You have just had your new website finished and it is complete with all the very latest bells and whistles. It works on multiple devices, it looks good, and does everything a customer could possibly want. But what if it is all for nothing, if no one sees it?
So how do you drive traffic to a website? Here are a few of the big buzzwords and traffic sources you will hear when talking about online marketing, and I wanted to give you a brief overview of each with a few pros and cons. We have deployed a number of these techniques over the years, for insurers and brokers, big and small. So do not think these are only for the "big boys..."
Pay Per Click (PPC)
All of the major search engines have sponsored ad areas on their results pages - normally on the top or right hand side of their results. Companies can "buy" these ads on a pay per click basis. Someone types in a search, results come up, and if they see and click on your ad, you pay for it. It is an auction model and you set your budget on how much you would pay for a click to your site. This is easy to set up and there are a number of different sites you can use.
• Quick and easy to drive traffic - In a little as a hour
• Can be easy to prove a ROI
• You stop the programme and the traffic stops
• If rushed and not monitored, a budget can be spent very quickly, with no return
• Google Pay Per Click (http://adwords.google.com)
• Facebook Ads (http://www.facebook.com/ads)
• LinkedIn Ads (http://www.linkedin.com/ads)
• Twitter Ads (http://ads.twitter.com)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Getting your website ranking for the major search terms or products you offer is seen as a great way to drive a huge amount of traffic and sales to your business - so great, in fact, that many website owners focus solely on it, to the detriment of other sources. While being number one in Google can drive a vast amount of traffic, it is not an easy, quick process.
Furthermore, with some products such as Insurance, it is highly competitive. That said, bearing SEO in mind and working on it while carrying out other marketing activity as well is a way to make sure you maximise the effectiveness of your marketing.
• Can drive vast volumes of traffic
• Can drive traffic even if you stop doing the work
• Takes take a while to see returns on investment
• No security / control over positions
• MOZ SEO Beginners Guide (http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo)
• Google SEO Starter Guide (http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en/us/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf)
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, PInterest.... You have seen or heard about any number of these social media platforms. And by the time you have finished this article, there will be a new one. In our experience, social media is great for getting exposure to your target client base as you can use social media to find out where they hangout. Sell boat insurance? There will be a huge number of boat groups or enthusiasts on these sites you can engage with. Note, I did not say sell to. Working on social media is about engagement and interacting. Done correctly, you can take people off these groups / social media platforms and get them into your direct marketing funnel.
• Cheap and easy to get set up
• Lots of different sources of traffic
• Not really seen as a selling space - No hard sell
• Takes time to grow a following and interact
• Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/)
• LinkedIn Company page (http://www.linkedin.com/company/add/)
• LinkedIn Groups (http://www.linkedin.com/createGroup?displayCreate=&trk=my_groups-b-grp-crt)
• Google + (https://plus.google.com/)
• Google Company Page (https://plus.google.com/u/1/pages/create?hl=en-GB&ppsrc=gpda0)
Also known as referral marketing, associate marketing, performance marketing and a whole raft of other names ... they all mean the same thing - getting other sites to send you traffic and pay them a commission / finder's fee for any successfully transacted business. There are two main ways to set up a program. Either using an affiliate network who already have software in place for tracking as well as an army of potential affiliates ready to push your products. Or you can go for an in-house option using software to power and build your own network.
• Quick to set up and start driving traffic via a network
• Low risk as you can set it up to only pay for business that has transacted
• Can be expensive set up if you choose to use a network
• Can be slow to build-up traffic numbers if you choose to run it in-house
• CJ - http://www.cj.com
• Share A Sale - http://www.shareasale.com
Software to run your own program
• HasOffers - http://www.hasoffers.com
• Post Affiliate Pro - http://www.postaffiliatepro.com
This is just a brief overview of a few techniques, we haven’t touched on email, video, display or a whole raft of other techniques but you need to start somewhere. Try and bed in one or two techniques at a time and make sure you track and measure them, if they do not work, move on a find another one. Just don't rely on a single source. Insure your marketing by having a number of traffic sources.
About the Author
Jason Hulott is Director of SpeedieConsulting, the internet marketing specialists. Visit the site now for more useful tips and articles aimed at Insurance and Finance Brokers who wish to use the Internet to take control of their revenue generation online. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.
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