8 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website
So you have a website. Now it’s time to get people to engage with it! When it comes to building a community and generating interest in your website, you need traffic—an inflow of internet browsers who find and click on your content. Luckily, there are lots of steps you can take to get your website discovered. Here are 8 solid ways to increase your traffic!
1. Optimize For Speed & Mobile View
It feels silly kicking off our list with something technical, but it is essential to start off with the right tools. Your readers aren’t going to sit around waiting for your website to load. They’ll click out of the page and move on to someone else’s site faster than you can say “competitor.”
First, check your site speed. If you want to know your speed score or get any additional tips, use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool.
Second, embrace mobile. People spend at least three hours a day on their tablets or phones. Your website needs to look good on a small screen. WordPress plugins help create versions of webpages that have been optimized for mobile:
- WPtouch Mobile Plugin
- Jetpack by WordPress (there’s a theme for mobile option baked in)
2. Know Your Niche & Target Strategically
You have your interests and passions, and that’s awesome. Make sure there’s an audience for it, or change direction to meet the closest audience to what you’re going for. Ex: You love hiking and skiing, but your ideal audience is interested in skiing. Also, readers are more likely to keep returning to a website that is specific and has something relevant to say and is enjoyable to read.
Here are tips to strategically reach your audience:
- Find your peeps and engage. Spend time in online communities where your target audience lives. Understanding your audience will greatly help you build referral links from relevant websites, too! Post blog comments or links when appropriate. Leave comments on other blogs. Don’t be spammy. Offer to write for other bloggers and be their guest and for them to be your guest in return. In both cases it will drive more traffic to you.
- Use Google Analytics. Once you know where your audience lives, use Google Analytics to see which websites the referral traffic is mostly coming from.
- Go evergreen and do it more often. This means creating content that won’t become irrelevant over time. Ex: A blog about the Grammys coming up next month vs. the best songs that never won a Grammy. The best content also meets a specific need. You know what your audience wants and loves. Give it to them. Either make it funny & cool or educational & useful. The goal is to create content your audience will want to link to and share. And the more of it you create, the more traffic you’ll get to your website. Update your blog at least twice a week to help drive more traffic to your site.
- Get your content in niche newsletters. Contact the editors. Only reach out with your best content. A great relationship with an editor is key. This will come with time.
- Ask (in a non-spammy way) for more traffic. Humans respond to a CTA (call to action). Ex: Simply ask for a retweet.
If you’re struggling to find a topic that will get enough eyeballs, enter a relevant keyword into Ahrefs’ free keyword generator tool and switch the tab to Questions.
3. Write Catchy Blog Titles
Blogs are a great way to drive traffic to your website. Titles are equally important to the body of the blog because the reader will just move on if the headline doesn’t capture their attention or interest. Get crafty. The best titles either promise a solution or promote a big reveal. They compel a “click.” You’ll get views if you’re matching your title to popular searches like “best workout for triceps,” but that’s not enough. Your competition is doing the same. What will make you stand out? Here are some tips:
- Specificity. Instead of “Tips on How to Get Dates” try “How To Get More Than One Date A Week.”
- Create curiosity. Make them click. Ex: “How to Create the Perfect Blog Title.” It begs the questions: A perfect blog title? Does that exist? I need one. Let me check it out.
4. Incorporate Keywords and Make Sure You’re Matching Search Intent
Billions search Google every day. Keywords are the linchpins of SEO. Have a keyword strategy for every page on your site. Here are some basics:
- Have one key phrase for each webpage. Use that phrase in the title, the headline, at least twice in the content, in a featured image, and as part of the link to the page. This helps Google to know what your page is about, and in turn leads to more traffic to your site.
- Use long-tail keywords. This is any search phrase of 3+ keywords. The only chance you have of obtaining a top SERP (Search Engine Results Page) spot in Google is targeting a long-tail keyword. Ex: “health drink” is too broad and general but “health drink on a budget” gives you a much higher chance at ranking. Can’t decide which long-tails to use? Put your finalists into the Google Keyword Planner to see which phrases drive the most traffic, then pick ones that have high volume and low competition. Google will even make suggestions! Lastly, create your content around your final long-tail. Which brings us to:
- Match search intent. You will rank high on Google if you create content that will match the most relevant search from your audience.
5. Include photos and create shareable images
It’s proven that photos and visuals in websites and blogs boost page session times and readership. If you can, include keywords in the Alt image tag on the image or photo. This will boost SEO (search engine optimization) for your site. Remember copyright laws, you can locate royalty-free images from sites like Clipart.com.
Create shareable images. Your audience may want to share your website or blog images. To make this okay, create royalty-free images with tools like Canva, and if you have the budget, use top designers on marketplaces like 99Designs. Or you can simply take your own photos on your phone.
6. Use Links
Whenever you give a shoutout to another company in your post, link out to that company’s page. That company may link back to you. It’s just good business. Readers also notice when someone plays fair and is even (seemingly) selfless. Give more than you take and you’ll probably end up taking more than you give. The way of the universe.
Internal links. These are links from one page to another but within the same domain. As long as it’s relevant, a link to those pages can help improve their performance in the search engines.
Build links. There are multiple ways to build links, but one way is guest blogging, meaning writing for other blogs. Use these opportunities to link back to your (relevant) blog posts.
Social media. Find out which platforms your communities live on. Ex: Facebook groups, Slack channels, or Discord servers, etc. The audience is already interested! Just don’t be that spammer. Before you promote, first join, study the members, their interests, learn the site’s “culture” and rules.
Build an email list. You get search traffic when you rank on google for your target keywords. You’ll get more traffic on future posts if you can get those people to subscribe to your email list. You may rank even higher on Google if some of those people link to your posts.
Create a newsletter to showcase your blog posts. Those emails you just collected? Send weekly or monthly emails featuring your best content. The best part: these users already know your blog, which means they’ll now explore the rest of your site once there.
Start with a give-away: a free product, course, etc. Even have an event, such as “Free (insert product here) Tuesdays” where you give away prizes for comments and shares. Get companies to sponsor these promotions or donate.
Here are some more quick tips on promoting:
- Promote your blog in your email signature and your bio in any online profiles.
- Run Ads. This is the most direct way to get more traffic to your website. You will instantly get traffic if you pay for ads on platforms like Facebook, Quora, and Twitter, and use display advertising on relevant websites.
- Add Video. Maximize the impact of your written content with short videos that are entertaining but also informative.
8. Refresh, Republish, & Retweet Past Content
Every time you share a new blog post link, a good portion of your audience will miss it. Don’t be shy about sharing past content. As long as it’s relevant, readers won’t care. Repeat your tweets. Rewrite your posts. Republish them. Especially if it didn’t rank or land well the first time. Maybe you’ve improved as a blogger, too. Either way, it’s a smart marketing strategy.
Bonus tip: Have fun with your website. If it feels like Mr. Incredible selling insurance, your vistors will know. But if you feel the passion that made you want to start a site in the first place, your viewers will feel it, too.
As always, hit us anytime with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.