So there it is … in all its glory …. your brand new website.

But what now? How can you get people to it? How to generate traffic? How to attract visitors?

Well, it depends.

My go-to activity is “Competitor Spying”. Or call it market research or competitor analysis, …
Btw: usually its a good idea you start already before/whilst building your new website.

The reason behind is super simple: if competitor XYZ is doing marketing activity ABC, chances are you can get some inspiration from them: what traffic sources are working, what language do you use, what USP (unique selling points) are they addressing, … .

So how can you do it? There are some premium tools (like Semrush, …). But I like (at least to start with) to do it manually. Why? Because that way you really can put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer of a competitor and experience the marketing yourself.

Get ready to do some note keeping.

Things you could do:

VISIT THEIR WEBSITE
What products, services are they promoting? Note them down.
Btw: Go to a couple of your personal social media (Facebook, Youtube, …). If you are seeing their ads right away or the day after, chances are they are using retargeting techniques. Make a not of it.
Make sure if you are seeing competitor ads to screenshot them and click on them to see where the ads leads your? On the home page or to another (landing)page or perhaps to a quiz or assessment form?

SEARCHING
Based on the products services you noted down to some Google searches (or Bing, Yahoo) and see what comes up.
TIP: If applicable narrow down your search term. E.g. instead of using something generic as “safety shoes”. Put a buyer intent with it: “buy safety shoes”. You can even make it longer: “buy safety shoes in New York”. You get the idea, buy playing around, you’ll get a feeling of what’s happening.
Make a distinction between the Ads you see and the Organic results.
Do you see relevant ads of the competitors? If there are (many) ads, it might be a good opportunity for you to do as well. Because if it’s working for them, …

Is there main website ranking high? Perhaps you see their products/services on third party websites. In case of products that might be retail (e-)shops like Amazon for example. In case of services, that could be some aggregator platform.
In any case, here again: if it’s working for them, it might be working for you as well. Go and find out more about those retail shops and/or make account(s) on those aggregator platforms.

DOMAIN SEARCHES
Say if your competitors website is coolcompetitor.com, put this term also into a Google Search and see what other websites come up.
Could be websites are popping up that are linking to that domain coolcompetitor.com.
That might give you an idea of trying to get your website url also on a couple of those websites (often referred to as backlinks).

OUT OF THE BOX THINKING
Planting seeds. If you are selling products, you could ask your suppliers, partners to put a link to your website.

Perhaps you are owner of other website, so you could use that “existing” traffic.

Put your new url/website as an email signature.

Put something catchy about your business as your status on the various communication channels:
Whatsapp: “Hey Looking for XYZ”
Facebook
….

Gather reviews so you look trustworthy when consumers do their research (reviews on your websites, reviews on your digital real eastate: Google My Business, Facebook Page, …)
Tip: have a process in place to gather testimonials / review on auto pilot. E.g. have an email to be send out after they received their service / product. Buyers are more likely to remember their experience after they used your products or service shortly after they received it.

Interesting traffic sources
– Contest Funnels, Give aways.
– Doing challenges
Whilst educating (=giving valuable), you are also doing marketing and building trust.
Ideally: It’s desirable that your traffic sources are repeatable/sustainable
– Create supporting websites
Why would you setup a different websites? Well, on those websites you could do experiments (try out new things), things that I would not recommend on your main website.
How to do so?
There are different ways to do this.
You could write content that you would not put on your main website (e.g. to not confuse the visitors of your main website).
If you have a product based websites and you have a list of all your products (including lots of meta data: descriptions, title, price, … ), you could generate for each product a seperate page … Google loves this when done right (as google loves meaningfull content).
Even if you don’t offer products, you could get creative.
E.g. If you are a plumber covering a large geographical area, you could make several pages/websites: each oriented around a different area. So you are basically trying to conquer as much digital real estate as possible.

VISIT FORUMS
Try to find out where your ideal customers (or partners) are hanging out. On Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram? In Facebook Groups, in Linkedin Communities, … ?
Hang out there as well to engage: to help, give value and from time to times make it salesy (if it’s allowed by the moderators).

See also

AFFILIATES

For some products/services building an army of affiliate marketers can be very lucrative. The main idea is that instead of you doing all the sales work, you encourage other people to help you with that. It could be that those people have already an audience of you ideal customer avatar. As an exchange you give them something back (often that’s monetary, and it’s called a commission in the jargon)

You can use a system like ThriveCart that has made it super easy to do the affiliate management: tracking the sale, assigning a commission to a affiliate partner, doing the payout, …

If you don’t have a system as Thrivecart, I recommend you buying it. Or you could use platforms that have an affiliate system built-in.

PRODUCT / SERVICE PLATFORM

Products: JVzoo, Gumroad

Services: Fiverr, Upwork,

What’s next?

A) If you see your competitors websites are ranking organically in Google (and Bing, … ).
or
You see they are spending money on Google Ads
Your next step is doing: Keyword Research.

In case of SEO, you will be able to write more targeted content.
In case of SEA, you’ll be able to bid on the “right” keywords.

B) If competitors are spending money on Facebook ads, you should know the demographics / interests very well of your audience (sex, location, profession, hobby’s, … ) very well.
Btw: do you have a customer avatar of your ideal client?

C) If you see your competitors very active on Social Media?
You’ll need a content strategy, so you can stay “On top Of Mind” very often.