How do I generate website traffic offline

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So that the new website does not remain a ghost town

Rico-Thore crouches

At Rico-Thore Kauert, everything revolves around the topic of visibility - from active press work to SEO strategy. The communications consultant worked for Berlin.de, the ARD capital studio and the agency Webraumfahrer and now works as an affiliate, coach for digital visibility and PR consultant in Berlin.

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After months of work, the new website is finally online and then that: No visitors, the site looks like a ghost town. In this article, Rico-Thore Kauert shows you which measures can be taken in the short and medium term to bring initial traffic to your own website.

Relaunch or a completely new website?

The recommendations in this article are aimed primarily at websites that have been created from scratch. If there was already a website that was relaunched before, the focus should be on the topic of SEO and existing rankings. This is necessary to avoid ranking losses. For this purpose, all current Google positions must be checked BEFORE the relaunch of the page, i.e.: Which content of my previous website is currently ranking in which position on Google? Tools like Sistrix help here, which shows the position on Google and the associated URL for each keyword. Google Analytics can also be used to identify which sub-pages attract a particularly large number of organic visitors, the Google Search Console helps as a free tool when it comes to the rankings for certain keywords or which content is often linked. To do this, you can simply go through the relevant statistics in the menu under “Search queries”.

So the first step is to find all URLs that will change in the course of the relaunch. This can be done, for example, by generating an XML sitemap from the old website and looking at the structure of the URLs after the relaunch.

Example: One page has not yet worked with speaking URLs and wants to change this in the course of the redesign. From a url

www.examplepage.de/category?h=1&ID5=262839032 becomes the URL www.examplepage.de/gesundheit.

This change should be communicated to Google via 301 redirect. The pages with good rankings and those that are clicked particularly often should ideally also find a place on the new page. However, so that Google knows where the new URL is, they must also be forwarded to the new URL via 301 redirection. If the same page does not exist on the new website, at least one similar page or the start page should be linked. Pages that cannot find a match on the new website can return the HTTP status code 410 (gone).

10-point traffic plan for new websites

There is no such thing as the “traffic secret”. In the end, the path always leads to a good analysis of what content your target group needs. Then it's about a technically clean website and good content that is really unique and is played on the right platforms. The following ten points show how this can be achieved and which short-term traffic generators can be added.

1. Short-term traffic via Google AdWords

It takes a lot of time until a new website is present in the search engines. If you need traffic quickly and have budgeted your budget, you can start with Google ads. Here you define various search terms for which you appear on Google with a paid ad when a user searches for it. Ideally, you should combine normal text ads with a remarketing strategy right from the start, so that the first visitors to the site will also see their own ads on other websites. Tip: The subject of Google Ads is not entirely trivial. Small settings around the way keywords are entered often make the difference between success and failure. Either you work your way in or you leave this part to agencies that specialize in AdWords.

2. Short term traffic through social networks

The right use of social media can ensure the first traffic on the new page. There are two ways of doing this. On the one hand, you can use existing Facebook groups in which you offer your content. The following always applies: don't advertise, help. Who z. B. runs a shop for gluten-free food, can answer questions from users in a group on the topic of celiac disease and link to suitable articles from their own blog, if the group rules allow. An example could be: "Hello Petra, I have put together a complete list on my blog with all foods that are always gluten-free." Anyone who manages to be perceived as an expert in larger groups and to score with valuable content will will feel this in the form of traffic on his site. In the B2B area, this strategy also works in Xing or LinkedIn. Here, too, however, the following applies: really deliver more, first answer questions, listen to a discussion and then add comments and links to your own content (not to products!) At appropriate points. From the point of view of search engine optimization (SEO), placing the content on Google+ can also make sense, even if the community is not as lively here as it is elsewhere.

Another option is to create video content for Youtube. This is more time-consuming than offering text content, but it's worth it. The video portal is now the second largest search engine in the world after Google and you can score points here, above all, with advisory and explanatory topics. For example, an online washing machine dealer could use short explanatory films to show how to clean a fluff filter or how to connect the washing machine correctly. Anyone who positions themselves as an expert in their field is considered credible and competent. It is important here to rely on good titles and descriptions and to link your own website to the video in the description text.

