As I covered last week, most people who have a website for marketing their business have one of three problems with it.
- The website is producing no leads or sales and they have no idea what to do, or whether anyone is even coming to the site.
- The website is producing a few leads or sales, but the owner doesn’t know how to increase it.
- The website is producing a decent flow of leads or sales, and the website owner wants to increase that, but doesn’t know how.
There are essentially four methods of driving people to a web site:
- Pay per click advertising (PPC)
- Non-paid, or “organic” traffic from search engines
- Driving traffic to a blog, then referring visitors over to the main website
- Social media marketing
Last week I covered PPC and organic traffic. In this article I’ll cover blogs and next week social media.
Driving Traffic with a Blog
Most people don’t realize that blogging is a powerful tool for driving traffic to a web site.
A blog is a special type of web site that makes it easy for you to add new content on a regular basis. New content gets added at the top, and you scroll down to see the older content.
WordPress is one of the most common blogging systems, allowing you to put up a blog within your web site, as a subfolder (http://www.yourwebsite.com/blog). Typepad is another common blogging system, allowing you to either having it set up under Typepad’s URL (http://yourblogname.typepad.com) or you can set up a separate web address for the blog (http://www.yourblogname.com).
There are also several free blogging sites, where you can set up a blog, such as Blogger.com and Tumblr.com, and then your blog URL is something like http://yourblogname.blogspot.com or http://yourblogname.tumblr.com. But these sites are much more limited in the features and design templates you can use. It’s much harder to customize the blog to your needs than with WordPress or Typepad.
Blog design: When setting up a blog it is vital to design it with one or two sidebars, then add your contact information, and several links to features on your main web site. For example you could link to your home page, your “about us” page, your services page, and so on. If you sell any items such as books you can put an ad for the book in one of the sidebars. You want to set up the blog in such a way that as many people as possible who come to the blog also go over to your web site.
Now, you should put new content up on your blog regularly. By regularly, ideally I mean once a week or more often. Content can be anything from a long article (700-1,000 words), to a press release, to a shorter post or comment about something related to the topic of your blog (100-200 words).
In the case of blogs there are over 20 search engines that are geared just to blogs. If you notify them, with what is called a “ping,” those search engines will all stop by your blog immediately and include your new article or other post in their search engine listings. There is a site called www.pingomatic.com that allows you to easily send a ping to 22 of these search engines.
This means that if your article was about how to lower your golf score, and someone went to one of these blog search engines and typed in “how to lower your golf score,” and your article contained that phrase, your listing would come up, allowing that person to click through and come to your blog.
I have two blogs for my marketing business, one for articles and a separate one for press releases. I post something to one of the two blogs a minimum of once a week. And I always send a ping to all of the blog search engines after every single post.
For the entire year of 2010 up to today, my two blogs have generated more traffic to my main web site, than any other source. In fact, if you add them up, it is three times the traffic that I got from Google.
So blogging can be a very powerful way to drive traffic to your web site.
Next week I will cover driving traffic with social media.