.
On the other hand, with PPC advertising you can get faster results but you will have to pay each time someone clicks on your ads and visits your website.
Another difference between organic and paid traffic (also referred to as SEM), is that once you stop the paid ads traffic to your website will drop while with organic traffic you get traffic as long as you have high rankings.
The process of marketing your website on search engines either organically or through paid ads is called search engine marketing.
Why is organic traffic important?
Organic traffic is the most important form of traffic you can get to your website. It is more important than paid traffic, Facebook traffic, or traffic from other social media networks.
The reason is simple: Organic traffic is targeted.
Users typing a query in a search engine have a very specific intent and if you can provide them with a solution or answer to their question, you will more likely gain a new customer, email subscriber, or follower.
In addition to the above, organic traffic is important because it increases website trust and this has many additional benefits.
Users trust Google and websites that rank in the top positions of Google organically are trusted by users. This means that is more likely to convert an organic visitor than a visitor coming from Facebook or another medium.
Organic Search Traffic in Google Analytics
One of the ways to monitor your organic traffic levels is through Google Analytics.
Login to Google Analytics and navigate to ACQUISITION > ALL TRAFFIC > CHANNELS.
Look at the ORGANIC SEARCH group in the report. This is how many visits you received from organic traffic i.e. from search engines organic results.
You can also view another report by going to ACQUISITION > ALL TRAFFIC > SOURCE / MEDIUM to see exactly how much traffic you got from each search engine.
Google / organic – is organic traffic from Google, Bing/organic is traffic from Bing, and so on.
Organic Traffic in Google Search Console
Another way to view how many organic visits you received from Google and for which keywords, is to use the Google Search Console.
Login to Google Search Console and go to PERFORMANCE > SEARCH RESULTS.
The QUERIES tab shows you for which keywords your website showed up in Google organic results (Impressions) and how many visits you received (clicks).
The PAGES tab shows you which pages from your website appeared in Google search and the number of visits they received.
Organic Traffic VS Other Traffic Sources
Organic traffic is not the only form of traffic. Looking at your analytics reports, you will also come across:
Paid Search: As explained above, this is traffic coming to your website from paid search ads.
Direct Traffic: When someone visits your website directly by typing the URL in a browser, this is recorded in Google Analytics as direct traffic.
Referral Traffic: When someone clicks a link on another website and visits your website, this is recorded as referral traffic.
Social: This is traffic coming from social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.).
Display: Refers to traffic coming from paid ads on other websites. When you advertise on Google Ads, you have to option to display your ads on other websites. When someone visits your website by clicking on one of your ads, this is recorded as Display traffic in Analytics.
Email: If you are using an email marketing software (like mail chimp or sendy) to email your subscribers and you have connected your software with Google Analytics, any traffic generated from clicks on your emails is recorded as Email traffic.
Best Ways to Increase Organic Search Traffic
The best way to increase organic traffic and get more visits from search engines is to follow proven white hat SEO practices.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the process to follow to optimize your website so that it can rank higher in the search engine result pages (SERPS).
There are more than 255 Google ranking factors but the most important are:
Publish content that users want to read
One of the characteristics of users using a search engine to look for information is that they have a very specific intent. Your job is to satisfy their intent by providing them with the right kind of information. To do that you need to do your keyword research and find out which keywords to target with your content. For a page to have any chances of ranking organically in search engines, it has to target a specific keyword or topic. Pages targeting several keywords or no keywords at all are very unlikely to receive any organic traffic.
Include relevant keywords/search terms in your page title
The page title is one of the most critical SEO factors. The title is used by search engines to get an idea of what a page is all about and it is also shown in the search results. A good page title includes search terms users can recognize and is interesting to encourage users to click on it and visit your website.
Get links from other websites
Backlinks from other relevant websites (that don’t carry the no-follow attribute) act as ‘votes of trust’ and this improves the organic rankings of a website. In the SEO world, this is known as off-page SEO.
Create easy to use websites
Website usability is both a direct and an indirect SEO factor. You need to develop websites that load fast, are mobile-friendly, and free of technical SEO errors. Failure to do so will minimize your chances of getting organic traffic from any search engine.
Top Free Traffic Sources and How to Use Them to Grow Your Business?
Website traffic is both an important indicator and driver of business growth. It can help you to:
- See how well your marketing is working
- Gather insights about your audience to make decisions
- Improve your SEO and search engine credibility
- Generate more leads, increase conversions, and get more customers
Yet achieving these benefits requires driving traffic to your website the right way and a focus on driving quality traffic. In this chapter, we’ll cover free ways to drive traffic to your website in a way that impacts your bottom line.
Free Traffic vs. Quality Traffic
Traffic to your website helps to improve your rank which in turn generates more traffic, but you want to make sure that the increase in traffic is associated with an increase in engagement as well. If your traffic is increasing but your conversion rates are decreasing, you’re not bringing in the right traffic.
There are several ways to optimize your website for conversion—such as by including calls to action and lead capture forms in the right places, providing the information your visitors are seeking, and making navigation easy and intuitive. But the first step is to be attracting the right visitors to your site in the first place. Your goal when it comes to website traffic is to be driving more qualified visitors to your site. That is, those who are most likely to convert into leads and customers.
Channels that Drive Quality Traffic to Your Website
There isn’t one set-it-and-forget-it tool that generates free and high-quality website traffic to your website. Rather, there exists a mix of channels that work together to drive visitors. Some require effort, some require time, and some require money. Some of the strategies and channels that drive traffic to your website include:
- Online directory listings
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Social media
- Online ads
In the next section, we’ll go into more detail on the most effective (and reliable) ways of increasing website traffic for free.
Free Ways to Increase Website Traffic from Google
1. Create a Free Google My Business Listing
Did you know that an optimized Google My Business listing gets 7x more visits than an incomplete one? Don’t forget that your listing links to your website, so this is a great way to get more traffic to your website.
Keep in mind also that Google is getting smarter and smarter with results. If your listing provides all of the information a potential customer needs to make a decision, they might forego your website and contact/visit your business directly—even better than a website visit!
2. Perform On-Page SEO
There are many SEO tactics you can perform on each of your website pages to increase their rank in search engines and get more visitors. This includes producing high-quality content that your audience is searching for and writing concise Meta descriptions for your pages. The Meta description appears below your URL in search results. Knowing what a page is about and what will result in a click makes users much more likely to do so. On-page SEO tactics such as these are free but do take some time.
Other Free Ways to Increase Website Traffic
1. Get Listed in Online Directories
Another way to increase traffic to your website is to get listed in free online directories and review sites. For most of these sites, your profile will have a link to your website, so actively updating these listings and getting positive reviews is likely to result in more website traffic. Also, many directories like Yelp have strong domain authority on Google. There’s a chance that your business’s free Yelp page could rank high for relevant searches.
2. Build Backlinks
A backlink is a link to your website from another website. Backlinks from complementary businesses or industry influencers will not only get your business in front of a larger audience but will also drive qualified traffic to your website. Also, Google picks up on backlinks and will increase its trust in your business if it sees other trusted sites pointing to yours. More trust from Google leads to higher rankings, which leads to more traffic. Get noticed on Google for free with quality backlinks.
3. Post to Social Media
Social media is one of the most popular free marketing tools around and plays a role in driving traffic to your website. Use Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote blog posts and other useful pages on your website. This way you can turn your social media audience into website visitors, and draw traffic from their networks if you post shareable content.
Creating useful content is free, and is not as hard as it may seem. You are the expert in your product/service; your job is to simplify it for your audience.
4. Include Hashtags in Your Posts
By adding hashtags to posts that promote your website pages and blog posts, you can extend your reach beyond your network and get discovered by users searching for your products and services. The more eyes on your links, the more free traffic you’re getting to your website.
5. Use Landing Pages
Landing pages are another free source of traffic to your website. These are pages specific to your offers, such as redeeming a discount code, downloading a free guide, or starting a free trial. They contain the details users need to move forward and convert, and focus on one specific call to action, making it more likely to happen. Because landing pages are so specific, you can get much targeted in your messaging, increasing the traffic coming to those pages.
6. Target Long-Tail Keywords
While short-tail keywords are often searched more frequently, it is more difficult to rank for them on search engines. Targeting long-tail keywords, on the other hand, gives you a better chance of ranking higher (even on the first page) for queries specific to your products and services—and higher ranking means more traffic. Plus, as search engines and voice-to-text capabilities advance, people are using more specific phrases to search online. There are many free tools available to help you find keywords to target, such as Answer the Public.
7. Start Email Marketing
Sending out regular newsletters and promoting offers through email is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and can also help to get traffic to your website. Provide useful information and links to pages on your website where they can learn more, such as through blog posts and landing pages for particular offers. Just make sure that you don`t continually bombard your readers with emails or your customers will disengage with, delete, or unsubscribe from your emails.
Also, put careful thought into your email subject lines. These heavily influence whether or not a user opens your email. If your emails never get opened, they can’t supply traffic to your site!
8. Guest BlogHaving an industry influencer publish a blog post on your site or turning an interview with them into a blog post can help to drive traffic both through organic search but also via that influencer promoting the content to their audience (see the backlinks section above). This can also help to add more variety to your content and show your visitors that you are active in your field.
Alternatively, you could ask the influencer to mention your business in their review or round-up post. This method is still free, but you still need the collaboration with the influencer to be an exchange with mutual benefit.
You can also be a guest blogger. Identify complementary businesses in your area whose audience is relevant to your business. See if you can contribute a post to their blog with a link back to your website. Make sure your content is relevant and useful to their audience so that it’s more of an even exchange.
9. Engage Online
It’s free to be active in online groups and on websites that are relevant to your business and community—and it helps you to obtain more traffic. Comment on blogs and social media posts, answer questions people are posting and participate in conversations about your industry. The more you engage with your community, the more exposure and profile visits you get.
If your social media profiles contain a link to your website, then you’ve turned your engagement into another channel for website traffic. Just be sure to engage moderately and in a sincere way, and avoid including links to your website in your comments—lest you appear spammy and hurt your online and business reputation. Increased traffic should not be the goal of your engagement, but rather a secondary result.
10. Learn from Your Analytics
Google Analytics is free to use, and the insights gleaned from it can help you to drive further traffic to your website. Use tracked links for your marketing campaigns and regularly check your website analytics. This will enable you to identify which strategies and types of content work, which ones need improvement, and which ones you should not waste your time on.
Avoid Instant Website Traffic Generators
There is such a thing as free website traffic but there is no magic button or tool that just magically generates it independent of your efforts. If you’re considering an automatic website traffic generator of any sort for your business (paid or free), here are three reasons to avoid them:
• Auto Website Traffic Generators Can Hurt Your Rankings
Google can detect spammy behavior, gets suspicious of spikes in inactivity, and monitors how users are interacting with your website. Using an automatic traffic bot or generator is likely to attract the wrong kind of attention from Google which will hurt your reputation with them and thus your ranking.
• Your Traffic Won’t Be Targeted
The ultimate purpose of getting more visitors to your website and ranking higher on Google is to increase the number of people who interact with (and hopefully become customers of) your business. If your visitors aren’t targeted, they aren’t likely to engage with your website, and you’re more likely to see your lead and conversion rates decline.
• Your Site Could Get Banned
If your website is attracting bot traffic, you run the risk of getting blocked from online advertising platforms or, even worse, getting removed from Google. Cheap website traffic is not worth it! Take the time to build up high-quality and sustainable traffic to your site.
Google My Business is the Best Free Website Traffic Generator
Getting free website traffic may not cost you monetarily, but it will require effort on your part. However, the effort you put in will equate to the quality of the traffic you generate. As mentioned above, there is no point in getting more traffic to your website if those visitors are not likely to engage with your pages, convert into leads, or become customers.
