You don’t only want to increase your website’s traffic but in reality what you want is to get more targeted visitors coming to your website. The reasons are a lot and the ways to do it even more and this is what I will explain in this blog post.
What is targeted traffic?
The difference between targeted visitors and normal visitors (non-targeted) is that targeted visitors have a specific goal in mind while normal visitors are browsing the web without having a particular objective.
Targeted visitors are looking for a solution to their problem and they are visiting your website because they believe they can find the answer to their question, the product or service they want. In other words targeted traffic are those people that visit a website with the intention of performing an action.
Let me give you a couple of examples to understand the difference between the two:
People who visit amazon.com searching for “buy filter coffee machine” are more likely to convert (i.e. make a purchase) than people who enter amazon because they want to view the latest offers.
Likewise, from my experience in this website, people searching for “seo packages for small business” are more likely to complete the order form than people who come to the site reading the blog posts.
Why do you need targeted traffic?
Increase conversions: From the examples above it should be obvious that what you need is targeted traffic because that will increase your conversion rates but also it will increase your Adsense earnings (if you are running ads) since targeted visitors are more likely to click an ad for a product they are interested in.
Increase readers and email subscribers: If you can manage to keep targeted visitors happy though your content and website experience then most probably they will visit again and also subscribe to your email list.
Increase social media shares: Targeted visitors will share something on their Facebook or twitter if they like it. I don’t have any statistics to back this assumption but it makes sense to LIKE something if it solves your problem (in case you are looking for answers) or satisfies a need (in case your are looking for products).
How can you increase targeted website traffic
There are many ways to increase your targeted visitors besides the traditional channels i.e. search engines and social media networks but first let’s see how these 2 channels generate targeted visitors for a website.
Search engine Traffic
Search engine traffic, whether it is paid or organic is highly targeted because people use search engines for a purpose. Depending on the keywords they use to search, you can tell if they are targeted or not. As in the examples above, people who search for “weight loss” are more likely into finding general information about losing weight while people searching for “best diet plan to lose weight” want something more specific.
The best way to increase your targeted traffic from search engines is to concentrate on the long tail keywords since people using more than 2-3 words in their search query are looking for something very specific. You can also read my previous article long tail seo benefits for website owners which explains how to find those long tail keywords that convert.
Social Media Networks
Until very recently traffic from social media was considered as non-targeted and while this is not completely wrong, things have changed dramatically the last couple of years. All major social networks (think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+) are improving their algorithms to make social networking more targeted.
For example Pinterest has recently introduced a feature that shows you pins related to what you have ‘liked’ and ‘pinned’ in the past and this increases the chances of interacting with these pins since they are closer to your likes.
In addition to that when searching for new people on Twitter for example, you can use various tools to refine your search and find those people that meet certain demographic characteristics and other criteria. In other words there are ways to discover from the huge mass of twitter users those users that are considered targeted for your website or business.
Also when it comes to advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter you can target your ads to a very specific set of people and make your campaigns targeted.
While this is pretty much the same as search engine traffic explained above, it is worth noting that if you are after targeted traffic from mobile visitors you need to have a mobile friendly website otherwise you will not be able to reach users on mobile.
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Google is very serious about mobile search and if your website is not optimized for mobile it will not be included in the Google search results or to be more precise it won’t have any chances of achieving high rankings on mobile search.
Even better what you actually need to reach more targeted users on ‘mobile devices’ is a responsive website and many businesses have started to realise that responsive design is important for their marketing efforts.
Mobile Native Apps
For many this may be a surprise but native mobile apps can drive targeted visits to a website and let me explain why.
A native mobile app (either for Android, iPhone or Windows) is uploaded to the mobile markets and in order to download it users have to perform certain actions (search for it on the desktop version of the stores or through their mobile phones).
The fact that users are searching for something specific makes them targeted and if you can manage to satisfy their needs you can win customers (if you are selling something) or new readers (if you are a content publisher).
How can you drive targeted traffic to a website through a mobile native app? In practice this is a bit more complicated than creating an app and uploading the app to the mobile markets. You have to think what type of app to create, how to promote your app so that it is not lost in the millions of apps already available in those markets and most importantly how to make mobile app users visit your website and take an action.
