Do You Need to Increase Your Website Traffic?

Do You Need to Increase Your Website Traffic?

Today I was asked questions on Twitter that required more than 140 characters to respond to…

The original Tweet & the article I shared:

tw-eric-profit-ego

And now back to my regularly scheduled blog post…

Increasing website traffic is just one of many marketing tactics that a business might opt to use. Whether or not it’s a good strategy for your business depends on your business model.

Do You Need to Increase Your Website Traffic?Many of my blog posts stress that EVERYTHING you do with your marketing, sales & networking strategy depends on your business plan.

The most basic question to ask is How Many New Clients Can You Fit into Your Busy Schedule?“. I suggest reading this blog post if you are considering using a tactic of more website traffic.

It also depends on the phase of business growth you are in. If you are in Phase 1, don’t try a marketing tactic that is best for a phase 4 or 5.

I’ve also written about having a popular brand does not necessarily mean having a profitable brand. And yes, it does feel good to have LIKES, especially when you get heartfelt feedback from people about what you share. Eric the photographer may call that ego, I call it the human side of social media, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

Whether or not this is the right marketing tactic for you depends. In order for you to strategically plan, it’s important to know what marketing options are available. Just because I share a link to read about email marketing or write a blog post on using Facebook, it doesn’t mean that I think it’s the right option for your business. I think it’s a good idea to read about it if the marketing tactic is something you are considering.

Here’s some examples to help you consider if this may work for you.

If you are like many small service-based businesses, there’s a cap on the number of hours that you have to provide services. You also may have a limit on when your potential clients need your services. That also means that your business won’t really need to get thousands of site visitors to be successful.

For example, Eric the Photographer is a wedding photographer. The majority of weddings are on weekends, although the market has expanded to include “off times” because the prices for venues and services such as wedding photography are cheaper. Whether or not Eric the Photographer is looking to service that market depends on his business plan. Like he asked “why do you need that many and it brings you how much more money??????????”

If you relate to this example, I suggest looking at other marketing tactics before increasing website traffic. A better strategy
would be to build relationships, and send qualified leads to your website from networking events & referrals, keeping in mind the # of clients you need.

If you have products or services to sell, then yes, website traffic is essential to your survival. During the dot-com years I was the lead UI designer for the 3rd largest bookstore online, Fatbrain.com (Amazon & BarnesandNoble.com were ahead of us). The business model was about getting website traffic then converting it into sales.

I also know of many small businesses that have products for sale — this could be as small as an eBook or multiple products in either digital or physical formats. It could be a membership site, which requires a constant stream of new users to replace people (this business model has a very high attrition rate). Or others…you get the idea.

If you are selling products, then YES, you most likely need to increase your website traffic (after you are ready for the increase).

You may have a website that is educational, and website traffic means more people learn and you build a thriving community of like-minded people. That’s exactly the “business model” of TheSunToday.org — the site I co-founded with my husband. We do education & public outreach about the sun and space weather, simply to provide the information to people globally that want to learn about it. We have had several occasions of very large amounts of traffic, like the 17,500% increase in traffic after one of our YouTube videos went viral.

We do it because we love it. It’s our hobby, and we are not in “business”, but the lessons we learn are applied to the education and public outreach we do in our day jobs. Getting more website traffic means more people get the information, but it COSTS US MONEY & OUR FREE TIME. For example, we do have to pay more for our servers as traffic increases.

We worked over the Thanksgiving holiday because Comet ISON was making a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the sun.  Our honeymoon was planned around our trip to Hawaii for the Transit of Venus, which won’t happen again in our lifetime. We knew that these events would bring a boost in website traffic, and it was an opportunity to connect with people so they could keep learning, even after the events were over. Website traffic meant that people all over the world could participate in these amazing events and share their love of science.

Other “businesses” that would fall into this category would be religious organizations, non-profits or networking groups (such as the Jewish Community Services Entrepreneur & Business Meetup or the Jewish Community Services Job Search Network — check us out and join us!)

If you relate to this example, it depends on your goals. Most of these examples could benefit from more website traffic. I suggest considering it when you are at the later stages of growth.

foundation-18-200Profitable businesses ultimately drive investment into organizations that need your support. Some businesses start their own non-profit, or they may support others like these two examples:

The author of the blog post that sparked this conversation runs Veggie Mama. A portion of her profits go to Foundation 18, Indonesia, to meet their five year goal to have every child in Ringdikit fully immunized and attending school at least to senior high school level.

A project that I’m currently supporting is COR Community. They have a Grassroots movement to end violence in Baltimore City. Let’s prove to ourselves, our children, our families, our communities and our world that anything is possible. This is power within the community that I believe in! The power of US pooling our resources to develop community spaces and programs that serve our most vulnerable population; our children. The donation link is http://corcommunity.com/Fundraiser.html

Using your brand to show support for causes you believe is a great way to create the changes you want to see in the world. Driving website traffic increases awareness, which can create change. No egos, just a better world.

OK, my model works, now what?

You should evaluate driving website traffic just like any other marketing tactic.

increase website trafficKnowledge about what it takes to implement a marketing tactic is necessary to making an educated decision to use it. Too often, people jump into using a tactic before knowing what it takes.

The next thing to consider is whether you are willing to put in the time, money & energy to get the traffic to your site.

At a recent speaking event, I asked the audience if they wanted more website traffic. About 30 hands went up. Then I asked if people were willing to blog multiple times a week, do keyword research and be active on social media. Most of the hands went down.

For this audience of professional organizers, the majority of them were like Example #1. I don’t think they need website traffic, anyway. A better strategy is to do focused networking, online & in-person.

Other businesses may benefit from web traffic, but it’s just not something they want to do. They could outsource it, or find another strategy. Not every strategy is going to be a good fit, and that’s fine.

There are other factors to consider from this point, it’s a standard part of any smart marketing plan.

  • Will the cost of time, money & energy give you a good return on investment (aka profits)?
  • Is your target audience going to be found with this marketing tactic?
  • To reduce overwhelm — is it the simplest & most efficient way to market?
  • Is the content you are creating engaging and appealing to your audience?

Before you IMPLEMENT the marketing tactic, you need to learn the specifics.

ProBlogger.net is a very valuable resource. I’ve been recommending their eBooks for years, as I’ve learned some great tips. If you want to explore this option more, check them out.

NOTE: I don’t know or endorse Eric the Photographer. He just follows me on Twitter, and this is my response to several messages from him on Twitter. I also don’t personally know the author of the blog post I tweeted, Stacey Roberts. Since she describes herself as Darlene Conner grown up, I would like her. 🙂

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Virtuallinda (Linda Schenk)

I work with service-based entrepreneurs, specializing in relationship and referral marketing to attract more ideal leads, 24/7. I use a practical and flexible approach to “Simplify. Build. Profit. Repeat.” I offer a custom blend of 23+ years of expertise in marketing, websites, brand identity, strategy, tech solutions and more. My skills link together like LEGO Bricks to create a custom fit for you.

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