This is why Google My Business checks out as the best free website traffic generator. It:
- Is free and easy to set up your listing
- Allows you to show up for searches relevant to your business and location
- Increases your visibility on a platform whose users have the intent to buy
- Drives qualified traffic to your site and your store
- Allows customers to post reviews and even further boost your presence
Also, keep in mind that Google My Business:
- Enables your business to get found in mobile searches, which have surpassed desktop.
- Uses visuals to provide consumers with a sense of what it’s like to be at your business, knocking down uncertainty which is a major barrier to entry.
- Equips searchers with the ability to interact with your business directly in your listing—increasing the chances of engagement and obtaining new customers.
Given the many benefits of a Google My Business listing, you can’t afford to not have one as a local business. Create your listing and keep it updated as much as possible.
Getting more website visitors does not happen overnight. It takes some effort but we’ve eliminated the hard part for you: knowing what to do in the first place. By using Google My Business and the other safe channels listed above, you can get the right visitors coming to your site and more importantly, more of those visitors converting into customers.
How to Attract Paid Traffic That Converts?
Driving traffic to a website is a real challenge: SEO and content marketing rarely generate results overnight, whilst social media marketing can be pegged back by constant algorithmic changes. This can lead some marketers to prioritize paid web traffic (PPC) if they are launching campaigns and seeking quick results.
However, paid traffic generation certainly doesn’t guarantee quick results, as you’ll face a wide variety of factors from audience behaviors to advertising platforms. Each paid traffic source has its price policy and requirements for the ads it presents, which means you can end up generating countless versions of ad copy, getting clicks that never convert into leads and sales, and overpaying for customers that don’t offer a good return on your investment.
These challenges can be overcome by creating and implementing a calculated and considered paid traffic strategy that relies on a combination of manual planning and AI automation.
In this chapter, you will be explained how paid web traffic works, and how you can make it effective for your business with a comprehensive approach.
What is Paid Search Traffic and How Does it Work?
Paid web traffic consists of visitors who land on your website after clicking on an advert. It can come from a variety of sources:
- Display ads: Banners, texts, images, etc. placed on third-party websites;
- Paid search: Ads that search engines like Google and Bing will show on their results pages (SERPs);
- Social media ads: Ads served to users on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc;
- Sponsored content: Advertisers’ content that publishers are paid to distribute; and
- Native ads: Ads that appear on a platform similar to its existing media.
We need to recognize the key differences between paid and organic traffic from search engines to understand why that might be:
It’s tempting to think that a switch to PPC will help you get more visits, especially when you can essentially buy them, but basic traffic is not what you need. Paid traffic needs to generate leads and transactions.
This is known as ‘relevant’ or ‘converting’ traffic, which means that the visitors you attract should be more likely to make a purchase. To get such visitors from your paid traffic sources, wherever they are placed, you can follow a 6-step system that covers each stage of the customer journey, from clicking on an ad to becoming a paying customer.
As part of a longer-term strategy further down the line, you’ll be able to leverage other digital marketing tactics to encourage these customers to stay with you.
It’s tempting to think that a switch to PPC will help you get more visits, especially when you can essentially buy them, but basic traffic is not what you need. Paid traffic needs to generate leads and transactions.
This is known as ‘relevant’ or ‘converting’ traffic, which means that the visitors you attract should be more likely to make a purchase. To get such visitors from your paid traffic sources, wherever they are placed, you can follow a 6-step system that covers each stage of the customer journey, from clicking on an ad to becoming a paying customer.
As part of a longer-term strategy further down the line, you’ll be able to leverage other digital marketing tactics to encourage these customers to stay with you.
How to Get Converting Paid Traffic to Your Website in 6 Steps
Step 1: Create a Smart Paid Traffic Roadmap
People who say that PPC doesn’t work might have tried to run their ad campaigns without planning them first. To avoid common pitfalls like little or no impressions, huge overspend, and low click-through rate (CTR), you should start by creating a detailed roadmap based on reasonable KPIs, thorough audience research, a clear marketing message, and a list of eligible channels to disseminate it.
Step 2: Plan Your Budget Wisely
One of the biggest mistakes in launching a PPC campaign is failing to conduct proper research in preparation.
Depending on the industry, the CPC can vary significantly. For example, in electronics, a click can cost an average of just $0.74, which is almost nothing compared to the insurance industry, where the average price is $14.50.
Another problem is that failing to do your calculations - i.e. working out not only how much money you are going to spend, but what you are going to spend it on, and what you want in return - can result in an increased ad spend that only brings a few low-quality leads to your site.
Here are 3 main questions to answer to help you properly plan your budget:
- Which keywords are you going to target? Depending on your goal (brand awareness or conversions), keywords may vary greatly in terms of price and competition. Start with the Keyword Magic Tool, which offers plenty of data about keywords and their potential, to find your targets.
- Which locations will you cover? CPC can change significantly between states and regions. Start by checking your industry using the CPC Map, and see which locations might be the best fits for your advertising, as well as which you need to exclude to make savings in your budget.
- What is your main KPI? Keywords that create brand awareness don’t necessarily drive conversions, as your audience is far less likely to be ready to buy. They are more curious than anything, so set only one KPI for each campaign.
Step 3: Create a Winning Ad Copy
Have you ever felt like you have been misled about a product or a piece of content after clicking on an ad? Your audience won’t forgive you if you do this to them. Make a fair promise and deliver on it, and you’ll be more likely to encourage the actions you want.
Any compelling ad copy is made up of a targeted headline and a triggering description. The first tells your prospects what is in it for them, and the second explains how they can get it there and then.
The first two ads are poorly targeted, as very few of those who sell collectibles or crafted posters will consider opening online shops. The third, on the contrary, is clear and is ideal for artists and collectors.
How do you create a targeted ad copy to attract relevant traffic?
- Start with your target audience in mind. Think about what they need and how your solution can help;
- Look at your competitors and try to understand their targeting and how to outperform them; and
- Generate enough material for A/B testing: Write at least 3 unique headlines and 2 descriptions to develop an understanding of user preferences.
Step 4: Launch an Effective Landing Page
Now, imagine yourself clicking on your ad. Is your landing page worth exploring? Does it deliver on the promise you made?
To avoid wasting your precious paid clicks, check your landing page bounce rate, time on page, heat map, and form abandonment rate; this is one way to know exactly how appealing it is to visitors.
If they leave immediately after landing, the page probably doesn’t align with the keywords it’s displayed for, and you’re talking to the wrong people. If they stay for a while but never click the call-to-action (CTA), your offer doesn’t excite them - we could go on.
If you don’t have a landing page for your ads but you plan to create one, use these three pillars: relevance, attractiveness, and drive. This will mean that it is relevant to the user query, the content and visuals are created with your buyer persona in mind, and the title and the CTA emotionally resonate with your audience so much that they convert. Here are a few tips:
- Title: Check the searches related to your seed keyword to collect more creative ideas;
- Content: Make sure the data your prospects are looking for are on your page and easy to find and understand. Don’t clutter the page with too many deals and offers;
- Visuals: Use good quality, enticing images, not the free stock pictures everyone has seen a thousand times before; and
- CTA: Match it with the search intent. For example, people looking for tours tend to visit dozens of websites and accumulate a lot of information before making the final choice. So, “Get free quotes” will work better than “Buy a tour now”, as they’ll get an email and use it to remind themselves about your great offers when they might be more inclined to purchase.
Step 5: Utilize All the Platforms
According to this Smart Insights study, Google controls 67.78% of the search engine market, which makes Google Ads highly competitive. This means that the CPC there can be so high that your return on investment (ROI) will be minimized. Besides that, Google is probably not the only place your target audience visits. For example, the professional-focused platform LinkedIn might be one of the best places for business-related ads if you are a B2B company.
Reaching out to people across all the platforms they use, not just Google and Facebook, is a great way to make the most of your ads by placing them in front of potential customers more frequently (within reason).
When it comes to brand safety and technical issues, utilizing several platforms also reduces your risk because you will still be visible to others even if one fails or goes down.
Step 6: Introduce Automation
By this point, you might be wondering exactly how much money you need to budget to keep getting results, or which channels will be the most effective in your long-term paid strategy. What will the optimum bid become for each channel? What should you do if you have never created ads before? What if you followed all the steps and still don’t have any leads or conversions? Answering these questions requires a lot of research or a bit of AI help.
PPC automation technology uses AI and machine learning to boost your paid traffic wherever possible, from selecting the channels to reporting on results. However, some tools only automate bids, whilst others only optimize ads, and you’ll need at least one more to match your ads to likely prospects.
It is possible to fully automate the traffic acquisition and lead generation processes, though, by way of Traffic Jet. This tool creates, manages, and optimizes paid campaigns across various platforms based on your goals, budget, targeting, and competitor analysis.It’s important to note that Traffic Jet can’t do your strategic planning and landing page creation for you; it’s designed to be employed as part of your comprehensive plan according to the steps outlined above, so you can continue to optimize performance with the help of insights from AI.
Here’s how Traffic Jet can help you:
- Budgeting: There is a simple PPC calculator that analyzes your objective, area of interest, average CPC in your industry, and KPI, and estimates the ad spend in one click.
- Ad Copy: Traffic Jet can build your ads based on your ad copy and the creative you upload, or extract the images, text, metadata, and keywords from your landing page, and use them to create thousands of ad combinations for testing.
- Platforms and Optimization: Traffic Jet will analyze hundreds of paid traffic sources, including Google Search & Display, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, Quora, and Reddit, to find the most relevant platforms based on your goals (awareness or lead generation). The algorithm monitors the effectiveness of each platform and optimizes your campaigns accordingly.
- Monitoring and Reporting: The tool checks how much traffic each ad sends to your website, verifies its quality, experiments with channels and creative, and delivers the results to your Google Analytics and internal Traffic Jet dashboard, so you can monitor and analyze performance.
Building a Paid Traffic Strategy for Your Business
As you can see, a paid traffic strategy can be effective if you are concerned with not simply increasing the number of visits to your site, but attracting the kinds of visitors who are interested in buying your products and services.
If you follow the steps listed above (develop a roadmap, plan your budget, create winning ad copy, launch an effective landing page, and leverage multiple platforms), and combine that with PPC automation technology, you will stand a better chance of converting this traffic into leads and sales.
Using tools like Traffic Jet will help you refine the plan, get quicker results with the power of AI, and free up some time for you to focus on other more demanding aspects of your advertising strategy.
Types of Content That Will Boost Your Traffic and Engagement
These days, everybody knows how important content marketing is in attracting your audience and winning leads and sales.
According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), content marketing is one of the most cost-effective promotional techniques. It delivers more leads at a lower cost than most other methods. (The only exception is email marketing.)
There’s just one problem.
If you’re a busy business owner or overwhelmed marketer, you want to be sure that the content you create will deliver real results.
Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had an easy way to figure out the forms of content that would bring guaranteed business results?
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the most engaging content formats to help you get better ROI from your content strategy.
We’ll tell you why each of the content formats is on this list, and suggest ways to get started with creating them.
By the end, you’ll be able to include some of the most engaging content types in your content strategy. That’ll help you win your audience’s attention, and boost leads and sales.
Let’s get started…
Benefits of Content Marketing
Before we get into the content formats, let’s look at why content marketing is such an essential marketing tool.
As we said, content is an essential part of email marketing which has a high ROI of around $40 for every dollar spent.
Content is also one of the three main SEO search ranking factors. Get your content right, and people won’t just find your site in search results. They may also visit, stick around, and become customers.
