Last year I spent most of the year learning how to drive traffic to my website. I started the year with absolutely no website visitors in January and finished the year averaging about 4000 unique visitors per month. Through the process of trial and error, I discovered a repeatable process that worked incredibly well in driving traffic to my website. Once I drove visitors to my website I became very good at converting them into paying customers.
So what is my secret? It's the same process that many internet marketers are teaching. It's a simple process but it takes a fair amount of time to implement and it takes a few months before you'll see results. That's probably why most people fail at driving traffic to their website. They're not willing to spend the time each week to do the work it takes and they give up when they don't see instant results.
I took the time to implement this system last year, probably because I was learning and experimenting. Over time I boiled the system down to just 6 steps. When I followed my system faithfully, my website traffic steadily increased, my email list grew and my conversion rates skyrocketed. I was amazed with the results I was getting from the system.
Then the holidays came and I slacked off. I stopped following my system for the last 6 weeks of the year and my website traffic declined. My email list is still growing but at a much slower rate. And of course, my conversion rates are slipping. I realized that marketing isn't a one-time event that will carry my business forever. Marketing must be a habit that I do faithfully. If I don't market consistently, my business won't grow.
So what is my magic formula? The six steps to more website traffic and more customers are:
- Keyword research
- Write short, keyword-rich articles
- Submit the articles to article and ezine directories
- Collect contact information by giving away a free report
- Send a periodic newsletter or ezine
- Send promotional emails
First you must research the best keywords for your website and the service or product you're offering. You can find the most popular search terms from the previous month by going to inventory.overture.com. Simply enter a keyword phrase and you'll see exactly how many times that term was searched on Yahoo and its partner search engines last month. You'll also see a list of the top 100 search terms that contained your keywords. This gives you an expanded list of keyword phrases you can use in your articles. Researching the top keywords on Google is more of a challenge since they don't share that information with the public with a user-friendly tool.
Next you write short articles that focus on your keywords and search terms. The articles need to be between 250 and 300 words and narrowly focused on your keywords. Make sure you use the keyword phrases as much as possible but don't overdo it or you'll be considered a keyword spammer. Also use the keyword phrase in the article title if possible.
At the end of your article, include your contact information, a short description of your services, permission for people to distribute your article if it's left intact and a link to your website. Direct them to a landing page on your website offering a free report that will tell them how to solve a problem. For example use something like this:
For a free report that tells you how to attract clients while you sleep, visit www.valiss.com/freereport.htm
The next step is to submit your articles to article and ezine directories. Once you publish your articles here, other websites will republish your articles on their website which builds your credibility as an expert and provides precious one-way links back to your website. When people search for your keyword phrases in Google and Yahoo, they'll be directed to your articles. At the bottom of your article, they'll click on your link and be directed to your website.
Some of the most popular article directories are goarticles.com, about.com, articlecity.com and ezinearticles.com. There are many more that can be found through a simple Google search.
When the visitor arrives at your website, you need to collect their contact information before they get their free report. An example of a landing page that does this is www.netbizexpert.com The user is enticed with brief sales pitch and they have to enter their name and email address to get the answer they're looking for.
Once they enter their contact information, it will be saved in your autoresponder database. Now you have a highly targeted prospect! To build your credibility and establish a relationship with this prospect you need to send a periodic newsletter or ezine that provides useful information that solves a problem. Don't overwhelm them with information, just send them small amounts of useful information that solves their problems or they'll unsubscribe from our list.
Once you've established yourself as an expert that can solve their problems, you can start sending promotional emails to your list. Again, don't overdo this or they'll unsubscribe. Send them promotions that offer a product or service that will solve their most pressing problem. They'll gladly respond if you're making their life easier.
That's all there is to it. Simple but it takes time and you must do this consistently. As I learned, it's the journey that matters, not the destination.