I’ve written a lot on how businesses need to embrace a new online growth strategy without depending on any *single* tactic (like search traffic, for example).
There’s a popular belief that search engine traffic is the most reliable (and steady) source of web traffic – that’s something I don’t agree with. I’ve founded startups that people don’t even search for (i.e. projects introducing completely new concepts) – which means I had to figure out new sources of incoming traffic from day one.
Creating – and marketing – assets (i.e. something that can continuously drive you some exposure and leads) and turning that into a strategy is the only way my sites have been generating traffic lately.
Here’s what I mean by creating an asset marketing strategy:
Developing on-site content is the first step to building steady stream of traffic. I have already written about creating ever-green content and how that can be accomplished. One of the benefits of this kind of content is that it will continue to generate profits and traffic because the information rarely goes out of date (and is easy to update when it does).
Evergreen content, like evergreen trees is “green” all year. It doesn’t have a limited shelf-life and should really be the cornerstone of the information on your website
Content marketing should not be all about ever-green content only though (as Michael also explains in the above article). You should embrace a strategic content marketing approach aiming at building up content database over time making it more robust and better targeted.
Here are some examples:
- Collect customer questions and put them into a FAQ section. I have found this WP plugin very useful for building up a FAQ section on any website.
- Collect all your previously written content around one topic and re-package it into an eBook (which can then be marketed on social media and Kindle). Creating regular updates and generating more interactions via email subscribers is a great way to keep your customers coming back to your site.
First Site Guide is a great example of a content asset done right: It’s comprehensive, packaged into both HTML and PDF (eBook) formats, enhanced by cool graphics and branded very consistently.
Social media assets
Building up your social media presence is a must but not all of your business social media networking is able to drive steady traffic (in many cases, unless you are there constantly interacting, social media referrals are dying out).
There are some social media sites that can become solid assets driving traffic on a continuous basis. My favorite two are:
Both rank well in Google (which means they are very discoverable) and both offer interactive media for publishers to use in their articles – which means people keep coming to your site through those referrals.
Udemy is a great awareness and traffic driver. I have a Udemy course for each of my major projects. I am re-purposing all my site tutorials I upload to my official Youtube channel as separate lectures at Udemy.
This way I encourage my Udemy students to check the site back on a regular basis.
Paper.li is my favorite curation tool mainly because it’s very easy to use: Create a paper once and it will take care of updating itself (and publicizing the news once it does) on its own. I always recommend creating a paper for any brand-sensitive updates you may have (for example, positive Twitter reviews, your author RSS feeds where you contribute, etc)
Paper.li will update itself (you can set up the schedule), then it will auto-tweet and auto-share on Facebook once it does. On Twitter it will even tag Twitter users who have made it to the paper which works great for increasing interactions with Twitter users. The fact that it has an auto-sharing ability makes it efficient for steady traffic and brand awareness.
I treat every blog mention that I receive as my brand asset, meaning that I would do my best to mention each one, link to them from my articles and try to expose it to a wider audience.
Even though these reviews are not hosted on my site (meaning I can’t control them), I am interested in them being ranked well and doing well on social media (because this way I am getting higher referral traffic from the links in them). That’s why I treat every blog mention very seriously.
I use these tools to monitor and “help” my natural third-party referral traffic:
- BuzzSumo to receive email alerts whenever any article mentions me or my business.
- Viral Content Buzz to promote any article that mentions my site. It also helps me store all my site mentions in one place. Whenever I want to check back, I go to “My projects” (you can also organize them by labels to better curate articles promoting your site). I also get notifications of every share, so I can interact with those people who promote my content:
If you are building up traffic, there’s some basic homework you can quite easily accomplish using the following tools:
1. Any traffic-building effort can be wasted if your host is not reliable enough. Therefore choosing a good hosting service is so important. I tend to use Site Geek (I find their hosting reviews and comparison features very handful). Their industry stats report is very eye-opening as well:
2. How many visits are you losing because people can’t wait for your page to load? Page speed tool will help you identify which parts of your pages are the slowest and may be preventing visitors from staying and interacting:
3. Cyfe works great for monitoring Google Analytics data. You can create different widgets for different sites and data types and get a bird’s eye view of the dashboard each time you are viewing your analytics dashboard:
Are you turning your referral traffic into the promotion strategy? Please share your tips and tools!