And content can help you build trust and authority. It does that by showing your expertise and giving visitors and customers helpful information.
But here’s the thing: no single type of content will appeal to every visitor. That’s why it makes sense to vary your content. The content formats listed below will help you get started.
1. Blog Posts
Let’s start with blog posts. That’s the content format most people think of as content marketing.
Blog posts are relatively easy to produce, especially if they’re not too long and don’t contain a lot of images.
And the potential benefits are worth it.
Done right, blog posts can help you:
- Build up a set of authoritative content in your niche
- Get more citations from other trusted sources, leading to better search ranking
- Have content that you can change into other content formats
You can also use guest blogging to build up your inbound link profile.
Blogging covers many types of articles. These include how-tos, reviews, lists, and more. Many of these are among the most shared content online.
To get started with writing blog posts:
- Use headline tools to help you find the best headline ideas
- Check out some blog post ideas for inspiration
- Optimize your content and link posts together for better SEO
2. Long-Form Articles
Long-form articles are another form of content worth your time.
It’s a type of blogging, but long-form content can also stand alone.
According to the data, people love to share long-form articles on social media. That results in more traffic to your website. You also get the indirect SEO benefits of social signals.
If you want to use the long-form content format, then you’ll need to research and write content with real depth.
For example, some people publish “ultimate guides” to topics. These can have several chapters, each on its URL. That means there are lots of chances for the guide to appear in search results.
One option is to use your industry expertise to produce in-depth and well-researched long long-form content. Another is to check out the content that’s already around, and try to produce something better, fresher, and with more resources.
3. Original Research
Original research is another of the popular content formats which get links and shares across many platforms. According to Buzzsumo, content related to research findings can attract millions of shares.
Original research is also a great way to get inbound links. This happens when people cite your work, and it’s great for SEO. An example of original research is the CMI’s annual report on B2B content marketing.
There’s only one issue: producing in-depth research can be time-consuming and costly.
If you want to speed up the process, carry out a survey, using WPForms. Then use the built-in reporting dashboard to get charts to help you visualize the results.
Video is a proven attention-getter online. Most age groups watch videos. It’s also one of the most popular content formats for mobile device users. And data from Google shows that video is a trusted source for 40% of millennials.
But the video also one of the content formats that contribute to business revenue.
There are lots of ways you can use video in your business. Here are a few ideas:
- Use an explainer video to introduce people to your business
- Create a video showcasing features of your products or services
- Shoot a tutorial to give visitors step by step instructions on using your product
You can also get video views by tapping into popular culture or questioning social norms. One example is the Like a Girl campaign from Always. This turns a phrase that can be negative into a positive affirmation.
So, how do you get started with creating video content? Here are a few suggestions:
- YouTube makes it easy for anyone to have a video channel. You can even shoot a video on your smartphone and upload it via the YouTube Studio app.
- Use a video creation tool like the ones listed here.
- Or go live, as live video is now more popular.
If you want to take this last option, Facebook suggests you:
- Make sure you’ve got a great internet connection
- Let people know you’re planning to go live and encourage them to subscribe
- Write a catchy description; that’ll come in handy for people watching it later
Did you know that infographics are also among the most shared content online? And that 84% of those who use infographics to market their business find that content format effective?
These are just two reasons why infographics are a form of content you can’t ignore.
It’s important to get the graphic elements right and make your infographics attractive. But don’t forget to make the information is interesting and reliable. That creates a linkable, shareable resource.
If you want to use this content format, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Plan your infographic like any other piece of content so it tells a story. A blog post outline can be a good starting point
- Give it a good headline and interesting subheadings
- Use Canva, Piktochart, or another visual content marketing tool to create it.
While we’re on the topic of visuals, let’s not forget about images. Every internet minute, 15,000 GIFs are sent on Messenger, and 46,200 Instagram posts are uploaded.
Images make people more likely to share written content on both Facebook and Twitter.
Here are some options for using images as a content format:
- Turn the key takeaways from your blog post into a quote graphic with Canva or Stencil
- Visit Know Your Meme and pick a popular meme that you can adapt and share
- Use Google Photos to create a short animation from a couple of still photos
- Find or create a shareable GIF with Giphy
7. Case Studies
Case studies are one of the most effective content marketing formats for winning new business.
Case studies give you the chance to feature your customers and to:
- Show off what you’re doing right
- Create niche-specific content
- Build trust and authority
- Highlight your competitive advantage
8. White Papers/Reports
White papers and reports can help to engage your audience.
In fact, according to Forbes 79% of B2B buyers share white papers with their colleagues. That adds up to a huge opportunity for you to win more business.
The best white papers aren’t a marketing pitch. Instead, they aim to help the target audience. Even without the hard sell, they’re effective.
The best white papers:
- Focus on one key issue. They are relatively short, at about 6 to 10 pages
- Use in-depth research
- Back up any claims with verifiable statistics
- Include charts, graphs, and pull quotes
- Have a call to action so readers know what to do next
EBooks are another great way to create content quickly. Done right, an ebook can be an excellent lead magnet and can help solve your customers’ problems.
Hubspot uses eBooks as lead magnets on many blog posts, helping them become a hugely successful company. If you’re planning to create an eBook, a good starting point is an in-depth blog post or piece of long-form content.
If you’re already promoting your business with presentations, then this is a useful content format. Plus, it’s pretty easy to put them online with a Slide Share account.
Traffic Generation Cafe found Slide Share an effective way to:
- Generate traffic to the website
- Increase the number of Facebook fans
- Gain engagement on Slide Share itself
By uploading presentations to Slide Share, the site moved from 0 to 243,000 views within just 30 days.
To get started with Slide Share, just create and upload a presentation that’ll interest your target customers. Tag it with around three keywords to make it easy to find.
Add it to your LinkedIn profile (LinkedIn is Slide Share’s parent company) to make it even more visible. Promote your presentation via the usual marketing channels.
The stats show that webinars (which are online seminars) are an excellent business content marketing format. According to ReadyTalk, between 20% and 40% of those who attend webinars become qualified leads.
Meanwhile, the Branded Solopreneur found that between 2% and 5% of attendees make a purchase.
Those are pretty good numbers aren’t they?
Webinars usually consist of a presentation plus a brief Q&A session. They help you show off your expertise. You can also demonstrate products and services so that attendees want to use them.
To test the water with creating a webinar, try using Zoom which lets you host a 40-minute online meeting with up to 100 attendees for free.
Get more tips and tools to help with webinar marketing in our guide.
12. Quizzes and Polls
According to CMI, quizzes are one of the most engaging content formats. They will get your audience’s attention.
Similarly, polls can boost engagement by making participants curious about the results.
Shareable, fun content makes a good addition to any content strategy. And since they’re usually easy to complete, that’s a bonus for your audience.
To create quizzes online, use a tool like Quizzr or Playbuzz. For polls, use the tools built into many social sites, or try WPForms.
According to Edison Research, the number of podcast listeners has grown in the last five years. Today, 15% of the US population listens to a podcast at least weekly.
So it’s clear that a podcast is a great content format to engage your audience. Podcasts let people access your content at their convenience. They are also another great option for repurposing existing content.
For example, if you’ve created a video, the audio can easily become a podcast. And you can also read a blog post to make that into a podcast episode too.14. Checklists
One of the easiest content formats to create is a checklist. They’re insanely popular, attracting hundreds of thousands of shares in some cases.
This type of content includes worksheets, tip sheets, and cheat sheets. They’re easy to make by pulling out the key points from another type of content (like a blog post).
Next, you can layout your cheat sheet in a Google Doc or Word document and export it as a PDF. Alternatively, use software like Canva to make it into a graphic and do your PDF export from there.
15. Email Newsletters
You probably don’t think of your email newsletter as a content format, but it is.
Sure, email newsletters are a great way to highlight the content you’ve created in other formats. However, they can also be something completely new.
As we saw earlier, email has a great ROI. That’s why you can’t ignore this content marketing format. See our tips on how to create an email newsletter to get started.
Now you know some of the content formats you can use to improve your content marketing strategy. Next, check out some content marketing examples for inspiration, and learn about content curation.
How to Increase Organic Traffic to Your Site - SEO Strategies
Does it feel like the speed at which SEO techniques (and their effectiveness) are changing is on a constant incline?
If so, you’re not alone. Google’s getting smarter and more powerful all the time — not only at analyzing and understanding web pages but also at how effective it is at keeping people within its framework.
Why? The better Google is at answering queries within the SERPs or directing users to ads instead of organic listings, the more money it makes.
Unfortunately, this makes things much harder for those of us who rely on Google’s organic search traffic as a lifeline. The SERPs are changing (and for most of us, not for the better). These are the 16 main features that come up in Google's SERPs:
How are they changing? By:
- Disguising ads
- Making knowledge panels more prominent and using them more frequently
- Displaying image and video packs
These things push organic listings further down the SERPs, resulting in fewer organic clicks and (conveniently for Google) an increased need for online retailers to invest in paid listings.
So what do marketers do? We work harder. Create better pages and faster websites. And focus more than ever on outdoing our competitors.
In this chapter, we’ve broken down the best SEO techniques for 2020 to help you retain and increase your organic search presence — covering both basic and advanced SEO techniques.
First, Test Your Website's Performance in Search
Before we dive into the details on improving your site’s performance in search, let’s take some time to test your current page ranking in the search results. Head over to Keyword Rank Checker, a tool that you can use to determine your page ranking based on keyword search:
Your goal is to get your website to the top of this list. Higher ranking equals more organic traffic and should boost the overall ROI of your SEO strategy.
Sounds like a dream, right? But if you’re feeling disheartened with the keyword ranking check you just ran, don’t panic. Here are 10 SEO methods that will help your site dominate the SERPs in 2020.
10 Effective SEO Techniques to Drive Organic Traffic
1) Improve User Experience Across Your Entire Site
Let’s kick things off with a brief explanation of what Google’s goal as a search engine is.
Just like any search engine, their objective is to find the best possible results for each user's query. If they fail on this front, users are less likely to use the search engine again. That said, Google does do this very well, which is why they’re the largest search engine in the world — by far!
You’ll need to think about that constant desire to show the best results when you’re optimizing your site for SEO. Why? The answer is simple: poor-quality sites are less likely to rank. And Google’s getting better at determining site quality.
If your website looks untrustworthy, outdated, amateurish, or is slow to load, potential users are likely to bounce back to the SERPs and click on another result. You’ve lost a user and a potential conversion, and your bounce rate of affected pages is going to increase.
Although Google hasn’t officially declared it, there is evidence to suggest that the search engine giant does reward sites that have low bounce rates with better rankings:
Google reasons that if a user spends more time on a site, it’s probably because they found it useful. And since Google only wants to deliver the best possible results to its users, it will push sites with strong engagement up in the search engine results pages.
A Word on What a “Bounce” in SEO Is
A “bounce” occurs when a user lands on a page and then leaves without any other interaction. The time spent on the page is irrelevant — all that matters is that a user has performed a single interaction on your site by visiting that page and only that page.
This means that a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing, which is probably why it hasn’t been declared an official part of Google’s algorithm — in isolation, it’s an unreliable metric. For instance, if a user lands on your site in search of an answer to a specific question and then leaves because they’ve gotten what they've come for, to the user that’s a good thing. And what’s good for the user, is good for Google.
So how can you improve the user experience that visitors are having with your website?
Here are 5 SEO improvement techniques you can use to enhance user experience and give your existing content a boost in search engines:
A) Make Your Posts Easy to Read
Ever heard the phrase “formatting content for the web”? To stand any chance at increasing your organic rankings, we need to take that a step further and optimize content for readability.
