inbound marketing

How to Get More Targeted Traffic To Your Website

All Website Traffic is Not Created Equal

how to get more targeted traffic me

Have you seen people on forums and in Facebook groups asking about how to get more website traffic? It’s almost funny to watch them, but wow, they can be pretty aggressive!

Don’t get me wrong – having website visitors is critical if you’re using the internet to market your business online. But I just have to say – it’s important to keep in mind that not all website traffic is useful to you!

Here’s what I mean. If I have 1000 people visit my website in a week, that might sound great. But if they’re looking for someone who does article spinning those 1000 people aren’t going to benefit my business one bit – that’s not part of my business model.

But if I have 10 new visitors this week who are interested in outsourcing the development of their coaching program materials, then these 10 visitors are exactly the kind of customer I love, and they’re going to benefit my business far more than the 1000 random people would.

Make sense?

When you want to attract more traffic to your website you want a specific kind of traffic. You want targeted traffic. If you just get any old kind of traffic through some sort of service you may not end up with the traffic that counts..the kind of traffic ready to read your articles, sign up for your mailing list and buy your products.

Are you wondering how you get that kind of targeted traffic to your website? Here are five sure-fire ways to get more targeted website traffic.

How to Get More Targeted Traffic To Your Website

1.  Fill Your Website with High Quality Targeted Content

I harp on this a lot, but it’s super important. Targeted content can be blog posts, articles, comments, forum posts, and even photographs and products that your market would enjoy. Of course anything that you put on your website should contain the right keywords within the descriptions, text, and alt tags. If you use a website building software such as WordPress.org you can ensure you have all the right search engine optimization done easily.

2.  Write Articles and Blog Posts that Speak to Your Market

You should know exactly who your audience is. What is their age group? What sex are they? What are their hopes, dreams and fears? What solutions can you provide them? What words can you use to attract them, keep them, and motivate them to act in the way that you want them to act? Know the keywords, lingo and acronyms that are common within your niche so that you can use them in all of your content.

3.  Offer Products and Services that Fill Your Audience’s Need(s)

If you have a website that is targeted to business owners who are bookkeepers, it would not make sense to offer them products or services that are directed toward spa owners. Be very specific about what you are offering them and do not stray from your market no matter how tempting it can be to sell a high commission product. It simply won’t work. They want you to offer them products and services that solve their issues for the topic you are claiming expertise in.

 

4.  Offer Freebies with a Twist

 

Don’t just give away free things on your website. Rather give away something of value to your visitors in exchange for something such as their email address and permission to communicate with them via email.  When you give them the freebie ensure that it always includes some sort of  offer  to pass on what they have gotten to others who they feel will be interested. This will further encourage like minded visitors to come to your website therefore gaining even more targeted website traffic.

5.  Always Have a Call To Action

In every blog post, every email, ever freebie, every eBook, every eReport and every other product or service that you offer should always have an additional call to action. Whether it is an invitation to comment on your blog posts, or submit a testimonial, or to do something else entirely, it is important to always ask for interaction of some kind from your website visitors. Not only will that create a situation where the visitor comes back, but if you’re interesting enough they might invite others that they know.

QUESTION:  Do you have all the targeted traffic you can stand, or are you interested in learning more ways to boost your traffic, loyal readers, and paying customers? Leave a comment below!

Work at Home Mom Strategies When You Have to Change Focus

work at home mom change candle pic

What’s a work at home mom to do when an amazing new opportunity arises?

It’s so amazing to be in a place to have to answer this question!

I’ve had an incredible opportunity open up recently, but for several weeks I wasn’t at liberty to reveal it, which put me in an awkward position as a blogger!  On one hand, I wanted to stay regular with my blog; on the other hand – it’s tough to keep writing when you know your blog is about to need to change its focus – dramatically.

As many of you know who follow me on my social media channels (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn), I’m in the amazing position of having been offered a position with the Boom! Social team, headed up by none other than Kim Garst.  I’ll be creating and managing content marketing materials and processes.

I couldn’t be more thrilled – talk about the chance of a lifetime!

But by necessity, it means that my own content marketing services will be coming to a close.

