I’ve put significant time and money into our company website, but all those thousands of dollars and hours of effort haven’t made people come look at it! When I review my analytics, there aren’t even a hundred people a day visiting. How do I get more potential customers to come visit my website?
First off, I want to say that not every website needs a ton of traffic to serve its purpose. Maybe you want a website that is basically an online brochure, one that provides confidence and credibility signals to people who have already heard about your business in another venue. If that’s the case, a few hundred visits a month is fine.
But if you are looking to attract new customers to your business – people you haven’t met who are searching for a solution to a problem they have right now – then you want a website that makes it easy for you to be found on search engines.
The process for building search traffic to your website is becoming simpler — but that doesn’t make it easy. There are three straightforward things that you need to be doing to increase your website traffic — identify your keywords, set-up your “on site SEO”, and consistently add new content to your site. Once you do those things, you have to start promoting your site elsewhere on the web.
Here’s 4 ways to improve your website traffic:
Finding your keywords
Before you can “optimize” your site you need to know what search terms you want to optimize for. In other words, what words do you think that people will put into a search engine when they are looking for your website? These words are called “keywords”. Here’s a very straightforward process for identifying relevant keywords for your site. You need to list the words that people use to talk about your service, or the questions they ask when they are buying your services. Think like someone who is researching the problems you solve and you will find the right keywords.
Once you know the keywords, the most important thing for attracting search engine traffic is to make sure that your title tags and headlines are unique and relevant to the content on each page. Each page on your site should have a headline and title tag that describes the content on that page and that contains search terms that people are searching for. The title tag and H1 tag are designed to highlight to the user what the page is about and so the search engines use this content as a very strong signal when considering how to rank a page. Here’s a great tutorial about how to write your titles and headlines to maximize their effect on your search traffic.
Continuously building new content
Now that you’ve got your current site content all set up, you need to have a way to continuously add new content to your site. New content does three things: it keeps your site fresh for visitors, it tells Google that you are an active and relevant site, and it provides new content that you can promote throughout the web (through social media and other channels). Generating content can be hard, but once you’ve got started you’d be surprised how easy it can be. Your best source of ideas is your sales force. What questions do they get asked over and over? What are people considering as they are starting to research hiring someone in your field? Every one of those questions would make good content for your site — and is likely to attract relevant traffic from search engines. Here’s a list of other topics that can help you get started.
This content could be added in the form of a “blog” or it could be just “articles” that you add to your site’s navigation. It doesn’t matter how you add it; it just needs to be easy to find and relevant to people researching a purchase of your services.
Promoting your content
The work you’ve done so far is pretty straightforward — and if you’ve gotten this far you’ve likely improved your site’s traffic already. But once you have your site set up and you are adding content you can really get the traffic flowing if you share your content in other places around the web.
Do you have accounts set up on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, etc.)? Be sure to share your new content with your followers in these channels. Next, think about (or ask) where your customers and prospects spend time online and where they get information about new products and services they need. Can you post your content there? (Many sites accept “guest posts” written by folks like you.) By spreading your good content around the web, it introduces your thinking to more people who might not otherwise get to know you.
Want to go deeper? Sean McGinnis has a nice guest post about SEO Basics that covers more detail.
What are you doing to improve your website traffic?
Photo credit: Horia Varlan