How to instantly connect with your target market: The story of my worst day & near nervous breakdown

Want to know how to connect with your target market, online, offline and in person?

Whether you’re writing on your website to draw in customers, or to spread a message – to achieve your goal you must be able to make a real connection with people. People buy from people – and people remember stories.

This isn’t an article about storytelling, though.

Why you need to make a real connection

It’s incredibly hard to make a genuine, real connection with someone over the internet – after all, the content on your website is likely a one-way street. You’re talking to your visitors, but it’s a talk from you – it’s like they’re in an audience, listening to your speech and they can walk out at any time. There’s not much of a conversation going on – yet.

The best way to achieve your goals is to get your audience to know, like and trust you – whether your goal is to grow your business or increase awareness for a cause – people have to know, like and trust you in order to buy from you or listen to your message. It’s the reason why celebrities get such big advertising deals – so many people know, like and trust their opinion that if they make a recommendation on a product, it will sell – and it will sell well.

How to become known, liked and trusted

Think about the people in your life that already know, like and trust you.

I’m guessing there will be a common theme going on – they’re people you know well and have a good relationship with, aren’t they?

The major key to becoming known, liked and trusted – and becoming successful online – is to develop a real relationship with your audience.

There are a huge number of ways you can do this (from going out and speaking to people on social media, getting involved in conversations on relevant forums and speaking at events to name a few) but I’m hoping to go a little deeper into what you need to say to them, rather than where you need to say it.

The first step is to build trust – you must do everything in your power to help people understand you are a trustworthy business, a trustworthy website and a trustworthy person. They won’t want to listen to what you have to say, and sometimes won’t even click onto your site if it doesn’t look trustworthy.

So how do you begin to build trust?

It’s shockingly simple. Be vulnerable.

If you want to find a way to develop a real connection with your audience, the most powerful way to do it, is to tell a true story about your life where things didn’t go well. Where you went through a bad patch. Where you didn’t meet expectations.

Sound weird? I’ll explain.

People like to find common ground with other people – it makes us feel closer and makes us trust the other person more when we’ve been through a similar experience. The other thing about people is – no one’s perfect. We’ve all been through bad times in our lives, where we were filled with self-doubt, were embarrassed or ashamed – it’s part of being human.

Using your worst days as your best content

If you’re willing to be vulnerable and tell your story, good and bad, people will be drawn to your refreshing honesty, and they’ll be much more likely to reach out and share their story with you. We’re programmed to empathise with people going through a similar situation (trust me, I used to be a neuroscientist).

Ultimately, if you can open up enough that they feel comfortable, and maybe even compelled, to reach out to you, you’ll become the top choice for that person when they come to decide which business in your industry to work with. And it’s for a simple reason – they will trust you more than others that they don’t know – that they have no relationship with.

My worst day

I know it’s hard to open up and be honest about failings – so I’m going to encourage you to do it by sharing a story with you about when I was my own worst enemy, and how I changed my mindset and overcame it.

When I was 17, I went through a particularly rough time – my parents had divorced, and I was really insecure and had even developed an eating disorder. I felt completely lost and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That was when I went to my school counselor and asked for help.

I started going to a therapist, and each week I’d go in – sunny and smiling, because unlike what many people assume, if you’re truly depressed and broken, more often than not you try harder than anything to hide it from others with a big smile – and each week she’d have me in tears within 5 minutes. It didn’t take much to scratch the surface and see the true pain I was in.

One day she said something that entirely changed my view – and ultimately, my life.

She asked me, “Amy, who’s someone in your life that you look up to, that you respect and admire?”

And I replied, “My big brother. He’s charismatic and smart and always knows just what to say.”

She then asked, “So tell me – if he failed an exam, if he got fired, if his girlfriend broke up with him – what would you say to him?”

Of course, I replied, “I would tell him not to worry, that he was amazing and smart and that he should try again because I know he can fix all of those things.”

Surprised, she replied, “So you wouldn’t be ashamed of him, and tell him he was ugly, he was stupid, and it was all his fault?”

“Absolutely not!”

“So then tell me – why do you don’t you do the same for yourself?

