Your website is great, but you’re having trouble getting people to actually stop by. Without online visitors, it’s going to be nearly impossible for a web-based business to do well.
Millions of people use search engines each day to find the products, services, and information they need. The only way to make sure your website comes up when they do a search is to be ranked higher in the search engine results.
The higher your website ranks, the more traffic it will see. Since traffic generation and search engine rankings go hand-in-hand, it’s easy to see why the most critical part of any successful marketing plan is going to be traffic generation.
So, how do you increase website traffic?
By following the basics.
Keep reading for some must-follow tips on the basics of traffic generation, designed to help boost your search engine rankings.
What it is
Generally referred to as SEO, search engine optimization involves affecting how a website is seen within unpaid search engine results. This is called “organic” or “natural” traffic, and is the type your website has earned on its own, as opposed to gaining it from ads or other paid methods.
How it works
Search engines turn to complex algorithms to collect, filter, and analyze the vast amounts of data they constantly receive regarding the millions upon millions of websites they find.
The data is analyzed to find the websites that should be on the first results page when someone does a search for a relevant keyword phrase. The more the website ranks for a particular keyword or phrase, or phrases, the higher in the results the website will appear.
When you’re working on giving your website traffic a boost, it’s important to take a close look at both your target audience and your competition. Take the information you find, and then “reverse engineer” what the search engines are looking for.
From there, you can be sure your website has everything the search engine is looking for, including both Onsite and Offsite SEO. These are the two main building blocks of ranking for the first page on a search engine.
Onsite SEO consists of your content and the infrastructure of the website itself. To really make the most of this type of optimization, you want to focus on targeting the best keyword clusters for your niche and audience. You want to match the content you already have with target keywords you want to rank for. Add these target keywords into your new content, and within the tags, tabs, and headers of your website.
Offsite is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. This is how other websites refer to yours. To really optimize in this way, you need to develop a profile of quality links coming in from other sources relevant to your niche and target audience. Links can also come from your social media profiles, so having an active presence is essential for ensuring your content circulates and links back to you. If your content is shared, including in terms of guest posts, you want a citation or byline that links back to your website. You should focus on roughly half of your optimization coming from outside sources.
How to use it
Target keywords should be used throughout the website content, headers, alt tags, and footers. The main keyword should be present in the title of your website, the sub-headings, and throughout the entire content of the site.
It’s recommended that you publish at least fifteen articles on your website’s blog, all of which should be related to the main topic. These articles should incorporate the target keywords used within your website, as this will help you rank for them in search engines.
Share these articles across various social media platforms, in addition to article and website directories. Include a link back to your website within all of these article submissions, as this will increase both your website traffic and SEO.
While there are thousands of article directories available out there, not all of them are worth it in terms of getting backlinks. Some are ranked higher than others, and have more authority and a larger audience reach.
When you find a quality directory to submit to, you will be able to include a link to your site in the bio box of your article. This gives you a backlink, which is great.
Just remember – not all backlinks were created equal. The more authority a site has, the more that backlink is going to be worth. That’s why it’s best to submit to the bigger directories first, and then go for smaller directories.
What it is
Pay-per-click, generally referred to as PPC, is a marketing method that involves advertising on search engine results pages. It’s all about using search engines to generate clicks to your website, as opposed to organically “earning” those clicks. You’ve undoubtedly seen those sponsored ads at the top of a Google search results page. Those are examples of pay-per-click advertising.
How it works
Basically, you bid to have your ad appear as part of the sponsored results when someone searches using your keywords. Each time your ad is clicked, and a visitor is sent to your website, you owe the search engine a small fee – thus the name “pay per click.”
If your advertising campaign is designed effectively, and runs smoothly, the fee you are expected to pay will seem trivial in the long-run. The visit you get to your website will outweigh the small amount of money required to pay for the ad. For example, if you pay $20 for a click, but that one click leads to a $450 sale, then using pay-per-click advertising definitely paid off.
Expert tip: Grab Click Perfect and start tracking your own clicks. You can keep close tabs on all of your link stats including traffic and conversions. You should be tracking and analyzing your marketing efforts as much as possible especially when it comes to paid traffic.
Ultimately, PPC is one of the best ways to generate traffic. In fact, several studies show internet users click on paid search ads more often they do any other form of online advertising. This means people aren’t opposed to being sold to, as long as the products or services being offered are relevant to their needs and interests. Because the search engines use keywords and only show relevant ads, this isn’t a problem. The ads are highly relevant to what the user is looking for, which increases the chances of your ad being clicked on.
Why use it
The reason pay-per-click advertising stands above other methods is Google doesn’t just simply give the ad space to the highest bidder. Instead, they reward the ads that are of the highest quality (most popular). This is because Google rewards performance, rather than just being all about money.
The better your ads are put together, the better they will perform. The better they perform, the higher your click-through rates will be and the lower your advertising costs will be.
What it is
Video marketing involves adding videos to your marketing campaign, whether it’s in promotion of your company as a whole or just your products and services. Video marketing is growing in popularity, especially live streams, and the video content is shared across various social media platforms.
How to use it
Creating compelling video content means truly understanding your target audience. Take a bit of time to get to know the people in your audience, including their interests and type of content they would be most interested in.
If you aren’t sure what to try first, take some time and learn more about ways to enhance your content with videos. Plus, we offer some easy-to-use video tools like Email Tools or Doodly which really simplify the process if you are just starting out.
Whatever way you decide on, be sure to let your brand personality shine through. Showing your customers you’re relatable and authentic will make it easier for customers to trust you. The more they trust you, the more likely they are to trust your brand and buy your products or services.
Finally, don’t forget to use the SEO strategies we talked about above. One of the biggest reasons for adding video content to your marketing plan is to boost your search engine ranking. Add target keywords to your video title, tags, and description. Upload a transcript (if it’s relevant to your video type) that includes those same keywords. This will make it easier for consumers to find your video content and your website.
Why it works
Digital marketers can stand to gain a lot of traffic with just a single video, all by adding that video to their various marketing channels – from email marketing to blog posts to landing pages. Video content also increases Google ranking, conversions, open rates, and click-through rates.
Additionally, research shows it helps increases sales by a significant amount. In a recent survey of 2,000 consumers, 44% of them watched an online video while they were doing a search for local products and services they needed. Out of that percentage, 53% of the viewers contacted the company after watching the video, 51% visited the company’s website, and 33% even visited the store. Overall, 71% of the viewers ended up buying something.
The key to generating more website traffic is to have the basics down. Whether you’re an experienced digital marketer, new business owner, or just getting into this whole marketing thing, following these tips is a great step in the right direction.
By taking the time to implement foundational components like SEO optimization, PPC tracking and grabbing a tool like Email Tools or Doodly for video content, you’ll see an increase in website traffic before you know it.
How do YOU generate traffic for your own website? Do you use these strategies, or do you have traffic tips of your own?
Share with us in the comments below!
To unwind after hours of writing code or perfecting a design, Natalie likes to go out swing dancing or stay home alone and solve jigsaw puzzles.
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Also published on Medium.