If you run an online business, traffic is necessary when it comes to your business’s survival.
That goes without saying. If you have no traffic, no one is finding your business, let alone giving you money. That’s why it’s important to utilise multiple strategies to bring new visitors to your site while keeping old visitors engaged and more likely to return.
As hard as this may sound for small businesses, there are ways to attract more potential customers to your website. In this article, we’ll be going through 5 of the best ways to increase your traffic, who's doing it well, and how you can implement them starting today.
1. Create new content and optimise old content
Content marketing is one of today’s most popular marketing tools, and we can see how big it has become since marketers rated it the most important technique for driving sales in 2017.
But what is content marketing exactly? According to the Oxford dictionary, “a type of marketing that involves the creation of online material and content that does not promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products.”
It’s important to note that content marketing is not the same as advertising - you’re not promoting your brand, you’re providing value to your audience.
In 2016, 90% of companies used content marketing as part of their overall strategy.
The most popular forms of content marketing are in the form of social media content, case studies, blogs, reviews, and newsletters. Competing with Facebook posts, blog articles, and content published every second is difficult, but as long as you're providing valuable content, your traffic is likely to increase.
Reviews are a great form of content that is consistently updated, is authentic, and provides value to potential customers by giving them insight into what they can expect from your business.
You can also increase the number of pages on your website that can rank for some of your most important keywords. Consider adding new category pages, new blog posts, new visuals, infographics, or videos that will help your website maintain its ranking and continue attracting new browsers.
Once you’re optimising your content for keyword terms and tracking them using tools such as SEMRush, you can optimise old content and help those pages rank better by updating the content regularly. Remember, Google prefers fresh content to old one.
Ranking high will always bring you more organic traffic, so keep an eye on your old content too.
Who’s doing it right?
Etsy’s blog is a great example of providing content that’s fit for their audience. To attract and retain people who are interested in their service, they discuss the latest trends in handcrafting, gift ideas, and news. All through great content and beautiful imagery.
Every piece of content should have some of these traits in order to be valuable content:
2. Consider Social Advertising to drive website traffic
Social advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms is still relatively cheap compared to Google Ads and many of the platforms allow you to segment the audience you’re targeting with specific keywords or demographics.
But you might wonder, is advertising on social media really worth it?
The cost of a Facebook ad varies on a number of factors, but the average cost per click of Facebook ads in 2016 was 27.35 cents. Meanwhile, paid search ads offer keyword targeting as high as $25 per click for highly competitive keywords.
Social media has a real advantage over PPC - it lets you target the exact customer you’re trying to reach.
Social media advertising also allows you to have a larger window of time to work with. With an average amount of time of 40 minutes spent a day on Facebook, users are now more concerned with browsing, reading, clicking, liking, and connecting. And this makes it easier for you to connect and interact with your audience.
Who’s doing it right?
Why is this Bustle Facebook ad so efficient?
Well, first of all, it’s visual. Many brands will utilise a standard Amazon Prime logo, but Bustle wins with its neon lights variant.
The copy is just as good. Using “brilliant” in the title is a strong word to describe products, stimulating curiosity and making people want to click while also being consistent with its neon sign image.
Finally, it’s got a very clear CTA (call to action). The ad mentions brilliant and odd products that everyone loves, and that can be delivered to you in just two days.
What’s not to love?
Get specific. You can target users by:
- Relationship status
- Education level
- Field of study
- Schools attended
- Job titles
- Purchase behavior
- Mobile device type, and much more...
3. Speed up your website to increase traffic
Think the speed of your website doesn’t matter?
A 1-second page delay in page load time can lead to 11% fewer page views and a 7% loss in conversions. When considering conversions that directly affect revenue, 7% starts to look like a very big number.
A study by Akamai found that 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% say they will abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
A faster site will not only help you convert better, but also get more organic traffic. Websites are rewarded when the search engines are able to crawl websites quicker, and find more relevant content on them.
Speeding up your website is essential - for search visibility, better user experience, and ultimately, more revenue.
Who’s doing it right?
Apple’s website scored 89/100 during their website speed test. Apple has optimised their image and feature-heavy website to deliver a beautiful user experience without leaving revenue on the table by having a slow-loading website. It’s a great example of how an eCommerce site can make you feel like you’re having an experience.
Assess your site using free tools like Pingdom or GTmetrix to get your website’s score.
Speed up your website with these 10 tips:
- Minimise HTTP requests
- Reduce server response time
- Enable compression
- Use browser caching
- Minify resources
- Optimise images: check their size, format and Src attribute
- Optimise CSS delivery
- Prioritise top of the page content
- Reduce your plugins
- Reduce redirects
4. Optimise your website for mobile and voice search
This year will see Google implementing their Mobile-first index. But what does this mean for your business’s website?
If your site isn’t optimised for mobile devices, your ranking positions are likely to suffer.
