Get Found Online​​​​


the epic guide to building website traffic & engagement

Getting more customers through your website and social media starts is a process that most people struggle with.  There are no shortcuts to building a relationship with the people that will need and want your services or products.  There are 3 main phases that you will go through if you want to build a successful online presence that is profitable for your company.  This guide will teach you how to master Phase 1.

YOU ARE HERE

PHASE 1:
Traffic & Engagement

PHASE 2:
Lead Conversion

PHASE 3:
Sales & Retention

Phase 1 Step 1

Increase Website Traffic

Your website is your 24/7 sales person.  Your first goal always needs to be getting people to come to your website so it can do its job.  There are two main ways to increase traffic:

  1. Paid Traffic
    You can pay for traffic by running ads that link back to your site.  You can run these ads on search engines like Google or you can run ads on social platforms like Facebook.  Either way, the important thing to remember is that you are either paying money to get someone to see your ad (even if they don't click) or you are paying money when they click.  
    So to get your money's worth, you want to make sure your ads are engaging and that your website is set up to work with the ads and keep their attention.  I'll talk more about that in Phase 2 - Lead Conversion.
  2. Organic Traffic
    In the long run, organic traffic is always going to generate the lowest cost and highest margins on your marketing investment.  Organic is traffic that you do not have to pay for.  

    Essentially, you publish content on your website and social pages that your target audience will like, someone sees that content in a search result or when they are using social media, and they click on it and come over to your site.  So your investment is a one-time cost that goes into creating the content initially instead of having to continually investing more money into paid ads to get the traffic to come in.   This is why it's a smarter investment.

Paid traffic can be a great way to get started if your site doesn't have much traffic or doesn't have much of the right kind of traffic.  It has immediate results where organic takes time to build.  As soon as you start running ads and paying out that money to the ad platforms, you will see an increase in traffic to your site.  But, if you start publishing content right now, it could take weeks before that content generates much traffic.  

That's why it's important to diversify your traffic strategy and use paid for your short-term wins and organic for your long-term investment.

Now, let me break down some activities you can use to start generating that traffic!


How to Use Blogging to Build Traffic

Blogging is the #1 strategy for increasing organic traffic to your site.  There are some common misconceptions when it comes to using a business blog that I encounter all the time, so let me just get those out of the way real quick and then I'll dive into how to get started with your blog and how to make it work for you.

Common Blogging Misconceptions

Misconception #1: Our Customers Don't Read Blogs

While it's certainly good to build a loyal following of fans that want to read everything that you publish, that's not how most people will find your blog initially.  They also don't have to become a raving fan to turn into a profitable website visitor for you.  

Most people will find you because they had a question and they head to Google and start a search for the answer.  If one of the articles in your blog contains the answer, then they find it and discover your brand.

Misconception #2: Blogging is a Quick Win Strategy

The internet contains a LOT of information and you have a lot of competition.  Over time, people will find you and your traffic will grown, but it's not going to happen overnight.  

You will spend months and months creating new content, refining your content, and setting up conversion paths for people to follow.  In the short-term you will need a solid promotion strategy to get that content out in front of people.

Misconception #3: Blogging is Time-Consuming

The time spent creating content is almost always going to be worth the investment.  Everything you publish isn't going to be awesome initially.  

You will need to spend time refining it if it's not generating traffic.  But overall, you will generate more revenue and awareness through blogging than you ever will with old-school tactics and you'll do it for significantly less of an investment.

What Technology Do You Need to Have

This is one of those topics that will have every web developer and marketer fighting it out in the ring to give you the answer that they believe in the most.  All I can say is that I've built 100's of sites over the past 14 years, and I've watched technology and marketing tactics change a lot in that time.  


I've used WordPress personally on my own site for the entire time I've been in business.  I've been using Thrive Architect for the past several years.  I highly recommend them both for a solid website and blog.

