Before we begin, I just want to remind you that not all traffic on your website is equal. You want high quality web traffic.
High quality traffic that is laser targeted is going to generate a better ROI than traffic that is not.
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Now while that might sound obvious, it is something that can be easily overlooked when trying to drive traffic to your website.
High traffic numbers can be a great thing, but if the traffic isn’t targeted, the numbers are just vanity metrics.
This is something to keep in mind as we explore the topic of increasing traffic to your site.
1000 untargeted visits is not the same as 100 targeted visits working to drive traffic that sells. A social media platform might produce web traffic but it might not be high quality for your website.
Yotpo gathered data from 65 million e-retail orders accounting for $2 billion dollars in transactional value from 120,000 ecommerce merchants to determine the most crucial sources of web traffic for ecommerce sites.
Social represents a decent 6%, but it’s still a small player in the overall game. Direct and Search account for 40% and 34% respectively, indicating more value.
In another analysis, the remarkable Custora Ecommerce Pulse lists ecommerce orders by channel.
It’s a data accumulation displaying media or traffic sources for some of the most popular ecommerce websites driving sales.
Organic, CPC, and email traffic drove the most ecommerce purchases. Social contributed to just 1.1%. It means search and online advertising could drive more quality traffic to ecommerce stores.
The most effective website traffic not only has a prior interest in your service or product but is already searching for a similar solution and is ready to spend.
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Do I even need a presence on social media?”
Incredibly, you do. If search engines are the best source of targeted traffic for an ecommerce site, they won’t necessarily produce the same result for a media company.
Depending on your audience’s’ profile and the industry you’re in, social media may drive the most sales for your business. I, myself have made over $300k from Instagram in 3 months. My experience says that social media can be a great source of targeted traffic with the right strategy in place.
For instance, the digitally distributed media powerhouse BuzzFeed relies on social networks like Facebook, Instagram and others to amass huge web traffic. Its social traffic is 5x more than its search traffic.
And most of it is targeted. Because BuzzFeed’s main goal is to reach the millennial audience (who basically live on social networks). They are able to drive qualified traffic to their website by presenting them with share-worthy content.
How does social traffic help BuzzFeed make money, you ask?
Well, BuzzFeed’s primary revenue model is native advertising. It makes money by selling native ads that match its editorial content (videos, quizzes, posts, etc.) to brands that want to reach millennials. The content is then distributed on social media where BuzzFeed’s advocates amplify its reach.
Using a tool like InVideo can help you create awesome videos that can then be distributed across social media channels to generate buzz and awareness.
Purchase intent lifts show that BuzzFeed’s social advertising model works for brands. And it works even better when the content reaches more audiences through word-of-mouth.
All that information makes the personified war between social and other traffic sources seem silly. Ultimately, multiple channels can share the pie. While direct traffic can propel a site’s revenue in the short-run, social and search traffic is crucial to its long-term success.
Always ask yourself what else can be done in order to make each source of traffic that we discuss more targeted when going through each of the suggestions below.
Online ads can instantly generate hundreds, if not thousands, of clicks to your website.
Plus, with a new ad and social media platform appearing and innovating regularly, getting your ads in front of the right people is becoming easier than ever.
In fact, the effectiveness of online advertising is so great, that, in the UK, digital ad spend rose 17.3% last year on an LFL (like-for-like) basis – the biggest increase since a 38% jump in 2007 – to $15.74 billion (£10.30 billion).
However, if you want to drive traffic through search engines using online ads, it is important that you know, beforehand, how you’re going to make money from this traffic.
Odds are you don’t have a bottomless pit of money, so your media platform needs to be effective. You need to find a way to generate an ROI from your ads if you want to advertise sustainably in the long term.
Remember – when running an ad campaign, traffic means nothing if you can’t turn a profit from your website.
This big challenge can be broken down into two separate ingredients.
Advertising something that people want is the first ingredient. And, creating high-quality ads that encourage the right people to click on them is the second.
We can’t talk about advertising a product that people want here, but we can briefly cover the creation of high-quality ads that work on search engines or on a social media platform.
In general, there are two things you need to acknowledge when creating ads – the targeting of the ad and the design of the ad itself.
