Want to know who the absolute best salesperson for your business is? Trick question. It's not a person, it's your website! A rockstar website is like a salesperson times a million. It's working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it's providing crucial information to potential customers.
Basically, your website is in charge of answering your potential customer's questions while getting them teed up to purchase your product or service. Are you looking increase traffic to enable you to rise up in the Google rankings and cultivate not only more customers, but the right customers? Let's take a deep dive into how to get more website traffic through strategies, tactics, and examples.
Watch our webinar here on "Proven Methods of Increasing Website Traffic", or keep reading below:
Why is Website Traffic Important?
When it comes to website traffic, your business's website can affect so many different components in marketing. Here are the three main things to remember about your website:
- The more site visits you have, the more credible your site looks to Google. By increasing website traffic, you will rank higher in search engines.
- Your website is your automated sales tool. Your website speaks for you when you're closed or when contacts want to explore on the own. So, for instance, at 11:00 p.m., your potential customer may be surfing the website and your site is selling for you when your sales team is sleeping.
- Your website helps you build trust to grow your business. By using your website as a tool, you can nurture leads with helpful content as well as capture their information.
The Best Ways to Increase Website Traffic
As an agency, we have learned that there are different key ways to drive traffic to your website and thus strengthen your digital presence. So, let's dive in.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
So much of what is done in the digital marketing space circles back to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Having an optimized site is critical for the success your overall business, and you can see the benefits of SEO through looking at the metrics like ranking position, sessions, and more. Here are some of the certain components your site needs to optimize in order for search engines to find your site "favorable":
- Page title
- Meta tags
- H1 tags
- Interlinking between pages
- SSL certificate
- Searchable keywords
As a content marketing agency, we know the value of blogging. Blogging helps with SEO, and ultimately gets your site found on the search engines that your customers are already using. Adding new and specific website pages, publishing long-form blogs, and submitting your site map and URL to search engines, will help give your site some good SEO brownie points.
Submitting Your Site Map and URL
One of the tasks that people forget about or don't even know to do is to submit their site map and their URL to the search engines to notify them that the site exists. After submitting this to search engines, search engines will crawl the site, and then, show the pages on search results.
How to Submit your Site Map and URL to Search Engines
So, you can go to Google Search Console and Bing webmaster tools - don't forget about Bing - and enter in your URL and upload your site map file. This gets your site registered with the search engines faster. (This is especially important to do if it's a new site or if you've made changes to your current site.)
Grading Your Website
Another thing that will help your website is to perform a scan that will give you a grade on your website. At LAIRE, we use a couple of tools to do this. By using these grading tools, you will have a starting point to know what to work on with your site.
Website Grader is one of our most recommended website scanning platforms that scans your site and grades it out of a score of 100 with stats for performance, mobile, SEO, and security. Let's take a look at this Website Grader example to see how the platform works.
As you can see in this example, the client here is scoring well on performance. They're getting a 27 out of 30 and that's the speed of the site, but it also is getting a full score for being mobile-friendly. (Just a side note, being mobile-friendly is one of the highest-ranking qualities that you can do for your site right now. So make sure that your site is mobile friendly and mobile responsive!) However, on SEO and security, the site is bottoming out.
So, let's look at the SEO score. They're getting a 5 out of 30. The grader first checks to see that the essential components exist. Is there a page title, meta headings, and site map? As you can see in the image above, the only SEO component that this site has in place is headings on the page. This would be a really important starting point for the client. Now we know as an agency that checking these boxes is only half the battle. Another thing to look for is keywords. The titles and manuscripts should also contain keywords that are unique and descriptive to each page and that your visitors are searching for.
Nibbler is another grader, and it performs a similar scan and returns slightly different information that gives scores in more areas, as you can see over here on the right side.
For this site that was scanned, they have opportunities to link the social media sites back to their website and create links on their website pages to other resources on their site. Then also, they need to define all the pages appropriately with headers and meta data. After taking care of these tasks, they will begin to rank higher in search engines.
Email marketing is not dead, despite what people say. It still remains a convenient way to communicate with your leads and clients one-on-one so that they can return to again and again on their own time. So let's talk about some of the ways to use email to drive traffic.
