Driving Traffic to your website

Yesterday was the second of Sayers Solutions’ small business marketing peer support sessions and whilst it was a very small group, we had a good chat about driving traffic to our websites. As I had time after the session I have been able to provide a summary of our discussions and highlighted some of the points that we covered.

First of all we started our discussion about our own particular websites and the obstacles and advantages we had with them and the objectives and purpose of the individual websites. This conversation also included the make-up of the website, for example whether it was a content managed system (CMS) or WISIWIG (What I see is what I get) coded sites.

We also mentioned and discussed the merits of Google Analytics for measuring website traffic and the many many many different things it can measure, including keywords, number of users and time on the site.

The first tactic mentioned relating to driving traffic to the website was social media. Attendees have built communities on social media, been growing their followers and posting links to their websites. The majority said that they personally didn’t find Facebook helpful for their business; however the group was not representative of all businesses and sectors. They did instead say they found good value in Twitter and Linkedin.

The conversation then led to search engine optimisation and a discussion of keywords and a useful tip of using Google Adwords was shared, as a way of measuring the popularity of the keyword; the more expensive it is, the more popular it is which highlights the importance of using it.

We had a lengthy discussion about the variety of networking events around after one of the attendees said that they had seen a spike in traffic to their site after attending networking events. Some of the events mentioned were BNI, Huddersfield Huddle, HD8 Network, MY Network run by the MY Chambers of Commerce as well as Brand Yorkshire and Wilson’s Republic.

This led to a conversation about ensuring that promotion of online activities was also created offline. For example making sure that website and social media details were on business cards, flyers and other printed material.

One attendee asked whether more emphasis should be made on say for example social media or is it best to focus time on printed material and it was agreed that no one way was the best way, that everything was important and linked together. It was also agreed that what worked for one might be completely different for others and it was very much about trial and error, including posting on different days, times of days and also about the frequency of posts.

We also talked about blogging, guest blogging and press releases. It was suggested that all content should be repurposed and used for a multitude of different places, although the origin of content should be your own website and so should be published there before paraphrasing or publishing elsewhere.

Whilst we were discussing guest blogging and press releases there was a conversation about how and where to get your articles published elsewhere. We talked about building relationships with key influencers on twitter and sharing blogs and content with them, where others would need telephone calls or emails.

This also led to a discussion about membership organisations including the fsb, Chambers of Commerce and HD8 Network who are content hungry and crying out for it to be sent to them so that they can publish it on your behalf.

There was also a recommendation to become a media tart and to contact journalists, touting themselves out as spokespeople on particular topics, for example one of the attendees has a 3D printer, so it was suggested they could inform media outlets they were available if a quote was needed on 3D printing.

Back links were also discussed, it entered conversation when someone shared their experience of conducting competitor analysis and found that one of their competitors, whose website was not great, was still receiving a high volume of traffic because they were mentioned on and had links from prestigious websites.

While we were talking about blogging or writing articles one attendee highlighted a problem that they weren’t really a words person, instead they were more visual, understandably as they were a graphic designer. In response to this the discussion returned to keywords and seo and the encouragement to utilise the alt tags for images. Alt tags are there for accessibility and usability reasons; one example of this is so that readers (electronic devices used by people with vision impairments) can describe the images. Because accessibility and usability is a legal requirement for websites, search engines rank websites higher on the employment of these areas. It is similarly important because users use words and phrases to search with and are also what the search engine spider record.

There was also discussion about video marketing and how more importance was put on creating and posting videos nowadays. It can provide interesting usable content, which one attendee especially said would be easier for them to create; providing a behind the scenes of them at work. Again an importance on keywords was highlighted, especially when completing the descriptions.

As you will see there were a number of tactics covered in our session today concerned with driving traffic to your website, which by no means provides an exhaustive list. The important tactics that kept reoccurring were keywords and content; whether it is for social media, blogging, press releases, video marketing or even for the content on your main site, ensuring that you have considered the words and phrases that people are searching for is imperative. Clearly posting links and creating back links is also important, as is an analysis of third party sites for your content and links to point to your website. The importance of networking events and other offline activities including printed material creating a balance and blend of all tactics that are appropriate for you and your target market is also key to driving traffic to your website. Without of course forgetting the type of website you have, how it is built, especially when it comes to accessibility and usability, as well as the purpose behind the website and ability to measure your success.

There were many crossovers of conversation and we would go back to topics previously mentioned to clarify, highlight and link points made. There were many other examples and points made which I have not captured here.

We hope this summary has been informative and useful for you. As much as it would be wonderful if we were able to provide this overview for each meeting, we don’t want to make promises that we can’t fulfil, so if you don’t want to miss out and really want to benefit from the advice that is being shared amongst the group please book your place now!

Don’t forget places are limited and we have to work on a first come first served basis.

Sayers Solutions is currently running sessions in Shepley and in August will start holding sessions in Leeds too. Find out more information here or book your place now.

If you have any comments to add or would like to discuss this further please feel free to comment below or come and find us on social media – Facebook page, Twitter and Linkedin.