There are billions -- billions -- of people using the internet every day. Why is your site traffic so low?
It could be that you just operate in a niche market. Medicare supplemental insurance in Dayton probably isn't going to attract as much attention as hotels in Daytona just near spring break. Still, there's always that notion that you should be driving more traffic than you are already, right?
Let's do that, then!
Here are five ways you can start generating more traffic to your site today. They're quick, they're easy, and they work.
Speak your audience's language
Like attracts like, right? The look and feel of your site needs to "sound" (read) the way your audience expects it to. Otherwise it's likely to be ignored.
What to do: Take some time and do a little light keyword research. Google Autocomplete is an easy place to start -- you can use the Autocomplete feature to get an idea as to how your audience is searching. Simply start typing the first couple words in Google that describe your products and services, and then watch the cascade of popular query suggestions. Beyond that, cruise the Facebook pages and social media sites your audience frequents. Look at the language they're using as they speak about your industry and your brand. Duplicate that same kind of language on your site. You can even use the grassroots approach of writing down verbiage that prospects use when they call your business and tell you what they are looking for.
Why it works: The more your content resembles the kind of content your audience relates to, the more likely users are to further investigate your content. Additionally, Autocomplete is fueled by search rate, frequency, manner, and location, so the recommendations provided for you are indicative of the popularity of real queries, which removes some of the guesswork involved in getting your content "right."
Don't orphan your website
In the mix of all your marketing efforts, it's easy to forget to include links to your site. After all, you're already too busy managing employees and keeping customers loyal. That online stuff is just for the "website guy" that your cousin's cousin recommended.
What to do: Take a look at all of your marketing materials -- both print and digital. Review your email signatures. Are there links to your website present on all of them? There should be! Maximize the potential for users to click through to your site by including a link to it on everything that you do. Adding links to your material is the first step and making sure they're visible is the second. Be sure to include a call-to-action. For example, rather than signing off with a simple blue link, add something like, "Tell us how we're doing on Facebook!"
Why it works: This tip draws on the laws of probability: The more places where a direct link to your site is available, the greater chance that more users will click through to your site. Plus, whether they'll admit it or not, people are more likely to do something -- like share an article with their friends -- when they're told to do it.
Get active in your digital community
Drawing from the tip above, improve your reach and visibility by being active online.
What to do: Make lists of all the blogs you like that relate to your industry. Include any relevant blogs that you believe your customers might frequent. Pick a few blogs from your lists, read some articles, and start commenting. Spice in some social media activity along the way by mentioning influencers in your tweets and by linking to the articles you've commented on in your social channels where you have the most active audience.
Having trouble finding online chatter about your brand? Try performing this search function in Google or Bing: "your brand"-site:yoursite.com. (An example might be "iMediaConnection-site:iMediaConnection.com.") Also try switching out your brand name for other relevant search terms, like the name of your CEO or a new product. This will help you discover new blogs and websites that are talking about your brand. Once you find them, get involved in the conversation.
Why it works: Commenting on blogs and articles and contributing to your community via social media are real-time activities. If you're reaching your target audience in the spaces where they're most active (and if you're providing useful links or commentary), you're increasing the chances that they'll mosey on over to your site or share your insights with their networks.
Cater your headlines to the humans and the friendly robots
The goal is to drive more human traffic to your site, so catchy, creative headlines are a must. But to maximize visibility, keep the robots in mind, too -- but only the nice ones.
What to do: The headlines that attract the most attention -- and thereby tend to garner the most traffic -- are ones that blend some creativity or pop culture with SEO best practices. Let's look at an example of what to do.
Let's pretend you're a tech company and you've just learned that Elon Musk, inspired by "The Tick" nemesis Chairface Chippendale, intends to carve his name into the moon. You want your audience to know what you think about it, so you write a blog post. How should you title it? Cater to humans and the friendly robots with something like this:
- Article title: "Moonraker"
- Page title: One Giant Leap for SpaceX: Elon Musk Seeks to Carve Name into the Moon
- Meta description: Elon Musk says he will carve his name into the moon to promote SpaceX. Will the gamble pay off?
Go back to your old blog posts and other content and give it all a refresh to help boost traffic quicker and keep these tips in mind each time you create something new.
Why it works: The title "Moonraker" draws on a popular "007" film, which should attract your human readers. The page title further entices both humans and computers alike by giving context to the title. The meta description further drives traffic by providing a robust, concise summary of the content.
Being mindful of the search engines improves and maintains your visibility, increasing the probability that more people will see your content when they search relevant inquiries. Marrying SEO best practices with creativity in your headlines casts the widest net.
Become the Wikipedia of your industry
People seek out Wikipedia for quick answers. It's a resource. Could your site do the same for your customers?
What to do: Audit the kind of content you're offering. Is it useful information? Or is a lot of it just trying to sell something? Users don't want to be sold; they're looking for useful and relevant information. Recast your editorial guidelines so that you only publish content that provides value to your audience beyond merely promoting you or your business. Also, collect feedback from customers and prospects by asking them what sort of content they would like to see. Don't be shy!
Why it works: Unique, valuable, and useful content appeals to your users, and the search engines expect you to create it.
One final tip: Tie it all together!
OK, this tip isn't so quick or easy -- but it works.
Focusing on one or two of the tips above will help you generate more traffic quickly, but to maximize your reach, combine all of these tactics and splice in a little paid media.
What to do: Let's assume you've written a great blog post that provides some useful, actionable tips for your target audience. After using SEO best practices to optimize the content, you push it live on your site. Next, search for places where you can promote the content, such as forums or by referencing it in relevant articles on blogs that your audience follows. Boost the reach by disseminating snippets of your blog and the articles where you commented via your social media networks. All the while, marry the efforts with a holistic paid campaign running simultaneously.
If it sounds like a lot of work -- it is!
Why it works: A few quick and easy tips will help you generate wins, but to keep your traffic consistent, you'll need to adopt a more comprehensive strategy. The best way to drive traffic is to think long-term, and combining tactics and strategies forces you to do just that.
Driving site traffic means taking the time to focus on the fundamentals. While these tips are offered to help you see improvements quickly, know that true and consistent gains take time -- unfortunately, there's no overnight fix for seeing major improvements. But, if you dedicate the time and resources necessary, you will see results.
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