In order to drive traffic to your website you need to take a dynamic approach to how you promote your business.
If you struggle to drive traffic to your site or blog, you’re not alone. And we’re here to help.
In this article we’ll cover 10 ways to drive traffic to your website, as well as some other tips and best practices for putting them into use.
- Track Your Traffic
- Focus on Content Marketing and Improving Content
- Optimize for SEO
- Use Social Media to Drive Traffic
- YouTube Tutorials
- Email Marketing
- Claim Your Site on Google My Business
- Press Releases
- Reinforce Your Brand
- Drive Traffic Through Advertising
- Social Media Marketing Tips and Best Practices
Track Your Traffic
If you want to drive traffic, the first step is to track your website statistics. This is important because it gives you insight into what your visitors are searching for and where they are coming from.
Many website owners have no idea where their visitors are coming from or how they’re getting to their site. It could be traffic coming from another website referral, a popular blog post, or a certain term that visitors are searching.
If you wanted to monitor traffic for a brick-and-mortar store, you could simply count how many people walk into your store each day and compare that date with your sales.
It’s not that easy with a website or online store. Here, you are going to need a tool that helps you check your statistics so you can use that data to look for trends.
The best of these is Google Analytics (GA). With this, you can track the following pieces of traffic data:
- Where your traffic is coming from. This allows you to figure out if certain websites are sending you visitors from referrals, if they are coming from search engines or if they are coming to you directly by typing in your URL. This lets you know where you need to focus your efforts on advertising to drive traffic.
- Pages and time. This piece of data is interesting because it will tell you how many pages a visitor viewed per minute as well as how many pages they clicked before leaving your website entirely. If they are bailing out quickly, then it may be that the design of the website needs to be updated.
You may find that users are only clicking on a few pages before leaving, in which case it may be that your inventory is not sufficient to keep them interested.
Or you may find that your visitors really liked a blog post on a certain topic. This gives you the ability to write more on that topic and continue to grow your web traffic.
All of this data can be useful in making tweaks to your site.
Focus on Content Marketing and Improving Content
One key reason why your website may not be receiving much traffic is due to poor quality content or lack of a solid content marketing strategy.
Content marketing encompasses quite a few things, but in this case we are mainly talking about blogging and vlogging. It tends to have long-term value, but less of an immediate return on investment.
Building up enough content to rank as an authority on Google takes time. Yet, once this happens, the return on the long investment can make all the effort worthwhile.
If the quality of your web content is poor, most search engines won’t rank your website high in the ranks. This prevents your website from being able to be found easily. If you are producing quality content, your website will move up the search rankings and you will find that your visitors find your website easier.
However, creating high-quality, relevant content on a regular basis not only helps to establish a brand’s authority and expertise on a topic. It also helps boost a site’s value for search engines which drives traffic.
After all, a site loaded with lots of content relevant to a particular topic will tend to rank higher in search results and contain more valuable keywords.
If you already have plenty of content on your site, updating your content can be a great content writing strategy to help drive traffic.
Whether you update existing content or create new content altogether, be sure to follow best practices. Here are some great content writing tips to get you started
Optimize for SEO
This may seem like another no-brainer, but many people spend so much time creating a beautiful website and completely forget about search engine optimization (SEO).
Once you have an idea of what your traffic looks like, SEO should be one of your top priorities. It is essential if you want to improve the chances of your website coming up on the first page of search engine result pages (SERPs).
The best way to do this is to track the trending keywords related to your field, then create content around those topics that can help drive that traffic.
SEO is complex and there are a lot of different tactics and approaches to building a comprehensive SEO strategy.
While you may want to consider hiring an expert to help you, there are some best practices you can begin incorporating into your content that will immediately boost your overall SEO and drive traffic your way.
- Create good content. Above all else, create good content. If you focus on creating high-quality content, the results will follow.
- Improve your site speed. The faster the internet becomes, the less likely users are to wait on slow-loading pages. Additionally, search engines like Google will downgrade your website if it does not load quickly. Because of that, it is essential that you take the steps to make sure that your website is running quickly.