It shocked me – but it was so true. We are so willing to be our harshest critics – when we should be our biggest supporters. From then on, I’ve tried my best to remember this and stop thinking “You can’t do this, you’re too stupid/ugly/fat” and instead decided to replace it with, “You ‘re incredible, and you’ll never know what you could achieve if you don’t try. What’s the worst that could happen after all?”

And guess what?

It works.

I was courageous and went for what I wanted – and now I’ve done some amazing things like modelling, being on podcasts, writing for big websites and even starting my own business.

If I can leave you with any piece of advice from this entire website, it would be this:

You are much more amazing than you give yourself credit for. If you want to do something, just go for it, because you can do it. Don’t let anyone ever tell you, “you can’t” – especially not yourself.

An incredible, inspiring TED Talk every human should watch

Finally, if you want to find out more about the power of being vulnerable – just watch this incredible TED talk video with Brené Brown (it’ll be one of the most fascinating 20 minutes of your life!):

If you have any questions or comments – please just let me know below. And feel free to share this with anyone you think it might help.

And have a wonderful day, whoever you are, wherever you might be.

How to write a blog post that doesn’t suck: 30 Tip Guide

I’ll be straight with you – I see a lot of rubbish blog posts online. Even when I’m reading work from supposed ‘copywriters’ – I’m surprised they can convince anyone to hire them half the time. So I thought I’d do what I always do here at POP Content, and write a guide to help people who are nervous to write – and don’t want to waste their time writing rubbish – learn how to write a blog post that doesn’t suck.

(Hint: Skip to the end or bookmark if you want to know my top free tools to help you write better blog posts!)

 

1. Put your audience first

If you’re wanting to learn how to write a blog post it’s likely either that you’re wanting to attract more business or that you’re looking to create your dream blog all about you.

The harsh truth?

No one cares about your business or your blog.

It’s your job to make them care.

You do this by focusing on your ideal audience’s needs over anything else. What content do they like? What questions do they want answered?

It’s your job to know your target audience well – and understand their pain points. Once you know what content they’re looking for and what questions they want answers to, you’ll be well placed to know what to write about.

If you focus on your audience’s needs before your own, you’ll naturally attract leads and followers because they’ll be interested in your content.

 

2. Start with a question, answer the question, then sum it up well.

Answering a question with a blog post is my favourite way to attract new leads and sales to my business. It’s simple really – when people are searching on the internet, they’re searching for answers. If you provide the best answer in your industry, not only will you get more traffic to your website – but you’ll become a buyer’s top choice because you’ll be seen as the industry expert.

It’s incredibly easy to find popular questions to write about in your industry – you can check out my top tips here.

Then, make sure you start your blog by telling people what question you’re covering (this gives them reassurance that they’ve clicked through to the right place), answer the question in detail in the main body, then sum up your main points and takeaways in the conclusion.

Some people are known to jump straight down to the conclusion to double check the article’s worth reading – so make sure you sum things up clearly!

 

3. Do your research

Once you’ve decided what to write about – Do. Your. Research.

You need to know what the competition is if you’re going to have any chance of beating it.

When you do a search for the question you’re answering with your article, check the top results, at least the first three.

Read the articles – can you write one better?

If you don’t think you can (and make sure you read this whole guide before you think not!), you might want to consider either changing the article subject or going more specific than previous articles.

For example, if you were planning to write about “how to buy a car”, but you found the competition was too heavy, you could instead change things up and write about “how to choose your first car”, and write on that more specific angle.

It’s also a good idea to do some keyword research – you can find out monthly search volume using a tool like Google Keyword Planner.

 

4. Add value

When you write your article, are you truly helping your audience in some way?

Whatever you do, don’t write an article on a subject, then dance around the answer.

Answer it. Answer it well.

If you don’t, not only will you not appear in search engine rankings, you run the risk of annoying people with your content. That makes them much less likely to ever come back.

Whether your article is useful, educational or entertaining – make sure it’s really adding value in some way to those who read it.

 

5. Deliver what your title promises

Have you ever clicked on a link and realised it’s nothing to do with what you were looking for?

It’s seriously annoying.

And that’s not all.

Google uses information such as ‘bounces’ (when someone clicks onto your site and leaves before going anywhere else) to decide on where a website will rank in search engine results.

