If you’re like me, you might have had an idea once, for an app or an website and you thought that just building it would be enough in order for it to succeed. I used to think this way too, but then the sad reality hit me, when I had my first web application, which was a nutritional calculator, that personally I thought it had a lot of value, but at first it had no users.
In this article I will tell you my story on how I managed to make that nutritional calculator have up to 2000 users per day, with no ads!
In my first month after lunching this nutritional calculator I faced the sad reality that nobody was visiting my website. I think this was happening around 2016. What I decided to do was to take the matters into my own hands and I started emailing everyone that was related in any way with the field of nutrition/sports.
What I wanted to do when I was composing an email for someone was to be as personal and genuine as possible. Don’t try to go straight for the sell or for convincing people to use/tell their audience to use your app. This will come off as pushy and it will look no better than any scamy ads.
What I really like to do is to put myself into the other person’s shoes, before sending the email, and see if I would read it, how will it make me feel.
What helped my emails be more succesful was to be honest, genuine, and ask for feedback. When I did that people read my email completely, and some even tried to use the app and saw what it was about.
My best result from this was in the very first month when I started my email marketing campaign, when I managed to convince a vlogger with over 100k subscribers on youtube, to share my app on facebook. Once he did that, users starting to come in as a waterfall, and I had 20 new registered users over night!
While I never used advertising for my nutritional calculator app, I did use it for another website which was an online store. I believe that advertising has it’s own role and it can help, but it really depends on your case. In my personal opinion advertising it’s a good way to gain a decent amount of visitors, with a relatively low budget but for a short period of time.
This is not a sustainable way of having users flow on your website, unless you have a strong budget that you can dedicate for advertising monthly. However in my personal opinion this is not necessary profitable.
I personally like advertising, only when I want to test how my product will do or when I need traffic quickly. Advertising it’s definetly a fast solution.
What I tried so far with advertising was Google ads, Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads. I think each works good for different websites. When I had to promote my online store, I personally preffered Facebook Ads. However when I was promoting BillTime.io Google ads seemed to work the best.
Content + SEO For The Win!
Last but not the least the best strategy that worked for me and produced the best lasting results was definetly a combination between SEO and content. My nutritional app was barely getting a few dozens users per day at first. That was until I decided to show a page for each food that I had in my database. This was a bit of a risky move as showing off these pages could lead to other websites scraping my info and displaying it themselves.
However, that decision was the best one by far. Why? Well it created over 30000 pages over night. I made sure that each of those pages had a strong in-page SEO and I think somewhere around january 2019 I started to have a boom of users, once google indexed my pages.
What happened is that instead of having just one page that could probably be at the top of just a few google searches, I suddenly had a lot more reach, and I was fighting for a lot more keywords. Fortunately the competition for those keywords was also low, and there was a high chance that many of these new 30000 pages would start bringing me traffic. And they surely did. Some of them brought around 50 daily visitors, some 10, some just 1. However all together added up to around 1000 users per day!
After that I kept this startegy in mind and my website it’s still growing in number of users, right now being at around 2000 users per day!
I tried the same aproach for my online store too, but unfortunately there I didn’t have that many products so the reach was much smaller. However, I did compensate for this small reach by improving my SEO on each of these pages. Each of them had a unique description, unique title and a very different text from what you will find on the other pages.
While this didn’t necessary boomed my number of users, it did however drasticly increased the number of my sales! Out of ~50 users that see my website per week, I’m still getting new orders around every 2-3 weeks. This in my opinion is a huge success, as I didn’t really invest too much time or money into marketing and my small online store still manages to produce sales.
Another good thing that might boost your SEO by improving your website’s authority was to write guest posts on other websites. This is really hard to do as you have to convince other website administrators of the value of your article/website, but if it’s done right, it can really be a great way of increasing your website’s authority in the search engines. The bigger the website you post your article on, the more chances your website will grow as well!
Of course this methods might work or not depending on your website. However I wanted to share with you the story of how I did marketing so far. I’m sure it’s not necessary the best way but it did bring me some small victories, and I never really invested a lot of money into it. This was my experience as a self thought seller, and in order to get these results there was a lot of trial and error.
What are some of your favorite ways of promoting your websites/apps online? Leave a comment so we can debate which is the most efficient!