More website traffic means greater opportunities to acquire new customers or clients. The number of visitors to your site represents opportunities for your business. Whether it’s having more impressions, generating highly qualified leads, more brand exposure, or building new relationships with clients.
Increasing the quality of traffic and visits to your site is crucial in increasing conversion rates and sales.
But here’s the issue. How do you work to increase website traffic to rank higher, gain more visibility and boost sales or gain clients?
Quality Not Quantity Traffic
The kind of traffic you attract to your website matters. What you want is high quality traffic. This is the kind of traffic that’s ready to convert, to sign up or to purchase.
Big numbers don’t always mean that they’re quality traffic.
For example, 5000 website visits from random people who just happen to click on your site isn’t the same as 500 visits from interested users who spent time reading and exploring your website. These people have already taken the time to click your site, which means you have an opportunity to persuade them to turn from a mere visitor to a potential customer — and this calls for targeted tactics.
Here are 15 effective ways to increase traffic and gain quality leads from your website.
1. Determine Your Target Audience
The first step in growing your traffic is to identify your audience. Before doing any optimization or internet marketing initiatives, your buyer personas should already be in place. So when you write any content, the copy will resonate with your ideal clients.
Buyer personas represent your clients or readers. Anticipate that you’ll have different buyer personas since your clients will differ.
- Do in-depth audience research. Buyer personas should be based on real data, not assumptions or Compile data on your existing clients or the audience you already have. Gather details like age, location, language, interest and spending patterns.
- Study their psychographics. Knowing the age, ethnicity, and employment status is crucial, but you have to dive deeper than mere demographics and aim to reach a broader audience by learning more about what drives your audience to make
2. Perform a Website Audit
An important factor in increasing your traffic is assessing your website, which will be done through a website audit or an SEO audit. The analysis will identify issues and opportunities in your site, presenting you with better ideas for website optimization.
It’s ideal to do an SEO audit a few times in a year, maybe quarterly, because it will allow you to adjust more successfully when consumer behavior or need changes. This way, you address any issues with traffic loss or drops in ranking.
Aside from giving a look into your website’s performance, an SEO audit provides you with:
- Action points to include in your website optimization strategy
- Data you can use to compare and measure performances
- A look at how your competitors are performing
- Information to drive better decisions
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Ranking high in the search engine results pages (SERPS) and driving high quality traffic to your website don’t happen by chance nor is it luck. It takes skill, timing, preparation and compelling content to land those coveted spots that drive traffic to a website.
Optimizing your website for search or what professionals call search engine optimization (SEO) is a must when you want your website to be visible, searchable and accessible to any potential lead.
In a nutshell, what SEO does is prime your website and tune it so that search engines, like Google, can crawl and index it the way you want it to. SEO also involves creating the right content and making sure that it adds value to users, while adhering to search engine guidelines.
More businesses are now seeing SEO as a competitive advantage, so they make it a point to get the right SEO agency to partner with to do it correctly. SEO follows the “do it right or don’t do it at all code,” in the sense that you’ll waste more resources if you do SEO wrong the first time.
There are four categories you need to optimize when it comes to SEO:
- On-Page SEO
On-page SEO covers everything that’s happening on your website and pertains to optimizing your own web pages for it to rank higher on search engines. It includes factors like content, keywords, URL structure, internal linking, title tags, meta descriptions and image optimization.
- Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to activities that are happening outside of your website, influencing your rankings in the SERPS. These include factors like backlinks, guest blogs, social promotion and mentions.
- Local SEO
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for local search. This is a powerful way to spread awareness to people in your area and most helpful for local businesses or establishments.
When writing content in any form, you have to keep in mind that you’re writing for both the readers and search engines. The readers, because you want to engage them and ultimately lead them to take the necessary action. The search engines, because they’re the medium that connects your business to the audience — and you want your content to be prioritized over your competitors.
4. Target Long-Tail Keywords
You may be aware that hitting short-tail keywords are important to rank your website. But it’s also hard to rank because they’re more popular. It’s for this reason that long-tail keywords are gaining momentum.
Short tail keywords tend to be very broad, too. For example, “black jeans” has a monthly search volume of 46,000 and it would take longer for a new website or small business selling black jeans to make it to the top ten of search results. Meanwhile, if you target a long tail keyword, like “black skinny jeans women,” it narrows down the search to 900 per month, which gives you more chances of ranking higher, translating to a higher traffic.
There’s also voice search technology to consider. People tend to use four or more words when using voice search, so targeting long tail keywords will be helpful in this case, too.
5. Update User Interface (UI)
Your website is the face of your business online. It should be backed by an efficiently designed user interface (UI). It should be user-friendly, responsive and modern.
