Grow Your Site Series #3: Building A Snowball Of Traffic To Your Site

What you will learn

  • Why bringing people back to your site is a MUCH more profitable strategy
  • How to give people reasons to come back (other than just fresh content)
  • How to use email as the spine of your overall "snowball" strategy
  • How to increase the size of your snowball with social media marketing
  • Why push notifications are the future for mobile (and how to use them effectively)
  • A complete, step-by-step deployment strategy for creating a "snowball of traffic"

In todays podcast, we’re talking about bringing people back to your site.

A lot of people in the IM space are always chasing after a new source of traffic. A new shiny object.

To get other episodes in this mini-series, and for bonus content, check out the series home page.

The Snowball

One of the easiest ways to build your traffic is to focus on bringing back people who have already landed on your site once before. It’s significantly easier to earn that visit, than find someone completely new.

(Besides, return visitors tend to be more profitable because they’ve already been exposed to your brand and you’ve – hopefully – already established some trust with them.)

The people who click on our affiliate links are loyal readers who often go out of their way to do so. We even get emails from people requesting our affiliate link before they make a purchase. Crazy, I know.

Of course, you need a core source of traffic before you can start bringing people back, but most people never get out of this cycle so it’s important to identify early on.

Also remember, there are no guarantees with Google or any other traffic source and tomorrow’s update could have a significant effect on your business. The one way to bypass that problem is to stop worrying about the tourists and focus on building a loyal audience

So not only do these people convert MUCH better, but they also provide stability (which is a recurring theme in a this podcast series).

A Reason To Come Back

It sounds obvious but it needs to be said; In order to bring people back to your site effectively, you need to offer them a reason to do so.

Fresh and regularly updated content is a great starting point, but there’s still more you can do. For example, when we started Health Ambition, we would tell stories (and even rant) in order to connect with our audience on a deeper level.

In other words, you need to have something interesting to say. You need to give them a reason to come direct to you as opposed to searching in Google. Not easy to do, but it can be done.

Ways To Get People To Come Back

Not long ago, email was the “one thing” people would use to get people to come back to their sites.

And, even though it’s still a powerful medium to take advantage of (and you should be), we’re no longer limited to a single method.

Let’s go over some of the tools/mediums we have at our disposal.

#1: Email

Despite what I just told you, email is the spine of your overall strategy and there are a number of ways you can collect those emails from your visitors.

Now, if you didn’t hear, Google rolled out an update in January to penalize sites with intrusive pop-ups on mobile. (We still use them on desktop, but we’ve replaced our pop-ups with a ribbon on mobile.)

Content upgrades are powerful for collecting emails and should be implemented on blog posts that are getting regular traffic from Google. (These can convert at 10-12%)

We’ve been testing a homepage opt-in — or feature box — on our sites and they’ve been converting really well (up to 15%). We don’t recommend being too aggressive with this one though, as it’s still important to provide people with what they came for.

Finally, you can promote your opt-in pages both within your content and also in your sidebars.

#2: Social Media

Social media can be another good one if you target the right platforms.

At this stage, Twitter is pretty much useless for traffic. (Our giveaway last week generated a measly ~100 clicks from 469 retweets.)​

Instagram and LinkedIn can work well. A ninja trick you can use for these is to synchronize your account with your Google contacts (and same with the phone app) for instant reach. Pinterest did allow this until recently. :(

Building up your social accounts is as simple as getting them in front of your traffic. Have visible links on your site and also at the end of your emails.

Finally, don’t just share you own stuff. Mix media types and don’t be afraid to promote (or boost) posts that perform well. As long as you can keep engagement high, you will see consistent growth.

Pro Tip

We’ve been using a plugin called Easy Social Share Buttons (on CodeCanyon). It’s a little complicated but it is extremely powerful. We highly recommend you check it out.

#3: Push Notifications

Push notifications have come about more recently, and in order to utilize this medium, your site needs have an SSL certificate (https).

These work really well on mobile because they’re browser native, so it’s much less intrusive and it only requires one-click to subscribe as opposed to email. (We’ve seen a comparable CTR with push notification as we do with email.)

We use OneSignal (it’s free). Most people use PushCrew, but we feel it only has traction because they offer good affiliate commissions. You could call it the Bluehost of push notification software.

Note

OneSignal will use your audience to build a retargeting list, but it’s a fair trade off considering it’s free. Just something to be aware of.

Deploying This Strategy

Let’s talk about how you might deploy this strategy for your own site:

  • Start with push notifications
    It takes very little time to setup, and you can send out push notifications when a post goes live almost automatically (it’s just a case of ticking a box).
  • Build a lead magnet and promote it with push notifications
    Build a single opt-in page around your best lead magnet and send traffic to it via push notifications.
  • Add pop ups/ribbons to your site
    Use something like Thrive Leads to build pop-ups/ribbons that also promoting the landing page you’ve already built.
  • Invite your subscribers to follow on social
    Claim all your social profiles and invite your existing subscribers on social (again, you can synchronize with Gmail).
  • Build a lead magnet / promote an opt-in page with push notifications
    Finally, add your Facebook retargeting pixel using Ad Espresso’s caffeine plugin — which allows you set conditions on your advertising campaigns.

Conclusion

If you follow everything we’ve outlined in this episode, you’ll have yourself a reliable “snowball traffic” system that will grow steadily and reliably over time.

Tomorrow, we’re talking about everyone’s favorite topic; outreach and link building. More specifically, we’ll be discussing how you can scale outreach to build links at volume and really take your site to the next level.

See you then!

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1 Comments

  1. Great episode guys – so much actionable info! Love Gael’s tip on syncing your mailing list with your Google contacts too – very smart :-)

    Re. push notifications and OneSignal, “It takes very little time to setup” …!? Seems like a super complicated thing to set up to me! I’ve just signed up, and one hour in and I still don’t know wtf I’m doing, even after reading their documentation! Did you use a dev to set yours up? All I want is a way to notify my site’s visitors of new posts…

  2. also a heads up that your comment thank you page has a missing Thrive short code:

    “Thrive Leads Shortcode could not be rendered, please check it in Thrive Leads Section!”

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