(script from a presentation to the Rocky River Chamber of Commerce)
My name is Erica Larson and I own a web design and social media marketing agency called Pixel Power.
Our focus is to help organizations develop brand awareness through web design, content marketing, and by managing social media accounts.
Brand awareness is about pinpointing what makes a company different and using those differences to show the value of the company causing an emotional reaction in the viewer that causes them to recognize who you are what you do and ultimately draws them to you.
It focuses on the heart and soul of your company, which ultimately is its value system and it’s people. Creating a connection with people is ultimately what convinces your customers to choose you over anyone else.
So, creating an emotional connection – building a relationship even though you aren’t speaking directly to a person is how you build brand awareness.
So, why am I talking about this?
I wanted to talk to you today about website traffic which refers to the users who visit your website.
I have been working in some marketing capacity since 2006 and the most common thing I hear is people saying that no one is visiting their website.
As much as I hear this topic come up with a website client or a consulting call, I’m always surprised that when I listen to talks or attend workshops I feel like this topic is overlooked or glossed over so fast that people are left not knowing anything more about why they aren’t getting traffic.
I see people continuously tweaking their websites or even rebuilding them multiple times thinking that the traffic will improve but it never does.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that a website is an end-point – it is the destination at the end of a journey.
This is where the title for this talk comes in – “How to build a yellow brick road”
Marketing is a route to a destination.
Most if not all of us are familiar with The Wizard of Oz.
The main character, Dorothy, and her friends, hear about The Emerald City and how it’s supposed to be an amazing and wonderful place where they will find solutions to their problems and where Dorothy will find a way to get home. So they set off to The Emerald City by following the yellow brick road.
There is a lot happening in that quick description.
We have marketing, brand awareness, a customer journey, and a destination.
Think of your website as The Emerald City. You’ve spent lots of time on it – it’s beautiful, has clear calls to action, is written for SEO and so on – I don’t want to get into web design strategy today. We’re just just going to pretend it’s perfect for today’s discussion.
What I want to focus on is that it already exists. But just existing doesn’t mean that people will go there.
This part gets confusing because people think that there is just something to “turn on” that they’ve missed and if they turn it on then Google will send people to their website and they will get tons of traffic.
That just isn’t the case.
If you build any destination but don’t market it no one will go there. This is true for websites, businesses, restaurants, and storybook cities.
You have to get the word out to get people to go there and the more people who go there and have a good experience the more referrals and recommendations you get from real people and from Google.
The Google Search Engine.
Understanding how the Google search engine works is important for this topic. With each algorithm update it is designed to think more like humans.
It views popular destinations (websites) as places that it should list first. The more traffic you’re getting the more Google will promote your website.
The better your content is and assuming that you’re using keywords that you’ve determined people are searching for – using data – (not by guessing) the better your chances are to be served up in search engines.
Yes, there is a lot more to this but it goes along with that web design strategy that we’re not discussing today – our pretend website is perfect.
But, the traffic it gets is a little bit sad. We can’t rely on google to do our work for us.
Google isn’t everything.
So what do we do? This is where marketing comes in. Specifically, building a campaign or a funnel is how you build your yellow brick road.
Campaigns are meant to drive people toward a goal or destination. So, deciding what your goal is in the beginning is a key component to building a successful marketing campaign.
For this discussion, our goal is to drive website traffic.
While we’re talking goals, let’s discuss this one. Why do you want website traffic? Is that the right goal?
Is there something on your website that you want people to do?
Is there a reason that they should go there over picking up the phone and calling you?
Determining a goal.
When determining a goal for your marketing campaign it is important to think about the customer and what you are offering them and how it aligns with what you’re trying to achieve.
If you want to increase website traffic, you want to offer something on the website that the customer isn’t going to be able to get anywhere else.
For Dorothy, she had to go to The Emerald City in order to see the wizard. She wasn’t going to be able to see him anywhere else.
For us this could be a PDF download, it could be an event sign-up – which would be a second goal, right? If people go to your website to sign up for something you get the website traffic and the attendees at your event – that’s a win win for you while also providing value to your customer. You might even require that they enter their email address in order to get the PDF – another win for you.
The key is offering something on your website that the person needs to go there for.
Imagine if we sent out a social media post that said “visit our website to help us increase our traffic”…
No one cares about helping us to increase our traffic. Maybe your Mom would do it – your sister – no one else though.
Instead, what if we said “click here to get our Trending Hashtags for Social Media Calendar!”
How many social media managers would love a calendar of trending hashtags? A lot! Including me – I downloaded that the other day.
Once we’ve determined our goal and created our customer offering it’s time to create content that supports that specific offering and distribute it via all of the various channels available to us.
- Social Media
- Snail Mail
- Newsletter (digital and/or print)
- Call lists
- In-person networking, tabling, and presentations
All of these things working together are what make up your marketing campaign. We aren’t relying on just Google or social media posts. We’re using all platforms available to us to distribute our content which is geared toward our one goal for this one campaign.
If you’ve made it this far and haven’t watched the video above, go take a look but skip ahead to 8:50. At that point in the video I discuss the four types of content that I like to focus on and how to lay them out in a content distribution calendar.
If you need help creating a campaign and all of the content that goes along with it, please contact me at 440-258-5494 or set up a time to chat through my online calendar.