How To Get More Site Visitors
One of our clients recently asked us: how do I get more visitors to my website? It’s a great question, and one with lots of answers. There are numerous ways to boost your site visitors, but I think this post contains some basic strategies that almost any business can do on their own — especially startups, non-profits and new business owners.
Attracting visitors to your site is more crucial than ever. There are more and more businesses with competing products and services — making it less and less likely that people, when they search for an answer to their problems, click beyond the second or third page of their search results. What should you do? Attract their attention on multiple platforms. Combine great content, a social media strategy and some good, old-fashioned SEO.
Get Your SEO House In Order
Effective SEO is a moving target these days. The rules are always changing, and businesses need to be able to adapt. There’s not a lot of documentation that the average person can make sense of. However, there are some quick and easy tactics you can use to get started. Here are a few things you can focus on to help drive more people to your site from search engines like Google and Bing.
Use Keywords to Improve SEO
Keywords are not dead. Search engines still use them. A keyword is a specific word or words you can use on your web site to tell search engines what each page is about. There are two types. Head terms/words and long-tail keyword phrases. Head words are usually one word or two words that convey the main idea of your page’s content. Long-tail keywords are longer phrases that do the same thing, but they’re often three to five words. An example of a long-tail keyword phrase is “painted miniature unicorn dolls”. A long-tail keyword phrase is similar to a head word, except it’s more specific and less generalized. If you sell small unicorn dolls that are painted, it’s easier to get found using “painted miniature unicorn dolls” than it is for “unicorn dolls”.
Be careful with your keywords. If you include the same word too many times on a page you can actually damage your site’s ranking on a search engine. I usually recommend not having the same keyword more than four times on a page.
Write Better Content
Search engines are beginning to intelligently read through pages on web sites. They now have the ability to examine a page, figure out what it’s about, and rank it based on its usefulness versus other pages on the web. That means you need to write helpful content about your products or services and not simply use a few keywords within a sentence or two.
An easy way to improve your site’s content is with a blog. Use your blog to write about your company and its products (be sure to use your keywords). It’s more important than ever to make sure that your page copy makes sense and is helpful to readers. Google loves helpful content. I love it, too. If you need help figuring out what kind of things to write, check out my post on content marketing and how it can help you bring in more visitors to your site.
You should also try to link to your own web site pages in your content. This is helpful for your readers as they try to navigate your site’s pages, and search engines also take this in to account when it comes to ranking.
It’s also important to make your content relevant. You must add value to your digital communities. What are your customers talking about when they talk about your product or service? Are people complaining? If so, you should be ready to jump in and start resolving those complaints through your content. Are they satisfied? Then your content should be providing material that adds value to your own brand.
People are looking to solve problems and learn. Make your content relevant to those areas to add value to their conversations and where they are in the customer journey. When you have relevant content that’s authentic and minimally promotional, customers begin to see you as a trusted advisor on your own offerings and industry-related information.
Implement Local Citation Building
A citation is a mention of your business’ name and address on other pages. A link to your web site is not needed. An example would be a listing containing your business’ address on your local chamber of commerce web page. Local citation building is a great first step to boosting your SEO. Citations are important to Google and Bing ranking algorithms, and businesses with more citations often rank higher than those with fewer citations. In fact, a citation can dramatically increase your local search engine rankings.
A citation is important for local businesses in less competitive areas. Many services companies, such as plumbers and electricians may not have a web page in those areas, so search engines need to be able to rely on what information they can find, and citations help them get that information.
Citations from sites like yellowbook.com and superpages.com help tell search engines that a business is “who it says it is”. A citation also helps verify that a business is part of a community. Usually a business won’t be listed on a chamber of commerce site unless they are part of that community.
You should also try to work with other web site owners to see if they will link to your pages. The more pages that link back to your page in their content, the better the opportunity someone will learn about your company and check out what your site has to offer.
You should also consider signing up for a Google My Business listing, which used to be called Google Local. A Google business listing will help you attract local traffic to your business and goes hand-in-hand with citations.
These listings also show up in Google search results when people in your local region perform a search that involves keywords about a topic related to your business. For example, your local Chinese restaurant may show up if you do a search about chopsticks. It’s easy to sign up for and should be done in conjunction with creating a Google+ social media account as part of your social media strategy.
Use Social Media
Social media is a great inbound marketing tool you can use to drive people from sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ to your web site. If you’re not already on one of those sites, start by creating a profile for your business. Now you can begin to explore. Once you have a good feel of how your social network functions, you can start participating and building a community for your business. If you have a B2C company, Facebook is a great place for you to start. If you have a B2B company, LinkedIn is most effective. As part of your community building, make sure you get involved in discussions about relevant topics to your business. This helps people see you as a thought leader with expertise, and that can make them want to learn more about you by visiting your web site.
You might be wondering why I recommend you start with just one social network. There’s a good reason for this. There are few things worse in the social media world than an account left dormant. If you have too many networks and not enough time to focus on keeping active with your community, it looks really bad for your business. According to Pew Research, 74% of online adults use social networking sites. That’s a lot of people you’ll miss out on reaching if you abandon your accounts.
If Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aren’t your thing, you can also get active on YouTube. There are thousands of businesses there creating helpful videos that teach their viewers how to solve a problem using their products or services. In fact, YouTube is often ranked as one of the top 3 search engines, depending on your location and definition of a search engine.
If you’re just not seeing enough traffic and you’ve already put in the effort to drive people to your site organically, you can try paying for advertisements. This involves creating an ad in Google AdWords, or a similar services and then paying a fee to distribute the ad where people can see it on their search results page. Most of the social networks also offer paid advertising. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all feature a paid ads program that you can use to reach people that you are missing in your more organic efforts.
E-mail and Nurturing
I’m a big fan of the long-term e-mail nurture campaign. I think, when done in moderation, keeping your community updated through email can be mutually beneficial for both you and your customers. You can use eblasts and newsletters to let your community know about things like news and events your company is involved with, or even about that new case study you just wrote. The key here is not to over-nurture. If you send out too many emails, the nurturing campaign may backfire. People who get too many emails from you on a too-frequent basis may start reporting your email as spam and stop visiting your site.
These ideas should give you a great place to start as you work to drive more traffic to your web site. And, one final note: other than paid advertising, these techniques take time to produce results. You won’t see changes overnight or even next month. However, if you do you should find yourself asking “How do I drive all of this visitor traffic through my sales funnel?” instead of “How do I get more visitors to my website?”.