There are hundreds of tactics for driving visitors to your website, but there are several factors to consider beyond “get more people!” You can spend all of the money you have driving people to your site, but at the end of the day, what matters most is that you’re driving the right traffic.

While the internet is definitely a game of numbers, remember to focus on quality traffic. If you’re an eCommerce site selling vitamins, creating a site that garners a lot of traffic from students writing reports probably won’t lead to many conversions.  Once you’ve pinpointed the type of site you have, a few key demographics about your audience, and promotional ideas, you can start honing in on those quality customers. Once you have quality nailed down, then you can focus on quantity.

Let’s consider a few things before we get started:

What type of website do you have?

  1. Are you in business to offer a service or a product to your audience?
  2. Do you sell your product or service online, or strictly provide information about your product/service?
  3. Do you have a personal website, where you are highlighting your skills or portfolio?
  4. Are you writing a blog or news site?

Who is your audience?

  1. What age is your audience?
  2. What gender(s) is your audience?
  3. Are you targeting locally, nationally, internationally?
  4. Are your customers likely to be repeat customers, or one-time-only?

What promotional factors are part of the picture?

  1. Are you offering a discount?
  2. Do you offer tips on how to accomplish something useful?
  3. Do you have an event or deadline to promote?
  4. Do you have a new or restructured product/service to promote?

What are your current traffic metrics?

  1. How many unique visitors do you currently have?
  2. How many page views are you currently getting a day/week/month?
  3. Are people moving through the site? How many pages are being hit per visit?
  4. What is the average amount of time people spend on the site?
  5. What is your current bounce rate?
  6. What is currently driving the most traffic – what sources (direct, search, and referral)?

Once you have answered these questions, you will be better equipped to find and target your audience.

5 Most Effective Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

1) PPC – Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Paid advertising manages to be both underutilized and misunderstood. PPC is usually best used for conversion-oriented keywords, which is great because it gets you a new audience that is also ready to convert. However, we’ve found that clients often expect very high conversion and lead rates from PPC, and while that can be true if done properly, it takes quite a bit of work and thought to really nail it. It’s complex and not easily achieved without a circumferential knowledge of paid advertising, how to set it up, create effective landing pages, and to monitor/adjust your campaigns based on activity. Paid search, social media advertising, and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand, and getting your site in front of people. Each paid channel has its own pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you dive in.

2) SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Think SEO is dead? Think again. Optimizing your content for search engines is still valuable and worthwhile. Are you making the most of the image alt text? Are you creating internal links to new content? What about meta descriptions? Optimizing for on-page SEO doesn’t have to take ages, and it could help boost your organic traffic.

SEO is about time. It takes time to create meaningful content, publish it, and update all aspects of every page of your site. It isn’t necessarily difficult, just time-consuming. But the dividends from SEO are manifold and long-lasting. The more you tweak and adjust, the more often you create and publish thoughtful content, the more effective your site will be and the more popular you will be on search engines.

3) Social Media

Effective social media management means a variety of content, meaningful to your audience, posted with regularity and frequency. It’s not enough to produce great content for your website and hopes that “if you build it, they will come” – it’s important to be proactive.

So where do you start? Get to know the popular platforms:

  • Twitter is ideal for short, snappy (and tempting) links
  • Google+ promotion can help your site show up in personalized search results and seems especially effective in B2B niches
  • B2C product companies often find great traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram
  • Facebook is generally a catch-all, meaning you will likely find your audience there no matter your business model

4) Email Marketing

So many businesses are focused on attracting new customers through content marketing that they forget about the power of marketing automation and email messaging. Email marketing can be a powerful tool, and even a moderately successful email blast can result in a significant uptick in traffic. Just be careful not to bombard people with relentless emails about every single update in your business. Marketing automation means you can set users up on specific lists, target them based on their previous interest in your business, and automatically put their email into a workflow where they receive email reminders from you at specific intervals. It’s a wonderful way to boost traffic and keep you top of mind.

5) Guest Blogging

We love guest blogging! It’s a two-pronged effort that can lead you to find a new audience. Start with identifying a list of top industry blogs and look for guest blogging opportunities. Being a guest blogger yourself can help to expose your brand and augment your authority in the industry. This is apart from getting you a stream of new visitors and subscribers to your blog. Some blogs will out rightly accept to publish your post if it will resonate well with their audience.

Inversely, you can seek out guest bloggers. We all need more attention in the online space, and we all want to add our voice to the industry rhetoric. Seek out potential partners and platforms who might be interested in blogging on your site. Perhaps introduce some topic ideas or even offer to interview them and draft the blog for them, crediting them with authorship. It’s a trade of audience, and it’s free.