With Google saying that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, websites no longer have the luxury to ignore their mobile users. We covered how critical it is to have fast-loading pages in the section above and Google has made it easier to both speed up your website while catering to mobile users.
To speed up load times for mobile users, Google recently released its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project. AMP is an online publishing format that is similar to HTML and was created to help speed up web page load times.
AMP provides higher performance and engagement as web pages and ads load instantly, giving users a smooth experience both on desktop and mobile and also improves SEO performance.
Who’s doing it right?
BuzzFeed’s AMP site still feels like a BuzzFeed site, with image-heavy pages that rely on large text and titles. However, it has a much more minimal layout and hides its categories within other pages, decreasing load time and optimising the user experience.
To optimise your website for mobile, you have to pick a configuration. Here’s a little recap to help you choose.
All 3 configurations are Google-friendly, but the search engine recommends responsive design first:
- Responsive web designing is the simplest and most-recommended form of optimisation, and it’s extremely easy to implement. It delivers the same HTML on the same URL and the page adapts to the size of the screen.
- Dynamic serving is another form of mobile optimisation. The URL remains the same, but serves different HTML content when accessed from a mobile device.
- Separate URLs means you have to keep 2 distinct URLs: one for mobile and one for desktop.
Once you’ve implemented one of the configurations, inform Google and other search engines in order to help them understand your page so that it can rank your site properly.
With the growing popularity of virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, the internet is taking a new turn. Today, people looking for information online are more likely to use voice search and plain language than they were over the last several years.
In the keynote for Google I/O 2016, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the audience that 20% of mobile search queries are voice queries.
And this number is only expected to grow as voice recognition software becomes more advanced by the hour. Your SEO should be optimised for voice searches, and you should research potential conversational queries that are applicable to your site as well.
If you haven’t updated your search strategy to account for voice search, you are missing out on the chance to reach potential customers that could convert.
These are some ways businesses can make their content voice search-friendly:
- Optimise long-tail keywords and phrases: voice searches make use of natural language. The way we talk is different than the way we type. The phrases and keywords that we use while speaking to digital assistants are different than the ones we’d use when typing in a search engine.
- Focus on your FAQs: your frequently asked questions pages are the perfect place to include long-tail keywords. A clear answer to a commonly asked question has a better chance of appearing in Google Answers.
- Local SEO is your friend: voice search is 3 times more likely to be local. Keeping your contact information, opening hours, location and content up to date is necessary. If anyone asks “Where can I find a coffee shop in London?”, being optimised for local SEO means you are more likely to appear in the first set of results.
In our fifth and last section, we asked our friends at HawkSEM, a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles, to share their best tips to ensure the traffic you're drawing to your site doesn't sacrifice quality for quantity.
5. While focused on quantity, don't forget quality
Sure, a high volume of site traffic is great — but you also want to be getting the right kind of traffic. That means figuring out how to strategically attract your target audience to turn qualified leads into conversions, while continuing to grow your reach.
Once you define what “qualified” traffic looks like at your particular company, the best way to go about getting it is often through a mix of paid and organic efforts.
As far as paid efforts go, the more specific you make your paid search, display, and retargeting ads, the higher your chances will be of attracting people who are interested in the products or services you offer. That means your ads and landing pages should:
- Be consistent in their language — your ads should match your landing pages, and both should match what your audience is searching
- Be specific about who exactly you’re targeting (i.e. “first-time homebuyers in San Diego” instead of just “homebuyers”)
- Use audience segmentation options when available
It’s also wise to focus on lifetime value (LTV) rather than simple cost per acquisition (CPA), cost per click (CPC), or click-through rate (CTR). LTV is about the overall impact one sale can have on your business throughout your company’s relationship with the customer. Once you determine what's driving the best long-term quality leads, you can allocate more of your budget there — from specific keywords, devices, and times to campaigns, audience segments, and more. This is easier to do when you filter all of your cross-channel ad data into your CRM, giving you full visibility into what’s working and what’s not.
When it comes to organic traffic efforts that lead to conversion rate optimization (CRO), you’ve still got plenty of options at your disposal. One of the best ways to attract the right traffic is through quality content creation. Work on having a bank of thorough, educational content that speaks directly to the problems and pain points of your audience, while providing them with solutions.
This is a much more beneficial option than “keyword stuffing,” which not only comes off as inauthentic, but Google may penalize you for it as well. Sticking to natural language is also a must, thanks to Google’s recent BERT algorithm update that helps the search engine better understand context when it comes to wording and phrases.
“Before writing your ad copy or blog, you want to fully put yourself in your target audience’s shoes,” says Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM. “Ask yourself: How is what I'm writing about helping make their lives better? How will this piece of information help them achieve their goals?” Along with this, he adds that researching and doing a thorough analysis of your target personas can help inform the way you speak to them.
Whether you’re trying to attract your first customer or you 10,000th customer, generating more traffic to your online store is a crucial part of growing your business, and these 5 proven tactics should help you drive more traffic in the long run.
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