The Bates Motel doesn't really register in the annals of hugely successful business enterprises. Yes, there's the fact that the business - first glimpsed in Alfred Hitchock's "Psycho" and the novel that inspired it - is fictional. But besides that essential fact, the Bates Motel suffered from all-too-common problem plaguing online businesses today.
The Bates Motel had no ability to drum up business on its own (this was in the days before Norman's taxidermy might have attracted its fair share of glowing Yelp reviews). So it must have been reliant on outside sources. An outside source that could just as easily change the rules of the game.
While businesses today aren't quite as subject to the whims of the local highway planner as the Bates' establishment was, there is something similar about the predicament facing online businesses whose fortunes rest on Google continuing to deliver high-quality web traffic and inbound marketing leads.
So how do you get traffic if Google isn't sending enough visitors to your website?
Google has never been known to stand-pat in the world of search marketing, and a quick glance at the book-length history of Google algorithm changes only confirms that. There are losers in every Google update; how your business can survive the ebbs and flows of Google search traffic depends on how well you diversify your strategy.
Imagine a World without Google.
Start by asking yourself the question, "In a world without Google, where would my traffic come from?" This exercise is an illustrative one, because in many ways the key to Google-proofing your website's success is by returning to the strategies that worked before there was a Google.
Sure, much of the web today bears little resemblance to what was there prior to September 4, 1998. However, web audiences still managed to find the sites they wanted to visit without the aid of Larry Page's helpful little tool.
How? By leveraging the strength of multiple networks.
And first, make sure you have exhausted every search engine optimization tool possible. Research your keywords, contact someone like Alternative Advertising to run a free evaluation for you to be sure you are using on page SEO to the max. If that doesn't do the trick, read on...
Here are 6 fast ways to get website traffic when Google won't send them:
1. Be active on Social Media.
Use social media to learn more and share about your company and industry. Include your website on your profiles. Respond to comments quickly and stay active. Consider social media advertising.
2. Comment on Blogs
Follow popular blogs for your industry or an industry that is valuable to you. As soon as a new post is published, read it (yes, actually read) and submit thoughtful, helpful comments. Then enter your blog url for the link or better yet, if you have content addressing the subject enter that specific url so it's more useful and unique.
Need help finding brand new blog posts? Try Google Alerts...
3. Practice Guest Blogging
Establish connections with sites similarly themed to your own. Your audience is seeking like-minded content elsewhere, so you need to go where your audience is.
Reach out to bloggers and web publishers whose voices you respect in your industry and develop content for their site in exchange for a link back to yours.
Referral traffic broadens your net and cushions you from your own website's SEO volatility. Expanding your site's network of referring sites affords you some insulation from the shocks of the Google search world as its algorithm changes repeatedly.
4. Research Your Competition
What are your competitors or companies you aspire to be more like doing to improve their website traffic? Try using software like BuzzSumo to check out what your competitors are up to. Services like this help analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find out what people are reading (and talking about), and use those same topics to increase traffic to your website.
5. Remember Traditional Outbound Marketing
Don't forget that in our age of digital correspondence sometimes the BEST way to stand out is to use more traditional outbound marketing like a 3D mailer. Also make sure your ads and print materials promote your website and you actively mention it to potential customers. If it fits your industry, use trade shows to keep your company in front of prospects and be sure your website is promoted as a valuable resource. Which brings me to...
6. Make Sure Your Website is a Valuable Resource
You've heard "Content is King" enough that it could be vomit-inducing. But think about it. Not only does relevant, helpful content help with SEO via keywords, it helps real people find value in your website. Resist the urge to use your website for pure promotional purposes and add educational content to it. That's what keeps customers coming back and compels them to tell other people about your site, there by increasing your traffic.
If you'd like more information on all the ways to get traffic and leads when Google won't send them, please contact us today.