7 Chapter Traffic building In Field of Dreams (1989), the American fantasy film about building a Baseball stadium to attract fans in rural Iowa, the fantasy came true in Hollywood style, but in the real world it’s tougher. Even the best designed sites will fail if there isn’t proactive promotion or a powerful brand to attract visits. Products that succeed are not always the best ones, but rather, reasonably good ones that (a) everyone knows about; and (b) everyone can easily find when they need them. The same is true of web sites. This chapter shows you how to build traffic – how to acquire the right visitors to your site or other forms of online presence in order to achieve the right marketing outcomes for you. You will get a briefing on the different digital communications channels including search engine marketing, online PR, online partnerships, interactive advertising, opt-in email and viral marketing. We will also show you that to succeed with your online communications also means gaining different forms of visibility on partner sites which are themselves successful in traffic building.
7.1 Introduction to traffic building Key aspects of traffic building Targets Traffic quality rather than quantity Techniques Timing
7.2 Search engine marketing - SEO Achieving the highest position or ranking practical in the natural or organic listings on search engine result pages after a specific combination of keywords Search Engine Optimization Paid search marketing or Pay Per Click
7.2 Search engine marketing - SEO Keyphrase analysis Demand analysis Performance analysis Gap analysis Set goals and select keyphrases
7.2 Search engine marketing - SEO SEO strategy • Internal link structures • User behaviour signals • On-page optimization • External linking or off-site optimizations
7.2 Search engine marketing - SEO Maximize quality links from and to different sites – run a link-building campaign
7.3 Paid or Pay Per Click search marketing Similar to conventional advertising Two main advantages The advertiser is not paying for the ad to be displayed PPC advertising is highly targeted PPC has other advantages Competitive and expensive Inappropriate Needs specialist knowledge Time-consuming Irrelevant Good accountability Predictable Technically simpler than SEO BUT Speed Branding Remarketing
7.3 Paid or Pay Per Click search marketing Cost Per Acquisition(CPA) = (100/ Conversion rate %) x Cost Per Click
7.4 Banner advertising • Contextual advertising and behavioural targeting Target more relevant audiences Tailor and personalize ads Remarket or serve an ad to someone who was a previous visitor to your web site • Programmatic ads • Remarketing The practice of delivering display-advertising to either previous visitors of your site or to web searchers seeking out products and terms similar to yours on major search engines • Location-based ads v2 • Campaign automation
7.5 Native advertising Native ads must not disrupt or upset the editorial, but must seemingly and seamlessly blend with the content surrounding it. Example A video appearing alongside a publisher’s own video content, especially one that riffs on the subject matter of the editorial. Or Facebook’s promoted stories that appear alongside users’ status updates and are tellingly often similar in theme. The ads that appears alongside the results of Google searches are a cruder form of native. Goodwin (2014)
7.6 Online PR Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics [its target audience including potential customers and stakeholders]. CIPR (2014) Online influencer outreach and online reputation management Key differences between online PR and traditional PR Creating a plan for online PR Search marketing activities (SEO) Brand engagement activities Buzz-building activities Defensive and crisis PR The audience is connected to organizations The members of the audience are connected to each other The audience has access to other information Audiences pull information
7.7 Online partnerships • Link-building • Affiliate marketing Pay Per Performance form of marketing communications – commission-based arrangement where the merchant only pays when they make the sale or get a lead.
7.7 Online partnerships • Link-building • Affiliate marketing Pay Per Performance form of marketing communications – commission-based arrangement where the merchant only pays when they make the sale or get a lead. • Widgets Different forms of tools made available on a web site or an user’s desktop. They either provide some functionality (calculator) or they provide real-time information (news or weather). • Online sponsorship The linking of a brand with related content or context for the purpose of creating brand awareness and strengthening brand appeal in a form that is clearly distinguishable from a banner, button or other standardized unit.
7.8 Opt-in email Email marketing success factors Creative Relevance Effective email should… Incentive • Grab attention in subject line and body • Be brief and be relevant to target • Be personalized • Provide opt-out or ‘unsubscribe’ option by law • Hyperlinks to web site for more detailed content • Have a clear call-to-action at the start and end of the message • Be tested for effectiveness • Operate within legal and ethical constraints for a country Targeting and timing Integration Copy Attributes Landing page
7.9 Viral marketing • Clever, or shocking idea, or a highly informative idea which makes compulsive viewing. • Harnesses the network effect of the Internet and can be effective in reaching a large number of people rapidly. • It requires… Creative material Shared experience Sending Promoting Tracking
7.10 Online traffic building Important aspects of the online brand we communicate: • The brand name and URL • Online Value Proposition • Traditional brand value • Sales promotions and offers Benefits of integrated communications Pickton and Broderick (2000) Coherence Consistency Continuity Complementary Advertising Word of mouth PR Direct mail and physical reminders 4 popular tactical communications tools
Chapter summary • Traffic building or visitor acquisition is dependent on defining the appropriate targets of traffic quantity and quality, using the correct combination of online and offline techniques and using both campaign-based and continuous timing. • An organization’s presence on a range of search engines should be achieved and then optimized by using specialist techniques such rewriting copy, redesign and link building. Pay Per Click can be essential to achieve visibility in competitive markets. • Organizations should consider their online reputation and visibility by reviewing options for online PR and their representation on a range of portals. • You should review your potential online partners to drive visitors by link building, affiliate marketing and online sponsorship. • A wide range of different types of interactive ads can be used to refer traffic to the site and can also be used for brand building. • Opt-in email is an effective method of communication since it is a push method, delivering information to the mail inbox of the audience. • Viral digital marketing techniques involve transmitting a marketing message using word of mouth or online word of mouth. • Offline communications are essential to achieve reach amongst an audience to increase awareness and explain the online value proposition.