April 2

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A Beginners Guide To Increasing Website Traffic

Your website's biggest purpose should be getting you more customers and it can only do this if it gets traffic.  In this, A Beginners Guide To Getting Website Traffic, I am going to teach you the main ways to do this.  Once you have a steady flow of website visitors you should, if your website is conversion focused, grow your list of paying customers.

Methods To Increase Website Traffic

01 Understand Your Audience

You must understand the key aspects of your audience before you implement any of these suggestions.

02 Find Your Keywords

You need to understand the language and words your potential customers use to find your products and services to receive more website visitors..

03 Sign Up For Google My Business

This is quick, free and easy to do.

04 Write a Blog

Blogging is not just a nice way for you to communicate your thoughts to your customers. Blogging can be a very useful tool to generate website traffic when implemented correctly.

05 Write Engaging Content

Writing useful, engaging content for your customers helps to increase their trust in you and give them a reason to keep returning to your website.

06 Get Backlinks

Backlinks are when another site links to your website. Backlinks increase Google's trust in your website and there are several ways to get these.

07 Create An Email List

Start collecting email addresses and you will create a fan base for life.

08 Post to Social Media

This could be the most cost-effective way to generate website traffic.

09 Advertise

In this section, we will look at physical and digital forms of advertising.

Let's jump in and see how you can start implementing each of these methods in your business.

1. Understand Your Audience

Target Audience

Before you do anything else, you should distinguish who your target audience is. Every website and business should have its target niche and you will be more successful if you target that niche rather than targeting everyone. Do a little brainstorming and answer the following questions for yourself.

Who is your target audience?

You will need to define all sorts of parameters including age, geographical location, digital location (ie are they on FB, Instagram, etc), marital status, interests, etc.  The more you know about your target audience the more you can help them.

What are you offering them?

This question will be answered better if you take it from their perspective and figure out what they want.  Spend some time interacting with your ideal clients. This could be in forums, FB groups or physically speaking with them. The better you understand your audience's needs, the more you can help them

What type of content will help them best?

This could include things like written text, photos, videos, interactive content, etc. Also, consider what way YOU can best deliver the required information.  Are you better at producing written content or are you more suited to video or podcasting?

Taking the time to collate all of this information lays the essential foundations for the following strategies.  I would go as far as to say, there is no point in implementing anything else before you have a clear understanding of who your audience is and how you can best help them.

2. Finding Your Keywords

Keywords

Keywords are the phrases that people use to search for different things on a search engine. If, for example, I want to search for a reflexologist in Killarney, I will open Google (or any other search engine) and type the words “reflexologist, Killarney”. This little phrase is a keyword, and the search engines use it to find websites that provide the best answer.

To make your website show as one of the top results, your website has to use the phrase in a particular way.  You can read my blog post ‘How To Be Found On Google’ for exact steps on how to achieve this.

These are a few ways you can find the appropriate keywords to use:

Paid Tools

Paid tools like Ahrefs give a week's trial for €7 and you will get access to a gigantic collection of keywords with in-depth analytics on how each keyword is performing. 

You can also use these tools to find ideas for new content, such as blog posts, based on relevant keywords that are the most popular. For a newer website, it is a good idea to find and use keywords that have an easier Keyword Difficulty as these will be easier to rank for. Ahrefs also shows what your competitors are doing for their articles and you can use that to gain an edge.

Google

Simply type in a keyword or phrase that you wish to be found for in your google search. Take note of the results that appear.  Google will auto-complete your sentences based on previous searches carried out giving you an indication of what people are searching for. 

Have a look at what is coming up in search results to check out your competitors.  What kind of content are they producing? Are they big authoritative sites or public forums? Could you write content that is better, more in-depth, more engaging and more helpful than the results that are currently appearing?

Talk To Your Target Audience

This one is as simple as it sounds.  Find where your target audience hangs out and go and chat with them.  This could be physical locations or online ones.

An example of a physical location could be your local community centre.  Perhaps your target audience is mothers with young children.  You could do a free talk at a local toddler group.  This would be an ideal opportunity to hear the real-life struggles that they deal with every day.

Similarly, you could join Facebook groups where your audience currently hangs out.  Go to these places to help or serve your target audience.  Offer advice, tips or tricks and be very careful about trying to sell your products or service, don't come across too pushy.

Record the questions that come up in these environments.  Are there any common themes that people struggle with?  Are there any specific questions that you could answer on your website? This method ensures you are answering the right questions in a way that best serves your target audience.  Over time this will grow your authority in your niche and people will come to you to help solve their problem.

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3. Google My Business

How to be found on Google

Having a Google My Business account for your business essential especially if you want to be found locally.  Google wants to give the best, most relevant results to a given search query and if google doesn't know you exist, it will be much harder to be found in a search.

