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Most people know what search engine optimization (SEO) is. The problem is many assume it’s the only way to generate traffic to their website. Luckily, this is far from the truth. Companies that diversify the way they drive traffic to their website see much better results than those that only rely on SEO.
What is Traffic?
Traffic refers to the number of visitors that come across a company’s website. The goal is to increase this number to give your site more exposure.
It’s important to be mindful that not all traffic is equal. Having highly targeted traffic is much more likely to give you a better ROI than trying to blindly increase the number of visitors to your page.
The best website traffic already has a prior interest in your company’s service or product and is searching for it, ready to spend.
According to data collected by Yotpo, where they took 65 million e-retail orders worth $2 billion from 120,000 e-merchants, the traffic broke down as follows: Direct and Search, which account for a combined 74% of all traffic driven, are clearly the most valuable way traffic is driven.
However, though Social only accounts for 6%, it’s still important to use social networks to diversify the ways you generate traffic. You must also consider which type fits your company best. Buzzfeed, for example, relies heavily on many social media sites to generate its massive amounts of web traffic. Its social traffic is 5 times larger than its other forms.
How to Monitor Traffic
Attempting to generate more traffic without tracking your progress will prove to be ineffective. Staying on top of where your audience is coming from will give you a clear indication of which sources you should be targeting.
Google Analytics is a free and extremely easy-to-use way to track who has been visiting your website.
After setting up an account, it will track all visits to your site. Under the “Reporting” tab on the top of the screen, you will be able to see this breakdown of traffic.
It will tell you your total number of visitors, new users, and length of visitor sessions. You can also see turn the data into many different graphics, including graphs, pie charts, and even raw numbers.
It’s okay if you notice short drops in visits; however, it’s important to make sure your traffic is consistently increasing.
Best Ways to Increase Traffic
Now that you have an understanding of what website traffic is, these are some ways you can increase it on your site.
This is a pretty obvious way but still extremely important to generating more website visits. Through paid searches, social media advertising, and display advertising you’ll be able to attract more visitors.
You should also adjust your paid strategies to fit your overall goals. Do you just want more traffic or are you trying to increase your ROI too? It’s important to get specific and think carefully about the good and bad of each paid promotion you consider using.
2. Use Keywords
If you’re more focused on improving your ROI, you’ll need to include more commercial intent keywords. These are essentially invitations for possible customers and should drive high-quality visits to your site. For example, is someone is in the earlier stages of shopping, their keywords are broad. Searches like “do I need a lawyer?” or “cheap healthy foods” are some examples. You can target these keywords and get in front of the customer early to make a good impression.
If someone already knows about the broader searches, they’ll get more specific with their searches. “Workers compensation lawyer San Diego” or “Low calorie gluten free recipes” are examples of more specific searches. These are more targeted and, if you can get your website towards the top of the search result list, they will bring you high-quality traffic.
These are some helpful Keyword tools you can use:
- Google AdWords: Keyword Planner
- AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator
- Google Correlate
- IM for SMB Bulk Keyword Generator
3. Start Blogging
Utilizing different types of blogging, from employee to guest blogs, can increase blog traffic to your site while building your brand in the process. Google isn’t able to differentiate between guest blogs and other types of articles, so your guest blogs could appear alongside articles concerning the same topic.
Make sure you only publish good posts and don’t label them as guest posts. You can include information about the author in a bio without directly stating it’s a guest post, and, if the content is valuable to your visitors, it really doesn’t matter where it came from.
It’s also important to target guest bloggers that have a trusted and relevant audience. This will help you build a relationship between their following and your brand.
4. Pursue referral traffic
Instead of trying to negotiate with other sites to include your links, create content that has to be linked back to you. For example, if you’re a tech site, securing a link from a larger tech company through a blog post or interesting product you offer will bring a jump in traffic.
News aggregators like Reddit, Hacker News, and Inbound.org use a submission and upvote system while others rely on a single editor’s selection. If your link makes it towards the top of the page, it has high visibility and has approval from other users in the community. This, as a result, will drive others within that community to your links.
5. Don’t forget email and word-of-mouth marketing
Though some consider these forms old and ineffective, these two traditional methods can be very powerful when it comes to driving traffic. Even a moderately successful email blast can bring a noticeable increase in traffic.
It’s important to not be too overbearing when it comes to sending out emails. People don’t want to receive constant updates from your company about things that aren’t important to them. If you keep it simple, interesting, and consistent, email marketing can be a rewarding strategy. Friendly reminders about new products or services are an easy way to keep customers in the loop with your brand without annoying them.
Word-of-mouth marketing is also considered traditional and outdated by many. However, with sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, it’s been reinvented in the digital age. Good ratings and reviews can make your company stand out when compared to the competition. This is why it’s always important to ensure your customers are satisfied with the products or services you supply them with.
Responsiveness is also important. Being on top of your customers’ questions and concerns is another easy way to increase your company’s ratings.
6. Be Accessible
In the age of mobile devices, it’s important that your site is adjustable to more than just the desktop format. This will prevent mobile visitors from having to struggle to navigate your website. If it’s difficult for your visitors to use, they’ll probably go elsewhere.
Make sure your website is comfortably viewable across a range of devices, especially smaller smartphones.
7. Create a community
It’s easy to start a conversation on your site if people feel comfortable enough to speak their minds and weigh in on subjects and products relevant to your industry.
Start by creating a commenting system through third parties, such as Facebook comments or Disqus. You can also create a forum where visitors can ask questions.
It’s also extremely important to manage your community to ensure that the minimum standards of decorum are met. This includes being active within that community and constantly promoting it while being patient.
8. Be Active on Social Media
Sharing content across your channels isn’t enough anymore. Social media sites offer the opportunity to build close relationships between your company and your target audiences.
For example, on Twitter, you can join in on relevant conversations while including hashtags that highlight your brand. You can also create Facebook groups and pages that build a community for your customers and provide them a platform to share their thoughts on your products or services.
Using social media as a broadcast channel can turn customers away, so it’s important to be active and intimate. After all, this is what social media was created for.