First off, I know why you’re here. You’ve created an amazing product, identified the target audience that will buy said amazing product, created a website, yet you can’t seem to get people to your website to buy said product. That right?
If you said yes, then this post is for you. In this post, we’re not going to talk about what to say, how to say it, or who to say it to – those are different conversations and should have been addressed in your buyer persona research. We’re going to start very simple and explain the simple principle of getting traffic, then we’re going to go over some methods of getting traffic and give examples and techniques.
THE TRAFFIC PRINCIPLE
If you ask a lot of marketers how to get traffic they may say something like, “advertising on Google,” “do SEO,” or “get a huge Instagram’s following,” “write more calls-to-action.” While these are not wrong, they miss the core principle of how to get traffic. These are all techniques, not methods. So, let me tell you:
Traffic doesn’t come from nowhere.
Let that sink in for a moment, then repeat: your traffic doesn’t come from nowhere. Do you understand? Your traffic is somewhere and you just have to go and find it. You have an audience, and it’s a matter of where to find it.
How do you get traffic? You go to where you customers are – the people with the need or want that you set out to satisfy when you started your business. I apologize if I’m being dogmatic and repetitive, but it’s so simple and a lot of people overlook this core principle. It really makes how to get traffic pretty black and white. Go to where you people are.
If you’ve created your buyer personas, then you’ll have done the part where you ask yourself where you customers hang out – online or otherwise. This question tells you where they are, so go get ‘em.
- If you’re a tech company whose primary audience is online advertising agencies, then you’ll find your customers on LinkedIn or industry conferences.
- If you sell apparel to millennials, most likely you’ll find your customers on social platforms.
- If you’re an advertising agency, you might find your customers on LinkedIn, on Reddit, or in a Slack group.
- If you’re anybody, you’ll most likely find your customer using Google because it’s so ubiquitous; users will use Google to find almost anything.
Whenever I think of getting traffic, I think of an oasis. If you’ve got an oasis that’s sure to be fun and exciting (a metaphor for your product or service), you’ve gotta find people to come to your oasis – your target audience. Here’s the basic methods for getting traffic.
Join communities – be social
This is an oasis where people are working together to solve problems, and it’s time-tested. People form groups to help each other, and you’re going to find communities out there where people are actively trying to satisfy a need or want that your business satisfies.
Example #1: if you’ve got a design platform for easier and faster mock-up building, then you might your audience in a Slack group or on Reddit.
Example #2: if you’ve got a new line of workout clothing that’s sure to get you ripped, you might create great content on Instagram and then actively engage with other people interested in fitness. Or participate in the r/fittness subreddit.
By engaging with these users first as a member of the community, then as a problem solver, you might be able to get some users and gather feedback on your product or service.
Put yourself out there – list your product or service somewhere
The second option to getting traffic is to list your product or service somewhere that already has a big customer base. Essentially, you’re going to another oasis in order to seek an audience.
Example #1: Almost any business can benefit from getting listings on search engines like Google. The reason that search engine optimization (SEO) is such a valuable tactic is because companies pick up on the huge user-base that search engines like Google already have.
Example #2: Places like Craigslist, Angie’s List, Etsy, Google Shopping, and the like allow you to list products on their sites. Some will allow you to directly link to your site others will not. In any case, you either get their direct visitation or, if they buy, you have their email which you can then solicit a visitation.
The listing place varies in price to list and audience, but it’s a great way to pick up on the audience that has already been built. Additionally, because this audience is already in purchase-mode, you’ll be able to pick up that traffic with a high intention of buying.
Get spokespeople – find leaders to lead your audience back to your oasis
Using spokespeople to generate traffic is a classic technique and for a good reason. A spokesperson testifies for you, validate your product, and give credibility.
Example #1: Develop a referral program. If anyone of your current customers refers a friend, they’ll get a coupon or added benefit of some type.
Example #2: Reach out to people with large followings on Instagram to see if they’d be interested in trying out your product and posting for you.
It’s free to communicate with these people, and they have friends, family and audiences that most likely would have an interest in a product or service like yours because people tend to hang out with like-minded people with similar needs and wants.
Advertising is hands down the fast way to get traffic to your site, but it’s also the most expensive. At best it can be profitable. At worst, you could lose a lot of money. That said, there’s a lot places that have
Example #1: Google AdWords. Google has one of the largest audiences on the planet and people use Google search for finding products and services that they need or want. You can advertise on Google by bidding on keywords to show up higher in the search results.
Example #2: Facebook Ads. Facebook has another huge user base. By advertising on Facebook using interests, demographic, and other data, you can find customers that would be interested in visiting and purchasing from your site.
I would be careful with advertising, especially if you’re just at the beginning. You could end up wasting a lot of money on advertising. If you chose to go this route rely on some best practices and be very specific about the data you’re trying to collect.
Getting traffic isn’t some mystery, and it doesn’t have to be painful. Above is the principle of getting traffic – to get traffic to your site, you must go to where your target audience is – and the methods and some example tactics. Using these methods, people get tens of thousands visitors and customers to their site, and you can too.
If you look closely, you’ll see the main constant of getting traffic is about one thing – relationships. Additionally, these methods are all symbiotic – getting more traffic from spokespeople could get your more organic traffic, advertising more could improve your ability to connect with communities as an authority. Get the idea?
Below I’ve recommended a few blog posts that will help you dive deeper into the methods I’ve described above. I recommend that you pick a method, measure results and make changes to improve your results.
MORE ABOUT WAYS TO GET TRAFFIC
I don’t normally read Big Commerce’s blog, but here’s a really good summary of how to get traffic to your site.
Sumo has a great article on 130 ways to get traffic that is worth checking out.
Here’s a Shopify video on driving traffic to your site that’s very resourceful