With organic traffic on the decline, diversifying your sources of traffic has become a vital aspect in stabilising lead generation and contributing to increased client acquisition.
The concept is straightforward: Position your site to be found in more places by those looking for what you offer in order to convert more clients from an additional flow of visitors.
Driving multiple streams of targeted traffic improves the profitability of your website by increasing the number of leads your site generates. Google-proof your business, by making it less reliant on Google as your only source of traffic. Optimise to appear in the most popular places your prospective clients frequent when they are researching and making purchase decisions.
Why do we need different mediums of traffic?
Driving traffic from Google isn’t what it used to be. With the emergence of SERP features, the slightest change of search intent can transform the entire display of features on the first page of results.
This evolution in understanding search intent has diverted less traffic to organic results by eliminating the need for users to search further than Google-owned properties.
In June 2019, Google searches resulted in over 50% of the search results being “click-less”. Through features such as the knowledge graph, PAA box and featured snippet (for starters), Google is able to provide the answer to a search query that eliminates the need for the user to look any further.
Google has officially become a walled garden by not only creating zero-click searches but by increasing the appearance of paid ads as well as other Google SERP features. The once robust volumes of organic traffic have declined considerably since the emergence of Google SERP features and the zero-click phenomenon.
Image source: Sparktoro
As they say, when one door closes, another opens up. During the course of this transformation on Google’s search engine results page, other options have emerged to balance the shift in traffic.
The features themselves, in which Google has so cleverly worked into the SERP, offer traffic opportunities that can be taken advantage of when properly optimised.
Although Google is the prime source of organic traffic, it is not the only search engine that people are using to find the information they need.
It should come as no surprise that YouTube has emerged as the world’s second most visited site. With over 1.9 billion users there is an ample amount of relevant search traffic to be captured by adding YouTube to your digital marketing strategy.
If you aren’t convinced of the influence YouTube has here are a few SEO statistics that prove its worth its weight in traffic:
- 73% of adults use YouTube in the US
- Users will click-through an average of 6.5 pages per visit
- 90% of people discover a brand or learn about a product via YouTube
- 55% will purchase a product after watching a video
Companies are building their brand and expanding their client base through informational and educational channels. Videos that provide the know-how on how to solve a particular problem attract customers at multiple stages of the buyer journey.
A strong subscribership serves almost as well as an email list. With a collection of users that are willing to have your content delivered fresh to their inbox, you can create relevant streams of traffic back to your site with every video your company releases.
Even without a budget for an entire video campaign, learn how to identify and work with the influencers in your industry to provide your business with opportunities to get your website in front of a targeted audience. A product or service review or placing a link on a relevant video can translate into traffic. And, ultimately, more leads and conversions.
If you look at the rise in users over the last decade, it’s obvious that choosing a minimum of one social profile to build a presence on will contribute nicely to your monthly traffic. Take a look at the number of users on each of the top platforms.
Image source: Statista
Focus on one platform to increase the level of engagement within your network. Every industry has a social network that is well-suited and considered the go-to platform for building an audience.
For example, if your company offers high-end corporate services, LinkedIn may be the best option to do your networking.
Instagram or Pinterest are top producers when it comes to retail, and Facebook is still hands-down the deepest network with the most expansive reach.
Use social listening tools to find mentions of your brand and competitors for link building opportunities and to find niche groups of people to add to your network.
Contribute regularly as a community member, and not just an advertiser. The purpose behind social media is to put some personality to the face of your business.
Invest in one or more methods of content marketing to build links to your site and awareness of your brand. Most blog posts get skimmed for 15 seconds or less. However, content that goes deeper into a specific topic tends to generate 77.2% more backlinks.
Incorporating visual content is by far the most effective means to get your content shared. Infographics can increase traffic by up to 12% and generate more interest in the message you are trying to convey.
Comment, share and post content to not only promote your business but to engage with potential clients on a more personal level and build followers and subscribers. The larger your network, the more power you have to send traffic to your site with every post you publish.
Find relevant sites that have a good flow of traffic with streams of visitors that are asking questions about your business. One of the most popular sites is Quora because they get around 620 million visits on a monthly basis.
No matter what forum you choose, be the expert and build your brand by answering questions in full detail. Provide the evidence necessary to leave your readers with a complete solution in order to gain their confidence in your level of expertise.
A few carefully dropped links to related content provide the path back to your site and create streams of highly engaged visitors reading your content.
The idea behind posting on forums is not to build links for authority, but to increase the engagement on your site. On forums like Quora, the content you post continues to get views for years afterwards if it’s a well-written solution. This translates to thousands of visitors to your blog.
You can boost the value of posting to Quora by answering questions that are highly followed as well as ranked on Google. Quora is a domain with extremely high authority, so many questions will find their way to the first page of Google. You can get the traffic from Quora AND Google by providing the top answer to those questions.