Businesses who have a Google My Business account, which is free and only takes a few minutes to set up, will appear automatically at the top of the relevant search results.  For example, if someone searches for 'horse trainer near Killarney', Google will show the ads first, it's only fair, they are paying after all, but next is the Google My Business businesses, followed by the rest of the search results.

This is a quick, easy and free way to get more traffic to your website, watch the video below to learn how to set this up.

4. Blogging

Blogging to increase website traffic

Blogging can be used to help and better inform your current and prospective clients about topics relevant to your business.  But, blogging can also be a very valuable tactic for increasing website traffic.

Let’s take an example business.  You might be a horse trainer in Co. Kerry, Ireland.  You can optimize your current website pages to ensure you are found for relevant search terms around your brand name and, for example, ‘horse trainer, Co. Kerry,’ but you could also increase your authority in your field and increase website visitors by strategically blogging.  In other words, writing informative articles or ‘blogs’ that your target audience would want to read.

Answer your customers search queries

That same target audience might search for, ‘best horse feed for a show jumper’.  Could you write an in-depth article answering this search query? If yes, that person might come by your website via that blog post. 

There is no point in just writing a jumbled article on a given subject and expecting it to generate traffic for your website.  You need to be strategic in how you research, write and market your blog posts in order to optimize them.  Read ‘How to be found on Google’ if you would like more information on getting found on search engines.

5. Write Engaging Content

Writing engaging content

If you are publishing written content (almost every website does to some extent), you must make it appealing. If you think you have the writing ability to come up with consistently appealing content all on your own then start writing.  

Many business owners, including myself, hire content and blog writers to produce content. If you can find the right writer for your business this can be a very cost-effective way to increase the content on your website, get more website traffic and give you the time to operate other aspects of your business.  Let's look at the most important aspects of writing great blog posts.

Flawlessly written

While your content needs to be interesting and engaging, it should also be easy to read. A lot of writing basics are involved in this, like keeping your language simple, avoiding typos, using flawless grammar, writing small paragraphs, etc. You can find a lot of tools to help you with this. Grammarly is a great example of such a tool where you not only find corrections but also suggestions for improvement.

Visually Appealing

Reading isn’t just about the message you are sending, but also the way it is presented. The visual aspect is just as important as the ideas shared in the text. Make sure you use fonts that are easy to read, are large, and the text has plenty of line spacing.

Have you used images appropriately?  Adding images can add to the look and feel of a blog post plus help to break up some large bodies of text.  Read my Ultimate Guide To Finding And Displaying Great Images On Your Website.

Mobile Ready

This is especially important when considering the mobile view of your site.  Lots of text, big paragraphs and not enough white space can make it overwhelming for a website visitor and increase your bounce rate (the number of website visitors that visit your site then leave very quickly).

Engaging

Enhancing the text with photos, videos, graphics, gifs, interactive material, and other visual aids is also a great way of enhancing the level of engagement your content will achieve. These things make reading your blog fun and enjoyable.

From an SEO standpoint, use your keywords throughout your content in a natural way. Do not force phrases where they don’t belong, or the text will look tacky. You don’t want the reader to think that you are only doing it for a better ranking. Also, make sure to never plagiarize someone else’s content. This not only hurts your SEO ranking but could also lead to a ban on your website.

6. Backlinks and Guest Posts

Backlinks is like getting recommendations

Having another website link to your website is like receiving a letter of recommendation. It is not easy to get this recommendation from popular sites, even for people who are experienced bloggers. 

Reach Out To Others

You could reach out directly to famous blogs and influencers who have their own websites or social media accounts. Try to build rapport, help them if you can and let them know if you have mentioned them in your content.

Write Guest Posts

You could write guest posts on other websites. Find famous sites that allow guest posting or where you can ask to create a post. By writing something on that site, you can add a link to your website in your post. 

Write Great Content

Another approach to getting backlinks is consistently producing great quality content that serves your target audience. Then simply wait for others to find and link to your work. 

Instead of reaching out to others asking them to link to your site which can mean writing A LOT of emails, you spend your time writing great content instead. This video from Income School goes into more detail.

7. Create An Email List

Email marketing

While getting new site visitors is always welcome, another strategy is to reach out to previous visitors or subscribers. You could do this by building an email list. You then send everyone on this list an email when you release new content, thus increasing website traffic!

You will grow an email list faster if you prepare and give away something useful in exchange for the email address. This could be a free PDF, eBook or video course. Anything as long as it gives real value and is appealing to new website visitors.

You could prepare several emails that will be sent to your subscribers, providing more value and information and also detailing your services.  This could be a great way of increasing the number of customers you acquire from your website. Many services can automate this process such as MailChimp or ActiveCampaign and any good website designer can easily integrate those email services onto your website.

