Building an opt-in database and growing quality website traffic are two tasks nearly every marketer is faced with, regardless of specific position or industry. After all, these components are the building blocks for most marketing campaigns and the foundation for a platform such as marketing automation. If your website is so quiet that tumbleweeds blow through it and your database is nothing more than 32 business cards you “borrowed” from the fishbowl at Applebee’s, fear not…and read on.
We compiled a few tips and tricks that we’ve learned along the way that can help you increase website traffic and grow your database without breaking the bank.
• Think social media. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, social media is proving to be a valuable, yet cost-effective medium. While the vastness of the social media-sphere can feel intimidating, you can begin slowly by listening to peers or participating in relevant online conversations. Over time, you can work toward developing followers and sharing news, educational tips, special offers and more.
• Develop a loyalty or referral program. Build your database and retain current customers by giving them access to special offers. Have a sign-up link on every web page, social media profile and email. If your model is business-to-business focused and a special offer doesn’t make sense, consider a referral program that incentivizes current customers to refer new ones.
• Sweeten the signature. How many emails do you send using your personal email client in any given day? 25, 35 or more? Now, do the math and multiply by 5 days – that’s a lot of emails, right? Utilize your email signature by adding a link to a recent news item, special offer, social media page, etc.
• Partner for success. Do you have relationships with companies who offer complementary services? If you’re a florist, think chocolate shop – an online marketing solution, consider web consultancies. Think strategically about how you could promote each other’s products or services socially, via websites or newsletters.
• Check out directory listings. Once you have come up with a special offer, let your fingers do the walking, and search online for free, legit directory sites. Many online directories offer free basic listings but charge an additional fee for photos, links, etc. In this case, the basic listing is a good starting point to see if the directory really pushes qualified traffic to your site.
• Don’t just talk about it. If you have the time and resources, consider using your expertise to author a blog. Blogs are a fantastic way to showcase industry knowledge, build brand awareness, develop a readership, etc. A cautionary note though – maintaining an informative blog takes time, energy and discipline. If you’re not quite ready to launch your own blog, reach out to your social network and see if they accept guest blog posts. This strategy can be a great way to lend expertise and gain credibility without the commitment that comes with your own blog.
As you implement these strategies, it is very important to track which traffic sources lend themselves to lengthier site visits, repeat visits, low bounce rates – and, of course, conversions. Free tools such as Google Analytics provide great aggregate views and tracking, while marketing automation platforms can track individual visitors on a granular level.
We hope these tips and suggestions have you given you new, helpful and affordable ways to think about generating high-quality inbound traffic.