[Pro] Most effective way to increase website visits?

I know this is a highly subjective and the answer will vary a LOT by the type of products or services your client sells, but I’m curious to find out what you feel have been the most effective ways to drive people to your client’s website. Here are a few options I’ve considered (listed alphabetically, not in order of consideration):

  1. Banner Ads
  2. Blog
  3. Contests
  4. Direct Mail
  5. Events/Trade Shows
  6. Print Advertising (newspaper/magazine)
  7. Printed Collateral (brochures/flyers)
  8. Sales Representatives
  9. Something Else

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Direct Mail is powerful stuff, not to be underestimated. Modern list brokers have a voodoo-like ability to give you a focused list of people who might actually want to use your service, and even though the cost per person is quite a lot higher than any other method, the pull-through can be staggering.

Another oldie-but-goodie is traditional Public Relations. Nothing like getting on the evening news (if that’s your audience) to get some serious interest, or at least some borrowed interest. Many/most of the local affiliates publish their news stories on the Web, and push them up to the national hub, and that gets you link-quality you cannot buy elsewhere.

Finally, the real story here is as old as all branding efforts. Do as many different things as you can afford, as well as you can, and as consistently as possible. When you are well and truly sick to death of your message and marketing, the customer audience is just beginning to notice you. It’s best to not get bored with your own message – you will bail too soon if you do.

Walter

On Jan 17, 2014, at 10:39 AM, RavenManiac wrote:

I know this is a highly subjective and the answer will vary a LOT by the type of products or services your client sells, but I’m curious to find out what you feel have been the most effective ways to drive people to your client’s website. Here are a few options I’ve considered (listed alphabetically, not in order of consideration):

  1. Banner Ads
  2. Blog
  3. Contests
  4. Direct Mail
  5. Events/Trade Shows
  6. Print Advertising (newspaper/magazine)
  7. Printed Collateral (brochures/flyers)
  8. Sales Representatives
  9. Something Else

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For myself I noticed a big increase in traffic after I added a blog, both by regular visitors and by search bots which trawl through the site with increased regularity. It was really quite amazing to see such a dramatic change in what I considered a relatively short period of time.

Todd


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I’ve been thinking about this very topic myself - because clients ask this.

My thinking has been that there is a need first to define (or refine,
probably) the metrics for this - that if you can understand whether it’s
just about numbers - or something else - then that will narrow the options
to hopefully more productive solutions.

Sometimes clients will look only at number data… though when pressed will
often admit what they want are better visitors - more purchases,
click-throughs or longer visits. That’s when it’s time to ask “who are we
missing?”… specifically, “who should be coming to are website, and isn’t”.

I think this is a very helpful question to ask, because it’s about the
thing behind the numbers that’s important. We have the website, this
message, product or service that isn’t getting out to the people we
designed it for. So once we have identified these people (beyond just in
the abstract) the question of how do we get them to show up becomes
legitimate.

I think one answer is Opportunity… we have to find ways to extend the
opportunity to visit. If someone tells me about a site in a phone
conversation, or on a printed item, I may visit… but email a link to me
and I’m there almost as reflex. So, look at email lists and try to build
one NOT from the usual suspects. Or design an email campaign that will tell
you who is responsive and who is ignoring you. Just doing a static
newsletter may not be enough.

Another answer might be to take a good hard look at the existing site and
try to imagine why people who come don’t come back - or interact more with
it. This may involve a fundamental shift in the role a site plays for
certain clients - and their users. Then the questions asked may be “why
would our target users come to our site” or “why would they come back?” Do
you need to alter existing content, or add more? Many business sites are
static - once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. Manet made dozens of
paintings of the same water-lily pond, or the same cathedral - yet they are
all different and unique. Otherwise, just the one would do and he’d be less
remembered.

So, those are my thoughts - I know you were looking for a more concrete XYZ
answer… so, apologies. However, hopefully some of this will spark a truly
creative solution. :slight_smile:

On Friday, January 17, 2014, RavenManiac email@hidden wrote:

I know this is a highly subjective and the answer will vary a LOT by the
type of products or services your client sells, but I’m curious to find out
what you feel have been the most effective ways to drive people to your
client’s website. Here are a few options I’ve considered (listed
alphabetically, not in order of consideration):

  1. Banner Ads
  2. Blog
  3. Contests
  4. Direct Mail
  5. Events/Trade Shows
  6. Print Advertising (newspaper/magazine)
  7. Printed Collateral (brochures/flyers)
  8. Sales Representatives
  9. Something Else

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Ernie Simpson


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Great suggestions Thanks guys.

Walter, it’s interesting that your first suggestion was direct mail. That was my first thought with this particular client—a cemetery (you know which one) that clearly needs to target very specific demographics.

I also like the idea of an email campaign and maybe a blog, although I still wish there was an easier way to implement the latter in FWP.


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Are you using Perch for this site? If so, setting up a blog is pretty straightforward.

Todd

maybe a blog, although I still wish there was an easier way to implement the latter in FWP.


