Website Marketing Strategies Cheat Sheet
Another Hub About Website Traffic...Seriously?
I did a quick search on Hubs while I was writing this and just couldn't find one that I really liked. Most seemed to offer a few bits of advice and didn't really explain what to do anyway.
My aim with this Hub is to make it a list of all the different website marketing strategies you can use. Then to create other Hubs going into more detail about each technique as required.
I aim to make the definitive Hub on website marketing, so let me know what it's missing please! I'll also be adding more as I think of them as this is obviously a very large topic and I want to cover it well.
Marketing doesn't have to be evil
Why Market Your Website?
If you don't take the time to market your website no one will see it. It doesn't get more complicated than that...
If you start a business on the street, people will naturally walk past that street. Even if you do no marketing you may still receive some clients simply because of the foot traffic passing your door.
A website doesn't work like that. Think about it this way, your website is like a business on the street of a town on an island populated by one person, you. Ok, so maybe your mother lives there too but you don't need a website if she's going to be your only client.
So you need to convince people to visit your island you need to get out there and tell them about it. And that's essentially what marketing is:
Telling people about your business because it will enrich their lives.
Of course, I'm assuming you are one of the good guys who actually makes high quality products that benefit clients, if not...please stop reading.
I'm always a little stumped on getting instant traffic as I find most claims disappointing to say the least.
However, the techniques I would recommend are:
1. Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Obviously only if you have money but it's quick and 'easy'. Getting a campaign right is the problem so you need to be careful before you flush money down the toilet. More on this in another Hub.
2. Buzz Marketing
Creating content that gets talked about and shared. Read the Hub below for more info, but this can be a great free way to get lots of traffic. All you need is a creative idea and to get it in front of the right people.
While I put this tip under Instant Traffic it can take a while to master. But I've had some good success for most of the campaigns I've done. Though surprisingly, sometimes a good piece of buzz content won't be picked up for a few months.
3. Facebook Advertising
Again, this costs money but the ads tend to be a bit cheaper than Google Adwords because it isn't as popular yet. Also, you can't target as accurately but you can get it in front of your niche fairly easily and you're only paying for the people that click on the ad.
These are often touted as a great free way to get traffic. Quite frankly, I disagree. While you might get good results from some blog directories, putting your business in hundreds of directories probably won't help. It won't help your search engine rankings much either due to the weak power of the links.
Apply to dmoz and then forget about it. I believe there are more constructive ways to spend your time.
Some Effort Required Traffic
These techniques will take a little more work from you. It could be building a relationship or participating in communities but if you do it right and keep going, the traffic will come.
This is using other people's fame or reach to jump-start your website. No need to head right to the most famous person in your industry and start harassing them either. If you go a little lower there are plenty of people out there who would be happy to hear from you. But you have to build a relationship with them by offering them something of value as well.
2. Guest Blog Posting
Similar to piggybacking, if you can arrange a guest post on another blog you get yourself in front of their readers. Again, you need to build relationships for this which I'll be getting to in a second.
If you interview another blogger, not only does it give you good content for your website, but you might just receive a link back from the interviewee. Even popular people I know still mention to others when they've been interviewed in different places.
4. Blog Commenting
Leaving comments on other people's blogs is a surprisingly easy way to get traffic. If you leave something interesting and thought provoking people may click on your link to see who you are.
It helps if you get one of the first comments on the post so you're near the top. However, remember less popular blogs have traffic too and you stand out even more by commenting there.
Plus, you stand out in two ways, not only are you attracting traffic...but you're coming to the attention of the blog writer for possible future collaborations, interviews, or guest posts.
5. Content Sharing
Usually articles that you write and post to other websites. These can be Social Media websites like HubPages or simply article sharing websites. I recommend looking for the big players and using those websites. Otherwise make sure they're highly targeted to your niche. In my opinion you're better off building a following on a few websites than trying to spread yourself too thin.
6. Social Networks
Participating in groups on Facebook and MySpace can bring you to the attention of thousands of people and lead to website traffic. Don't forget smaller groups like those found on ning as well. Just make sure you're targeting your niche again.
7. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Now I wasn't sure if this should belong in the next section as it can take a lot more work nowadays. The fact is everyone is competing for search engine traffic, some more successfully than others.
There is also the fact that Google, the most important of the search engines by far, has an age factor in it's algorithm. So if your website is under a year old you shouldn't expect it to be ranking well quickly.
In all honesty, I think a good policy for most websites is to learn how to optimise your pages for your keywords, then forget about it. Using the other techniques here will work as link building so if you pages are optimised and you've chosen the right keywords, you should be alright in the long run.
Remember, the more popular your website is, the better it will rank. So the main focus should be making your website popular first, then worrying about the search engines. Most people seem to approach this in the wrong order and wonder why they don't rank well against excellent resources that have been around for 5 years.
Another quick point is don't aim too high with your keyword phrases to begin with. Your best bet is to find uncommon search terms that will get you a little bit of traffic. Again, you won't rank well for the important keywords overnight, or maybe even in a year.
High Involvement Techniques
I believe these techniques are some of the most important techniques. While they won't give you instant satisfaction, they will give you a steady base to build your website traffic in the future and should not be ignored.
