How to Get Site Traffic

NOTE: the Link Roundup is beneath this post.

How to Get Site TrafficThere’s nothing more frustrating than spending time and money to build a business website that nobody ever visits.

Unfortunately, this is a frustration that many, many folks experience. In fact, in just the past month alone, more than 2,676,000 online searches were made for some variation of the phrase “how to get site traffic”! (source: www.wordtracker.com)

This being the season of joy and peace, it didn’t feel right letting all those folks remain frustrated so I decided to create a post that gathers all of my tips for getting more traffic to your website into one spot.

And, because I want to show you that these tips are the real deal, I’ve included the results of my 2011 traffic-generation efforts for you to review.

So sit back, grab a soothing eggnog and learn how you can increase the traffic to your website in the year to come.

Enjoy and, happy holidays!

How to Get Site Traffic

Setting Goals

The first step to increasing the traffic to your website is to set realistic goals.

Unique Website Visitors (Jan - Nov, 2011)

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For example, for 2011, I set myself the modest goal of attracting 1,000 unique, targeted visitors to my site each month. As you can see in the image to the right, I’ve met that number (on average) with 11,652 unique visitors between 1/1/2011 and 11/30/2011 (I excluded December as it is not yet over).

While that number may seem small, that’s just fine in my book because, as a solopreneur, I can only spend a certain amount of effort on driving website traffic. In my experience, the effort required to drive 1000 unique, targeted monthly website visitors translates into enough solid leads per month to keep my business growing while leaving me with more than enough time to focus on delighting my existing clients.

The key to getting these leads is, as I’ve already mentioned twice, to get targeted traffic to your site. Why? Because targeted traffic includes visitors who are already interested in the products and services you offer and bringing them to your site increases the odds that you will make a sale.

How do you get targeted traffic? The answer is “inbound marketing”.

Inbound Marketing and Content

I’ve discussed inbound marketing a number of times on this site, and others, but to break it down in a nutshell, inbound marketing focuses on getting found by customers and the key to being found online is content such as blog posts, podcasts and videos.

Why content, you ask? Because search engines love content and you can use your content to cast wide nets for pulling in traffic.

Why content, you ask? Because search engines love content and you can use your content to cast wide nets for pulling in traffic.

We’ll look at these two points in more detail below, but a look at my 2011 website visitors shows just how effective using content is for driving traffic to your site:

  • Between 12/24/2010 and 12/23/2011, I’ve had 17,244 visits to my site (counting non-unique visits).
  • Of those visits, 13,949 (80%) entered my site via a content page.
  • The majority of the remaining visits (3,086 or 18%) entered my site on the home page and were driven there by a link in my social profiles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Without content, I would not have been able to depend on search engines and my content nets to drive traffic to my site.

Without content, I would not have been able to depend on search engines and my content nets to drive traffic to my site.

My social profiles also would have driven much less traffic because I use my content to attract attention on social sites and, without content, far less people would have checked out my profile and clicked on my site link.

Before moving on, here are some posts that focus on helping you create content for your website:

Search Engines

Search engines LOVE quality content (learn why in the post“Search Engines Don’t Hate You: Winning at SEO”) and if you create some, they will reward you by ranking your site higher so it shows up closer to the top in their search results.

Weekly Traffic from Natural Search Reults 12/24/2010 - 12/17/2011

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I produce a lot of content on this site and, as you can see in the image to the right, it has paid off in terms of steadily increasing traffic from search engines throughout 2011.

I don’t like to spend a lot of my time on search engine optimization (SEO), so I use an efficient approach which requires patience yet produces results. Learn more about my SEO approach in these posts:

 Casting Your Net

For inbound marketing to work, potential customers need to find you and that means you need to be visible in the places where they hang out online.

I call this “casting your net” and I use this approach to post links to my content in places where they will be found by my potential customers.

Weekly Traffic from "Casting My Net" 12/24/2010 - 12/23/2011

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As you can see in the image to the right, this approach has paid off with a continual flow of traffic to my site throughout 2011.

Learn how to cast a net to drive traffic to your own website by following the links below:

Where to Go From Here

Increasing the traffic to your website is only your fist step to online success. The next step is converting your site visitors into customers.

Learn how to take that next step in the post, “Matt About Friday: The “How to Sell More on the Internet by Increasing Your Website Conversion Rate” Edition”.

Weekly Link Roundup

Weekly Link RoundupEach week, I collect the 10 best posts that I’ve read and share them with you here.

These posts focus on web-based solutions, online resources and up-to-date news for small businesses.

Enjoy!

Mantra: A Call to Action on Every Page: Getting folks to your site is just the first step. Next, you need to use calls to action to convert them into customers. Here’s how.

How to Build Links to Your Website Without Selling Your Soul to the Devil: A fresh look at link building strategies to enhance your search engine optimization efforts.

5 Ways to get Customers Inbound in 2012 through Mobile : More and more of your customers are using their smartphones to connect with you online. Here’s some data followed by some tips on how to capitalize on this trend.

The Pros And Cons Of Google+ For Small Business: A great overview of Google+ from the small business perspective.

Lean Beginnings: What the World’s Biggest Websites Looked Like at Launch: This is a great example of why your online site does not need to be “perfect” at launch.

Where To Get Fresh Content Ideas: A solid approach for using existing content to trigger new ideas.

Mobile Security: How Safe is Your Data?: There’s been a lot of chatter lately about online data security. This post take a look the security of your mobile data, an area of concern as the number of smartphone users continues to grow.

Basic SEO for Facebook Fan Pages: Yes, you can drive traffic to your Facebook page from search engines. Here are some handy tips for doing so.

BlendTec shows how to measure the effects of a social marketing strategy: Tracking social media ROI does not have to be sexy, but it should be done. Here’s a simple, yet effective real-world example.

How to A/B Test Your Lead Generation Form: Would you like more of your site visitors to use your newsletter sign-up and contact forms? Here are some tips for testing different versions of each form to measure their effectiveness.

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  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Matt About Friday: The “How to Get Site Traffic” Edition…

    There’s nothing more frustrating than spending time and money to build a business website that nobody ever visits. Learn how to get site traffic with these tips….

  2. […] may remember me talking about my content marketing results back in the post, “How to Get Site Traffic”. That post detailed the ins-and-outs of how I build website traffic by creating great web […]

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