So not only will you annoy people with your content if you don’t deliver on what your title says – you’ll fall down in search rankings which means much less traffic for your website.

 

6. Don’t write for search engines

Getting traffic is really important for the success of your blog – and your business. But writing solely for a search engine is a terrible way to actually get traffic from a search engine.

Confusing? I’ll explain.

There are absolutely loads of ‘ranking factors’ Google tests to see where your blog post should rank in search results. Links are really important – and so is the content.

You could write solely for search engine purposes, make your keywords an optimum level, make your URL a keyword and make all your meta data full of keywords (you can check out my free traffic guide to find out what you can do to write for search engines).

However, if you have this sole goal in mind, your content won’t read well and guess what? It won’t rank well either.

Why?

One of the biggest factors that will affect your ranking is how people behave when they arrive at the page through a search engine. Google will test how long someone’s on a page, whether they move elsewhere on the website or if they click on then click away.

Ultimately, if you give people a bad experience – search engines will follow suit and will bump you down the rankings.

So what should you do?

If you want to know how to write a blog post that will rank well in search – simply write your article answering a question, make sure it’s really good – then simply ‘tweak’ the article for search engines.

You can use a plugin like Yoast to really easily tweak your content or follow my free guide if you don’t have WordPress, or don’t want to use the plugin.

Always write for people first – edit for search engines after.

 

7. Use headings and subheadings

It’s good practice to use headings and subheadings in any article. Not only does it help people get a quick understanding of what the upcoming content is about, it also helps people who ‘skim’ to scroll to only the points that interest them most.

If you just have huge paragraphs of text with no headings to break down each section, it’s not only daunting, but people who might have been interested in a section won’t bother to skim to find it – and then you’ll lose a potential new reader – or customer!

Having a few subheadings containing your keyword can also help SEO – so don’t miss this one out.

 

8. Use bullet points

Bullet points can really help people focus their attention – their design makes it easier to read and absorb important points.

Especially if you have just written a large block of text – often people will skim down to the bullet points, and if they read something interesting they’ll go back and read the paragraph.

Because of this, it’s a great way to sum up a section of text and draw attention to the points that are most important.

 

9. Write for dual readership

how-to-write-a-blog-post-for-dual-readership
Not every reader is the same

Writing for dual readership is really important – there tend to be two different types of readers:

  1. Reader
  2. Skimmer

It might depend on what you’re writing about, but a lot of people will simply skim your article before deciding whether or not to actually read it.

Again, it’s important to tailor your article to suit both readers.

Write your article assuming the reader will read it all. Then, go back through your writing and embolden sections that are important to highlight for a skimmer.

By doing this, you’ll make the article much easier to skim – and you’re much more likely to get a skimmer to become a reader!

 

10. Keep people engaged using “bucket brigades”

Bucket brigades are a copywriting secret that you will love (I hope!).

If you want to know how to write a blog post that keeps people reading – this is the one to focus on. Basically, when people see large sections of text, it can be seriously off-putting. It’s an effort to read. But if you break up your text with “bucket brigades” it can make your writing much more enjoyable to read – and easier to take in.

So, what are they?

Well, they are small sections of text that keep readers engaged. They sit on their own – just like my ‘So what are they?’ sentence above, and keep readers interested in what you’re writing so they don’t wander off and start reading something else.

Here are a few examples you can use yourself:

As if that’s not enough…
But wait, there’s more.
Good news!
Here’s why.
Think about it.
But that’s just part of the story…
What does this mean for you?

Why’s it important to keep people engaged?

It’s simple really; firstly, if you have a strong message or need to prove you’re an authority in your space – you need to keep people reading to prove it. Secondly – the longer people stay on your page, and ultimately your website, the better your SEO rankings will be. It’s a sign that people like your website, which is why Google will bump it up the rankings.

 

11. Write an awesome headline

This is incredibly important. If you don’t write a good headline, no matter how good the content is, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get people to read it.

