How to Get Traffic to Your Website in 5 Simple Steps
So, you have a brand new website that looks great and functions just the way you want it to — Awesome!
Time to sit back, relax, and watch the sales roll in! Right?
Well, not exactly…
The truth is, getting a new website is only the beginning — the hard part starts once your website goes live.
If You’re Wondering How to Get Traffic to Your Website Fast, I Have Some Bad News — There’s no Magic Bullet
Websites don’t passively attract customers right off the bat. It takes consistent effort through different marketing techniques to get traffic to your website…
There’s no magic bullet that increases your website traffic quickly from nothing.
However, by using a strategic approach, you can start driving traffic to your website and, over time, increase and maintain high traffic levels.
There isn’t just one thing that’s going to make this happen. But, if you follow these 5 steps, you will, slowly but surely, start to increase your website traffic. If you’ve set your website up correctly, this will ultimately increase your lead generation and, eventually, result in some sales.
Here are those 5 steps to drive traffic to your website:
- Optimize Your Page Structure for SEO
- Implement a Content Marketing Strategy
- Step Up Your Social Media Marketing Game
- Utilize Email Marketing
- Incorporate Pay Per Click Advertising
Step #1 — Optimize Your Page Structure for SEO
Ranking high in search results is the best way to attract more website traffic, and structuring the static and ongoing content on your site properly is crucial for this approach.
Search engines have a specific way they read websites and interpret the data. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to do that.
The rules for setting up static pages is pretty straight forward, but this information also applies to ongoing content (like your blog posts, which we’ll discuss in step 2):
Use Page Title Tags
Page titles tell search engines what the page is about, and they display at the top of your link in search results. Google typically displays 50-60 characters, so be concise with your wording.
Your title tag is one of the most important ranking factors for your content. In many CMSs (content management systems), like WordPress, your title tag is often the same as your H1.
Utilize Heading and Paragraph Tags
As discussed above, your H1 and your title tag are usually the same.
Don’t go crazy with H1s! Whether it be a static page or a blog post, you should only ever have a single H1 — don’t go adding them throughout your page as this can confuse search engines.
Less important information that you still want to highlight can be marked as an H2 or H3 — typically, subheadings get these designations.
The body copy should use the <p> or paragraph tag.
Write a Meta Description for Each Page
Meta descriptions display under your page title in Google searches. These short paragraphs tell people what is on the page — they’re really important because they’re the first place where you get to encourage someone to click on your link.
The current limit to what Google will display is 320 characters, so write your description to fit within that limit.
Once search engines can understand what your website is about, you are much more likely to be found by potential customers.
Once you have the bones of your content in place, you need to think about how you’re going to create lots of content that will attract visitors to your website. After all, increasing website traffic is all about putting stuff on your website that people want to look at in the first place.
For that, you need a content marketing strategy.
Step #2 — Implement a Content Marketing Strategy
We’ve covered content marketing and blogging in previous articles — content marketing stratmegies, in conjunction with the other methods listed in this article, are highly effective ways to increase your website traffic over time.
Generally speaking, content forms the basis of your website traffic generation strategy. Ongoing content sends your users to your static pages (the pages that generate leads for you). This often includes your contact pages or sales pages, which you optimized using the techniques described in step 1.
Content marketing is all about creating some form of content that people want to consume. If your goal is to generate website traffic, you need something on your website that will encourage people to go there in the first place.
The way you create that content is by digging through your own expertise and transforming it into information that people are looking for.
You are full of valuable information about your industry, and giving that information out for free can seem counterintuitive, but it’s the best way to establish yourself as THE expert in your category.
Think about it: What do you do when you want to learn something new? Do you find an expert and pay them to teach you? Possibly.
These days, most people turn first to the internet for information before deciding to hire an expert. You can learn just about anything for free from a thought leader these days.
And trust me, someone in your field is already giving out the information people are looking for. You only stand to gain by providing higher quality content than what your competitors are producing.
That content will attract visitors to your website, and those visitors then have the potential to become leads.
Two types of people will consume your content:
Person #1 — The Do-It-Yourself type
This person has the time and motivation to read through tons of information and apply what they learn. They are willing to deal with the frustration of building their own website (or fixing the alternator in their car, or rewiring their house, or learning how to hand-carve a bench, or anything else you can think of) all to save some money.
Good for them!
Learning something new is always worthwhile, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with this approach is a great feeling.
You don’t lose anything by helping this type of person. If anything, they may hit a snag and decide to call you for help. Or they may decide to hire you for a more in-depth project when the time comes.
This type of person is great for referrals.
They will be so excited to show off what they’ve accomplished, you can bet that they will tell everyone they know where they found the information.
Either way, you haven’t lost a customer by teaching them to solve their own problem, but you have generated traffic to your website and interest in your business.
Person #2 — The Hire-An-Expert type
This person doesn’t have the time to learn something new, let alone complete some project they are unfamiliar with.
This person does, however, do their research — and they have money to spend.
They like to be informed about the projects they are involved in, and they refuse to settle for anything but the best.
They want to speak with an expert with a high level of understanding, and they want to know that their money is well spent.
This is where you come in!
By providing high quality content, you have positioned yourself as the best-in-class. That’s exactly who this person will call first. When they consume your content and see that you know what you’re talking about, they’re going to be much more willing to open their wallets.Free eBook — 5 Things You Can Change on Your Website to Generate Traffic
Step #3 — Step Up Your Social Media Marketing Game
Now that you have all of this great content, you need to get it in front of people.
