There isn’t much point in having a website if no one is viewing it. The very first website I created (quite a few years ago) was fully hand coded, I spent ages on it. I taught myself how to write code and how to design the layout exactly how I wanted it. I was so proud of it when I put it live that I (very naively) thought people would automatically find it and view it. Of course I was wrong. The site had very few visitors at all. It was then my journey into the world of digital marketing began.
Fast forward a few years, I no longer hand code sites (there is really no need with so many web building platforms available) and with technology changing so rapidly, there are so many ways in which you can grow your web traffic.
Here are a few things you can try…
Search Engine Optimisation
Generating traffic via Google is a great way to attract your ideal customers or clients as you can target people when they are actively searching for the exact products or services you provide. SEO is more of a long term strategy than a quick fix but when executed correctly can drive significant amounts of traffic to your website. SEO is a great way to grow your web traffic, get new leads, attract new customers and make more sales.
Search Engine Marketing isn’t just about SEO. Using Google Ads alongside your SEO strategy will enable you to get quicker results without waiting for your site to rank (which can take some time). At the top of the search results, you will often see listings with an ‘ad’ symbol next to it. These are the paid search results. The exact amount you’ll pay will be determined by the keywords you choose and the budget you set. With Google Ad’s you’ll pay every time someone clicks through to your site so it’s really important to not only make sure your ads are well targeted but to also focus on keyword research as well as making sure your page converts.
Social media is undoubtedly one of the most popular marketing tools for small businesses. It provides a great way for you to drive people to your web content as well as engage with your audience and promote your products or services. It doesn’t matter which platform you focus on most, social media can provide you with the opportunity to get visible and get noticed. Using social media for business isn’t as easy as it used to be though. With Facebook in particular, the reach is far less than it was in the past and with social often becoming quite saturated with content, it can be difficult to stand out in a crowded market.
Your content needs to be attention grabbing, interesting and engaging and you should be posting content regularly across each platform that you use. Building a community via a Facebook group is also a great way to stand out, get noticed and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Social Media Ads
One of the ways around the decline in organic reach is to use paid ads as part of your social media strategy. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, you can run a highly targeted ad campaign without spending huge amounts. It’s worth considering a paid strategy if you have the budget. A well targeted ad campaign will help you get your content in front of your ideal customers.
Pinterest is often thought of as a social media platform but it’s actually a search engine. It can be a great traffic source when utilized correctly and it’s a great way to get found by people who are searching for things related to what you do. Pinterest allows users to discover and share interest and ideas visually. You can create boards relating to a particular topic and link your pins to your website. Users will often search Pinterest for ideas or inspiration so it’s a great way to get your content in front of your ideal audience. Pinterest is more suited to some niches than others but it can be a very powerful tool for driving visitors to your website.
Guest blogging is a tactic often used in conjunction with SEO. By writing content for other websites, you’ll often be credited with a link back to your website. It’s not only the links that are beneficial when guest blogging. Contributing to other sites that are relevant to your niche puts you in front of a new audience, it enables you to reach people who may not otherwise have known you exist. It’s great for brand awareness and it’s also great for referral traffic as you’ll often get people clicking through to your site, especially if they are actively interested in what you are writing about.
Sponsored posts are also useful too (unlike guest posts, there will likely be a charge for a sponsored post). Sponsored posts also enable you to reach a wider audience and become known to people who may be interested in what you offer. It’s important to note though, you shouldn’t be looking at sponsored posts purely to get a link to your site, they should be used for brand awareness and promotion rather than for SEO purposes.
Content Marketing involves creating and sharing useful and informative content in order to get it seen and noticed by those that will find it of interest. The aim of content marketing is to attract a clearly defined audience and to appeal to your exact target market. Content marketing isn’t limited to one type of content and can include many different content types such as infographics, articles, ebooks, useful tools, videos and podcasts.
Content marketing is great for brand awareness and is often done in conjunction with both SEO and PR. It helps to get your brand / business noticed by providing useful content for your readers. The key to content marketing is to add value. Providing useful and informative content is essential if your content marketing campaigns are going to attract new customers. It’s about sharing knowledge and useful information rather than simply promoting your offers, products or services.
One of the main benefits of email marketing is that not only can you reach out to your subscribers and send them content that will interest them, it also enables you to interact with your audience outside of social media. It can be risky having ‘all your eggs in one basket’ and relying solely on one platform for lead generation. Email marketing enables you to reach a highly targeted audience who have an interest in what you do. It’s a great way to share information, promote your products or services, to keep in touch and to build relationships. It’s also relatively low cost with some free options available. Mailchimp for example has a free option, as does Mailerlite.
Aweber, Activecampaign and Convertkit are also popular email marketing platforms. Pricing does vary although most platforms offer a free trial.
If you provide a product or service, why not get someone else to sell it for you and give them a commission. That’s exactly what affiliate marketing is. It’s a great way to promote your brand and reach a wider audience, it’s also a really good way to get known and get noticed without having to do any of the promotion or selling yourself.
