Developing Traffic for Your Website

Celeste Bishop

The title of this article begs the question … to what purpose? Why do you want to develop traffic for your website? That’s actually the first impediment that most businesses encounter when assessing where they stand vis-à-vis website traffic – the lack of clearly articulated goals, business planning and expectations for their website.

Developing relevant traffic for your site and getting that traffic to add value to your business involves a straightforward Website Business Planning Process:

  1. Goal Setting
  2. Competitive Assessment
  3. Implementation Steps

And let’s be clear about one thing: Traffic = People. The term “traffic” has an unfortunate tendency to remove us from the main event – human beings. These human beings … visitors to your site … all have preferences, hot buttons, etc, that must be taken into account.

Business Planning Imperative

Not having clearly identified goals that form the foundation of business planning for your website means that your message is not as compelling as it needs to be, your budget gets diluted over too many areas and no one gets to declare victory. It’s a roadmap to disaster!

It doesn’t have to be. Your website could actually be working as a powerhouse for your business – whatever goal you choose – as long as you define your website’s primary goals, scope out your competitive situation and follow well-organized implementation steps.

The need for a website business planning process holds true regardless of whether you are bootstrapping a start-up or running an established business with a robust budget to accomplish this.

Goal Setting

Websites frequently suffer from an identity crisis in that businesses can’t even tell you what they hope to achieve with their website. This has a direct bearing on the volume and quality of traffic that they attract to their website. Yet another predicament arises when expectations are set too low. Limited expectations = limited results!

There are many goals you might want to consider when setting expectations for the quantity and quality of traffic you’d like to achieve from your website:

Branding

Lead Generation

Sales Cycle Acceleration

Customer Loyalty

Onsite Sales

Partnership Productivity

Can you name your website’s goal?

Whether your website is an expense item or a productive asset for your business largely depends on the nature of goals driving your website business planning process. Expense … or asset … it really is a matter of your goal choice and subsequent actions.

Competitive Assessment

More than one business has gone under when their competitors managed to lock up the best channels with the most favorable terms. You strive to stay ahead of your competitor in other areas – understanding how to efficiently and effectively manage your website as a channel is a fundamental competitive competency.

There are competitive conditions and optimal responses for you to consider in creating business plans that will strengthen your website’s competitive position, such as:

Competitive Condition

Competitive Response

Competitors’ Traffic is Weak

···>

Pre-empt Premium
Traffic Growth

Competitors’ Traffic is Robust

···>

Take Immediate
Defensive Measures

Competitors’ Traffic is Neutral

···>

Seize Available
Opportunities ASAP

Focus on identifying your own traffic situation, then your current and emerging competitors’ traffic performance. Do not fall into the trap of simply stroke counting “traffic.” Remember that traffic = people and people sign purchase orders, contracts and charge slips of varying size and profitability. When they do that, they become customers … and all customers are not equal.

Once you complete this part of the website business planning process, decide how you’re going to seize competitive advantages, close off competitive threats and ensure that your website is an asset operating at peak performance for your business.

Implementation Steps

Our concept of the Internet is maturing … few and far between are the folks who think of it as a “new economy” unto itself. What is replacing this doomed thinking is an understanding of the Internet as an opportunity for your business to achieve more … with less.

As a multi-faceted channel for your business, it’s hard to beat the reach, immediacy, flexibility and cost performance that your website can deliver for business growth and profit. Whichever goals you choose and whatever competitive situation you face, your success is now a matter of building that knowledge into a series of implementation steps to bring it all to life.

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Reprinted from Brain Food – an online resource focusing on creating competitive success. Brain Food is on the web at: http://www.bishopmarketresources.com