Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of ways to build a business online? I do at times.

In the interests of cutting through to simplicity, here are two approaches to using content marketing to build web site traffic. You can start applying them today.

The first content marketing strategy is designed to attract organic search traffic. The second to attract referral traffic.

Keep in mind it is all about quality, not quantity. You want to get more web site traffic that is relevant to your business. Not just any traffic.

How To Get More Organic Search Traffic To Your Web Site

When someone types a phrase into a search engine, they are presented with a list of organic and paid search results. They are great visitors to attract to your site if what they are searching for relates to your business.

  1. Research. Each month go to Google’s Keyword Tool (ed: updated from WordTracker) and review one or more of your primary key word families.
  2. Plan. Identify useful keyword phrases that have predicted search traffic between 15 and 200 (use Match Type = Exact for best results). If you find 4 of these, you have one post per week.
  3. Do. Write posts to help solve a problem related to those niche keywords. Use the niche keyword in your article title – for most WordPress sites this should ensure it appears in your post URL and title tag (if not, make sure it does). Link to related posts and pages on your site. Where relevant include a Call to Action, for example, to subscribe to your blog, register to an email list or review a related offer.
  4. Review. Check your analytics and see whether these posts are driving traffic to your site. in Google Analytics, check Sources of Traffic to see if they keyword phrases deliver traffic, and check Content to see if your articles are being read. Analyse your effectiveness.

Tip of the hat to Ciaran McKeever – see this post for the full story.

How To Get More Referral Traffic To Your Website

When someone is reading a blog or a website, they may see a link to a related web page. When they click through to that web page, they are called a Referral visitor. If they were reading content about something closely related to your business, they are a great visitor to attract to your site.

In practice, content marketing is the best approach to generating referral visitors. That is because it requires high quality, focussed content to get the attention of the author of the other blog or website.

  1. Research. Review the audience you want to publish for. Consider what blogs they are already reading online. Develop a Top 10 list of blogs, and identify the bloggers involved and how they define their audience. What content could you write that would not only solve a problem for your audience, but would also interest the bloggers?
  2. Plan. Each month identify blog posts you can write that will solve a problem and interest a blogger. Once again, choose 4 of these and you have one a week. Regularly read the Top 10 blogs and notice any posts that present an opportunity for you to respond with your own post.
  3. Do. Write one post every week that includes a link to a Top 10 blog. Think about your audience and the audience of the other blog, and make it as relevant as you can to their interests. Include a link to their post in the body of your post. Find their trackback address if it exists and enter it in the trackback field for your post. Write at least one comment every week on a Top 10 blog.
  4. Review. Read the Top 10 blogs and notice if you are attracting interest. Use analytics to review Referral traffic. What is working? Consider asking some of the Top 10 bloggers for advice on how you can improve your blog.

About Social Network Traffic

A blog is also a great tool to help build social network traffic. While social networks can drive a lot of visitors, they are in general not likely to be as interested in your site as search or referral visitors.

Ok, so there are two content marketing approaches to help you get more web site traffic. What do you think are the most effective ways to build traffic?