Here are a couple of tips you can do to write a more “clickable” headline:

  • Be concise – in search engines, the reader will likely only get to see up to 70 characters of your title. So make sure you let the reader know what you offer on your page – fast!
  • Write for a human – it can be tempting to just add a keyword as a title and not much else; and while it’s great if you can have your keyword in the title, make sure you focus first and foremost on writing the title so it’s attractive to click on. After all, even if something ranks highly to begin with, if it’s not clicked on, it will quickly drop back down in the rankings.
  • Check out the competition – search for the keyword you’re hoping to optimise for and check out your competition. The top results should give you an indication of what value those searchers are looking for. Don’t copy what other people have done – but if you find similarities, try to make sure you highlight those things in your title.
  • Use numbers – numbers can be an attractive way to quickly convey ‘value’ to searchers. For example, if you have “Guide to e-commerce” or “38 step guide to e-commerce” the second is more likely to get clicked. It’s simply because people can quickly tell if it’s worth their time reading it – they know it’s more likely to deliver what they’re looking for. It has what’s known as a higher “perceived value”.
  • Try this tool out – Hubspot offer this really great tool that can help you with some great potential blog post ideas – by giving you the title to begin with! It’s a great tool for titles, and for when you’ve no idea what to write about.

 

12. Cut down on fluff

It can be tempting to write a lot of content for the sake of looking knowledgeable and driving more traffic to your website – Google loves long-form content after all (more on that later).

But honestly, you don’t want to do this.

Ultimately you’ll rank well and drive more traffic to your website if you write something really useful – and often the more concise and useful article wins. People want the information, and they want it as fast as possible. If they have to trudge through large blocks of useless text to find it – they’re much more likely to move onto a different web page.

Writing long-form content is a great idea – but DO NOT fill your article with useless information and filler – this will only damage your chances at having a successful article.

I like to write out my full blog, then come back a few hours later and cut out or cut down whatever feels not completely necessary.

 

13. Break up big blocks of text

Whether you use bullet points, headings or imagery, please ensure you break up your text. When you click through to a page online and all you see is large blocks of text – it can be intimidating and off-putting to the reader.

Unlike writing proper essays for school, people prefer to read very short sections of text, rather than large paragraphs.

Don’t lose your readers with a bad first impression!

 

14. Use good imagery to help illustrate your points

Imagery isn’t just a great way to break up text – it can also be an incredible way to illustrate your points better.

Sometimes an image can replace a whole paragraph of text, which is pretty powerful when you’re trying to cut to the chase quickly.

They’re especially useful for holding people’s interest and illustrating steps if you write a guide – check out my guide on reducing site speed as an example.

Without the imagery of what I was doing in paint, it would have been much harder to explain to the reader how to alter images and what to expect when following my guide.

 

15. Focus on one goal at a time

Every blog post should have a goal; either to draw in more traffic to your website, get more email sign ups, or possibly convert potential leads into customers.

Don’t be tempted to spread yourself too thin though and aim for it all – focus on one single goal at a time and you’re much more likely to achieve it.

Focussing on appealing to too many people at once (e.g. a brand new browser on your website, a loyal reader and a very warm lead) will usually result in your article failing to reach any of them – simply because your competition’s websites out there have a different, specific article for each. And people are much more likely to perform an action when the content is tailored towards a single goal.

 

16. Include calls to action

If you want to know how to write a blog post that genuinely draws in leads – don’t forget to add calls to action.

Include calls to action in your copy – whether it’s asking for an email sign up, or commenting on the blog post – if you don’t ask, you won’t get!

My favourite CTA is to offer more great information, like a guide, in return for an email address – but only to those who read about 70% of my article.

Scroll down further and you’ll see the pop-up!

It’s really easy to set up, and seriously helps to increase your email list – I use Sumome if you fancy adding one yourself.

 

17. Don’t try to please everybody

focus on one goal at atime
Focusing on pleasing one type of customer or target at a time increases your chances of success

Similar to attempting to achieve too many goals at once – trying to please everyone with your content will usually result in pleasing no one.

Don’t sit on the fence, or worry too much about giving off the wrong impression; honestly, if you do this, what will happen is:

1. your content will be completely bland and boring, and

2. people will go elsewhere to read something that appeals and relates to them more.

No matter what you write, you won’t please everyone. Just accept it, and focus on pleasing the people most important to you – which I expect will be your ideal customers.

