2013 Marketing Strategy: Increase Website Traffic

spa concept

In Part 3 of this series, I discussed how to come up with realistic, actionable goals. This time, we’re going to take a look at the number-one goal for the fictional spa: to generate more website traffic, and to develop a marketing strategy that would accomplish this. Some basic steps that can be taken to drive traffic include making sure that your website address is on all of your print-advertising efforts, on your e-mail signature, and on your social-media sites. It’s important to incorporate links back to your website into your social-media strategy. For instance, if this spa is talking about how relaxing its massages are, it should include a link to the “Massages” page on the website. These are simple, and free, ways to increase traffic.

Display advertising is a highly effective method of online marketing. Targeted ad networks are an excellent way to increase traffic to a website. Ad networks are a group of websites, organized by category. When you purchase ads through an ad network, your advertisements run across hundreds of these relevant, popular national websites, wherever ad inventory is available. The geographic can be targeted to just the West Palm Beach designated market area (DMA) so that, while the sites may have national reach (such as nytimes.com), the viewers who see your ad would have to be browsing within your market area.

Our fictional spa could make the decision to invest $1,200 a month in a group of sites that target affluent women, called the Affluent Women Network. This investment would give the spa 200,000 impressions on these websites; in other words, its ad would appear 200,000 times during that month. Visually interesting banner ads would be created with a strong call to action, thereby enticing people to click; these ads would link to the spa’s website.

That’s a great way to increase traffic to the spa’s website, but what’s the next step? How would the spa keep people coming back? One easy way: creating a form for its website that encourages people to sign up for a monthly newsletter that provides health tips – and specials. By incorporating a newsletter into its marketing strategy, the spa can keep the conversation going and increase the chance of a sale.

Another very effective way to bring visitors back to the spa’s site is through retargeting. How does retargeting work? Prior to starting the campaign, a code would be provided for the spa to place on its website. When a visitor visits the site, a tracking cookie would be placed on his or her browser. Once the visitor leaves and continues surfing the Internet, the spa’s ads would appear on other websites wherever ad inventory is available. In other words, the spa’s ads would be able to “follow” visitors by using banner ads that subtly reminding them of spa services. This form of marketing is very effective and is becoming increasingly popular, because these ads target visitors who have already expressed interest by visiting the site.

More than 7 billion searches are conducted every month. So it’s no surprise that search-engine marketing would be a great way for the spa to drive traffic to its site by marketing to people based on their location and search queries.

Since Palm Beach County is a seasonal market, a good starting marketing strategy for the spa to meet its  website traffic goals might look like this:

Quarter 1: $1,200 monthly Ad Network Campaign with a Retargeting Pixel placed on the site, along with a $1,500 Search-Engine Marketing Campaign;

Q 2: $600 monthly Ad Network Campaign with a $1,000 monthly Retargeting Campaign, along with a $1,500 Search-Engine Marketing Campaign;

Q 3: $600 monthly Ad Network Campaign with a $1,000 Retargeting Campaign, along with a $1,500 Search-Engine Marketing Campaign;

Q 4: $1,200 monthly Ad Network Campaign with a $1,000 Retargeting Campaign, along with a $1,500 Search-Engine Marketing Campaign.

This campaign strategy ends up being an annual investment of $37,800, or about $3,150 a month. By closely tracking the ad interaction and the website analytics, the spa should see a large increase in traffic and appointments. If the average spa service costs $100, the spa would need to book only 32 appointments to start seeing return on investment. With this campaign, the spa would see an aggressive ramp-up period during the Quarter 1 season. Q 2 and Q 3 would maintain a consistent presence, constantly driving new traffic. Then, in Q 4, an aggressive campaign would end the year strongly. The ad copy and search terms would be updated for seasonal and promotional purposes and would be optimized for best results.

In Part 5, I’ll discuss marketing opportunities that the spa could implement to drive online appointment bookings.