There aren't many situations in life where the idea of more traffic is a good thing! But when it comes to websites, the more traffic the better.
Put simply, traffic means potential customers. In this sense, your website is like your shop and you want to get people in the door. Some will buy, some won’t, but there’s a direct correlation between the number of people you get through the door and the number of sales you make if you have your website set up well. Even if you’re not selling a product or service, traffic is still beneficial for simple things such as exposure, awareness to a cause or simply an outlet for what you have to say.
The topic of growing your website traffic is dynamic and regularly sways in-line with new technology and consumer behaviour. We often hear exasperated business owners exclaim "but we're doing everything right! Why haven't we tripled traffic yet?!" Whether you already have a website and want to double your traffic this year, or you're just starting out and want to get off on the best foot let's look at the five things that you could be doing - right now - to grow your website.
1. Have a Blog And Consistently Produce Quality Content
Great content marketing is what's going to drive traffic to your site. Let's face it, a majority of people out there don't know what they want until it hits them over the head. It's all well and good to sell a product through your e-store and grab the customers who know specifically that they want say, ten litres of brown coloured chalk paint. But what if they're just looking for a great environmentally-friendly alternative to mineral based paints?
How would they find you?
Content marketing is the large net you need to cast, in order to reel in visitors and convert them into customers. A blog is an effective way to do this, regardless of what industry you are in. The thing that most people find difficult is creating relevancy and value for their readers. You can optimize your article to the brim, but if it doesn't actually provide your readers with anything it'll be a one-click, no-share deal. Here's what you can do:
1. Go directly to the source, put a suggestions box into your website build, and ask your audience what they're struggling for in your niche?
2. Write from experience. Real insights come from those who have experienced the very thing that they are writing about. This is why it's important to start a blog about a passion or interest.
3. Use sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers even Reddit to find out what questions your readers are asking - and write a lengthy post about it.
If you focus on writing relevant, quality material then traffic and sales will naturally follow. If you produce poor articles full of links, ads and keywords with no value, you won’t achieve anything…simple as that.
One common way to do this is use a list format. For example; ‘how to get more website traffic’ is an average title whereas ‘top 5 must know tips for growing your website traffic’ is more interesting and suggests that there are specific steps the reader can gain from the article and apply to their own lives.
2. Optimize Your Content For The Big "G"
What's the go-to place that people use to search for information? You guessed it - Google, or some other form of search engine. SO if you want people to search and find your website, you want to optimize your content for search engines. But what does that really mean? With all the mystery that surrounds Google's algorithm, we're here to clear up a few things. Here are our top tips for greater optimisation:
1. Keyword density and I just aren't the same anymore. Long gone are the days where you can just stuff your content piece full of keywords and expect it to rank #1. These days it's all about providing quality for your readers. Don't get me wrong, keywords still matter but it's more about placement than anything: try placing it in headings, near the top of the page, in the meta description of your article.
2. On a page of results, which one's do you click? The one's that grab you by the nose and force you to click on them. Optimize your headings for ultimate stickiness. For example; the title of this article was changed from “How to Get More Website Traffic” to “5 Things Keeping Your Website From Growing”. There are a couple of things at play here: people seem to love lists, and specific numbers; and people tend to respond to things that are urgent, and if they feel like they will be missing out on important information.
There are many SEO tools out there. One that I find works great is the Yoast SEO for WordPress. This tool allows you to put in your keywords and then it analyses your writing making various recommendations that help you make sure your keyword density, article description, title etc. are SEO friendly.
3. Use Social Media to Attract Visitors
It goes without saying that the influence of social media today is incredibly powerful. It’s never been easier to reach mass audiences as we all sit connected to the modern day collective consciousness that is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The key with social media is to interweave it with your content marketing. Don’t just post links to your products or services on a Facebook page, because you’re not giving your potential readers any reason to ‘like’ and follow your page. Instead, create quality content that has a clear call to action and share a link to that article on your website. If your content has value, then people will want to follow you and read your future content.