When writing your article, at each stage ask yourself “would they like this?”. Make sure it’s something your target market will love and you can’t go far wrong.

 

18. Once you finished – hold off on hitting publish

If there’s any one tip on how to write a blog post that separates the good from the mediocre – it’s this one.

It can be really tempting to write something up, and publish straight away – but this isn’t the best idea.

Even the best writers need to edit their work – so make sure you take the time to do so too.

So I can come to my writing with fresh eyes, I like to at least leave a few hours in between writing the last word of the first draft and editing my work. If possible, even leave it for a day.

The difference it can make to your final article can be incredible; so please avoid hitting publish sooner, just so you can breathe a sigh of relief!

 

19. Cut out distractions while you write

Whether it’s colleagues talking in the background, your phone or email alerts or even outside noise – try to find somewhere with little distraction when you write.

Not only will this make your writing better because you’ll be able to focus more easily; but you’ll be able to get a good article together faster too.

Turn off your email and phone, put in earphones and shut your office door. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you can get done in just a few hours when there are no distractions.

 

20. Don’t be vague

Don’t be vague with your points – if you have something to advise, try to be as clear as possible. For example, with this guide, I could have said “writing a good headline can increase your clicks by a great deal, so invest time in writing a good one” and left it at that.

But guess what?

That would have left you feeling pretty disappointed – or I would be if it were me. Don’t skirt around the point – try to be as clear as possible and deliver real value to your readers. Make your point – then tell people how they can do it themselves.

If you don’t – they won’t stick around to read your stuff.

 

21. Back up your points with facts

If you want to know how to write a blog post that’s powerful and unforgettable – make sure you back up your points with facts.

Anyone can claim anything they like on the internet – and everyone knows it.

If you have something really important to get across backing up your claims with facts can be a really powerful way of ensuring your message gets across.

Link back to where you found the facts – this makes it really simple for your reader to figure out if you’re telling the truth and find out more too.

 

22. Write long-form content

Long-form content does much better on average in search engines than short-form – usually over 2000 words is best.

Don’t just take my word for it – check out these stats:

serp-iq-content-length

That’s right; the average top ranking search result is over 2,450 words long. 

Now before you think, “oh my dear God, there’s no way I can write that much”, you might want to consider tip 23.

 

23. Use a list format

Just like this very article, you can use a list format to write some really great lengthy articles that will help you rank well in search.

Not only does it make it easier to write long-form content, readers love list form articles – simply because it’s easier to skim through and read points that are relevant, and skip points that aren’t so relevant.

You might not even have to write anything new.

If you’ve written on a few different subjects in your blog already, but the articles are only 600-800 words long, consider combining the content into one long guide instead.

It could do much better than each individual post alone.

 

24. Write how you would talk

When you’re writing on the internet, there’s much less need to be formal.

In fact, people can often absorb your content more easily if you simply write how you would speak, rather than attempting to write everything in a formal essay format.

Not only do people find it easier to absorb the content this way – it’s easier for you to get them to know, like and trust you – which will ultimately help you bring in more customers using your content.

 

25. Don’t be bland – share your genuine opinion, even if some might disagree

Being bland and not taking a stand on anything can be one of the worst things you can do in your writing.

People love controversy – they like to read opinions, and yours is important.

Some of the most popular articles are ones that contain controversial opinions.

The other huge benefit is, you’ll be much more likely to attract like-minded people to your business, so even if you ruffle a few feathers, you’ll be more likely to gain more customers this way, whereas if you remained neutral on a subject, you’re unlikely to attract anyone.

 

26. Don’t let bad grammar hold you back

It’s true – grammar mistakes can come across as unprofessional.

But don’t let this hold you back – even the best writers out there make mistakes – I even see them on the BBC. If there are a couple of minor mistakes, but the general content is good, people won’t care anyway.

It’s much more important to focus on delivering good, useful material and to get it out to the masses than to waste a lot of precious time worrying that your grammar isn’t the best.

