Getting more traffic to your website isn’t voodoo.
It doesn’t take a miracle and it’s not rocket science either.
The secret ingredient – which isn’t that secret – is to give people a good reason to visit your site.
Combine that with a strategy and a consistent approach and before you know it, you’ll begin to see more visitors to your website.
This article will show you, in 3 key areas, how you can go about getting more traffic to your website.
These 3 areas are:
- Optimize Website Content – Increasing traffic to your website starts with optimizing the content on your website for both people and search engines
- Connect on Social Media – Being active on social media plays a major role in developing a consistent stream of traffic to your website
- Leverage Content Outreach – Reaching out to the key influencers in your industry will further grow your website and attract new audiences
So now that you have an idea of what we’ll be looking at, let’s dive right in!
Optimize Website Content
The first leg of increasing traffic to your website is to make sure the content on your website is optimized and performing at its best.
Here are some things you should consider:
Set Up Analytics on Your Website
Getting more traffic to your website starts with having in place an analytics and tracking system.
Without one, you have no way to measure the amount of traffic to your website.
Luckily for you, this system already exists and it’s free!
You’ve probably already heard of it: Google Analytics.
Google Analytics will give you both the insights you need to know what’s working and what’s not, as well as a clear picture into your current traffic numbers.
Some of the more important metrics to pay attention to in Google Analytics are:
- Users – The number of unique visitors to your website
- Bounce Rate – How frequently people “bounce” off of your website and back to the search results page
- Sessions Duration – How long people spend on your site
- Top pages – Which pages receive the most traffic
- Pageviews – How many pageviews your content received
- Exit % – The percentage of people actively exiting your website from a particular page
As you begin to analyze these metrics and compare them to actual pages on your website, you’ll start to realize valuable information that you can use to tweak and refine your traffic growth strategy – which leads to the next step:
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy:
Having a plan in place will make it much more likely that you’ll see success as you strive to increase your website traffic.
Here’s what should go into an effective Content Marketing Strategy:
- The goal of the strategy – What are you hoping to gain with more website traffic? Do you want more people to subscribe to your mailing list? Are you trying to sell more products? Start your strategy off by defining S.M.A.R.T goals.
- A definition of your audience – Knowing who your audience makes it that much easier to send the right message and reach the right people for your business.
- The types of content you intend to produce – This could be blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, e-books, a combination of all or some.
- What is your edge? – How do you plan to add value and separate your content from your competitors? What makes your content unique and valuable?
- Frequency of posts – How often do you intend to post new content?
- Getting your content out there – How do you intend to reach people with your content? (We’ll be taking a closer look at this later on)
You may find your strategy changes over time; your goals may change or you might discover new insights about your audience.
That’s alright and is to be expected.
The important thing is to remain focused on your goal yet remain flexible enough to course-correct as required.
Now with a way to track website traffic and a strategy in place for getting more visitors, it’s time to look at the actual content itself.
You may already have a good handle on the topics that matter most to your audience.
If that’s not clear to you, you can turn to tools such as Google’s Keyword Explorer, another free tool that lets you see the search volumes for a particular phrase or keyword.
This is a great tool that will give you a sense of how many people are searching for a particular phrase and what the competition is like for that keyword.
For additional ideas, try plugging your candidate keywords into Google and scrolling down to the suggested searches section:
These are related search terms that Google also gets high volumes of search queries for that may give you additional inspiration about what content to produce.
Write More Compelling Headlines
People have short attention spans. That means you have to hook them quickly!
One of the most sure-fire ways to do that is to write catchy, compelling headlines that people just can’t help but click on.
Here are a few quick tips for writing catchy headlines:
- Use numbers in your headlines (“7 Tips to Reduce Belly Fat”)
- Create curiosity (“How I Managed to Quit My 9-5 Job and Travel the World”)
- Use compelling language (“The Definitive Guide”, “The Secret to..”)
- Add something in brackets (“The Top Cities in the World to Visit [Infographic]”)
Keep your headline length below 70 characters to avoid them being cut off by Google and other search engines/devices.
Great headlines alone aren’t enough to create sustainable website traffic.
Write Better Content
Without content to match, you might get visitors to your website but they’ll quickly “bounce off.”
Without content to match, you might get visitors to your website but they’ll quickly
Here are some things you can do to keep readers sticky to your page:
- Perfect your introduction – Learn how to write a good introduction that hooks your readers early on and entices them to read on.
