With a background in professional blogging, one thing I am asked about often is how to get traffic to your website. You might think what I am about to say next might be surprising.
While it’s important to drive traffic to your site and your blog posts (traffic converts to leads, leads convert to sales), there is something else you should be focused on before you learn how to get traffic or worry about conversion rates.
When you are starting out, I say do not put the focus on gaining traffic. Instead, create content and focus on giving value.
Focus on building your authority. Focus on generating amazing content to demonstrate to your readers that you are a thought leader in your industry or niche. And guess what? This will actually make you appear higher in the search results, increase page SEO (Search engine optimization) and therefore, drive organic traffic.
Strategic content marketing is really about offering amazing content that serves your ideal customer.
What makes content amazing? Types of content I consider to be amazing…
- … makes the reader think.
- … makes the reader want to share.
- … answer a question or solves a problem that the reader is facing.
- … AND, isn’t the exact same stuff they’ve read everywhere else.
Stop looking for more traffic and wasting hours reading about content strategies, and instead, focus on better serving your existing readers. Find out what they want and give it to them; over-deliver every time.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “if you build it, they will come.” You need eyes on your content.
But it doesn’t matter how amazing the products on the shelves are if no one walks into the store. But isn’t it better to stock the shelves with amazing stuff BEFORE you open the doors?
The more amazing things you have on your shelves, not only are they more likely to come but to keep coming back. They’re likely to tell their friends about it. They’re likely to subscribe. They’re likely to buy your products or services.
Your content is the first impression you make to your customers; you might not get a second chance. If you start out by under-promising and over-delivering with great blogging content, I promise you, it acts like gas on the fire when you do go to focus on increasing website traffic.
Ask your current readers what they want, what their biggest struggles are, and how you can help. Survey them. Email them. DM them. Schedule phone calls with them. If you have some existing traffic, dig into your Google Analytics to see what posts or landing pages are currently performing well with your audience so you can create more content on those topics. If you’re doing email marketing, you can look to see if there are any topic trends on the emails that had higher open and click rates.
Once you’ve done that, start HELPING them reach their goals and ask for nothing in return (except, perhaps, for more feedback on how you can even BETTER serve them).
Out-value your competition.
With this approach, you can even pull others in to help so you can create more content, faster. Don’t go to a content mill though, instead see if you can get experts to guest post if you need support.
How have I personally taken this out-value your competition approach to driving traffic?
With one blog that served other bloggers, I offered completely free blog reviews for people. Instead of just sending people a few comments, I actually screen-recorded myself going through their site, clicking around, and giving my feedback out loud. I then sent them the link to the video, along with additional resources I thought would really help them. ALL I asked for in return is feedback on whether or not they found the feedback valuable and a testimonial if they did.
With the last blog I built (which I later sold), I spent the few first months building a ton of great content before I really put energy into promotion. By the time I drove traffic to the site, the content was exactly what they wanted, so they spent much more time on my site and purchased products through my affiliate links.
In a sea of “guru’s” and “experts” who under-deliver, it’s really easy to out value your competition and acquires more traffic, without focusing on how to get website traffic!