In the world of online marketing, everything you do comes down to one ultimate goal—get more web traffic. The more people going to your website, the more likely you are to make sales and earn loyal customers. But there’s more to driving website traffic than meets the eye. A lot more. From paid search to social media and on-site SEO, there are dozens of ways to increase traffic to a website. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this list of 16 ways to increase traffic.
Let’s start with the simplest and most obvious solution—paying for advertisements for your website. There are 3 major forms of paid advertising for online marketing: paid search, social media ads, and display advertising. The first is also referred to as Pay Per Click, or PPC, and bumps your website up to the top of the results for certain search terms. Obviously, getting on the first page of search engine result pages (SERPs) is a big deal; but searchers often skip over the paid ads, so this shouldn’t be your only advertising effort.
Social media ads are exceptional at putting your business in front of the right people, because social media platforms can target very specific demographics. Display advertising can also be effective, when done right. You can pay to put a banner for your site on another, relevant website to help drive traffic. But again, none of these efforts should stand alone.
There’s a phrase in the online marketing world: “Content is king.” In one way or another, content drives virtually all online traffic. So, if you want to get more web traffic, then you need more content. However, not all content has to be written. While blogs and e-books are fantastic pieces to offer your online audience, you need to offer a wide variety of content to really pull in customers.
This can include infographics and pictures, as well as video content. In fact, video is one of the fastest-growing areas of the internet. Consumers tend to respond more frequently to this type of content than to text-only content, so make sure you’re including this in your marketing efforts.
Even the most amazing, in-depth blog isn’t going to get any traffic if it has a lackluster headline. Make sure every piece of content you create has an eye-catching, click-worthy headline. Often, people don’t look beyond your headline before deciding whether or not they’re going to click on it, so make sure you get their attention quickly.
One last bit on content for now: Make sure you are sharing every piece of content you create on social media. These platforms are the best way to put your content in front of your audience. And don’t just stick to the “major” social media sites either. As great as Facebook and Twitter are for some businesses, many other companies have greater success on LinkedIn and Google+, or even on Instagram and Pinterest, if your content is image-heavy. Figure out which sites will work best for your company, and post to as many as you can.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the driving force that determines where you’ll end up on SERPs. If you don’t yet know the basics of SEO, you should invest some time into learning as much as you can about it. For now, suffice it to say that every page of your website should offer some SEO value to your website. The more SEO-friendly your website pages, the more you will increase website traffic.
On a related note, make sure that you’re branching out with what SEO keywords you use. Short-tail keywords tend to get used a lot, and you’ll get lost in the noise of other businesses using them. Make sure to target a long-tail keyword on every page. Long-tail keywords are used in the majority of web searches. Targeting the right phrases can greatly improve your SEO rankings.
Some people are of the opinion that guest blogging is out. But that’s not quite true—it’s just changed a bit. In the past, you could post a blog to almost any site, and as long as it had a link back to your website, it would help you get more web traffic. Of course, that led to a lot of spammy articles. Now, Google ranks the value of your inbound links based on the reputability of the website it’s coming from. So, if you can get a guest blog on a highly reputable website, it can add a lot of value.
Additionally, allowing people to guest blog on your website can be a mutually beneficial arrangement. You can get quality content and some new voices posting on your blog, and if your site links back to theirs, they earn some SEO value.
Of course, not all links on your website should link to other sites. Even when your site links back to itself, it can still help with drawing in and properly directing web traffic. Though you don’t want to bog down every blog with links to your product pages, placing relevant links in your own content to guide website traffic to pages they may be interested can boost your SEO.
Here’s another way to get some outside voices on your website: Interview leaders in your industry to get their perspective on important industry news, and other relevant topics. Of course, you probably don’t want to interview your direct competition. But if you’re a financial advisor, you can interview an investment guru on an important financial matter. If you’re an online consultant, you can interview another consultant that specializes in a different niche. By bringing in these outside perspectives, you can draw in the interviewee’s own followers, which will increase traffic to your website. And if your site links back to theirs, it can be another mutually beneficial arrangement.
Email marketing is another digital marketing tactic that some believe is outdated, but which has really just shifted. The old “spray and pray” strategy of sending out an email to anyone you can, and hoping for a response, is no longer used. Rather, modern email marketing is focused on cultivating genuine relationships, earning willing subscribers, and providing valuable content via email. Utilizing this strategy properly is one of the most effective ways to increase traffic.
Studies have shown that the vast majority of website searches are performed on mobile devices. So, if your website is not responsive and optimized for mobile devices, you’re basically telling a significant portion of searchers that they should go somewhere else. A responsive site is a key way to keep website traffic on your website.
One way to increase website traffic that is often overlooked is to actively comment on blogs and other pages that are relevant to your industry. Why does this matter? Because those forums are out there, and people are frequently searching for input and advice on topics related to your industry—topics that you are an expert on. If you’re frequently seen posting in these forums and helping people out, you’ll earn a reputation as an expert in your industry, and the traffic will come to you.
We’ve already mentioned social media once, but you should be doing far more on those sites than just sharing your content. Be as active on all social media platforms as you can. Respond to comments and questions, join groups, participate in trending conversations, and overall, just be a part of the community.
On a related note, don’t ignore aggregator sites like Reddit and Tumblr. These sites have forums on virtually every topic, so find an appropriate thread, and participate in the discussion there. One quick tip: Don’t just spam the forums with link to your sites. This gives you a bad reputation very quickly. Instead, provide advice where needed, offer helpful input, and if it’s relevant, link to your site. (For example, you might link to your blog, where you’ve written on a topic that someone is asking about.)
Any good business owner knows that you have to keep an eye on the competition—and that’s true for online marketing as well. You need to know what your competitors are writing about and sharing with consumers. And, more importantly, you need to know what topics are resonating with readers. There are tools out there that can make this easier. BuzzSumo, for example, tracks your competitors’ content and shows you how much interaction that content is getting on social media. If something is blowing up, you can emulate that content on your own website to increase website traffic.
As you can see, there are a lot of bases that you need to cover if you’re going to have a well-rounded and effective online marketing strategy. (And these aren’t even all the ways to increase traffic to your website.) Simply learning how to effectively handle all of these areas can take weeks of research and study. And implementing those strategies takes even more work. Sometimes, the best way to get more web traffic is to allow someone else to handle these things for you, so you can focus on running your business. Contact one of our experts today for help with any of the above methods to increase traffic to your company’s website.