And when I say traffic, I don't mean any old traffic.
I mean relevant traffic from people interested in your offering, that are ready to buy, enquire or take a desirable action.
If your website sells places on training courses, then you'll be needing traffic from people looking for training courses. You aren't interested in visits from people looking to buy a car. Sure, those car-buyers might generate traffic to your website, but they aren't useful to you because you don't sell courses with 3.0-litre turbo engines in British racing green.
Getting 2,000 visits a month to your website? Not getting the results you want? It's pretty likely the traffic is irrelevant. You need to draw in traffic from visitors interested in your product or service.
50 relevant visits is far more valuable to you than 2,000 irrelevant visits.
When you promote your website in the Search Engines, everything is based around search terms (or keywords). It's what your potential customer pipes into Google, Yahoo or Bing just before they get a list of results they'll be able to visit.
Before you promote your web page(s) in Search Engines, you need to know what to search terms you should be targetting. This means finding out what your potential customers are physically searching for, and how many searches were completed for those terms recently.
You then need to pick out the terms which are most suited to your needs:
Just like any market research, you'll need to review this research on a regular basis to make sure you're still targetting an active market.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Campaign
Once you've identified the search terms you need to optimise for, these terms need to be placed in all the right parts of your web site code and content so that the search engines can see your pages are relevant for these terms. Since this is all done on your web site, it's called 'on-site optimisation'.
You'll need your researched search terms in your:
All Greek to you? Hire a good web development company to get this done for you.
Since your competition can get up to the same level of 'on-site' optimisation, the other major ranking factor is the number of targeted, relevant, quality links pointing to your pages (and not just the home page).
Links essentially count as votes for your page(s), pushing up your ranking position for your targeted search phrases. So fairly obviously, you'd need to build links from other web sites to your pages to attain high rankings.
Many companies hire agencies to manage this process and build the right types of links for them.
Pay-per-click Marketing (PPC)
It's still important to target the right search terms in PPC, as you don't want your advert showing up unless it's highly related to the search that a user has just performed. So you'll still need to do search term research to figure out effective terms to target.
So once you have your search terms sorted, it's a case of creating ads that work - each ad should be:
Getting click-throughs on your ads from interested users is only half the battle. You still need to convert those clicks into enquiries. To do this, your landing pages (the page shown after clicking on an advert) MUST be specifically written for the advert that was clicked on. This usually means producing dedicated landing pages for each advert you run to maximise conversion rates.
For example, let's say your advert is shown when a search is performed for 'paediatric first aid training course'. Your ad might mention a £10 discount. When the user clicks on the ad, the page they end up on needs to be specifically about that paediatric training course, clearly showing the benefits, venue, price with discount and a big 'book now' button.
If you simply send them to your home page, the chances they'll convert into a sale are slim.
Press Releases / PR
Online or offline, getting your name and website address in the press is going to bring you traffic. Consider writing press releases for PR web sites, or local newspapers and magazines. Often looking for content, these publishers don't always charge for this.
If you're getting articles published online, make sure you get a link to your web page included.
Creating content that your potential customers are interested in and want to read is a no-brainer. A blog will enable you to create and publish articles on your web site which can then be found in search engines.
Bonus side effect: Writing good articles will encourage other users to link to your web site - improving your Search Engine ranking!
To make the best use of a blog, you need to look at writing at least 4 articles per month - but the more the better. Each article you create will increase your 'surface area' in search engines and therefore leads to increased monthly traffic potential with each post.
Sometimes you'll get visitors to your website that are interested in your products or services but aren't quite ready to buy yet. But that doesn't mean they aren't going to buy from you in future!
Once your potential customer is on your page, you need to do your very best to ensure they take the action you want them to take, be that a purchase, enquiry or download of a brochure.