Building a website is not too different from launching a brick-and-mortar business. You may put in the time and work required to create an excellent product but if no one knows about you, it could all be futile. The adage, ‘If you build it, they will come’, doesn’t apply here.
For a website, more traffic means more leads, more conversions and ultimately more sales. However, if you are a student, you likely do not have the financial resources needed to leverage the high end tools that would expedite traffic growth to your website. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to grow your site’s visitor numbers. Here’s how you can do it on a limited budget.
1. Co-opt Social Influencers
A couple of decades ago, the term influencer was synonymous with entertainment celebrities. They were recognizable to the average person and their endorsement of a product could change its fortunes. Oprah was the quintessential celebrity influencer. Today, thanks to the Internet and especially the power of social media, influencers come in a wide range of shapes and forms.
It’s no longer just world-renowned actors and musicians but also YouTube sensations, Instagram icons, rock star bloggers, Facebook phenomena and Twitter twitterati. They range from those with an expansive reach spanning millions of followers to micro influencers with just hundreds of followers but whose opinion is greatly valued in their micro niche.
The rich and famous influencers will probably be out of reach thanks to their astronomical rate card and the sheer number of people trying to get their endorsement. For the rest, you could tap into their sphere of influence by giving them access to your product for free or offering to do a guest post on their social or web pages. If they like the product, they can promote it on their social networking pages or websites.
2. Blog, Blog and Blog Some More
Humans are instinctively drawn to verve and energy. Blogging is your chance to inject life and regular activity into your site. Remember that you are not just interested in getting traffic to your site but exciting visitors to the extent that they can’t wait to return and recommend you to their social circle.
Not just any blogging will do. It must be engaging and provide tangible value for your reader. Many websites make the mistake of centering SEO and self-promotion in their blogging campaign. Blogs are not the place to relentlessly promote your product from the start of the article to the end. You can leave that to the product pages.
Here, visitors will be looking for comprehensive, well-researched and fact-based information. A good blog post should be unique, informative, coherent, fresh, solution-oriented and audience-specific. Before you begin blogging, develop a calendar and plan that you can stick to. Inconsistent posting with long irregular breaks will quickly erode your credibility.
3. Social Media Engagement
Working with a social influencer isn’t a substitute for working on your own social media engagement. Your approach to the content you post on social media must be complementary yet different from the strategy you use for your on-site content. Social media isn’t a place to blatantly self-promote. While social media is a powerful tool of business today, you mustn’t lose sight of its origins i.e. an informal platform bringing people together.
To effectively manage your social followers and fans, you should engage with them (don’t ignore them), appropriately respond to their questions and comments (with a reply, like or retweet) and demonstrate that you are a real person and not a chat bot. Make your pages friendly, approachable, accessible, exciting, current and helpful.
4. Post On Other Sites with a Backlink to Yours
Backlinks are links to your site from third party pages on the world wide web. They are important for two reasons. First, they direct traffic from the originating website to yours. You benefit from the bigger reach and reputation of the other site.
Second, backlinks are one of the more important metrics used by the Google Search algorithm when determining a web page’s ranking in search engine results. The more the backlinks your web pages receive from credible, authoritative websites, the higher your pages will appear in search results for your chosen keyword phrase.
You could get quality backlinks to your site by guest posting on sites whose audience falls within your target market. It would be difficult to do so on the world’s most popular sites but your request is likely to be well received if you approach lesser known, mid-tier sites. Use an affordable tool such as Linkio to pick the most effective anchor text.
Make sure the traffic to your site is relevant. That’s improve your rate of converting visitors into subscribers and customers. If your conversion rate grows in tandem or faster than the growth in visitor traffic, then your efforts at bringing in the right demographic and profile of visitors are bearing the right results.