Most online actions happen on the website of a company. Therefore big traffic goals are essential as it translates into multiple customer actions on the website, be it buying, downloading, subscribing or even making a simple enquiry. Having said that, it is quite a challenge to break away from the information clutter on the net and connect with target groups of the business. Building traffic is one thing, but traffic that matters to your business takes a multi-channelled effort.
These 10 tips and tools can help you generate targeted traffic to your website. Although not quick fixes, they have the potential to generate results faster than you would expect.
1. Keep the House in Order: On Page Activities
Make sure that you get the basics of a good website covered. These aspects of SEO include keyword planning, site speed and responsiveness, sitemap updates and solving canonical issues. Google Webmaster tools can help you tremendously at this stage. Incorporate relevant, unique and engaging keywords that both cohesively describe your value proposition and encourage users to visit your website. Curated keyword density, prominence and proximity are essential for search engines to identify your website as relevant to users’ searches. Long-tail keywords incorporated into important posts on your website are an added bonus. Remember to tag the images you consider important to your website and your customers.
2. Launch a Campaign: Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
An arm of off-page activities, investment in SEM is one of the most effective tools to generate targeted website traffic. Ensure you have a highly optimized landing page to support sponsored ads through Google Adwords, Display Advertising and the Yahoo-Bing network to support your website goals. This works especially well if your business works on the e-commerce model.
3. Customers are Social and so should you be!
Build a comprehensive ecosystem for your website using popular social media tools – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and the likes. Users of these networks evaluate the social profile of the business to see if they meet their specific requirements. Regularly update your social profiles to reflect current offerings, trends in your industry and innovations using a mix of content forms. Social media advertising is also a great way to gain visibility with your target audience.
4. Do Social Bookmarking
This is a useful component of off-page activities. Social bookmarking simply refers to submitting your websites and blogsites to social bookmarking sites so that relevant backlinks are created. This enables better SEO ranking for your site and increased visibility to the target audience. Popular social bookmarking sites include Digg, StumbleUpon, Blokube, Reddit and Delicio.us.
5. Try Guest Blogging and Commenting
Bloggers are always in need of help to build their content. So help them out. Besides driving traffic to your website, guest blogging and commenting are tools that can create a platform to exchange shared ideas while creating inbound links to your site. Post original, relevant and quality content on high quality websites and blogs that others find useful. Build credibility for your business by growing in a community or network of quality contributors in your business domain.
6. Build Backlinks
When your website and webpages are linked on quality third party websites, the backlinks so created work tremendously to boost your website rankings, which effectively translates to greater website traffic. However search engines have become very good at identifying spam backlinks and you may risk getting penalized for this shady practice. So build carefully and stay away from link farms.
7. Write Relevant Content
The whole point of building website traffic is to keep the users engaged on pieces of content that are displayed on the site; such content would then initiate a call-to action. So keep the content relevant, engaging and unique. Such content has the potential to be shared by users, which in turn brings additional traffic. It also helps build repeat users to the site.
8. Use a Mix of Content Types
Play around with different formats of content. Gone are the days when a standard format of website content was considered proper and acceptable. Depending on your target audience, adapt a certain degree of versatility in terms of content length and format. Develop and incorporate a good mix of short and long posts, headlines, data – driven content, video content, image and infographic forms.
9. Post on Professional Forums
LinkedIn, the most popular professional networking forum is a great platform to gain visibility for your website. Contribute valuable information and content on niche specific LinkedIn groups periodically. Alternatively, you can also respond to relevant queries on forums such as Quora and Yahoo Answers.
10. Launch a Newsletter
Don’t let your website visitors go away just like that. Request them to subscribe to your regular newsletters. Newsletters which talk about industry trends (and not just your business) have a good demand as users like aggregated content. If you can provide that, people would like to subscribe to it and you can generate traffic from the clicks from these newsletters. If bandwidth permits, you can roll out customized newsletters to suit the needs of different target groups. MailChimp and Paper.li can provide an affordable start to your email marketing programs.
Building traffic is a constant exercise. Monitor your traffic and make tweaks through free analytics tools such as Google Analytics, as these tools provide measurable metrics for your site’s performance.