All websites owners have asked themselves or are still asking themselves these questions: “How can I promote my website? “and ” How can I drive traffic to my website? “. With the growing number of websites and blogs on the rise every day on the web, competition is getting bigger and the rules of the game are changing accordingly. We will therefore see in this article the different web strategies that aim to attract quality traffic to your website by following a simple schema; one that too few people know to follow.
Step 1: Carry out an audit of your website
An audit is simply an inventory of your website used to identify all the factors that can be improved upon. You can initially perform a technical audit in order to get a list of points that reduce the performance of your site and prevent you from appearing at the top of search results on Google.
This technical audit will concern the loading speed of your pages (which has a strong impact on the ranking of your site and the number of visitors you receive) on all media (computers, phones, tablets) and all browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Safari, Chrome, etc.). This audit will also allow you to identify duplicate content (which is extremely frequent), broken links (404 errors) and the organization of your content (including your headings h1, h2, h3 etc.). The technical audit will really allow you to analyze your website in the same way that a search engine does in order to better judge it in terms of quality.
Another form of audit highly recommended is the user experience audit. Indeed, many SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialists simply carry out a technical audit of a website because they know that the optimization of the identified factors already allows us to see a clear improvement in search results. Certainly, audited websites will receive more visits because they will be better referenced, but this does not mean that the visitors will stay on the site; even less that they will understand the action that you expect them to carry out.
A user experience audit thus takes its full meaning in that it consists of putting yourself in your visitors’ shoes to identify all the factors that can hinder their act of purchasing or any other action you want them to undertake. In general, the people who have participated in the creation of a website are often less objective than an outside auditor as these audits deal primarily in identifying what has been “badly done”, quite often due to lack of knowledge. So it is not uncommon to hear the owner of a website express astonishment in the following way: “I do not understand. My site is great and yet people do not stay on it. I do not sell as much as competitor’s website which is way worse than mine!” If there are other websites similar to yours and customers use them more, the problem surely comes from your website.
This first step therefore lets you start to generate traffic to your website as a technical audit will improve your place in search results. Furthermore, auditing users experience will help you convert and above all retain your visitors. Do not forget that the two dimensions to consider when evaluating traffic to your website are the number of new visitors (number of people who visited your site for the first time) versus the number of visitors who have already visited your site. The former measures the capacity of your website to become known and develop its audience, while the latter measures the satisfaction of your visitors vis-à-vis the content you present.
STEP 2: Make your website known
As you may be aware, there are many ways to publicize a website. However, some methods may not apply to various types of websites/business sectors; and what worked yesterday may not be as effective today. We will therefore review some commonly used methods to generate traffic while commenting on their effectiveness.
So as to get immediately to the heart of the subject and to speak directly about what makes things complicated, back links are links placed on external sites (if possible related to the same theme of you website) that point back to one of your pages. Long considered the most influential factor in positioning websites in search results, SEO specialists have used them and even abused them to the point that Google has had to put in place frequent checks and an update to its algorithm in order to counter artificial links building. This artificial practice, also called “Outreach”, is therefore to be used with great caution. However, its effectiveness is always proven so a strategy using back links (even at a basic level) should be considered if you want good SEO. Click here to find out more about our SEO services.
This method consists of optimizing your own site for search engines (SEO). The goal is to apply all the instructions allowing the robots to correctly understand your content and thus offer it to the Internet users in a coherent way. Indeed, a robot does not function in the same way as a human being. For example, if you insert the image of a puppy playing with a ball, Google’s robots will not be able to “read” the content of the image if you do not fill in the “alt” tag explaining the content of the image to Google. The other example that is often poorly optimized is the main title of the pages. Each page includes a main title that must be enclosed by the <h1> </ h1> title tags. These title tags allow Google to understand your page titles, so that it can then best decide how your content will be presented to Internet users. This practice of using title tags is therefore strongly advised and should be the first thing optimized once you have carried out your SEO audit.
Lets say it right away: any “natural” (non-paying) traffic generation strategy relies on the quality of the content that you publish on your site. Your visitors use search engines to find content and a poor-content website cannot receive good SEO performance. To go back to the whole back link point, it is precisely because some sites based their SEO strategy solely on obtaining back links, but did create adequate content quality that Google had to sanction such practices. So, you will need to publish quality content on a regular basis (you can create a blog to handle this) if you want your site to be alive and continue to be well positioned in search results. If you do not know how to write content for search engines, our web editors can write your content for you: check out our page dedicated to writing quality content.
Share your content
Giving users the ability to share your content and engage in conversation by creating sharing links on social networks (or a short link to your content), will help you gain visibility and traffic. Your content needs to be highlighted and promoted to be visible. And the more your content is visible, the more traffic it will attract! There are several ways to promote and share your content. You can integrate sharing buttons on your content, highlight it in a stylish newsletter with a call to action button to your site, or ask your social media subscribers to share the content directly if they like it. This also helps you judge the quality of your content and get feedback on how to improve it. All practices aimed at promoting yourself by sharing your content are highly recommended.