Super cool grammar tool:

This week my amazing friends from Steed Tailors told me about an amazing tool that can help out if you can’t stand the worry of publishing bad grammarGrammarly is an amazing tool you can use to edit all of your work, no matter whether it’s an email, report or blog post. It’s really quick and simple to use – and what’s more – it’s completely free!

 

27. Write about the things that you’re knowledgeable or passionate about

There’s not much point in writing about things that you don’t care about or aren’t interested in – it comes across in your writing.

So rather than focussing on writing about only things you think might sell, it’s worth exploring how you can tie things into what you’re really good at or really care about.

If you’re struggling to think of what to write about, why not jot down your interests and what you’re known to be knowledgeable in, and see where there might be overlap – that’s usually the kind of sweet spot that will bring out the best possible writing.

 

28. Be vulnerable

vulnerability-writing-blogs

Being vulnerable may sound like a super weird tip – but it’s genuinely effective.

There’s so very much content out there on the internet – and it’s really hard to form a real connection with people through their computer screens (Hi, I’m Amy by the way).

So if you’re trying to write and reach out to people, how on earth do you do it?

It’s simple really; sharing a failure or bad experience in your life can help to break down barriers. If you’re open to being more vulnerable and admitting you’re not perfect – you become a lot more relatable. No one is perfect and if you try to pretend to be, it can make your writing seriously suspicious.

Starting an article with a personal story is also a really great way to draw in readers in general – people remember stories much more easily than just reams of facts.

 

29. Give the option of further reading

Adding relevant links throughout your article is really helpful to the reader – whether they’re links to more of your content or links to other websites, making it very simple for readers to find out more information is seriously helpful.

And if your content starts getting known as being really helpful – you’ll naturally start to see more people wanting to read it.

 

30. Measure your results

Measure your results!

Honestly, you can read and read advice on “how to write a blog post” til the cows come home, but the best way to learn what works – and what doesn’t – is to just go for it.

Put your best foot forward and have a go – just make sure you measure the results. Installing something like Google analytics is seriously easy, and completely free.

If you have it installed from the beginning, it’ll mean in a few months time you can look back at your website and be able to see which blog posts did well and which didn’t. Finding out what is and isn’t working is the best way to improve – keep doing more of the articles that work and ditch the styles that don’t.

Here’s a round-up of tools (which are all free!) from this great guide on how to write a blog post:

Hubspot – for better titles and blog ideas

Grammarly – for better grammar without an editor

Yoast – for simple SEO content editing

Google Analytics – for better measurement of article and website performance

Google Keyword Tool – for finding traffic volumes for keywords

Sumome – for collecting more emails and growing your email list

If you’d love to learn more about digital marketing and how you can use your blog to generate more leads for your business – simply sign up to our email list here and you’ll get a free guide to help you write your content for search engines, as well as fantastic weekly guides.

ask a question how to write a blog post

I hope you now feel confident that you know how to write a blog post – or at very least you know a lot of tips on how to write a blog post!

But if there’s anything you’re not sure about, or are any tips you’d love to share that you didn’t see here – please comment below and I’d be more than happy to help.

 

Website traffic services: 4 facts you MUST learn before you buy

We all want more customers – and what better way to get them than to get website traffic services? Unfortunately, if you’re like most business owners out there you’re likely getting bombarded with scam emails daily. They’re promising to ’10X’ your traffic and guaranteeing you’ll get thousands of visitors next month if you “sign up” and buy “this app” or “that service”.

Sounds all a bit too good to be true. And fishy as hell.

What if there was a simple way to figure out who’s legitimate – and who’s just trying to make a quick buck?

Well I’ve written this guide to help you with that precise question.

No matter where you are or why you’re looking for website traffic services, these are the facts you have to know before you sign up to any traffic building service.

1. Black Hat SEO can damage your website permanently

watch out for black hat website traffic services

There are many techniques SEO agencies and other website traffic services can use to increase your traffic short term. In a few weeks you could rank very highly for even the most competitive searches in your industry. The thing is, scam agencies can do this for you, take your money and leave you with the consequences.

The effects don’t always have to be permanent – but it takes a huge deal of time and expertise to fix, and will cost you much more than ‘white hat’ website traffic services would have in the first place.