How to Make the Most of Email Marketing
- Sending newsletters to your contact list
- Creating follow up emails for your leads
- Use easy links to click to your site so contacts can explore your resources and information
- Send your contact relevant content and offers based on their previous actions
Let's take a look at an example of one of our RSS emails here.
In an RSS email, we share links to resources and blog articles. We want to give the reader numerous links to click to get to the content that interests them. (Pro Tip: What they click on also helps tell us more about that contact and what they want to see more of.)
Another way to drive traffic is through social media links. Social media can be a really big driver of traffic to your website for both your prospects and your existing clients.
- So first, you want to make sure that you're using your social media channels, not just to be social, but also to help your prospects and clients understand how you can solve what we call pain points.
- Give your followers something to do! We like to say that the majority of your posts on social media should have links for your readers to click to get back to your website - specific blogs, reviews, or service pages. Social media can be a great tool to drive traffic, but to also get your followers to very specific content.
- And then, of course, they're not going to click if there's not enough high-value information. So it's not always about the meme that you're sharing. Don't be afraid to share relevant resources on social media.
Links from Your Community
Using your business partners or referral sources to drive traffic is really underutilized. It's usually one of the first things we ask our clients to, to reach out and see what they can get. So here are some ways for your website to benefit from another website's visitors and traffic.
Referral Ideas for Your Website
- Ask your business partners and referral sources to place a link to your site on their site. So, for instance, if you're a home remodeling contractor, like one of our clients, ask the cabinet company and the lighting supplier that you regularly work with to also list your website on their sites.
- Look at listing your site on internet directory services. This is different for every industry. So if you're in the service space industry, something like Angie's List, listing your site on a big directory site like that can actually show up in search before your own website will. Because these directory sites have a lot of pull with search engines, or if you're something like a larger manufacturer, you want to look at different manufacturers associations or industry associations where you can place your website. Sometimes prospects go to those directory sites before they even start to search for any individual business.
- Write guest blogs on industry sites. This is also would include a link back to your other website blogs or your own website. The more opportunities you can get to do this, the more your own website benefits with backlinks, and then search engines push your results up much higher in search.
Use Your Team
Don't forget that your team should be the biggest cheerleaders for your website and the resources it holds. If your site isn't built to also be an asset to your sales and marketing teams, then that can be a focus of how you should be improving your site. Your team can be using your website as a tool for answering questions. So, for instance, if a question comes into our team, we can send a link to a blog article to answer that client's question. Your team should refer prospects and clients back to your website pages to assist in the selling or serving process. So again, over time, your team can actually help you build content on your website and can send traffic to it so your team can be your own traffic driver.
Pro Tip: Have your team include a link to their favorite blog or website page in their email signature. This is another great way to get visitors to your website!
The last way you can increase website traffic is through digital advertising. When you need a traffic boost, that's when we employ digital advertising. Now, budgets can vary, but it is definitely a method to explore to be sure that you're reaching prospects where they're hanging out in the first place: on search engines or on social media. So when we talk about digital advertising, we're talking about social media advertising, which would be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and then also pay per click ads (PPC) on search engines.
There is also another ad type called retargeting ads for website visitors. So that means that somebody has already come to your website, a cookie is placed on their computer and they could receive your ads when they go to other website pages. So for instance, if I'm shopping for shoes, I may be reminded about the shoes I left in a cart. When I go to MSNBC.com, I see an ad for those same shoes. That's the magic of retargeting.
Good vs. Bad Websites
As we've said, the more visits your site gets, the more preference you're given in search results. But we know that there is good traffic and bad traffic. So let's break that down.
So first, geography matters. Are your visits to your site viable? Meaning that you can serve these contacts if you're a global business. This won't matter. But if you are a local business, it means everything. So, for instance, we have a client in Pennsylvania and they can serve a 50-mile radius while anyone in the states can read their content, we want to make sure that their website traffic is targeted to their service area. So we are sure to mention cities and neighborhoods as part of their keywords in their website, content, and headlines. The traffic they needed affected the language we used and how we targeted ads to the next battle.
