“There are only two numbers in your marketing that matter,” says Andy Crestodina.
But wait, who’s Andy and why should we listen to him?
Andy Crestodina is author of a book that hasn’t left my desk since I picked it up at Social Media Marketing World in March – Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing. He is co-founder of web design firm Orbit Media Studios, which has received multiple awards, including being named one of Clutch Top Web Designers in Chicago in 2014.
In this post, I’d like to share some of Andy’s tactics to increase traffic and conversion on your small business website.
Two Ingredients to Success
The two marketing numbers Andy was referring to are traffic and conversion.
Traffic refers to the number of people who visit the various pages of your website.
Conversion means the number or percentage of traffic who take action on your site. This could refer to people who sign up for your mailing list. It could also refer to people who buy your products/services on your site, if you sell from your site. These are the most important conversion numbers you want to track.
You can determine your online marketing success through this formula:
traffic X conversion rate = success
This formula clearly shows us that, to achieve more success, you must increase either traffic or conversion. And for maximum success, you increase both.
Seven Ways To Increase Traffic and Conversion Today
Here are seven tactics I handpicked from the many traffic and conversion hacks Andy shared. I selected these, because they’re not the usual tips you see in blogs every day — well, they were new to me, at least.
And you can implement any of these tactics quickly. I’ve arranged them from easiest to hardest so you can do at least one right after reading this post:
1. Create Internal Links to Your New Content
Links are important for search engine optimization, and this includes internal links within your site. But did you know you should link to your new blog post before publishing it?
You’re probably linking from a new post to older posts. But now add this step: link from old posts (relevant ones, of course), to your new one. Andy says, “You’re not done with a new piece of content until you have linked to it from an old piece of content.”
2. Use Testimonials Everywhere
What’s the worst place to put a testimonial on your site?
On a testimonials page!
Instead, Andy says, put testimonials on your highest traffic pages. Use Google Analytics to find out what your most popular pages are.
3. Use Your Email Outbox to Create Blog Posts
Sometimes it feels like you’ve blogged about every possible topic in your market. You’re all out of blog topic ideas!
Have you tried looking in your outbox?
That’s right. Blog about questions your readers and customers ask over and over again. Ask your sales people, customer service representatives, and frontline staff what these FAQs are. Their outgoing emails could be the beginning of several great blog posts.
Andy reminds us:
“Never waste a good conversation by having it in private.”
4. Always Ask Your Visitor To Do Something
Every page on your website should tell the reader what to do next. Never make it a dead-end. The next step could be something simple, like sharing, following, or subscribing.
Even thank-you pages for new subscribers can have a next step. Claim another freebie, follow you on social media, read a related post — always be offering something else!
5. Create Content Visitors Are Looking For
Do you know the lost opportunities on your site? One of them is when people look for a certain topic, but they don’t find anything relevant on your site.
How do you know which topics are? We use Google Analytics again. Go to: Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms to find the keywords or phrases your website visitors have searched for on your site.
Combine this with exit pages to see what people were trying to find on your website, but didn’t. You can find a step-by-step tutorial of this tactic, including screenshots, here (skip ahead to Gap #2).
After you find these missed opportunities, write posts on these topics, or optimize existing ones that are relevant.
6. Optimize for Keywords You Can Rank Easily For
What keywords should you optimize for? Those you already rank on page 2 of Google for! You’re already almost on page one for those keywords, so they can become traffic champions with the least amount of effort from you.
To find these keywords, go to your Google Analytics account. Then go to: Acquisition > Search engine optimization > queries. Set the advanced filter for “average position” set to “greater than 10.” Sort the average position column to display lowest to highest. Take note of phrases you rank anywhere from 11-20.
These are the keywords you could easily rank on page one of Google for! Optimize the pages that are currently ranking for these keywords.
7. Find Your Conversion Champions
The last tactic is to find your conversion champions. These are pages on your website where visitors tend to take action, whether subscribing or buying something. Once you find these pages, then drive traffic to them.
The process is too complicated for me to describe here. Besides, Andy has already done it, once again, on the Orbit Media blog. So go ahead and read this post, skip to “Optimizing for More Conversions” to learn how to do it.
What Will You Do Next?
These are only a few of the many traffic and conversion optimization strategies I’ve seen Andy present at Social Media Marketing World and more recently at Content Marketing World.
Which of these tips are new to you? Which one will you do today?
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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