Explanation:

Google, and other search engines, use computer programs to decide which point in a search result to list your website should take in a search. It does this using an algorithm, which is like a maths equation that studies lots of different parts about your website, and comes up with a final result.

Website traffic services should help you rank higher in the search results to drive more traffic to your site – but if their tactics are mainly what’s known as “black hat” it can permanently damage your site as Google will flag it up as suspicious/dangerous – which is an extremely hard label to get rid of.

Some of these black hat techniques can work, usually for a couple of weeks – just long enough for you to pay your bill and be pleased with the result.

But there’s a catch:

Once Google checks over your website and sees what’s been done, it flags your site as bad and will likely knock it out of the rankings completely. After that, it’ll be a seriously long haul for you to recover from and be ranked well in any result, ever again.

What you can do: 

When you’re considering who to work with be suspicious of anyone too cheap – it takes a serious amount of work to help a website rank in search engines, depending on your competition, but you’re talking good blog posts, well written SEO content, keyword research and linking strategies – if you’re looking for an agency to take care of it all for you, you’re talking big bucks – £1000+ per month minimum. 

Some website traffic services will offer different parts of the full service if you can’t afford the whole thing. Just be aware of what’s needed (see above) and figure out what you’re willing to do in house vs what you need someone else to do.

Ask website traffic services about their tactics – anyone genuine won’t mind sharing general methods with you. You’ll want to go with someone who suggests your content is very important, and building a natural link profile (links pointing back to your website).

Here’s a short list of black hat techniques you can look out for.

The great thing about going with someone “White Hat” is that they should not only help you with search rankings, but increase your overall business exposure with PR tips and social media marketing.

If you’re too small to afford an agency like that, but still need help getting traffic, it might be worth considering taking a course yourself or getting weekly consultancy/training yourself.

2. Your website content is incredibly important if you want recurring traffic – and customers

website traffic services content matters

If your website traffic services (whether it’s a digital agency, SEO company or a content marketing agency) are offering to build backlinks to your website and nothing else – it’s not a good sign.

Here’s the deal.

Good links can help you rank and drive traffic; but without the content to back it up, you’ll fall back down in the rankings in the long term.

Ultimately having good content is important for getting new customers anyway; so if you’re not happy with your own content now, like your sales pages and your home page, get working on this first before going to buy website traffic services.

Explanation:

Content – whether it’s text, video, audio or imagery – is so important when it comes to getting people to your website.

And getting them to buy from you when they get there.

Think about it – what did you last buy on the internet?

Now think back to how you decided to buy that particular item over the rest. Maybe you opened a few different websites. Maybe you did a few different searches and did some comparing. Maybe you even checked out reviews on amazon or YouTube. Maybe you even read a few blog articles.

You more than likely at least read the sales page – where you found out exactly about the benefits and features of that product or service.

What convinced you in the end?

The content.

You might be thinking “Amy, that’s great and all, but I don’t see what that’s got to do with my traffic.”

Well, I’ll tell you.

The 2 most important factors that effect your rankings in Google are:

  1. Backlinks
  2. Content

Basically it boils down to this:

Google’s customers are their searchers. They want to do what’s best for them – not for you.

Google want’s to deliver the best answer to any query someone enters into it’s search bar. After all, they want people to keep using Google, and not Yahoo or dare I say it – Bing.

People like pages & websites that answers their queries well. So great content, that answers people’s questions, is an absolute necessity if you want to rank highly.

The other biggest factor is backlinks – which are links pointing to your website from other website’s. More about backlinks here.

Google can’t use only content to determine who should rank highest, simply because people have been known to cheat the system using blackhat techniques. It uses backlinks to help it figure out how trustworthy and relevant each website is.

The moral of the story is – you won’t get long term traffic without good content.

And good content is the only thing that will turn your visitors into customers.

What you can do: 

You have 2 options here:

Work on your own content first

Or:

Choose an agency that writes content for you

If you’re going to an agency to write your content, you’ll want to make sure you focus on a few things:

  • Check their blog articles. Are they engaging? Do you find them interesting or are they boring articles? It could be that you’re not their target audience; but more than likely they should be written in way that keeps you interested and wanting to read more.
  • How long are their articles? It’s pretty well known that long form content does best on Google – 2000 words +. Of course not every article might be this long; but if you notice a consistent 300-800 word article, they might not know what they’e doing in terms of content.
  • Do they have calls to action in their content? Calls to action such as ‘comment below’, ‘sign up’ or ‘contact us’ are really important in order to increase their number of customers. If they’re not doing it for themselves, I would worry that they might not do it for you. Again – there’s little point in getting traffic if it’s not going to result in more customers.