3. Traffic from good content

It's actually a shame that this tip needs its own point in 2017, but you still see very thin websites here and there when it comes to content. The triad “Services”, “About us” and “References” is no longer enough to be visible today. Even if the term content marketing is almost a buzzword, the following still applies: If you want to bring visitors to your own website, you need good content that specifically answers users' questions.

As a lawyer, it's not just about listing your areas of expertise, you have to live there! People do not always search for “lawyer copyright Berlin”, but often for specific cases such as “warning from Mustermann AG”. Anyone who is present here with suitable content on their website (the lawyer can write a blog article about how he has dealt with the Mustermann AG cases so far) will be found on Google or can link this content himself, for example in response to Portals such as gutefrage.net or in your own social media channels.

Ultimately, it is important to overcome the fear that one could reveal too much free knowledge. The tax advisor can write hundreds of great blog articles on the subject of "saving taxes", but in the end you will still book him for the annoying part: completing the tax return. If, however, a certain tax advisor repeatedly attracts attention on the Internet with helpful articles, then his reputation, the links, the traffic on his site and thus the number of potential new customers increase.

4. Generate traffic with a lead magnet

A lead magnet (sometimes called a freebie) is valuable content that people like to link to. So you create something (it can be a video, a guide, a checklist) that solves a specific problem for the target group. This makes you visible as an expert and offers a strong incentive to visit the website. Examples of good lead magnets are:

  • A Free Guide to Creating Facebook Ads
  • Download checklist for traveling with children
  • EBook: 25 recipes that freelancers can quickly prepare in the home office
  • Template: Excel table with which you can quickly do your income surplus calculation

It is important to find a lead magnet that fits the target group of your website. It is better to solve a specific problem in a short time than a 200-page guide that provides general information about online marketing. An e-book with the ten best recipes makes z. E.g. for a site that sells cookbooks, sense, an online marketing consultant is more likely to offer the free guide to creating event ads on Facebook.

Ideally, the lead magnet is on its own landing page with a clear and short URL. And if you want to do it very professionally, you can connect the lead magnet to a newsletter (see tip 5) and only issue it when you enter your email address.

Of course, a lead magnet also has to be found first. You can link it to Facebook groups or, even more promising, you can create a Facebook ad and link the lead magnet there. For example, I can control a guideline “10 simple yoga exercises for pregnant women” via Facebook in such a way that only pregnant women between 20 and 35 see this ad. That means little wastage and a high conversion rate. The same applies to Facebook ads: either incorporate it or outsource it to a professional.

5. Traffic via newsletter

If you link the lead magnet to entering an e-mail address, you will have a relevant number of e-mail addresses ready relatively quickly. If these have been collected seriously using the double opt-in procedure and the user has confirmed that he would like to receive e-mails, a newsletter can bring a lot of traffic to the site. The same applies here: No promotional newsletters, but short emails with a personal touch that refer to exciting content on the website.

An air passenger rights attorney could e.g. For example, you can write an article on your own blog with the title “Flight delayed, you will get it back”. If he has already published a checklist on the subject of vacation as a lead magnet, his target group is obviously interested in the subject of travel and would therefore be potentially interested in an article on rights in the event of flight delays. A short email in the main travel season with a personal address and a link to the article usually brings measurable results. To start with, you can use the Mailchimp tool; if you are looking for a professional solution straight away, you should take a look at the ActiveCampaign tool. This software works with tags instead of lists, which makes significantly more complex campaigns possible. In addition, the manual "shoveling back and forth" of newsletter subscribers from one list to the other is no longer necessary.

Incidentally, it has been shown that a note in the footer (“Here is our newsletter”) is not enough to attract newsletter subscribers. The strategy using the lead magnet is much more effective. Ideally, you point to the lead magnet at various points and thus collect addresses for the newsletter. Here are e.g. B. possible:

  • Link in your own email signature
  • Link to printed matter such as business cards
  • Link in forums and in Facebook groups
  • Twitter and Facebook advertisements
  • Link in Xing or LinkedIn profile

6. Traffic using guest articles

If you don't have an audience of your own at the beginning, you have to go where one already exists. It can therefore be very worthwhile to offer your expertise in the form of guest articles. A PR consultant can offer magazines such as Deutsche-Startups.de such a guest article: “How to get your start-up into the newspaper.” As a rule, editors are very grateful for specialist articles and it is not uncommon for them to be in the author box the chance to link your own website. Even if this is not a follow link from an SEO point of view, one can assume, especially with larger blogs or online magazines, that such a publication will generate traffic. Here, too, the following applies: the more specific the specialist knowledge and the greater the added value, the higher the chance of publication.