In order to find those questions in the first place, use a tool like SEMRush to find the top-performing keywords. You can filter your search according to keywords and find questions that are ranking.
Use the skyscraper technique to write an answer that’s better in every way to get the most upvotes and lift your answer to the top of the list for the most views.
It should be no surprise that an email list can play a large role in your traffic generation. The beauty of an email list is that it remains unaffected regardless of any changes in Google’s search algorithm.
Learn how to use Mailchimp, or similar software, to segment your list in order to provide personalised content to users who fall under different categories according to their interests. Use your list as an opportunity to collect relevant data that will improve your click-through rate and engagement on your site.
When specific subject headings in an email get a high number of people opening them, it’s an indication of interest and the potential for a catchy headline. Using a popular email subject line as the title of an article will attract more clicks to your site.
With an extensive list, you can boost the traffic to your site with personalised contact for your users with the push of a button. Email marketing also boasts the highest ROI of all digital marketing strategies, posting a 3800% return on average.
Google SERP features
You can find additional traffic opportunities within Google’s search display. In order to successfully maximise the traffic that comes from Google, optimise your website to compete in the specific features that are displayed on the SERP for your keyword.
The increased presence of featured snippets is without a doubt, one of the contributing factors to zero-click search results. If the solution to a search query is provided in its entirety, there is no need for a user to click further.
However, there are many types of featured snippets that will provide additional traffic to your site if you can win the position.
The average click-through rate from a featured snippet is approximately 8% and can only be won if your site is already ranking on the first page of results.
Optimise your content to appear in the snippet by duplicating the same format for optimisation of the site that currently holds the snippet.
For example, if there is a paragraph snippet, write a paragraph with approximately the same amount of words (between 40-60 seems to be the sweet spot).
Your paragraph should be directly after a heading that describes the keyword related question or answer and is wrapped in title tags.
If there is a list snippet, confirm that the site in position zero has used an ordered list format (<ol><li></li></ol>) or whether the line items in the snippet were taken from title tags within the content.
When optimising for a list snippet, create more than eight points in your list to encourage a higher click-through rate. Google will only show eight line items forcing users to click-through to see the rest of the list.
People Also Ask boxes can provide additional click-through by optimising in a question and answer format. FAQ pages work well to get your questions featured in a PAA box.
Optimise your content using title tags around the questions, and keep in mind that it’s not only text that will win a spot in the PAA box. Videos and images are also popular solutions that are found in these particular Google features.
It may be an obvious source of traffic, but surprisingly there are still many businesses that haven’t optimised their website to appear in the local search results.
Google reports that approximately 46% of all searches are local searches for information on businesses in the user’s locality. Considering the local pack’s prominent position in the SERP, you would be missing out on high converting traffic if your site weren’t in a position to receive local traffic.
A pay-per-click campaign is a more expensive source of traffic than investing in SEO for organic, yet it represents an alternative source to organic traffic, especially if the competition for a keyword is particularly difficult. If done correctly, a PPC campaign on Google will provide a 2:1 ROI for your business.
Paid ads aren’t limited to Google’s program and are much less expensive on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Approximately 2% of paid ads convert into sales which makes remarketing an excellent option to capture a percentage of the other 98% that didn’t convert. Run remarketing campaigns to reduce the cost of your client acquisition and improve your conversions. The average remarketing ad clicks are anywhere from 2-100 times less expensive.
Retargeting your paid ads to people who have shown interest in your product will increase the familiarity of your brand and speed up the time it takes to make a conversion by avoiding the traditional marketing funnel system.
Create newsworthy content on your site and submit a press release to the major channels. Newsworthy content that reads well (such as original data, research findings, unique stories that contain educational content for marketing) will get the best result for driving more to your site.
Many journalists monitor press release sites regularly in order to publish breaking news or interesting stories. If your story gets syndicated you can land some quality links to your site as well as drive traffic from being published in a number of blog sites.
Most press release websites will provide a nofollow link in your story. Regardless, avoid using anchor text links within your press release. Stick to brand and naked URL links as they won’t be harmful to your anchor text ratio, should your story go viral and be syndicated on other sites.
Draw from multiple sources to stabilise your traffic
The ever-changing landscape of search is constantly keeping marketers on their toes and adjusting to new data and variables. From a broad perspective, we are still in the infancy stages of a massive evolution in how we communicate and offer business solutions.
Stay aware of the changes that are happening and make better decisions on how to adapt and benefit from the growing and shrinking windows of opportunity.
Create more diversity in the streams of traffic you drive to your site rather than put all of your eggs in one basket. Although Google can make your business, it’s smart marketing to make sure they also don’t have the potential to break your business.
Take advantage of the way people search for information on various channels in which your prospective clients congregate. Create as many paths and avenues from as many sources that provide your business with a targeted audience to maximise traffic and client acquisition.