The ultimate guide to increasing website traffic
Why is Website Traffic Important for my Business?
The 21st century has brought about a lot of changes to this world. One of those changes is the internet. Everyday more and more people are getting internet access and social media is growing in popularity. This presents a great opportunity for businesses to market themselves online. Any company that ignores the importance of marketing on the internet does so to it’s own disadvantage. The foundation of success for any website or internet business is traffic. Without website traffic there is no-one to visit your website. This means no-one to see what you have to offer and no-one to buy what you are selling.
Your website needs traffic in order to help your business grow. But it’s not just any traffic that you need, you need relevant traffic. Most people think that any traffic is good traffic. It’s important to remember that you are not trying to attract everyone to your website. You want only those people who are interested in your topic or what you are selling. Let’s assume that you sell luxury cars. There is no point in attracting people who are looking for low cost cars. They are not relevant to your business.
a. What is website traffic?
Website traffic refers to the number of people that visit your website, the pages that they view and the length of time they spend on those pages. When someone visits your website, their visit is recorded and any links that person might click and follow is also recorded. At the end of the day, these numbers are added up to give you an idea of how popular your website is.
b. The Importance of Website Traffic
So, why is website traffic so important for my business, you may ask?
If you are not attracting traffic it means your website is just sitting somewhere on the internet without serving any purpose. Every website needs traffic, and no matter how beautiful your website looks, if you are not attracting visitors, you will not be able to generate sales or achieving the end goal of your business.
Many people forget that it is people who view your website and do business with you online. In the end, your website and business will not survive without a steady flow of traffic from the right audience.
Here are three reasons why you need website traffic:
- You need to generate more targeted traffic to generate sales and money, ultimately.
- Traffic from people who are interested in what you are selling or promoting, is more likely to buy from you and refer your website to others.
- An increase in the amount of time a person spends on your page, increases the likelihood that they will sign up for your newsletter or to receive your promotional content, allowing you to market to them long-term.
1. Content marketing
Think about it for a moment. When someone visits your website today, do they have any reason to come back tomorrow? If your website has nothing beneficial to the user then they really don’t have any reason to keep visiting your website. You can change this situation by putting beneficial content on your website. Not your company’s adverts but content that genuinely helps your target audience. Do you offer car repair services? Maybe you can offer your customers information on how to take care of their cars. It could be information on how to check for oil level, how to check battery health, etc. You may be asking yourself why you should do that, well, here are some reasons why:
a. Content marketing establishes you as an authority
By producing great content on topics related to your industry and niche you portray yourself as an authority on the subject. Who would you rather build your house- someone with no proof of their expertise or someone who has written books on construction, taught in construction colleges and has a website that has lots of advice on construction techniques? I would go for the expert builder with proof of their knowledge. Customers are more likely to buy from you when they can see the proof that you know about the service you offer.
Authority on a given topic has it’s many benefits. Which websites do you go to when you want to know more about a particular topic? Think of news websites.. When you want to know about what’s going on in Zimbabwe which website do you visit? That’s authority. To own a particular subject or niche in the minds of people. Authority helps you come first in their minds. Some of the benefits of authority include:
- Free referrals when people refer others to you as an authority in your industry. Whenever someone wants something that you offer people simply refer you.
- Search engines are all about information. The more authoritative content you have on your website means they have more to show about you.
- Easily earn links from other websites when people link to the content you have on your website. This brings in new visitors and gives you a boost in search engines as well.
b. Content marketing encourages repeat visits
When you regularly publish new content on your website you encourage regular visits. People have a reason to check in on your website because they know there is something fresh every-time. To make it a lot more convenient for your visitors you can also put in place an email subscription service. This way every-time you publish new content anyone who has subscribed receives an email notification.
2. Search engine marketing
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing have become the primary method that people use to search and find information on the internet. One of the best ways that your website can get a lot of continued traffic is by being listed on these search engines. This is how it works: A user visits a search engine and searches for something. The search engine will look at it’s database of websites and give the searcher a list of results that the search engine thinks are relevant to what the user is searching for. Let’s assume that the user is looking for ‘cars to hire’. The search engine will then give the user a list of websites about car hire. This list is arranged in groups of 10 websites per page. Most people never go to page 2 of these results.
- 93% of online experiences start with a search engine
- 75% of users never go to the second page of a search query
- 70% of the links users click are organic rankings
- 77% of these go to the top 5 results.
There are basically two types of search engine marketing and these are:
a. Organic marketing (search engine optimization)
Search engine optimization or SEO as it is more popularly known, is a method of making a website appear at the top of search engine listings. It’s quite a complicated process and the search engines continually change the rules of the game. When a website is search engine optimized it gets more traffic. Search engine optimization is keyword specific. You can’t get optimized for every word out there. If you offer car repair services you don’t want to be found when people search for printer repair. If those people visit your website they will just leave without buying anything.
b. Paid search engine advertising
The second type of search engine marketing is paid advertising. Almost all the search engines offer an option to pay to appear at the top of search engine results. Since it takes a bit of some time for a website to climb search engine results organically, paid advertising may offer a quick solution. Paid adverts also appear at the top above organic listings offering more visibility for your website.