A thing to watch out for when analyzing your site is to watch for bots. Bad internet bots are programmed to perform a variety of malicious jobs, in this case, hitting one of your website pages repeatedly to pull information from it and maybe publish it elsewhere. So you may see evidence of these bots when you're looking at your traffic analytics which we will talk about in a minute. But you may see a certain random page on your website with inflated website traffic. And it's bad traffic because they're actually not out for good. They're not your average prospect or client, but there are settings that you can use in Google Analytics and on your website's hosting to block the bad bots.
The other thing we think about with good and bad traffic is considering visit quality. Think of the people who are on your site and are visiting your website. What are they doing? What pages are they on? How long were they reading? Obviously, the more pages, the more time on your site, the better. That's good traffic. Then let's talk about the main component that we consider to understand if our website traffic is good or bad: the conversion rate.
So conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your site who convert into leads by exchanging their contact information on a form. What you want to look at is your overall website traffic and then how many leads or contacts did you get from that and that would be your conversion rate. But the basics are is that if you're getting increased visits but not enough leads, that's not the goal, that is bad website traffic. The traffic that matters is traffic that generates leads for you. And so if you're just looking at just a general lump number of your website traffic without knowing your conversions, it's what we call a vanity metric, so something that looks good but doesn't actually generate anything.
Tracking Your Website Traffic
One of the best and most consistent ways to track your website traffic is to make sure that you have your Google Analytics account hooked up to your website and that the tracking code is installed. Once it's working, it'll pull data that'll give you insights similar to what we're seeing here. So here's an average overview dashboard from Google Analytics. And you can see this is a six-month span from a client of ours. Here, we are able to see how the months of traffic have leveled out.
For instance, October for them is much higher than August. We can see the number of users on the site. The number of page views over time, then that gives us the number of pages per user, which you can see down here in the bottom as 1.96. All of these are numbers that help us understand who's coming to our site, how often are they coming, and then what's the value of them while they're there?
So over here on the left, you see these are the four tabs that you can use and Google Analytics helps break them down for you really quickly. But again, we have other articles on Google Analytics that you can refer to on our website. But the audience shows the number of users and visits or sessions and the number of pages they viewed. So that's really close to what we're seeing here. The acquisition tab shows where your traffic is coming from, like from search engines or social media. We love getting to the bottom of what's the source of your website traffic because then that tells you what to work on. The behavior tab shows where these visitors went on your site. So what website pages? What are they viewing? What were your top website pages? What are pages that you're surprised are even on the list? And then conversions show that the users completed your desired action, like filling out a form on your site.
Setting Digital Marketing Benchmarks
Once you have analytics plugged into your site, you want to note the history and set benchmarks so that you understand the growth over time. The other thing that you need to think about is the seasonality of your business and your Web site traffic and really note that. So for you, is the spring busier than the winter? If so, then you can't compare market traffic to Novembers, which means your name may not be looking for Web site traffic growth over from month to month. It's more likely that you'll compare traffic year over year. So you're looking for trends between last March and this March as traffic to know if you're growing over time.
Then it's time to set goals. So once you understand your marketing history and have set benchmarks, set a growth goal, a five percent growth goal is a great place to start. But maybe you have a 200 percent growth goal, but what are you going to do to facilitate that growth? So in setting goals, you need to consider that thing that you're going to do differently this year over last year to increase traffic. In this case, a higher growth goal. You may be employing paid ads, paid ads will bring you larger growth, more clicks, more traffic to your website, but at a higher expense.
And then once you know all of those, once you've tracked your history and set some growth goals, then you assess the results and watch traffic over time and then make adjustments to get to traffic.
Are You Ready to Increase Your Traffic?
Good website traffic is directly correlated with the results you're getting for your business. You can see these results in Google Analytics. The main question you need to ask yourself is "are your visitors converting to customers?" When you have specific measures in place to make changes, you should see lifts in traffic and lifts in contacts you get from your website. And then as we hope for, lifts in closed customers. If you haven't gotten leads on your site lately, it may be time to dig deeper into the "why". Download the "How to Run an Inbound Campaign" checklist to find out how you can bring more leads to your site!