Web Strategy

How Can I Get More Traffic To My Website?

by Andy Brudtkuhl on March 3, 2010

The most commonly asked question of me is “How can I get more traffic to my website?“…

After which I immediately follow with “What are you going to do with it?“…

At this point I generally receive blank stares followed by a request to elaborate.

Here’s the thing – most website owners think that getting “hits” to their website is the most important thing in a web strategy. They don’t care what they are going to do with new visitors – just that they come.

This is a fundamental flaw in your web strategy. Granted – traffic is important but the most critical aspect in your web strategy is doing something with the traffic you get. By “doing something” – we mean accomplishing and executing on your website’s goals (you do have goals for your website, right?).

What’s the point of getting an extra thousand visitors to your site if you aren’t doing anything with them? If they aren’t signing up for your email list, buying your widget, leaving a comment, subscribing to your RSS feed, or whatever – than what’s the point?

Why do you need to generate more traffic when are doing nothing with the traffic you are getting now?

Our colleague Brian Kaldenberg maintains the idea of “It’s easier to double your conversion rate than to double your website’s traffic”. What he means is that it’s easier to optimize your website to meet your goals than it is to get more people to come to your site. It could also be more profitable…

Lets get technical…

All of this data can be found inside your web analytics.

Let’s assume your business, Acme INC, sells a single widget for $97. Currently, your conversion rate – percentage of website visitors who end up buying your widget – is 3%. And let’s say you get 2,000 visitors to your website every month. If we do the math…

  • 2,000 visitors * .03 conversion rate = 60 widgets/mo sold on your website
  • 60 widgets * $97/ea = $5,820/mo revenue generate by your website

So what Brian is saying above is that it will be easier to increase your conversion rate to 6% than it is to increase your website’s traffic to 4,000 visitors per month. Here comes more math

If you Acme INC doubles their conversion rate to 6%…

  • 2,000 visitors * .06 conversion rate = 120 widgets/mo sold
  • 120 widgets * $97/ea = $11,640/mo

But guess what – you can optimize your website RIGHT NOW and increase your conversion rate. Doubling the traffic to your website will take a lot of hard work, great content, advertising, and patience (like years). Both are important – but don’t you think Acme INC would like a 6% conversion rate BEFORE they double their traffic?

  • 4,000 visitors * .03 = 120 => $11,640/mo
  • 4,000 visitors * .06 = 240 => $23,280/mo

For Acme INC doubling their conversion rate before they generate more traffic is a difference of 12,000/mo … doubling their revenue.

Wrapping Up

Back to our main point… Instead of asking “How can I get more traffic to my website”, you should be asking “How can I convert more of my website traffic into my goals”.

Once you’ve optimized for conversion – than you should start generating more traffic. Look at the numbers and make data driven decisions.

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments or jump into the forums!

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5 Reasons You Need A Local Business Listing

by Andy Brudtkuhl on February 26, 2010

Here’s a quick video we extracted from a recent webinar – 5 Reasons You Need A Local Business Listing…

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Want to learn more? Check out our Google Local Listing topic page!

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments or jump into the forums!

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A Sample Local Web Strategy

by Andy Brudtkuhl on February 17, 2010

Here are six things I would include in the foundation of a good local web strategy. You have a local internet marketing strategy – right?

Click To Enlarge

Targeted Advertising - You can set up geographically targeted advertising campaigns very easily and they are relatively inexpensive

Local Listing – An optimized Google Local listing could do wonders for your businesses. People search for local products and services they want to buy every day. If you aren’t showing up in those results you could be missing out. It’s free and easy to get started.

Location Services - Location is getting big. Services like FourSquare and others have force the big players into the game like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Google has already integrated Buzz into the mobile experience – making that Google Local Listing we mentioned above even more important.