3. Focusing solely on numbers is a terrible idea

numbers and web traffic

Some traffic services may offer thousands of visitors to your website quickly – and they might not even be lying. They probably are, but about 5% might not.

But before you throw your money away, consider this – what kind of visitors do you want?

Explanation:

50,000 new views might not do a single thing for your business if they’re all the wrong type of person.

And this is not impossible to do – an agency can write a good article about super adorable puppies, send a link to your site in some viral places like Reddit and get you lots of traffic, very quickly.

But if you’re an estate agents and you suddenly have a bunch of people on your site that are only interested in cute puppies – what use is that to your business?

Even if you got only 100 new people – but the right type of people – from a blog post that turned into 3 more customers – that’s a much better result than a few thousand views to people who don’t buy.

What you can do:

Don’t be lured in solely by the numbers. Be suspicious of website traffic services who flag numbers and only numbers up about their past clients.

Look at their reviews if you can. It’s always good to get past clients perspectives.

Ask them how they are going to get you traffic – do they suggest specific blog articles? Are those articles related to your business? How do they plan to promote your content, and where?

Social media can be particularly dubious – you can attract lot’s of visitors using twitter, but again, if they’re not the right type of visitors, it’s not going to be any use to you. Social media is important for building a reputation, promoting content and attracting new prospects – but it shouldn’t be the only strategy for your online marketing.

4. Traffic isn’t always the problem

web traffic services

Sometimes it can be easy to think “I just don’t have enough customers coming to my website“.

And that could be the case; however, don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s the most important issue.

If you’re getting a few hundred new visitors through organic search and not one is becoming a customer – there’s something bigger you need to tackle before throwing more money at getting traffic there.

Explanation:

A good conversion rate is usually between 0.5 – 2%. That is to say, out of every hundred people to your website, at least 1 should be signing up, sending an enquiry or buying from you.

If they’re not – the issue likely lies elsewhere than your traffic level.

Before ploughing more money into getting more traffic, you might want to review your website and see why people aren’t converting.

What you can do:

Check your Google analytics, look at new users, and if you’re hitting a few hundred or more monthly and not seeing sales – you know you have an issue.

The first step is to check it’s not something really obvious – get family and friends to test out your shopping cart or contact forms. Is everything getting through? I’ve seen many website’s with low conversion rates fall at the first hurdle – people can’t get through the steps you’re putting in front of them to get in touch or buy.

Make it as simple as possible for your customers to buy or enquire.

Compare your website to competitors. Your customers are doing it, so there’s no point in burying your head in the sand. Is it easier to understand their message? Maybe they have a page or two that explains the benefits of your product in a clearer way? Make sure you feel your site’s offering can compete.

Get some targeted feedback. Get in touch with some people in your target market. Ask them to review your website (maybe you can offer a free product for doing so as a thanks). They should be able to help you weed out anything that maybe isn’t clear, or when compared to your competitor’s just isn’t matching up. Ask them for their biggest concerns/problems rather than just what they don’t like.

And ask them to be as brutal as possible

For every one brutal thing they tell you, it’s likely hundreds of past visitors thought the same but never took the time to get in touch and let you know. Don’t take it personally; no one gets a website perfect first time. Take the feedback and run with it. Make the changes and people will be impressed you took their feedback on board.

Lastly – get a consultant to do a review. If you’ve done your best and just can’t seem to figure out why people aren’t converting into customers – it’s time to get a professional in.

You can always call on POP Content to help you out. We can do a website review from £100, depending on the size of your website.

 

I certainly hope you found this helpful – and if you’ve ran into any other issues with website traffic services, I’d love to add them in – just leave a comment below!

Remember you can easily send this article onto any of your family or friends who might be running a website – and help them avoid any traffic scams!