Pretty much since the internet first became a thing, the challenge for businesses has been driving traffic. And it’s a trial confronted by every sector, from the newest blogger to high-profile internationals, with 63% of businesses saying generating leads is their biggest marketing challenge. If content isn’t seen, it has no inherent purpose, which makes your website null and void.
There are numerous approaches to tackling the problem, but while there is a wealth of information and guidance available to ease the process, much of it is theoretical. This leaves businesses frustrated by the length of time it takes for them to make any discernible impact on the traffic reaching their websites.
But there are things that you can do to stay ahead of the game.
7 things you can do now to increase your website traffic
The list of things you could be implementing to improve your traffic is endless, but prioritizing those that are easily actioned is key to getting results, fast. Here are the top seven things you should be doing now:
- Use a content management system
- Implement a strategy
- Use on and off-page SEO and long-tail keywords
- Develop content topics to engage your target audience
- Make quality your focus, not quantity
- Market content on social media
- Track your results
Use a content management system
Content management systems (CMSs) are the primary reason why there are so many websites online today. They are what make it possible for people with zero tech knowledge to create a functioning presence online, beyond social media. They save businesses money – training a team member to operate a CMS is far cheaper than employing a qualified programmer – and are responsible for almost half the websites currently in operation. If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to enhance your website’s performance, a CMS is it. And there are numerous CMS platforms to choose from.
WordPress is undeniably the leader in this area. Everyone has heard of it, even if they’ve never used it. It controls around 60% of the CMS market. And around 30% of all websites now run on it. This is largely due to the fact that it requires absolutely no coding, allows for complete design and control of your website, and provides handy advice as you go along, including whether your text is SEO-friendly.
There are two options to consider with WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. With the former option, WordPress.com hosts your website for you and is free – although paid upgrades are available for more features. Your website will have a wordpress.com domain, and it is worth noting that some plug-ins are unavailable. With WordPress.org the open-source software is available for free. You will have to pay to host your domain elsewhere, but there is more opportunity to customize the backend of your website as all code is available. Your domain is also fully customized.
Not quite as popular, commanding 6.7% of the market share, Joomla is the second most popular CMS platform. Meanwhile, Drupal comes in at third place, bagging 4.7% of the CMS market.
Implement a strategy
One of the biggest mistakes made in the search for traffic is a lack of strategy. There are two strategies you want to avoid. These include
- The zero-strategy winging-it tactic
- The strategy-hopping, scattershot approach
It’s too easy to start on a project and flip between ideas simply because you’re not getting instant results. This never works because nothing is instant. It’s far better to try a couple of different avenues and give them time to bed in. Your options include:
- Broadening your outlets. Add YouTube posts, podcasts, social media, and email marketing to your existing strategy, if you’re not doing these already.
- Creating, managing and using an email list.
- Publishing long-form content. This gets an average of 208% more shares than short articles.
- Revisiting old posts. Most websites contain some below-par content. Links or information might be outdated. Your keywords may have changed. By revisiting and revising you can give your SEO an instant lift.
- Paid-for marketing, such as Facebook ads or sponsored posts. This one isn’t ideal, unless you have a budget that can handle the additional expense. If you hit the right note, it can deliver a strong ROI.
Use on and off-page SEO and long-tail keywords
The one thing that most people know about SEO is that you need to get the right keywords. But there’s a lot of confusion about what they might be and how you might find them.
There’s the difference between short tail and long-tail keywords to navigate. In essence, the right short tail keywords will get you a high volume of traffic, while long-tail keywords will bring you the right kind of traffic. Both options have their place.
Then there’s on- and off-page SEO. Your on-page SEO is under your control, and you can maximize its potential with incredible structured content, well-researched keywords and careful linking, among other things.
Off-page SEO refers to things that can be beyond your control, such as the sites that backlink to you, the amount of exposure you’re getting on social media (you can influence this), and the domain authority given to you by search engines.
Develop content topics to engage your target audience
The obvious thing about selecting blog topics for any website is that they need to be attractive and engaging for your target audience. You also need a killer headline that will hook at a glance. But how do you come up with all that? There are two ways.
- Research. Research your audience. Identify their needs. Organize the needs into topic clusters. Use your keyword research to pinpoint the topics that have a waiting market and then create.
- Use Ahrefs Content Explorer. It’s a searchable database of over a billion web pages, which allows you to see which topics in your chosen niche are generating the most traffic. You can then appropriate the ideas and create something better.
Make quality your focus, not quantity
This is a difficult balance to strike. For a website to rank with any search engine, it needs content in volume. But if that content is voluminous garbage, not only is it going to be picked up as such by the search bots, but anyone who does happen to visit your page is going to immediately lose interest. It’s good practice to make quality your focus. So, go back to your content topics. Spend time getting that part right, then create a regular content schedule. According to Forbes, brands with a content strategy are 60% more likely to be successful than anyone else.
Market content on social media
Social media has become an integral tool for both marketers and their audience. When used well, it can engage and promote. Recent research showed that 59% of people access social media every day or most days. According to Statista, by 2021, the number of social media users worldwide is expected to reach about 3.1 billion people, and this is a lucrative market to leverage if you can get it right.
There are a multitude of platforms to share your content on to drive traffic. Facebook is still king when it comes to promoting blogs, with over 1.5 billion active monthly users worldwide. Here are the eight best social networking sites to start sharing on.
Track your results
If you’re not great with statistics, tracking marketing strategies can be daunting. But this is one step that you should never skip if you want your online business to succeed. How can you know if your strategy is working if you don’t analyze it?
The good news is that with a wide array of analytics tools available, performance tracking is now pretty easy. You can compare the exact figures before and after your strategy began. If you want to be completely in control, you can even split test your campaigns/strategies to see where/if improvement is being made. The main questions you need to ask yourself are: Is your strategy working, and have you tried it for long enough to generate real results?
With the internet economy worth $8 trillion, websites have never been more important. That’s why it is so vital for small companies to stay up to date with the latest techniques for keeping website traffic coming. Hopefully, at least some of the points in this post will help bring an influx of visitors to your website sometime soon.