So how do you optimize your posts for readability? The following formatting tips can help increase the readability of your content:
- Write quality content: First of all, you’re wasting your time worrying about any of the points below if your writing’s not up to par. Formatting matters, but so do great ideas, compelling delivery, and error-free grammar and spelling.
- Shorter paragraphs: Generally speaking, limit each paragraph to 3-4 sentences. You can even use one-sentence paragraphs if necessary, but use them sparingly or your post will look like a grocery list. A paragraph is a group of related sentences that support one main idea, so if you split up a paragraph, your idea can become fragmented and your point lost.
- Mixed sentence lengths: Long sentences are hard to follow on a computer or mobile device, but they can work well when used sparingly — particularly when mixed with shorter sentences. Here’s a fantastic example of how sentence structures can be varied for optimum readability:
- Sub-headers: Did you know that the average person spends just 37 seconds reading a piece of online content? You can boost that time significantly by including subheadings that help readers scan content and quickly get a better understanding of what the article is about. But make sure your headers are informative.
- Bullet points: When you have a lot of data — stats, facts, ideas, examples — packed into one paragraph, it makes it easier to read when you list them with bullet points (like this one!). The general rule is if you are listing three or more items, use bullet points.
- White space: Too much text can overwhelm visitors (and will likely increase your bounce rate). Prevent this by breaking up large chunks of text with relevant, supporting media, including photos, videos, and graphs (in addition to bullet points and sub-headers).
- Images/screenshots: Speaking of images, most articles should have several images or screenshots to illustrate the points or numbers, or steps you are discussing. The more complex the idea, the more images you should include.
B) Use Bucket Brigades to Keep the Flow
Originally, a “bucket brigade” was a chain of people who passed buckets of water from person to person to extinguish a fire. Now it's a copywriting technique designed to capture and keep a reader’s interest.
How did the meaning go from a chain of people putting out a fire to a copywriting tactic?
In writing, a bucket brigade is a series of words that bridges one idea to the next to keep the flow. And when you keep the flow, you keep your reader's interest. Often the bridging phrase is followed by a colon.
Here are some different examples of bucket brigades:
General bucket brigades:
- Do I have your attention?
- Think about that for a minute
- I know the feeling:
- OK, I know what you're thinking:
Introductory bucket brigades:
- Do you want to learn how to?
- Have you ever found yourself?
- Imagine what it would be like:
- Have you wondered why?
Content body bucket brigades:
- Let's get started:
- Let's dig a little deeper:
- Let me explain:
- Let me show you how:
Conclusion bucket brigades:
- In short:
- Let's recap:
- In a nutshell:
- But don't take my word for it:
C) Use the Inverted Pyramid Style of Writing
If you went to journalism school, you know all about the inverted pyramid style of writing:
This method means giving away the most valuable information at the top of the article, with less important information appearing below.
Readers that scan articles rarely reach the bottom of the page, so it makes sense to give them what they want as soon as they land.
D) Improve User Experience (UX) on Web Pages
More often than not, high bounce rates result from poor usability and an awkward user experience (UX). Unfortunately, it’s tough to pinpoint UX problems because they can vary dramatically from site to site.
Here are five user-testing tools for analyzing how people are interacting with your website (and spark ideas for improvement):
- Crazy Egg
Clever and intuitive, Crazy Egg helps subscribers rate and understand user experience with rich visual aids like heat maps, scroll maps, and confetti maps. Each of these is a graphic representation of one aspect of UX.
Heat maps are colorful representations of where users have clicked on your site, like this:
Scroll maps show how far down the page your users scroll before leaving, like this:
Confetti maps show you which referral sources resulted in the most clicks as well as what people click on most once they've been referred to your site, like this example:
This data can help you pinpoint your site’s design features and flaws, so you can correct them accordingly.
Optimizely, the world's leading experimentation platform, specializes in A/B testing — a scientific, data-driven way to test websites for maximum usability and engagement. In A/B testing, multiple versions of a web page are randomly shown to users, compared against a control page (generally the current website), and then analyzed for effect.
The biggest advantage of a proper A/B testing process is that marketers can understand how even the tiniest changes can have a positive impact, such as:
- Moving the “buy” button from right to left
- Changing button colors from red to green
- Switching headline text from “download now” to “get your free e-book”
Many A/B tests can have surprising results.
For example, Empire Flippers tested and then changed the phrase on their CTA button on one of their forms, which led to a 33.10% increase in conversions.
The old CTA (“Join us!”):
The new CTA (“Make Money Flipping Websites”):
The genius of Optimizely is that it massively simplifies something that would otherwise require a team of dedicated, experienced UX designers and researchers to execute.
- Google Optimize
Along the same lines, Optimize by Google Analytics also assists marketers in maximizing engagement and conversions.
The free version of Google Optimize is a streamlined, user-friendly piece of software that simplifies A/B testing and uses advanced modeling to improve engagement and targeted experiences.
But perhaps the biggest draw of Google Optimize is that it seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics, allowing marketers to further leverage their existing resources.
With Google Optimize, marketers can use existing Analytics metrics as a starting point. This means they can rely on a familiar interface as they start to execute more intricate experiments.
Here’s a shot of the Google Optimize user screen. Notice that it gives recommendations and suggestions for an optimal interface:
ClickFlow is a tool we built to help companies increase organic traffic without building backlinks or posting more content.
Through ClickFlow, companies can automatically see which pages on their site have the most potential to increase revenue, such as pages that have a high impression count in the search results, but a low click-through rate:
Using that information, ClickFlow will keep track of headline tests to help increase the traffic you’re getting from search terms you already rank for:
The tool boosts your bottom line by showing you how much revenue you’ve gained and how much you stand to gain. It’s been used by companies like LeadPages, Drip, The Atlantic, and more.
E) Increase Website Speed
A decade ago, Google realized that performance elements like site speed were very important for users, and thus added it as a ranking factor — site speed can now make or break your site’s performance in Google’s search results.
Thankfully, Google has launched several SEO tools to help improve site speed, including:
- PageSpeed Insights to help developers improve site performance
- Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to boost speed on mobile sites
- Test My Site to help gauge how responsive (or mobile-friendly) a site is, which includes speed as a parameter
Google wants your website to load faster than it is right now. But how fast?
What happens if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load?
Boosting page speed can do more than improve organic performance; it can also increase conversions.
One survey found that nearly 70% of consumers said that page speed affects how willing they are to buy from a website.
That could see you missing out on a ton of revenue if shoppers experience performance problems on your site.
Here are a few ways you can boost page speed for better rankings and more conversions:
- Minify unnecessary code on your page
- Reduce server response time
- Choose the right hosting option for your needs
- Enable browser caching
- Enable compression
- Compress images to cut down page size by 30-40%
2) Optimize for Voice Search
With 25% of U.S. adults now owning a smart speaker (a number that is expected to hit 55% by 2022), it’s safe to say that voice search is something you should be factored into your SEO strategy.
Here are a few more juicy voice search stats:
- 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines
- 65% of people who own an Amazon Echo or Google Home can’t imagine going back to the days before they had a smart speaker
- 2 in 5 adults use voice search once daily
- 25% of individuals ages 16-24 use voice search on mobile
- Voice commerce sales reached $1.8 billion last year (and predicted to reach $40 billion by 2022)
- 22% of U.S. smart speaker owners have purchased something using their devices
There are big differences in how voice search and text search are used, and thus how you should be optimizing for voice search, as well as the results that users are given. For example, a text searcher might type “horse diet.” A voice-based search, however, tends to be longer — something like “what do horses eat?”
Another difference with voice search is that it tends to be locally based, such as:
Notice that in both examples, the voice searcher is more likely to use a question. And when we perform a voice search, we’re not given a list of results to choose from — we get one answer.
This answer often, although not always, comes from a featured snippet. 40.7% of voice search results are taken from featured snippets but bear in mind that this figure will constantly be changing. The remaining results could be extracted from anywhere on a web page.
However, remember that the answer will still likely come from a question/answer text block, so aim to write for featured snippets, and you’ll naturally be writing for voice search too.
Here are a couple of other points worth bearing in mind when optimizing for voice search:
A) Use Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords have a key role to play in voice search, with long-tail generally referring to terms containing three or more words:
For a chance at ranking for those longer keywords, you’ll need to create content that targets them on your website using this process:
- Identify one long-tail keyword using this guide (e.g. “how to wash a car”).
- Find lots of semantically related keywords (e.g. “car washing guide” and “best soap for washing a car”).
- Write a long-form, comprehensive blog post that suitably positions those semantically related keywords throughout. Aim also to create content that’s significantly better than the content currently ranking for your target keyword.
- Format the content for readability, using questions as subheadings where appropriate.
B) Use Structured Data
Remember how we said around 40% of voice search results come from featured snippets? Using structured data can help boost the chances of your information being used to answer a voice query over a competitor’s.
There are several types of structured data (also known as Schema markup) that SEOers can use. Both help Google better understands the subject and themes of a page. This, in turn, can help improve rankings.
As per SEMrush:
“Schema is a structured data vocabulary that defines entities, actions, and relationships on the Internet (webpages emails, etc.)…. As a result of adding schema tags to your website, Google can supplement your web site's search results with additional info in the form of Rich Snippets, which are proven to help click-through rate in organic search results.”
3) Design for Mobile First
While voice search is important, the time has shown that it’s not quite as essential a tool as we predicted — especially when it comes to conversions.
Whether this means voice search will never be critical to e-commerce marketers, or whether it simply needs to evolve, remains to be seen. But what we do know is that for the time being, the majority of searches — and half of all purchases — take place on mobile. Moreover:
- 77% of Americans own a smartphone
- 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months
- 40% of all e-commerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone
- 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations
More importantly, Google’s gone mobile-first.
It’s been some years in the making, but in March 2020 Google announced that it will now primarily use its mobile smartphone user-agent to crawl sites.
This means that the mobile version of your site will be crawled and indexed ahead of the desktop version —the desktop version gets crawled at all.
As a result, any new site you build should focus on the mobile experience. How it appears and performs on a desktop is still important, of course, but mobile needs to come first.
4) Focus on Topic Clusters Instead of Keywords
Google is evolving, and so is its algorithm. Its objective now is to understand the intention of its users — what they expect, what they’re looking for, and, more specifically, what search results would best help answer their query.
That’s where the featured snippet box comes into play…again:
However, don’t expect your website to appear on the first page of Google simply by creating keyword-focused content. It’s not enough to look at keywords alone; we need to look at the context around them. Also referred to as “user intent,” you must pay attention to what your users are looking for.
Here are two things, in particular, you should consider:
A) Know Your Target Audience
The type of content you’ll create will depend entirely on your audience. The better you know them — their location, age, interests, etc. — the better the content you’ll create (and the better your SEO).
For example, suppose your keyword tool shows that “Android” has a search volume of 2,740,000 per month. That’s a lot of people you could be exposed to, so you’ll need to target it heavily, right? Not necessarily.
People searching for “Android” could fall into several categories:
- Mobile users searching for Android help
- Star Wars fans looking for droids
- Robotics enthusiasts looking for information about Androids
If you don’t understand your target audience, you could risk creating content for all these topics. That won't win you rankings or readers because you can’t please everyone with a single piece of content optimized for such a broad term.
However, by building buyer personas, like Maggie Manager below, that include the shared traits of your ideal customers, you’ll be better able to zero in on topics that matter to your readers, while also minimizing the chances of creating content that fails to get results.
