Every blogger, website owner and online marketer knows how important getting traffic is to their website. While SEO has been traditionally very popular – because once your site is ranked, the traffic is free, there are of course other ways to increase traffic, and you should consider all of them. Here is a list of some other ways for you to consider:
Traditional Offline Advertising
Traditional and conventional means of advertising are not obsolete, despite the rise of online advertising. There is potentially a huge upside in advertising in magazines, newspapers, trade journals, periodicals, yellow papers, and similar materials if done the right way. If you carefully choose a targeted niche publication relevant to your business, you could enjoy exposure that leads sales even more effectively than through online marketing. To undertake this though you really need to understand your market, and the audience of the medium you want to advertise in. You want to make sure there is a match. You also want to make sure you can track the results from that advertising so you can evaluate whether it was profitable or not. Offline marketing is generally very expensive compared to online advertising, and so it’s a good idea to first test your ad online through Google Adwords or some other online medium. By completing the test, you can settle on a proven ad that you can then roll out offline. This gives your offline campaign a better chance to succeed.
Online Community Platforms
You can frequently visit relevant forums, blogs and newsgroups and participate in discussions. Make relevant comments that help out the community. Answer their questions thoroughly. When appropriate, you can include your URL. People don’t mind you doing this if they know you have their best interest at heart. You have to earn the right to do that though by proving you are an expert that provides unbiased and helpful advice.
If you are participating where your prospects are and are genuinely helping them, they can become your best prospects because they already have a sense of who you are, and if they’re benefiting from your advice (or they can see others benefitting from your advice) before they engage in your services they will implicitly trust you – which is the most important part of the sales process.
This is a basic tool that often gets neglected. Make the advertisement catchy, attention-grabbing, informative, useful and enticing. Have a call to action for readers to visit the blog or site for more information, or even call you directly. Often, you can take an online advertisement and print the same advertisement offline in a post card or letter, and it can bring in better results than the online ad if the list the mail is sent to is targeted.
Word of Mouth Marketing
Provide a reason why your prospects should tell their friends, associates and family about you. You can’t leave it up to them. You have to give them a reason to. This could be done via a viral video, photo, or some really high value or controversial content on your site. Things that go viral are things that entertain others, make them laugh or cry – basically anything that moves them emotionally.
You can of course make it easier for people to share stories from your site or blog by having social buttons that make it easier for them to share.
Ride on Trending Topics
Keep abreast of the latest developments in politics, society, technology, and other hot issues in the media. You can tap into these trends and write about them by linking them to how it affects your industry. You can submit reports to social sites and other portals like Scribd. Include links that are placed strategically to particular places on your site and on to other relevant sites. If you can make a valid link between that trending topic and your subject matter, you will be able to take advantage of this to generate traffic.
You can showcase your expertise by creating very thorough tutorials. People love step-by-step tutorials, especially on topics that are complicated. This is another opportunity for you to show that you are an expert and to garner trust. The tutorials can be in many forms – a video submitted on You Tube and other sharing sites. They could be presented to social networking sites, or be posted on your blog and linked to from answers you’ve given in forums where people are asking about the subject matter you have just explained. The idea is to create a helpful tutorial and then place it in a platform where people are already looking for information on that topic. Once you are seen there, you want to give them an easy way to follow directions or links back to your site.
Using Traditional Literature and Business Cards
Many tend to overlook brochures, stationary, faxes, fliers, leaflets, and business cards. Make sure that all these promotional materials contain your URL prominently. They are still important ways to significantly promote your website or blog and your brand. If you can present an offer for them visiting your website (a free report, or software) then this can really increase the number of people that visit your site.
Using Trade Shows
Setting up a booth in a relevant niche-specialized trade show is a great way of promoting your business, website or blog. It can be expensive, but it can be very profitable if done correctly. You want to think ahead and make sure your booth will stand out. You want to ensure you’ve thought about what offer you’ll give to entice attendees from giving you their details so you can follow up with them later. Some popular ideas are to run a contest, or give away a prize to get engagement with the attendees and then have a follow up that is a natural continuation of that idea after the trade show is finished. For example, if you ran a content, you could email everyone who entered a few days after the trade show finished, letting them know who the winner was, and as a thank you for participating you’re giving a special discount or trial for anyone that entered the contest at the trade show of your product or service for a limited time.
Other Marketing Techniques
Other good marketing strategies that do not utilize SEO include issuing press releases so that its picked up by major newspaper and online news portals, asking visitors to bookmark your website, writing articles for other websites (which include links to your site). All of these create referral links for visitors to naturally follow to your site (not necessarily for rankings).
Apart from these techniques, you should also of course spend time on SEO. The benefits of having an integrated campaign are that the different tactics can help each other. For example, creating great content that is shared virally – automatically generates links to your site that helps your site rank in the search engines. It’s actually not very difficult to figure out ways in which different marketing tactics can help each other to form a very successful, integrated marketing plan. By doing this, you give your business the best chance of generating a steady, reliable stream of buyers for your products or services.