Over the past few weeks I have had a quite a few meetings with people that have asked for advice on how to get more traffic going to their site. I always find the question a bit difficult to answer because the reason people come back to our sites is largely due to the fact their is always something new and different going on, including a change in sponsors and competitions which allows us to create a slightly different look and feel each day.
Having said that however, if you have a service that people really want to use and conversions are not a problem when you get people to your site, maybe try these 5 startup hacks that we use across our publications to make sure our traffic is flowing everyday the way it is supposed to be. If you are a competing publication in the same space as this site from Australia, that may or may not be based in Melbourne, you really won’t want to read any of this, it’s really really really boring.
First and foremost you need to really familiarise yourself with the rules, you can not just go into Wikipedia and start putting links to your website where ever you feel like it. Wikipedia have a purpose to be a constantly up to date encyclopedia. Things change in the world fast these days, definitions change and information needs to be updated. Wikipedia is a great tool that will help attract people to your blog posts and boost your SEO in a massive way.
For example if I had a startup that was all about obtaining legal services online and I had written a killer blog post about the in’s and out’s of shareholder agreements – I would go to wikipedia and update any info needed on that entry. I would then go to the References or Further Reading sections of the entry and cite who the author of the post was and what the blog post was about adding the link in.
Anybody now coming to that page on Wikipedia can now find you, and if you put that wikipedia link into the headers or footers of your site it helps push your startup ahead of your competitors when people are searching for that topic.
Most people would know Campaign Monitor as the Aussie based global startup that helps users create beautiful email newsletters. We use it for all our weekly newsletters across our publications. But this service has more capability than it’s slick communication tools and killer reporting.
If you go to Lists on your dashboard and click on a list you have created, you will see a tab to the right side of the screen that says Grow my Audience, this takes you to a page that has five templates for creating subscriber forms like the one in the right hand column of this website. However those templates can be manipulated if you have basic knowledge of HTML and you can start creating all sorts of things for your site that collect names, email addresses and all sorts of details that filter back into your external communication tool set.
All forms we use to run competitions such as our Startup of the Year are manipulated subscriber forms we changed in Campaign Monitor. In addition to this it allows me to track engagement levels for various competitions and advertisers, as well as collect much more targeted information than the basic subscriber forms.
A lot of startups have Google Alerts set up for their companies, the founders name and other vain topics that are all to do with them. That is great, and yes that helps you in being reactive making sure you get the links to those articles and posts out to your contacts as soon as you can. However that does not help to scale your business.
Using Google Alerts proactively however does work to your advantage and you can very easily grow a couple of aspects of your business. The first thing you need to make sure is that you are being alerted to EVERY term you can think of that you may be able to comment on or speak about in the media, then on top of that make sure you are also tracking your competitors and everything written about them. You also need to set your alerts to the “as it happens” tab, not daily or weekly – if you don’t know about something as it is happening, then it is useless.
As a startup I would use the tool to know globally who is writing or producing content on my business subject matter, I would then be setting up an easy email template and contacting these people as their articles are published introducing yourself as an expert offering any commentary for future articles they may be writing or presenting. They remember you because it’s applicable and targeted and the story is still fresh in their mind as it has just been published. Getting lots of press is a numbers game, beat the pack by getting in first on the action.
We use Google Alerts for a slightly different reason, we trade in information and therefore the faster we relay information out to our audience online the better the chances of people reading our coverage of a particular topic are. I know what articles are being published by my competitors within 30 seconds of them going live on their website, it allows me to react quickly and pull editorial about to be published of a similar nature and rework an article so that we come at things from a slightly different angle. If you are not first to market with something, you need to be different or the one that attracts the most attention.
Vimily is an Australian based startup which is changing the way small businesses use video. I am dubbing it the hashtag of video as it allows marketers to engage potential customers efficiently and at a very low cost. However as a startup I would be taking a much deeper look at the mechanics behind Vimily and how you could use the product to your advantage.
For example as a publisher if someone was to interview a bunch of startups during the Startup Spring Festival at events in Brisbane where we are not able to be, they would be able to come to our publication and tell me that they just interviewed 100 startup founders asking them what their top tip in business was for example. That person could then go into the back end of their Vimily account and extract an iframe code which enables me the publisher to embed ALL that content in one hit on our website.
Where it gets really exciting is that the person who provided me the code and filmed the videos, is able to watermark a message / logo / call to action in the corner of the video, driving traffic to their website. That means if a startup that sold custom made jewellery online went to the streets and asked 200 women what their perfect piece of jewellery looked like and then after doing that went to an online fashion publication and told them they had just interviewed 200 women about their perfect piece of jewellery and they wanted to give that publication the content for free, and the publication published the code and then had all the videos on their site you will see a few things happening.
The first would be participants in the interview sharing their own videos across all their social networks, the second is their followers and friends re-sharing the content again and so forth. The third would be that every time the content was shared both the publication with the videos and the jewellery startup are receiving social recognition via the hashtags set up by the jeweller.
The fifth and most exciting is that the jewellery startup could have a message in the top corner of all the videos saying “Design your own custom piece today, Click Here” which would lead people directly to a landing page of their site to start using their product.
Vimily might be relatively new, but clever startups will find a way to use them as a distribution firehose.
They are completely overused on a daily basis, yet severely underestimated in the commercial and small business world. If I want something to be heard on social media I always make sure I hashtag it, the key though is getting other people to use your hashtag without any friction. When blogging use hashtags in your titles, if something you write or a message you want shared gains traction you can quite easily start trending which then attracts more potential customers. Look at the title I gave this article …
I know exactly who I want to reach with it, and I know they are definitely checking that hashtag at least every 2 hours. The beauty with hashtags is they work across pretty much all the major 3 social networks. Piggy back off the tags that key influencers in your space are using, especially if they are trying to make #fetch happen.