I will try to explain all the above with a real example. CalorieSecrets.net is one of the websites we manage (you can read “How to build a successful blog” and Google SEO best practices for more details about the website, history, etc) and for this website we have also developed a native Android app that is available through the Google Play Store.
The Application is ‘how to lose weight’ (read below why it is not named Calorie Secrets) and has more than 250,000 downloads. The benefits for the website are a lot and in particular:
More targeted readers – people who download the application on their mobile phones or tablets are doing it because they are interested in fitness / weight loss topics.
More social followers – people like to use social media from their mobiles and they are sharing content from the app with their social networks
More advertising revenue – The application is running admob ads and this creates an additional monthly revenue by utilizing the existing website content.
More visits to the mobile and desktop websites – From the website traffic details it is shown that a number of visits come from the android app.
Based on this example read the answers to the above questions that explain why it works.
What type of app to create? The application should offer useful and valuable information to users so that there is an incentive for them to download. Depending on the type of website the application can either take full advantage of the device capabilities and offer users a different experience or give them an alternative way to access the website content on their mobile devices.
In this case the application resembles the website’s content in a user friendly format that makes it easier for android users (phone and tablet) to read the articles.
How to promote the app?
In Store SEO: Mobile markets have a search function that allows you to search thought their store and find applications to download. One of the ways to increase visibility in their search results is to follow basic SEO guidelines such as providing for titles and descriptions of the app that include keywords used by people when they search for apps.
You may have already noticed that the name of the application is ‘How to lose weight’ and not Calorie Secrets. This was done in purpose and the reason is that nobody will search for ‘Calorie Secrets’ in the play store but there are a number of people who search for ‘how to lose weight’.
So, one way to promote the app is by giving it a meaningful name that includes keywords people are searching.
Another way is to spread the word about your app through your website (by writing a blog post about it) and by adding download buttons in your sidebar, header and footer.
If you keep an email list then you can also create a newsletter and inform your subscribers.
Finally, social media is perhaps the fastest way to let other people know about the existence of your app and a targeted Facebook campaign is among the best solutions.
How to get more visits from the app? Whenever a new article is published on the website our android users get notified through the android notification system and a small icon appears on their phones or tablets.
This is very efficient because they cannot missed it (don’t forget that the average person check their phones 110 days per day!) and it is a ‘push’ type notification – meaning that it will find you even if you are not asking for it.
So, we know for sure that someone has the application installed on their phones because they are interested in our content and when someone clicks on the notification to read or interact with an article (i.e share on social media), we know that this user is a targeted visitor because they have performed specific actions that indicate their intentions.
Once they get into the app, you can either give them incentives through a pop up message to visit your mobile friendly website or try to make them convert by subscribing to your newsletter or becoming a fun in social media.
We are convinced about the importance of mobile native apps (especially android) as a good way to increase targeted visits (besides search engine traffic and social networking), that’s why we created a platform for transforming your website into beautiful native apps ready to be published on the market.
You can visit our android application development page for more examples and pricing details.
Why most business native apps fail? From experience people try to make native apps for their businesses and they get very few downloads because:
They don’t use ‘good’ names for their apps – Don’t expect people to search for your business name in the stores (unless you are a big brand name of course) but try to give your native apps names that people search for.
They don’t promote their apps – Creating an app is one thing, promoting it correctly is a totally different concept. Native apps need a good promotion strategy to produce a return.
Their apps are not designed correctly – Sometimes developers try to create many functions and they make the apps difficult to use, slow and non-functional. The design and functionality of the app should be depends on what you want to achieve from the app.
Last but not least, content marketing is the most effective way to gain targeted visitors. Actually without a proper content marketing strategy you cannot achieve anything with the above techniques.
Content marketing is what will drive search engine traffic from desktop and mobile, create more interaction in social media and convince mobile users to download the native apps on their devices.
Targeted visitors are very important for a website or online business as they have more chances of performing an action (becoming customers, subscribing to a newsletter, sharing on social media) than ‘normal’ visitors.
Search engines and social networks (both for desktop and mobile) are among the obvious ways to get targeted visitors but besides those, another great way is through mobile native apps. When a native app is designed and promoted correctly it can become a great source of high targeted visits.