Ask a marketing guru or fellow successful business owner what their Christmas and/or New Year wish is, and he or she will most likely say “more customers.” What often follows “customers” on a business’ Santa list? Without a doubt, it’s additional traffic to their website. There are a myriad of ways you can increase traffic on your website, and we’re going to look at some of the more important of them while also explaining, in as much detail as possible, why they work.
Part One: The Importance of Web Traffic
You already have a website…don’t you? (If you don’t, we need to have a few words with you about your business’ success in this modern day and age…but that’s a conversation for another time.) Well, then you should already know the importance of traffic to your site. Indeed, web traffic is to Internet marketing what location is to real estate – in other words, it’s the only factor that really matters. If you cannot generate targeted visitors to your site, you will not enjoy many sales.
Normally, the designer or owner of the website is the individual designated, or responsible for, driving web traffic to it. The chief ingredient in the “web traffic generating soup” is the search engine – of course, advertising also plays a role here, but that’s an element that will cost you some kind of money. Using search engines to generate targeted (i.e. interested in your service or product) web traffic is the least-expensive method we’re aware of.
The unfortunate flip side to this coin is that many website owners don’t understand the importance of search engine visibility, which ultimately yields web traffic. They place more importance on producing a “trendy” site and, while this isn’t a bad approach, it really should be considered a secondary option to search engine placement.
Some of the common mistakes we see many website owners making – which ultimately stop them from generating more targeted web traffic to their site – include:
- Not using keywords effectively
- Repeating the same keywords
- Robbing pages from other websites
- Using keywords that are not related to their website
- Keyword stuffing (overuse)
- Relying on hidden text
- Relying on tiny text
- Assuming all search engines are the same
- Using free web hosting
- Forgetting to check for missing web page elements
- Not actively blogging
We often suggest to clients not to give in to the temptation that these methods will work for them; they will do more harm than good, most of the time, for a website. If you do indulge in any of these aforementioned actions, not only will you spend weeks of wasted effort, you may have your site banned from certain search engines indefinitely. Instead, invest a little time in learning the proper techniques for increasing search engine visibility, and watch your net web traffic increase.
Part Two: The Nitty Gritty Regarding Increasing Web Traffic
Now…you’d like to know exactly how you can increase traffic to your site, right? You’re not alone. Most businesses dream of boasting a highly popular, constantly abuzz website – it’s good for a brand and ultimately serves to drive wave after wave of potential customers in. However, dreaming about it won’t get you there – taking action is the key.
Contrary to (seemingly) popular belief, there is no magical secret to building up website traffic. You know what it comes down to? Hard work, consistent effort over a long-term (and sometimes short-term) period and understanding basic marketing fundamentals. While there are an almost unlimited number of ways to increase traffic to your site, we’re going to cover the major ones often considered the “crème de la crème” of traffic-building tips: Content marketing and on-page Search Engine Optimization, social media marketing, PPC advertising, boasting a mobile-responsive and modern website and securing local listings.
1. Content Marketing and On-Page Search Engine Optimization
For some reason – and we just haven’t wrapped our heads around it yet – many folks think Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is dead. The truth is, it’s never been more alive – optimizing your content for search engines is still a valuable and worthwhile tactic. Are you making the most of image alt text? Are you creating internal links to fresh new content? What about meta descriptions? Optimizing for on-page SEO doesn’t have to take a millennium to complete, and it could help boost your organic traffic.
MVMG Quick Stats:
- 77-percent of marketers increased their content production in 2015
- 91-percent of B2B marketers use content marketing
- 46-percent of marketers increased their spending on SEO and SEM in 2015
- 54-percent of marketers think that the use of SEO will continue to grow through the end of 2015
Now, looking at the above statistics, some confusion may be sparked…after all, if both SEO and content marketing are useful for a business, which one is better for you? The answer is BOTH: SEO can be defined as anything that is done to increase organic search engine traffic, while content marketing can be described as the action of creating and spreading content to attract traffic. On-page SEO is concerned primarily with the content on a site and how well it is optimized for relevant keywords; for SEO, content is a MUST. And for content marketing…well, it’s all in the name.
When you use your content effectively (and optimize it for different channels) you can easily double or triple your resulting traffic.
MVMG Quick Tip: Instead of JUST trying to obtain search engine traffic for an article or blog, you can also use content marketing tactics and promote it on social media.
2. Social Media Marketing
It’s simply not enough to produce great content and hope that people find it – you have to be proactive. And in finding ways to increase traffic to your website, this means using social media channels to promote your content – Twitter is ideal for snazzy, short and “tempting” links, whereas Google+ promotion can assist with having a site show up in personalized search results (while seeming particularly effective in B2B niches…take it from us). If you represent a B2C product company, you might discover great traction with an image-heavy social site such as Pinterest or Instagram. While running a social media marketing campaign with the intention of driving more traffic to your website, you can use the following ways to make it more effective:
- Add Your Website’s URL to Your Social Media Profiles – Make sure that on all your social media profiles you have a link pointing to your website; adding a link is not only ideal for SEO purposes, it is also good for getting more traffic.
