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To run a successful business, you need a steady stream of fresh leads. These are the people you turn into paying customers. That’s the marketing part of the equation.

To get leads, you need traffic. You need to reach out to new people on a regular basis. The most cost-effective way to do this is by generating traffic — ideally evergreen traffic from a variety of different sources.

Here are seven ways you can improve website traffic.

#1 Know Where Traffic Is Coming From

If you want to continue to grow your business, you have to continuously work on getting more traffic. First, you need to know where your traffic is coming from.

Not all sources of traffic are created equal. If you run an online business – or any business, really – you want to spend as much time + resources as possible on the traffic sources that result in paying customers.

You want to focus on ways that improve website traffic that directly increase your bottom line.

The biggest increase in your bottom line comes from website traffic sources that send you the most reliable customers. Identify which visitors signup for your email list. Know which of your email subscribers become paying customers.

Track your traffic, email signups + purchases.

A great place to start is with your Google Analytics account. Make sure you have one set up + learn how to analyze the various reports. First, take a look at Acquisition/All Traffic/Source/Medium.

Focus on one channel at a time.

Track email open rates, click-through rates + purchases. Monitor traffic coming from a Facebook group or Pinterest + the behavior of these visitors once they arrive on your website.

This helps you to evaluate whether interacting on Facebook or paying for your Tailwind account to pin on Pinterest is paying off. if the person you’re hiring to create and publish multiple pins per day is worth the money you’re spending on them.

Rinse + repeat for other sources of traffic. Monitor which keywords are converting well for you + create more content around similar keywords.

#2 Audit Your Most Popular Pages

One of the simplest + most effective strategies for increasing your bottom line is to repeat what’s already working for you. Conduct a content audit of your most popular pages.

Generally, popular content is articles + blog posts on your site where you share your expertise or discuss a particular problem + how what you offer can be part of the solution.

Once you’ve identified the most popular content on your site, go over each page with a critical eye. The most important thing to look at is your call to action.

What do you want a visitor to do after they’re done consuming your content?

  • Do you want them to sign up for your list?
  • Are you trying to engage with your audience via comments?
  • Is there an offer on the page that is converting?

See what it is about the content on these pages that is making it popular.

  • Is it the format?
  • Is it the topic?
  • Is it the type of content (how-to blog posts, video, or infographics, for example)
  • Is it ranking highly for a keyword?
  • Content that’s often shared as a resource
  • Social media posts that link back to the page went viral
  • Popular Pinterest pin

See what the common thread is the most popular pages share. Then, rinse + repeat for new content or new pages on your site.

Doing a content audit is something you should do regularly. Put it on the calendar to make sure it gets done.

#3 Do More Of What’s Working Already

Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business. There are a million different ways to get more visitors to your website. There are hundreds of courses + books that teach you about the latest + greatest traffic generation tactics.

Instead of jumping on the latest craze, take a look at what’s working already + do more of that.

Getting a steady stream of traffic from Pinterest?

Create five new pins a day for your most popular posts.

Ranking for a couple of long-tail keyword phrases?

Optimize more pages, or create optimized content for your site.

It’s simple + it works. Analyze what’s working, discover why it’s working + replicate it again and again.

Let’s talk about how to do that.

Start by looking at your website analytics.

For the best data, pull info for at least three months to a year. Look at your biggest traffic sources + where that traffic leads.

Can you identify patterns? Make a list of everything that’s working.

Look at your best source of traffic.

Where is it coming from? How are you getting this traffic? Brainstorm at least twenty-five ideas for getting more traffic from this source. Then step away for a little while.

When you come back, look through the list you’ve made. Which of the items on there get you excited? What are you looking forward to working on the most?

Start with that idea + get to work implementing it. Make a shortlist of everything you need to do from start to finish.

Maybe that means writing a new article or blog post + then creating several pins for it. Maybe it means working on evergreen social media posts that you can load into a program that shares them to your page.

Maybe it means interacting in Facebook groups or finding new ones. No matter what it is, work through each step from start to finish. Then get to work on the next item on your list.

Rinse and repeat until you’ve completed each of the twenty-five project ideas.

Don’t forget to look at your traffic stats again in a few weeks. Make note of what’s working. Start doing more of that. Give the rest a little more time.

Sometimes even the best-laid strategy doesn’t pay off right away. Keep working at it and the traffic will flow.

#4 SEO Basics For Evergreen Traffic

One of the most important things you can do to improve your traffic in a sustainable way is to work on your SEO or search engine optimization.

While there is a lot to say about SEO + some things are always changing, start with the basics.

It all starts with keywords.

These are the words and phrases your customers type into their favorite search engine to find what they are looking for. Your goal is to optimize various pages on your website for some of those keywords.

Choosing the right ones is your first task. Don’t go for broad terms like “vegetable gardening”. You don’t know what exactly this person is looking for + it will be hard to rank for a general term like this.

Instead, your goal is to choose a few good long-tail keywords like “why are my tomato plant leaves curling,” for example.