Chatbots are live chat tools powered by AI. A customer can receive an immediate response to a question and receive information instantly. An increasing number of companies are opting to utilise chatbot technology to improve their online customer service experience. Chatbots are also used for marketing purposes and are great way to engage with your audience and drive people to your content. You can send content (or web links) to your subscribers directly via instant message. Chabots provide instant communication and are becoming a popular alternative to email marketing.
Having multiple sources of driving traffic to your website is ideal as you can target your ideal audience in multiple places. You don’t need to focus on everything though, it’s better to execute a few things well than try and do everything at once.
Here are some additional tips to bear in mind…
Know Your Audience
Regardless of what you sell, what services you provide or what information you have on your website, your target audience isn’t everybody. Driving traffic to a website isn’t just about getting as many people as possible to click through to your site, it’s about attracting people that are going to be interested in your content (and ideally become customers). It’s important to know exactly who your ideal target audience is. Who are you aiming to attract? Who will be interested in what you have to offer? By knowing who your ideal customer is and having a clearly defined target audience, you can focus on reaching the people who are most likely to be interested in what you offer.
The aim of a business website isn’t to get lots of hits, it’s to make more sales, get more customers and grow your business so it’s incredibly important to know exactly who you are aiming to attract. Your marketing efforts will be wasted if you aren’t driving the right people to your content.
Create Awesome Content
Your content is crucial to the success of your website. Your sales pages need to be written to convert, your articles need to be high quality, informative and unique. More importantly, your website needs to provide the answers or solutions to whatever the user is looking for. High quality content is essential from an SEO point of view (Google is unlikely to rank thin or low quality content) but it’s even more important to create great content for your users. Attracting traffic is only part of the process, you also need your visitors to become customers. Your website is your opportunity to showcase your products, your expertise, your skills and your experience. Make sure it does exactly that through your content.
Research Your Keywords
Keywords research is essential for both SEO and Google Ads. There is no point optimising your website and trying to rank for terms that no one searching for. Likewise, there is also not much point in trying to compete with huge brands that are dominating the top spots. By conducting keyword research, you can identify the ideal keywords to target based on intent, search volume and competition.
There are numerous tools you can use to help with keyword research (both free tools and paid tools). Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension is a useful tool that will provide info about a particular keyword within your web browser. It’s not free unfortunately but Google Keyword Planner is free (as part of Google Adwords). Google Trends and Buzzsumo are also useful free tools to help you research what content and what topics are popular within your niche. KWFinder and Ahrefs (paid tools) are also great for keyword research and will usually provide more data than many of the free tools provide.
Include a Blog On Your Website
There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to include a blog on your website. You can use your blog to share your expertise, provide useful tip and information for your readers, position yourself as an expert in your niche, promote your products or services and share your own news and stories. Having a blog can help to increase engagement and conversions as well as build trust. You can optimise your blog articles for search engines which can provide additional opportunities for you to get found. Your articles can also help drive traffic via social media. You can share your content across your own platforms and hopefully entice other people to share your articles with their audience too.
Add Social Sharing Buttons
Social sharing buttons make it easier for other people to share your content. If someone likes an article you have written on your blog, they can share it with their own audience at the click of a button. The more people that share your content, the bigger the audience it is likely to reach. By getting other people to share your content on their social media platforms, you’ll get noticed by people that may not otherwise have known you exist. You’ll also get more clicks to your website. Adding social buttons alone isn’t enough to guarantee that people will share your articles, your content has to be great too and people have to already be viewing it in order to share it.
Understand Where Your Traffic Is Coming From
Tools such as Google Analytics are useful for understanding how people find your site and interact with your content. You can track information such as whether people are finding your website via a search engine or are being directed to your web pages via social media. You can also see whether people are browsing your site on a computer or mobile device. By looking at your site analytics, you can make improvements in order to lower bounce rate and increase user engagement.
Make Sure Your Site is User Friendly
The most important thing when creating a website is your users. You aren’t building a site to appeal to a search engine or an algorithm (at least you shouldn’t be). Your users are paramount. Your site should be user friendly and easy to navigate. The pages should load quickly and there should be no broken links anywhere on the site. Your readers should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily or they will leave the site without getting in touch or making a purchase. Keep your navigation simple, have clear call to actions and make sure your site is responsive across all devices.
Think Long Term
It’s not easy to generate traffic and get more visitors to your website. It can take time and effort to see results. SEO in particular is an ongoing process as you are unlikely to see results overnight. Developing an ongoing content plan for your website and social media will help keep your content fresh, up to date and relevant. Using paid ads such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads will help you to generate traffic quicker than solely focussing on organic methods. It’s a good idea to have a long term marketing strategy ideally focusing on multiple channels and multiple ways of attracting your ideal audience.
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