In preparation for a meeting, I set out some of the following thoughts about increasing website traffic – so I thought it would be good to get them into our blog. There are four main ways to increase traffic and get people onto a website (not shown in order of relevance):
1) Content creation
The more useful, practical content that gets onto a website, the more pages there will be for Google to index, and therefor the higher the chance that a page will be found by someone searching on Google. It stands to reason that the more case studies, practical information and reports relevant to niche areas of a business that are put onto a company website, the more pages will be indexed by Google, and the higher the chance that they will be found.
2) E-mail marketing
Businesses that send out regular, interesting e-news to a subscribed audience tends to result in a huge spike of website traffic every time the e-mail is sent out (depending on the size of the opt-in audience). Opportunities are sometimes missed here. If the e-mail simply directs the reader to a single web page, just the addition of couple of simple sentences making mention of one or two other services, or announcing the addition of a new article or case study (along with links to those pages) would start to generate interest in other areas of the website. It’s also important (and often strangely overlooked) to include a Twitter address (if one exists) along with other contact information.
Twitter is a very good way of sending out low maintenance, up-to-the minute information about things going on at company, new additions to the website, new job vacancies, new case studies and so on. The more people that know about and are interested in the business, the more people will visit the website. Therefore, the more people that have a Twitter account and want to follow your company’s Twitter profile, the more likely it is that they’ll be tracking the information you Tweet about.
The more people that follow your followers, the larger the potential audience will be if one of your Twitter messages is ‘re-sent’ by someone with a large following.
Google is starting to pay attention to something called ‘social signals’. This means that if you create a new web page that relates to, for example, “new cars”, and you send out a Twitter message about it along with a link, if lots of other people re-send (or re-tweet) that message, there’s a good chance that the new page will rise up in the Google page rankings.
4) Link building
All of the above is good but slow progress. The main way to increase traffic to your website is to get people to put links on their websites to your website. There are a number of ways to achieve this, and most are time consuming. There are various ways to get links from other sites to yours:
- Get people to add links to their social site profiles, such as Facebook
- Participate in forums and Q&A websites in a helpful way, leaving relevant links to pages on your site that help to answer a query
- Ask people with high ranking, relevant websites to add a link to your site
- Write industry-specific articles (containing links to your website) and post them to article banks where others can add them to their website (less effective since the last Google update)
- Create ‘viral’ content on your site that lots of people will like and spread the word about
- Pay for links
- Set up microsites that add no additional value
- Stuff forum posts with links to your website without being helpful
There are, as ever, many more on the list – and if you want to learn from the masters of SEO and website marketing, take a look at http://www.moz.com/