We talked about search engine optimisation in our last post and we all know it’s a big focus of most site owners but could we be overlooking the power of doing more to drive direct traffic. What percentage of your site visits come from direct traffic? The pie chart on this page is taken from a website that I’m involved with and shows the high number of visits coming from people typing the website name in directly (stats are: 52% direct traffic, 35% referring sites and 13% search engines). I would be interested to know how these percentages compare with your site.
So how can you boost direct traffic? Could you be missing opportunities to promote your site in more direct ways? The great thing about this is that you don’t need to rely on Google’s ever-changing algorithms to get the punters eyeballing your site. You’re in control!
So what sort of things are you doing to get your website name out there? If you’re not already, why not try some of these ideas?
Five tips for boosting direct traffic to your affiliate site
- Printed flyers – Get your domain name in print and start handing them out! For example, is your site about dog training? Then see if you can get your flyers at veterinaries in the area. Use the flyers to tell your story but keep it brief and to the point. Give them a reason to visit your site to read the rest of your intriguing message.
- Business cards, t-shirts, car magnets and stickers – Sounds simple enough but how many cars out on the road do you see flashing a URL? Not many considering the number of websites out there so get in now before everyone’s doing it. Be bold and daring, creating a buzz about your site. Maybe you can get people’s imagination going with an interesting URL such as mysite.co.nz/whosyourdaddy? Or maybe not … but you get the idea. Sites such as vistaprint.co.nz offer a cost-effective way to create affiliate site promotional items.
- Post on forums – How many of you contribute to forums? To be honest, I’m guilty of being in too much of a rush – I’ll find the info I need and move on. But there are great opportunities to be had by posting and including your domain name, either in your comments or signature. If it’s a worthy contribution on a high profile forum, there’s a good chance it’ll get some free exposure, and all it cost you was a few minutes of your time.
- Comment on blogs – Similar to forums, here is another opportunity to flash your site around. While it’s probably advantageous if the blog is on a topic related to your affiliate site it doesn’t need to be, it could just be a very popular blog that you enjoy reading. Make a comment and enter your name as mysite.co.nz, easy! And because everyone loves reading the comments, you can guarantee it will be seen. This technique can also be used on other popular sites like YouTube. Why not try it on this blog?
- Create a strong brand – A good website will also work at building a strong brand that stays with people and is closely aligned to the site’s niche. For example, many bloggers go directly to copyblogger.com because it’s done a great job of branding itself. Some other examples include amazon.com or trademe.co.nz – companies that are built around their brand and their website. For many businesses their website is an afterthought where it should be an integral part of their marketing plan. Your marketing efforts and affiliate site should go hand in hand, flowing harmoniously as one golden thread, from those initial touch points right through to conversion.
I’ve only mentioned five suggestions here but there’s plenty more and hopefully I’ve got you thinking along these lines so you’ll never miss another opportunity to etch your affiliate site into the consciousness of every web user out there!
I thought I’d just finish up with some helpful hints to keep in mind when boosting direct traffic.
Important tips when promoting direct traffic to your site
Keep the following hints in mind when using the methods mentioned above so you can maximise their potential.
- Think about how you will track the promotions effectiveness – It’s one thing to promote your site but you really want to know how well it worked. Why not use a special link that is unique to your promotion e.g. dogtraining.co.nz/flyer or mention a special coupon they can use to get a free e-book?
- Offer an incentive for people to go to your affiliate site – What’s in it for them? Make them want to remember your site and type it in as soon as they get the chance to go online. It could be a discount, a freebie or just something unusual to get the talkers talking!
- Choose a good domain name – This advice may seem a little late if you’ve already setup your site but to be honest if you’re trying to promote www.youll neverspellthis.com then you’ve created a rod for yourself – maybe switch to something that’s easy to remember. Check out this helpful article on seven things that make for a good domain name.
So tell us what have you done to boost direct traffic to your affiliate site?