If you are asking yourself, “Why isn’t anyone looking at my website?” you are not alone. A good deal of time and money go into the creation and maintenance of a website so it’s easy to take it personally when the number of visitors to your site is minimal. While not all readers will become clients, your website is certainly an excellent place to groom prospective customers. More website traffic means more exposure to your brand. More exposure builds familiarity, familiarity builds trust which increases the conversion rate. Each business is different in regards to the needs of their website but there are some practical standards everyone can look to. So instead of asking, “What can I do to build traffic to my website?” consider some of these readily agreed upon strategies:
The key to a well visited website is to provide free content. In fact, it can triple inbound traffic. And cross-posting your content on all of your social media channels can funnel prospective clients from multiple venues (don’t forget the often-overlooked LinkedIn). Just be sure to include keyword hashtags and links to your business whenever possible. Here are some other ways in which you can build traffic to your website:
· Regular blog posts – both your own and those from guest bloggers
· Seminars, webinars and online courses
· Videos that are informational or tell “how to” – these can be posted on your website, all your social media channels, and YouTube
· Infographics on Instagram and Pinterest
· Interviews with industry leaders, clients, and business partners
· Competitions and promotions featured on your website but pushed out through your social media channels
As you look to build unique and in-depth content, write with the consumer in mind, not search engines. Your posts should target consumer needs which can be ascertained through a bit of market research done to understand value-added topics and to determine the targeted audience. Portray yourself as an expert to build trust and loyalty. This will encourage not only more direct business but will also increase clients’ willingness to share with their colleagues information about your talents and services.
When you have the opportunity to answer a question from a reader or client, instead of responding to only that individual, address the answer through a blog. People appreciate well-researched solutions to their problems. Ensure that your work is easy to read and error free. Include specific statistics and data and be sure to properly cite your sources. You can also repurpose content by adding new information to an older posting (think: “Updated on…”) or by changing the format of the piece.
Vary the length of your postings. The top-ranking articles, as ranked by Google, are 2000 words or longer although that length may not be realistic for every blog or article. You should also vary topics, even step outside your niche or industry every now and then. Compelling headlines capture readers’ curiosity. It’s recommended to have a headline of 55 characters or less and embedded keywords never hurt.
Another way to build the volume of website traffic is to push out content via email marketing. Subject lines are extremely important to promote opens versus deletes. Create target lists from social media and current clients being sure to specifically write content that addresses where users are in the conversion funnel. Promote any upcoming webinars, seminars, or speaking engagements. Abandoned shopping cart emails have a greater than 40% open rate and can help recapture lost traffic and sales.
Don’t forget the technological side of things – regularly fine tune your site. Use analytics to identify strategies and types of content that work. When you step back to evaluate strengths and weakness of what you are offering, you will find trends and patterns that indicate success or areas in need of change. Convert to responsive design to ensure that your content fits on all screens and is accessible on all devices. Play by the rules, “Don’t anger Google,” meaning, don’t push limits with links and keywords.
And speaking of links, regularly ensure all links on your website are functioning and only link to trusted, well reputed sources. You can utilize internal links by creating specific landing pages within your site for each product or service you offer. There is an added benefit of increasing the number of pages on the website that can rank for keywords. When a website has more than 300 pages, traffic generation increases by 236%. Update your listings on search engines to ensure that an accurate URL is showing on Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc. Other things to consider for search engine optimization are your site speed (compress/embed large files) and longtail keyword optimization.
When considering how to increase traffic to your website, you must also go beyond the technical to the human element. Establish a welcoming online community by providing interaction opportunities through a Q & A page or comment section and then engaging in electronic conversations with visitors. Readers will appreciate when you provide helpful content through blogs, whether your own or others’, or how-to videos. You can also build referral traffic when you encourage readers to link to your website.
In addition to fine tuning your in-house arena, you have to put yourself out into cyberspace. Become a guest blogger – write for high ranking sites within your industry niche. Comment on industry blogs and others’ posts. Actively participate on Q & A sites to establish yourself as an expert. Of course, you’ll want to ensure your posts are value-added and, in all cases, provide a link back to your website. Arrange to speak at conferences, advertise at them as well, and host an informational table with free giveaways to push your brand out. Advertise on social media and use boosted posts. Get listed in online directories and review sites as your profile can offer a link to your website. Chat forums are another venue through which to build name/brand recognition and subsequently drive traffic to your website.
Building website traffic can be challenging but is an excellent investment of time and money. Be proactive in your efforts to improve the volume of visitors to your site: provide useful content; utilize strategically targeted email marketing; stay on top of the technological side of your website; offer a welcoming online community and put yourself out there as a top-notch problem solver with amazing products and services to offer.
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