Google values a user’s “average time on page.” This is the amount of time a visitor takes to browse your site. It gives the search engine the impression that your website has something valuable because it keeps a user engaged.
A good user interface makes for a good impression, and users are more likely to stay if they like what they see. If first impressions last, then you want your website to impress your visitors the moment they click on your link.
No matter what industry you’re in, make sure that all the elements in your website are aligned with the theme and color schemes of your brand, from the images down to the buttons used.
Pro Tip: Visit high ranking websites and observe what you like about them. Evaluate whether it suits your brand and see if you can do the same UI for your business.
6. Optimize Website User Experience (UX)
UX or the user experience defines how effective the design is in providing an enjoyable experience to your users. A great UX works closely with SEO in a way that poor UX will affect conversion rate and influence the traffic that an SEO campaign drove to a website.
If your site has poor user experience, it won’t rank in the search results and if it doesn’t rank, then people won’t see it, causing you to have less traffic to your website.
However, a great user experience means more users will visit your website multiple times and spend more time on it; they’re able to enjoy moving through multiple pages of your site with ease. This tells Google that your website is engaging and useful, causing your rankings to improve and more traffic to come in.
On a more technical aspect, Google constantly updates its algorithm and one of its many updates included Rankbrain in 2015. It combines the ability of the search engine to understand user intent (or what the user wants) and analyze a user’s journey as they navigate through the website. This means Rankbrain also evaluates a website’s relevance based on a user’s time on site and bounce rate.
What this means for developers is that strategically designing a website for enhanced user experience will result in users not only finding your pages beautiful but also engaging. Ultimately, resulting to higher search rankings and more traffic.
7. Have a Responsive Web Design
Optimizing your website for mobile devices is crucial because it’s now one of Google’s most important ranking factors and for good reason. More than half of the worldwide traffic comes from mobile devices (excluding tablets) so Google now prioritizes the mobile version of your website when it comes to indexing and crawling. This means that your website should not only look good on desktop; it should perform well on mobile, too.
Since Google dominates the search engine market with 92.05 market share, neglecting mobile-friendly website optimization can be detrimental to your organic search efforts.
You can use tools to test how mobile-friendliness of your website. The most popular one is Google’s own mobile friendly test where you enter your site’s URL and the results will tell you whether it passes the guidelines under its current algorithm.
8. Optimize Site Speed
Everybody wants a website with a quick loading time. You don’t want a potential client to click out of your site because the content took time to load. Google uses speed as a ranking signal because it found out that visitors spend less time when a site responds slowly.
Speed as a ranking factor is applicable for both organic search and paid ads.
You can use the following tools to evaluate the performance of your site:
- PageSpeed Insights – A tool by Google that shows the speed of your site together with some suggestions on how to improve
- Lighthouse – Similar with PageSpeed Insights but with added advice on how to optimize your website’s performance, SEO and other best
9. Secure Your Website with HTTPS
HTTS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is an internet communication protocol signifying that your site is protected and practices confidentiality of data between the user’s system and the website.
Google has announced HTTPS as one of its best practices and ranks websites that have adopted it.
Before HTTPS, sites were using Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP. However, as more websites populated the web, Google decided to increase the security so that users are more protected from malicious attacks. Hence, the addition of “S,” which stands for ‘Secure.”
HTTPS now provides these three main protections:
This ensures that users are secure while browsing your website, their activities can’t be tracked and their information can’t be stolen.
- Data Integrity
This states that any data you provided cannot be changed during transfer without being detected.
This proves that the user arrives at the intended website, securing user trust and increasing website authority.
When implementing HTTPS, obtain a security certificate and get it from a reliable certificate authority (CA) that offers technical support. Also, always check that your certificate is up to date.
10. Activate Google My Business
Google is known to create features that support businesses. One of the most important one to keep in your radar is Google My Business (GMB). It’s Google’s own business listing that’s also integrated into regular search.
This tool gives users the ability to quickly find information about businesses in their area.
For example, a user may want to find the nearest dentist, or a nearby Italian restaurant. Google’s algorithm is now updated so that it can detect the intent behind the user’s search and what information they need on those particular places. It then scans its own listings first, treating it like a business card,
and pulling up the ones that best match the user’s search. Google ranks establishments that have complete information, such as website, phone numbers, opening hours, address, images and reviews.
An optimized Google business listing gets 7x more visits than an incomplete one. Since your listing links to your website, this is a great way to get more traffic to your pages.
Here are some additional features and benefits of Google My Business that make it one of the best generators of quality website traffic.
- It’s free and easy to set
- It ranks you for searches relevant to your business and
- Increases your visibility on a platform with users who are already intending to get your products or
- Drives qualified traffic to your
- Engages customers and gives them the opportunity to leave This is a great opportunity to boost your reputation.
