Who want’s more organic traffic to their website?
In traditional media marketing, it was getting eyeballs, in social media marketing it’s getting traffic. While it’s important to drive THE RIGHT traffic, more organic traffic is always better than less traffic.
Build organic traffic to your website and you’re ROI (return on investment) will increase. The more targeted the traffic, the more your ROI increases.
Build organic traffic
Sure, it’s easy to get paid traffic to your site — you simply pay Google a lot of money and they’ll be happy to send traffic to your site. If you don’t have $1000’s, you have to build organic traffic.
Organic traffic comes from earned and owned media.
Owned media refers to your website, as well as spaces you control on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. According to Forrester, owned media provides additional outlets to extend your brand presence and build your brand image.
Earned media refers to shares you earned through brand behaviors online and off. Earned media includes both amplification of your content and generating word of mouth from consumers. Kimberly Whitler, on Forbes, has this to say about the importance of word of mouth:
the most valuable form of marketing—the one that consumers trust above all others and the one that is most likely to drive sales for your company
And, Nielsen finds 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. In effect, word of mouth de-commercializes your message, even if consumers simply re-share your content.
But, there’s another thing at work in earned media and it’s what prompts advertisers to pay millions to celebrities to promote their brand. By endorsing the brand — even though a tacit endorsement such as sharing or liking — the celebrity (or micro-celebrity on your social network) adds their own brand image to that of the brand. If word of mouth comes from someone smart, the brand seems smarter, from someone sexy, the brand seems sexier, someone successful, the brand seems more successful. And, users who see the recommendation pop up in their newsfeed or Twiter feed, think they’ll be more like the person sharing if they buy the brand.
A system to build organic traffic
Take a look at the cool infographic created by RazorSocial (via Canva) on how to get your blog post shared 1000 times. Of course, this isn’t the only way to build organic traffic, but I love some recommendations.
So, as is my custom, let me share my own insights using the infographic as a tool.
Organic traffic through killer content
Of course, it all comes down to creating killer content. Frankly, without valuable content, organic traffic isn’t going to happen and it won’t help much if you do drive organic traffic.
In fact, the practice of creating messages that over-promise (so-called clickbait) prompted Facebook to wield a heavy hammer to shut down the worst offenders.
Creating killer content means creating a good headline (one that tickles the fancy of potential readers) and contains relevant keywords (that appeal to Google and other search engines) is a must, but don’t forget other on-page SEO best practices.
BTW, using a number in your title DOES significantly increase your shares.
Make sharing easy
Include social share buttons on your website and email marketing campaigns to optimize sharing. Including the number of shares increases sharing by providing social proof.
And, don’t forget Pinterest — make your images pin-worthy. SocialRazor recommends Canva, which is an excellent choice for creating images. But, don’t stop there. Think about creating images others want to share in their own posts, such as the infographic below. This really gives your content legs.
Think about including some of your best information as quotes within your content. Quotes make your posts easily scannable by busy visitors — they act as a kind of executive summary. Add a click-to-tweet button like the one below (or other options) to spread your content.
Including a click to tweet button increases the chances these juicy morsels will get shared across social networks. Tweet: Including a click to tweet button increases your social shares — http://ctt.ec/ptddl+
BTW, I’m not crazy about using Twitter cards. My Twitter is so packed, I find all those full-size images annoying (much like the explosion of videos in my newsfeed). But, hey, test them out and see if they work for your audience. I happen to like this version (despite the awkwardness of the link) because it’s trackable. I love metrics.
Boost organic traffic by sharing
Be sure to share your own content on all your owned social networks — owned media.
Any number of tools can help and I use several. My major tool for social sharing is SproutSocial. SproutSocial makes it nearly effortless to share your own content or curate content from other great bloggers. When sharing content, it’s important to craft a good update/tweet … and schedule the content to post when your target market is using the social network. For instance, the optimal time to share on LinkedIn is usually after lunch, when many business people experience a little downtime and want something lighter, like surfing the ‘net. For consumers on Facebook, evenings are optimal.
Sharing communities build organic traffic
I use Paper.li, but ScoopIt works well, too. On some client sites, we’ve built communities right into the website and these communities help share content.
Your subscribers are also a valuable community. Some bloggers share an update every day so subscribers see all the new posts. I send an email about once a week containing the 5-6 latest posts from my blog. If you want, there are lots of plugins to bring your Facebook or Twitter feeds to your website and send posts from one social network to the others (not that I recommend either).
This is a major source of new traffic. Finding influencers and enlisting their help to spread your message engages not only the influencer but their entire network. I’m approached every day with great content from other bloggers and I appreciate seeing what others write about. It helps in crafting my own posts and builds social capital for making similar requests for sharing my content. (Using a different click-to-tweet option).
For my money, blog outreach gives you the biggest bang for your buck!
Every target market reacts differently and what works changes quickly. Monitoring your results is critical for success. Everything I posted here could be wiped out with a new algorithm change or at the whim of some social network executive. By monitoring your results, you know what’s working and can optimize your results.
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