If you can’t create online traffic, you won’t generate leads for new business.
Your ad agency’s blog should be a central component of your social media strategy for new business. It personalizes your agency and can become an appealing magnet to quickly build a sizable targeted pipeline of prospects. But, you can’t just “build it and they will come.” You must employ proactive tactics to jump-start and grow your online traffic. The more targeted traffic you can generate, the more inbound new business leads you’ll create. No traffic, no leads.
Here are some of my personal tips to generate traffic to your blog. This list isn’t an exhaustive list of tactics but has some core “to do’s” to help get you started. Just be sure that someone from your agency is in charge of implementing it.
- Create an initial base of quality content. Before turning up the traffic, develop a program for writing. When I work with agencies, I challenge and coach them to write 30 posts in 30 days. The tight time frame helps to develop a system for writing good content quickly.
- Write content that is evergreen. You want to get the best return on your time investment. Don’t waste time on dated content which is seasonal with a short shelf-life. Create content that will be relevant for many years.
- Optimize your blog’s content for search. Identify the key words that your target audience will most likely use to find you. Use these words consistently in your posts’ titles and copy.
- Be sure to print your blog’s web address everywhere. Include it in your printed collateral materials and on business cards as well as in your online profiles and in your email signature.
- Knowledge is power. Get in the habit of checking your blogs’ analytics frequently. Your readers will guide your writing and let you know what type of articles they find to be most appealing.
- Don’t be afraid to repurpose older blog content through your multiple social media channels using tools such as SocialOomph and HootSuite Pro. Posts that I’ve written seven years ago continue to generate significant traffic to my blog.
- Identify your audience in your post titles. This is especially helpful when you repurpose your content via Twitter and an important part of SEO for your blog. Here’s an example of one of my post titles: “Why You Need Content for Ad Agency New Business”. This is one of the reasons my traffic is so targeted. The titles connect with the content to the intended audience.
- Add share buttons. I’m amazed at the number of blog sites that forget to do this. It’s important to make your content sharable.
- Consistently repurpose content to your social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus using Hootesuite Pro. I have a schedule for how my posts will be republished that is similar to a media schedule. It allows me to maintain an online presence 24/7. But remember, the rate of repurposing content is different from Twitter than it would be in Facebook. I re-share older content via Twitter at a rate of one post every couple of hours over a twenty-four hour period, but I only repurpose two posts per day through my personal Facebook account.
- Add your content to social media bookmarking sites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon. One article that I had written has created over 1 million unique page views after it became viral on StumbleUpon.
- Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality. Use trackbacks and pings. These are notification methods that allow blogs to communicate and link to one another. This helps to enhance your SEO.
- Create a Feedburner account. It allows your blog to be read on feed readers like Feedly. This free service also turns your feed into a newsletter and even provides a subscribe form for your site.
- Do some guest posting by writing and publishing an article on someone else’s website or blog. You can attract a growing prospective client audience through guest posting in the right places and getting in front of the right people. It’s also a good strategy to build your site traffic by allowing guest posting on your blog. Here’s an example of a guest post: “Ad Agencies Should Stop Faking It – Create Digital Content”.
- Submit your blog to directories. They are an excellent source of traffic for your blog. They also are a benefit by providing back-links to your blog which will improve your visibility in search.
- A good tactic to increase traffic and provide a positioning of expertise is to interview other prominent bloggers in your target audience’s industry. Your own credibility will improve by association. Here’s an example: “Mark Schaefer Addresses the Controversial Subject of Scoring Social Media Influence”.
- Act as a reporter. Use your blog to gain media credentials at relevant industry conferences. You can use the event to create content and prospective client connections. I just returned from the 3% Conference held recently in San Francisco and saw a spike in traffic during this event by providing timely updates and insights.
- Optimize your blog: Pages on your blog can be optimized to attract readers and potential clients. Organize content by creating categories that will enable readers to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. You can also do this in sub-titles, bullet points and lists. This will also enhance your search engine traffic.
- Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll. I include a list of other websites and blogs in my sidebar. Many of these links are recipricated.
- Setup a Google account for Sitemap. which is like an index in a book. It provides Google the structure of your site. There are many tools and WordPress plugins available that can create a sitemap for you.
- Increase blog traffic with Google Plus. The first step is to create a comprehensive profile or page that fully describes who you are, your expertise, what your blog is about, and what makes it special. Also publish your new posts through Google Plus. I’ve personally seen an increase in search engine rankings to my posts that were shared through my Google Plus account.
- Grow your audience by developing relationships with your readers and allowing and responding to comments. Invite your readers to participate and make it a genuine two-way communication by responding.
- Comment on other blogs in your niche as a regular routine. When you comment, be sure to also leave your name and the URL of your blogsite. When people read your comment and see the link to your name or website, they often will check you out. This is a great way to quickly build awareness for your blog among the people that are in your niche.
- Utilize SlideShare. First, create a SlideShare profile that will be used for your blog. Be sure to include a description as well as your blog’s URL. Every presentation you upload to SlideShare should include your blog’s URL within the presentation slides. When you upload a presentation to SlideShare, be sure to publish a blog post and embed the presentation within the post. Also, turn popular blog posts into SlideShare presentations. Here’s an example: “SlideShare: Steve Jobs’ 10 Presentation Tactics”.
- Create and upload videos that are relevant to your audience. Include your keywords in your video descriptions and add transcriptions for SEO. Be sure to include your blog’s URL.
- Participate and be real. You need to be an active participant in the social media space and interact with your readers. My personal life and my writing are intertwined. Here’s a post that I wrote which was more of a personal nature, “I have lost my most faithful companion”. Writing a personal post such as this was therapuetic for me, but it also struck an emotional cord with my readers. I had over 1,000 responses to this article. Remember, people want to work with other people that they know, trust and like. It shouldn’t be all business.
- Repurpose content through an eNewsletter. I send out a newsletter twice a month to a list of over 33,000. The content is usually 3 of my newest, highest trending articles. This creates a significant amount of traffic to my blog. You can use services such as The List for your initial data base of email addresses.
- Don’t over promote! This will negatively impact your traffic. Create content of value and keep your focus on the needs of your audience. I find the more work that I do on behalf of my readers, the more appealing my site becomes.
Building a high-traffic blog for new business is a challenge. I hope these tips will provide you with ideas that will help you to have more new business opportunities.
Additional content marketing articles that may be of interest:
- Why You Need Content for Ad Agency New Business
- Ten Toughest Content Marketing Challenges for Ad Agency New Business
- 10 Idea Starters to Keep Fresh Content Churning
- David Ogilvy: Writing Tips for Ad Agency New Business
- The 40-25-35 Formula for Effective Writing