Getting Your Name Out There with Traffic Sources
In the Part One of this three part series I dove head first into Google Analytics traffic sources. Google Analytics splits traffic between Search, Referral and Direct. However, there are multiple traffic sources that branch off of these three core categories.
Breaking Down the Three Core Traffic Sources Social
Social media and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn are channels that can drive traffic to your website. There are also niche industry networks such as ActiveRain for real estate. Do some digging online to find industry specific social networks, then go offline and ask colleagues what websites they follow or contribute to.
Creating a business page allows you to engage your followers, which can result in website traffic. Sites like Facebook have an ad platform to purchase paid advertisements that can link to your site too.
Sending out emails is an additional source to reach your client base. Compelling content and call-to-actions are excellent way s of directing traffic to your website.
Content that drives action and engagement will increase your click through rate (CTR). Having emails with incentives such as, "Get 20% Off on Lawnmowers! Deal ends Friday at 5 p.m." with links to the lawnmower webpage will get high ROI than a monthly newsletter with a link to the homepage.
Blog and Forums
This form of traffic occurs when bloggers post articles with links to your website. Traffic can either come from an internal company blog or from outside bloggers.
Blog commenting is a tactic to give your company a voice and start a dialogue in the blogosphere. If people think your comments are knowledgeable or even funny, then they are more inclined to go to your website.
Forums are online communities where people post on threads under their profile. Joining a forum for your industry and actively building a presence can be a source to generate traffic. Forums are an even greater opportunity than blog commenting for branding and establishing a company voice.
Video hosting sites have high engagement levels from the users end. These sites include:
Viral videos are one method to produce a large influx to your website’s traffic.
Businesses may implement image sharing sites as a traffic source.
Creating a meme (pronounced meem, rhymes with beam) can be one avenue for viral content. Memes are internet photos or videos are uniquely recognizable due to their viral nature. Examples of some memes are "Success Kid," "First World Problems" and "What People Think I Do/What I Really Do."
In image memes the internet community takes the meme concept and writes their own captions. One example of a branded meme is the Dos Equis beer ad campaign "The Most Interesting Man in the World." Once in motion there is there is no controlling or stopping the avalanche of memes.
One traffic channel that can highlight your company's expertise in your industry is through podcasts. Podcasts can be recorded and then hosted online - most notably iTunes. This traffic source literally gives your company a voice to cut through the noise of other companies competing for your attention.
Question and Answer Sites
How many times have you searched a long tail query like: "How many Oscars did Titanic win?" or "Why do Dalmatians have spots?"
When you enter a query in a question format into search engines one of the following usually ranks first:
- Yahoo Answers
When answering a question you can fill out a section called Sources. For questions regarding your industry be sure to note how many years you've been an expert and include a link to your website.
The original question poster will pick a "Best Answer" out of all the answers. Being voted the "Best Answer" brings your answer to the top of the page increasing visibility and validating your industry leadership.
Writing a news release is a great way to vocalize exciting new projects or initiatives of your business. Well written news releases will get picked up by media outlets such as newspapers, magazines and/or blogs. Optimized backlinks for your targeted search terms will boost your organic search rankings.
In Part One I explained the core categories of traffic sources (search, referral, direct). This article broke down the traffic sources even more, and focused on 8 sources that you can utilize to diversity your inbound traffic sources in your internet marketing strategy. The final installment Part Three will introduce shady traffic sources with damaging consequences.