Having an awesome website is like paying once for an employee that never stops working. An employee that can act as the face of your business, provide information without needing to talk to a human and even generate sales! On the flip side, having a bad website is like paying for an employee that doesn't come in to work at all. Basically a waste of money.
In theory this makes a lot of sense, but not everything can be as simple in the real world! A high-quality website needs one crucial thing to actually show results: traffic! If no one visits your website, then it can only be as good as a bad one.
Cover the Basics
Before delving into the more advanced ways of accomplishing our goal, first make sure that your website, and business as a whole, have the basics covered. You can't learn how to run before walking, right?
- Search Engine Optimization - While SEO should be done as early as when a website is still being made, it also doesn't stop after a website is finished. Regular SEO maintenance should be done to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of search engines, otherwise, you're website may become irrelevant pretty fast. New content will also have to be optimized as well. If time is an issue, at least make sure your website is not making the most common mistakes when it come to SEO.
- Online Listings - Online review sites and directories are excellent places to get some exposure to people. Even the most popular social media platforms like Facebook allow its users to give reviews. Just remember to keep the info on these various places updated as often as possible because outdated info will actually hurt your website. And be aware because many review sites accept suggestions from the public in regards to actual hours and address info which, in some cases, have been incorrect.
- Social Media - Almost every business will have some sort of presence on social media. Of course there can be several factors to think about when deciding if your business needs to be. Does your target audience exist in that platform? Do you have the resources to manage the different accounts? For most businesses however, building a strong social media following is very beneficial especially in the long run for building long-lasting online relationships.
- Email Marketing - Building email lists can be a great way to reach out to your target audience on a more intimate level. This will make your audience feel special and make them feel like they are getting something that not everyone else has access to. Of course, you can't just simply bombard your subscribers with emails everyday, that is actually a great way to lose them. Remember that once someone gives you their email, they are actually giving you their trust as well.
- Advertise Online - Online advertising is one of the most effective ways to get visitors to your site. Things like social media and blogging are part of this and can be free, but you also have paid options like Pay-Per-Click and Display Advertising. Make sure to explore your options and weigh out the benefits.
Those are just some of the most common and basic ways of increasing your website traffic. Of course, all business like to be ahead of the game and with that, marketers have more advanced techniques that they employ.
- Long-Tail Keywords - Once you have a comfortable understanding of what keywords are and what role they play, it's time to up your game. Long-tail keywords are more specific search queries. They aren't searched as much as short-tail ones, but this means that it will be easier to rank higher for them. This is especially useful for startups and small businesses. An example of long-tail keywords can be: "best paint brands for home exteriors". While a short-tail counterpart to this would be something like: "best paint brands". Notice that the difference between the two is that the long-tail version adds more context to the query.
- Response Management - Nowadays, simply posting on social media isn't enough. If you aren't actively doing response management, don't be surprised if you start losing your audience. Engaging with your audience on social media is a great way to gain more online presence, and hence website traffic. Another benefit of this is that you are more likely to keep your existing audience and in turn, they'll be more likely to share your posts and pages with their friends; it's free networking!
- Analytics Tools - Most websites will have some kind of analytics software installed. If yours doesn't, there's no better time to set it up than the present! Unfortunately, most websites don't actually take advantage of all the data at their fingertips. They simply install and forget. Don't make the same mistake and be familiar with all the wonderful things you can do with Google Analytics
- Industry Thought Leaders - You wouldn't believe how many people are willing to talk if you ask them. Request interviews from industry thought leaders and publish them to your blog. The authority of the interviewee will carry over to your site and you will enjoy an increase in credibility and website traffic. Also, the interviewee will most likely share the blog post too which means more reach for you. It's a mutually beneficial deal!
- Bounce Rates - With Google's recent RankBrain algorithm update, bounce rates became a stronger ranking signal than before. Bounces are caused by users who actually visit your site. This means that reducing your bounce rate will give you exponential benefits when combined with the increase in website traffic you get from other methods in this post.
Other Benefits of Website Traffic
When your website has a constant stream of traffic, you can also enjoy the following benefits:
- Measure how well your marketing efforts are paying off with analytics software, the bigger the data you have, the more accurate it can be.
- Implement different strategies to gain insight about your audience and improve your website. Your visitors are essentially your guinea pigs!
- Get even more traffic by making your website look as active as possible by allowing your visitors to post comments or leave reviews and testimonials.
- Improve overall SEO for your site. More visitors (assuming they aren't bounces of course!) means your website will look more authentic and and have more authority on your business' industry. This is a very good thing in the eyes of search engines!
While the overall goal was to increase website traffic, most of the techniques mentioned here actually involved much more than the website itself! Your website is simply another place where your target audience can consume your content. So in order to get more website traffic, you need to focus on the following:
- Quality of your content.
- Reach of your content.
- User experience with your content.