As a result, I’m transitioning the focus of my website. It’s an effort that’s been in progress for a few weeks now, and yes, the rough look for a couple of weeks was the results of my attempts to modify it myself.  I’m definitely a word nerd and not a web geek!

I’ll be shifting gears to focus on some of the common concerns of work at home moms, adding in pieces related to spiritual matters (especially when it comes to raising kids in a faith tradition), and maybe even a few articles that don’t fit in to any one category very neatly.

Work At Home Strategies for Life Transitions

Whether it’s a happily anticipated change or a surprising – or devastating change, the strategies for keeping your life balanced during a time of transition are similar.

1. Decide what is essential – and what isn’t.

Not everything has the same urgency, and this becomes quite obvious when there’s an unexpected event – be it exciting or tragic. Make a prioritized list of the must-dos. This gives you a way to outsource anything critical when someone offers help.  (And when they do offer, pick up your list, give them a task, and let them help!)

2. Make a routine.

When you are overwhelmed with trying to learn something new or simply gather the courage and energy to get through the day, being able to function on autopilot is a merciful tool. It doesn’t require much thought – you just have to “do.”  After you’ve figured out what is essential to you personally and professional, write a short routine for each section of the day (morning, mid day and evening) to get it accomplished.  Don’t skip writing it down; there is no shame in it whatsoever. Pilots run checklists before every flight to make sure nothing is skipped – feel free to give your life the same careful consideration!

3. Break down complex tasks into manageable, 15-minute chunks

If simply getting started seems difficult, take something that seems complex and pick a starting point.  It doesn’t have to be the perfect place to start – it is just a place to begin.  Set a timer for 15 minutes and focus for just those 15 minutes.  You don’t have to get it all done, you just have to work for those 15 minutes.

You might be surprised with what you can do in that amount of time!  Be willing to give yourself a break at the end of that time too.  It makes it easier to try it again the next time when you know you’ll honor your need for breaks as needed and that you don’t have to finish it all in 15 minutes.

 

In my own life transition from building my own business to participating in a team building a larger business, I’ve had to figure out how to refocus my piece of internet real estate called PaulineMagnusson.com  I’ve decided to focus on my interest in the mix of working at home, parenting, marriage, and the spiritual life that’s my everyday existence.

I’ve renamed this effort The Mom-astic Life, because while life in a monastery sounds attractive from time to time (especially during a multi-kid meltdown), the truth is this – we are all called to recognize the holiness in everyday life, whether we live in the world or in a cloister.  These walls, my home business, the endless piles of laundry, and even the Lego blocks stepped on in the middle of the night are exactly the means that God has given me to bring me closer to Him.  This crazy, chaotic life stuffed full of love and laughter is my monastery.

And for that, I say, “Glory to God.”

If these topics might interest you, I’d love to see you stick around.  Grab a cup of coffee, post a comment, and let’s get started getting to know one another better. If this isn’t something that you’re interested in, peace be to you as you depart; know you’re in my prayers.

Be blessed!

Content Marketing Tips: The #1 Keyword Research Tool I’m Really Grateful For!

the keyword research tool im grateful for

The number one thing I’m thankful for in my professional life this year is the opportunity to learn and grow a business – while getting to be home and raise my 4 kids. I am so incredibly grateful that I get to home school my kids!  At the same time, my husband and I get to be active in our role as parents daily.  What a blessing!  I haven’t lost my professional identity, though!  I’ve learned so much this year as I’ve built my content marketing business! And if you’d have told me I’d have come so far in such a short time, I would’ve laughed.

But I still think the best is yet to come!

Because I am so grateful for all I’ve learned, I wanted to share a little gem of a tool with you.  I think this is incredibly helpful in conducting keyword research for anyone who’s doing content marketing.  It’s a nifty way to discover some contextually related keywords you might not have even known existed!

Content Marketing Keyword Research – Contextual Targeting Tool

Google Contextual Targeting Tool:  I admit I haven’t been using this tool long.  The more I use it, though, the more I love its results!  It’s yet another way of using Google’s Adwords feature to find related search terms based on real Google data.  Pretty nifty, right?

So for instance, say you want to look up social media marketing, and you’re just starting your keyword research.  You want to make sure that you don’t miss any keywords so you make sure you’re getting the best targeted traffic possible.

