I hear this one a lot: I need more traffic. Okay we all need traffic. Lots of it. But what you think is the problem (not enough traffic) probably isn’t the problem.
Traffic’s easy to get. In fact, you can just buy it at “the traffic store” (Google, Facebook, et al) The question is, “…and then what?”
Where are you sending that traffic? When they land on your site, what are you expecting that traffic to do? To land on your home page, fall in love with you, and pick up the phone and call? That’s like asking somebody to marry you on the first date… it just doesn’t work like a magic bullet like that.
First thing’s first:
Does your website load quickly?
Does your design make a good first impression?
Does your message pass the “5-second test”? (Is it clear what you do, for whom, and why you’re the best option of all the choices they’re considering?)
If not, fix those issues before reading the rest of this post because your users are likely to bounce away anyway.
Once you have the basics covered and you’ve captured their attention enough to keep reading… your site visitors need to trust you and to be sure you’re the absolute right choice for them in order to buy from you, and most importantly– the timing needs to be perfect. If your date isn’t ready to settle down, you’re gonna need to romance them until they are.
Don’t propose marriage on the first date.
If you’re expecting a big commitment when somebody first visits your site, think instead about asking for a smaller action. How can you create a connection with this site visitor so you can ask for something bigger later?
Nurturing cold traffic (they don’t know you yet, it’s their first visit) into warm and then hot (ready to buy!) takes patience. I know that’s hard to hear, but buying something right away from somebody we’ve never heard of before is just not how consumers behave and you probably already know that deep down.
Marketers will tell you it takes anywhere from 7-13+ “touches” before a customer will buy. And back when I studied advertising in school, they pounded into our heads: “repetition, repetition, repetition” — and it’s the same with our site visitors. There are no magic bullets. If you’re feeling frustrated that your site visitors aren’t becoming customers, it could be that you haven’t given them enough opportunity to get to know you.
Instead of asking, “How can I get more traffic?”, first ask, “what steps can I take that will guide this visitor toward a buying decision?”
When you hear people talking about the “sales funnel” this is all that is. Those ‘steps’ are marketing assets that do the work of selling. They include things like a blog, landing pages, ad retargeting, and email marketing.
When a customer first visits your website, they don’t know you, they don’t care about you, and they don’t trust you with their money. Yet. So what can you do? Instead of asking them for the sale, ask them for something smaller — like subscribing to your newsletter, or joining your Facebook group.
If your website is not allowing you to create connections with your visitors, allowing them to get to know you more slowly, you’re going to need more and more and more traffic to find that needle-in-the-haystack client who is ready to buy on their first visit.
And if you’re giving up on the first ask (buy now!), you’re only going to feel defeated. Ask smaller, give them time to see how great you are. Steady wins the race.