Why are targeted visitors to your website good?
The reason to focus your efforts on targeted visitors is so that you don’t waste all of your time attracting people to your site that would never have used your service or bought your product anyway. Sure, you can get the word out and hope they know people that could use whatever it is that you are offering, but that approach doesn’t convert visitors into customers very well.
Your goal with a small business is to rank for the easy keywords that avoid direct competition with the giants while still getting a targeted visitor to your site. This process should convert at a higher rate than simply going after everyone with random blog posts. It also keeps you away from a fight that would take forever to win too.
It All Starts with a Marketing Plan
I am going to share with you the what and why regarding my plan for BidVoice as an overview of how I plan to get targeted visitors.
I’m doing it this way mainly because this is a startup journey, but also because we aren’t in some class looking at a business theory. The BidVoice blog is a case study based on real-time experience, so if you’re ready, let’s do this.
My plan for the entire year of 2017 is to market BidVoice, on a small budget, as a foundation for success in the future. The goals I have set for the end of 2017 are as follows:
- 200 paid subscribers
- 1000 Facebook page likes
- 6 YouTube videos completed
- 800 monthly targeted blog visitors
- Homepage conversions greater than 5%
- Subscription conversions greater than 10%
- 200 domains linking to BidVoice
You can visit this page each month and check my progress to see how it’s going.
Some of the goals I have may not transfer to your own business such as paid subscribers, but that is okay. You can replace it with metrics that work better for you like how many jobs you get from Facebook and/or your website. Just focus on what matters and set goals according to your own situation.
SEO & Social Media
The bedrock of traffic is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO covers on-page and off-page optimization. On-page is more important, so that’s where I will begin.
Web pages need to be fast because visitors expect them to be or they go elsewhere. Google also uses page speed as a ranking factor. This means that your customers as well as the search engines that bring you more customers all show favoritism towards faster websites. There is no reason you or I should ever be comfortable with or tolerate a slow website.
Oddly enough, almost all the “give me feedback on my website” posts on Reddit end up being slow as molasses when you visit them. This is good for us both as that means our competition should be easy to beat in this category. Just Google “how to make my site faster”, and you will get a bunch of information about where to start.
The next part of on-page SEO is figuring out which keywords to use and then getting them incorporated into your pages. Again, just do a search for “keyword research” into any search engine and start reading.
What do you see when looking at my homepage? You see big headlines that let my visitors know exactly what I am offering. Those big headlines also look exactly like the phrases targeted visitors will use to find my site someday soon. These are also known as keywords.
Web sites work better when they are easy to use and simple to understand. I don’t need to show up at their front door with a fancy sales routine because they already found their way to my virtual front door.
This is what I want my homepage to do:
- Avoid doing fancy crap that will annoy them, such as popups or subscription boxes, or anything else that would make me look unreliable in regards to solving their problem.
- Simply let them know what the site is for so that they know they are in the right place to get their problem solved.
- Incorporate more of their senses by using a video with sound and visuals that show how the site will solve their problem without a painful experience.
- Give them a mission by telling them exactly what to do next so that they can get started right now and solve their problem.
- Make solving their problem a simple process without disrupting their experience.
Did you pick up on any theme that I am striving for with BidVoice? Solving my customer’s invoicing problem is my highest priority because eventually, after a 60-day free trial, I will require them to pay a monthly subscription or stop using the site. In case you missed it, it is all part of what makes a good side business.
That’s the reality. I win when they do. Make sure you have a solution ready when your customer shows up at your virtual front door.
“I absolutely hate visiting someone’s business web page and they greet me with a like or subscribe request. It is a betrayal of common sense. Who does all the work of getting a visitor to their website just to get a damn like on Facebook? That is backward. The goal is to get people from Facebook to your website and then convert them into paying customers. Duh!” – Keith Bishop
Off-page SEO is a Slippery Slope
This is the area that is dedicated to link-building. How many different websites can you get to link back to your web pages? Sounds simple and it is, but it isn’t.
For those of you that don’t know, a link is anything you can click on the web that sends you to another page or website. Every time you search for something in Google, it responds with a list of links that you can use to visit other sites that may have what you are looking for. Get it? Good.
The best place to start with getting links is to sign up with directories and submit your business to them. Check out Manta, LinkedIn, Hot Frog, Merchant Circle, City Search, and Yelp. You can also search for more. All it takes is time.
Another way to get links is by posting videos on YouTube as long as you add your URL in the description. Start it with the “http://” and YouTube will make it into a link. Post how-to stuff that goes along with your business. News about your industry is also a good excuse to make videos and link back to your pages. Just have fun with it and remember to tackle everything from the perspective of solving your customer’s problem. Oh, and make sure to include your keyword in the video title.
Viral content through link bait and blogging is a good way to get a bunch of backlinks as well. This is where those “like” buttons belong. Make something free and easy to share like infographics or funny content and you will be amazed at how awesome it works when you get it right.
Article marketing and blogger outreach is probably the most popular link building method for the last couple years and can be very effective. There are hundreds of websites that will allow you to submit articles while placing a link back to your website at the bottom. Or you can contact bloggers that rely on the material written by others to fuel their sites. They will give you a link in exchange for the article, and you will also get access to their audience as well.
Again, as a small business owner with an online presence, searching for any of these terms will provide you with an endless supply of knowledge. You will just have to try different things and see what works for you.
Just don’t be shady with the rules too much because search engines ultimately have the power to shut off all your organic traffic overnight. Google may be forced to display major brands even when they are link building outside the rules, but they won’t think twice about putting you or I out of business in a heartbeat.
This is why it is important to diversify your traffic and not rely on one source such as search engines because they can often drop your traffic by a lot just in the course of normal algorithm updates.
The Rise of Social Media
Many people will probably ask why I focus on just one social site when there are so many out there. My answer is that social media is only one of the things I am doing to promote my site and I decided to focus on the one that mattered the most for my business today.
I believe that all of my potential customers will be on Facebook, so that is where I will focus my social media efforts in 2017. Your business may do better on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, Instagram, or any of the others. It all depends on your preferences and audience.
Social media does two things from what I can tell.
The first is that having a bunch of page and website likes, plusses, or whatever helps search engines determine how trustworthy your website is. This can actually affect how well you rank in Google and Bing.
Since social signals are important to search, I will eventually go after some action on Google+ as well. You might start thinking about which two would best help your business and develop your own metrics to measure success.
The second, and more important, reason is having a diversified source of traffic so that all your eggs aren’t in 1 basket. Some websites get all their traffic from Google and have literally been put out of business during algorithm updates.
I plan to be in business forever, so diversity is very important to me and it should be to you also.
And this is why getting targeted visitors to your site is so important. You just can’t afford to do it wrong and spend all this time and effort on people who were never going to be your customer anyway.
You have to complete the circle. Get the visitor. Convert the visitor. Solve the customer’s problem so they tell others about it.
Focus on doing what it takes to get the desired result. Everything else is clutter and causes you to lose customers.