By Valerie Wong
If you just finished creating a website, sorry to burst your bubble but that’s only half the battle. Getting people to know you created a website is the other half of it and, come to think of it, that’s exactly why you created a website in the first place. Now what? Everything is in place and the website is up and running, why are there no people to view your great content?
Getting traffic to your website may seem like a scene straight out of Mission: Impossible, but that wouldn’t be the case if you had a nodding acquaintance with simple concepts on how the internet runs. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website without breaking the bank.
1. Search Engine Optimization
SEO should sit at the center of your traffic strategy. That is the only way search engines will help you grab the attention of random users browsing the internet. SEO is the process of titivating your website to make it more attractive to search engines. It is a pretty wide topic but we will try to break it down for you in the most straightforward manner possible.
So, Google (and all other search engines, for that matter) uses a sophisticated algorithm to know what your website is all about and discern the relevance of your content for a particular search phrase. The point of SEO is to get the algorithm capturing the exact generic searches you are targeting. If your website appears among the first pages of Google’s search results following a search, it means you are optimized for that search.
High ranking web pages will usually bear several or all of the following ranking signals:
- High quality content. They say going up Google’s rankings is nothing compared to staying up there. One of Google’s ranking factors is the traffic that comes to your site and the amount of time they spend in there, i.e. the bounce rate.
The people who visit your website have some say on how it is going to rank in the future. So, while working to impress the search engines, spare some energy for the humans.
- HTML tags for the headings and images
- Mobile optimization
- Fast load time
- User data security. For example, uses HTTPS instead of HTTP
- Links from authority sites. Authority sites are websites that are generally ranked high by Google
2. Social Media Marketing
A little over two decades ago, social media didn’t exist, but now almost half of the world’s population is hooked on it. Statistics show that 3 out of 4 of Facebook users spend at least 40 minutes on the site every day. This means that the individual you are targeting with your content is most probably tapping away on Facebook as we speak.
Social media is probably the most effective way to create awareness about your brand to people who’ve never heard about you. With the help of target marketing, you can hone in on specific people on social media and entice them to check your content out.
Facebook is by far the most popular platform, so it is a nice place to start. Pinterest and Instagram are great for promotional videos and pictures. Twitter is effective for links but you need to occasionally alternate your content with other people’s stuff to kill the monotony.
3. Email Marketing
For existing users, social media may not work as well as email marketing. It is perfectly okay to be enthusiastic about finding new users for your website, but it should not be done at the expense of your current users. If someone gives you their email address, it means they are interested in your product or service.
But, this is the internet.
There are several other options elsewhere and loyalty cannot be guaranteed. Send newsletters, notifications about new posts, surveys about service quality, fun posts – anything to ensure they don’t have time to discover new websites with. Be sure not to email your list too often, though, as this may come across as spamming.
4. Guest Blogging
A guest post is content you post on someone else’s website or blog. Guest posts typically bear a link directing the reader of the article to your own blog or website for ‘more of the same’. Reaching new audiences is the aim of this kind of post, so it is better that you stick to informative, independent content instead of riddling the post with links or promotional messages.
Choice of a website is always very important in guest blogging. Ensure the website you are investing your energy on serves the same audience as you. Also, they should preferably be of higher authority in your niche than your website.
5. Recycle Content
As a blogger, you could be tempted to concentrate solely on new posts, paying little attention to your old content or disregarding it altogether. Remember, your blog is growing by the day, and content you put up a month ago may not be getting the same attention as what you posted more recently.
Reposting your old content not only saves you the hassle of having to create new posts all the time but also ensures new traffic and people who were not there when you first published it get to view it. More views lead to more shares and consequently more traffic. Google’s PageRank loves that too.
6. Utilize YouTube
YouTube is the second most popular website in the UK. Overlooking this platform would be a massive mistake.
Videos have become an extremely popular way of marketing products and brands online. Many bloggers don’t see this as an opportunity to reach new audiences in view of the fact that their blogs are not for visual content. Well, videos should not be seen as substitutes but additions to what is in your blog. All YouTube videos have description sections in which you can insert links to your website. You can direct the links to specific webpages with similar content or offer a resource to people who have watched the video.