7. Traffic through search engines

Yes, search engine visibility takes a while. Search engine optimization (SEO) is part of every good traffic strategy from the start. The following steps are recommended to get started:

  • A technically clean website (valid HMTL, correct hierarchy of heading elements such as H1, H2, optimized for mobile display, speaking URLs, robots.txt and sitemap.xml available, canonical URLs created, low loading time, HTTPS encryption).
  • Well-structured content (headings, paragraphs, images with alt texts). This is where the Yoast SEO tool can help if you work with Wordpress. Every page / post should be optimized for a main keyword that appears in the title, in the H1 heading, in the text, in the URL, as an alt attribute in the image and in the meta description.
  • Keyword research to determine which terms the target group is looking for (tools such as the Google Keyword Planner or the answerthepublic.com site help here). Tip: The author has written a detailed article on how to do such keyword research at bit.ly/keywordsfinding.
  • Produce content that provides content based on the keywords that really help the user (answer a topic as holistically as possible with long articles. Long also means 1,500 words or more).
  • Off-page optimization ensures that external links point to your own website. For this purpose, business partners can be asked for a link, one can comment in forums and blogs, and set links in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The rule is: it is better to have a few high-quality links than many from insignificant portals.

8. Traffic from press reports

Innovative companies in particular can also attract visitors to their own website with the help of good press work. Anyone who has developed a new technology for wireless charging of cars, for example, will have a good chance in the press. But there are also usually topics for every online shop that are exciting for the media. However, advertising emails to journalists are taboo; there must always be a topic that interests the reader of the respective medium.

Articles in online media, in particular, can bring a lot of traffic if they are directly linked; in large papers or in TV formats, an “offline report” can also ensure a flow of visitors. For example, it can be seen regularly on the TV show “Höhle der Löwen”, where start-ups present their ideas. It can often be observed here that the websites collapse under the onslaught of users. Therefore, the following always applies: Before doing press work, make sure that the website can cope with a larger number of visitors. If you are not at all fit when it comes to PR, you should outsource this area to a PR freelancer or an agency.

9. Direct access traffic

Anyone who drives an integrated communication strategy in addition to the website becomes visible as a brand and can thus also attract visitors. In this case, integrated means that there are various communication measures that are coordinated with one another. Communication channels such as printed matter, the exhibition stand, the customer magazine, posters and the commercial should not buzz around the world separately, but rather create a consistent picture. If you can do that and score with a simple URL, you can also hope for direct access (e.g. by entering the domain in the browser).

10. Traffic through native advertising

Display your own content on the websites of large daily newspapers? This works out! If you have exciting content but the coverage is missing, providers like plista use special technology to ensure that e.g. B. a small marker text announces the article on your own website. You can usually find such articles on the pages of major media under headings such as “You might also be interested in”.

There is the possibility of targeting according to target group (using demographic and individual values ​​such as age, gender, interests) and area (limitation of the ads to cities, federal states, countries and postcodes). Thus, a provider for New Zealand travel could write an article about very special adventure tours and then run this through as a tip on the travel pages of daily newspapers. You usually pay per click, and the setup works in a similar way to Google Adwords. The advantage of this form of advertising: Since the ads look more like editorial articles, there are fewer reactances, while the credibility and click-through rates (CTR) are usually higher than with classic online advertising formats.

Conclusion

If you want visitors, you have to offer them something, as the information overload ensures that the user's attention span becomes smaller and smaller. Depending on the human and financial resources, you have to choose the measures from the abundance of options that best fit your own strategy. This assumes that you have worked out at least a rudimentary traffic strategy before the new website goes live. Anyone who has this and works creatively can soon look forward to significant fluctuations in the statistics tool.

Conclusion on hashtag.business 2017

This year too, hashtag.business was an absolute success.The balanced mix of speakers is one of the many positive aspects of this confi. Whether large companies in the market reveal their structures in social media work or publishers point out viral trends: everyone in the industry benefits from a visit to the conference and can enjoy the relaxed and inspiring atmosphere - this will be the case again next year. I'm sure I speak for everyone who was there this year: We're looking forward to it!

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