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thrive architect logo

Website & Blog Technology

If at all possible, you want to have your blog on the same domain as your website.  If your website is built on a software that supports blogging like WordPress does, then you can have your blog built right into your site like we do: https://sparkitive.com/blog 


If your site software doesn't support blogging, then you can always build your blog on a subdomain like https://blog.yoursite.com and install WordPress on that subdomain.  Being on the same domain means that Google sees your blog and website as being connected and will give a ranking bump to the main site as the blog gains traffic.

Blog Design Technology

The design of your blog articles is important.  You want to make them easy to read and easy to scan if someone is looking for a specific piece of information in the article.  Some software is going to make this simple and even fun to do.  


For example, I placed a Quick Navigation in the sidebar of this page that will jump you down to the information that you find most important.  I also used a lot of styled elements on this page in addition to utilizing blog text and headings to make this article easier to read.  I did all of this in a matter of minutes without having to write code using Thrive Architect with WordPress.

How Frequently Should You Blog

This is another one of those loaded questions.  Most of the advice that you read will recommend publishing at least 10 to 16 new articles on your site every month.  There are numerous studies that show that this increases traffic for all businesses, including B2B.  It's also shown to increase the number of leads you generate through your site.

Quality Over Quantity EVERY Time

My note of caution stems from the old adage of quality vs quantity.  Google is very good at distinguishing quality content from something you threw together to meet your publishing deadline.  It monitors how long someone spends reading an article, if they went to more pages, and a TON of other factors to reach it's conclusions.  


You have to prioritize writing quality content or you won't see the bump in traffic, engagement, or leads that you are looking for.  However, if you can churn out 16 quality articles on new topics every month, then go for it!

Combine New with Optimization and Updates

You don't have to write a ton of new content if you already have existing articles on your site.  You can divide your time between expanding and writing on new, relevant, topics and updating your old articles.  Look at some of your underperformers and work on improving them.    


  • Rethink your keyword strategy
  • Update the design of the content to see if you can increase traffic and engagement
  • Update the article to make sure the information is still relevant
  • Add new information and expand on the topic.
How to Optimize Your Blog

Understand Your Desired Audience 

You need to make sure you understand the people that you're trying to attract.

  • What is going to matter to them?
  • What goals and problems do they have - before they even realize that they need your services? 
  • How busy are they?  Will they read and enjoy longer articles or do they need something that is quick and to the point?
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    Do they prefer their information detailed or more generalized?
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    Will they understand your industry terminology?

Understanding your audience is how you make sure that you attract the right people to your site and ensure that their experience is helpful and positive when they get there.

Think About the Next Step

Once they've landed on a blog article - what is the next step that you want them to take?  Make it easy for them to find and take that step.  You also should make sure the next step is relevant to the content they are reading. 

Utilize the Design to Make it More Enjoyable & Keep Their Attention

Utilize white space, bullet points, bold text, italic text, and headings to help break up the content and make it easier to read in bite-sized chunks.  Include images, video, or graphics to help communicate a point or draw attention to more important elements of the article.

Get More Visitors from Social Media

Social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are great ways to increase the traffic to your site.  You can utilize organic posts and start building a following or you can use paid posts to reach a wider audience.  The challenge is figuring out which channels to use, what to post, and how frequently to use.

What Social Channels Should You Use

Understand the Types of Channels Out There 

There are literally hundreds of social media channels to choose from.  It can be difficult trying to figure out which one will have most of your ideal customers on it.  


For starters, you can look at the types of channels and the type of content that you'll be producing to help your customers.  

facebook icon

Facebook

Images

has image and image gallery posts

Video

has video posts, video channels, and live streaming video

Paid Ads

has paid ads that are affordable and offer a lot of targeting

twitter icon

Twitter

Images

has image and multiple image posts

Video

has video posts, and live streaming video

Paid Ads

has paid ads with a targeting options

pinterest icon

Pinterest

Images

specializes in image posts

Video

has video - but it's complex to use

Paid Ads

has paid ads with a targeting options

instagram

Instagram

Images

specializes in image posts

Video

has video posts, and live streaming video

Paid Ads

has paid ads with a targeting options

snapchat icon

Snapchat

Images

has image and multiple image posts

Video

has video posts, and live streaming video

Paid Ads

has paid ads with a targeting options

linkedin icon

LinkedIn

Images

has image posts

Video

can share videos in your posts

Paid Ads

has paid ads with a targeting options

What Should You Post

Know Your Customers

You'll see me say this one A LOT but it's important.  Posting content that you know will get your ideal customers to engage with you is crucial on social channels.


