How to Increase Your Website Traffic in 10 Simple Steps
Anyone who runs a small business website wants more traffic, but how do you increase your website traffic and continue to grow your visitation over time?
This is an age-old question that has been asked a million times before, because so few online marketers are able to achieve this. Why you ask? Because increased website traffic takes persistence combined with a healthy dose of technical knowledge.
For example, you wouldn't expect to keep earning a pay cheque if you didn’t keep turning up to work? Generating website traffic on a regular basis works on the same principle; you have to consistently do the right things day-in-day-out to get the results you’re looking for...in this case more of the right kind of website traffic.
In this post I’ll walk you through how to position yourself for increased visitation across your website. From increase traffic, to generating the right kinds of visitors, to growing your traffic on a daily basis, we’ll show you what you need to do to increase your website traffic.
1. Start with a website technical audit
If you’re looking to increase traffic to your website, one of the first things you’re going to want to do is improve your on-site technical elements.
A website technical audit is a great way to identify how you can improve your on-site health. The benefits of improving your on-site technical elements include:
- Faster loading pages
- Lower bounce and exit rates, and
- Increased page views once a visitor reaches your site
All of these elements are ranking signals for Google which will help you increase the number of people visiting your site, so this is a really important part of the process.
Search engine blog Moz wrote a great article which provides an extensive checklist you can use to audit your site, however if you’re looking for a service that provides an audit report, I suggest trying one of these two great services:
We used Quicksprout’s site audit service to run a check on Ikea’s website. As you can see even major brands have areas of their site they can improve to help drive more traffic, so don’t be discouraged if you receive a lengthy checklist of areas you can tweak to improve your on-site assessment.
2. Implement those technical recommendations
Chances are like most sites your site has a few on-site technical areas you can improve on. But here’s the kicker, some of these will be relatively easy to implement, others may require planning and more advanced technical knowledge to implement correctly.
One of the common mistakes we see customers make when trying to improve their on-site performance based on a technical recommendation audit, is that in doing so, they actually cause further issues with their site and don’t end up making any real gains.
To put in a fix in place on a technical recommendation such as this takes consideration of your overall site layout, page content, and whether these files are required to be in use all the time.
When looking to implement the suggestions of a tool like Page Speed Insights, we recommend getting in touch with a professional web development team who can assist you to implement these changes as intended for the best possible result.
3. Develop a backlinking strategy
One of the most challenging yet impactful ways of increasing your website traffic is by building backlinks to your site. More specifically, growing the number of domains that link to your site and the number of pages linking to specific pages on your site.
For example, if you have a page on your site that you would like to increase traffic to, you can achieve this by building quality backlinks to this page. This will affect your page’s traffic in the following ways:
- Higher rankings in search engines
- Regular traffic from referral sites
- Increased likelihood of social traffic
The trick to developing quality backlinks is building relationships with external sites and producing quality content. You can do this in the following ways:
- Guest blogging
- Blogging regularly on your own site about niche topics
- Listing examples of your work on industry sites
- Submitting media releases to well-known publications
But how do you know which sites to target? Sure there are the obvious major news outlets, but there are also a ton of helpful smaller sites you'll have much better luck targeting to get those backlinks. For example, if you wanted to rank for the term “tennis racquets for sale”, you could use Moz Open Site Explorer to determine how competitive this search term is and how many backlinks you may need to rank highly.
As you can see below, Moz tells us that Tennis Warehouse who currently holds the number #1 ranked result for this search, only has one referring domain other than itself to this page. Sure this domain has a very strong overall authority of 58, but this page has a poorly optimised title and meta description offering up plenty of opportunity to rank highly with a few quality backlinks and some on-site optimisation over time.
4. Increase your website traffic using email marketing
Did you know email marketing is the second most effective means of generating website traffic behind organic search marketing?
Recently Campaign Monitor produced this fantastic list of statistics regarding the value and effectiveness of email marketing.
This list is really conclusive. If you’re not building a database of email subscribers and producing quality content and offers to send to your database on a regular basis, you’re missing out. Yes, email marketing requires regular manual intervention to begin driving traffic, but once word get’s out about your services, this will have a natural flow on affect that will increase your website traffic on a daily basis.
Some simple ways to build your database of email subscribers include:
- Adding a sign up form on your site
- Adding an intelligent popup service to your site that captures email subscribers such as Unbounce
- Surveying your website visitors and capturing their email addresses using a service such as Feedback Lite
- Collecting emails at tradeshow
- Reaching out to your social media followers and customers
5. Optimise your social media profiles
It’s amazing how many business owners and organisations have social media accounts but forget to provide a quality description of their services and a backlink to their site.