- Use Hashtags Effectively – Hashtags can generate more exposure for your social media postings; take a gander at some of the best practices when using hashtags and ensure you use them correctly.
- Utilize Social Media Advertising – The number of social media pages and users is increasing on a daily basis – to this day – and while this is good because there are more potential users that can view your postings, it also makes it more difficult to get your posts in front of your followers; utilize Facebook advertising in addition to solutions offered by Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with these followers.
Other ways to make your social media efforts more effective include:
- Make it easy for users to share your content
- Use images with your posts
- Add links to your social media postings
- Post regularly
- Don’t overpromote your products or company
- Create a blog and publish evergreen (i.e. non-time-specific) content
- Connect with industry influencers
- Manage your social media accounts – don’t just post content
- Check out your competitors
- Measure results
- Reply to comments or mentions
- Create a social media strategy
MVMG Power Tip: Social media is not supposed to replace SEO, but they can both work together harmoniously by supporting each other’s methodology.
3. PPC Advertising
Multiple studies, including one conducted by Google, have proven that Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising drives significant traffic to a website. If you are a small or local business, you probably already realize how difficult it is to track how PPC campaigns are actually DOING with Google AdWords and the like; indeed, clients always ask us how often they should optimize their campaigns, and what we often tell them is that it’s not based on time…it’s based on the data received, such as traffic and conversions.
So…if you get 100 visits in a day, you might be able to optimize on a daily basis…but if you only receive 10 visits a day, this approach would be pointless; you won’t have enough information to make good decisions with that little of data. What’s our point here? Make sure that when you DO optimize, you have enough data that proves the changes you’re about to make are sensible.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at some things you should do to get the most out of your PPC campaign. These can encompass:
- Implementing call tracking
- Creating several landing pages per service
- Using dimensions (like time, geographic location, distance and search terms) to determine where your conversions are coming from
- Using segments to determine how your conversions happen
- Keeping your ad testing simple
- Using multi-step opt-in forms
Still not convinced about the magic of PPC advertising? Here are four good reasons to give it a try when bolstering your website traffic tactics:
- It’s predictable (your visitors are tied to how much you spend)
- You get results faster than using inbound marketing (you can see visitors to your website in HOURS, not months)
- It’s extremely easy to scale
- It offers more time to focus on your product or service
4. Owning a Mobile-Responsive and Modern Website
If you have been looking for ways to keep your website and business ahead of the competition while expanding your reach, increasing your conversion rates and keeping your visitors happy, then developing a responsive website is a priority. If you’re not familiar with the phrase “responsive web design,” the simplest definition we can provide is that it refers to a website optimized for viewing – i.e. looks good – on different types of devices, screens and resolutions; in other words, the design adapts to the available viewing space.
What’s more, boasting a mobile-responsive website is essential in this day and age; we have done some research and found that already 10 to 30-percent of website visitors are coming from mobile devices/tablets, and if you’re not offering them a user-friendly version, you are going to lose customers. The added advantage of “going responsive” is that it will enable you to keep in touch with your customers and engage with them on every possible occasion.
Additionally, responsive website design allows you to:
- Reach more audience
- Maintain one website and one set of code
- Implement good SEO tactics
- Increase conversions and earnings from ads
- Stay in front of the competition
- Prepare for the future
- Offer a consistent design across all devices
But how can you make your website responsive? While the technicalities of creating a responsive website from scratch are beyond the scope of this blog – we suggest you get in touch with a Multiverse representative for that – there are some guidelines we can share. Websites can be designed responsive from the onset, or can be converted into responsive-oriented variants at a later time. Further, there are three major ways to craft a responsive website:
- Use a responsive theme
- Transform your existing website and theme into a responsive design
- Create a custom design from scratch that’s also responsive
5. Local Listings
Boosting website traffic is essential for LOCAL businesses, as well; if you are considered a local business, all the visitors to your website are potential customers. However, actually driving traffic and increasing visitors to your site is a challenge – especially for businesses with brand-new websites. You can drive local business website traffic by learning how to utilize the right tools and mastering how traffic methods work.
The core of what we’re talking about here has to do with directories: Directory optimization is a crucial part of any online marketing strategy, and as such every local business should submit their information to the major directories, including:
While every directory has a different set of guidelines for listings, your submissions should ideally all be consistent and identical in order to increase your organic SEO.
Most local businesses use a combination of paid, owned and earned media to drive traffic to their website…and, thus, in-store. Many businesses are hesitant to invest in advanced traffic strategies until they see a proven correlation between in-store sales and website visitors; however, without website traffic, a business’ local online marketing strategy will suffer.