- Use shorter paragraphs – Shorter paragraphs are easier for readers to scan and digest. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your paragraphs under 5-6 lines, ideally 2-3.
- Provide data – Real facts are much more compelling than opinions and speculation. Surround your content with data and link to it with images and descriptive link text.
- Use multi media – Images and other multimedia are a great way to break up chunks of text and engage readers further.
- Proofread – Typos and other inconsistencies weaken credibility, so make sure content is error-free before you hit the ‘Publish’ button.
If done right, linking internally to your own content is great for SEO and the User Experience.
From an SEO perspective, it increases time-on-page. It also promotes loyalty and increases the odds that your content gets shared on social media.
When linking internally, make sure you:
- Use descriptive link text – Descriptive text not only tells visitors what they can expect to find if they click on the link but also indicates to search engines the content of the link.
- Link to relevant content – Don’t link for linking sake but instead link to content that will augment the User Experience and enhance the value that you’re already providing to your readers.
- Don’t overdo it – A page full of links looks spammy and takes away from the impact that good internal linking can have; it also cheapens the SEO power with every additional internal link you add.
Employ Basic SEO Best Practices
You don’t have to be an SEO expert to execute on some of the basics.
Including these tips will ensure that the search engines know how to understand your content:
- Have one main heading that includes your keyword phrase, usually the h1 heading
- Include the keyword phrase in the URL of your page, remove any stop-words like ‘and’ or ‘the’ and separate words with hyphens to make sure the URL is the most search engine-friendly it can be
- Include your keyword phrase or semantically similar words in the meta description of the page and somewhere within the first 100 words of your content
- Remain on topic and put secondary keywords into secondary headers as content unfolds
- Link internally and externally throughout your content when it makes sense to do so from a value-added perspective
Track Content Traffic
Remember when you set up Google Analytics on your website?
As you publish your content, make it a habit of checking in every week or so to see how your content is developing.
Take a look at the metrics we mentioned above and see how your content is faring.
Sometimes you’ll find that one piece of content, in particular, is receiving the most amount of traffic while another isn’t doing as well.
In cases like these, don’t get too precious about the content that isn’t doing so hot.
Instead, think about what you can do to leverage the traffic you’re already getting.
Make Sharing Super Easy
It probably goes without saying but your content should be easy to share.
In the next section, we’ll be talking more about social media but remember that it’s critical that you include social sharing widgets alongside all your web content.
Build Up Your Mailing List Subscribers
Email marketing has one of the highest success and conversion rates versus all other content marketing.
That said, developing your email subscribers can have long-term rewards for your business.
One way to gain more subscribers is by using what’s called a Lead Magnet.
This is essentially the exchange of something valuable for the visitor’s email address.
You’ve probably encountered these a thousand times, usually in the form of an offer to receive a free e-book or a special piece of content.
Lead Magnets can supercharge your mailing list subscribers so consider what you can offer readers to sign up for your mailing list!
Connect on Social Media
Now that we have a solid handle on how to approach creating content and strong methods in place for ensuring our content will hit the mark with both people and search engines it’s time to spread the word on social media.
Identify Your Key Social Media Channels
Each social media network has its own set of characteristics, each attracting uniquely different audiences and demographics.
Depending on your business and which market you’re looking to attract, the social media channel you choose to focus on will vary.
Ideally, the best way to learn which social media channel you need to be on is to ask your audience.
In case you don’t have that info handy, here’s an overview of the types of audiences the major social media networks attract:
Facebook is the dominant social media platform with a majority demographic ranging from 18 to 49 all the way up to 65. It sees a daily 1.15 billion active users and leads the pack among all other social media platforms.
YouTube gets more viewers than any cable network on TV. It attracts users between the ages of 18-34 as well as a large portion of people aged 35-49. As YouTube is owned by Google, your content will benefit from being tied into the Google search engine algorithm.
Instagram is the fastest growing social network. Geared more towards images and videos, Instagram tends to have a younger demographic (with most of its users under 35). If you have a business that can make use of this heavily visual platform, then this might be a strong fit for you.
Twitter is perhaps the most over-saturated and transient social network, leaning more towards being a social feed than content posting platform with more than 50% of its users never posting an update. Twitter is most popular among millennials and people under 35.
Pinterest has a wide spread across age demographics ranging from 18-64. Interestingly enough, this visually-oriented social network is made up of about 80% women.