Becoming a valued member in a forum can be traffic gold. It's great because people value your opinion even before they visit your website and you've already had a chance to build up a relationship. And we all know how powerful relationships can be.
I put this in high involvement because most people just run in to a forum, post a few comments and expect traffic. To really get traffic, you need to post consistently good advice and help your fellow users. You get in what you put out with this strategy.
2. Creating a Blog
Writing a blog post each day is obviously very time consuming so you have to be careful when committing to this strategy. Too many people have heralded blogs as the greatest marketing tool for websites since sliced bread (which was a very effective marketing tool I assure you).
The fact is you have to come up with something interesting that your niche really wants to read about...regularly. While Web 2.0 is great for giving everyone a voice, it doesn't mean anyone is listening. As with most media, the best stuff rises to the top...so make sure you're making the best stuff!
3. Video Marketing
Videos are becoming very popular as you can see with the popularity of YouTube. It's actually getting the same amount of daily traffic as Google...can you imagine? So creating videos can be a great way of attracting traffic for your website.
The catch is, like everything, they have to be good! Like the blog, make sure you're making something people really want to watch.
4. Joint Ventures/Strategic Alliances
Taking the relationships you build further, JVs or Strategic Alliances are a great way to send traffic to your website. They can range from a simple email advertising your website to a full blown partnership.
By joining forces you can cover a lot more of the market and grow both your websites together. Just remember the golden rule, what's in it for them?
Also remember to draw up strict agreements just like you would in any business relationship. You need to start with the same expectations and vision or you could finish unhappy and bitter. So be careful.
Some Broad Marketing Concepts
While using the techniques above will get traffic to your website, there's a lot more to marketing than that. What follows are some over-arching marketing concepts that you need to apply to your website.
- It's All About Relationships
- The Power Of Being Different
- Show Off Your Expertise
Read on to find out more and then I've created further Hubs on each one. Enjoy!
It's All About Relationships
At the end of the day, the most effective website marketing techniques come from word of mouth. Make something worth talking about and it'll be a lot easier to get traffic, I assure you.
So don't make the same old boring crap. Ironically, this Hub could be considered a bit of the same old boring crap as well. Because no matter how many times people ask, and how many time this question is answered, people still won't go out and do it.
There is NO instant website traffic generating strategy...trust me...especially if you expect to do it for free. Success is all about doing the basic fundamentals over and over again until you get them right. This Hub is all about the fundamentals.
So use the techniques, network with your fellow Internet users, and build relationships. Do that right, and you'll soon be wondering why everyone keeps asking the same question:
"How do I get more traffic???"
The Power Of Being Different
I just mentioned doing something people talk about but it's worth it's own little capsule. NOT being different is one of the biggest mistakes a website or business owner can make.
Now there are several main ways to set yourself apart. You can talk about something no one else is talking about...or that no one is talking about well! You can talk about a subject with a different tone or point of view.
You can offer something unique with your website, tools or ideas that are different. Again, you can offer it in a unique way as well.
The important part is you find a way to spin what you're doing so you're not just like everyone else. How many "Make Money Online!" blogs have you seen? How many really stand out and make you want to return?
Be different while attracting attention and you'll be rewarded with traffic.
Show Off Your Expertise
Everyone is an expert at something and I'd hope that your website is that something! By making a website that helps others, you can attract attention and be known as the credible source in your industry.
The term maven has been used a lot recently so I'm going to go with it but it pretty much just means being an expert. You need to find your area of expertise, the area that you can become the maven of, the area you can completely dominate.
I mentioned above the thousands of "Make Money Online!" blogs that have sprang up. It's hard to take most of them seriously because a lot of them are about their own journey to make money online and they're searching for answers just like you. But they also struggle because they're topic is so broad.
Now there are many successful websites about how to make money by blogging. Why? Because they picked a niche and they dominated it. There are others about selling things on ebay, affiliate programs, etc.
It's a lot easier to control a niche when it's small or new, but you need to make sure there's still room for growth as well. Personally, my niche is quite big, helping small businesses make their websites successful. But I do this because there's no one else really doing it well. My niche is taking all the Internet Marketing techniques and providing a blueprint that small businesses can use.
So make sure you are or can become the expert in your niche and make yourself the maven. It'll make life so much easier than competing on a level footing!
That's All For Now
I hope you found this Hub useful and informative. Remember, it's not the person with the flashiest new techniques that wins this game. It's the person who just keeps on going, practicing the fundamentals over and over.
In creating a successful website, I liken the process to one of my favourite movie characters: Rocky.
You see, when Rocky gets knocked down, he gets back up. He gets knocked down again, he gets back up. Whatever life throws at him, in the boxing ring or out, he just keeps on going. That's the kind of single minded desire that will make your website a success.
Luckily for us though, creating a successful website is a lot more pleasant than getting punched in the face...usually...
Best of luck and, as always, I'd love to hear feedback about what I've missed and what you'd like to know more about. I know I've missed a lot as I just realised I hadn't put Search Engine Optimisation here and will have to go back and add it!
Now last but not least, perhaps even most importantly...remember to enjoy the process!