Social channels use engagement as a signal to determine if they are going to keep showing your content to people.  Platforms like Facebook are focused on making sure that people enjoy the content they see when they are using their platform.  Their algorithms look at the things you click on, like, comment on, and share.  They use that to find similar content to show you.


If your customers are engaging with your content, then Facebook will show them more of if.  So don't be afraid to try a few different things until you find something that works.

Phase 1 Step 2

Get More Engagement

Once you have the traffic coming to your site that you want, then it's time to start focusing on what you're trying to get them to do next.

You want them to get to know you and start building a relationship with them.  You want them to keep reading your content and keep learning what you're teaching them.  This keeps you top-of-mind when they are ready to purchase. 

To begin with, you'll focus on two main places to build engagement... your website and your social media channels.

How to Increase Website Engagement

Increasing engagement on your website is done a couple of different ways.  You can work on getting them to leave a comment and start a conversation with you, get them to read more than one piece of content, or get them to fill out a form and provide their content information.

Talk to them in the Comments

Comments are a great place to start a conversation with visitors.  By asking a question in your article, you entice them to want to answer it.


From there, you just have to make sure that you respond and continue the conversation.  If you're using a software for your blog like WordPress then you'll be able to do this easily.  And if you want to step it up a notch and make it easier to keep up with which comments you've responded to and set up a next-step conversion action for after they leave their comment, then you can look at using Thrive Comments.

Keep Them Reading More Content

In-Line Links 

One of the simpler ways to keep someone reading content is to include a link to another article in the content of your site.  That would be something like suggesting that you learn How to Post Engaging Content on Facebook.

Related Articles

Another option is something like what you see on the side of this article where you link to articles that are related to this one.  If someone enjoys the article that they are currently reading, then they are likely to enjoy reading more articles.

Call to Action Buttons

You can also use call-to-action buttons to get someone to move onto the next piece of content that you think will be beneficial to them.  It's as simple as explaining the value of the next piece of content and providing a button or link over to it.

Get Them to Provide Contact Information

Subscribe to Your Blog

If you are providing content that they will find enjoyable, then they will be willing to subscribe to your newsletter.  This is a great way to further your relationship with them.  You just need to be sure that you publish content regularly and send your newsletter out regularly so they can count on you for information that's helpful for them.

Use Downloadable Offers

You can also write content that you can gate so they are required to put in their contact information in order to access it.  This gives you another way to build your relationship with them as well as track which offers they enjoy.

Get People Interacting on Social Media

You can also work on getting people to interact on social media.  Like I mentioned already, the social channels put a lot of emphasis on engagement when it comes to showing them that people enjoy your content.  Most channels the following ways that someone can engage with you...

Like or React: The simplest way they can engage with you is to like or react on the posts that you publish.

Share: This involves them sharing your post on their own timeline or with friends.

Tagging: Channels like Facebook also allow someone to tag their friends in a post.

Comment: They can add a comment to ask a question or just to share their opinion of it.

Message: Many channels will also allow someone to message you directly.

Click: If you provided a link in your post, they can click it and come over to your site.

Written by Christina Hooper COO & WEB NINJA AT SPARKITIVE

Christina Hooper - COO & Web Ninja

I was blessed to grow up in a small town with a grandfather that owned the local corner store. His hard work and dedication taught me what it is to use your business to build a community.  After working with so many businesses in the last 14 years, I know the power of building relationships.  I believe that in order to succeed, businesses must build relationships - with customers, with each other, and with their communities. Thanks to technology, it is easier than ever before to build relationships with people all over the world and I love that I get to help make that happen. 

My mission is to help businesses get better at building connections with prospects, turn customers into raving fans, and build brands that clients and customers are proud to know.

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