- Makes it easier for your establishment to get found on mobile
- Enables users to easily interact with your business directly in your listing — increasing the chances of engagement and obtaining new
If you own a property with a website, Google My Business will help you get more visitors to your page and through your door.
11. Get Listed on Online Directories
Another way to increase traffic to your website is to get listed in free online directories and review sites. An online directory is a list of businesses within a particular area, niche or industry. It’s one of the most effective ways local businesses can get found by users.
Although it’s crucial to optimize your website for search engines and rank for targeted keywords, it’s also important to get your business information into places where users are already searching for businesses like yours.
Getting your NAP (name, address, phone number) and website information on business listing websites, citation sites and directories will not only improve your visibility, it will also boost your site rankings in terms of SEO.
A backlink from a citation site or an online directory will boost your website’s domain authority. A high domain authority will tell Google that your website is reputable and trusted by other valuable websites. So make sure to take advantage of this opportunity.
Try these business listing sites:
- LinkedIn Company Directory
- Apple Maps
12. Be Active on Social Media
Social media is one of the most popular sources of generating e-commerce traffic. Use Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to promote blog posts and other useful pages on your website.
Here are some tips on how you can use social media to drive traffic to your site.
- No matter the platform, always drop a link to your website on your social media profile It’s the first page people see when they visit any account and it’s best to take advantage of this spot to promote your business or services.
- Promote your blog content on social media. Create a social media schedule that will include promotion for old and new You can be more creative with your old blogs and repurpose them by quoting different snippets or posting images that will attract your target user, ultimately leading them to your website.
- Make sure that your content is easy to enjoy and
13. Use Link Building
Link building is the process of having other websites link back to your site. The benefits range from improved branding, visibility from a new set of readers, added credibility, increased rankings and more website traffic.
Backlinks to Google are like word of mouth. If you get a credible site linking back to yours, it tells Google that your website is valuable, and deems it necessary for more people to view it.
There are many ways to build links. You can list your website on reputable online directories. There’s also guest blogging where you write a blog and publish it on another website so that they can link back to yours. Just make sure that the content is relevant and useful to their readers.
You can also partner with an industry influencer, do an interview and turn it into a blog post so that the influencer can promote the content to their audience. Another way is to ask an influencer to mention your business and drop a link to your website.
14. Be Active on External Mediums, like Quora and Reddit
If you see yourself as a good writer with industry knowledge that can help people, then being active on external mediums, like Reddit and Quora, will be equally beneficial for you and the users who are popping questions on these platforms.
The goal is to get your answers in front of as many people as possible. To do this, you have to write well, choose questions that get more than 50 views a week or answer popular questions that you’re certain your answers will appear on top.
If you’re a beginner on Quora, choose questions that are popular but haven’t been widely answered yet. Make sure that you’re adding answers that are unique and haven’t been mentioned yet by other people. Don’t forget to add links to your website in a subtle manner.
The more questions you answer on platforms like Quora, the more authority and views your answers will get.
Users and members of communities like Quora or Reddit are very smart and savvy when it comes to spams and clickbait links, so make sure that when you plug a link, they will find it useful.
15. Use Google Ads
Whatever industry you’re in, Google Ads is an effective way to drive traffic to your website. This is Google’s own advertising service that gives businesses the opportunity to display ads on Google search results. These are the ads you see on the sides of search pages (other search engines like Bing and Yahoo have this too.). With Google ads, you can have your website ranking on top of search engines results quickly. Unlike SEO where the traffic you gain is organic or not paid, Google ads require a pre-set fee that’s charged whenever a user clicks on an ad.
It’s a quicker way to get traffic pouring into your site. However, managing your paid ads campaign is important. You have to be savvy in knowing who to target and how to target them. There are so many paid ads services available that you have to know which one will work best for your target audience.
There’s so much opportunity in paid ads or Google ads. Because you’re paying for it, you have more control over the ad placement, the amount of space you want to occupy and the kind of ad you want to display. It enables you to have ads that show users exactly what you offer.
Ranking first for your targeted keywords, landing a coveted spot on the first page of search results and driving the desired number of traffic to your website are all achievable. But it will take time.
Focus on SEO first, optimize your website for search engines and make sure that your target audience will find it attractive.
Your website drives your digital marketing efforts. So it has to function well enough to ensure that all visits are likely to convert to customers. Although you don’t have to do all the 15 tactics mentioned here, it will certainly help to apply many and combine them to achieve your business goals. Do these consistently, and you’re bound to see those multiple clicks turn into revenues.
Paul Staten is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO/Managing Director of SEO Werkz. The first business he created is a computer repair company that still serves clients today, 15 years after its creation. SEO Werkz was featured in the Inc 500 list of 2016, and Inc 5000 in 2017 and 2018.