Open up Google Adwords, and select the Tools and Analysis tab.  Scroll down to the Contextual Targeting Tool and select it. 

Your screen will look like this:

Content marketing keyword research tool

Notice that in the text field at the top, I typed “social media marketing” (without the quotes)

The CTT will return results that are formatted with an anchor keyword in the left hand column and a group of related keywords in the right hand column.

 

Content marketing keyword research results image

Look at the content marketing phrase ideas down the left hand column.  You might well discover contextually related keywords that you might not have known people were looking for in your niche.  To find more contextually related keywords select one and enter it into the CTT. You’ll discover even more keywords to help boost your rich content marketing and its SEO ranking.

If you see a category that catches your attention, click the plus sign next to the anchor keyword.  It will expand a list of even more related keywords for your content marketing pleasure.

content marketing expanded keyword group

The beauty of the CTT is that you don’t know every keyword you’ll want to use in your content marketing campaign. And with this – you don’t need to.  In fact, even if you think you know what keywords people will want to use, it’s better to use the contextual targeting tool to examine your content marketing keywords just to be sure.  It’s like trying to proofread your own material.  You might be so familiar with it that you are overlooking what basic keywords and searches people might be performing related to your content.

QUESTION:  Do you find keyword research to be the most interesting or most tedious part of your content marketing efforts?  I’d love to hear – leave a comment below!

Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours!

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: Even An 8 Year Old Gets It!

I was having a great conversation with my 8-year-old daughter tonight about the differences between inbound vs outbound marketing. Now, she didn’t necessarily call it that. She didn’t specifically give me a discourse on the specific ways that inbound vs outbound marketing differ from each other and how the two differ.

But I was talking with her about a new product I distribute through network marketing. It’s a product that, in her words, “helps if you’ve just had a baby [I have] and you want to improve how your belly looks afterwards,” in the description of my daughter.

I wanted to use the company’s verbiage of “It’s a botanical wrap that tightens, tones and firms in 45 minutes.” but my daughter pointed out that it sounded too much like a TV commercial that just blasts you with information. Whereas her description, as she said, is about helping people who need something, like moms who want to feel pretty again after having a baby.

For all the words written by smart people out there to describe the difference between inbound and outbound marketing, I think my daughter’s on to something pretty basic.

When you have something to sell, the best way to sell is to provide value to people who might have a need for your product. Provide enough value to them up front (in the blogging world we do that with content marketing), and they’ll begin to trust you. When they realize they have a problem that your product or service solves, you’ll be the natural choice for them to turn to.

I had the opportunity to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk this weekend at Kim Garst’s Social Boom event in Tampa, and he talked about it there, too. About how important it is to listen to people and create value before you ever try to sell them something. He’s got a whole book about the Thank You Economy that talks about the need to scale the caring that businesses of the past had – or watch our competition pass us by.

As Gary mentioned in his remarks this weekend, marketers ruin everything. He was talking about how various forms of electronic communication and social media even are ruined when they become saturated with marketers trying to forcefully sell rather than provide value.

Instead, he advocated for the in-progress return of an economy based on values like gratitude, compassion, and respect between businesses and customers.

My 8 year old intuitively grasped that, when she stated flat out, “it doesn’t feel good to be told you need something.”

She’s a smart one, isn’t she?

But she understands already that while we don’t like to be sold, we do appreciate respect, usefulness, and value, and if you don’t provide value in the way you approach your customer from the get go, you’re just being rude!

It’s funny – sometimes we try to make this marketing stuff a whole lot harder than it really is, right?

3 Differences Between Inbound vs Outbound Marketing And Why You Should Care

1. Are you earning people’s interest or buying it? Earning people’s interest is a key sign of inbound marketing whereas buying for their interest in any way is a form of outbound marketing.

2. Inbound Marketing costs less per lead than outbound marketing. Inbound vs outbound marketing costs is an important part of choosing to focus on inbound marketing strategies.

3. Inbound vs outbound marketing determines if your ad is ever seen. Over 84% of young adults report having left a website because of intrusive advertising.

I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me when my 8 year old was so good at spotting the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. After all – no one likes being sold to!

How are you using inbound marketing in your business? I’d love to know – leave a comment below!

