The phrase “SEO is dead” is searched for about 210 times each month, indicating a handful of marketers aren’t sold on the value of search engine optimization for driving website traffic. But SEO is not dead, or dying. In recent years, it’s become an art form that requires the right mix of advertising and marketing tactics, all working in unison.
Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day, so we shouldn’t undervalue SEO as a marketing technique. A few years ago, holding the number one spot in a Google search meant you’d get 50% of all the clicks. Zero Limit reported the first five organic results on a Google search page now account for 67% of clicks, and the results from 6 to 10 account for less than 4%. Climbing website rankings can make a tremendous impact on website traffic.
Think of building a strategy for gaining website visitors like building a mix tape: you should only focus your time and energy on the very best (and highest yielding) techniques. It’s not just about getting a high number of people to your website. You want the right kind of people — people who might eventually buy your product or service. And while you can’t cheat the SEO system, it’s possible to experiment with some quick moves to see an uptick in traffic. Here are a few ideas:
Tap the power of influencers. For every $1 marketers spend on influencer marketing, they generate $6.50 in revenue. There are plenty of experts in your industry who have built up a large social following. Their audience fully trusts their expertise and suggestions. If influencers tell your company story or share information about your brand, you’re instantly hitting the perfect audience with your messaging. Try utilizing influencers to write compelling stories, and backlink to an offer on your site. It’s a small spend for the potentially powerful impact of reaching their network.
Get smart with your content strategy. Despite popular belief, not all content is valuable for a brand. As an evolved marketer will tell you, the quality and delivery of content matters. When you apply content intelligence to understand how your content is building awareness, creating engagement and driving conversions, it’s easy to spot the gaps. Experiment for 90 days by posting content across your blog and other channels, and look for patterns.
Test out multiple offers. When something is exclusive, or only available for a short period of time, it becomes more desirable. Offers are a great experiment for driving qualified website traffic because they are short term; you can typically see positive results and metrics within days of running a special “offer.” While offers will vary across industries, the general rule of thumb is that all offers should have a deadline, and you should be sure new customers who take advantage of a short-term offer get the best initial impression of your product or service. Text various types of offers to determine what length of time and what specific words might be most effective at encouraging website clicks and registrations.
Create video content. YouTube has the highest conversion rate of any social network. While the upfront cost of producing a video can be high, it’s almost always worth the time and effort. According to Hubspot, the average video retains 37% of viewers all the way to the last second. Beyond YouTube, every other major social network is placing heavy emphasis on video content because video is immersive, engaging and produces results for brands that use it right.
Venture past Google AdWords to the world of social. Paid ads, especially if you’ve never explored paid ads as a marketing avenue, are almost always a dependable strategy. But venture past Google AdWords into paid social-ad territory. Facebook and Instagram are effective at generating web traffic, with LinkedIn coming in a close third. Leverage Facebook retargeting to drive even more traffic. If you want to experiment with paid ads in the short term, it’s more cost-effective to start with one social channel and see what types of quick results you get.
A combination of “experiments” might be what it takes to get the website traffic you need to build your brand. Be willing to try the right mix until you see the benefits. Just because a particular strategy worked one month, doesn’t mean it will drive the same results the next month. The secret to success isn’t finding one strategy and sticking with it — it’s being agile enough to try a winning combination– and never being afraid to switch up your approach.