A common challenge for every business with a website is attracting relevant traffic that’s interested in what that business has to offer. But it’s not about quantity of traffic – it’s about quality. A huge traffic number isn’t necessarily a great thing if it’s not the right traffic.
So, how do you get the right traffic – the right strangers – to your site? Tactics like frequent blogs, keyword optimization, and social media engagement will draw them in, if (and only if) they see that your site has the information they’re looking for as they conduct a search for answers to their questions.
The first step in being able to attract the right strangers is to develop buyer personas. A buyer persona is essentially a detailed outline describing your ideal customer – inside and out – looking at his or her challenges, motivations, pain points and objections, as well as demographic details to give additional context. The term “target audience” is another way to define strangers. Developing buyer personas for your specific target audience(s) allows you to align what you’re saying (on your website, in your blog posts, in more advanced content like eBooks, etc.) with what they want and need to know.
In order to attract the right audience, you also need to align other activities with your target audience’s needs. That means defining a smart SEO strategy, interacting via social media, presenting an audience-friendly website, and even aligning traditional tactics, like trade shows, with your target’s interests. By making all of your activities purposefully in sync with your target audience’s needs, strangers coming to your site will be coming there – and staying there – for the right reasons.
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these initiatives and further explain how they can help with your website traffic.
Consistent Blogging & Content Publication Shows Thought Leadership
By producing new and valuable content, you’re likely answering questions being asked by your target, and your relevancy to those questions in search results will get a boost if you blog or produce content around a specific topic. Make sure your keyword research includes long tail keywords to improve the likelihood that your content is found by search engines. For example, rather than trying to be found by search engines based on the keyword phrase “electrical assemblies,” one like “electrical assemblies for heavy duty equipment OEMs” will be much more effective in getting you the right strangers to your site.
Keyword Research Increases Search Visibility
Making sure that your site is optimized to include specific keywords your personas use in search will help ensure that your site turns up in their search results. And you don’t have to be an SEO expert to be able to improve your website's searchability. You can keep tabs on what keywords are doing well for your industry (and for your company specifically) using tools such as Moz. These services provide straightforward and actionable input for you to implement in order to make your site highly relevant to your target’s searches.
Social Media Amplifies Your Content
Think of social media efforts as a megaphone. Using tactics like hashtags to put a spotlight on specific topics of interest (#DataStorage) or engaging with special interest groups on platforms like LinkedIn (Datacenter Managers) gets your content out in front of more – and more relevant – eyeballs. Sharing your blog content on social platforms can bring in strangers with a need or challenge that’s right up your alley.
Clean Design Improves User Experience
Keep your prospect in mind when designing your site. Part of your buyer persona should be an understanding of how they navigate sites, what they look at first, what information is and isn’t important to them, and the level of detail they’re hoping to find. Taking it a step further, you should understand what they need/want at each stage of their buyer journey – from Awareness to Consideration to Decision. Map the journey and make sure your site provides what they’re looking for.
Attending Events to Connect In Person
Hosting or attending events provides an opportunity to make connections and spread the word about your company. A business card and a sturdy handshake still go a long way in the business world, and talking face-to-face about the variety and value of content on your website can help create interest and bring those strangers to your site.
Overall, the goal is not to invite just any strangers to your site; rather, it’s about soliciting “aligned visitors” who’ll engage and connect with the content and offers you’re putting out there. Those visitors will then naturally progress through the buyer’s journey and, ideally, choose you in the Decision stage. When planning your editorial calendar, make sure you’re considering the pain points and problems your buyer personas are trying to solve. This will bring them to your site and give you opportunities to convert them, nurture them with your expertise and eventually connect them with your product or service as the solution. Ensuring that your content is a match for the specific type of traffic you want to bring in is key to a successful start to your inbound efforts.
Resources: Maudience, TMR Direct, Elevator, The Business Journals, GoBeyond SEO, BrandManager