Ah, yes… website traffic.  It’s a bit like kids and Halloween candy:  something you just can’t have enough of.  No matter how much web traffic your site gets, chances are you – or someone in your company – believes it’s not enough.  So herewith, a quick guide to useful web traffic-boosters with integrated marketing tactics.
Let’s look first at the online elements, since they probably seem most “connected” to the goal…

Search-engine promotion

This is the process of raising your site’s visibility in the listings produced by the various search engines (Google, Yahoo!, msn, etc.) in response to user keyword searches.  It comes in two flavors:


These are the “natural” rank-ordered listings for a given keyword sequence that result from the algorithms used by each search engine, undistorted by any sort of advertising or sponsorship payments.  Your site’s ranking in these listings for relevant keyword phrases is of obvious importance, since a higher ranking generally means a greater probability of a click-thru visit.  There is a vast trove of information – and a small army of specialists – on Search Engine Optimization, devoted to tracking the evolution of the internal algorithms used by the major engines and translating that knowledge into rules for raising the ranking of your website.  To help save your time and money, though, we’ve compiled a summary of some fairly simple but useful rules for this and the other online means in our White Paper, “Best Practice Methods for Driving Qualified Web Traffic”.

Pay per click

Here the search engine essentially sells you the right to override its own algorithms and display a link to your site – plus a brief ad message – on the right-hand side of its rankings every time a user searches on a given keyword-phrase.  In effect, you’ve “bought” a defined set of keywords;  but in fact you pay only when a visitor actually sees your paid listing and clicks through to your site.  The technology behind pay per click gives you terrific ability to fine-tune how much you spend, what keywords are worth how much, the value of site visitors (time spent, pages visited, lead conversion, etc.) …but only if you are diligent about analyzing the wealth of metrics available and testing alternatives against your best present scheme.

Relevant directories

You might think of these as the online descendants of the old 8-pound bound business directories.  Some are general, such as business.com, allestra.com, dmoz.org and goguides.org.  Others are industry-specific… for example ThomasNet.com, the Web version of the Thomas Register, with its long history of importance to manufacturing.  It benefits your site in two ways to be listed with as many of these directories as sensible:  1) the directories themselves have non-stop traffic, and those interested in your product or service can find you there and click on over;  and 2) the directory websites themselves are visited and indexed by the search engines’ spiders, so the presence of your link there makes your site more likely to be indexed.  Further, your site’s Google PageRank will go up because of the authoritative weight imputed to these directories.

Press releases

You may be thinking “Gotcha!” on this one:  aren’t press releases an offline activity??  Well, sure… unless you also submit them to an online news distributor such as PRweb, in which case the same good things happen as with the online directories:  your site gets direct visibility to readers of your news, and the search engines love your site a bit more (and still more, the more often they find links to your site there!).  Oh… and that “About {YourCo}:” standard blurb at the bottom of your every press release? …clearly it needs to include a link to your site and be loaded with your important keywords.

Blogs & podcasts

These are great vehicles for establishing your company as a bastion of thought leadership, and your key people as domain experts.  Because business people prefer to buy from people who know stuff, this will invariably work to send prospects and business your way …although the effect may be tough to measure and the timeframe may seem glacial.  Blogs also provide the opportunity to sprinkle the content liberally with your significant keywords, and to supply a convenient link to key pages or offers on your site.

Reciprocal linking

All the benefits noted with “Directories” above accrue to those who succeed in getting links to their site on other consenting websites …and the more so, to the extent that those sites’ PageRanks are higher than yours.  Of course, you should stick to sites of companies with a legitimate connection with yours, avoiding so-called “link farms”;  your partners, vendors, customers, associations and trade pubs are good categories to start with.

Email “blasts” and e-newsletters

For B2Bs, this is typically the primary vehicle for nurturing prospects over time.  You’ve got their eyeballs online;  so in addition to the email’s specific content, give them both reason and means to visit your web site.  If you’re running a special offer in print ads, run it here too:  just box it over on the right-hand side.  So far, there’s no law against sponsoring your own newsletter!

Now, a quick look at how the various offline elements of the marketing mix can help…

Direct mail

OK, it’s old-fashioned (all that licking of yucky glue, etc.), but you still gotta do it …particularly where you’re working off a raw list and don’t yet have permissions to do anything more intrusive.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be used in support of e-methods.  At a minimum, feature your site’s URL prominently in every mail piece.  For even better results, give the reader a reason for keying in that URL by means of a unique offer on a special landing page.  And try to make it as easy for them as possible:  preferably a short URL, with the unique bit to the left of the domain name (e.g.:  offer.yourco.com;  not yourco.com/articles/whitepapers/specialoffer).  As a bonus, you’ll also get much improved results-tracking for your direct mailing!

Advertising and trade shows

We grouped these primarily because they happen in a defined time window, which makes them very amenable to “limited-time offers” that require a visit to your web site for fulfillment (and lead capture).  Again, the comments just made about URLs and landing pages apply here as well.  Even an ongoing “image”-type ad, or trade show presence with no particular web-tied offer, should still give prominent visibility to your site’s URL.

Print collateral

These pieces are typically hard-copy and “timeless”, so not great vehicles for offers.  Even so, they can and should give visibility to your site URL …along with other items that you may not think of as advertising, such as stationery, business cards, spiffs, the sides of your trucks & service vans, etc.

By using as many of the above integrated marketing methods as possible, you’ll ensure that your site is getting its rightful share of Web traffic.  For more in-depth information, do check out our White Paper, “Best Practice Methods for Driving Qualified Web Traffic”.