If You Build It, Will They Come? How Will People Find My Website?
HOW DO YOU GET ‘FOUND’ ONLINE?
It would be amazing to build a brand new website and instantly have a flood of visitors that threaten to crash your server. However, that is not a typical result unless you are a well-established brand with a ready audience. Most websites are more akin to a billboard in a desert location—pretty and perhaps even informative, but of relatively low impact.
Getting discovered online usually takes a concerted SEO effort, an intentional marketing campaign, and public relations exposure to gain awareness, visits, and thereby, leads (or sales). Think of these disciplines as a three-legged stool on which to build a successful website.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) EFFORTS FOR SITE DISCOVERY.
The first step of your SEO efforts should be technical to ensure that your new website development is thoroughly functioning, easily indexed by search engines, and appealing to the end-user.
This SEO stage includes proper web development techniques such as image compression, utilizing a CSS style sheet to minimize page load-time on your key branding elements, optimizing for varying device sizes, and adding metadata for every site page and image.
Tip: Validating your site via Google Search Console is a great way to maintain site performance and keep tabs on search engine indexation.
Indexing your website is only the first step of your SEO efforts. The next is ensuring the content delivered on the site is authoritative, original, timely, and relevant to your target audience. Keyword research can assist you in this, giving you a thorough understanding of what end-users are searching for online. This keyword data can help you tailor your website content accordingly.
At GTMA, we score all website copy projects to ensure that a variety of keywords are being used with enough frequency and consistency to give your content a competitive edge.
Tip: Adding a blog, review feed, or an FAQ section to your website is a great way to extend your initial keyword work by consistently adding new content to your website. Doing this can also help build domain authority by increasing internal and external links within your site content. It also gives your brand something to talk about on social media channels or in PR efforts.
Updating Online Directories.
Apart from this development and optimization work on your website, it’s important to also look off-site at your digital presence throughout the internet. “Off-site” SEO work simply refers to internet sites other than your website.
Maintaining your key business information such as name, address, phone number (NAP) as well as business hours and description is vital to demonstrate consistency and build authority online. This can be done manually by updating your business information on key directories and websites, or through a citation service that will update and maintain this information in bulk on your behalf.
Tip: Some key sites you might consider for this are Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the Better Business Bureau.
Boosting Results via Google My Business & Social Media.
You can also boost your web results by adding content off-site that can drive referral traffic back to your website. Google My Business and social networking sites are perfectly suited for this.
Putting content or ads on review sites and social networks allows you an opportunity to connect with your target audience on very well-known and highly trafficked sites (like a superhighway) that can then create additional user flow to your own web domain.
Tip: Popular review sites like Yelp can also assist with referral traffic, and GTMA just happens to have an agency Premier partnership with Yelp that can provide free Yelp CPC ads management and more.
THE ROLE OF PAID ADVERTISING IN WEBSITE TRAFFIC & LEAD GENERATION.
To further increase traffic to your website, you will want to utilize ads on various digital platforms. Different ad networks use targeting, demographics, and some keyword strategy to direct people to your site.
What do you gain through this marketing strategy? Website traffic numbers that will surpass the results from traffic finding your website organically. The more you spend, the more clicks you drive.
Paid Search Campaigns.
Search campaigns use keywords, location, demographics (and more) to capture information and send users to your site. Search campaigns can obtain the most relevant source of traffic leading to more conversions due to the user’s intent of asking a question on a search engine like Google, Yelp, Bing, etc., and then receiving an ad that answers their question.
Rich Media Display Campaigns.
Display ads, social ads, video ads, audio ads drive traffic to your website by using location, demographic targeting partnered with audiences to put relevant ad information in front of someone while they’re online.
With the competitive nature of the internet, longing to reach the attention of a user, we recommend adding ad spend to your marketing strategy to increase traffic to your website.
AMPLIFYING YOUR EFFORTS WITH PUBLIC RELATIONS & INFLUENCERS.
The final leg of this three-leg stool is public relations. Whether you employ traditional PR methods through media outlets and publications or rely more organically on backlinks from key industry and social media influencers, sharing your brand content through others is a legitimate way to amplify your content and expand your reach.
PR + Communications.
Developing consistent messaging that reinforces the unique selling points of your brand in the marketplace is key to effective PR and communications. Generating news releases and media coverage builds brand awareness among target audiences and sends more highly-qualified traffic to your website.
Utilizing guest authors for blog articles or videos and tailoring your web posts to be shareable can also help spread your content and amplify your brand message. Modern public relations creates synergy with your other marketing efforts by leveraging the value of media coverage and exposure through website and social media promotions.
Tip: At GTMA, we recommend combining traditional and modern PR to create a strategic communication plan.
Building a large, loyal consumer base doesn’t happen overnight. First, you must establish a solid network of trendsetters and bellwethers that can connect your brand with your target audience. Influencers generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their opinions and views.
Reach out and make connections with the right people. With the authority or “influence” over consumers’ buying decisions, partnering with social media influencers and industry experts is a great way for brands to grow a healthy online presence. GTMA can help you build a targeted media and influencer outreach list along with custom curated content that captures attention and encourages engagement.
Ensuring the right people find your website is crucial to its success. Employing the strategies and tactics briefly mentioned in this article can help boost your website traffic and grow your business online.
Talk to our Account Services team about how GTMA can help you drive quality traffic to your website.