May 28, 2019 // Category: Digital Marketing
You’ve just launched your new brand and after dropping two thousand on a website you don’t know what to do next. Don’t fret! There are a few easy steps to get the ball rolling without spending a ton of dough on advertising. I've mentioned elsewhere, but it’s important to equip your website with strong SEO during the design process. You can then build upon a strong foundation of steadily growing organic traffic by incorporating advertising if you wish.
This article focuses on the organic side of the equation. Not just SEO, but your entire digital portfolio can be a useful tool. And web traffic is not easy to come by, so you can’t afford to leave any stone unturned.
With that said, let’s talk about ToFu marketing.
No not that tofu. This ToFu.
That’s the top of the sales funnel, and if you’re not watering those magic seeds, it won’t grow into a healthy tree with fruit for the picking.
But let’s back up a bit. Here is the anatomy of the sales funnel:
Where people first become aware of your brand. Here, providing valuable content and engaging with the audience are what matters. If you’ve got the budget, you can hire influencers to promote here to funnel people to the next phase. Note that most of this is happening offsite (aside from your blog).
Some brands base their entire marketing strategy around this phase. By building a huge platform, your brand awareness can grow exponentially.
Look to your blog, social media, social bookmarking and newsletters haul most of the load.
Where people begin to connect with your products and services. Only a subset of people who enter the funnel in phase one will “funnel” to phase two, browsing for services they may be interested in. The others who enter at this point will be looking for your services through targeted keyword marketing. If you have not optimized for keywords, you are not fully taking advantage of this phase.
Landing pages, your main site pages and your business pages are the heavy lifters here.
People here are now satisfied enough that they are ready to take some kind of action. This can be defined by whatever metric you decide, but usually actions would include a direct contact or adding items to a cart.
Closely related to the customer journey map, which also includes the what happens before and after they engage with you, the sales funnel illustrates how your customers get from point A to point C. And if you overlay a content map, you will see there are opportunities throughout the process to improve your traffic. It all depends on your core audience, and your strengths as a marketer.
1. Understand Your Customer’s Journey
Think about your customers. Where do they come from? How old are they? Where do they live? What are their needs? When do they shop? Why do they shop?
Build your off-page marketing strategy around what you know about your customer. Your customer may not wish to engage or even be aware of your industry until they need your services. If that’s the case, you’re better served focusing your efforts on attracting people who need you further down the funnel. This is why you don’t commonly find hospitals, financial institutions and auto repair shops doing a lot of blogging. You may find some insurance companies do, but it isn’t a core part of their marketing strategy.
But if you sell clothing, you will absolutely need to put in work further up the funnel.
2. Build a Content Flow
Build a map of how users will flow from one content platform to another. How will users who you engage with you on Reddit at the top of the funnel find their way down to the bottom? I have created this this Lucid Charts diagram to illustrate how such a flow might look.
Your website exists at every point along this flow, and it’s quite possible for someone to enter at the top and go straight to the bottom. But understand that this is the more unlikely scenario. What’s more likely is that users who connect with you at the top
Once you understand how the content pulls users from one area to the next, you need to insert the technical means by which customers can flow down your funnel like little pinballs.
3. Select Strong Keywords
Once you know your customer’s journey, you will have an idea what they will be searching for at each point and can build a set of keywords that will target those needs.
You own a bakery. You also find that many of your customers ask you for your recipes, so you now provide recipes in your blog. You now have a great vehicle to grow the top of your funnel, a recipe blog, where your keywords include “recipe for banana bread”, while at the middle of the funnel, your keywords would include terms such as “dine in bakery in west la”.
Select keywords based on their:
Once you select the right keywords, the job isn’t done. You now need to tailor the page content and the title and meta description tag so that Googlers who read your title and description don’t scroll past your content.
4. Track Your Data
Most platforms give you the ability to track whether users interact with you. The most important one of all for monitoring incoming traffic is Google Search Console. If you haven’t yet set up Search Console, don’t hesitate. It will give you terrific insights that will allow you to restructure your content or change up keywords that aren’t performing well.
5. Work To Your strengths
This applies to your industry, reach, brand and personnel, and requires an honest self-assessment.
Medical practices are not built around content or social media marketing. They source clients through their network, so content, while important, is not critical for driving traffic. On the other hand, the fitness industry is very much centered around brand awareness through content and social media marketing due to the proliferation of fitness influencers peddling brands online.
You also want to consider your strengths as an individual. Are you comfortable writing lots of content? Are you comfortable enough with your content management system to log in, write, format, edit and post that content? Or are you more of a social butterfly who already has somewhat of a following on social media?
If you are naturally strong in one of these areas, it would be a good idea to focus your energy there. You will do better at it, you will enjoy it more, and you will be less likely to burn out. Do what feels natural for you. Hire out what doesn’t.
In summary, growing web traffic takes time, if you choose to do it organically, and launching a beautiful branded website is only the beginning. But if you direct your efforts effectively, focusing on your customer’s needs and your own abilities, you will come out on top.