When should you ask them to subscribe? Many people use pop-ups to encourage website visitors to sign up, this could be:

  1. 1
    Immediately on landing on your website
  2. 2
    Halfway down the page
  3. 3
    Just when they are about to leave

The other option, of course, is to just have it located in an obvious position on your website or blog posts.

The email list you get can be used in a range of different ways, depending on what your website is about. You can send them updates, offer discounts if you have products to sell, create special promotions, and invite them to check out your new blog posts!

8. Post To Social Media

Social media

As far as spreading the word goes, there is no better solution at the moment than social media platforms. Creating official accounts for your business allows you to engage with your audience in a very effective manner. 

Depending on what your site is about, you will need to create accounts on different social media accounts. With the knowledge you gained from learning about your audience (see point 1) you should know what platform they mostly use.  This might be Facebook (more for older generations) or Snapchat (for younger generations) but also keep an eye on up and coming platforms like TicTock.

For business-related content, having an account on LinkedIn could also be beneficial. It is a platform strictly for professional use so you may find people who want to talk about the topics that you are covering.

Here is a list of social media platforms to consider for your business:

  1. 1
    Facebook
  2. 2
    Twitter
  3. 3
    Instagram
  4. 4
    LinkedIn
  5. 5
    TikTok
  6. 6
    Snapchat
  7. 7
    YouTube

Post On Your Page Or Group

Here you can share valuable snippets of your blog posts or YouTube video and link back to the full article. Create a content calendar to ensure you are showing up regularly and consistently.

Post On Other Related Groups Or Pages

You need to be tactful when using this approach. Spend time in these areas.  Think about how you could best serve the members and offer advice and tips when appropriate.  If you try to sell your products or services in a pushy manner you risk being ejected from the groups.

Utilize Facebook Lives

If you are comfortable being in front of the camera then don't hesitate to use this feature.  Use it in a similar way to text posts in that you should try and provide value to your audience.  Talk them through a specific method or technique or do a question or answer session.

Social media is an essential, free tool in your toolbox to better help you understand, communicate with and help your audience.  Next, we will look at paid forms of advertising.

9. Advertising

When starting a business it can be beneficial, to begin with, free methods of getting website visitors but when you are ready, paying for advertising in a strategic fashion can boost and grow your business.

There are several different ways that you can advertise your website and business to the public and we will discuss some of them here.

a. Google

Google advertising can be a great way to be found when someone is searching for a specific service or product.  You might have noticed yourself after searching on Google that the top couple of suggestions on the results are paid ads.  This is a great way to bypass SEO and jump straight to the top of the results page (how close to the top depends on many factors including the number of competitors).

You can define who you want your ad to appear for and for what search results.  The more competition there is for that search result, the more the ad will cost you.  You can specify what your goal is such as get more calls or website visitors and you only pay when you get those results or when someone clicks on your ad.

Let’s say for example you are a sports therapist in Kenmare.  If you run an ad on Google for this keyword you will appear above all of the organic search results (alongside other ads of course) and could get more calls or leads as a result.  Read more about running Google ads here.  

b. Social Media

Something similar happens on social media platforms too. But instead of targeting websites all over the internet, you focus on specific groups of people. A big advantage that social media advertising has over Google is that you get to better fine-tune exactly who you want to reach. 

Once you have selected the target audience, you can then run your ad for as long as you want. Another advantage of social media is that you can run a video or interactive ad that is relatively cheap compared to what you would pay for Google Ads. 

One method of online advertising is not better than another but typically one is better suited to certain types of businesses.  One option is to hire a professional who will run tests to see which method gets you the most leads but be aware that there are costs associated with this. 

With social media, you can also re-target your audience.  If you install a Facebook pixel on your website you can ensure your ads appear in the news feed of those most likely to buy from you, previous website visitors.

c. Offline

One avenue that people often overlook when talking about website promotion is local advertising. If you have a website that has content related to your local town or country, a great way of doing so is to publish ads in newspapers and magazines. However, this strategy is more expensive than online advertisements and we only recommend this if you have the right platform and a larger budget.

One method of online advertising is not better than another but typically one is better suited to certain types of businesses.  One option is to hire a professional who will run tests to see which method gets you the most leads but be aware that there are costs associated with this. 

The Journey Has Only Just Begun

Getting website visitors is just part of the sales process. The next step is to optimize your website to ensure website visitors are converted to potential leads for your business. For example, are you using an appropriate call to action on your website? Check out my blog post Why You Need A Call To Action On Your Website to learn more.

If you are worried your website is not converting enough potential customers then reach out to me and we can see if there are any ways you could improve things.

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