Want to increase traffic to your website? The goal of this article is to help you build a cohesive strategy to do just that. Our intent is not to provide a comprehensive list of everything you should be doing, but rather to show some possibilities you can test so you'll see what works for you and your audience.
All website traffic is not created equal. You want high-quality traffic that is carefully targeted. High numbers are good, but unless that traffic converts, those high numbers are just vanity metrics. Here are some ways to increase website traffic.
1. SEO: On-Page, Local, Technical
Use your core target keywords in your headline, in your article or post, in your image file names, and make your URL SEO-friendly by using keyword synonyms.
Optimize for local search by including your city or state in your target keywords. Also optimize for mobile to aid those rankings. Images should have alt tags to improve their discoverability. Make meta descriptions and title tags easy to read and compose them so they don't get truncated (Google displays 155 characters of your meta description in search results).
The technical side of SEO focuses on the backend of your site and includes elements like page speed, crawling, and indexing. Check for and fix broken links and redirects to avoid the dreaded “404” error, create an XML sitemap for your subdomains, set up language meta tags, and add custom H1 and introductions to support the bots who crawl your site for search purposes.
2. Social Media
Connect and engage with your audience on a platform they're already spending time on. Be active and connect with others in your niche. Become part of the community. If you just shout into the void by posting content, you'll never develop the traction to drive that traffic to your site.
You can't just barge into the ongoing conversation and ask people to buy something or visit your website. First you need to provide value and develop goodwill. Here's where content marketing fits in. But, again, you can't just push out the content, you have to communicate with the audience.
Incorporate social media buttons to make it easier for visitors to share your content with their network. Social media sharing buttons automatically generate a link and use the title of the blog post so it's easy for readers to customize and share with their own audiences.
3. Guest Posting
When you do a guest post you have an opportunity to link to your website while showing you're active in the community. Find a site that is a good fit for your company and that accepts guest posts. Develop a pitch to present to appropriate blogs you’d like to have publish your post.
You will get more consideration if the pitch shows you've done your research. Be respectful when approaching sites you'd like to guest post on. Follow the instructions they provide in their editorial guidelines when you submit your pitch. A cold approach is only acceptable if you cannot find these guidelines.
In your pitch, you should explain how and why your piece will appeal to their readers. Maybe point out a gap in their content (carefully and graciously) and then describe how your piece fills it. Don't compete with their existing content or be competitive in your pitch. Should you get something published, be sure you answer any questions relating to your piece.
You can leave comments on other sites as a way to generate traffic to your site. Start by finding sites that post content related to your niche. By leaving comments on relevant industry blogs you can gain visibility and conversions as opposed to simply gaining visitors. Be sure you're adding something worthwhile to the discussion.
Avoid embedding links in your comments to avoid sounding simply like you're making an attempt to plant your flag on their lawn. You can use your site's link in the URL field when you enter your name and email, again, being sure to add to the conversation or challenge an idea.
5. Content Marketing
Create a blog (should you not already have one) and then post content that is useful, valuable, and shareable on a consistent schedule. Create infographics featuring industry stats that are relevant to your niche and will be easy to share. Create a regular content series so that your audience can look forward to new installments.
Follow these steps to write good posts that will attract the audience you want:
- Find out more about your audience by building a buyer persona; include details so as to target the best segment for your content.
- Do SEO research to learn about what your audience is looking for; find out what their questions are.
- Start writing by creating a draft that answers one of those questions.
- Publish your post to your blog.
- Promote your post on social media and in email newsletters to generate traffic. The more traffic your post gets the higher it will rank on SERPs.
To increase your site's discoverability by search engines have a mix of evergreen and trending content.
6. Offline Marketing and Community Involvement
Don't neglect ways to drive traffic to your website that are offline. Support local organizations to provide your community with opportunities to get to know your brand (and site). Support local charity by sponsoring a fun run or donate a portion of your proceeds to a favorite local cause.
7. A couple more ideas:
- Ask customers to leave reviews on Facebook or your other social media pages and on your website.
- Provide information to your audience; answer their questions; don’t simply try to sell to them.
- Keep an eye on your competitors. Learn from what they're doing and do something they may have missed.
To boost traffic to your website you need brand recognition. You earn this, at least in part, by being active and engaged in your community. Implement an engagement strategy by participating in Facebook group discussions in your niche, answering questions on public forums, and interacting with your followers on social media.
We'd be remiss if we didn't bring this desire for increased web traffic back to basics. Namely, research. In fact, this quest for increased traffic is an example of where you should use the 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your time researching and figuring out how to promote your content or actually distributing that content and spend 20% actually writing the content. Of course, the quality of your writing is important, but no matter how good it is it won't help your traffic if it's not where people will find it.
When you've identified something that works, put a lot of energy into getting as much traffic as possible before that channel doesn't work for you any longer.
In other words, aim for depth on a few strategies rather than trying a large number of strategies in a more cursory way.