This article was originally published April 2018; updated July 2019
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 just asking, “What can I do to build traffic to my website?” consider some of these strategies:
A poor consumer experience can go viral in a matter of minutes and is estimated to have cost businesses upwards of $40 billion every year. A mobile-friendly site is non-negotiable and beyond that, top-notch mobile user experience is key. Offer a mobile-first design that ensures your website displays properly on all mobile devices. While the core content of your site should be the same regardless of desktop or mobile, the actual mobile user experience needs to be swipe and tap friendly.
Intuitive and easy site navigation is another key component. 94% of consumers say the ease of website navigation is important to them. Keep users engaged with your site by limiting the layers of navigation you offer. Simplify things by eliminating desktop navigational elements that are unnecessary for mobile users. And while there are some naysayers regarding the hamburger menu, it is an essential element for quick mobile navigation.
Keep your site design on the basic, almost minimalist side of things to help users handle interruptions like an incoming call or prompt from another app. The easier it is for users to return to your site and pick up where they left off, the more likely it is they will accomplish whatever their original goal was.
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. Be sure to include keyword hashtags and links to your brand whenever possible. Here are some other content-focused 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
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 content should target customer needs and how your products or services can meet those needs. Portray your brand as an industry expert to build trust and loyalty. This will encourage not only more direct business but will also increase clients’ willingness to share with their friends, family, and co-workers, information about your talents and services.
One way to create connections with current and prospective customers is through your blog. These regularly published articles help to establish your brand as an expert in your industry by offering helpful or educational information that answers questions your visitors have, meets their pain points, or leads them through a challenge they are facing.
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 or by changing the format of the piece.
Vary the length of your blog 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. That being said, there is an amazing amount of competition in the world of email marketing when you consider that approximately 269 billion emails are sent every day. As you work to create your next email campaign, consider the following:
Segmented messages will allow you to send relevant information, promotions, and other offers to all portions of your customer base.
Clear and concise messaging is key to engagement - state your purpose and provide a single call to action in the form of a landing page link.
Subject lines are extremely important – the goal of your headline is to convince a reader to open your email and engage with the content.
Make it easy to subscribe and unsubscribe to your email list.
Abandoned shopping cart emails have a greater than 40% open rate.
Email marketing can be used to promote any upcoming webinars, seminars, or speaking engagements.
Include social sharing buttons on all of your email communications and encourage readers to share the messages.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Don’t forget the technological side of things – regularly fine tune your site. Optimizing load speed is imperative whether it is your web page, a video, or what have you. Asking site visitors to wait for too long is like asking those of us who have worked our way up to 5G performance speed to return to the days of dial-up connections. To keep any of your visitors from leaving your site, ensure that your pages load quickly if not instantaneously.
Use analytics to identify strategies and types of content that work. When you step back to evaluate the 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.
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.
Another thing to consider for search engine optimization is keyword optimization. The most successful business will utilize historical data and projections to take into account changes to search and the related algorithms. The following trends are likely to have a significant impact moving forward: voice and mobile search, keyword grouping, semantic keywords, and as we mentioned above, long tail keywords.
For more on this topic, see our article: It’s Time to Reevaluate your SEO Keyword Strategies
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 in 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.
Use posts and ads on social media platforms to drive traffic to your website. Focus on sharing visual content and make your posts easy to share. Use analytics to understand when your target audience is active on different social platforms and post during those time windows. Engage regularly with your followers by responding to comments, questions, and mentions. For more engagement tips, see our article: Social Media Engagement Tips from Baby Boomers to Gen Z
Get listed in online directories and review sites as your profile can offer a link to your website. Google, Bing, and Yahoo have the largest online directories but being (accurately) listed in other, smaller directories will give the big three search engines more reason to show your business in search results. It is important to ensure that all listings are identical and highly recommended that you track your listings for an easier time of checking for accuracy and updating when needed.
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: offer top-notch user experience and provide useful content, including blog posts. Utilize strategically targeted email marketing, stay on top of the behind the scenes technological side of your website, and offer a welcoming online community. Put your brand out there as a top-notch problem solver with amazing content, products, and services to offer.
The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing have extensive experience in the development and creation of engaging websites for organizations of all sizes and across a number of industries. We understand the important role a website plays for any brand and would love to learn more about your business so we can help you offer an effective and engaging website that will let you maximize your revenue potential. Contact us today – let’s get started!