Everybody is writing and pod-casting about what you should do to have a successful blog. How you should organize your content, how to come up for ideas for your posts, etc.
But what if your new project is not a blog ? What if your website's contents is not coming entirely out of your mind ? What if the content of your site is mainly socially built ?
Well, if your site is strongly 2.0 driven, then your situation if different from the one bloggers face. I know, everybody wants traffic on their site, and that’s the same for bloggers and everybody else. But sites with socially generated content are a kind of their own.
Let’s break down how your traffic should look like.
The truth is, your traffic will be composed from First Time Users (FTU), and from Returning Users (RU). And if you think that RU are what really makes a difference, you’re right. Partially.
RU are better than FTU, because they will keep coming back, giving you more and more page views, but there’s also true that they are extremely more difficult to get that FTU.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that getting people to return to your site is not important. Quite the contrary, It’s maybe THE most important goal of your site. But my point is that even if you have a sensational idea, and even if you optimize your conversion rate (from FTU to RU), you should still need to get lots, and lots, of FTU. Why ?
For several reasons, but the one you need the most at the beginning of your start-up, is to get things tested. How are you going to optimize your conversion rate, if you don’t have many cases to try different things ?
So what I like to do is:
1 - Define milestones in the conversion process from FTU to RU
2 - Get my site ready to gather information on user behavior
3 - Get as many FTU as I can in my site
4 - Analyze each individual metric, and the overall conversion rate
5 - Take action to improve
6 - Go to step 3 again
While you do this, you will get some RU, but remember, the number one thing your trying to do, is to test and improve.
So, finally, how do I get lots of users ? Well, first of all, “lots” for testing purposes may be much lower than for money purposes. 100 FTU a day won’t bring much Adsense cash-flow to your hands, but can give you a lot of data to analyze.
To get, let’s say those 100 users a day, you could do SEO (and you should), you could do word of mouth (and you should, but it’s not going to be spectacular), back-linking, post commenting, article writing, etc. But given that you're trying to test ASAP, and to have a better conversion rate ASAP, I strongly recommend Facebook ads.
If you’re careful with the target audience, you can get even more that 100 users a day, for less than 5 $. It’s a very manageable budget, and it’s a lot of valuable information.
One added value of Facebook ads, is the fact that if you integrate your site with Facebook, for instance by letting the users share o like content, you’re going to get extra traffic, from those users friends.
I’ll get into more detail about Facebook ads, in upcoming articles.