B) Organize Content into Clusters
Instead of focusing on standalone keywords, organize all your content into different themes. The topic cluster model, created by HubSpot, works by linking relevant content pieces together into “clusters”:
This entails having:
- A pillar page: These are generally your site’s most important pages (for example, on an e-commerce site, this will often be top-level categories) that you want, and can expect, to rank for a broad range of keywords.
- Cluster pages: These are pages that live around and are linked back to their relevant pillar page. They will generally answer questions or cover topics related to the pillar page in more detail.
This strategy achieves three things:
- It satisfies user intent since they get easy access to more detailed information on their topic of interest.
- It turns your site into a better resource for those pillar topics. This is important to Google since its goal is to send users to the best possible page for their search term. When Google views your site as a great resource for a particular topic, odds are that you’ll be rewarded with better rankings.
- Each of those cluster pages has the potential to rank themselves and drive additional traffic to your site.
C) Do Your Keyword Research
Wondering why we’re listing keyword research as an SEO technique when we’ve told you to focus on topic clusters, rather than keywords?
Because keywords still matter.
Organizing content thematically is key, but it’s a mistake to ignore keywords entirely. Keywords act as signposts to Google’s spiders, signaling topics, and providing hints as to the nature of the content on the website.
By doing keyword research, you discover who is searching for the topics you want to write about, create blog posts or other types of content that answers customers' specific questions, and increase brand recognition.
There are many tools you can use to access keyword data.
- Keyword Explorer by Moz
Keyword Explorer is a versatile, dynamic program that covers nearly every aspect of the process.
It helps marketers brainstorm keywords, build lists, and filter them by topic. You can also analyze metrics, click-through rates, and other measures of effectiveness, as well as spy on and assess keywords used by your business rivals.
SEMrush is widely regarded as one of the best tools for SEO analysis, particularly where it concerns business intelligence.
One of SEMrush’s many features includes the ability to identify and analyze the keywords your competitors are using. Enter your competitor’s URL into the SEMrush search bar and you’ll be provided with a list of the keywords they rank for, along with an estimation of the traffic those keywords drive to your site.
For instance, a domain overview search on “title boxing,” one of the most popular online boxing and kickboxing retailers, yields 110,000 organic searches for the term “punching bag,” as well as 33,100 results for “punching bag stand”:
Want more competitor keyword data? Just click the “View Details” button in the “Top Organic Keywords” box.
Ahrefs offers a wide range of products, including backlink checkers, content explorers, and position trackers.
For our purposes, however, we will focus on their expansive, adaptable Keywords Explorer, which allows marketers to search nearly 7 billion keywords in over 170 countries, assessing metrics like keyword difficulty, click-through rates, related keyword lists, and search volume.
So which keyword tool should you use?
When considering which keyword tools to use, look for something that allows you to monitor a high volume of keywords, broken down by relevant themes. Additionally, the best tools allow you to track all your competitors, from large corporations to small, up-and-coming firms.
As for keyword ideas themselves, Google offers an easy (and cheap!) way to discover related search ideas.
Just type “sushi restaurants in San Francisco” into the search bar of Google Chrome and you’ll be presented with related images along the middle of the page, such as the names of specific restaurants, times they’re open, and where they’re located:
This is a strong hint for developers to include these topics in their content or to create pages to leverage these related images.
5) Write Longer Content (Most of the Time)
An SEO study concluded that longer content tends to accumulate more backlinks, which can often translate to better rankings and more traffic:
However, writing 2,000+ words for every blog post is not for everyone. It’s not only intensive and time-consuming, but it’s usually not necessary.
Remember what we said about satisfying user intent? Few search queries are from people looking to read a long blog post. They might only need a few words or sentences to get their answer.
Let’s take the keyword “link building tips.” People searching for that phrase are likely looking for a comprehensive guide to link-building strategies.
People searching for “link building do’s and don’ts,” on the other hand, might not be after a detailed guide. A simple bullet-point list may be all they’re looking for.
Unfortunately, there’s no hack to determine how long your content should be other than good old-fashioned common sense. Ask yourself what information someone would be looking for if they’re using a keyword that you’re targeting, and start from there.
Don’t forget that it is possible to target multiple types of search queries in one post. That comprehensive link-building guide, for example, could always be wrapped up with a bullet-point list of dos and don'ts (just make it as easy as possible for the user to navigate the article by using jump links — like we have in the table of contents at the top of this piece).
But what if you’ve decided that 2,000+ word posts are a necessity? Here’s how you can create long-form content (without the stress):
Refresh Your Old Content
If you're struggling to find the motivation to write a long-form blog post, then why not just expand an existing page from, say, 1,200 words to 2,000?
Existing content already has the authority and (in some cases) an established readership. Rather than writing from scratch, it can be much simpler to boost an existing post’s performance in the search results by refreshing it with updated information and extra content.
So how do you choose which content to update?
The best candidates for content refreshes are time-sensitive content (in other words, subjects like SEO that are constantly evolving), as well as posts that are getting some organic traffic but have the potential to get much more.
You can find out how much traffic your content is getting in the Landing Pages section of Google Analytics. Just go to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages:
Once there, remember to change the segment you’re viewing to “Organic Traffic,” and filter the results using your search bar. For example, if you want to view traffic to content that lives in the /blog subfolder of your site, you just need to put /blog in the search bar.
6) Take Advantage of YouTube SEO
Videos, predominantly from YouTube, are a common feature in the SERPs.
- The most popular video site on the Internet, with 2 billion monthly active users watching 1 billion hours of video every day
- The second most popular social media platform
- The second largest search engine
- The second most popular website in general:
Many SEOers forget about YouTube when they think of search engines. Granted, video marketing isn’t for everyone, or necessary for every industry, but with most of us now having powerful video cameras on hand, there’s never been a better time to play around with video marketing.
Here’s how you can get in on the action (after creating a top-notch video, of course):
A) Make Your Video SEO-Friendly
Just like Google’s spiders, YouTube’s algorithm works by collecting and using information about your video. The filename, the title, the description of your uploaded content — all these elements affect rankings in YouTube’s search results.
Here are a few tips to make your video SEO friendly:
- Video Title – Crafting a compelling video title is a balancing act — you have to make the title SEO friendly and clickable to improve your click-through rate. Ideally, you should follow the same convention in your video titles as you would in your blog posts. To get clicks and shares, include keywords as well as power words. Here’s a great example of a killer title:
- Another tactic is to use your keywords at the start of the title, then add a sub-header after a colon to drive clicks.
- At the very least, your title should have 5+ words and include a broad target keyword. This will not only help you rank in Google’s SERPs but also get you more clicks on YouTube.
- Video Description – Because YouTube’s spiders can’t “read” videos, they will rely on your written description to determine its content. However, don’t just throw in some target keywords. Think of your description as a short blog post that describes your video content in detail. It can be as short as this example from Growth Everywhere:
This tells Google — as well as your readers — exactly what your video is about. Since most of your competitors are unlikely to be doing this, it’ll give you an instant upper hand.
Bonus: Use a video transcription service to turn your YouTube video description into a script of your entire video. That way, YouTube has tons of information to work from when deciding where your content should rank.
B) Create Custom Thumbnails
Most search engines use a click-through rate as a ranking factor. If people are clicking your result when searching for a specific term, you must be offering something of value, right? Well, optimizing your video with an enticing thumbnail can help.
A great thumbnail should tell viewers exactly what the video is about. Don’t use one of YouTube’s screenshots of your video — instead; create a custom thumbnail that features a compelling image along with a title card.
Here are some thumbnail examples for the term “how to write a blog”:
C) Create Video Playlists
Breaking down a subject or story into a series of videos, known as a playlist, that follow one after another encourages users to stay on your channel longer and interact with more of its content:
Not only will creating playlists entice users to return to your channel and watch your next upload, but YouTube’s algorithm will pick up on this increased interaction and reward you by recommending your videos more often and positioning them higher in the site’s search results.
7) Create a Diverse Backlink Portfolio
Even in 2020, links are still a very important part of search engine optimization.
Keep in mind, though, that quality matters. Spammy links can hurt your site. Links from very low DA sites are unlikely to pass much value, while links from older domains have been shown to pass more value than those from newer sites.
But Google doesn’t like to make things easy.
Contrary to what logic would tell us, sites with backlink profiles that consist almost entirely of extremely high-quality links may be flagged for a manual review. If you don’t pass that because your site looks too squeaky clean, you could find yourself in trouble.
Thankfully, this rarely happens (hence why it can flag a review when it does). As sites grow and land links from bigger sites, they typically pick up links from smaller sites along the way. This diversifies your link profile and ensures that it looks natural to search engines (which is because it will be natural).
However, there are a couple of things to bear in mind that will make sure your link portfolio follows the sort of pattern Google expects to see.
- When promoting content, don’t only target the “big hitters.” Smaller sites can offer value too. They’re often more responsive and niche-specific, as well.
- If you’re going to disavow links, err on the side of caution. Disavowing too many links can be more harmful than disavowing too few. Google’s now pretty good at recognizing bad links and choosing to ignore them. The search engine understands that most sites will naturally pick up a few bad apples, so if you’re too liberal with your disavow, the only change you might make is getting Google to discount links that were helping you.
8) Never, Ever Overlook Technical SEO
You could be doing everything right, but if your site is not technically sound, it may well be underperforming.
Here are a few advanced search engine optimization techniques you need to consider regarding technical SEO.
A) Ensure that Your Entire Site Loads on HTTPS
HTTPS has been a ranking factor since 2014. Sites that aren’t secure, or even sites with mixed security (i.e., some loads on HTTP and some on HTTPS — the “S” stands for secure), can struggle to rank. Today a secure website essential.
Google has started to warn users when they’re visiting non-HTTPS websites, and if you’re yet to make the switch to secure, encrypted connections, you might be turning away a huge chunk of people willing to visit your site.
HTTPS is the best practices that will help your website boost its SEO presence, stay secure, and make it harder for malicious parties to break in and take advantage of your website.
If you’re a smaller organization, your process will likely be less painstaking or time-consuming, but either way, moving to HTTPS is a necessity in a world of cybersecurity threats and heightened SEO and SEM requirements.
Transitioning to HTTPS is easier said than done, and requires a multi-step process. Follow this guide to make the switch on WordPress.
B) Enable AMP for Mobile
AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, began as a Google-backed open initiative that allowed publishers to easily create responsive, mobile-optimized content.
What is the difference between AMP pages and mobile-friendly pages?
As per Search Engine Journal:
“A responsive page or a mobile-friendly page is the same page of the website which is served in a different layout. The pages get displayed according to the device from which they are accessed. AMP pages are served to the user from the Google AMP cache. AMP pages have a different URL.”
Envisioned as a way to quickly render content on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, AMP combines three components:
- HTML tags: which help common web patterns render quickly
- AMP JS: a library that manages the resource loading and best practices necessary for fast rendering
- AMP cache: a content delivery network that both loads content and ensures speed
For those of you who use WordPress, AMP should be much easier to implement than a home-grown CMS from scratch. To implement AMP to help cater to mobile searchers.
Note: Because AMP pages have a different URL, there will be an issue of duplicate content unless you address that. As SEJ succinctly explains: If you have both AMP and non-AMP versions of your pages, include the following links:
C) Invest in Crawling Software
These SEO crawler programs are similar to Google’s crawlers, and will give you insights into the technical health of your site:
Deep Crawl: Deep Crawl is a web-based crawler that checks sites for SEO health and viability. Deep Crawl will provide you with a laundry list of necessary improvements and errors, such as duplicate content, broken pages, flawed titles, descriptions, and metadata.