Use the right keywords to optimize content
When you publish content, you create keywords that can be used to find you online. To generate more traffic, the content you create has to match your customers’ demand. You should therefore pay attention to the keywords your content is positioned on and target the ones that respond to your customers’ searches. Relevant content is more likely to generate traffic and be positioned better in search results.
Click-through rates by position on the first page of Google.com results
July 2018, Advanced Web Ranking.
We can see that on Google, the first 3 search results generate more than 60% of a query’s traffic, while the subsequent results are more rarely visited by Internet users. This leaves 2 possible strategies for your content. You can choose very popular keywords that have strong competition or acquire traffic on more targeted and less popular keywords that have little competition. The best method is to combine the two and have your site indexed on both highly searched generic terms as well as specific expressions and more technical queries. Your traffic will be then be driven by all search opportunities.
Consider local SEO
“Bikes in Montreal”, “Hairdresser near Prefontaine metro”, who hasn’t looked for services or products nearby? Most consumers look for products or services based on their geolocation. This may seem obvious, but local SEO is often not instinctive. Investing in local SEO allows your customers to find your products or services when they are nearby. The traffic generated by local SEO is therefore a more qualified and high-potential traffic. The goal is to attract the prospective customer either to your site or directly to your business.
With local search, Internet users have direct access to your business hours, your website URL, the directions to your company and your customer reviews. By displaying your information in local search results, you increase your visibility and help the user quickly locate you. This is an important factor that can make a difference in the Internet user’s choice.
Post your content on social networks
Social network management is becoming increasingly important for traffic generation strategies. Indeed, they allow you to offer your content outside your site, to reach more audience and to use the word of mouth principle through the way in which users share posts on various social platforms. Being present on social networks will improve your SEO as long as they provide a source of traffic to your site. As the amount of traffic on your site is a part of general SEO strategies, we can say without a doubt that social networks can positively influence the notoriety of your site and therefore your SEO. Be careful, however, that the social networks you choose are consistent with your business sector. For example, a plumber will surely be less successful on Facebook than a tattoo parlour. If you would like more information on this topic, you can read our article “Should I advertise on Facebook?” Or “Advertise on LinkedIn” to get an idea of the questions you should ask yourself before communicating on Social networks.
Publish on other sites
“Guest blogging” means to post an article on a site other than your own. The aim is to present your expertise on a given topic and thus benefit from the audience of the site that agrees to publish your article. If you are in good faith and your approach is natural, guest blogging is a great way to build your identity on the Internet. Beware, however, of the sites that offer guest articles and ask you to publish an article on your site filled with external links. You can be pretty sure that this is a link building strategy.
Join discussion groups
Get involved in discussion groups on social networks, blogs, or forums. Discussion groups are places where you can promote your company and your work. The purpose is to demonstrate your expertise in your field. But you need to interact without being a spammer. Don’t comment links to your site on all blogs and forums. Your answer should add value and help the person reading your comment. When a question or topic interests you, take the time to write a relevant answer and include a link to the page on your site that is most appropriate. Keep in mind the interest of your target group. If your answer appeals to readers, you will gain traffic and new visitors!
Advertise to increase your website traffic
If you are looking for a quick way to communicate with a specific target, online advertising is really the ideal solution (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads etc.). The beauty of online advertising (if well done) is based on the fact that we can specifically target the people we want to show our ads to. Unlike traditional forms of advertising (television, radio, newspapers), advertising on the Internet is very precise and allows for a quick return on investment (a single day can sometimes suffice!).
It is generally much cheaper than off-line advertising and offers greater flexibility (the possibility to modify your ads at any time, to increase or decrease your budget, or to change targets etc.). Do not be fooled by specialists who will tell you that you must invest at least $2,000 to get results. It is better to start on a more restricted area, to decrease your minimum budget and to test and analyze your results (especially when looking at the skills of your campaign managers)
Analyze your results
You will not be able to fully assess the impact of the steps outlined above if you do not take the time to analyze your results. Indeed, web marketing is a world of tests and result analysis; indeed, you can and should evolve your strategy by studying the behaviour of your visitors. Bringing visitors to your site is one thing, making them stay is another. It is therefore essential to build performance reports in order to follow the evolution of your results and modify your actions accordingly.
The advice given in this article will not allow you to reinvent the wheel (this was never the goal) but it will save you time lost by using ineffective and obsolete practices. Finally, the methods explained are only a series of logical reasoning that will necessarily bring you quality traffic. However, pay attention to the people you seek advice from because it is very easy to pass for an online SEO expert. One final tip when you select a web company: if you only understand half of the words coming out of their mouth, they are probably trying to confuse you…