How to Drive Website Traffic and Convert Visitors into Subscribers
By Julia Nitschke May 25, 2017
What’s the point of a website if no one sees it? And why write emails if no one receives them?
It’s not enough to just create a website. You need to drive traffic to that content to connect with a larger audience. Why? Because more people visiting your website means more potential email subscribers. And when you have more people on your website and signing up to your valuable email list, it becomes easier to sell your product or service.
To help you identify ways to drive website traffic, there are three easy steps every business owner should keep in mind:
1. Get visitors to your website
2. Keep them there
3. Optimize the sign up experience
Let’s get started!
1. Get visitors to your website
There are a lot of ways to drive people to your website. The three I’m going to focus on are social media, partnerships and increased company visibility.
Use social media
Social media helps you reach new audiences in unique ways. By posting articles and supporting media on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and StumbleUpon, you can increase traffic to your website.
But which platform is best? Social media is changing every day. Data from Pew Research Center shows that Facebook remains the most popular social media site, with “nearly eight-in-ten online Americans (79 percent) now using Facebook, more than double the share that uses Twitter (24 percent), Pinterest (31 percent), Instagram (32 percent) or LinkedIn (29 percent).”
Overall though, the best platform to be on is the one that your target audience is already on. Each of these platforms will capture a different audience, so it’s important to identify where your target audience likes to spend their time so you can follow suit.
Use Google Analytics and/or the analytics provided by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to track engagement and see where your audience is most engaged. Or, check out the social profiles for brands that have similar audiences to you. Where are they most active? Those platforms are probably ones you should have a presence on, too.
How are you getting your share of attention there? You could include links to your company’s social media pages on your website.
Also, include links so that people can share your content on their personal social media pages. Noah Kagan includes a side panel to the left of all of his blog posts so that viewers can share the posts to their personal social media accounts directly:
Try this: Move your social media links out of the header where they may blend in and use contrasting colors and large icons to draw the eye. This makes it easier for people to connect with you on various social platforms and spread awareness of your content and brand.
Timing is important
Social media posts tend to get buzz when they’re first published. However, the lifespan of these posts is relatively short; according to Wisemetrics, Facebook posts get 50 percent of their global reach in just 30 minutes.
This means that the timing of your posts is essential. Track your posts to see how they perform in terms of views and engagement, and determine which time is optimal to get the most interactions.
Try this: Post at different times of the day to test engagement. Create a series of posts that are similar in content, and try posting Monday morning, Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening. While engagement based on the day of the week may vary a bit, this will give you a good idea of the optimal time to post.
Find people to share your content
Partnerships are key.
Whether it be through social media or email marketing, find customers and people in your field to work with you and share your content. By doing this, you will reach a brand new audience to connect with.
Here at AWeber, for example, we often include quotes in our blog posts from important leaders in the digital marketing industry:
And to encourage sharing, we include an option for readers to tweet the quote directly from the post.
The hope is that whoever shares your content is connected with others who will also be interested in your content and can continue the sharing… a wonderful, dead-end-proof cycle.
This sharing can lead people to want to learn more about your brand and ultimately, visit your website. Remember, your goal is to increase traffic to help grow your email list, so the more audiences you can meet, the better.
Reply to questions on other websites
People have a lot of questions… so why not answer them? Put your company’s name and voice out there by engaging in conversations happening in the comments of blogs and on Facebook groups.
As you develop brand awareness for your company, you also connect with like-minded people who might be interested in your content – which you can share to send them back to your site. This will ultimately allow you to connect with a larger base of customers and increase your email list too!
You can post in places like Reddit, Facebook groups and Quora. In this Quora example below, an Instagram marketer helps troubleshoot a common account problem:
By answering this question, Matt presents himself as a knowledgeable and helpful source of information related to Instagram.
To drive more traffic back to your site, however, be sure to include links to relevant pieces of content you have on your website.
Try this: Not sure where to start? Type into Google “How to…” and fill in the blank with a problem that your company solves with a product or service that you provide. For example, if you are a music producer, type in “How to begin making music” or “How to find a music producer.” Then, visit the forums that Google retrieves, and answer the questions!
2. Once you’ve got them on your site, keep them there
You did it! You’ve driven people back to your website! But now what?
Keep them there with great content. This will ensure that new visitors to your site hang around so you get a chance to educate them on your product/service, and they can sign up for your email list.
Present amazing content
Take time developing your website content. How do you want to portray your company? Who is your target audience? How will you connect with the right audience? Have you included valuable resources that viewers and customers are interested in? Have you met the customers’ demands?
Emphasize the benefits of your product or service, and include relevant articles that help solve issues common in your industry.
Additionally, create educational, evergreen content that’s relevant to your audience. Evergreen content helps you connect with a larger audience, since the content is applicable at any time.
Creating great, valuable content shows visitors that you’re a reliable and helpful source. It’s also what’s going to convince them that your email list is worth signing up for.
Make it visually appealing
It doesn’t matter if you have the best content in the world… if your content is unpleasant to look at, people won’t stay on the website long enough to view it.
According to research from Stanford, 75 percent of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
You don’t want to lose a potential email subscriber or customer based on lousy website design.
Vary your font sizes and colors to draw the eye around the page. Keep the colors and elements on your site aligned with your brand. Add pictures to intrigue the viewer.
In the example below, notice how Kind keeps the font and color palette consistent with the brand. The pictures also draw the eye around the page and add to the overall message.
Try this: Don’t know how to write code? No problem! Check out these three website platforms that help you build a beautiful website without writing code.
Engage with visitors in comments
Make a space on your website for visitors to leave feedback, comments and ask questions. Interacting with these comments will create a service that is personalized and genuine, making the individual feel valued.
For example, at AWeber, there is a “Chat” section in the bottom right corner for users to communicate with the Customer Solutions Team on demand.
Making each and every visitor feel great about your product or service improves satisfaction. The better the experience, the more likely they’ll be to sign up for your product or service and recommend it to others. And the more recommendations they make, the more people you can get in front of to sign up for your list and product!
Plus, it also gives you an opportunity to share valuable resources that will give them the information they need to find a solution to their problem. If you have a relevant course or ebook, for example, you can send it along and encourage them to sign up.
3. Optimize the sign up experience
Once you have people on your site, it’s time to present your email list in a way that highlights its value and convinces them to sign up.
Make sure your sign up form stands out on the page and communicates the value to subscribers.
In this example, Toms states exactly what you will get in exchange for your email address. They also use a creative call-to-action button:
To help sweeten the deal for on-the-fence subscribers, offer an incentive in return for their email address, such as a free ebook or course.
Now it’s your turn!
By driving more traffic to your website, you can also increase the amount of people who sign up to your emails.
You have all the tools you need to succeed. Now go, drive that traffic!