CATEGORY: Websites

Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 2 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Free Traffic to your site with Social Media

Recently, we outlined 20 FREE ways to drive traffic to your site.  The methods were broken down by category, but I realized there is so much more information to these tips than just listing them out.  First up, are the Social Media methods.  By consistently employing each of the methods below, I promise you will see more traffic to your site.  Let’s get started….

1. Twitter

Just in case you need to be reminded of the obvious – Twitter is a great place to engage an audience and promote your brand.  Use this strategy as you begin:

  • First you need to get a following to have someone to promote your blog/website to. Shoot for 5-7 daily tweets.  A couple your own content, maybe a retweet, a couple that share or comment on others content, (the more relevant to your niche the better) and asking one conversational question seem to be the norm.
  • Make sure tweets with your own content contain links back to your blog/website.
  • Make sure to follow people everyday and engage your new followers through the tweeting rules above.  It’s best to follow those that would be interested in your brand as you start.  A keyword search within Twitter can help you to get started.
  • Certainly follow back anyone that follows you
  • Add you blog/website URL prominently to your Twitter Profile.
Keep in mind this is just a beginning strategy.  Expect it to morph as you gain popularity. As you dive in, you’ll realize the need for other Twitter resources, but you have to start somewhere!  Begin here!

2. Pinterest

It’s time to add this to your social media lexicon.  According to @BethHayden, Author of “Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest”, Pinterest is the “second largest referral of traffic to websites and blogs – right behind FaceBook”.  Got your attention, yet? Here’s a sample strategy to try as you begin….
  • Before your first pin, do some research and identify your target audience.  You’ll want to use keywords in your pin descriptions as well as images that will speak to them.
  • Then use your blog post or website images to create your pins.  This is where interesting, original images will come in handy. Consider infographics – even if they are not part of your post, but as a way to summarize it. Consider even just text – choose eye-catching fonts and colors to state your blog title or website page title.
  • Remember that research you did with keywords?  Well make sure to include those keywords in your pin description so others can find you. Include your blog or website URL as well in your description.  You’ll notice that you can type a whole lot there in the description, but I suggest just enough to captivate your audience and get them to click-through to your blog post or website. Keywords can be used with #hashtags similar to Twitter.
  • Make use of the Pinterest Social Sharing button on your blog or website images.  Your able to control where the image directs and initially,  the description.
  • Similar to Twitter, get social!  Don’t just promote your brand, but pin other’s relevant posts as well.  Your building a community of viewers to your site as well as developing and sharing your visitors with one another, in an effort to attract more visitors.

3. Facebook

 Your tactic here is more about sharing information.  Create a Facebook Fan Page separate from your personal account for creditability. The game is changing with Fan Pages as now there are costs involved with the fancy tricks.  But remember, we want FREE ways, try this sample strategy to get started…
  • Make sure to share your blog posts and any brand news.  Look helpful by sharing news and articles that others in your niche may find relevant.
  • Comment with care on pages similar to your niche.
  • Remember one of the strategies of Twitter was to share your own content with a tweet?  To add credibility to your blog or website with another social media outlet, consider linking your tweet back to the blog post posted on Facebook.  Use sparingly as remember, you’d rather they direct back to your blog or website.
  • You can be a little more casual on Twitter, but try to keep Facebook only about content regarding your blog and brand.
  • With your personal Facebook maybe consider updating your “Work and Education” section to represent your Facebook Fan page for your blog or website.
  • Now that you have a Fan Page don’t forget to review your Facebook insights.  Visit http://www.facebook.com/insights while logged in.  You’ll get a look at how others are engaging with your posts so you know what kind of content to keep providing your users so they’ll keep coming back.

