We hear time and time again from our clients, ‘I have a brand new website. It looks great. It’s informative…Why hasn’t business improved?’ Well, it’s not a mystery. In this article, we talk about why you need more than just a website, as well as some of the best ways to increase website traffic in 2019.
why do i need more than just a website?
Well, that’s because, on its own, your website can’t generate the traffic, visits and ongoing engagement needed to make more sales and grow your business.
At Engaging Content, we like to think of websites like great movies. There’s so much that goes into a movie to make it perfect. Audience research, audience testing, design, story-writing, creating, editing and much more. But when the movie is completed, the work doesn’t stop. The movie then needs to be promoted to make sure that people know it exists, want to watch it, and eventually want to buy it.
Find out more about why we think websites are like great movies!
At Engaging Content, we always say websites are like movies!
And websites are the same. There’s so much that needs to happen, both on and off your website, before, during and after its creation, to make your site work in your favour.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to increase website traffic in 2019.
1. seo keywords
The first thing you should work on to drive traffic to your site is to find appropriate SEO keywords.
You’ll need to find high-volume, low-competition keywords (words and phrases people type into search engines). And then put these keywords into the content of your website.
Perhaps the most important thing you should know about your website is that you can’t just put any text onto your website and expect it to rank in search engines. (Let alone on the first page of search results.)
If you want to be found in search engines for relevant search queries, you’ll need to optimise all of your website content, including copy, blogs and articles, around high-volume, low-competition keywords.
You’ll also need to regularly check in on your SEO results, and create new, optimised content on a regular basis in order to keep ranking well in search engines.
2. customer persona research
Another activity you should carry out is to research and create some customer personas. This will help not only increase your website traffic, but also increase the quality of your website traffic.
Customer personas are semi-fictionalised representations of your ideal clients. In order to create a customer persona, you’ll need to essentially profile your ideal customers. Research and write down all of their needs, goals, problems, lifestyles, and buying behaviours.
profile your ideal customers with customer personas
Then, once you’ve collected this information, you should tailor all of your website content, as well as your marketing and advertising efforts, towards these ideal customers. This makes it much more likely that your ideal customers will be drawn in by your content, make a purchase, and become a loyal customer.
This should ideally be done before you start work on your website. But it can be done to refresh existing websites. And you should remember to revisit them on an ongoing basis to ensure they stay relevant.
3. optimise your site
Once you’ve carried out proper research, you can then optimise your site. Whilst site optimisation does not bring a direct increase in website traffic, users are more likely to recommend you to others if they find your site easy to use, helpful and interesting.
This involves making the site as functional as possible for your visitors. You’ll need to make sure that your site loads quickly, and functions properly – that there are no broken links, broken pages or missing content.
You can also optimise your site design to make sure that it resonates with your target audience and that your site design works with your content to interest your visitors, not put them off.
Also, pay attention to the user experience of your site. There should be a clear and direct pathway that leads website visitors to the crucial information and purchase pages. Once a visitor lands on your website, they should easily be able to navigate your site pages. And there should be plenty of features to keep them interested and persuade them to visit more pages.
4. user test your site
Don’t be afraid to carry out some user testing on your site!
Sit with people that match your ideal customer profiles and get their feedback on the site. You’d be surprised how much information you can get simply by asking for it.
don’t be afraid to ask your customers how they feel about your site
It can be best to use an impartial market research agency to ensure participants are do not feel compelled to only answer positively.
5. paid advertising
Of course, you could also consider paid advertising as a way to drive traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
These could come in the form of
- Google ads
- Social media ads
- Print ads
Basing your ads on customer persona and keyword research will give your ads the best return on investment, and make them work harder. This will help you to understand which advertising channels your customers engage with, as well as the messaging and imagery to use within the ad.
Online advertising also currently offers businesses more tailored options than ever before. If you understand the profile of your ideal customers, you can use Facebook and Google to show your ads to people who meet this criteria.