LinkedIn for example is one of the most popular social media networks for businesses, yet so many users fail to optimise their accounts for visitation. At OSE, we think we do this pretty well. Take Paul Dunstone our Managing Director, his LinkedIn profile gives users a really great summary of his skills and what we do at OSE. Same with our LinkedIn corporate summary where we’ve taken the time to inform our LinkedIn subscribers about the services we offer and how we can benefit them.
This simple trick is a quick win, and can contribute some really engaged visitation to your site over time.
6. Work on your Title tags, Meta Descriptions and URL's
One of the most important factors when trying to drive traffic from search engines is that your title tag (the one that shows at the top of your pages) is incredibly on-point when it comes to describing your page content. This means that it needs to adhere to a few simple rules if you’re going to rank well for a particular term or phrase.
To do so, make sure you:
- Keep your title tag under 60 characters in length
- Pick a focus keyword to use in your title tag
- Try and include your focus keyword towards the start of your title tag
- Ensure your title tag describes what your page is about and plays to the user’s intent (i.e. what they’re searching for)
Next you want to connect your title tag to your meta description and URL and by including your focus keyword in both of these items, but try to do so only once. You don’t want to ‘keyword-stuff’ either of these elements and turn off your users by antagonising Google. What you do want to do is describe your page well using these short snippets.
Ideally your meta description should be no longer than 140 characters, and your URL should be short enough to fit into view in a search result. A great example is my search for "Chivas Regal 18 Years". Who doesn't love a great scotch right?
7. Tap into the power of remarketing
At OSE we’re huge fans of remarketing. If you haven’t heard of remarketing, it’s basically the process of displaying ads based on your interests or previous site visitation history without you even searching for that ad!
Facebook is one of the best remarketing platforms out there in terms of what’s displayed to you and the ability you have at your disposal to target potential website visitors. After all, driving traffic to your website doesn’t mean much if your visitors aren’t engaged.
For example, a moment ago I jumped onto my Facebook feed and within seconds was presented with the below suggested ad from Periscope. Why? Because the other day I visited the Periscope site and it’s strongly tied to the sorts of interests I have.
Remarketing is the next level in display advertising. Because you’re already tapping into areas of interest for potential customers or re-serving them with content they have already shown an interest, you're definitely onto a winner. Cool huh?
8. Build your page count
It makes sense that if you’ve got more pages on your site, there’s a strong chance your site visitation will increase if you structure your pages effectively.
This simple philosophy is extremely well proven in the e-commerce space. Take Amazon.com for example. If you search for any product on Amazon you’ll be presented with many pages’ worth of results, all with unique search-engine friendly pages that explain to users exactly what the page is about. Click on any of the products and you’ll see Amazon’s product pages are perfectly optimised for search engines which is a major reason why they dominate search results.
It’s simple math really, if you’re running a blog, building your first e-commerce store, or are able to split the results of a search across multiple pages you have an opportunity to increase your page count.
Tagging is another great way to include references to content from multiple pages, and like split page results, provided you ensure your on-site optimisation is implemented correctly, you should definitely see increased visitation to your website.
9. Replicate and optimise what you’re doing well
Google Analytics is a ‘must-have’ if you’re looking to understand the performance of your site and improve your current visitation.
For example, on a regular basis we use Google Analytics in unison with Google Webmaster tools to assess the click through rates we receive on our blog articles. Articles which rank highly (i.e. top 40) are articles we look to increase traffic to. In the past, we’ve had incredible success boosting the visiting of some of our pages by many hundreds of visits per week by tweaking the following items:
- Increasing the word length and detail of those moderately high ranking articles
- Building backlinks to those pages from internal and external sources
- Optimising the title and meta description tags of these pages, and
- Adding imagery and supporting content to those pages
The other common mistake users of Analytics make is to ignore spikes like the one below. When you see a significant spike in traffic or event happen on your site, try to understand it. Usually it’s pretty easy to determine why something like this happens, so try and build causal marketing into your daily routine where relevant.
10. Quality website design will increase traffic
These days there's definitely a design standard you need to meet if you’re going to increase your website visitation. How does this affect your visitation? It’s a quality signal. If your site looks like it hasn’t been updated in a long time or is poorly designed and difficult to navigate, then you will lose visitors and struggle to gain new ones.
Successful companies over time who have used branding to grow their organisations include Nike, Apple and luxury car makers. These companies used emotive markers to increase positive word about their services, which resulted in increased enquiry, which of course happens these days online. These companies spend huge amounts each year perfecting their brands and we can all learn a lot from them.
Although I’m not a major motorcycle enthusiast, I recently visited an Indian motorcycle dealership. Their store, website, and products were all crafted with meticulous attention to detail and serves as a great example for the standard we should all strive to achieve in our sites and overall brand design.