And where do people spend their time?
You guessed it — social media!
We cover different types of Facebook advertising and social media marketing techniques in these blog posts, but the important thing to remember is that these are channels for distributing your content.
The key is to catch people’s attention when they are ready to hear what you have to say — this can be tricky.
Sharing a post one time and forgetting about it isn’t a good approach. A few people may see your link, but they may not be interested at the time, so you’ll need to share it again and again.
Each article or blog post you write should be shared 20 or 30 times over the different social media networks that you’re active on.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+ are common places for businesses to share their content.
It’s easy to discount Instagram as a serious platform, but Redbird Natural Soaps became familiar with Commotion Art through our posting there — they went on to hire us to design their eCommerce website.
As an added bonus, social media activity has also been shown to provide an SEO bonus.
There’s no need to post on every social media platform — just pick two or three that you’re comfortable with and be consistent with your posting.
Be sure to interact with people who comment on and share your information! Social media can help drive traffic. The more active you are, the more likely you are to get a great deal of website traffic from social media. Your comments on social media often function as their own pieces of content, proving that you know what you’re talking about.
There’s nothing worse than companies who ignore people on their social media pages, and those companies often suffer for it. This is your chance to interact directly with customers. There’s nothing like offering a personal touch on social media to encourage someone to visit your website.
Step #4 — Utilize Email Marketing
Another great way to increase website traffic is through email marketing.
For better or worse, most people receive some type of email marketing in their inbox daily. The trick is to position yourself as a useful, welcome source of information.
No one likes being pestered daily to make a purchase, and nothing will get you filtered to someone’s spam folder faster.
Constantly bombarding people with your sales pitch comes off as needy and pushy, the exact opposite of what you want to be.
Much like social media, email should be used as a channel to distribute your content. Emails that include links to a few good blog posts, and the occasional sale or special, are ideal.
This will lead to increased website traffic over time. When your emails are useful and valuable, the people on your lists are going to click the links you send them and visit your website.
Building a healthy email list can be tricky though — people need a reason to sign up. You should consider creating a dedicated page on your website that explains, briefly, the benefits of signing up for your email list (optimized with the techniques described in step 1).
Depending on your business, rewards programs or free downloads can be useful tools to build your email list.
Just be sure to give something in return for someone’s email address — otherwise, they have no reason to hand it over, and your enrollment will be low.Free eBook — 5 Things You Can Change on Your Website to Generate Traffic
Step #5 — Incorporate Pay-Per-Click Advertising
All the methods I’ve described above generate traffic slowly.
Sure, these methods will build up traffic over time. But, generating traffic to a website that has no traffic in the first place is tough. Search engines see that no one is visiting, and they’re less likely to recommend your content compared to someone with a more “normal” level of traffic.
Thankfully, there are workarounds.
Here’s how to get traffic to your website fast:
If you’re looking for an immediate boost in website traffic, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is the way to go — there’s only one problem: Because you’re paying for that traffic, that traffic is unlikely to stick around once you stop the ads unless they’ve gotten hooked on the other forms of valuable content that you’re creating.
SEO and content marketing techniques take time to start working, but setting up an ad campaign through Google AdWords (or using another form of PPC) will put your site at the top of some search results and drive daily website visitors — this can be an excellent way to jumpstart your traffic and establish a base.
If you have good content, many of those visitors will return.
Some generals rules to follow with Google advertising:
Set up Your Advertising Campaign Through Adwords, Not Adwords Express
The Express version is stripped down, and the functionality is limited. Using the full version takes a little more effort to learn, but will be worth the time.
Set up at Least Two Ads Per Campaign You Create
As with all online marketing techniques, it’s best to experiment with multiple versions of anything you create to see what works best.
Keep Your Keyword Selection to About 20 Relevant Keywords Per Ad
Your ad will show in searches that include all of your selected keywords. Having too many will decrease your ad’s effectiveness.
Once your ad has been live for a couple of weeks, check to see how each keyword is performing. The underperforming words can be eliminated at that time, helping your ad to only show up in more relevant searches.
Specify Negative Keywords
This feature isn’t available in AdWords Express.
Negative keywords exclude your ad from searches that you don’t want to be associated with. It’s worth taking the time to check out the full version of AdWords to use this feature. It just makes your ads more effective.
For example, words like “free” and “cheap” are definitely words you want to exclude from your ads. More comprehensive lists can be found by Googling your industry along with the phrase “negative keywords.”
Set up Ads for Specific Landing Pages on Your Website
Commotion Art runs ads for website design and logo design that take people to those specific pages. Ads that take people to your home page can be good for brand identity, but advertising a specific product or service is typically more effective.
Remember to test different settings and adjust as you go.
Test, adjust, retest.
Increasing Website Traffic is a Team Effort
You may feel comfortable implementing some of these suggestions and driving traffic to your website on your own. We encourage you to do so.
But the truth is, an effective digital marketing strategy requires teamwork between yourself and an expert.
Some tasks, like design and development, are going to be very difficult to implement effectively if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Others, like social media management, can be handled with or without a pro. But, a pro is almost always going to do more for you in much less time than you’d be able to do yourself.
At Commotion Art, we want to empower our clients with the knowledge needed to promote their businesses well. If there are certain tasks that you want to keep in-house, that’s great — we’ll teach you how!
In addition to this article, we have a free eBook that will teach you how to get traffic to your website in the next week. All on your own!
Just follow the link below to get it now.Free eBook — 5 Things You Can Change on Your Website to Generate Traffic