Google dominates search, both organic and paid and Facebook dominates social. Do they dominate your website traffic too?
Make no mistake, it is great if Google sends you lots of relevant visitors and it is equally nice if Facebook is also a major source of traffic. But depending on only one or two of these sources for the bulk of your traffic is a recipe for disaster.
You have to look at all possible avenues from where you can promote your business. Let us look at some of these.
You should be getting a healthy amount of traffic directly which is only possible through brand building efforts. More of your visitors and customers should remember you. So, it is important that you regularly touch base with existing customers and reaching out to new ones. Two obvious brand building efforts are listed below.
First and foremost, you focus on providing quality service and solicit feedback. And it is important that you convert customers to your marketing extensions.
Getting more people to know you by name is important. Use all avenues and opportunities for this. Create brochures, gifts, business cards with consistent branding information. Focus all your offline business activities to incorporate brand building.
The oldest form of online marketing. Email marketing is still a key marketing channel. The bulk of business communication today is email. This is still the best source for communicating with your customers and done right can drive a good portion of traffic to your website.
Have a consistent email marketing plan, generate quality content and send to a fixed time schedule. Integrate it with your website and social media to get more effective results. Use third party email managers like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or iContact for better control and management of the campaigns.
Online Press Releases
Your business will have something newsworthy from time to time. Press releases are a great way to build your brand and drive visitors to your website. There are paid and free press release sites which will distribute your news. Also make sure you add a copy on your site under the news section.
Craigslist is a strong traffic source for many sites who advertise there. It is simple to use but their usage guidelines are strict, so need to be used with care. There are many other classifieds available, both free and paid.
Other search engines
Depending on your niche, there will be focused Search Tools/Engines. For recruitment there is SimplyHired or Indeed. Also, do not forget Bing and the smaller niche search engines, they can send a good number visitors your way. For ecommerce sites, there are many shopping comparison engines and market places like – buy.com, pricegrabber.com, Ebay and Amazon. So, include them in your online marketing plans.
Other social networks
Though Facebook is the largest social network, there are many networks which can drive visitors to your site. Linkedin is quite large itself and for B2B type businesses, it easily stands up to and in certain niches like recruitment supersedes Facebook. Again check Ning and other smaller networks relevant to the business and industry you are in.
Social sharing sites
Social sharing sites like Stumbleupon, Reddit, Digg and niche networks like Dzone are also strong drivers of visitors to websites. You have to come up with something interesting and sharable.
Referring sites should be sending you a good portion of your traffic. Some of these sites are good for improving ranking in Google and can also send visitors your way. Some examples are Posterous, Tumblr, Scribd, Slideshare, etc.
As you can see, there are many ways you can generate healthy traffic from a wide range of resources. So, while the going is good on Google and Facebook, do not forget to build your safety net for that day when things could go wrong or change.