Botify: A cloud-based crawler that boasts big-name users like Expedia and eBay, Botify is one of the strongest crawlers available today, short of Google’s secret algorithms. Not only can Botify check whether Google has crawled your page, but it can also offer suggestions on how to restructure web content and site maps to optimize your web page for Google’s crawlers.
Unfortunately, Botify has become increasingly expensive and is now only really affordable to enterprise companies.
For affordable (and still effective) crawling software, you might want to look at one (or both) of the below options:
- Screaming Frog: Probably the best-known crawler on the market, Screaming Frog may look intimidating at first, but once you know your way around it you’ll appreciate it for its speed, power, and efficiency.
- Sitebulb: One of the newer crawlers on the scene, since its launch, Sitebulb’s won multiple awards and has been touted by many as transforming the way we do technical SEO. In short, it does the hard work for you, detailing a site’s technical problems in simple language, and explaining exactly what you need to do to fix it. It’s arguably some of the best new SEO technology on the market.
D) Correct Your Semantic Markups
Semantic markups help Google understand your site — but only if they’re correct.
Semantic markups are essentially HTML tags that help emphasize key information on your site. They tell Google’s spiders what a page is about without needing to digest every word on the page.
Just take heading tags, for instance. Text wrapped in a <h1> tag is the page’s main title and should give a brief explanation of the entire shared content on that page. Text wrapped in a <h2> tag is subheadings, and so on.
Here’s an example heading structure:
<h1> The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posting
<h2> what is guest posting?
<h3> Benefits of guest blogging
<h3> 5 types of links you can build
<h2> How to write an awesome guest post
<h3> 1. Pick the perfect website
<h3> 2. Send an email pitch
<h3> 3. Write your content
E) Fix “Page Not Found” 404 Errors by Redirecting URLs
Following a link that leads to a 404 page with the text “Error: Not Found” is essentially a dead end. And nobody likes being stuck in a dead-end — neither search engine spiders nor your audience. So it’s in your interest to fix these broken or missing pages and re-engage your users as soon as you can.
First of all, download your backlink profile using a tool like Monitor Backlinks. Backlinks that are pointing to a pesky 404 error page will be highlighted, so head to your Google Analytics dashboard to find out how many pages views the 404 error page gets.
Keep those users around by using an SEO plugin like Redirection to redirect URLs of broken links to 200s. You’ll want to redirect the broken page to the next, most relevant page to make sure they’re not frustrated with landing on a different page than they expected.
Redirecting broken pages to new URLs will boost user experience, while also regaining any link equity (or link juice) those pages were passing.
9) Target Local Searchers with Landing Pages and Listings
Almost half (46%) of all searches on Google are from people looking for local information. That could include:
- Local shops
- Opening hours
- Telephone numbers
So, if you have a brick-and-mortar business, you can’t neglect local SEO and listings.
Here are three huge SEO techniques to capture potential customers who live locally. After all, 72% of people who perform a Google search for local businesses online end up visiting stores within a five-mile radius!
A) Double-Check Your Directory Listings
As powerful as search engines like Google or Bing may be, they still can’t be everywhere at once and sometimes have to rely on additional information from local data sources.
These sources can include directory listings, which gather, aggregate, and submit relevant data for area businesses — information from physical directories (like Yellow Pages) or scanning business registrations.
In a nutshell: Bigger search engines (like Google) will rely on these data aggregators to fill in information gaps in their databases, and will also cross-check information to make sure facts are up-to-date.
Problems arise, however, when aggregators collect out-of-date data, leading a search engine like Google or Bing to list the wrong information, such as an old address for your business or a disconnected phone number.
That’s why it’s critical to ensure that your physical contact information is up-to-date on every online listing you’ve created, including:
- Google My Business: Because Google is the largest search engine, always start with Google My Business — a free-to-use listing service — and update your data accordingly. Be sure to include important details like extra locations, your latest opening hours, and what forms of payment are acceptable.
- Local Directory Management Service: This service carries out the painstaking work of scanning countless local directories, interacting with data aggregators, and correcting outdated information. Moz Local and Yext both offer this service, which can help you avoid inconsistencies that can hurt your revenue stream — or even worse, trick Google’s algorithms into thinking you’re a different business entirely.
- Build more directory listings using Local Data Aggregators: Now that you’ve got the information down to a T, roll that out by using a local data aggregator like Bright Local. That way, you don’t need to painstakingly re-enter the same information over and over again, which is bound to lead to mistakes in itself.
From that point on, local search listings should be accurately and automatically updated by your management service. Oh, and remember to change all local listings if something changes — particularly when you move office or switch telephone numbers!
B) Build and Optimize Local Landing Pages
Let’s think about the search terms people use when they’re looking for local services. Chances are, they look something like this:
- “SEO services in Los Angeles”
- “Best blow-dry in Manchester, UK”
- “Where to buy candles in New York”
The only way to make sure you’re reaching the shortlist of Google’s SERPs is to actively target those keywords on your website — preferably with a local landing page. (A local landing page does what it says on the tin: targets people who are looking for something within a specific location.)
Just take a look at top organic results being shown for a local keyword:
Notice how they’re all local landing pages for the Finchley area, rather than a homepage or general “washing machine repair” service page?
Create your own (and start targeting local searchers who’re ready to visit your brick and mortar store) by:
- Doing keyword research to find local keywords relating to your product or service.
- Creating a new page on your website and optimizing it for those local keywords. That includes mentioning the phrase in your meta title, meta description, page title, heading tags, image alt text, and on-site content.
- Building links from local directory listings to that page to strengthen location-based keyword rankings (e.g. If you’re creating a landing page for London, build links from London-based directories to the landing page’s URL).
C) Technical SEO for Local Search
Carrying out technical SEO for local search is a similar process to that discussed earlier, but here are some useful terms and techniques to ensure that you optimize your business for local searches.
Schema is brief snippets of data that provide extra information to users and search engines. Best of all, schema markups don’t require any coding knowledge and can be inserted through Schema.org, a rare collaboration between Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Schema is used on this listing, which gives local searchers extra information about the venue’s hours, location, general information, and more, without actually visiting the page itself:
With Google Tag Manager, however, it’s easy to combine schema and JSON to further boost the strength of your schema, resulting in a higher CTR and visibility, and without having to spend precious time coding.
10) Measure SEO Performance
Reporting and analytics are two critical elements of SEO — both of which are indispensable to improving your overall marketing strategies.
Effective reporting means that you can understand key questions such as:
- What content appealed to your customer?
- What part of the website had the most UX issues?
- Which page was the least (or most) visited, and why?
- Which on-page SEO changes resulted in the highest rankings?
- Which style of keyword should you focus on in the future?
It’s tricky to understand those intricacies (and use them to your advantage to make further improvements) without regularly monitoring and reporting your results.
Here are three tools you can use to do exactly that:
A) Data Studio
Interested in the ability to tie online data back to offline data to get a full 360 view of how your content and marketing is performing?
Google’s Data Studio helps you to do just that by aggregating data (such as rankings, traffic, and conversion data) from multiple sources into a single interface. It’s a fantastic SEO tool for internal teams to use, but also a superb way for SEO agencies to share fancy reports with their clients.
But most importantly, the SEO metrics you’re able to track with Data Studio can help you determine the effectiveness of your SEO strategy, and assess whether you need to pivot or change tactics for better results.
B) Wayback Machine
Always be aware of what your competitors are doing and how well it’s working for them. What techniques are they using? How have they changed their approach? What mistakes have they learned from?
One great tool to see how your competition has changed is Wayback Machine, which allows marketers to access petabytes of archived web pages. By sifting through Wayback Machine’s extensive database, you can track the evolution of your competitor’s brand and web presence, taking note of factors such as:
- Changes in UX design
- Differences in copy from one web version to the next
- Movements of key page elements, such as page navigation or calls to action
Still, you shouldn’t implement something just because your competitor is doing it — whether that’s designing a website a certain way or using specific copy or images. You’ve got to use your common sense, combined with industry knowledge, before giving your SEO team the go-ahead to copy their changes.
If used correctly, however, Wayback Machine has loads of interesting lessons to offer. Take a look at these two screenshots of Title Boxing.
The differences are pretty clear. In 2007, the layout was cluttered and crowded, with small, hard-to-navigate sidebars squeezing some undersized imagery around daily specials ads.
Today, however, the user experience is much more streamlined. Visitors are greeted with a clear, easy-to-use menu at the top, labeled with categories like “Gloves” and “Punching Bags.” A large, sliding image in the center replaces the tiny, hard-to-notice ads from 2007, allowing buyers to see exactly what is on sale.
In a nutshell: The new website is far more minimalist, doing away with the previous confused and chaotic format. That might be a chance you’ll want to think about implementing, too.
If you’ve followed this guide to a T, you might notice an influx of organic traffic arriving at your website from Google. That’s great news, but how can you find out which keywords are driving the most results?
Enter: SEMrush, an SEO tool mentioned earlier, which is used by marketers to track ever-changing keyword ranking positions in various search engines (and much more).
D) Google Search Console
Google Search Console has come a long way since it was known as Webmaster Tools. It should now be a critical piece of weaponry in any SEOer's toolbox and be checked regularly. If Google doesn’t like something about your site, the Search Console may well be the first tool to tell you.
Keeping Up With SEO
As we know, SEO is rapidly evolving. Business owners and marketers have to adapt, and fast, but it’s still possible to give your website the edge over your competition.
Make sure to spend time on the fundamentals of solid content creation and copywriting, and stay on top of technology trends as well as the impact of things like backlinks, site speed, and schema.
There's a lot to consider, but remember you don't need to become the world's top SEO expert overnight. Make the effort to understand even the basics of SEO, and you'll see a big difference in your website's click-through rates, engagement, and, of course, rankings.
Drive Traffic to Your Website Through Social Media
Are you in search of some great social media tactics? Do you want to drive exceptional traffic to your business website? Here we share with you some useful social media tips to convert your visitors to leads.
Let us first understand social media and traffic.
Social Media and Traffic:
The social media world is home to more than 3.4 billion active users. Social media is said to be the primary source for generating eCommerce traffic. Social media leads ahead of the traditional media in driving traffic to your website. They bring in ample opportunities to gain business visitors and convert into leads.
How do you strike a conversation? How can you increase the visibility of your social media posts? How to engage your audiences? How to generate leads through constant digital engagement?
In this chapter, we'll show you how.
Strategies to Boost Website Traffic:
For a relevant and persuasive social media marketing strategy, here are some must-have strategies to boost website traffic for your online store.
1. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles:
Social media profiles play a crucial role in brand building and recognition. A good social media profile can drive a good amount of traffic to your website. Optimizing your social media profiles is as important as optimizing your website's SEO. Ensure your social media biographies include relevant keywords. Also, make sure you do not miss any information while filling in your profile details.
Your website SEO will rank well if you add its links in your social media profile biographies. Also, this is an essential rule for good SEO on your website.
Thus, social media profiles can be a great asset to brand awareness. For an optimized website, a streamlined social media profile with the right set of keywords and information is a must.
2. Engage with Your Target Audience Consistently:
Social media helps you connect to your target audience directly. You can interact with your audience, get feedback in real-time, and better your customer experience. Consistent engagement with your audience can boost traffic to your social media profile and website. This also improves the opinion of audiences from the company’s perspective.
One of the most vital aspects of social media management is to keep your audience consistently engaged. Digital engagement with your audience is a seamless process and should not be combined with self-promotion. For a successful audience engagement with your brand or website, you need to consider several points in mind:
- Social media is not a one-way strategy. It is more of a two-way street
- Do not ignore your audience. Keep them engaged. Or else you might lose them in the process
- Only 11% of customers receive replies from online brands
- Nearly 34% of customers prefer social media for customer care
One of the social media marketing strategies is managing your social media inboxes regularly.