The design of an ad includes the copy and the image. If you want to get better at designing ads that will generate clicks, study some of the ads that your competitors are running.
Amazingly, tools that give you insights into your competitors’ ads are hidden in plain sight.
For instance, if you click the downward arrow present at the top-right corner of a Newsfeed ad on Facebook and choose “Why am I seeing this?” i.e. the last option, you’ll get an insight on how your competitor targets people.
In the advert above, you can see who JetBlue Airways is targeting – people who’ve provided the company with their contact information off Facebook.
The insight could be based on demographics, interests, or geography – and can be quite precise.
Another thing you can do is subscribe to your competitors’ email list. When you do, you’ll be added to their Custom Audience list on Facebook, which companies use for retargeting campaigns.
So, once you’re among those audiences, you’ll start to see more of your competitors’ ads on your Facebook Newsfeed.
Additionally, you can also tell Facebook that you’re interested in seeing certain types of ads by clicking on the “this ad is useful” button.
Study these ads and see if you can emulate their success by deducing what makes them work.
For keeping tabs on your competitors’ PPC ads, I recommend using a PPC spying tool – there are many available. If you’re looking for a free option, give Moat a shot. It offers deep collection of PPC ads from advertisers and also reveals where a specific ad was last seen.
But if you want to dig deeper, WhatRunsWhere could be your best bet. It gives you information on not only ad placements, but also your competitors’ PPC ads and which media channels they’re being placed on beyond AdWords.
If you want more options for tracking your competitors’ ads, check out the resource below:
You can also create something known as a swipe file, which is essentially a record of eye catching ads that have caused you to take action.
Targeting refers to who the ads are shown to through search engine optimization.
Each ad platform has its own form of targeting, and you’ll need to do some homework on your chosen platform ahead of time.
Thankfully, with innovations such as ‘Lookalike Audiences,’ targeting your ads is now a lot easier than it used to be.
For instance, let’s assume one segment of your audiences (out of five or six) is converting better than others. You can’t figure out the reason, but you can’t deny the numbers, either.
Lookalike audiences allow you to make a clone of that high-converting audience so that Facebook can deliver ads to more people similar to them. You can also select a percentage (such as 1%, 5% or 10%) and country to tell Facebook how tightly defined or narrow you want the audience to be.
If your website covers diverse subjects, you can segment your audience by using the ‘Custom Audience’ feature in Facebook Ads Manager. This helps avoid wasting ad spend to promote your site to some people who may not be interested in specific topics.
So, if I publish a blog post about Instagram, I may want my ads to reach only those who have already read posts related to this topic.
To achieve my purpose, I will create a Website Custom Audience of people who visited Instagram-related pages with keywords related to the topic in the URL.
After creating the Custom Audience, I could ask Facebook to show my ads who have visited specific web pages on my website in the past 30 days (the maximum time period is 180 days).
Why go through all this hassle when you can just use Facebook’s default targeting options?
First, ad campaigns that target custom audiences do well on Facebook’s Relevance Score. This is a measure of how well your ad is going to fit your target audience. The higher this score, the more traffic you can expect (and the lower CPC, too).
AdEspresso’s experiment proved this practically. The company presented the same exact ad and campaigns to two varying audiences.
One was vaguely targeted, while a custom audience was used for the other. The results were astonishingly different.
- Vague Audience: $0.142 CPC, 278 clicks
- Custom Audience: $0.03 CPC, 1,103 clicks
At the start, you may not have access to the custom audience targeting feature. Instead, you’ll have to rely on internet targeting to reach new people.
But once you start receiving decent engagement or website traffic, you can switch from interest targeting to a custom audience as the feature becomes available.
The way that you target your ads will influence how much you’re going to be spending.
For example, the industry you’re trying to advertise within will deeply affect your website marketing costs.
This is especially the case with Facebook.
When running ads, you don’t need to go big straight away, nor should you.
Test the waters with $5-$10 a day and see what happens.
Do that for a week, just to learn how any one media platform works.
Then, the next week, work on improving some metrics such as profit or email signups generated.
Make sure you experiment with different ad platforms.