LinkedIn is unique in that it is mainly geared towards professionals and B2B. It has a significant amount of active users so if you’re targeting business professionals, you shouldn’t ignore LinkedIn.
Develop Your Social Media Followers
Now that you’ve identified which social networks you should be targeting, it’s time to develop your social media followers.
Developing an audience on social media takes time and a commitment to sticking to and executing your Content Marketing Strategy but here a few a things you can do to maximize your efforts and speed up the process:
- Fill out your social media profiles completely and be consistent with your company image
- Link to your social networks from your other social networks
- Include social links in your email signature, website, and published content
- Share and engage with other people’s content
- Post your content regularly
- Engage with your social media followers
Maximize Your Post for Each Platform
As you begin to post content to social media, it’s important that you maximize your efforts by optimizing the way you post to each platform.
For example, if Twitter is one of the social media platforms you intend to be on, you will want to understand how to use hashtags effectively and the syntax for targeting users and key influencers on the platform.
Each platform offers its own unique set of characteristics so once you know which social media platforms your business should be on, do your research and find the most effective way to post your content.
Stick to a Schedule
When it comes to social media, there is something to be said for when you choose to post your content.
For example, the best times to post on LinkedIn are in the mornings before work, at noon, and after work midweek, Monday to Friday.
Each social media platform is different, so do your research to discover the best times to post.
Leverage Content Outreach
You’ve optimized the content on your website and are now connecting to your audience on social media.
The next step to really take your website traffic to the next level is to connect to key influencers in your niche and get your content published on industry-leading websites through guest posting and content republishing.
Doing this puts your content in front of large, highly-targeted audiences. It also helps your website rank better on Google by linking your website to these publications.
Republish Your Content on Larger Websites
Large content publications generally have huge content needs and are actively looking for content to post to their website.
Here’s how you can get your content on these large publications:
Step #1: Find websites that accept and/or republish content
Websites that accept content will have pages detailing their guidelines for content republishing and guest posting.
To find these pages, start by searching Google for your industry keyword plus “guest posting”, “write for us”, or “submit an article” (many other variations exist, so you’ll want to employ smart search tips for finding guest blogging opportunities).
Step #2: Choose content you are going to pitch to these websites
Once you know who’s accepting content, it’s time to figure out how you can add value to these publications.
In the beginning, it’s easier to pitch an original piece of content than it is to pitch content that already exists on your site, so it’s a good idea to start off by understanding the publication that you’re targeting.
Are there opportunities for your content? Is there a gap in their content that you can fill with your knowledge or expertise?
Also, familiarize yourself with the tone and style of the publication so that your content will be a more natural fit for their audience.
If you find that your content isn’t a great fit off-the-bat, you can always tweak your style a little bit to match.
Step #3: Pitch your article
Once you know what content ideas you’re bringing to the table, it’s time to pitch them to the publication.
Pitching your ideas is where the rubber meets the road, so it’s important to bring your A-game and to do it right.
Here are some tips for crafting a winning pitch:
- Write an engaging subject line – Content editors get boatloads of pitches so stand out by crafting an engaging subject line
- Know who you are pitching to – Do your homework and find out who you’re pitching your idea to and, if possible, address them by their first name in the pitch
- Understand their readership – Large publications are in the content business, so make sure you’re giving them stuff their audience will find valuable and be sure to include in your message how your contribution will benefit their readers
- Include options – Your first idea may not be accepted, so have 2-3 additional ideas to offer in your pitch
- Be patient – It may take up to a week before your pitch gets seen so don’t be too eager to follow up right away
Step #4: Prepare your content
Once you get the green light from the publication that your content idea has been accepted, it’s time to prepare your content for publishing.
Here are a few pointers:
- Review the content and publication guidelines of the publication to make sure that you are following them correctly
- Include at least one link back to your website in your content; aim for 2-3 links to your own content if it makes sense to do so
- Provide your professional bio and a headshot along with your finished content
We’ve now broken down the three key elements to getting more traffic to your website:
We looked at optimizing the content that is already on your site so that it connects better to your readers, creates engagement and more social shares, and does well with search engines from an SEO standpoint.
We talked about using social media to find the right audiences for your business and stimulate more visitors to your website by making the most out of the content you post.
Finally, we discussed how connecting to large content publications in your industry can provide you with huge boosts in terms of website traffic and SEO and how you can find and approach these publications about republishing and guest posting opportunities.
All that’s left to do now is to get to work.