Once you learn the art of using social media management tools, you can stay at the top of the social game. Lead through your single-stream inbox with social events, and niche content in your social feeds. Gaining your audience’s visibility will take time, but you need to put effort to drive traffic continuously.
3. Post Consistently:
Every social media user desires to achieve accountability of a good list of followers. Posting regularly on your social media can help you develop an excellent social media marketing strategy. Posting frequency and the number of followers and likes you gain depends on certain factors like:
- Region/Time zone
- Target Audience
- Days in a week
- Profile bios
According to stats, different social media have different posting frequency.
- For Twitter, the minimum posting frequency is 15 tweets daily
- For Facebook, the minimum posting frequency is one post daily
- For Instagram, the minimum posting frequency is 1-2 posts weekly
For this, you must measure the best frequency with your audience. You can also monitor the posting frequencies of other brands and your competitors. This helps you define your frequency to increase social media engagement.
4. Create Viral Content like Memes:
The term “viral” is pretty much related to social media. Anything you find unique, enticing, or relatable has the potential to drive more traffic. Viral contents are quintessential if you want to increase your site traffic. However, it is not an easy deal at all. Remember, not all your posts can be viral. For content to be viral, it is essential that:
- People have a willingness to share your content
- People spread your message to reach the maximum audience
Some instances of viral content are the liveliest example.
We all dig into content that contains humor or hilarious memes. All of us are enjoying them and welcoming them. Some are funny videos, gifs, or images with secure messages or funny captions. You can easily incorporate these memes into your brands or products. Make sure you use it for fun and publicity. Stay away from any sensitive issues that may get in the way of your brand identity or that may stir controversy.
b) Content that Appeals to Human Senses:
The viral recipe or food videos are taking over social media by a storm. These drooling videos and visuals make us want more. These viral videos have something in common. They are appealing to human senses, and things that make them more indulging are
- Sight (videos with vibrant colors and effects)
- Hearing (upbeat music)
- Smell (imagining the scent or aroma of spices)
- Taste (mouthwatering recipes)
- Touch (when your mouth touches these mouthwatering food)
5. Focus on Sharing Visual Content:
As per the factual figures, visual content can get you more likes and shares than ordinary content. Invest time in creating visuals that speak volumes about you, your brand, and your niche products. Make sure your visuals are too unique to get unnoticed. Later, focus on sharing the same with your target audience.
The main idea of creating visual content is to obtain social media visibility. To create the out of the box visuals, here are some key points to include:
- HD photography
- Vibrant colors
- Well-designed layouts
- Well-planned visuals that deliver to the point information
- Visuals that tell stories
- Visuals focusing on services and products
6. Post Actively and When your Audience is Active:
The key to increasing your follower count is consistent posting. These businesses have to be proactive in their social media game. To increase the visibility of your profile, focus on regular publishing. Once you see a spark in your social media traffic, do not be lazy to post. It is a continuous effort that you need to make to shine in this challenging world.
To maintain a publishing schedule, you can use social media management tools available online. You can also use social media planner or calendar to optimize your publishing activity. These tools help you post regularly considering the location, time zone, and necessary factors. Take out the metrics of how much you post typically on each social site, and what is the time you publish your post?
Following these, you can see substantial growth in your social media traffic.
6. Run Q&A Polls and Social Media Contests:
Social media contests and polls are interesting and exciting ways to engage your audience. Such activities also help you improve the communication gap between you and your target audience. Running quizzes, polls, and contests can indulge your audience in sharing, talking, liking, and following. This also makes them aware of your brand, website, and products.
Here are some powerful tips on how to host such activities.
- Instagram has powerful and interactive features that help you connect with your audience. Go live on your social media, create polls in your story, and use hashtags. You can use hashtags, or ask them to follow or tag your profiles. However, more importantly, create links that link to your site. Remember, we discussed why backlinks are an important part of your social media strategy.
- The Twitter poll is an interactive feature on Twitter that helps you conduct polls. This helps you interact with your audiences and know their opinions and thought processes. Another exciting and engaging feature is Twitter Q&A.
These features encourage your community to connect with you. More importantly, they build brand awareness and promote your products.
7. Research Your Competitors Thoroughly:
An actual marketing strategy understands how well your competitors are performing. The same holds for any social media marketing strategy. You can leverage the online tools to get insights and performance metrics of how your competitors. The social media competitive analysis helps you deeply analyze your traffic. They help you gather ideas and key performance metrics of your opponent’s social posts.
Social media is a challenging world to live in. Before plunging into posting sessions, get in-depth insights into your competitors. This gives you a clear vision of how you can build your social family. Do not imitate your competitors; instead, understand their strategies to create your own. This helps you analyze your competitor’s moves, such as:
- Most engaging social media channels
- Successful post in a day
- Types of content published
- Strategies to engage more traffic
- How often they indulge in activities like polls and quizzes
8. Participate in Social Groups:
Join active community groups where you find high chances of getting your target audience. You can find people with the same interests and identify their inclination towards your products. You can join these groups on Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. These groups can help you potentially drive traffic to your site.
Jot down what interests, characteristics, and personalities, your target market is comprised of. For instance, if you are a retailer of sports shoes, your target audience should be sportsperson and youth. So, it would help if you found online groups that have the same audience. Join such groups as an individual and then promote yourself as an influencer. This way you can improve your products and introduce them to your online store.
This is a smart way to become an influencer and promote your products and business on a larger scale.
9. Get Inspiration from Influencers:
Social media influencers are creating a significant impact in this digital world. Influencers are often referred to as “online celebs”. They have a huge follower count and immense popularity on social media. They have the power to influence the way their followers think. They have a big network of followers through their channels like social media, blogs, YouTube, etc.
You must identify the top social media influencers to boost your sales. The key to building this strategy is to find the right influencer to endorse your brand and products. And then focus on establishing a good relationship.
How to Use Email Marketing to Generate More Traffic?
If you ask any marketer or a salesperson that if they can have 3 wishes then what will they ask for? And one wish would be MORE CUSTOMERS.
To acquire more customers what you need is MORE TRAFFIC to your site or business. But driving traffic to your site can be a challenge for many marketers, business owners. They are unable to find the right answers for questions such as
How does business communication happen?
How do banks send statements and transaction alerts to you?
Email marketing is the answer. The main purposes of email marketing are to
- Connect with your audience, customers, or clients.
- To create brand awareness
- Build trust and loyalty
Put simply, email marketing as a technique needs the following three things
- Audience (list of email recipients)
- Message (what you want to convey to your audience)
- Email campaign software (tools to organize email list, compose email content, and sending emails)
An email list is however needed to give this marketing campaign a boost. In addition to that, the marketer needs to think of a creative way for crafting emails, so that s/he can attract the target or potential customer’s attention, get stand out in the inbox, and get the traffic through. (And subtly invite the audience to try-buy your products, services)
Although it may look like a simple strategy to start with, one needs to be creative enough to drive this campaign.
In this chapter, we’re going to look at a few tips and tricks to boost site traffic with creative email marketing. But if you want to make it work, make sure that you are not doing common email marketing mistakes.
Why Email Marketing?
Email marketing is an online business strategy that involves sending a series of specific messages (emails) to a list of existing subscribers (a segment) or potential customers. You may be informing them of new products or services available for them to try/buy, or build a relationship with them to create interest.
Marketers use these emails to solicit sales, donations, or even send ads to targeted audiences. The main purpose is to create brand awareness, build trust and loyalty among customers, as well as increase the customer base & purchase patterns.
An email list is however needed to make this marketing campaign a success and fruitful. In addition to this, the marketer needs to have a creative way of crafting promotional emails to attract the target audience’s attention and get the message through.
Although it may seem like a simple marketing strategy, many factors have to be considered to make it a success.
It is for this reason one needs to be creative enough to make the most out of an email list.
Outlined below are a few tips and tricks on how to use email marketing to drive more traffic to your business to record higher sales and profits.
10 Ways On How to Drive More Traffic Using Email Marketing:
1. Encourage people to subscribe to promotional emails:
The first step in email marketing is collecting email addresses from interested potential customers. Collecting viable and credible email addresses to use in a marketing campaign is one of the toughest tasks marketers have to undertake. Discussed below are a few tips and tricks on how to encourage prospects to subscribe to your promotional newsletters.
a. Use your Facebook accounts: Social media marketing is another powerful marketing strategy that every marketer should use. If you already have a Facebook page for your business, you can then use it to collect more viable emails from interested audiences and friends. Allowing your target audience to subscribe to newsletters while on Facebook can help you generate more leads than you anticipated. They can sign up directly, or via a landing page that you send them to.
b. Use blogs and forums: Blogs have a huge influence on the online market today – this is especially important for blogs offering informative content for the online community. Most people search for information on blogs and other informative sites they can find online. If you already have a blog linked to your business website, you can then use it to collect email addresses from visiting viewers and audiences. You however should make sure the blog contains informative content, and what the target audience wants, for them to feel obliged to provide an email address. Often you can capture this via a freemium, an offer that has value to them, in exchange for an email. We call this an ‘ethical bribe’.
c. Use promotional or explainer videos: Although most marketers are yet to realize this, you can collect tons of email addresses by uploading a promotional video – or an explainer or funny video clip with a call to action button on video hosting sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. YouTube has over a billion users and creates massive traffic every day from all corners of the world. You can therefore tap into its traffic and even collect email addresses from the same. As mentioned earlier, you need to give these subscribers a reason to subscribe to your newsletters and other promotional content for them to provide you with their email addresses.
2. Tell subscribers what to expect:
Most people focus too much on acquiring a potential customer’s email address without telling them what to expect from the process. One of the basic principles of email marketing is making it known to these subscribers why you need their email addresses. None one will just hand you their address without a good reason to.
Telling these subscribers what to expect from you gives them peace of mind – this means they will most probably open the promotional email and read through the mail. You however need to be careful not to send too many emails, as some of the audience may be annoyed and hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button. You can easily manage this by watching your statistics. Their engagement (clicks, responses) will tell you when to break up the frequency of email messages.
3. Make the emails scannable:
Most people are too busy to read long lines of text, which is the reason why you should strive to keep your emails short and precise. Make sure the reader can scan through the email with one glimpse and get the idea behind the text without having to read through the text. (Note: this can vary depending on the market. If you are an educational center, for example, more detail may be ok.)
Including graphic images and including, subheadings can greatly help how fast a reader can comprehend the mail hence saving his/her time. You also need to include a call to action link to help interested customers to click to make a purchase or order easily.
4. Use mobile-friendly emails:
Many people today use their smartphones, tablets, iPads, and other handheld devices to surf the internet and access their emails.
It is for this reason you should ensure all promotional emails send are mobile-friendly and easy to read in limited screen sizes. Many of these handheld devices use inbuilt emailing apps to deliver messages to the user, which is another reason you need to ensure the text is readable across multiple emailing platforms and apps.
If all your target audiences in your mailing list can open and read the emails with ease, you can then be assured that most of them will make orders or even log into your business website.
5. Use video email marketing:
Video email marketing is the newest marketing kid on the block. As mentioned earlier, most people lead busy lives and rarely get time to read long blocks of text in their emails.
Nonetheless, the reading time can be reduced to a few seconds by simply using a promotional, high quality, and informative video clip as the main message.
You however should make sure the video quality is exceptionally good but lightweight to enable fast loading even on email programs. HTML5 video clips are mostly recommended as they load very fast even on slow networks. Showing a video player graphic with your smiling face on it, and a link to the actual video on a landing page is also best practice.
