Getting traffic to your website is a critical component of being successful and profitable in your online business.
However, not all traffic is created equal.
Realistically, having a successful website is not so much about getting a lot of traffic to your site, but it’s about getting the right traffic.
To do this, you have to figure out how to get targeted traffic for your website, because this is the traffic that is most likely to lead to sales.
Targeted versus Non-targeted Traffic
Everyone looks at traffic metrics.
How much traffic your site is getting always seems to be the first way that people measure their success – which is a pity, because that number doesn’t mean anything.
You could have thousands of people visiting your website every month, but this really wouldn’t do you much good unless you were getting conversions.
The thing is, targeted traffic will convert much better than poor quality traffic.
People browse the internet for all sorts of different reasons.
Sometimes, browsing the internet is simply a way to pass the time (YouTube or Facebook anyone?), while other times, people are actually looking for information about products.
When you are building a website, you are really looking for a specific group of people. In particular, you want people who:
- Are interested in your niche
- Are interested in purchasing products or services
- Have the financial means to do make purchases
In general, people who meet these three qualifications are targeted traffic.
They are the people who are actually going to earn you money.
Many site owners refine this further and they look for specific demographics of people.
For example, if you have a niche site for rock climbing and rock climbing equipment, you probably want to be targeting your search towards the people who are most likely to actually go rock climbing.
Using Google Display planner can actually be a fantastic approach here because the tool offers visual information about the audience you are looking at.
The tool shows (surprisingly) that the majority of people looking for rock climbing gear are actually female, but also that they tend to be under 45 (which isn’t that surprising).
This information can really help you target your content and even your keywords around the traffic you are after.
Now, this type of data is never going to be 100% accurate, but it’s still good information to guide you in some of the decisions you make about your site and the traffic you’re looking for.
Getting the Traffic
The first thing to look at for any type of traffic is your keywords.
Internet marketers use keywords to rank on search engines and to get people actually interested in their site.
The keywords that you choose to focus on play a huge role in what traffic you actually get.
If you are using very broad keywords, then your traffic probably isn’t very targeted.
One of the key ways around this is to use long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are the ones with anywhere from four words all the way up to seven or eight.
Generally speaking, the more words you have as part of your keyword phrase, the less traffic you will get. However, the traffic you get will be much more relevant.
For example, a keyword of ‘Party Supplies’ will get a lot of traffic (if you rank for it), but you will get a lot of different traffic.
In contrast, a keyword of ‘Supplies for an 18th Birthday Party’ will get less traffic, but you will actually get people relevant to your topic.
An additional advantage is that the long-tail keyword will tend to have less competition, so it will easier to rank for.
A specific approach for getting targeted traffic is known as low-hanging fruit.
The emphasis of this approach is to choose keywords that have very low competition.
These keywords are incredibly easy to rank for and you will get traffic from them.
People often avoid low-hanging keywords because the traffic numbers are so low.
Sometimes these keywords will have less than 10 searches a month, but other times they might have 20, 30 or more searches.
At face value, it seems like these keywords aren’t worth the effort, but they really do get a lot of traffic over time.
After all, even one visitor a month adds up if you have your site for five years.
Most of the time social media will get you very general untargeted traffic, but there are ways to take advantage of social media and use it to generate targeted traffic.
Whether you want to take the time to do this or not, is really up to you.
The first case is Google Plus. In case you haven’t heard Google Plus (or G+) is Google’s attempt at a social network.
Honestly, it hasn’t been particularly successful as far as social networks go, but it is important for internet marketing.
Google also developed an approach called authorship, which was used to tie a person’s website to their Google Plus profile, which makes search engine results look like this:
Sometimes people use an image like the site above has done, but often an image of the actual person is used.
Authorship was a big deal for a while, but Google has basically cut support to it, considering it a failed experiment.
You do still find images popping up next to posts sometimes, but typically authorship isn’t the reason for that anymore.
Google Plus is also interesting because it actually influences the results you get in a Google search.
In particular, if someone is following you in Google Plus, your results are actually going to pop up in their results more often and rank better.
This makes it easier to get repeat visitors and to get your targeted traffic to keep coming back to your site.
I always recommend using Google Plus simply because it is Google’s pet project.
There is always the chance that Google Plus will become more significant later, especially if Google is trying to get more people onto their social media network.
Other social media sites can also be helpful, but you have to be careful about who you are targeting.
In general, you want to be promoting and sharing content that is aimed at your desired audience.
A good emphasis here is image heavy posts and Pinterest is actually a really good social media tool to use because it promotes rapid sharing and re-sharing.
This can be a good way of generating targeted traffic if your images are actually relevant to your content.
However, do be aware that you can’t generate targeted traffic by being misleading.
You will just end up attracting people who are looking for something different than what you are offering.
One of the good things about using social media to generate targeted traffic is that you can get people following you on social media and these will be the people interested in your content.
Often you can drive these people to your site by linking a given post or even simply by talking about your site.
StumbleUpon is actually a very interesting tool that you can use to get people to your website. However, to do this, you have to use the tool in a specific way.
Basically, StumbleUpon is a tool that shows people random sites based on their interests.
The tool isn’t really designed for you to promote your own site through it, but it can be done.
The trick is that you need to be using the tool yourself, and rating content that is similar to the content you have.
Now, this might sound counterproductive – but this tells the site that your site belongs in the category.
Basically, this means that your content is more likely to be shown to people with relevant interests.
The more people that uprate your content, the more people will see it.
This positive cycle can be a key way for how to get targeted traffic to your website, although it can take a bit of time.
One of the challenges with both StumbleUpon and social media approaches is that people behave in an unpredictable manner, and there is no real way to know whether your content will get shared or liked.
Likewise, you cannot fully predict who will click on your links.
You can even pay StumbleUpon to force the site to send visitors to your site.
However, if you are going to use StumbleUpon in any capacity, then you need to make sure your site looks good, is clear and easy to read.
With StumbleUpon you have a very short period of time to make a positive impression, so you have to make that first glance count.
Beware Paid Traffic
Paid traffic isn’t a very good approach for how to get targeted traffic.
You can get a lot of traffic that way but most of the time the traffic you get isn’t actually that good.
Frequently, the paid traffic that you end up with is people that don’t actually want to buy anything, which kind of defeats the purpose.
Sometimes you can get paid traffic that actually boosts your sales, but even then, the boost tends to be short-term and you still have to pay to actually get that traffic.
Instead, you need to focus on how to get targeted traffic for your website on your own, without having to rely on external sources like paid traffic.
In the long-term, making your site able to generate its own traffic is always the best strategy, particularly as it reduces the amount you have to spend to get paid traffic.
Realistically, if you are paying attention to social media and to your keywords, it should be very possible to get targeted traffic and increase the conversions on your website.
If this is something you struggle with at all, I would suggest having a look at some of the training that Wealthy Affiliate offers, because keyword research and getting targeted traffic is an area that the site places considerable emphasis on.