Whether you own a huge e-business or a small local hotel website, you definitely want to get as many visitors to your website as possible. What can you do to increase traffic to your website? How should you conduct audience research? How do you gain traction in the short-term? Let’s discover some actionable tips and effective channels to drive traffic with our participants and special guest Felix Tarcomnicu @Felixtarcomnicu, entrepreneur and inbound marketer. 

Audience research

A buyer persona is a model representation of your perfect customer, which helps your company to better understand their buying behavior and determine effective strategies. How are buyer personas created?

To create a buyer persona, you need to collect as much information about your customers as possible.

Start with an in-depth analysis of the information about your real customers that you have at your disposal.

Google Analytics is a great helper, but “make sure you use Universal Analytics and turn on the demographics options. They're not on by default,” – as Thom Craver ‏@thomcraver advices.

“Google Analytics can give you a lot of insights about your audience, but running surveys can help you learn even more” - Felix Tarcomnicu ‏@Felixtarcomnicu. Collecting your customers’ opinions via surveys will help a lot.

Sales people probably know your customers better that anyone else, as they are constantly in direct contact with them.

You find more tips for creating personas in the article “ Personas: The Art and Science of Understanding the Person Behind the Visit,” which was shared by Lee Germeroth ‏@leegermeroth.

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Effective ways to gain traction

With the help of our participants, let's find out how a new company can gain traction without spending a lot of money. What can you do when your company budget is shoe-string, and you want to see results as soon as possible?

A company that is actively supported by a community has much more strength and influence than a single player. So “start a social conversation and build a community,” as Agent Palmer ‏@AgentPalmersuggests.

Work towards building strong relations with your niche influencers. Make sure that these relations are mutually beneficial; that you not only ask for something, but also provide value in return.

A good old rule – create useful, unique and engaging content. However good your promotional campaign may be, it won’t work if the content is poor.

D3, Inc. ‏@d3logic says. “Social media can be a great way to begin to establish your brand, and get your name out to potential customers!” Together with social media you can use other opportunities for communication:

To sum up, the key to success is:

For more insights on implementing SEO for startups check out “ Zero to One Million Guide” shared by Rohan Ayyar ‏@searchrook.

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The most overrated ways of driving traffic

Content is king only if it’s good. It would be ridiculous to create tons of low-value blog posts and expect them to work. Plan your content strategy and implement it wisely.

According to our participants, social media marketing is overrated as well. “Blindly thinking social media will generate traffic without a plan” is a mistake - Dan Gullotti ‏@madvibes

A PPC campaign guarantees your expenses but it doesn’t guarantee success.

Starting a blog is not a silver bullet either. “Most businesses think once they start a blog, their traffic woes are solved” - Adegboye Adeniyi ‏@legendcrest. Yet launching a blog is only half the work, and it’s the easiest part. A blog itself doesn’t necessarily drive traffic; insightful and interesting content does.

Any technique for driving traffic can be ineffective without a well-thought-out strategy and some testing.

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How can a company retain visitors and convert traffic

It is rather simple – the more a visitor likes your website, the more likely they are to come back. A good website structure, an attractive design and—undoubtedly--quality content will help.

Make your site easy to explore and create clear, relevant calls to action.

Do more than ask and demand – try to be giving and generous, and you will gain your visitors’ favor.

Martin Kůra ‏@HermanTinkura suggests “emailing and remarketing, which is a very powerful combination for retaining visitors.“

To make a long story short, if you want your visitors to come back, give them incentives.

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How can a company qualify untargeted traffic?

First of all, analyze the source of untargeted traffic and “understand what visitors expect to find on your site” - Felix Tarcomnicu ‏@Felixtarcomnicu.

To get a better understanding of their needs, you can invite them to take a survey.

As Smarter Searches ‏@SmarterSearches suggests, “use your content to explain and qualify traffic before they get into the purchase funnel”.

Many of our chat participants admitted that remarketing is a very powerful tool for winning back unqualified traffic.

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Couple of specific vs. broad range of channels 

According to the majority of our participants, the amount of channels doesn’t really matter. If a certain channel drives you traffic, you should definitely use it!

To choose channels that work, consider any peculiarities of your niche. Study and analyze the experiences of your competitors – what do they use to drive traffic and how does it work for them? “Services should focus on local (facebook) while online businesses visual (pinterest, instagram)” - ThinkSEM ‏@ThinkSEM.

Apart from your analyzing your competitors, study your target audience – where are they active?

“Starting with a broad scope, narrowing down the best converting traffic will be the key to success” as Martin Kelly ‏@MartinKSEO points out.

Try different channels, find out what works for your business and concentrate on these channels.

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Best strategy/channel to increase traffic for a website

Now it’s time to explore the most effective channels for driving traffic to a website. Of course, there is no single strategy that is perfect for every site. Different websites will always gain traffic in different ways.

Some prefer driving new visitors through search engines. “Organic search - huge potential to connect with target audience” - Michael Hall ‏@allmikehall.

For most businesses, social media is one of the best channels to increase traffic. Which particular platform you should give preference will mostly depend on where your targeted clients are hanging out.

Community building is always an effective way to gain more visitors.

Another good strategy is to publish your content on relevant niche websites.

The only way to know what will work for your website is to test, so never stop experimenting and trying new channels and fresh strategies.

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Author Photo
Elena TerentevaElena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush. Elena has eight years public relations and journalism experience, working as a broadcasting journalist, PR/Content manager for IT and finance companies. Bookworm, poker player, good swimmer.
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