Traffic Building & Internet Marketing: 5 Awesome Traffic Building Strategies
For sites with little traffic and leads, traffic building is a pretty big part of your internet marketing strategies, or at least it should be — learn more.
Is Website Traffic Still Relevant for The Modern Digital Marketing?
Website traffic—the number of visits to your website—, used to be the most important metric in the early days of the internet, and especially when the idea of buying and selling on a website, ecommerce, rose in popularity.
Back then, the website was the only viable platform we had to promote our businesses…
There was no social media, no video streaming platforms, just the website.
However, with all the different platforms we have today, as well as the arrival of more sophisticated analytics tools, now there are many different metrics that can give us a better insight as to what our website traffic really brings to the table, such as:
Dwell time and bounce rate:
A lot of incoming traffic won’t give you any value when they leave immediately. Monitoring user experience (UX) metrics like bounce rate and dwell time provide us with a better insights of our ideal audience and how they behave.
Cost of bringing a visitor:
We can virtually get any amount of traffic we want from paid sources (advertising, affiliate marketing, etc.). However, if we are not careful, we might end up losing money even if we bring in a lot of traffic.
What percentage of website visitors actually convert into prospects, and later on, into paying customers? This will provide us with a clearer picture whether we are bringing the right audience or just random, worthless traffic.
As we can see, there are many more factors to consider beyond raw website traffic data.
Yet, website traffic remains a great starting point to measure the performance of our website and our digital marketing performance in general.
How is website traffic actually measured?
When a website visitor makes the visit, their internet browser (on their computer or any other devices) sends and receives data from the website’s server.
Every page of the website includes a distinct file. The page itself is considered a file, and when there are images served on the page, they are also considered files. A website hit is recorded when any of these files is served.
Another method to track website traffic is called page view, which is calculated when a site visitor requests one page on the website. A visit to the website’s main page is calculated as one page view, and when the same visitor visits, say, the product page, it’s calculated as two page views in total.
The website’s server will compile every single request of all the different pages, and so will provide the website’s owner with insights about how popular the website is, which pages are effective (and which aren’t), and other important information. All of this information is gathered as the “server log”.
Website owners can use this log as an information bank to analyze the website’s performance and better understand the behavior (and needs) of the website visitors.
How to Find Out Which Online Marketing Strategy Drives the Best Traffic?
With so many available marketing channels and tactics, it can be difficult to measure which channels are bringing the best traffic—not only in quantity, but quality—.
Thankfully, there are various analytics tools, both free and paid. However, we can use the free Google Analytics to do this, more specifically, by using the advanced segments feature. Here is a step by step guide to do it:
- Log in (or sign up) to your Google Analytics account. Go to Audience, then Overview, and then click +Add Segment
- Name your segment, and choose one of five different types of advanced segments:
- Demographics: fairly self-explanatory, segment visitors by age, gender, and any other demographics filter
- Technology: filter visitors based on device, OS,browser, etc.
- Behavior: segment visitors based on session duration (dwell time), transactions, and other user engagement metrics.
- Date of First Visit: pretty self-explanatory, when they visited your website the first time
- Traffic sources: segment users based on how they found you. This is the one we’ll use, so choose this.
- Set up segment’s dimensions after you’ve chosen traffic sources. Here are the common dimensions to focus on:
- Source: this dimension will allow you to filter traffic based on one domain or subdomain. For example, you can use twitter.com if you want an advanced segment for Twitter traffic.
- Referral: will show you traffic coming from specific page on a website. For example, if you have a backlink coming from domain.com/page-a, you can use this as Referral Path
- Keywords: will only show you traffic coming from search results of specific keywords
- Setup as many segments as you need, based on the number of channels/campaigns you have. Make sure to give them proper names that are easy to differentiate, and save those segments
Analyzing and Comparing Advanced Segments
After you’ve set up all the different advanced segments, go to Advanced Segments then Custom Segments, check the segment(s) you want to view, and click the apply button. You can view up to four different segments at once to compare data
Here are some of the important metrics to pay attention to, to determine the effectiveness of a specific channel in bringing traffic:
- Average time on site: if the number is too low, then the channel is not bringing proper/ideal traffic for your site, or your content might not be relevant enough
- Bounce rate: high bounce rate can be caused by many different factors, but will typically indicate that the incoming traffic is not a good fit for your site
- Top referral: find out quickly which site is bringing the most traffic
- Conversions: select your custom segments, and then go to Conversions-Goals-Overview to check which segment(s) is bringing the best conversion rate.
Effective Traffic Building Strategies
It’s important to understand that we can divide traffic building strategies into three main categories:
- Paid: using paid advertising and other paid promotional channels to get traffic. The plus side of paid channels is that it will generate traffic fairly quickly, but the main downside is that it can be very expensive.
- Earned: when other sites, influencers, and/or media, link to your site or page for free, giving you a source of traffic. The advantage of earned channels is that they can easily boost your credibility, but it’s very hard to control (i.e. you might get traffic coming from irrelevant sites).
- Organic: building valuable, relevant content, and promote it through local SEO and Google My Business and other channels to generate organic traffic. The main advantages of organic traffic is that it is sustainable and generally will produce higher conversion rates. The downside is that it can take a long time before you can generate results.
Each of these different channels will require different tactics and approaches, so let us discuss them one by one.
How To Use Paid Channels Effectively
The key in using paid channels to generate traffic is targeting. The better you can target your ideal audience, the more cost-efficient the campaign will be, and the higher the conversion rate—thus, higher ROI—.
- Facebook Ads offers one of the best targeting options, and paired with its huge audience, can be a great, cost-efficient source of traffic
- Remarketing is a relatively new and effective way to promote your website, which essentially works by displaying your ads only to people who have visited your site or have triggered certain actions. Facebook Ads and Google Ads offer great remarketing options
- Influencer marketing is an effective paid channel to promote not only your website, but your product/service and your brand as a whole
How To Build Organic Traffic Effectively
The main way to build organic traffic is by managing SEO services and content marketing as a content promotion channel:
- There is no shortcut beside actually producing relevant, high-quality content for your audience. SEO and other promotional tools will only help when your content is already high-quality, and not the other way around
- Have a clear SEO strategy, with proper keyword research as its foundation:
- The keyword(s) must be relevant for your business/website
- The keyword(s) must be relevant for your ideal audience, indicated with a high monthly search volume
- The competition for the keyword must be manageable according to your budget and timeline
- Use your target keywords naturally and sparingly in your content. Focus on delivering a relevant, valuable, and comprehensive content for your audience.
- Build backlinks to each of your content. It’s important to note that the quality of the backlinks are more important than quantity. Aim to get just 2 to 3 backlinks from relevant websites, infuencers, and media every month. This is also how you get earned traffic, as discussed above.
- The secret of getting backlinks is the quality of your content. If it’s good, sooner or later, people will link it. However, having good relationships with important websites/influencers in your niche, and how you promote your content also matter.
Website traffic is still a very important aspect of digital marketing in 2019, but it’s important to understand that there are many different metrics to look at to really understand the quality of the incoming website traffic, and the effectiveness of the channels bringing traffic.