4. Google+

We all wanna be liked by Google – well, they seem to pay attention more to those who participate in their Google+ network. Sign up and realize this is one network where it’s not the quality of your followers, but the quantity of your followers  Try these tips:
  • Just like the other networks will pay off if you research your industry keywords, do so here as well.  Use those keywords when completing your “About” section of your profile.
  • Google+ activity will show up in a search result over other Social Media activity during a Google Search.  Again, post often in your + account and pay attention to those keywords most relevant to the audience you wish to attract.  They’re likely to find you when your content is ranking high.
  • Take advantage of the Google+ Hangouts.  It’s a way to interactively mingle with those who are interested in your blog or website niche topic.  Try providing informative advice on your niche in general to attract the most viewers – don’t use it as a session to promote your blog or business.  And guess what?!  After the experience, since you directly engaged someone,  guess who they will be talking about after. 🙂  It’s such a cool, new thing that people will definitely be talking about their Google+ Hangout experience.  (hopefully with you)
  • There’s this little thing called Google Authorship that happens naturally as you link your Google+ profile to your blog and vice versa.  Google Authorship means it begins to trust you as a source on your topic.  You’ll begin to rank higher so others find you.  Bonus: You’re Google+ Profile pic may show up in Google Search results along your blog post or website!  So make sure your Google+ Profile pic is best representing you or your business.
  • Engage, Engage, Engage.  Use your Google + profile often to find new followers and interact so you attract more followers.  The benefit here over other social networks is that you will eventually begin to rank higher in search results (meaning greater chances of people finding your blog/website) as your network grows.

5. LinkedIn

This little network is not the same resume sharing network you experienced last time you logged in.  Did you know you can upload blog posts, list your products, upload videos, and give status updates?  Give it a second look and overhaul with these tips to hopefully bring traffic back to you:
  • Make sure to upload your blog posts here.  Especially the more polished of your posts that would be helpful to those in your niche.  For your website – provide your project status updates or any new developments.
  • Take advantage of the “Recommendations”.  Did you work with someone who maybe helped by guest posting, or provided design services?  Give them an honest ‘recommendation’.  These recommendations show up on their profile and get you views to your profile.  Now sell ’em on your profile to bring traffic back to your site!
  • You can import other social media streams to your profile.  Try a widget for uploading your Tweets.  Just be careful not be sale-sy as you Tweet.
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Answers resource.  Browse through your industry Keywords to provide expertise on other’s questions.  When you post your answer, there’s a link back to your profile and you may gain creditability.  It works by asking questions too.
  • Update your Business Skills.  By choosing wisely, you’re bound to attract viewers as well as appear in the “Related Companies” for the skills you choose.  For each skill set there are also groups to join.
There you have it!  Quick tips to get started on all of these social media networks and encourage traffic back to your blog or website. For each of these options make sure to add sharing links and follow links to each of your blog posts or pages of your website. Also consider containing a link to your profile for each in any email or marketing newsletter you send.  The more aware your audience is of your presence, the more likely you are to receive traffic to your site.
Got any success stories you want to share?  Prefer one social network over the others? Any quick, beginning tip I forgot to mention?  Then get busy in the comments below. 🙂
Next up in the “get traffic” series: Engagement.  By paying attention to your niche and engaging with others outside of social media, you’ll bring more traffic to your blog or website.  I’m excited to share!

 

 

FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Free Traffic to your Site – 20 tips to try today!

Are you an affiliate marketer?  Then you know how important it is to get traffic to your site.  More traffic means the better chance of people viewing and clicking your affiliate advertisements.  Own a business website?  Then you know that the more traffic the better chance of making money you’ll have.  Beginning a blog?   Then you should know how important it will be to develop a large loyal audience.  One that once you begin to monetize your blog your readers will hopefully trust your opinion on the products – making you Affiliate dollars.

There are many other important facets to keep in mind with your traffic, but this post is specifically about getting eyeballs to your affiliate blog or website.  It’s so hard not to talk about: consistency of posting relevant content, what happens when the traffic gets to your site to win them over, and even some of the paid ways to get traffic to your site. No this is specifically about just getting the reader to your site, in the most economical way possible. You may find that I couldn’t help myself and may have broken the “ONLY TRAFFIC TIPS” rule a little – but only when necessary.  My intention is for you to use this mainly as a checklist.  I’ll follow-up with detailed posts about each traffic driving source in the days to come as part of a series. Enjoy!

