The term “Growth Hacking” is being thrown around a lot these days and yet is a complete mystery to lots of people. Some people think it’s a term that is used only for startups, others think it was invented by Silicon Valley, and yet others think it’s some kind of fad that is going to go away soon.
Neither is correct, of course.
Growth hacking is a term coined by Sean Ellis back in 2010. He was the “growth man” in Silicon Valley at the time and became famous for achieving incredible growth for startups. When he did his job at a company he wanted to live his operation in good hands but wasn’t able to describe what needed to get done. So he came up with the term “growth hacker”.
A growth hacker is a marketer who is focused on growth. So instead of fluffy words like branding and positioning the growth hacker is focused on conversions, analytics, lead generation, click through rates and a bunch of other practical things.
It’s easy to see why growth marketing is at the forefront of the marketing industry – these guys get stuff done!
So how do you wrap your mind around it all? Let’s start with the basics.
Here are 3 ways to growth hack your site.
1. Optimize your site
Lots of people think that a website is just for show, to showcase your work, your pretty smile and they often make it just a placeholder, your corner of the web. This can’t be further from the truth.
A business’s website is a powerful place to get leads, to bring traffic to, to optimize conversions and convert visitors. Growth marketers often start there – at the optimization piece of the puzzle.
Make SEO a priority
Make sure that your site is optimized in terms of SEO. put the right keywords in place. Create a sitemap that search engine bots can crawl, place the appropriate tags on images. Don’t forget to optimize your title tag, meta description, and URLs. You can use a tool like the MOZ Keyword Explorer to find the best keywords to target.
Create captivating lead magnets
Working on SEO will bring you more traffic to your site. Now the key is to convert that traffic. That doesn’t mean that every visitor needs to sign up for your product or service. Often sales cycles take a long time and visitors need to first get to know your brand. That’s why you need to have a lead magnet in the form of an email or chat popup that will help you capture that lead and continue sending them your content.
Use social sharing buttons
Social media needs to be part of your website conversion strategy. You need to have a way for your visitors to share your content on social media and the perfect way to do that is by using social sharing buttons. Like these:
You can also put click-to-tweet boxes which allow the visitor to click on a quote you chose and share it on their twitter. Here is an example:
You also need to put links to all of your social media pages on the site. You can either do that on your bio or team page or put a “like” box on the home page or on the email popup.
Now that you have everything in place what are you missing?
2. Content Strategy
If you haven’t noticed, content is my favorite part, and it should be yours too. Content marketing is the best way to tell your story and provide value to your audience without being salesy. Jab, jab, jab right hook? Have you heard of that? Or in other words:
You can get the awesome book by Gary Vaynerchuk here.
These days, in the strange millennial world of 2017-18, providing value for free is expected. It’s the norm. If you aren’t already doing that you need to get on the bandwagon.
The best part is that if you make 75% of your message valuable free content and 25% about your particular product or service then you win big time. You get to grow an engaged following (if your product or message is good enough) and you get way more sales.
Check out this detailed article about how to create a great content strategy for your business.
Now that you have an optimized site and the right content it’s time to analyze your work.
3. Analyze clicks and content consumption
Yes Elmo, really.
So many marketers do good work but never check the results. That’s why marketing gets a bad rap sometimes. Analytics keep growth marketers honest. Most importantly analyzing the data helps you increase your conversions and bring more value to your audience.
Here are three classic things you don’t want to happen:
- You don’t want to write content that nobody reads.
- You don’t want to write content that gets a lot of clicks but doesn’t convert traffic to leads very well
- And you don’t want to be spending all this time on one category and find out that another category is read 5 times more.
For more tips on how to use Google Analytics check out this awesome article by Andy Crestodina.
Growth hacking became a term for a reason. It helps brands stay on top of their data, optimize their site, and increase the conversion of their visitors into customers. We gave you some simple principles to follow that you can do by yourself.
Optimize your site to increase conversions. Create a content strategy that builds engagement and focuses on providing value to your visitors. And finally, make sure to analyze the data of what your visitors are doing on your site.
What growth hacks have you tried? what worked for you? We would love to hear your experience in the comments!
Ben Kazinik is an inbound marketer for eClincher, the world’s most powerful social media management platform. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world.