Increase Web Traffic
Ask any blog or website owner if they’re getting “enough” traffic to their site, and you’ll get a resounding “NO!”
Have you been trying to get more visitors to your blog, but find the old-school ways of traffic generation aren’t working for you? Then you need a traffic generating tactic that works!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a service provider, a virtual assistant, a consultant, a teacher, or an online marketer, this tactic can work for your site. The only thing stopping you is this suggestion may require you to move outside your comfort zone.
But if you want different results, you need to try different tactics. So let’s get started!
Host a Contest
Very few can resist a contest, regardless if it’s a drawing for a free dinner at your favorite restaurant or a annual membership to the nearest 24-Hour Fitness Center. The same holds true online.
A contest has two main advantages: first, it will draw new visitors to your site, and second, it is a great way to honor your existing readers and customers for their loyalty.
Four main steps for operating a contest
1. Decide on an appropriate prize.
2. Plan the format.
3. Announce the contest.
4. Promote the contest.
That’s it! Of course, there’s just a little more to it than that, so we will now cover these four steps in some detail:
1. Selecting a Prize
There are two approaches on prize selection: You can either pick something that’s universally attractive, or you can choose something that’s totally related to your market. Which one you select depends on your desired outcome.
Offering a universally appealing prize is something that just about anyone would be interested in. It can be like a gift card to Amazon, an iPad or Kindle, or cold, hard cash. The main advantage of a universally appealing prize is that you will draw tons of eyeballs that will bump your traffic stats.
However, the drawback is that many of those visitors may not be interested at all in your site beyond the the scope of the prize and will quickly disappear as soon as the contest is over.
A prize related to your market is more preferable if you aim is to generate qualified TARGETED traffic. For instance, if you run a membership site, you might offer a prize that offers a free year’s access. Or if you have a digital product or software program, offer it as a free prize to a lucky winner or winners. This tactic will obviously draw more valuable visitors to your blog, although not in such large numbers.
2. Planning the Format
Onto how, what, when and where?
Once you have the prize chosen, what will your visitors have to do in order to win it?
One important element when planning your contest is creating a way to capture the visitors to your site. The most common way to do so is to ask people to fill out a form which is connected to your email list to be entered to win.
Another option is to ask people to “Like” or “post” to their favorite social site (Facebook or Twitter) while capturing their email address, with the knowledge that they will receive future communications from you.
3. Announce Contest Details on Your Blog
(Tip: If you have people visit your site to see if they’ve won, you’ll make sure they will have to visit at least one more time!).
If you receive the prize as a donation from a sponsor, you will need to disclose that fact in “the fine print” on your site.
4. Promoting the Contest
If you give away an iPad on the web and no one enters, does it make any noise? NO. To grab attention, to get traffic going, to get customers excited, you have to make some noise. This means chatting up your contest and encouraging others to do the same.
How? At the bare minimum…
- Post about the contest, but don’t do it just once – write at least a few blog posts throughout the week about the contest.
- Tweet about it several times before and during the contest.
- Add it to your Facebook fan page and post it to your friends.
- Use any other of your social media tools and email list to get the word out.
- Mention the contest on any forums or online groups that you participate in.
- Ask friends in your industry to include a note about the contest on their platforms.
- You can also allow extra entries to contestants who Tweet and/or post about the contest on their Facebook page.
- Create a small blog button for people to add it to their sites (make sure it’s clickable and hot-linked back to your site).
- If your give away is something big, then write up a press release and submit it to appropriate media, online and off.
- There are also industry-specific sites that list contests of interest to that market, you could submit your contest for added bang.
Caution: The rule of thumb is the bigger the prize, the bigger the promotion. Don’t burn people out or disappoint them by making a big deal about a contest if it is only a new toothbrush!
Contests don’t need to be complicated. Just select a prize, create a set of instructions, make a little buzz, and you’ll be realizing the rewards in the form of higher traffic in a matter of days. Good luck!