1. Social Media

  • Twitter  – This will be a great forum for you to engage your followers and post relevant content for your brand.
  • Pinterest – You know I don’t have a lot of personal experience with this site, but am seeing more and more news about how to drive traffic to your site with this service.  Do not underestimate its power. A quick google search will set you in the right path. We found this search: “how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog” on google blog search to result in 5,000 articles just this week!
  • Facebook  – Please don’t be offended if you’ve never, ever used Facebook, but for most – this is pretty self-explanatory.  Set up a Facebook fan page for your brand.  Continually update with fresh content.
  • Google+ – This can be a little gem. Most social media services stress engagement over the number of followers.  This is one source where your number of followers matters.  Get popular!
  • LinkedIn – more snazzier than you thought!  Did you know you can add your blog posts to your profile?  Don’t forget to list your current website as a business either.
These are just a few good sources to begin with for immediate impact to traffic.  Again, I’ll detail more in the next post about using Social Media to drive traffic to your site.  For now, make sure to create a profile with each of these that includes a prominent link back to your site and brief bio that describes your site.  Keep in mind the types of visitors you wish to attract and make sure to use relevant keywords to catch their eye. Don’t forget to include all your social sharing links on EVERY blog post or prominent area of each page of your website.

2. Engagement

  • Begin commenting on other industry targeted blogs to begin.
  • Link back to relevant blogs from your blog.  You stand a chance that they will consider linking back to you.
  • Go to industry specific events.  Also try hosting webinars or joining MeetUp.  Great way to pair with like-minded individuals.  If the traffic doesn’t come from these events, it’s a great way to motivate you to keep going!
  • Make sure to have RSS feed and allow for email subscriptions to your blog or website updates.  Try an email newsletter for both your website and blog.  If you need help with how to develop one – check out this handy, dandy post: Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter
  • Guest post! Great way to get noticed by writing a relevant post on someone elses blog.  In the same vein, encourage others to write a guest post for you.  If they have a strong following their readers may become interested in you as well.
  • Check out the Social Sharing (Reddit, stumbleupon, etc) as well as Forums. Just like commenting on other blogs, begin participating here as well as sharing your content in the social sharing sites.

3. Google

  • Google AdWords/KeyWords – Perform research on relevant keywords to your industry/topic.  Then develop content and titles relevant to what people are already interested in.  Once you get them to your page, make sure your content gives a unique perspective on the keywords they dig.
  • Google Analytics – Helps to identify where your traffic sources are coming from as well as identify opportunities.  Next step is to develop and encourage these sources.
  • Google BlogSearch is a fantastic tool in the same vein as Keywords to help you see what other bloggers are writing about.  You can sort the results by time frame for the most relevant up to date posts.  View these posts.  The ones with the most comments are hot topics.
  • Along with Google BlogSearch, give Google Reader a try – you’ll be able to see the number of subscribers to each site displayed in the search results.  Then employ your engagement tactics from our Engagement section to those with high viewership for maximum impact.

4. SEO (just the basics)

  • Remember those keywords you researched?  Well make sure to use those in an eye catching title as well as throughout your post.
  • Remember all those Social Media – well that’s SEO!
  • Images – use them and make them original.  Try creating your own images. Title them so that when someone searches images or your keywords, your post image shows up in that “image” section of the search.
  • Be careful not to place too many affiliate ads.
  • Make sure your content is original and relevant.

IN CONCLUSION:

You’ll find that as you participate in these steps you get rewards.  Celebrate your rewards, no matter how small, and keep charging.  Some of these ideas may seem painful, especially if you are not familiar with Pinterest or Google Analytics seems daunting.  But learn them and push through.  DON’T. GIVE. UP.  It takes a while to build viewership, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. As you keep consistent and build traffic, things do get easier and your followers begin to do some of the heavy lifting naturally for you.  Keep on blogging my friend!  (or websiting!)

