by Jared Kimball
You could feel the anxiety in the air.
I looked at my friend, pausing slightly before speaking. He had just asked a common question I hear all the time from small business owners: “How do I get more traffic to my website so I can sell more of my stuff?”
The emotion and passion in his voice came out as a desperate cry for help. I answered his question with another question:
“What makes your online website any different than a regular brick and mortar store?”
Confused by my question, he quickly replied in frustration, “I don’t know."
He thought some more. “A brick and mortar store has people and cars driving by all the time if it’s in a good location.”
“Ah ha!” I blurted out. “That’s exactly it! A brick and mortar store needs to be in a good location to get traffic.”
I went on and showed him how he can get more website traffic by using Google Maps, McDonald’s and a local shopping center.
What You Can Learn From the Mall and Foot Traffic
A website is not much different than a physical store. “Organic traffic” via busy roads and highways attract drivers and pedestrians to physical locations, just like Google and social media attract traffic to websites.
Let’s look at one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the world: McDonald’s.
McDonald's often builds restaurants near shopping centers and malls. They intentionally built locations where people are naturally going already. Then they siphon people from that natural traffic source and convert them into sales.
What if you could mimic McDonald’s by drawing customers from popular online hubs and get more traffic to your website?
You totally can and should!
Here are three techniques to increase website traffic through what I call "promotion hacking."
1. Guest posting
Guest posting is writing guest blog articles on popular websites like the one you are reading right now.
Keap's blog gets natural traffic. I have a relationship with the blog owner and regularly submit guest posts to siphon some of their natural traffic to my website.
I give value and they give right back. We are helping each other succeed.
Guest blogging is a huge topic that I can’t possibly cover in this post alone. Below are some recommended resources you can use to help you leverage the power of guest blogging:
- Guestblogging.com: The ultimate guest blogging resource, hands down. Jon Morrow is the supreme authority in the guest blogging ecosystem, between his years of experience an associate editor at CopyBlogger (one of the largest blogs in the world) before he started his own business.
- QuickSprout: In Chapter 10 of the company's “The Advanced Guide To Link Building," read all about how to use guest posting more effectively to grow your business.
2. The "read, do, and report" technique
Think of one of your favorite blogs you visit regularly.
How many times have you read an amazing post and learned about a technique, tactic or skill that blew your mind away? Did you try out the technique? If you did, did you tell the site owner your results?
People who take the information they learn from a blog post and put it into action are light years beyond everyone else who passively consume the content.
Nothing makes a blog owner prouder than when a reader applies what they are teaching. For example, Infusionsoft by Keap created a dedicated success stories page, on which we proudly promote successful customers to our website visitors.
You can do the same thing for your business in as few as three steps.
First, when you read another mind-blowing blog post, make a note of it and figure out a way you can use it immediately in your life or business.
Second, record your results. Make a note of your current state, whether that’s your number of website visitors, number of email subscribers, number of weekly sales, etc. Then apply the technique and record your results.
Third, share your results with the person you learned from. Email them, create a YouTube video or write a letter. Reach out and share what happened.
They’ll love it, and there’s a good chance they’ll promote your results to their audience.
3. Form alliances with power sites
The most successful businesses form relationships with dozens, if not hundreds of other businesses and they both grow and succeed together.
Need some examples?
PayPal teamed up with eBay. eBay eventually purchased PayPal, then spun them off into their own company again.
AT&T signed a five-year contract with Apple as the exclusive seller of the iPhone when it first came out. AT&T attracted customers as the only company with the iPhone, and Apple leveraged AT&T's huge network of customers to help them become the largest public company in the world.
Airlines create partnerships with other airlines such as the Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam alliances. This allows them to easily provide international flights to their customers without investing the money in creating all the routes themselves.
So how can you create alliances with power sites? Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
What if you reached out to the owner of a popular blog and offered to give away a $3,000 website makeover as a part of a guest post to one lucky reader of his?
Facebook has millions of popular pages liked by your ideal future customers. What if you reached out to the owner of one of those pages and gave them 50 of your books to pass out to anyone who likes their page?
If you’re a service-based business like a website design agency, you could form an alliance with complementary companies, like an SEO firm. Perhaps you could offer exclusive contracts for web design services at lucrative rates for their customers only.
Stop operating in a silo mind frame and get out there and start promoting your business and website. Start leveraging other traffic hubs, just like McDonald’s.
You can generate as much traffic as you want for your website if you take just one of these ideas and start taking action today.