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In our last 2 articles we looked at “why don’t people buy from my website” and “how can I increase sales on my website”, this third part is of course a critical one – how can I get more visitors to my website (ideally getting more traffic for free)?
The reason most people get totally bogged down in SEO is because they do a simple equation in their mind:
“If I get 100 visitors per week, and 1 person buys something, then if I were no.1 in Google and getting 1000 visitors per week, then I’d be selling 10 times more”.
Superficially this is correct and all things being equal, increasing the traffic to your website will increase sales. This is why people become obsessed with search engine rankings, but it is only a small part of the jigsaw puzzle.
The reality is that you need to understand where the 100 visitors come from, how they arrive at your website, and how is the 1 sale generated?
For example, if 99 of your visitors come from a search for “tennis shoes”, and 1 comes from a search for “tennis shoes for people with fallen arches” – and the one sale comes from the “fallen arches” visitor, then getting 1000 visitors where 999 are finding you for “tennis shoes” and there is still only 1 “fallen arches” visitor will still leave you with 1 sale.
Sales are not just a function of numbers, they are a function of a person having a specific need, and you being able to fill that specific need.
What is the best way to grow web traffic without SEO?
The history of SEO is really a story where people used keyword tools to find the searches that had the biggest number per month, then they tried to rank as high as possible for the keywords with the most searches.
But what is more likely to result in a sale, a general search used by someone window shopping like say “coats,” or someone searching for a really specific thing like “the best type of coat for an Antarctic fishing expedition?”
There may be way fewer people searching for the second option than the first, but if you know that 99.9% of the people searching for “coats” will never buy anything, while maybe 65% of people making the second search will buy something, why are you going to spend money getting the “coats” window shoppers to your website?
If you consider that every person you drive to your website costs you money, and the more competitive the search term (like “coats” vs “Antarctic fishing coats”), the vastly more expensive each click is, then…
…Why would you spend maybe £3000 to drive 1000 visitors searching for “coats” to make 3, 4, or 5 sales, when you might spend £20 to drive 20 visitors looking for Antarctic coats, and make 15 sales?
This might seem like a very extreme example, and it is, but I’m trying to get you to re-think the way you view the quality of the traffic, the buyer intent of that traffic, the cost and effort of obtaining that traffic, and the outcome of getting that traffic.
Most people are so stuck in the big numbers they fail to see the wood for the trees.
Since Google is the biggest driver of organic traffic, and most people are obsessing over Google, you might ask “how do I get organic traffic to my website?”
Well, we’ll come back to that later, but first let’s look at a few other common questions and deal with those, since they are also important in answering the question above.
How to get traffic to your website without social media
Social media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc have become hugely popular sites and a lot of people see them as an ideal way to increase website traffic for free (although there are of course paid advertising options on social media platforms).
The issue really comes down to whether the traffic you can get from say Facebook is appropriate for what you do.
I remember sitting in a meeting once with a company who made autoclaves (more on this later, this is part of the experiment I mentioned earlier) and they had a social media guru who was offering to drive traffic to them for £1500 per month.
They’d seen her give a presentation at a business event and were really impressed with her because she had managed to build a brand and business on Facebook that had tens of thousands of followers and active participants, and they were looking at how she could do the same thing for their business.
I sat there scratching my head wondering how that could work for them, because this lady had a big social following based around horse racing – and they made autoclaves.
You might be thinking “what is an autoclave?”
An autoclave is a big industrial oven, think of a giant super-heated pressure cooker that you can cure rubber in, or make airplane wings or bullet-proof glass in.
Horse racing is a hobby, something people get excited about in their spare time, and is perfect for like minded people to join a group and discuss on Facebook.
Can you imagine there being 10,000 industrial oven enthusiasts who would like to join a Facebook group and share pictures, anecdotes and fond memories of big machines that cook fibreglass?
No? How about 10? Probably not.
The point is social media is great for some things, and not for others, and the reality is most people go to Facebook etc to relax in downtime and chat with friends, not to look for products or have products pitched at them.
If you are a beautician or hairdresser and one of your clients tells their friends about an amazing thing you did for them, then that might work well for you to get more customers.
But if you sold someone an amazing dress or handbag, etc, first it might not be to the taste of your delighted clients friends, and secondly they won’t want to end up buying the same things from you and looking like a copycat clone.
If they sing your virtues as an amazing wedding cake baker – how many of them are going to be in need of a wedding cake?
If you make big ovens – well, who cares?
So really my personal feeling, and this is borne out by people who have tried using Pinterest, Insta, etc as well, is that you need to do a lot of learning to try and find what does or doesn’t work to get people’s attention, you then need to put in huge amounts of effort to create content, and most of it results in few, if any sales.
So how to promote your website without social media?
Well, if you have a choice between putting in effort to social media platforms and getting (at best) sketchy results, or putting that effort into your website content and getting long-lasting results that you are in complete control of, which is the best way to go?
Google are the masters at understanding what someone is searching for, and presenting them with the websites that can solve those problems, so really it makes far more sense to put your efforts into that, than hoping social media might deliver you a few crumbs.
How do you increase your website traffic without SEO? (The Cheapest way to drive traffic to a website)
Okay so as mentioned above the way most people think is that they look for the big, generic, industry defining keywords (like “used cars” or “estate agents” etc) and they try and rank in Google for that.
The main issues are that:
- That’s what everyone else is also trying to rank for.
- It is so ultra-competitive it’s inevitable the biggest sites belonging to the biggest companies with the deepest pockets will win.
- The costs will be astronomical.
- It will take a huge amount of time, effort and cost to make any headway at all.
- Even if you succeed, tomorrow Google could flip a switch in the algorithm and you lose it all.
So what are the best ways to increase website traffic?
In other words stop thinking about how you can tell your visitors all about you and what you do, and start thinking about “what are our ideal clients problems, what issues do they need fixing, how can we fix them, and what will they search for when they need help?”
So instead of trying to rank at no.1 for “electricians” start thinking about the specific services that someone needing an electrician might be looking for, and create content to address that instead.
And I don’t mean chunk it down to “electrician / house rewire” I mean think about the real specific issues someone might have and base what you offer around that.
Maybe their oven keeps tripping out, or their electric shower doesn’t get hot, or bulbs keep blowing.
You can get the ideas from starting to type into Google using questions like “why does,” “What causes,” “Is there a problem if” and appending various possibilities on the end.
Google’s auto-suggest will give you real questions typed by real people, so you can see what they look for.
If in the results for those searches none of your competitors answer those questions (they don’t show in the results), then you can answer them and get ALL of that traffic for yourself.
Of course it comes down to either creating that content yourself, or paying someone to do it, and amazingly while people are looking for the magic “get me more traffic” button that requires no effort, if they would just spend a bit of time on each topic, they would have those answers there forever and would reap the benefits of them for years to come.
But most people can’t be bothered, they want the lazy mans way to easy traffic and business, and THIS is what gives you an amazing opportunity, if a) you know what you’re doing (which your competitors don’t), and b) you can be bothered to put the effort in (which your competitors don’t).
I’m not saying by doing this you’re suddenly going to be getting 1000’s or millions of visitors to your website every month, but you don’t need that many, because you’ll be getting targeted people who need what you do, and they’ll only be finding you, not your competitors.
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SEO Experts are based on the West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire border we work with businesses in Bradford, Leeds, Keighley, Skipton, Harrogate, Ilkley, Halifax, and Huddersfield, as well as nationwide.