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Would dividing the blog from the site proper make it easier to implement?
IOW, not have to redo the whole site to accommodate the CMS?

I think you can set up a blog even on a different url (blog.domain.com). As
long as you structure the links so they are focused (not diluted) you are
increasing page rankings.

On Friday, January 17, 2014, Todd email@hidden wrote:

Are you using Perch for this site? If so, setting up a blog is pretty
straightforward.

Todd
http://xiiro.com

maybe a blog, although I still wish there was an easier way to implement
the latter in FWP.


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Ernie Simpson


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I am using the Blog app, but it’s used primarily for communicating news, with no client interaction. Although I’ve learned a lot about integrating Perch into FWP, and my HTML and CSS training are clearly helping, I still find Perch a little confusing.

To me, it seems very fragmented. I really wish Perch had a chart or some other visual aid that showed how all of their code comes together (PHP, CSS, HTML templates, etc.) It seems like I spend most of my time trying to figure out how to style a specific element. Sometimes the element is getting it’s styling from Perch CSS, sometimes Perch HTML template, and other times the FWP document itself. Very confusing stuff, at least for me. :slight_smile:


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On 17 Jan 2014, 3:36 pm, The Big Erns wrote:

Would dividing the blog from the site proper make it easier to implement?
IOW, not have to redo the whole site to accommodate the CMS?

Yes, I had looked at that and that would provide a nice entree into something like WordPress, which I have very little experience with.


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To me, it seems very fragmented. I really wish Perch had a chart or some other visual aid that showed how all of their code comes together (PHP, CSS, HTML templates, etc.)

Not quite what your after and you possibly have this but…:
http://quick.grabaperch.com/

And I would still suggest Pulse if just requiring a blog.
My one attempt at implementing a news/blog with Perch was a nightmare, getting everything to pull together let alone styling. My inexperience I know but still.

s


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Another vote for a Pulse Blog

D


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On 17 Jan 2014, 8:01 pm, seoras wrote:

My one attempt at implementing a news/blog with Perch was a nightmare, getting everything to pull together let alone styling. My inexperience I know but still.

s

I would have to agree. I think what makes using Perch somewhat difficult is that we’re trying to inject Perch code into a website through a FWP interface versus directly into HTML or CSS code. This makes the process a bit convoluted. I don’t see seasoned coders having the same level of difficulty as us.

Thanks for the link seoras. I didn’t have that resource.


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On 17 Jan 2014, 11:12 pm, DeltaDave wrote:

Another vote for a Pulse Blog

D

I do like Pulse, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Pulse use local storage (i.e. website server) instead of a backend MySQL database? Maybe it doesn’t matter, but I always thought a MySQL option was better for blogs—especially as they grow in size.


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I’m glad you mentioned this because when I was still using FW I had the very same feeling despite being pretty proficient with it. Granted I wasn’t using Perch at the time but I was attempting to do similar things. When I started coding I was able to see the bigger picture and was amazed at just how uncomplicated my earlier attempts with FW actually were when dealing directly with the code. So utterly straightforward. It was a defining realization.

Todd

I think what makes using Perch somewhat difficult is that we’re trying to inject Perch code into a website through a FWP interface versus directly into HTML or CSS code.


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No MySQL.

Todd

I do like Pulse, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Pulse use local storage (i.e. website server) instead of a backend MySQL database?


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On 18 Jan 2014, 3:12 am, Todd wrote:

I’m glad you mentioned this because when I was still using FW I had the very same feeling despite being pretty proficient with it. Granted I wasn’t using Perch at the time but I was attempting to do similar things. When I started coding I was able to see the bigger picture and was amazed at just how uncomplicated my earlier attempts with FW actually were when dealing directly with the code. So utterly straightforward. It was a defining realization.

Todd
http://xiiro.com

The more I play around with HTML and CSS coding, the more I’m starting to understand the appeal of hand coding, but I doubt that I’ll be able to detach the FWP training wheels for a while.

Plus, my biggest problem continues to be one of visualization. I often find myself likening my visualization problem with the movie Matrix. Specifically, the scene were Neo is looking at the code and completely understands what the Matrix is doing. LOL


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I think most people struggle with this to some degree. What makes it so totally worth the effort is the moment you look at the screen and it does make sense, the moment you become, Neo.

Magical.

Todd

Plus, my biggest problem continues to be one of visualization. I often find myself likening my visualization problem with the movie Matrix. Specifically, the scene were Neo is looking at the code and completely understands what the Matrix is doing.


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The more I play around with HTML and CSS coding, the more I’m starting to
understand the appeal of hand coding, but I doubt that I’ll be able to
detach the FWP training wheels for a while.

I still use it, and it’s hardly training wheels for me… It’s more of a
prosthesis.

Yeah, that’s it. It’s my wooden legs that I keeps hoping to trade in for
6M$Man bionic ones!


Ernie Simpson


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Ernie, if I can become as proficient at tweaking FWP code the way you do I would be one happy web development camper. :slight_smile:


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