I hope you’re ready for another monthly report, because it’s time!
In this report, I’m going to start by sharing a secret about building web traffic that makes self promotion unnecessary (if you want it to be).
If you’re new here, each month I write a monthly report detailing exactly what we’ve been doing to build traffic to this site.
We share full details about how much traffic the site is getting, where it comes from and how we got it. These reports cover the period from the 16th to the 15th of each following month (this site originally launched on the 16th of March, 2010).
This report (#14) covers the month of April 16, 2011 to May 15, 2011.
The Real Secret to Driving Traffic to Your Website
I explained my current complete strategy for building the audience here at Think Traffic in a recent Traffic School lesson. After playing back what I said, I realized how simple my strategy here really is.
There is very little in the way of complicated tactics in my strategy, and I only spend time promoting the site in a couple of places. You might think that since this site is focused on traffic that I would be working every angle and pursuing every technique in the book, but I don’t. Here’s why.
I’ve said it before. To build a thriving audience for your website or blog, you have to ruthlessly focus your efforts on those things that work, and stop spending precious time on things that don’t.
Trying to pursue every possible traffic-building strategy at once is a recipe for failure. You don’t have enough time. Spreading your efforts thin only ensures you’ll be equally ineffective in a lot of different places.
You need to focus.
This means instead of having profiles on every social media platform in existence, you should concentrate your efforts on one or two.
Instead of paying for traffic, dabbling in SEO, networking with your peers, attending conferences and figuring out how to game the social bookmarking site du jour, choose just one of those strategies and work on it until it works for you.
Pick the places where you think your prospective readers hang out and dedicate your time there. By concentrating your effort you can gain momentum that you won’t achieve by just learning the basics or superficially engaging on a bunch of places. You have to dive deeper to get the real benefits of any of these possible strategies.
For example, I really don’t focus on SEO here, with just one exception that I’ll explain in a later post. I only promote posts from this site on Twitter and Facebook (and really spend most of my social media time on Twitter). I don’t pay for traffic and I don’t worry about Digg or Reddit or StumbleUpon or any other social bookmarking site.
And yet the traffic to this site keeps growing and growing.
Once you work hard enough until your chosen strategy becomes effective, you can branch out to other platforms and strategies.
For any traffic-building strategy to really work, there are some prerequisites.
Instead, lets talk about another part of the equation, one that is just as important as great content, and one that is supremely powerful from a marketing standpoint: engagement.
Traffic x Engagement = a Thriving Online Audience
You need traffic, no doubt, but without engagement and conversion you won’t really succeed in building a thriving online business.
Traffic without engagement is a waste. Traffic and engagement without conversion is a profitless business.
Engagement for these purposes is simply a measure of how deeply you connect with your visitors and how involved they are in their interactions with your business.
A poorly engaged visitor comes to your site, skims an article and moves on.
A highly engaged visitor reads your article, comments on it, replies to a comment from another visitor, “likes” your article on Facebook, writes you an @ reply message on Twitter, signs up for regular updates and comes back to your site every week.
Traffic is getting people in the door. Engagement is developing mutually beneficial relationships based on value, connection and trust.
If you only focus on Traffic, you might need a complicated promotion strategy just to keep enough visitors coming to the site (but probably won’t attract the right kind of visitors).
If you focus on engagement in addition to traffic, eventually you don’t need to do much promotion at all because your readers and customers will gladly do the promotion for you.
And the irony is that when your readers promote your site, it’s far more effective than any promotion you can do yourself.
That’s why my traffic strategy for this site seems so simple. The promotional aspects are rather simple because I focus on engagement and epic content. The engagement with you is what leads to all the tweets, likes, comments and links you see regularly on the posts here.
That’s how you build momentum.
Here’s the real secret to driving traffic to your website: simplify your marketing strategy and concentrate your efforts on just a couple of platforms, then focus on engaging your readers as deeply as possible.
How do you engage your visitors? Reply to every comment, reply to every tweet, reply to every Facebook comment, respond promptly to email, make yourself accessible, give more value away for free than anyone else charges for, be real and human and ask your readers for their input and help.
If you give enough, your readers will give back.
Once you know you’re giving epic value, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You need to tell your audience what you want them to do in a polite and respectful way.
If you’re not up to the task of engaging so deeply, do what you can, but know that your competition will eat your lunch if they apply the strategy I’m sharing today.
This Month’s Report and Traffic
This was another record month for Think Traffic. This is getting fun 😉
We saw 29,057 visits to the site last month, compared to 22,066 in the prior month (a 32% increase). The last two month’s growth rate has been much higher than the 10.8% average monthly growth rate I reported on last month.
The big spike you see there was the 21 Quick Actions post, which nearly became a viral hit. That was the highest single traffic day ever for this site, thanks to over 200 retweets and over 200 “likes” on Facebook. Thanks for your support, I’m glad the article was useful to so many of you.
Let’s look at some other stats for last month:
- New subscribers: 584 (+236% month-over-month)
- New comments (including my replies): 370 (-8% month-over-month)
- Retweets of new posts: 399 (+31% month-over-month)
7 total posts were published last month (vs. 10 in the prior month), including one guest posts and one video post:
- Share Your Best Post Ever! (and Use These Proven Formulas to Create Epic Content)
- Will This Ever Get Easier? The Magic Point When Momentum Takes Over and Your Website Starts to Grow Independently
- 21 Quick Actions You Can Do Today to Set Your Blog Up for Massive Success
- The Viral Content Formula That Could Double Your Readership (guest post by Danny Iny)
- How Fraser Cain Attracts 80,000 Search Visitors Per Day with Zero Link Building
- Ask the Readers: Why Do Most Websites Fail?
- The Surprisingly Simple Way to Grow Your Site’s Traffic by 242% in One Year
Top Traffic Sources
It’s interesting that Feedburner (RSS subscription) visits nearly doubled this month, when RSS subscribers only increased by 6.5% overall. I have a feeling that clicks through AWeber email subscriptions are now being incorrectly counted as Feedburner since I switched email from MailChimp.
Other than that anomaly, traffic sources were pretty similar to last month. StumbleUpon sent quite a bit more traffic this month (not that I care much), and Google search traffic continues to climb, despite my doing almost no SEO specific work here.
Top Search Terms:
- unique selling proposition examples: 375
- think traffic: 368
- unique selling proposition: 328
- personal introduction: 271
- website traffic: 205
- thinktraffic: 185
- unique selling point examples: 125
- corbett barr: 110
- best sales pitch: 60
- mentor vs role model: 45
There are a couple of things I love about this list of top content for the month.
First, last month’s most popular post (Think You Can’t Make Money Blogging?) received more visitors this month than last. It’s awesome when content stays relevant and popular long after it was published.
Next, the two most popular articles from this month are already in the top 10 most popular articles of all time from the site (the 21 actions post is the third most popular ever). That’s a great sign of growth.
Thanks again for helping me make it all happen this month.
What Can I Help You With?
Important Things Coming Up This Month
Today Chris Ducker posted an interview with me over at the Virtual Business Lifestyle blog. Chris and I had a great time while he was visiting here in San Francisco from the Philippines last month. We both had a lot of fun on this interview, so definitely check it out if you want to learn a little about my business and my online marketing strategies.
Tomorrow I’ll be announcing a big project that Adam Baker and I are working on together. Check back here for full details and to find out how you can get a copy of the popular webinar about momentum we recorded last week.
Cheers! Thanks for reading as always. I hope this has been helpful.