Social - It’s free and easy to set up profiles on social websites. Set them up and use them as a content outposts while building relationships and having conversations – you know how that goes. The point is to be active on these networks and talk to people who are local – because when people need that plumber, for example, they know to contact you. (if you are a plumber, of course)

Monitor Local Opportunities – People on Twitter are talking about how they are going tile shopping and need their driveway cleared of snow. If you are listening – those become sales opportunities. Keep your ears to the ground where your customers live online. They’ll tell you what they want and when they want it.

Craigslist – I hired a guy of Craigslist to come plow my driveway during one of the many winter storms we have had in Iowa this year. He had a listing with an email address and a phone number. Oh – and he answered the email right away. That was a conversion from Craigslist for him. Sometimes during events like storms it’s a great place to be found for the casual browser or intent searcher.

Do you have any questions on our local web strategy sample? Is there something we should add that we missed? Let us know in the comments or jump into the forums!

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Break Up With Your Website

by Andy Brudtkuhl on February 15, 2010

Breaking up with your website means that you should remove any emotional attachment to your site. We see this problem infect many small businesses when they begin treating their website like a relationship instead of a tool. I know – you spent a lot of time and hard work on that site…

But when all relevant data points you in a specific direction and you ignore it in favor of your emotional attachment to “your baby” – you are only hurting yourself.

Some common scenarios

You spent a lot of time on that home page making sure everything looked perfect. You made some images and wrote a bunch of great copy about you and your business and what you do. But no one signs up. No one clicks. And visitors leave right away (psst you can measure all that in Google Analytics)… The data says you should make a change – but you don’t because you spent a lot of time on it.

You have a great product or service that nobody ever signs up for on your website. You think that having that elaborate sign up form will help you better target potential clients that you want to get to know. Really – people only want to enter their Name and Email Address so they leave your sign up page (psst you can measure that in Google Analytics).

You spend time setting up hundreds of widgets that you think are cool – but nobody ever uses them and they make your site load slow. By adding a ton of fluff you lose site on the main functions and goals of your website. You don’t want to distract visitors – you want to convert them.

Breaking up with your website allows you to…

  • Make data driven decisions
  • Focus on function
  • Focus on usability
  • Test everything

Data Driven Decisions

When making marketing decisions about your website try focusing on search and web analytics data you have. In a recent workshop with a client we found they were targeting the completely wrong demographic online. The market they were targeting online were not searching for what the website had to offer. This meant that search traffic was low and irrelevant. By tweaking some marketing copy and targeting a different market with content we completely change their web strategy. It wasn’t easy but it’s what the data said to do.

Focus On Function

I love a good design but when you focus on your design more than how your site functions you are likely losing out. There are well defined standards for laying out and designing a site that converts – whether you want someone to comment on your blog or buy your widget. By moving your focus away from what works to what you like is a bad move. Stay focused on the goals for your website and make sure your site functions to meet those goals.

Usability Matters

We’ve had clients with great products that were not selling online. In one case the reason was the shopping cart. The process sucked enough that they began to lose a significant amount of sales from it. If you’ve spent a ton of time on a process that doesn’t convert – it’s okay to start over. You could be losing sales or conversions online every day that you have an unusable sales funnel. Try buying your own product once in awhile. If you get confused – chances are your visitors are too. This is the same for any type of conversion. If your email list  is too confusing to get subscribed to – your visitors will have the same problems.

Test Everything

Once you have broken up with your website you have begun to remove any emotional attachment. This is good – now you can start testing. If you look at things like data instead of having an emotional reaction – you may learn that your well thought out headline really sucks and another works 100% better.

Do you have any questions about breaking up with your website? Let us know in the comments or jump in the forums!

[flickr photo from WebRanking]

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What Does Google Local Look Like?

by Andy Brudtkuhl on January 15, 2010

What does targeting local online look like?

Questions about targeting local? Sign up for our new webinar or jump into the forums!

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5 Ways To Make Money With WordPress

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We show you 5 different examples of how to make money online using WordPress

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Local Web Optimization Visualized

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Don’t Get Caught In The Social Media Vacuum

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Here are five things you need to do in the coming year to help you run your business online…

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Top 10 Web Strategy Posts Of 2009

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