7 Deadly Sins of Business Blogging

Have you ever wondered if there were deadly sins of blogging?  If there’s something you might do that’s so egregious (even if you didn’t know what egregious means) that you might somehow do this whole blogging thing wrong?

7 deadly sins of business blogging

I have to be upfront. The answer is yes. But I’m going to guess that these tips for how not to blog could be different than you might expect.

So to aid you in your resolve to go and sin no more when it comes to discovering how not to blog, here are the 7 deadly sins of business blogging and a suggested “penance” to overcome them.

How Not To Blog: The Seven Deadly Sins of Business Blogging

1. Writing Boring Headlines

So you’ve figured out the right SEO-worthy keyword for your blog post title to get you the traffic you’re considering.  But it’s a yawner of a headline that, once the search engine finds you, no one wants to read.  Writing boring headlines is the first deadly sin of business blogging and a definite inclusion on a list of how not to blog.

Suggested Penance:  Go visit the folks at Copyblogger and work your way through their Magnetic Headlines series.

2. Writing Creative But Confusing Headlines

While creative headlines are good, clear headlines are even better.  Your headline is your promise to the reader. It answers the question, “what’s in it for me if I read your article?”  And if you don’t deliver, you’ll leave your reader feeling cheated, which is not what you want.  That’s a huge item on the how not to blog list!

Not only that, but I’m sure I heard once there was a special layer in Dante’s Inferno reserved for writers of headlines that don’t deliver.

It’s absolutely  possible to write a compelling headline that draws your reader in, helping him or her know right from the get go what you’ll be discussing.

Suggested Penance:  Sometimes a straightforward headline is best.  If you can rework yours to get to the point, do so.

3. Ignoring SEO

While writing for your human visitors is best, if you’re not paying attention to search engine optimization techniques, you’re missing out on some of the benefit of your blogging efforts.

Suggested Penance:  Visit Assist Social Media to learn how to get the biggest bang for your social media buck, including introductory SEO tips you can use on your blog post, keyword selection, and use of tags starting today.

4. Blogging Erratically

From both a search engine and a human perspective, blogging erratically is a huge no-no for business blogs.  For the search engines involved, erratic blogging will decrease the benefit you get from posting, lowering your ranking on Google search results. From a human perspective, if your readers notice that the timing of your blog posts is flaky, they’re bound to think the same of your business.

Suggested Penance:  One of the best ways to keep track of your ideas is to simply start a draft each time you have something cross your mind that might make a good blog post.  This way, when you sit down to blog, you’ve got a whole list of blog post ideas ready to go.

5. No About Me Page

You are in this for business, right?  So you want to make sure your readers can contact you and want to contact you!  Take the time to write a well-crafted page that talks not only about your accomplishments but lets your personality shine through as well.

Suggested Penance:  Read through your About Me Page and make sure it still makes sense and puts forth the best word picture of who you are.

6. Spamming Other Blogs

While visiting other blogs is a good practice, visiting other blogs, not engaging with your fellow community members and leaving comments like, “come visit my blog…” is just plain rude.  Provide value to others, listen, and engage with people (not at them), and you’ll be surprised at the quality of connections and links that are formed.

Suggested Penance:  Choose 3 blogs in your niche that interest you on a regular basis.  Leave a comment on each of them without indulging in any self promotion.  Simply seek to be a good community member.

7. Ignoring comments

This is huge. As one of my friends puts it, treat every comment received as if it were your first. Or your mom. Or your preacher.  Whatever -you get the point. Take the time to respond to everyone who has taken the time to respond to your post, and keep your replies as civil and respectful as if your mom or your preacher were reading, even if someone does get your “Irish up!”

Suggested Penance:  Make sure you’re using a comment plugin such as CommentLuv to let your guests get maximum value for their time spent commenting on your site. Oh, and, go over to your blog now and start answering everyone who’s waiting for a response.

With effort and the suggested penances listed above, you too can overcome these 7 deadly sins of business blogging and be on your way to creating a blog of virtue and value, one your readers can’t wait to read.  Go forth and blog and sin no more!

It’s Confession time!  Which of these deadly sins have you saying, “mea culpa?”  Leave a comment below!