If you’re planning a website or need to generate more website traffic, you need to start by thinking strategically about your market. Here’s some tips to help you.

Your starting point should be to look at how people are currently using the web in your market – both competitors and customers. Search engines account for about 80% of all website traffic. Each search is logged and if you know where to look, you can find out the precise search phrases people use to find companies like your own. This includes data about the number of searches by phrase in each of the main engines and details about the number of web pages competing for that phrase.

This kind of research is essential because it gives you an insight into the latent, and possibly unfulfilled, demand for your service. If there are hundreds of people a day already searching for what you offer and very few web pages competing, you’ll be in an excellent position to generate website traffic and revenues as soon as your website is online. You can optimize for those phrases or bid for them in the pay-per-click engines like Google Adwords.

That, unfortunately, is a dream scenario. Whilst there are and always will be discreet niches to be tapped, the vast majority of businesses have competitors, some of whom will be well established online. Generating more website traffic in this scenario is tougher but far from impossible.

Strategically, this stage is about understanding the level of demand and competition in your market. The next stage is to develop the benefits of your product or service so that you can create an irresistible sales proposition. These benefits could include things that are unique to your business or simply be industry standard benefits packaged together and expressed in such a way that they appear unique.

Successful website marketing is all about testing and measuring every aspect of your promotions. The great thing about the web is that there are now freely available performance monitoring tools that allow you to track the number of people responding to an advertisement, email, promotion and so on at the click of a button. The critical point is to build these mechanisms into your marketing before you start. If your mantra is to test and measure, you will succeed – it’s just a matter of time.

Search engines are critical to any website marketing strategy. With 80% of website visits originating from a search engine, you just can’t afford to ignore them, unless your business is called Ebay or Amazon. There are two ways to generate traffic to your website through the search engines – optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC).

Pay-per-click allows you to drive people to your site – you pay each time a prospect clicks on your advertisement. Many businesses do very well from PPC because they’ve either learned how to make it work or hired professionals to help them. Tactically, PPC is great because it’s so flexible – you can turn it on and off whenever you like.

While we regard PPC as a tactical tool, we see SEO as critically important to the medium to long term visibility of any website. This is why we research the search engines at such an early stage in any project – by understanding how your market is using the search engines, we can get you a head start on the competition. So we ensure that every site we build is search engine friendly and that our clients have the plans and tools that will enable them to build their profiles in the natural search results of the search engines and generate more targeted traffic to their website.

Other tools that may comprise a complete online marketing solution could include :

  • business blogs enabling you to communicate dynamically and personally
  • RSS feeds enabling other sites to display your content and link back to you
  • Opt-in email newsletter publishing systems allowing you to control the flow of information to prospects and customers
  • content syndication – distribution of your articles to article directories and ezines
  • e-commerce functionality and database development
  • affiliate marketing
  • joint ventures with other web businesses
  • and last but not least, comprehensive statistics about your site that will enable you to adjust your site and its marketing to improve your return on investment.

If you want to generate more website traffic, please get in touch. ClickEx.net is a web marketing company offering traffic building and sales conversion services as well as implementation of web site design, build and hosting.