For website content to be found on the internet, hard work is not enough. Even the best articles are bound to fail unless they are delivered with a well-structured, and smart post-production strategy for success. Without a coherent strategy, where should you begin?
Strategy is the effective allocation of resources to best reach a certain objective. If the objective is high traffic, then what are your resources and to which channels or activities should you direct them?
Generally grouped under paid and free traffic, the channels listed below are commonly used by brands large and small to build awareness, consideration, and conversion. A smart digital marketing strategy should combine a selection of those channels that best fit your profile, your resources, and your development plans.
Paid traffic sources for your website
With the risk of advertising fatigue increasing across platforms, diversifying tactics with native ads helps publishing brands remain visible in suitable environments on other websites without the associated risks.
Native ads are paid content that fully integrates into their context. They replicate the look and feel of the page they are on, from topic to design, in order to serve both the user and the advertised brand. When done right, as with MGID’s native ads solutions, they encourage meaningful engagement among the audience without jeopardizing user experience and website integrity.
Social media ads
Facebook. With 2.9 billion active monthly users, Facebook consistently ranks in the top 5 most visited websites across the globe. With WhatsApp and Instagram under its belt, the social media giant offers an impressive portfolio of on-platform or cross-advertising options, such as video feeds and carousel ads to Stories and the Facebook Marketplace. The average user clicks on 12 ads per month; not especially impressive but, multiplied by 2.4 billion, it adds up quite a bit.
Instagram is most popular with millennials, who build strong brand loyalty and are extremely susceptible to high-quality, stylish advertising. Ads should be well contextualized to strike the right note with the intended audience. Throughout their ad types, from photo and video to Carousel or Collection, you need to carefully integrate the message and CTA into the imagery. Careful: despite what you might think, the gender split among users is pretty much 50/50.
LinkedIn is the home of B2B advertising. As a platform targeted at professionals, your ads must match the tone and intent of these >300 million monthly active users (not to mention over 700 million total members). Sponsored posts, dynamic or display ads, and InMail are all common forms of advertising on this platform.
Twitter may have lost some of its luster in the last couple of years, but it still reaches 190 million users daily. Moreover, these users are generally very engaged. For this medium, short ads with animated imagery or video are the winning formula. Its ad offering is original: Follower Ads, Takeover, or Twitter Amplify join the more standard Promoted Ads to take advantage of user engagement and the mobile-first user base. Keep in mind: two thirds of the audience is male.
YouTube. In-stream or bumper ads are the most common form of advertising on this platform. For video advertising, YouTube boasts 2 billion monthly users, this is the highest-performing marketing money can buy. Nearly exclusively, as opposed to most other social media platforms, YouTube video ads are consumed with sound in 95% of the cases.
TikTok reaches in theory the same demographic as Facebook. In practice, it all depends wildly on the region; in some cases, TikTok’s audience is largely under 24. TikTok is still evolving its advertising model, so a number of customizations are possible. In general, however, the out-of-the-box model offers just simple 9-second video ads.
Pinterest. Promoted Pins, i.e., Pinterest Ads, should look exactly like regular pins (except for the Sponsored label, of course). The look and feel should therefore match the context. The reach and conversion rate may not be as high – or as fast – as in the case of other social media. It all depends, however, on the type of business you run.
Google, Amazon, Bing and other platforms for display ads have high reach and conversion potential. Google alone reaches around 2.5 billion users and has over 90% of the search market. When visiting Google’s search results pages, on average 19% of the users click on display ads. The figure actually varies depending on the industry or category, yet it remains quite impressive across the board.
However, display ads can also be quite competitive and therefore costly to run. Expect to pay a minimum of $1,000 per month for a very small campaign. In the most “crowded” categories and denser audiences, think upward of $10,000 per month. And the returns depend on so many factors. That this is a shot worth taking only when time, expertise, and money are in sufficient supply.
Free traffic sources
59% of Google users visit a single page – and less than 1 percent go to the second page of the results.
With SEO, you don’t really get a second chance at a first impression. Organic, free traffic from search engines comes when your page is search engine optimized. This includes over 200 variables ranging from keywords and backlinks to grammatical correctness, speed of loading, as well as a number of technical optimizations.
While the traffic in itself is free, optimizing these factors is resource-intensive and can take quite a bit of time. For any respectable website, SEO should be built in.
Depending on the niche, email marketing can have a relatively high return on investment. That, however, is still counted in the low single digits, so do not expect miracles. A little over 1% conversion rate sounds abysmal, and yet email marketing scales so well that companies jump at the chance – especially B2B brands and small companies.
You can hope for significant results only if you already have a large and well curated email database, a tool (or designer) to build optimized templates, content marketers to develop the right content at the right time, and software to automate your sends and monitor analytics such as open and click rates.
Being present on social media with a company page is a no-brainer for B2C brands. It doesn’t have to come with all the bells and whistles, but it does require constant updates and original content.
Alternatively, you can insert your brand into larger conversations by commenting on relevant topics. Needless to say, the tone needs to match your brand image and the context.
The added advantage of a company page is that you can go viral when you hit the right note. Another plus – all your communications, as well as your partners’, will link to your social media presence and amplify your voice.
Guest blogging is a time-honored way to build authority and relationships. In exchange for offering free content to another website, you get acknowledgement, visibility, and (most importantly) links back to your own website.
It is harder to scale up, yet it remains a solid technique to insert brand mentions in places where you wouldn’t otherwise have access.
How to track efficiency
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Once you have evaluated the options and allocated your resources, you need to assign campaign codes to your content. Only then can you track the efficiency of your efforts through web analytics services such as Google Analytics.
Not only is Google Analytics free and supported by data from the highest-traffic search engine, but it also links with Google’s free and easy-to-use UTM code generator. If your website is linked to Google Analytics (or any alternative tool), you can then trace the origin of on-site clicks and assess the ROI of all your conversions.
Campaigns can increase short-term traffic by generating awareness, but they may not move users down the sales funnel, to the conversion stage. Here comes the essential part:
Build your strategy for conversions, not for traffic. Create a loyal subscriber base of converted users. None of these can happen without traffic from these channels; however, do not lose sight of the end goal.
Are there any risks?
Losing money. In most cases, the biggest risk is simply losing money. Even with the most comprehensive parameters for customizing and targeting ads, there is a possibility of striking out. A/B testing and constant adjustments are common in digital marketing.
Search engine penalties. When you chase traffic without enough knowledge of, or consideration for best practices in digital marketing, you may incur penalties. Questionable link building techniques, disreputable traffic sources, and on-page irregularities etc. may hurt your online visibility.
Brand safety. Just as you wouldn’t allow your child to play with the rowdy kids across the street, you would not want your brand to be placed in unfavorable contexts. An ad displayed on an ill-reputed website or next to shady advertising or content can harm you both short- and long-term.
To be successful, a website needs to generate traffic through a combination of tactics. The combination depends on your vertical, location, and audience, as well as on your available resources. In most cases, your tactics will include SEO, social media, and some form of paid advertising.
You can select and implement these tactics at a smaller or greater scale. Using MGID’s native advertising platform and other platforms you can significantly step up the traffic acquisition process. MGID’s market expertise, scalable capacity, and optimized targeting technologies can give you an edge in increasing your traffic and conversions.