Launching a new business website?
That’s an exciting time.
You’ve probably got a pretty good to really good website. Design is important, but you can kind of ease into the website. You’ll learn more and more as time goes on and you can tweak the design.
But along with design or user experience you have traffic. You need a combination of traffic and conversion in order to make your website your online salesperson that is bringing you new customers.
Today we’re going to look at traffic. It’s always a challenge for a brand new website. You’re starting from scratch and a key to starting from scratch when it comes to traffic is to keep and eye both for the short and the long-term.
So let’s get into the steps to building a traffic plan for your new business website.
Step 1. Initial SEO Research, Static Content & Audit Schedule
It’s important to have some SEO basics setup from the beginning. The design of your site is important, but the words on the pages are important. But it’s often painful to write content for a website. I’ve seen it. My wife designs websites and her clients are always slow getting their content ready. And i get it. It’s difficult to write. You don’t want to make mistakes.
But you have to do it or you have to hire someone to do it and once they do you’ll need to review it and make changes based on your knowledge of the business.
My basic SEO approach is to focus on using the language the target customer uses. If you and industry insiders use one term, but customers use a different term then use the customer’s term. That’s what they’ll be searching for and that’s what SEO is all about.
There’s a little research that goes into knowing what words and phrases to use on your site, but you’ll learn over time and you can make changes.
One final tip I have is to approach your website content like an in-person sales situation. Your website is your online salesperson. Your customer has the same thoughts and questions. Build your website like a salesperson for your product or service.
And finally, I used the word “static” because the content on your site is kind of static, but something I like to do, and I certainly didn’t invent this concept, is a content or site audit. I sit down every 3-6 months and review the entire site. I take what I’ve learned the last few months and make tweaks to the site. It’s a good way to keep your site updated and living.
Once you do this initial setup the main pages on your site are setup for long-term SEO success. It won’t happen overnight, but the other stuff we’ll talk about next will work to build your authority and with good static content the search engines will understand what your overall business is all about.
Step 2. Ongoing Content
An ongoing content strategy brings traffic to your site in a few ways. Two of the great ways it does is that the individual pieces of content you create – blog posts, guides, ebooks, white papers, videos, podcasts, etc. – bring traffic to themselves. But while that’s going on they’re building authority for your brand and business. And that helps the main pages on your site to rank.
That second part works like this. A good way to approach creating content is to identify the questions your customers are asking and to answer those questions with the content. Simple. Not always easy, but simple. If you answer questions and do it consistently for a long time you’re going to build a good reputation; a reputation as a brand that helps people.
Over time, that builds your authority and you’ll be seen as more relevant than your competition especially if they’re not doing the type of content you’re doing.
So I believe in creating an ongoing content strategy. I favor blogging, but podcasting is good. Videos are good. There are a number of things you can do, but the main thing is to commit to a schedule. It’s not something you can do once in a while because it’ll taper off. I see it happen all the time.
Step 2b. Email
Building on this idea is the idea of creating an email program. I think it’s good to use your content to build an email list. This is certainly a way to bring people back to your website. You offer them something of value, which is a way to subscribe to future content or to get exclusive content that you only share with email subscribers.
Step 3. Advertising
SEO and content marketing are great long-term strategies. They give you a good foundation, but it will take time especially for a new website. If you need traffic in the short-term you’ll need to do some advertising. You can advertise on various channels from search engines to social media to specific websites to retargeting and all kinds of things. You can promote the main pages on your site and also promote targeted landing pages and even the content you create in an effort to promote your content and get your content marketing efforts going a little faster.
Step 4. Social Media
Now comes the part of building a social media following. I would say this is again more of a long-term strategy for building a traffic channel. It mirrors content marketing in a few ways. One way is that you need to really commit to posting often and regularly. It’s not something you can really do once in a while and expect to build a following. You have to commit to doing it everyday and for the foreseeable future.
I like to approach it as, again, answer questions your target audience has. But you can get a bit more interactive, but responding to individuals, interacting with people, using hashtags and things like that.
Step 5. Guesting
The final step, which often gets overlooked, is guesting. This is doing guest posts, being a guest on podcasts and also offering your quotes or words for content that is published on a website that isn’t your own.
I liken this to the opening act on music tours. Let’s say there’s a big tour with the main act. Everybody in the crowd is really there for the main act, but the main act wants to get the crowd fired up and really give them more bang for their buck so they’ll have opening acts.
The opening acts may not make much money, if any, but in return for putting on a show for the fans they get access to those fans and a chance to win those fans over.
That’s how you approach guesting. You provide great content in exchange for access to an audience.
And again you want to commit to doing this regularly. Over time you’ll build up all these traffic sources. Some will bring a little traffic. A couple might bring a lot, but over time you’ll have a very diverse source of traffic to your website. And it can even help a lot in the short-term. It’s a good long-term strategy, but if you get a good opportunity it can bring a rush of traffic in the short-term.
I think this entire idea of setting up a traffic plan for a new business website is often overlooked. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the design and creating the content and then you launch the site and kind of wonder why it’s not working. Putting a plan together ensures that you’re doing all you can to bring traffic to the site. Follow the steps above and add in your own variations and you should be in pretty good shape for that new site to succeed.