Check back as we detail the Social Media tactics for FREE traffic to your site.  Until then, got any free methods that you’ve tried with success?  I wanted to list the most obvious for immediate impact but I may have left out a goody or two. 🙂

 

 

App Design with Todd Clary of Appsorbs & Colin Thomas-Arnold of Colinta, llc | The Insightful

Todd Clary and Colin Thomas-Arnold build apps. Todd is the creative side and Colin is the coder–but wait! They’ve discovered a working relationship that blends the creative and the code. No longer two separate entities working in two different worlds for one project, they advise business owners that for the best app you need a coder who’s more than a “black box” into which you can pour instructions. You need more than a code monkey, but a guy who gets the importance of the user experience. This is Part 1:

The Insightful is posted here every Wednesday, and offers information and advice to entrepreneurs and business ninjas. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular informative and entertaining videos.

The Best UI/UX: Tips, Tricks and Golden Rules to make your website work

You’re not developing for you!

They say a video should be really short–like about 90-seconds–to keep an online viewer’s attention. Unless…UNLESS…it’s really good information. This is really good information. Sherri is our reigning queen of the User Interface/User Experience. She recalls how designers were once employed to make things pretty, and then shares the important reality of making your website’s copy, icons, images and voice one coherent, profitable masterpiece. Now that’s inner beauty that radiates across the web…and into a really hot conversion rate.

The Insightful is posted here every Wednesday, and offers information and advice to entrepreneurs and business ninjas. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular informative and entertaining videos.

Focus and Align your Business: It starts with the right SEO keywords.

We love picking Troy Olson’s massive brain. He’s the SEO guru over at JEMSU, and from one interview came three great videos. Here he talks about how easy it is to focus your business. It begins with knowing the keywords that describe who you are and what you do. Because, when you think about it, that’s how people will find you…and it’s how your customers will become interested in what you do.

The Insightful is supposed to be posted here every Wednesday, and offers information and advice to entrepreneurs and business ninjas. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular informative and entertaining videos.

Secrets of SEO with Troy Olson of JEMSU: The Insightful Ep. 2

We’re doing a weekly show featuring tested experts in the fields that matter to you: marketing, search engine optimization, startups, management, podcasting, video and anything you can suggest. Really, if you’d like us to get someone on camera to share their ideas, let us know. Although if it’s your friend “The Cat Lady” wanting to show how to wean kittens, then maybe not. Although cat videos are pretty huge.

Still, though, we’ll stay focused on the following thing:

1. Videos that help you succeed.

Here’s one, and it’s uber-helpful: All those little tricks you need to know about SEO (and it has a lot to do with who you already are: an expert.)

Things Your Website Should NOT Do: Name.com’s Facebook Friends Focus Group

At name.com we do domains, websites and hosting. You get a domain and some hosting and then you’re all set to burst onto the web, but before you put a whole lot of work into a snappy Flash intro, or have your friends in the bongo/zither duo make some awesome home page music, pay heed to what some experienced web users have to say about what NOT to do:

Do not do this to your websitewebsite don'tswebsite don'tswebsite don'ts

Like a free focus group and you didn’t have to provide finger food. Although we’re not sure what a couple are talking about, and I think Kelley Bryant is actually selling auto parts, but this is good info to keep in mind for the best presence on the web.

 

iWeb is going away, but your site doesn’t have to! Check out Name.com shared hosting plans

Apple iWeb going away.

You don’t have to lose everything.

You finally found a super easy way to get your website looking right and online…and now it’s going away. Apple has announced that iWeb publishing, MobileMe Gallery, and iDisk are all being phased out by the end of June. Things are not as awful as they may appear. Apple is encouraging users to migrate over to iCloud, which is a bit more expensive. We wanted to let you know that we have an awesome shared hosting platform that could be a great fit for you. Take a look at our website hosting plans, and below see a tutorial on how to move your Apply goodness.

  Click here to get started.

Our team is standing by to help make the migration as seamless as possible. The video below should help you get started and if you run into any questions our support team is only a phone call or email away.

Click here for a tutorial from Apple on how to move your iWeb to another hosting provider.