Let's say you have the best website in the world. Great! Now what? The truth is, a website by itself doesn't offer much value. If you aren't doing anything specific to try and get people there, no one is going to see it.
More importantly, if you don't have landing pages (special web pages with forms that people have to fill out to get helpful things like ebooks, tools, templates, demos, etc.), you won't get leads - people will click around your site and then leave without ever engaging with you. And that means that all the time and resources you spent developing the site were for nothing.
Here are 5 ways to drive website traffic and sales leads:
1. Make the Website the Focus of Your 'Traditional' Marketing Campaigns
Yes, I'm an inbound marketer talking about using traditional marketing methods. For example, if you're going to do a TV ad, radio commercial, or direct mail campaign, make sure the focus of the marketing piece is to drive people to a landing page on your site.
Tip: Use a unique URL for the landing page so you can track the number of leads generated from a particular traditional marketing campaign.
2. Use Social Media
Everyone talks about using social media, but what the heck does that even mean? Many companies "do social media," but they rarely put anything out there that links back to their site. It might be good for brand awareness, but it's not good for driving website traffic!
The most important thing to know about using social media is that you need to consistently publish good content. Here's how it works (I'm doing it right now!): write a blog post, publish it on your website, then post it on your social media profiles like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If it's a good article, people will click the link from social media and go to your website.
Here's the kicker though - you have to have people connected to you on social media for this to work. If you have a LinkedIn profile with barely any connections, or a Twitter account with no followers, very few people will see your post, and that means very few website visitors!
Tip: Get connected with your customers, prospects and target audience on social media right away!
3. Leverage Email Marketing
Compile a list of current customers, past customers, and prospects and email them your awesome content.
The key here is AWESOME CONTENT! If you email dull, irrelevant information, you'll burn a lot of bridges. Not only that, if you have a disorganized, "dirty" contact list (meaning you have a lot of bad email addresses, contacts from purchased lists, or people who aren't your target audience), you could be marked as SPAM, which is really bad.
When done correctly though, email marketing can be a very powerful tool for generating website visitors and leads.
Tip: Take the time to clean up your contact data and put processes and systems in place to make sure it stays clean. Bad data = bad email marketing.
4. Get Traffic From Search Engines
Everyone wants to know how to rank higher on Google. All search engines look for sites with quality, relevant content because it improves the search experience and makes them look good when their users can quickly and easily get the information they want.
It all comes down to the content you're creating and how much your readers like it. Companies that put in the hard work to align their content with the buyer's journey, have a solid keyword strategy, and ensure pristine on-page SEO are building a solid foundation for increasing their site's authority, meaning it's a source of trusted information.
Good content is just the start though. People have to read it, like it, share it, comment on it, and link to it. It's a long-game, not a short-game strategy. That is how you build site authority and get more traffic from search engines.
Tip: Gather your sales and marketing teams and review your keyword and content strategy. Where are the gaps?
5. Co-Market and Collaborate
Co-marketing means marketing together: collaborating with another company that shares your target audience but doesn't compete with you directly. For example, if you sell masonry work, you could co-market with a landscape company.
Strategies for co-marketing include things like guest blogging on each other's blog, emailing each other's content to your respective lists, or doing a joint event like a webinar or seminar. The benefit of co-marketing is that you're quickly getting in front of a new audience and expanding your reach.
Tip: Make an effort to spend time developing relationships with potential partners. Your centers of influence can be instrumental in driving traffic and sales.
The key to driving website traffic and sales leads stems from developing your current business network (your Rolodex), being connected with them online, creating relevant and engaging content and promoting and sharing it in a variety of ways.
But don't stop there: the next step is to make sure that when someone gets to your site, you create a superior user experience to keep them engaged and interested - otherwise, you'll lose them.