6. social media
SMEs often underestimate the importance of social media for their websites and their businesses – especially when it comes to increasing website traffic.
And while a large and loyal following on social media might not directly increase your website ranks, it does drive warm traffic to your site. You should be regularly sharing interesting, helpful and relevant content on your social media.
drive traffic and engagement with social media marketing and content sharing
But you should avoid making every post a sales pitch to avoid putting people off. Just focus on providing value to your followers, and you’ll build a loyal customer base that visits your site regularly.
We managed to increase the visibility of one of our recent client’s sites by 2-3% every month through only sharing a variety of content on her business Facebook page.
7. backlink generation
Another important activity that increases website traffic and site rankings is backlink generation.
A backlink is when another website links to your site. And this is one of the number one factors that Google uses when deciding which websites to rank highly.
BUT – you should remember that these backlinks need to come from an authoritative and reputable site, not a spam site, to give your site more authority with Google.
To generate backlinks for your site, you could try guest blogging, content promotion, news and media features, or even the broken link method. This involves finding broken links on websites your industry and reaching to the website owner. You can then suggest that they replace the broken link with a piece of relevant content you’ve written. The Check My Links Google Chrome extension is a great, FREE way to find broken links.
8. content production and content marketing
You’ll also need to factor in ongoing content production and content marketing. Content marketing, often associated with inbound marketing, is one of the best and most cost effective ways to drive traffic to your site.
This involves writing regular, relevant and high-quality content, based on topics your personas are interested in, and optimised around high-volume, low competition keywords. And it often involves creating a free, downloadable content offer, such as an ebook, which requires users to give their contact information in exchange for the download.
increase website traffic with content
This content shouldn’t always be geared around a sales pitch. You should focus on adding value to your readers. Each new blog is a new page that ranks in search engines, spreading your digital web and creating more ways that people can find your website. And providing value to readers in the long-term builds trust and brand loyalty.
Then you can focus on promoting this content on social media, on your website, and with paid advertising.
9. promote other people
But wait! isn’t it counter-productive to promote other people! Isn’t this article about promoting yourself? Won’t this give business to your competitors? But there are plenty
Not necessarily! There are plenty of ways that promoting others in your industry can drive traffic to your site.
Consider asking another authoritative source in your industry to write a guest blog on your site. They’ll no doubt want to promote this on their own channels, which will lead their followers to your site.
Or, you could interview a thought leader in your area. You’d be surprised how many people will happily provide you with an interview. This then allows you to effectively ‘piggy-back’ off of the searches and traffic related to their name and their brand.
Alternatively, you could write a review for a product or service you use to run your business, which includes a link back to your website. The company you’ve reviewed may even link to your site, or share/retweet your comments if you’ve reviewed on social media. This makes their followers aware of your company and your website.
10. use data to improve
Lastly, when trying to increase website traffic, it’s important to continually use data and insights to improve.
Using reporting and analytics tools such as Alexa, SEOmonitor, and Spyfu (some of our personal favourites here at Engaging Content) will analyse your SEO and paid advertising efforts, as well as your site visibility and rankings.
Use data and insights to continually increase website traffic
You can also use tools such as Hotjar to analyse the user experience of your visitors and optimise the design, layout and content of your site.
And of course, you could also consider carrying out some market research or user testing to find out how users actually engage with your site.
Whichever method you choose, it’s important to regularly check in on your site performance and data, as this will tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Allowing you to optimise and improve on a regular basis.
need help to increase website traffic?
Increasing site traffic can be a difficult process. You need to take into account both on-page and off-page activities, as well as using data to continually improve.
If you’re too busy focusing on your business, and you don’t have the in-house capability to carry out this work, why not get in touch with Engaging Content today?
We’re a small but dedicated team of web designers, developers, content creators and digital marketers based in the centre of Cheltenham. We’re passionate about helping business owners to grow their digital presence and get the website traffic they deserve!