- Make your website mobile-friendly. In 2020, 61% of all Google searches took place on a mobile device, and when performing a search for local businesses on a mobile device, 88% of customers either call or visit the business within 24 hours. Ensure your website is optimized for Mobile SEO to make it visible to a wider range of mobile users
- Optimize for local searches. A recent survey found that 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year with 34% of those consumers searching every day. Optimizing for local SEO is a great way to effectively promote your business in the communities you serve face-to-face and drive traffic to your website.
- Incorporate a link-building strategy. Link building is an effective way to increase your website’s domain authority and can make your website work harder for you.
- Optimize meta descriptions and titles. Meta descriptions and titles are one of the first things users see in the SERPs. Use valuable keywords in your descriptions and titles to make your content more appealing to searchers.
A solid SEO strategy can drive traffic and lead to much higher search rankings, which can affect all of your online marketing channels. Don’t forget, SEO is often a long-term game. Don’t get too discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.
Use Social Media to Drive Traffic
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your website is with social media. If you are not promoting your site on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (at a minimum), then you aren’t really trying to drive traffic to your website.
Social media is a great way to add followers through recommendations and connections. All of this can add up to traffic which, hopefully, will turn into sales for your site.
If you are running an e-commerce store these days, then it is essential that you start taking steps to bring in more traffic to your website. Even if a small portion of those turn into regular customers, the more you can bring in, the better your odds are of having repeat business.
Facebook may have lost some of its shine over the last few years, but it remains a major platform with well-developed marketing tools that you should be utilizing.
At a minimum, your company should have a Facebook page for your product or brand that you update regularly and through which you actively engage your audience.
Better yet, take advantage of Facebook’s marketing tools. For a relatively modest investment, and with very little technical knowledge, you can easily produce well-targeted ads that reach an ideal audience that will want to know about what you have to offer.
Twitter is short and to the point since you have only 140 characters to get your message to the reader. If your intention is to use Twitter to help drive traffic to your website, then your message should have that goal in mind.
Post tweets regarding relevant news, current events or articles related to your brand or products. It’s also important to keep your Twitter feed lively and interesting so that people will want to see what you have to say.
Here is a list of suggestions that will help you use your Twitter account effectively:
- Be consistent with your message, voice and tone in your tweets
- Make sure your 140-character message is expressive
- Post daily or event-appropriate tweets
- Learn how to use a hashtag to make it easier for your posts to be found
- Follow people and post daily to them or retweet from them
- Use other resources to find Twitter users who fit your targeted demographic. For example: peekanalytics.com
- Hire a Twitter expert or social media manager to improve the management of your tweets
- Build relationships with your followers and those who express interest in your posts. Use tweets and interactions with others to show that you care and encourage people to retweet your information or messages
- Use Twitter to deliver coupons, sneak previews or links that will give your users insight to an occasion on your website
As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Instagram has exploded in popularity over the last few years. Companies not using this social platform in their online marketing campaign risk getting left behind. Using simple image-based content, companies can communicate volumes to customers in a way they never could through written ads or even videos.
What’s more, its ad platform allows advertisers to insert ads that look almost like part of the user’s usual feed, which can lead to much higher engagement.
Later in this article we will cover several tips and best practices for getting the most out of your social channels.
YouTube is also considered a social media platform, but it has long been one of the most popular search engines.
People watch videos about almost anything you can think of on YouTube. If you can do things like provide viewers with a solution to a problem or walk them through a difficult process, you could see a major boost in traffic.
While it takes a little effort to get into the rhythm of effectively using YouTube, if you focus on creating useful content with good production values, you will build an audience and see results.
Just like other types of content marketing though, this is a long-term investment to drive traffic.
Results rarely occur overnight, and creating content that goes “viral” is trickier than many people believe. Still, with solid fundamentals and engaging content, you can extend the reach of your brand to a vast new audience.
This one may seem antiquated to some, but email marketing remains a powerful tool for online marketing and can help drive traffic. The best way to use it (especially for newer brands) is to give away something of value in exchange for someone giving you their email address.
Take the time to create an eBook, template, report, or something else that your audience will actually want (not something solely filled with advertising for your product or company). Develop a relationship with the customer, learn about their habits, and gather data on the best ways to reach them via email.
Avoid trying to sell at every opportunity. Connect first, gain their trust and interest, and create an environment where the sale feels almost secondary to the content of the email.
To get you started, check out our 5 Email Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners.
