You've built yourself a website and have a bunch of products and services for sale. That's all great, but "if you build it, will they come?". Generating traffic to your website is the next challenge we need to tackle!
There is no point spending time creating a great website to promote your products and services without doing some work to generate traffic. People won't visit your website just because you've built it.
I've talked about traffic in my blogs before. Many people think of the internet as a type of highway and your website is like a gas station that has people whizzing by and they'll call in and fill up their gas tank and while they are there they'll grab a coke and a hot dog. But the reality is much different. Think of your website as a cottage down a quiet, dead-end country road behind an overgrown hedge. If you don't tell people where you are, don't expect anyone to turn up for tea and scones.
So how do you get more traffic to your endurance coaching website? There are many things you can do to bring more traffic to your site. I'm going to cover just a few tactics to get you started. These tactics are all free but require a little bit of work upfront. All of the tactics involve providing answers to the questions your target audience wants to know. First you need to find out what questions they are asking.
Step 1: Finding out what questions your target market are asking online.
Here is a little trick using Google. First think of what questions your target market might be asking on Google.
"How to train for an Ironman in less than 15 hours a week"
"How to train for an Ironman with a full time job"
Now go to Google and plug those into the search. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the "related searches". Hopefully there will be some great related search terms there. You should be able to figure out which ones are worth noting down. You can keep following the suggested search results and then repeat until you have 10-15 good search terms to use. You might even find some good insights here. For example for the search term for "How to train for an Ironman in less than 15 hours a week" in reality it seems like people are more interested in how to do it in less than 10 or 12 hours.
Step 2: Answer the questions where they are being asked
People will be asking these types of questions in Google but also in other places where they hang out online like forums, chat rooms and Facebook groups. So go back to the terms you discovered in Tactic 1 and look for where the questions are being asked (where your customers are hanging out). The Slowtwitch forum is a a great source for endurance sport based questions questions. You should join Facebook groups dedicated to the topics that interest your target market. Follow the threads and look for relevant questions.
Quora is another great place to look. Here is a question on Quora - "How long does it take to train for an Ironman". Make sure you signup for a Quora account. Here is a great example in the search results for "How to train for an Ironman in less than 15 hours a week" from Slowtwitch;
Read through the answers and determine whether you can offer something more valuable than anything that's already there. Typically there will be a mix of people answering the questions, mostly other athletes and a few from professional coaches. If you think you can offer value and it's a good fit, it's time to do some work.
The most important thing to remember is that the goal is to bring traffic to your website - so don't just type the answer into the forum and expect people to end up on your website. First, make sure your profile on the forum is professional and describes you as a coach. It should include a good summary and links back to your website. Next, answer the question in the form of an article or a blog on your own website.
If you have a Training Tilt website this is easy. We've built blogging and articles into the platform for you. Write a comprehensive answer to the question on your website. Within the blog, reference your products and services but only if they are relevant to the question being answered. Include a call to action at the end of the post e.g "If you like our approach contact us for more info" or download our "Sub 15 Hour a Week Ironman Plan" or even just "Join our mailing list for more articles just like this". When you create the blog post, make sure the title closely matches the question as this is an indicator to Google to include it in their search results.
It's also important to include the search terms in the link itself as it's also an indicator for Google e.g use a "slug" like this http://yourwebsite.com/blog/how-to-train-for-an-ironman-in-less-than-12-hours-a-week. Some older website platforms won't allow you to do this, if that's a case it might be time to look to upgrade. Once your content is ready, go back to the forum and write an answer. Summarize your article in the post and include the link to the full blog on your website. Most importantly don't offer your products or services on the forum where the question was asked. Not only would it be frowned upon by the moderators of the forum, but at this point your are purely offering your advice and giving readers the opportunity to visit your site for a comprehensive answer to the question.
This may seem like a lot of work, but having links to your site with rich comprehensive content on forums and other platforms will bring traffic to your site not only now but for years into the future. Google will also see these links as a positive and the more of them around the internet there are the higher your rankings will be in Google search results. The other good thing is the one piece of content your write can be used in multiple forum threads or Facebook groups around the internet.
For example, look how many views one of the answers of this Slowtwitch post has had. The last answer was way back in 2009, but that's not important. Don't get put off by the age of the post. Most of the time the questions are still relevant and people are still reading them. Adding a more "up to date" answer will only make the post more visible on Google. These are bigger opportunities than they might seem and not many coaches are taking advantage of them. The slowtwitch post in question with around 8000 views doesn't even include a comprehensive answer yet.
Some important things to remember;
- Don't worry about how old the forum posts are, if they show up in search results people will be reading them. Adding a new more up to date post will improve the likelihood of the post showing up in search results. Just say something like "Just adding a fresh perspective to this question, as a lot has changed in the last few years."
- Don't try and sell your products and services directly in the post, it looks like spam and is off-putting. You need to build trust first.
- Always include a link back to a comprehensive answer on your own website. This will "prove" you know the topic and have made effort to answer the question in detail.
- Disclose that you are a professional not just someone with an opinion based on personal experience. Try and do this without belittling the other answers.
- When you write your blog or article on your website make sure the title is in the form of the question and the same with the URL. eg a Google friendly url looks like this. http://yourwebsite.com/blog/how-to-train-for-an-ironman-in-less-than-12-hours-a-week. This will increase the likelihood of appearing in Google search results.
- If you post an answer on Quora, ask your friends and clients to up-vote your answer (only if they actually think it's the best of course). The most up-voted answer will be the most visible.
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