Audiovisual content is more converting than written content in that, it is easier to comprehend – it only takes less than 15 seconds to deliver the intended message. The best thing about this is that most smartphones, tablets, and iPads support 3G and 4G networks, which means viewing these videos on these devices is a breeze and presents a smooth viewing experience.
6. Send personalized emails:
Both loyal and potential customers will greatly appreciate it if you send them personalized emails custom-designed for their needs. This means you have to categorize your emailing list according to customer preferences and needs. This ensures the recipients get emails related to their needs and what may appear to them as “spammy” emails.
It would be more advantageous to inject personalized recommendations for your clients for ultimate one-on-one communication. Although sending personalized emails may be time-consuming, your business or website should receive at least 25% higher conversions and even higher traffic from the same. The returns on investment of sending personalized emails are much higher than sending one message to thousands of recipients.
If you use dynamic responses to email clicks and events, you can make it work in this way.
7. Ensure the landing page is properly optimized:
Although investing in a promising and effective email marketing campaign is recommended, it would be advisable to ensure your business’ landing page is optimized properly. Most businesses lose potential high-value customers simply because their websites aren’t presentable or optimized (high value messaging, offers, and speed of loading).
For more return visits (and for potential customers to refer their friends to your website) it would be wise to ensure your business website is optimized and designed properly. The website should be very easy to use and navigate. A presentable, informative, and easy to use website attracts more return visits than an unresponsive website. Tools like lead pages and Unbounce can help get the process started.
8. Automate post-purchase messages:
A strong website, positive customer experience, and effective email marketing campaigns form a stable footing for your business and interactive marketing. You however shouldn’t take your customers, whether one-time or loyal customers, for granted.
Provide them with exclusive and attractive deals to encourage them to buy more, or even refer their friends to your website.
Taking some time to thank them after a purchase (through a personalized automated message) can be uplifting to them. This paves way for more return visits hence increased traffic and more sales. Psychologically, you are also “training” and preparing them for future interactions with you. The first email they get is the most important for establishing trust and a good relationship from the outset.
9. Be friendly:
Although using a casual tone in promotional emails is recommended, it wouldn’t hurt to use an informal but friendly tone, especially to loyal customers. It is by being friendly that you can break the ice with new audiences and customers.
This also creates a tighter relationship which makes potential customers want to try your services or products.
10. Respond to email replies:
Some of the potential customers (on your mailing list) may have questions/queries that need to be answered or cleared before they can make an order. Be sure to respond to their emails professionally by providing them with the answers they need to clear their doubts.
Do not be like any other marketer who uses a certain email address to mail potential leads and never checks emails or what the recipients hand to say.
Responding to a customer’s mail builds confidence and trust thus increasing their chances of visiting your official website, or better still, make an order.
How to Use YouTube to Drive Traffic to your Website?
YouTube, of course, is the second most-visited website in the world, second only to Google.
YouTube videos bring some serious SEO benefits including more ranking opportunities and–thanks to the thumbnail art and video carousels, a lot more visibility than your average result.
In this chapter, we are going to show you some ways that you can turn your YouTube viewers into a reliable traffic source for your website.
Know all of the tips and tricks to drive traffic from YouTube to your website
If you want to generate more website traffic (who doesn’t?), YouTube is a great place to make that happen.
Between blogging and emailing, guest posting and directory citations paid search, and paid social, YouTube tends to get left out of the traffic-boosting conversation. Which, let’s be serious is a real missed opportunity.
Like any social platform, YouTube is another opportunity for people to find your website and get to know your brand. But unlike other socials, YouTube offers some key advantages over the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
1. Optimize Your YouTube Video
This should go without saying, but before you can drive traffic to your website, your YouTube channel, or any other property, you’ll need to make sure your content is in good shape.
Once you’ve determined that your content is good to go, you’ll want to optimize your video.
- Perform Some YouTube Keyword Research
This is as simple as using YouTube’s Search Suggest feature (like Google’s). Here’s what comes up if I type in “how to build a chatbot:”
If any of the results are relevant to your content (or future content), run them through Google Trends. So, if I continue with this example and type in “how to build a chatbot,” Google Trends suggests “Python programming language” as a related topic.
I might then target “how to build a chatbot using Python” to capture some of that interest.
For a more efficient keyword research process, I recommend using a tool. A few options that can help, here:
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Keyword Keg
- Optimize Your Title & Description
Your YouTube title and description helps the platform understand the content in your video, and optimizing with the right search terms can help you rank higher and attract the right audiences.
While you do have 1,000 characters to describe your video, most viewers probably aren’t prepared to work through a long block of text before they hit the play button.
You’ll want to include your target search terms up top, as well as the most important information–including CTAs, links, and the purpose of your video.
It helps to think of the description like a landing page, in “above the fold” vs. “below the fold” terms (important info up top, additional detail below for those who want it).
Here’s an example from my channel. Notice how I’ve kept things simple at the top, then outlined the key points “below the fold.”
I’ve also linked to the Ignite Visibility site, topical hashtags, and offered the option to subscribe directly from the description.
- Create a Clear Call-to-Action
Add a clear call-to-action at the end of every video that encourages people to visit your website.
Make sure to combine your verbal call-to-action with text. This ensures that viewers get the message and end up in the right place.
2. Give Viewers a Reason to Click Through
If you want users to head to a second location, you’ll need to give them a good reason to do so.
One way you might do this is by promoting a lead magnet in your CTA to drive traffic from YouTube.
This strategy follows the same logic as optimizing a paid ad and corresponding landing page.
So, you’ll want to think about what someone might want to read about after watching a tutorial, live stream, or product tour.
What’s that logical next step in the customer journey?
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that whatever resource you offer matches the content featured in the video. Examples include:
- Exclusive video content.
- Downloadable templates.
- Personalized reports.
- Email courses.
- Case studies.
- White papers.
- Online courses.
Long-term, you might use your YouTube channel to promote several resources that support viewers from across the funnel.
For best results, you’ll want to look for videos that are performing well, otherwise, you’re unlikely to get much action.
Head over to your dashboard and navigate to the analytics tab on the left sidebar. There, you’ll find top videos and real-time activity, with the option to dig in a bit deeper.
3. Ask People to Subscribe
Chances are, if you have regular viewers, they’ll throw you a bone and hit “subscribe.”
According to Google, 70% of users follow their favorite creators, making it an effective platform for building loyalty.
While generating more subscribers isn’t the most direct way to drive traffic from YouTube to your site right now, it will help you build out your audience long-term, improve your rankings, and as a result, serve up a steady stream of visitors.
From there, your goal shifts to a long-term strategy, aimed at delivering consistent content that turns subscribers into true fans–and eventually, they might pop over to your site to see what else you’ve got going.
4. Use Cards and if, Possible, End-Screens
Another way you can drive traffic to your site is by using YouTube cards.
Cards make it easy for viewers to find your website by featuring a clickable link prominently in the video, as opposed to looking for the right link within your description or your “about” page.
With YouTube, as well as any other type of video content, you’ll want to reinforce your CTA message by reinforcing your “ask” verbally, drawing attention to the card by calling it out.
You might double down here and use an arrow to point to the card as you’re telling your audience exactly where to click.
End-screens are a similar feature, though most users won’t be able to use them. You’ll need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program and have an approved merchandise or crowd funding site.
If you do meet the eligibility requirements, I highly recommend using end screens. Not only are they a super-effective hack for boosting YouTube subscriber counts, but they can also be used to drive traffic to your website, other videos, and for e-commerce stores, merchandise.
5. Use Videos to Tease Your Long-Form Content
This is one of my favorite strategies for marketing on YouTube.
If you’re a reader of the Ignite Visibility blog, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of my posts include a YouTube video covering the same topic.
The benefit here is, visitors can read the long-form post or get an overview from the video (it’s also a great way to boost page rankings).
On the YouTube site, users might find this post by searching for #digitalmarketing or #pressreleaseseo, or maybe it was served up by YouTube’s recommendation engine.
Connecting two pieces of content related to the same topic allows you to help your audience build their understanding, and ideally, encourages them to check out what else you have to offer.
6. Engage with Your Commenters
YouTube is often lumped in with the rest of the “big socials,” though it’s not necessarily considered a social platform in the same way as say, Twitter, or Instagram.
That said, YouTube is home to a thriving user community where people actively engage with content through comments, likes, and for better or worse, dislikes.
For brands, comments–good or bad–also offer valuable insights that can be used to improve your strategy and learn more about what your audience is looking for.
What’s more, the new YouTube Studio allows creators to filter comments that contain questions, which opens up another opportunity to drive traffic to your site (and could be
7. Team Up with Other Users
Partnering up with another YouTube user in your niche is a classic way to reach new viewers. The right collaboration allows both creators to share audiences and drive traffic to their respective channels and websites.
This strategy also offers a shortcut to winning viewer trust, as a creator they follow is essentially vouching for you. As a result, you’ll likely win some new subscribers, too.
So, how do you find a collaborator?
Okay, if you’ve done any guest posting, influencer marketing, or other types of brand collaborations, finding YouTube users to work with follows a similar approach.
Additionally, YouTube offers a great overview of how to identify and connect with potential collaborators.
8. YouTube Live Streaming
Live streaming has gone beyond trend status and proven it has some serious staying power–particularly in this new era of social distancing and digital events.
While you can use YouTube Live for a wide range of content, make sure you offer something that audiences can’t easily find otherwise. For example, this isn’t the best format for rehashing key points from your latest blog.
Instead, you might try:
- Behind the scenes content
- Interviews (bonus points if you can book key players in your niche)
- Live tutorials
- Q&A sessions
- Product demonstrations
- Contests and giveaways
- Live consulting sessions
Prepare Your Specs
- Just because you’re live-streaming doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come prepared. Before you start rolling, make sure you have the following items prepared:
- Select a descriptive, keyword-rich title that accurately reflects the content of your live stream.
- Same general best practices as outlined above–include up to 15 relevant hashtags, links, and front-load the most important information.
- Script: It doesn’t have to be such–a polished outline or a set of bullets will work just fine, so long as it offers your audience a sense of what to expect.
- What happens next? Make sure you reinforce your CTAs by including them in the description and script.
- Finally, be sure you have an original thumbnail prepared. Images must have a resolution of 1280×720, with a minimum 640px width.
9. YouTube Premiere
Another way you might drive traffic is through the YouTube Premiere feature.
According to Google, Premieres allows you to schedule an upload so that you and your viewers can experience your content together.
Like YouTube Live, Premieres allows you to build an event around your content and live chat with audiences while they watch. Creators can participate in the conversation, answer questions, and link to website content when relevant.
A quick note: do be cautious about linking to your content.
YouTube Premieres are designed for engaging with your community and should be used for more genuine interactions. In other words, brand mentions must add value.
Another benefit of using this feature is, after the Premiere, participants receive a copy of the chat transcript. For creators, that means any resources you link to or key points made can be referenced later–making it easy for viewers to access any information referenced during the event.
10. Run Paid YouTube Ads
While most of these efforts are organic, it’s worth mentioning that YouTube’s paid ads can help you build more momentum as far as traffic goes.
Run Brand Lift 2.0 to Learn More About Your Audience
Brand Lift 2.0 is a feature baked into YouTube’s advertising platform that allows users to measure the impact of their ad campaigns. Users can participate at no additional charge, and can choose to collect performance insights based on the following goals:
- Purchase Intent
- Ad Recall
PPC Hero offers a great breakdown here on how the Brand Lift 2.0 program works if you need a bit more info.
The main benefit of the program is that it allows you to capture detailed audience insights that can be applied to both futures paid campaigns and organic content.