Hook ’em and Bag ’em: Tricks Of The Website Trade
When it comes to driving traffic to a website, digital strategists have several methods they can choose from. Some of the more popular methods include promoting products on social media, ramping up search engine optimization efforts using keywords, sending out emails with offers to subscribers and advertising using pop ups.
Once visitors arrive on the site, the trick is being able to keep them there. This is where content is king.
Some sites, like those of bands, have videos and links to listen to their music, while sites for chocolatiers offer ways for visitors to design their own product.
All of these are ways to drive people to sites and keep them there.
Below are five sites that utilize some of these methods to get people to their sites.
I found this site on Facebook. At first it appeared on my normal feed but when I could not find it again, I spotted it on the right side of the page in the ad widget. When I clicked on the link, it took me to http://beachsidesocialvb.com. The first thing I saw was a catchy black and white photo of people playing shuffleboard on a wooden deck. The link was to sign up for a league. Out of curiosity, people will click, get taken to the site, and be given the opportunity to register a team of 4 to 8 people for an 8-week season of shuffleboard. The developer then placed a button to learn more, which when clicked, takes the visitor to a page with more information and a form to fill out to register.
Being that I found the page on Facebook, I was refreshed to see social media links at the top for people to click on and see what Beachside Social is up to.
I clicked on the Facebook link to see if they were having fun with social media – the company offers a fun atmosphere so a social media feed should reflect that. I was let down. In fact, the last post that Beachside Social put on Facebook was on April 7, 2019. I know things are funky with COVID-19, but the company could have posted things like, “Don’t let COVID keep you down. Reach into that closet and bust out the board games until we are ready to open back up, sometime soon.”
While the social media posting was subpar, the fact that I found them through a social media ad is driving traffic to the site. They could probably save a few bucks, though, and just manage their social media posts a little better.
AMC Theaters – www.amc.com
This morning I received an email from AMC theaters announcing reopening plans. Ever since COVID struck, I avoided AMC theaters and their website. I have been an A-List member for the past year – A-List is a program that people can pay $20 a month to see three movies a week in their theaters.
The email spelled out the plans for reopening in mid-August, but I wanted to know more and find out what movies they will be showing since the release of new movies have been put on hold. The email had a link to “check our website,” which I clicked.
When the site loaded, a popup welcoming visitor to the site came up immediately, and when clicked, it walks the visitor through the site.
The first thing the site pointed to was “Join AMC Stubs,” which could potentially create a steady stream of traffic to the site. Then the tour pointed to “Showtimes,” which is a critical feature of the movie theater company’s website. They also have a line of social media icons toward the bottom, which I may have moved toward the top for better visibility, and a link for offers and promotions. These are all great ways to drive traffic to the site and keep visitors there.
The M&M’s website – www.mms.com/en-us
I saw M&M’s today and had to check out the company’s website. When the site loaded, the first thing I saw was a slider of images for special occasions that allowed the visitor to shop for certain kinds of M&M’s. This occasion was for birthdays, and the call-to-action button said, “Shop Birthday.” After a bit, a pop-up appeared on the homepage offer 10 percent off for signing up for something – more than likely an email list. Many people will not care what they are signing up for because 10 percent off is a good deal. There is also a 20 percent off code at the top of the page for birthday M&M’s.
The features on this site, though, are going to keep people on the M&M’s website. It is got things like ideas and recipes and the ability to design your own M&M’s. It is catchy, colorful and does a good job of keeping traffic on the site. The email form for 10 percent off also helps drive people to the site.
The Movement’s website – www.themovementvibe.com
The Movement – a reggae band out of South Carolina – promotes its music and shows on their website. At first glance, the band does a good job showing people what their shows are like by loading a video of one of their shows. On a 2mbps internet connection – very, very slow for these times – the site popped right up, but rather than look at the load time, the features that help drive traffic to the site and keep people there is the focus.
The main page has several videos framed in along with several concert dates. The top navigation bar also has a link to tour dates and a link to videos, but it also includes links to their store, where people can purchase swag, a link to their lyrics and a link to their cannabis product. There is enough here to keep people on the site between the music, videos, and cannabis.
The band also lists their manager’s name at the bottom and has links to their social media channels at the top and bottom. Additionally, they have links to Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. While the latter pulls people away from the site, it may also have a residual effect. Once people leave and listen to this great band’s music, they may want to see them live or buy a shirt – both things they can find out more about on www.themovementvibe.com.
The Southampton Press website – www.27east.com
The 27east.com website focuses on news on the East End of Long Island.
Subscribers of the paper and website who provide an email address receive breaking news notifications through email, which helps drive traffic to the site. The homepage itself does not have a form that people can fill out to subscribe, but there is a link on the top navigation that visitors can click on to become a subscriber.
The other advantage subscribers have is they receive weekly listings of events or the top news stories. Since the main product 27east.com is pushing revolves around news, there are not any discounts for products. Still, they do a good job of driving traffic through the newsletters and emails. But they also have a social media presence. Visitors can share stories to Facebook and Twitter, which in turn will result in more traffic to the site. The digital editor at the paper also promotes stories on social media.