Content Marketing

with Neil Patel

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Traffic Creative

The secret to getting traffic online

Neil Patel

Entrepreneur, Influencer, Investor & Advisor

Lessons Learned

“If you build it, they will come” is not real. If you want traffic & signups, you must do marketing.

Creativity is the #1 secret to driving traffic online.

If your traffic does not convert, collect email addresses and educate visitors about your product.


Lesson: Content Marketing with Neil Patel

Step #1 Traffic Creative: The secret to getting traffic online

So when I was a young kid, I started my first online business and it failed because I didn't know how to generate income from the site where I take credit cards online, etc. But when I started the site, I thought, "When you put a website on the Internet, people naturally come and that's not the case." If you do not market a site, no one's going to come to it. But I didn't know as a 16-year old. So I ended up hiring a few Internet marketing firms and they didn't do well and I ran out of money so I had to learn how to do it myself.

The reason I got good at Internet marketing is because I'm creative. So the creativity is the number one secret to actually driving traffic. If you can come in with unique stuff or unique product, etc. and you're creative, you'll tend to do better than the person next to you who's not creative, who's just following textbook maneuvers and doing what everyone else is doing.

When I found that over the years, I've always been consistently good at driving traffic and I realized it was a gift when every time we started a business, we never have a problem with top of the funnel. Top the funnel being visitors or leads. At KISSmetrics, on a bad month, we're getting at least 5 to 10,000 people hitting us up saying, "Hey, we want to pay for the product." Sales reps can't handle the volume, right?

We had that problem with all of my business and I'm like, "I'm actually pretty good at to top the funnel and when I started working with other companies like Airbnb or TechCrunch over the years that I have consulted a lot, I have always been able to help them all out with driving more visitors. So I figured, "That's my gift." If you want the best person to get a visitor or a customer, that's not me. But if you have more relevant eyeballs, I've just been good at it.

So there's profitable traffic and non-profitable traffic or more specifically, relevant traffic and irrelevant traffic. The way I look at things is a few ways. One, what traffic, keywords, referring sites, etc., are converting into leads or sales? Those are traffic sources that I want. The other thing you look at is, "What traffic source are you on converting?" Then I'll look at why.

The first reason I found out why is I'm like, "All right, are those visitors irrelevant? Are they coming from sites that are on the same subject matter as my site?" If they are, then I go and figure out why aren't they converting. The main answer is usually when I found out from surveying using a inaudible 00:02:15 or a Survey Monkey is that they're not ready to convert.

So what I ended up doing is I try to offer them something for free, collect their e-mail, and then educate them over a period of weeks, months and etc. and then I sell them. So those are the ways that I try to get visitors to become customers or more relevant.

The difference between online marketing and growth hacking is most online marketers just go out there and they say hey, how can I drive more traffic? There's more than just traffic.

Growth hacking is a term used let's say within the Bay Area. It's really popular. It's not really popular outside the Bay Area. But it's more so just adapting your whole business, right? So when you're trying to grow, it's not just marketing who can drive traffic. There’s also design who could help convert more visitors into customers. There's also product who can actually make the onboarding experience more simple, so that way customers actually use the product, right?

It can also be sales and how they’re fine tuning their approach to close the deal in using metrics so that way it is more fine-tuned. All of these things actually can help you grow. For example if you'd look at Dropbox, they tried paid acquisition and a paid customer for Dropbox where they use pay-per-click or SEM was 2 to 300 and something dollars.

Now when someone's paying $60 a year for a Dropbox customer, the economics don’t work. They are losing money. Even if a customer paid for years, there are costs to service to that customer because it costs them more than a dollar to give them storage space, etc. So what they ended up finding out is paid acquisition doesn't work for them.

But they found out getting users to invite more users, tweet about the service, etc., caused more user-growth and they rewarded the users for doing that. So those are all of the examples of quote and it's just in my opinion it’s creativity. It's what other creative ways that you can use within your company. It doesn't matter what division whether it's product engineering, design, etc., that you can do to drive more traffic, more customers, and more sales.

My philosophy on analytics tracking is don't try to do too much, because a lot of people try to put all these analytical tools in, they try to track everything. It’s just overwhelming. When you're an established business, yes. You should try do as much as possible and do all of that. When you're a startup, just stick with the basics. Google Analytics is free. Right?

Why are you trying to optimize the lifetime value when you just started a month ago? You even have a paid customer. If you do, there's no way you can know your lifetime value because your customers haven't been around long enough. Just focus on signups, traffic, and then go from there, and over time, you can add more metrics and fine tune more things. But at the beginning, don't complicate things. Just focus on your product and getting more users to the site.

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