Every American knows the fundamental premise of the classic movie Field of Dreams (or, for that matter Wayne’s World 2): if you build it, they will come. So it can be a bit of a rude awakening when your brand new business website, looking great and ready for visitors, just sits there, doing nothing.
Where are all the visitors?
In the world of online business, websites can’t just sit there and wait for more traffic. There are too many websites out there, and too many great companies, for people to go out of their way to find an obscure one.
That’s where marketing comes into the picture. Behind all the fancy terminology, it’s marketing’s job to bring traffic to your business, be it foot traffic coming to your brick and mortar or online traffic coming to your website.
Increasing Web Traffic with the PESO Marketing Model
To make this as simple as possible, there are different ways to get people to your website. One methodology that has found some popularity is the PESO model. PESO is an easy-to-remember acronym for the four different spheres of marketing, namely:
This includes any ads you might be running, whether these are on search engines, other websites, social media, or partner email newsletters.
This includes any media that has not been created by you, but “earned” from customers or other people associated with your brand. Reviews and customer testimonials, whether on your own site or on third party websites are one type of earned media. “Word of mouth” is also earned media, as is news coverage, or something more routine, like links from other sites to your own.
This includes your company’s presence on social media, including any content you share there in order to gain followers and get traffic back to your website.
This includes assets on your website, such as blog posts, images, infographics, etc. Owned media helps you generate traffic by helping customers find you when they’re looking for particular things online. Search engines may surface your Owned Media if it has been tagged with proper metadata that helps it surface in particular searches done by your target audience.
The term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of perfecting Owned Media for better search rankings, since showing up even a couple of spots higher often can have dramatic effects on the amount of organic traffic that will flow through to your site.
Lay the Foundation with Owned
Despite being the last letter in the acronym (OSEP sounds a lot less catchy), Owned Media is the most important piece of the puzzle, and the one you should work on streamlining first. There are a few reasons for this:
- If you don’t have content on your website, there might not be much to drive traffic to, or it could be that once a visitor does arrive, they’re not sure what to do next. Tons of traffic, all arriving at your site and promptly leaving is not a scenario anyone is looking for. Your website is your home base. To have a good conversion rate, you need to have your site dialed in.
- Owned media is dependent on your own internal resources and does not cost money to implement like paid media.
- A solid foundation of Owned Media on your site will improve your search rankings over time and help to generate more organic traffic to your site in the long run.
Work For Your Earned Media
The place to start here is by getting some customer testimonials for your site, which is the easiest kind of earned media. From there, if there are 3rd party websites dedicated to reviewing products or services (think, Yelp! or Angieslist), make sure you create an account for your business. Find ways to encourage customers to submit reviews, which will help you build up a solid reputation. (The stats on these are crazy: as many as 93% of customers read reviews online before making a purchase.)
Use Shared Media with a Gameplan
Through social media channels, businesses can interact with their audience and create an online presence that has one very valuable attribute over Owned and Earned media: it’s embedded in the audience’s lives. Once you’ve earned a follower, you basically have the privilege of being able to be a part of their life through your social media updates. Social media is a great tool to drive people back to websites, to advertise products and services, collect reviews, and spread general awareness.
But too many people use social media for business as they use it in their personal lives: casually and without a specific strategy. Instead, hold yourself accountable to the same kinds of KPIs you might have in the rest of your business:
- Tracking follower growth and actively working to acquire more followers
- Using things like hashtags and geotagging strategically to get your posts out in front of a larger audience
- Cross-posting owned and earned media to social to get maximum use of each piece of content
Find a Place for Paid Media
With Owned, Earned, and Shared in place, some companies feel like they’d rather not shell out the extra money for Paid media. This can be a mistake, since Paid media is often able to get your brand out in front of people who may otherwise never encounter it.
But Paid Media can get expensive if not used in a careful way, so dipping your toes into a few different kinds of paid ads, and testing the waters with specific audience segmentation will ensure you don’t blow your marketing budget too quickly without any results.
Tying it All Together
Tackling these four different spheres, and doing each of them well, can help you get some traffic to your site. However, a good marketing strategy involves tying all of these efforts together into a cohesive system. At that point, your results really do have the ability to become greater than the sum of their parts.
As we mentioned before, each of the four spheres of marketing comes with its own rules and tricks. It’s possible to be great at one particular area while coming up short in the others. The way to really take your website traffic to the next level is to work on the synergies between these different types of media.
- Owned to Paid – show remarketed ads to users who have viewed a particular product on your website as a way to prevent them from forgetting about it.
- Owned to Shared – add a widget to your website that showcases recent social media posts as a way to give visitors the freshest possible content from your brand.
- Owned to Earned – your website or newsletter can encourage customers to review your product, creating more earned media.
- Earned to Owned – setting up your company’s accounts on relevant review websites makes it easier for your audience, once positively influenced by good review, to jump over to your site
- Earned to Shared – share media mentions of your company on social media to showcase the relevance of your brand
- Earned to Paid – try using customer testimonials in your paid ads for extra effect
- Shared to Owned – link out to your website from social media whenever you have a new blog post up or a new product you want to highlight.
- Shared to Paid – use social media engagement as a segmentation tool for finding the best audience for your paid ads, whether within the social ecosystem, or other paid ad avenues.
- Shared to Earned – use social media to request feedback and get people talking about your product.
- Paid to Owned – link paid ads to your website, one of the most fundamental relationships.
- Paid to Shared – make use of social media advertising, and design those ads to better fit within the “format” of the particular social media platform.
- Paid to Earned – use paid ads to encourage customer reviews in a sweepstakes-type format where customers can win prizes
Keep in mind that this is just one example of these spheres interlinking. There are many other ways you can feed one of these media types into another. Lay out these processes on paper to ensure you get all the relationships clear — including deliverables to keep each working. Together, this is your marketing system to drive traffic and create awareness.
Ready to dive deeper into what marketing system can take your web traffic to the next level? Reach out to us to discuss your needs and options!