Following his recent interview on Dublin City FM’s The Persuaders programme, our sales director Ross recently made a swift return to the airwaves on Friday, August 4, this time as a guest on UpStarts, the show about digital marketing and business.
Having been praised for his hearty handshake last time around, Ross proceeded to grab the issue by the scruff of the neck with his piece dubbed ‘The Digital Handshake’, explaining the challenges behind, and solutions to, increasing traffic to a business website.
As host Kelly very kindly mentioned that she was ‘very fortunate’ to have Ross back to present his piece, and gave thanks to our good selves at Get Focused for releasing him for the day (yes, we do sometimes let him out to spread the good word), she also once again praised that hearty handshake she previously exclaimed could ‘win awards’. No limp fish here.
On the subject of a business website, Ross was quick to compare it to that digital handshake of the title. It’s the first impression a visitor gets about your business, so you want it to be as good as it can be. Just as a limp and insincere handshake will leave people unimpressed, so too will a shoddy website that either doesn’t work properly, or simply leaves the visitor with nothing to catch their eye, and nowhere to go.
That first impression, Ross pointed out, is increasingly important as consumer behaviour changes and businesses or agencies have less and less time to impress, to catch the eye, and to show the value in engaging with them.
A handshake lasts a few seconds, and that is also the time you have to make a good impression, as the average attention span online is now at most 8 seconds, according to Time magazine.
Increasing website traffic requires more than creating a good impression though – that is just the first step. Your website needs to be a sales-driven space rather than a simple brochure detailing how great your business is. It needs to provide the right sales funnel with the right information available to the right people at the right time, and it needs to be focused on lead generation and conversion.
As Ross explained, even the fundamental concept of increasing website traffic being a measure of success is a little misleading.
Using the analogy of the internet being like the world’s largest shopping centre, he explained that getting a lot of footfall in doesn’t necessarily mean success. Just like a store in that shopping centre, your website is the place where you sell your wares, conduct your business and add value to the world, but where you are in that centre is very important. Are you by the food court, or by the front entrance, or beside the toilets? Are you on the ground floor or the third floor? Essentially, what kind of footfall can you expect?
Web traffic is the same as footfall, and having your website or shop window is one thing, but if the door is locked to consumers, it’s of no use.
That’s why, as Ross pointed out, he wanted to discuss the idea that businesses and agencies don’t have a traffic problem necessarily: what they do have is a problem with generating leads because they don’t show or facilitate what people can and will do when they do come to you.
Sure, you want to increase your website traffic, Ross said, and we work with all of our clients to do this through SEO, etc, but it’s more important to have the right processes to bring visitors to the right place when they do visit your site.
It’s about quality over quantity too. What are they going to do when they come into your shop, or visit your website? You want them to buy, of course, but what percentage will do so? Ideally, you want the type of person who is interested in what you have to say, firstly, and what you have to offer, secondly. That means you have to have the type of content they want to see, to interest them, and more effective content at every stage of the conversion path.
Knowing your personas is so important, Ross pointed out, and having a vague idea is not going to cut it, so you need to really think about these personas in granular detail.
You want them to resonate with your business or inbound marketing agency when they read your blog or an article, Ross explained. You want them to say ‘that’s me, that is my scenario, that is the challenge I have in my life’ – that’s the awareness stage, and having engaged with them with this content, you want to then make them ready to enter the consideration stage.
So, getting traffic to your website is important, but so too is getting the right people who will take the right steps on your website.
You need to have a good CTA, Ross was at pains to point out. The worst CTA is ‘Contact Us’ he said. Ok, it works less than 0.1%, but using a dating analogy, Ross said that it is only reasonable to want to be taken on a few more dates before being ask how many children you want. You need to romance the consumer, so to speak, and not go for the jugular straight away.
The content will bring visitors in, but what are you then going to offer? Are you going to provide something of more value – a checklist, an eBook, a guide – than their email address and name?
An example Ross gave was as follows: Maybe I am selling coaching or mentoring on successful interviews. First off, I need to be providing, say, the top 10 dos and don’ts for a successful interview. You give them something valuable in return for their contact details by offering them a download from a strong landing page. But if a person needs even more value from a one-to-one perspective, then you can start to engage in a commercial discussion, but you have the value up front, and you also ensure you are attracting the right people with the right, valuable information.
So how do you get the right website traffic?
You can do this through various channels, Ross explained:
- Have unique URLs to drive traffic to your site, so you know where it is coming from.
- Facebook and LinkedIn groups – this is where people are hanging out. Go in there, comment, see what people are talking about, and use to insights to guide your content creation strategy.
- Google and Facebook ads can also be very effective.
- SEO – create great, optimised content with the keywords that people are likely to search with.
However, Ross ended his piece by explaining that the organic space is where you are going to get the right traffic. Creating authentic, thought-provoking, entertaining, interesting and valuable organic content is the best way to bring the right visitors to your website. If they are interested in the industry you write about, the chances are they will come in for a further look.
Other forms of content such as PPC can and do work, but organic content is a far better way to increase your website traffic. It builds up your authority, it brings the people you want into your site, and most importantly, it is not advertising, which more and more modern consumers simply shy away from.
Organic content is inbound marketing, and as host Kelly said at the start of the show, Ross and the Get Focused team are the go-to people for inbound marketing.
Ross will return to UpStarts next month to bring more words of wisdom from the world of inbound marketing, but for now you can hear the full show here.
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