There are plenty of strategies to follow to build an initial website traffic base on your blog or company website. These strategies include consistent posting of content, following SEO best practices, doing some guest blogging, and building social media accounts from scratch.
There aren’t as many strategies that outline how to turn the traffic you’ve built into a tool that will help you build your business organically. To do so, you need to align content creation with the traditional marketing funnel and continue to build trust in what you’re teaching.
If your content is positioned and framed correctly, your readers will follow you down the path you’ve created for them. Before we get too far ahead, let’s take a look at how you can build a traffic flow in the first 90-120 days of your blog or website being live.
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How to Build Your Initial Website Traffic Base in 120 Days
There’s a misconception out there that you can post articles on your blog, and the traffic will come. Creating content is only half the battle. The rest comes through activity away from your blog and what you do to promote your content. It’s all a part of a comprehensive content strategy.
There are two things you should do in the first 120 days of creating content for your blog:
1. Publish at least one blog post per week on your site.
2. Aggressively pursue guest blogging opportunities in your niche, and write as many of these posts as possible quickly.
This strategy may sound different than what you’ve heard before. The reason behind it is this: If you only publish content on your site and aren’t building an authoritative voice in your niche, you’re yelling down an empty hallway.
Guest blogging exposes you to new audiences in your niche, which otherwise may not learn about you. An added benefit is that you start to earn backlinks from other sites seen as an authority. These backlinks share a site’s domain authority with your own. As your blog’s authority grows, you can be more competitive.
When you’re more competitive, you rank better in search engines like Google. As you rank better in search engines like Google, you’re more likely to earn more clicks on your articles. Once you’ve created some content it’s good practice to build a social media outlet or two to start sharing it with the world. Don’t get addicted to social media, though. Use it as a tool, not a vehicle for your content.
There’s a difference. Any website traffic is excellent, but the right website traffic is what matters most.
When you have a reader’s attention, the next step is to activate that attention. The type of content you create in this stage of the “funnel” is very different from what you make to get people’s attention.
How to Activate Traffic With Mid-Funnel Content
Once you’ve built awareness, you have started to build an audience. When that audience begins to trust what you’re teaching, your audience becomes a following. When your followers equate trusting you to work with you, your followers become your clients. To shift your audience to a following, you need to show them what you do, why they should care / how it makes their lives better, and that you can deliver on the promises your content creates.
There are a few types of content marketing that are powerful at this stage:
- Case studies
- Customer testimonials
- Data-driven whitepapers
- Downloadable guides
Let’s check each of these out.
A well-constructed case study outlines how your product, service, or coaching helped customers make their lives easier or solve a challenging problem. The study outlines what the issue was, and the pain points your customer was having and how the application of what you offer helped ease that pain.
Your reader should see themselves in the shoes of the person or company you feature in the study. When they can, they see how working with you could make their lives better or easier, because it has already worked for someone else.
Customer testimonials are golden. When you share these with your following, it’s great social proof.
People like to see that other folks like them have been successful working with you. This proof eases fears that working with you won’t be worth their investment, or that, worse, you aren’t who you say you are. Written customer testimonials are great, but video testimonials are even better. If you can convince a successful customer of yours to let you film them for a few minutes chatting about their pain points before working with you, and how you helped, that can be excellent social proof. It’s also okay if they do a little self-shot video on an iPhone or something similar, but quality control can be challenging.
People trust video testimonials because they seem organic. The person giving the testimonial speaks from the heart, speaks from their experience in working with you. Sometimes it’s worth giving a little away to get these testimonials done. Consider setting aside a small budget to do so.
People might need a little incentive to be willing to appear on camera, so incentivize them!
Every niche has its quirks. Some things are unique about it, and there are typical problems that people share. When you dig into the data surrounding these common problems and share insights with your audience, you’re putting proof behind the theory.
What are some of the common problems people in your niche face? How can you develop a survey that assesses these problems to pull back data points? When you have data points, you’ll start to see patterns in the data. These patterns will be interesting to your following, as they’re likely not something they have seen before.
After all, you’re the one doing the data collection, so how could they have? Turning insights into a whitepaper outlining your research to your following is a way to build trust through teaching. This whitepaper can be given away in return for an email address or downloaded without expecting anything.
It should be easy to read, packed full of data, and easy for your followers to share.
As a blog or website owner, you should have a firm grasp of the three to four core concepts about which you will write articles. Developing in-depth, value-packed guides around these concepts is a fantastic way to deliver value to your followers and continue to build trust.
You can make these guides available on your website for free. Or, if you’re starting to monetize your site, at a small cost for a download. Guides are a great way to develop thought leadership and show at a detailed level how your service, product, or offer is different from your competitors.
When you outline this competitive advantage in detail, people will be more likely to consider working with you and less likely to turn to a competitor.
Converting Trusting Followers Into Paying Customers
At the bottom of a traditional marketing funnel are followers who trust you. They see how you can make their lives easier and have the interest to buy what you’re selling. Your job as a creator, at this stage, is to capitalize on this intent.
The content you create at this stage is very different than the content you create to earn initial website traffic. That content can work with a broader range of keywords related to your niche. Low-funnel content requires you to work primarily with buyer-intent keywords.
Buyer intent keywords signal someone plans to make a purchase. Consider the difference between the terms “project management” and “project management software.” When someone searches for project management, they may have an initial interest in the subject at a personal level, be on a job search, are starting to write a paper for a college class or a myriad of other things.
When someone searches for project management software, they’re more than likely looking for a software solution to manage projects. This person has buyer intent, where the person searching for project management probably does not. The content you create around these intent-driven keywords should be packed with Calls to Action (CTAs) and other ways to collect your reader’s information.
If a reader is engaging with a piece written around an intent keyword, they’re about ready to take a shot at what you have to offer!
So, as you can see, content flows downstream from awareness to interest to action.
Your job as a content creator is to nurture your readers and turn them into followers. When they are following you, build their trust, and they will be more likely to buy. When they start to consider a purchase, provide them with content that shows your product or service’s direct application or service and how it will make their lives better.
There are some twists and turns along the way, but maintaining this general mindset is a great way to set your content strategy for short-term and long-term success.