3. Social media marketing
Social networks have been on the rise over the last 10 years as more and more people get access to the internet. The most noteworthy of which are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+. Each of these major social networks has millions of followers and users. Many businesses have perfected their marketing over time to leverage the power of these social networks. Statistics on social media use show that millions of social media users are active daily on their network of choice. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses especially when it comes to receiving website traffic. Social networks are one of the highest website traffic referral sources. So what exactly do you need to benefit from this potentially high traffic to your website?
a. Have something to offer
Most business owners think that social media marketing is as simple as creating a profile and inviting a few people over to like their page or follow them. The reality is that it’s more complicated than that. Remember, people are not on social networks with the intention to buy, they are there mostly just for fun. To attract this person requires you to have a strong pull factor. You need to have a strong offer to get this person’s attention.
Your offer could be anything like a discount, a free trial, a link to an article on your blog, etc. As long as what you are offering is relevant to the audience you want to attract then it should serve the purpose of attracting them. Don’t forget the important part, the objective here is increasing traffic to your website, so always include the link to the specific resource on your website.
b. Be creative
Social media marketing needs to be fun and unique for it to serve the purpose of attracting attention. Find new and unique ways to tell the story of your brand and what you stand for. Get inspiration from other businesses that are doing well on social media. Attracting attention is hard work. Think about what new ways you can use to gain that cherished click to your website. Think of campaigns like the Ice Bucket or the Mannequin Challenge. Here are 20 example Facebook campaigns to get you started.
c. Be adaptive
Be warned, social networks are not created equal. Each social network is different from the others. For example, Twitter works mainly by sending short ‘tweets’. LinkedIn is mainly a business and employment oriented social network. What works on one social network may not necessarily work on another as the audiences are usually different. Choose which social network to be active on carefully and adapt your message to each individual social network.
d. Amplify your reach with paid advertising
Once you have established your presence on a particular social media network, updated your profile and have an enticing offer it may be a good idea to amplify your reach through paid advertising. Most social networks now have an option to pay so that you can reach more people with your message. It’s important to have tested your offering first before investing a lot in paid advertising. Your want to get a lot of feedback from your social connections and incorporate the feedback in your offering if possible. Once you have fine-tuned your message you can safely increase your advertising budget. Don’t forget to monitor and adjust when necessary. As long as your offering appeals to your target audience you cannot go wrong on this one.
4. Email marketing
In its simplest definition, email marketing is the process of using email to send adverts, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.
a. Get permission first
Email marketing is a process. It’s about getting permission from someone to email them. Too many times businesses bombard people with emails without even asking for permission to inbox them. Not only is this rude and illegal, it’s bad marketing. Don’t do it. So how do you get someone’s permission to email them? The easiest way way is simply to ask for it. Put a form to ask visitors to your website for their email address and permission to email them.
b. Don’t be a nuisance
In real life there is probably no-one as boring as the guy who wants to be the only one talking. They talk about themselves, their accomplishments and possessions and never listen to anyone. Don’t be that guy. Your emails must not be just about you. Don’t email your subscribers everyday unless you have made it clear that it’s a daily email list. Even worse than emailing everyday is emailing multiple times daily. It simply makes you lose their respect. (There are exceptions to this of-course, like in the case where you run a daily email service and have made it clear to subscribers. Think of news websites emailing a daily top news digest).
c. Email marketing is about building trust, authority and relationship
What is the role of email marketing in your business? Email marketing is an avenue to tell a story, to build trust in your brand, to prove that you are an authority on a given subject. The end result being that a prospective customer should become convinced without being forced to be a loyal customer. So what do you send your subscribers? The bulk of your emails should be on building trust. Focus on helping your prospects. Make sure that every piece of content you publish has an offer or call to action so that your prospects know what to do next.
5. Links on relevant websites
A website is very different from a physical store. While it’s very possible for someone to just stumble upon a physical store, that is very unlikely for a website. Most of the times people need ‘directional signs’ to get to your website. These directional signs come in the form of links to your website. When someone clicks on the link they are directed to your website. It stands to reason that the more links you have pointing to your website the more traffic you receive on your website.
So how do you earn links on other peoples’ websites? There are several methods:
a. Guest posting
What is guest posting you might ask? Simply put guest posting is creating content and publishing it on another person’s website. Read more at Backlinko
Guest posting is actually content marketing. The only difference is that the content is not on your website but on another website. Guest posts are one of the best ways to get word out there about the existence of your website. And if the content you post is very good there is a very high chance that people reading the article will want to know more by following through to your website.
b. Advertising sites
Most websites offer an option for paid advertising these days. These advertising websites can range from classified sites, industry specific websites to news websites. The majority of them are websites that receive a significant amount of traffic. This increases your chances of getting more traffic.
c. Business directories
Business directories have been around for quite sometime. An online business directory is a website that contains listings of companies for a particular niche. There are different types of business directories. Some are industry specific, some are country or city specific and some are just general. Most business directories offer the option of including a link to the company’s website.
d. Links to articles you wrote
Another method of getting links without asking for them is for people to simply link to your articles. When you are very good at what you do people are simply inspired by you and will naturally talk about you to anyone. When you write very powerful and helpful tips people will love what you do and share it with others. The secret here is to be outstanding. If you are just ordinary in your writing or service then there really is nothing to talk about.
6. Offline media
You should never pass an opportunity to increase the traffic that comes to your website. This is why your should include a link to your website in everything you give out. Make sure you include your website address in all your corporate stationery. This is everything from business cards, fliers, complimentary slips, letterheads, receipt books, adverts, etc. Let it be everywhere including promotional gifts, presentation slides even your Whatsapp status.
So there you have it, go out there and start increasing the traffic to your website
Do you want more traffic to your website?
What good is a website that no-one ever sees? More website traffic means more visitors which means more customers.