The following is a post by Paul Hannam of Bright Green Leadership (a 3p sponsor) – offering internet marketing strategies for responsible businesses. The tips and observations in this series are aimed at green entrepreneurs looking to understand how internet technology can benefit them more.
All organizations want more traffic or visitors to their website, and this is the first stage of what we call the “sales funnel” as you need to get visitors into your funnel before you can convert them to email subscribers and then customers.
My #1 piece of advice for generating visitors to your website is to set up multiple streams of traffic. This means you will not be relying on just one method, which is very risky, and that you can measure and evaluate which stream or strategy is working best. The first step in getting more visitors is to develop a traffic plan with these characteristics. Your plan should:
- Include at least four streams of separate sources of traffic
- Attract quality visitors from your target market
- Integrate your main keywords
- Be trackable and measurable so you can see which stream is most successful
- Be scalable so you can invest more time and resources to increase the best stream
So let’s say you are a business that markets eco-friendly furniture made from recycled materials. Where would you begin?
First of all you need to decide whether you have a budget for advertising, as the fastest and most predictable method is to advertise. Pay per click (PPC) is the most popular approach and, if you know that your main keyword is green furniture, you can set up a campaign so that every time someone searches on that term in Google, your ad will appear. You can do the same on Bing and Yahoo too, and also consider Facebook advertising. You can also try other keywords like eco furniture or sustainable furniture, to see which is most successful.
Secondly, you will need to implement an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Without question, the main goal of any website is to be in the top three positions on Google for their top keywords. So if your prospect searches on “green furniture” you want your business to come right at the top. You will get more visitors from what we call “organic search” than you will from ads or “paid search.” This is because users believe that you must be credible to be at the top of the search rankings. The challenge with SEO is that it normally takes 3-6 months to see real results, and if you are in a market with popular and highly competitive keywords like “organic food” you will struggle to reach the first page, yet alone the top three.
You should also consider using offline marketing to drive traffic to your site. All the top marketers I know effectively integrate online and offline marketing. So if you have a store, offer a coupon for a customer’s email address. Or if you sell products put your website and Facebook addresses on the packaging or even the product. And if you advertise on TV and radio it can work well to redirect the viewers and listeners to a website where they can get a special offer. One simple and very effective tip is to put your website on the back of your business card with an incentive to visit, such as a free report.
You can also get visitors with video and article marketing, press releases, social media, email campaigns, webinars and many other sources. I have listed 20 possible traffic strategies on our Resource Page to help you choose.
Paul Hannam is president of Bright Green Leadership that provides internet marketing services to green organizations. Paul is also Chairman and co-founder of Bright Green Talent and taught environmental business at Oxford University. You can watch Paul’s video on Internet Marketing for Responsible Businesses or contact him at Paul@brightgreenleadership.com