Claim Your Site on Google My Business
In order to drive traffic, get familiar with Google My Business. Did you know that you may already have a business listing on Google Maps? Google My Business automatically creates listings for businesses and unless you claim your listing, the information shown may be inaccurate or misleading.
Thankfully, claiming your listing and setting up Google My Business is easy.
You just have to create an account and claim your business. Once you’ve filled out your details, you’ll get a phone call, email or snail-mail postcard from Google confirming the address you’ve specified for your business.
After you have claimed your business, work to keep your listing information updated. At minimum, be sure to include your address, website, phone number, and Google Maps marker.
Google My Business also allows you to enter in keywords which describe your business. Make sure to choose accurate keywords which make your company stand out.
These may also seem like relics from the past, but the digital age has given them a new life and form to press releases and they can still drive traffic. Creating a press release, then strategically broadcasting it across social channels and through targeted emails and direct messages can still get your product or brand in front of a new audience.
With the millions of blogs online, you may even be able to create relationships with smaller properties that will actually print and promote your content if it closely aligns with their subject matter.
It is also an option to use external sites for posting and distributing press releases. However, many of these cost money but don’t return the results to justify the cost.
Reinforce Your Brand
In the digital world, just as in the real world, repetition can create a sense of familiarity with a brand. Of course, in the digital world, the cost for this repetition is usually much lower than billboards or radio and TV ads.
The key is maintaining a consistent, easily recognizable brand message and logo. Use it everywhere your brand lives.
Add your logo to your email signature, put it on all of your social channels, and include it in all articles and posts. Put it anywhere that seems appropriate (and where you can retain control so someone else doesn’t use it to disparage your brand).
This familiarity will cause consumers to believe your brand is well-established, trustworthy, and a good choice for them. This should help drive traffic to your website.
Drive Traffic Through Advertising
If all else fails, there’s always advertising. While most of the other methods for driving traffic are more or less free, advertising almost always costs money.
That doesn’t mean it has to cost a lot to advertise. Just set a budget and stick to it.
Normal Google searches can bring some traffic, but if you invest a little bit of capital into growing your audience through Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads, you’ll see your website traffic grow.
Social Media Marketing Tips and Best Practices
Earlier in this article we covered social media and how its various channels could be used to help drive traffic to your website.
While the approach to social media is different based on which channel you are posting on, there are some overall best practices you can employ to ensure you’re making the most of your social media efforts.
Know Your Audience
You need to know your target audience, where they can be found, and when they’re more likely to engage with you and what they want to know about. You then use this information and quality content to build a campaign showing them why they should connect with you online.
Now that you know your audience, it’s time to set social media marketing goals. You want goals that have a big impact and effective return on investment (ROI).
Take your top three goals for the year or quarter and break them down into social media goals. Let’s say you’re going to ship a new product at the beginning of the next year. The product is an upgrade to a previous model and is more user-friendly by design.
You can then set marketing goals that appeal to previous customers who purchased the earlier version, previous customers who have purchased other products from you before (easier to sell to previous customers), as well as new customers. You can then set up three campaigns.
When you start a marketing campaign, make sure you use it across all platforms. Take advantage of the strengths in your preferred platforms and don’t be intimidated by different media options.
Establish a Plan and Stick to It
You know your audience and where they like to connect with you, you’ve set up your goals and aligned them with your marketing goals, now, it’s time to establish a plan and stick to it.
Give yourself (and/or your social media team) a desired amount of goals per day to get your social media campaign moving. Set aside time for building your content. It’s perfectly okay to prepare images, hashtags, text, and more prior to the start of your social media campaign.
Adapt and Adjust
Your audience will change over time and so will technology. Be prepared to change with it. Check the effectiveness of your campaigns and adjust as needed to keep your business as well your budget on track.
Most of all, remember that social media is a way to connect with your audience, but it’s not the entirety of your business. Keep your eye on the big picture and remain objective.
Whether you’re just getting your website online or your site has been thriving for years, you can always benefit from more traffic.
However, driving traffic to your website is no simple task and completing all of these different areas can seem a bit overwhelming. It is a lot to take on.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, take one area and work on it over a few days and then move on to the next. Little by little, you’ll see increased website traffic.
For more insight on how to drive traffic, check out our WordPress SEO: Complete Beginner Guide.