One of your best sources for these types of phrases is Google. Head on over to google.com + search for something you know your customers are looking for. Then look at the suggested searches at the bottom of that page.

Keep trying + keep looking through those suggested searches until you find something that’s a good fit for you + your visitors + that you can create content for.

Create a piece of content around this keyword phrase.

Use the keyword in the title, the URL + the meta description of your post. Sprinkle the phrase + related phrases throughout your content.

Do the same with the names + alt-tags for images you use. Most importantly though, write the content + the alt tag description for your readers, not for the search engines.

Create quality content that earns your audience’s trust. Working in the keyword should always be a secondary concern.

Why? Because no amount of traffic does you any good if the people who make up that traffic don’t become your customers.

Once you write the content, go back through it to create links. Link from this post to one or two older articles or blog posts on your site. It’s also a good idea to link out to trusted sources or authority sites.

Going back to our plant example, you could link to a university article about treating tomato diseases, for example.

Take another look at everything you’ve put together. If it looks good, hit publish. You are almost done with your basic SEO.

There’s one more piece of the equation – incoming links. You want to link from a few older pages on your site to this new content. Link to the content from social media posts.

Create a few pins + pin them to Pinterest. Write a couple of tweets + Facebook posts. Send some social signals to encourage the search engines to index this new content.

Monitor the traffic that comes from these sources to identify what works + what doesn’t for this particular piece of content (+ new content going forward).

#5 Beyond Google: Pinterest + YouTube Are Search Engines Too

Google is the #1 search engine.

#2 is YouTube.

#3 is Pinterest.

You may not think of YouTube + Pinterest as search engines, but search engines they are.

It makes sense if you think about it.

What do you do when you’re looking for a tutorial for fixing something around your house or a music video?

You go to YouTube + search.

What if you’re looking for inspiration for your daughter’s fifth birthday party?

You search for relevant pins + create a Pinterest board.

You’re not the only one. Everyone uses these sites as search engines. It’s time you start treating them as such + using them as a source of evergreen traffic.

Armed with your knowledge of search engine optimization, apply the same concepts when you create pins or upload YouTube videos.

Create this content with a purpose. Start with a particular key phrase in mind. Use this word or string of words to name your video file or image — making sure the content applies to the keyword.

Once you have your content, it’s time to upload it to YouTube or Pinterest. Use the keyword (or key phrase) in the title + description on the site. You can also use appropriate tags.

Don’t forget to take advantage of channel + board titles + descriptions.

Your best strategy is to create fresh, optimized content on a regular basis. Encourage engagement via other social media channels. Respond to + encourage comments.

All of this helps your videos + pins show up when visitors search on YouTube + Pinterest.

As your channel + boards grow, so will your audience. Not every video + every pin is going to rank high + gain exposure. Every piece of content with a call to action that leads back to your website, you can generate a steady stream of evergreen traffic as well.

#6 Profitable Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can create quick boosts of traffic + get your message in front of your ideal target audience. It can also be a colossal waste of time.

How do you make sure your social media strategy is worth your time? By tracking.

Start by tracking what you do on social media. Have a social media marketing plan to help keep you focused + on track.

For example, you may decide to post three new posts per day + spend 10 minutes interacting with your Facebook fans. Write it down + stick to the plan.

Don’t overthink what the plan should be. Start with what you think might work. Evaluate + adjust as you monitor what works + what doesn’t.

Another great option is to use automation tools to post content on a regular basis without having to access the social media sites directly. Instead, you craft your posts on the automation tool’s website + schedule the post for a set date + time.

It keeps you from becoming distracting + allows you to batch your social media marketing. You can spend an hour one day a week getting everything set up + you’re free to work on other marketing + other tasks the rest of the time.

You can consider outsourcing your social media marketing. If you’re generating more revenue from social media than you’re paying then outsourcing saves you time + makes you money.

#7 When It Pays To Pay For Traffic

So far we’ve talked a lot about getting free traffic by tapping into existing sources, upping our social media game + investing some time + effort into SEO.

A second way to get highly targeted traffic is paying for it. While there are many different ways to do this, two strategies are:

  1. Paid ads
  2. Affiliate marketing

Forms of advertising:

  • Website ads
  • Newsletter ads
  • Pay-per-click advertising, such as Facebook + Google ads

Choose one advertising strategy at a time. This way you can monitor results + master one strategy before moving on to the next. Start small + increase your budget when it becomes profitable.

Continually work on improving your ads to achieve lower costs + bigger profits. Continue to build traffic organically while running paid ads.

Set up an affiliate program.

With an affiliate program, you agree to track traffic, leads + customers your affiliates send you + pay them a commission for any sales generated.

The biggest benefit of an affiliate program is you can instantly get your products + services in front of large audiences that you may not otherwise have a chance to reach.

There is no up-front risk. You don’t have to pay your affiliates unless they make sales, thus guaranteeing profitability for you.

Give both methods a try and see how much traffic you can generate with ads + affiliates.

Both strategies can improve website traffic quickly + effectively.

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