Facebook advertising is also highly-effective because of its ability to target specific demographics. After sharing a blog, you can ‘boost’ your post which will display it on news feeds of people you target around the world. This is a great way to grow your audience with new visitors and well as rapidly grow your website traffic.
Twitter and Instagram are also great traffic drivers. There’s a lot of apps that allow you to cross-post across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the one post, however, use this with caution. I prefer to tailor my posts for each medium. You must remember that there’s a lot of people who follow you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. No one wants to see the exact same post three times on all their streams. Even if you’re promoting the same blog article or product, tweak the copy and the images for each platform so that they’re not all the same. This is a bit more work, but it’s worth it. Also, consider the timing of your posts and try to spread out when you share something as that will also increase your chances of reaching a wider audience.
Finally, don’t post too much. People don’t want an update every 10 minutes and if you post too much you’ll find that you’ll start to lose followers as people ‘un-like’ your page because it’s become annoying to them. Post quality content regularly but not constantly.
4. Paid Traffic - Google AdWords
With quality content and good SEO, your website should naturally start to rank well on Google and your traffic should increase. However, it can take time. A shortcut to get to the top of the rankings is to use Google AdWords. AdWords are the sponsored links you see at the top of a Google search page, or in the sidebar when searching for something. Put simply, AdWords is paid advertising that’s triggered to be displayed when a user searches for specific keywords. If you’re selling prenatal vitamins, you can blog all you want about vitamins, pregnancy, health tips and more, and eventually you will start to get traffic. However, if you want instant results, you can pay for the key words ‘best vitamins for pregnancy’ and have your site’s link come up at the top (if you spend enough for the keyword).
The thing to consider here is that you’re paying for traffic. So, it makes sense that if you’re paying for traffic, you want something in return. AdWords is great but there’s not much point paying to send visitors to your home page and let them browse around (or leave!). This is where ‘landing pages’ come in handy. Landing pages are simple one page sites that usually have a very specific call to action or ask for the visitor’s email address to continue. Whilst having a more aggressive call to action may cause some visitors to ‘bounce’ and leave, at least it means that you can track your return on investment and get a sale or a potential customer’s details.
5. Backlinks And Collaboration
One of the best ways to grow your website traffic is to get backlinks. That is, have other reputable sites link back to your website. The more backlinks you have to your site, the better it will rank on Google and the more traffic you’ll get. So, how do you get links? We’d all love that one article to go viral and be shared thousands of times across the internet but that’s not always possible. The best way to get back links is to collaborate with other bloggers in your industry and see if they’re willing to link back to any of your content and you then do the same for them. But… remember… links aren’t just links. The quality and reputation of the website back-linking affects your site’s 3reputation. So, look for prominent influencers in your industry to collaborate with. Pitch to media and news agencies, online magazines and more.
One easy way is to look for quality bloggers who accept guest posts. You can then write an article for them and include links to other content on your site. Again, quality is key. Do not submit an article with no value for readers that’s full of links. Make sure your links are relevant and enhance the piece you’re writing, not detract from it!
A useful tool to check a sites reputation is Moz Bar. Moz Bar displays a reputation score for any site you visit as well as spam score and other information that makes it easy to make sure that you’re choosing the right person to collaborate with.
In summary, there are many theories on how to grow your website traffic. However, if you focus on quality and use content marketing effectively, you will see great results. The subject of growing website traffic is a dynamic one and is constantly changes with advances in technology, mobile devices and social media. It’s important to realise that there is no silver bullet to get traffic. It does take hard work, perseverance and sometimes patience to see results. Don’t stoop to tactics such as buying links or followers as it will hurt you in the long run. The Google Gods are clever and will be on to you if you employ such sorcery.
So, stick with quality blog content, written with superb SEO, share it intelligently on social media and collaborate with your peers and before you know it, your website traffic will be through the roof! Good luck.