If you are going to the effort of building a website, I’m going to assume that you want people to visit it. So even before beginning to create your website (or if you’ve already built your site, then do it now!), it’s important to think about and plan for how you are going to get traffic to your website.
These are the main Acquisition Channels – or traffic sources – in Google Analytics:
- Organic Search – visitors who come to a website from an organic search engine result, e.g. google.com
- Direct – visitors who know a website’s URL/domain and type it directly into their browser to visit your site (Direct traffic may also have bookmarked a website link, or have clicked on it from an email sent directly to them, not a marketing email)
- Referral – visitors who click on a link from another website that links to a website
- Social – visitors who come to a website via a link shared on social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc)
Depending on what type of digital marketing you are doing, you may also see traffic from:
- Paid Search – search engine ads, like Google Ads or Bing Ads
- Display – banner ads that link to your website
- Email – visitors who visit a website by clicking on a link in a bulk marketing email that links to a website
(You may also see “(Other)” which occurs when Google Analytics doesn’t know how to assign traffic to one of the default channel groupings).
So how do you get this type of traffic to your website? Here are 10 ways to get traffic to your website:
1. Optimise your website for search engines
Organic Search traffic – visitors from search engines – are an important part of attracting new visitors who might now know about you or your website. Often they are searching in search engines like google.com and ideally you would like your website to show high in search results for a relevant keyword search query.
For example, if you have are a family-focused travel blogger, you might want your website to show for search queries such as “best resorts for families” or “family-friendly vacations”.
Search engine optimisation – or SEO – is quite a detailed area and one that you should learn more about if you are serious about having a successful website, but here are a few tips to get you started with attracting website traffic from search engines.
Know and use relevant keywords.
Be realistic and think about what types of keywords you want your website to search for. Try and make them as specific and relevant as possible. There are billions of websites on the internet, and if you’re starting out as a travel blogger, it’s pretty ambitious to expect your site to rank number one for the term “travel”.
Think about your niche and put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What types of things are they likely searching for? Long-tail keywords (keywords with three or more words in the search “phrase”) are often less competitive because they are more specific.
Build a list of relevant long-tail keywords, and use these in your content, but in a natural way. By “use” I mean:
- Include them on your page or blog post titles
- Include them in the page or posts “meta” description (this doesn’t directly impact search engine rankings, but is a factor for enticing people to click on your search result)
- Include them in the actual text on your page or post, but again, do it naturally rather than keyword “stuffing”
- Write regular, high-quality posts about your topics, that include your keywords alongside relevant, great quality content that features your keywords, a significant factor for SEO is high-quality backlinks (see below).
2. Seek relevant backlinks
As mentioned above, high-quality backlinks are a significant factor for SEO, but they are also important because these links that come to your website from other websites (i.e. a link back to your site) can bring visitors to your site as well!
Links between websites are also an important way of connecting websites throughout the internet and is part of why we refer to it as the internet or “web”.
The important thing to keep in mind with your backlinks though is to make sure they are relevant.
You don’t want to just be asking your friends and family to link from their website to your website for the sake of it. If the links are relevant, people might click on it, but if they then find out the website is about another topic entirely, or not what they expected, they are likely to leave.
While we are talking about how to get traffic to your website, we also want it to be the right traffic, and for those visitors to stick around.
So think about other people or organisations in your industry that might be relevant to link to your website. If you are part of an industry group or membership, they may offer a directory listing that includes a link to your website.
You will need to think about what’s in it for them as well, rather than just ask for a link. Guest posts – like this one – on other people’s websites are a great way to get your name and knowledge out there, providing great content in exchange for a link back to your website.
Some websites will also link back to partners, clients or suppliers via a list of logos, testimonials or case studies.
Think about what you can give or offer someone else to make it easy for them to agree to link to your site.
3. Get social!
So many of us are getting most of our information from social media these days. We rely on scrolling to our feed to bring news and information that interests us to our fingertips, and the same can work for getting traffic to your website as well.
The unfortunate truth is most people won’t visit your website everyday… but they will likely visit Facebook, Twitter or Instagram every day (even multiple times a day!)
Know who your audience is and what social media channels they are likely to use.
Set up social media channels for yourself or your business or brand (depending on what suits best) and in addition to including the link to your website in your bio or about information, you can share links to your website.
Don’t ONLY share links to your website though. Remember, it is SOCIAL media, so you need to be sociable and engage in the conversation there as well. If you are creating regular, interesting blog content or useful resources, people will be happy to see that information in their social media feeds, but don’t just post sales-y updates that are begging for visits, as that is not going to do you any favours.
4. Build an email list
Sending regular emails are another great way to bring visitors back to your website, especially if you are regularly updating your website with new content.
You can use a free email marketing system like MailChimp to set up a list and subscription form that you can not only include on your website but also share through your social media channels or a direct link to the subscribe form.
It’s good to have a plan for what type of emails you are going to send, how often, and with what information. Both for yourself, but also your subscribers, so you can let them know what to expect when they are signing up.
5. Make use of Google Ads
Depending on your budget and website goals, you may want to invest in Google Ads to attract new traffic to your website.
Google Search Campaigns can be a great solution when you want quick results from search engines. Again, you need to know the relevant keywords, but rather than waiting for your website to optimise in search engines (which isn’t always immediate) you can get instant results with the paid Google Ads that sit at the top and bottom of organic search engine results.
You can also use Google Ads to run display campaigns (banner ads on other websites) and YouTube video ads that all link back to your website.
6. Give people a reason to keep coming back to your website
We’ve touched on this a bit, but part of getting traffic to your website is giving them a reason to visit your website. Think about the websites you visit regularly. What makes them appealing?
This is also about knowing your audience, and what they want. Having a content plan for what types of new content you are going to add to your website and how often is a big part of ongoing website success. Make it realistic as well. It’s better to commit to publishing one high-quality blog post per month, than struggling to get one decent one out per week.
And in addition to blog posts, you could also consider content such as:
- Case studies
- Resources such as downloads, ebooks, checklists, tips, advice etc.
Regular, fresh, interesting content is what will keep people coming back to your site – and encourage them to tell others to visit as well. It also helps with your SEO, and gives you information to share on your social channels and in your emails, so win-win!
7. Make your website shareable
Get others to do the work for you and not only create a website that people want to visit and tell others about, but can easily share as well.
Adding social sharing plugins to your pages or posts are an effective way of encouraging and making it easy for your visitors to share your website with their social networks.
8. Network and be active online
Building your own reputation and profile online is useful for attracting traffic to your website, and a large factor of this is networking.
In addition to building your own awesome website and content, take time to visit others in your industry.
Read and share their posts, comment on their posts (comments often have the ability to leave a link to your website). Get involved with relevant one groups where you can share resources (which may be linked to your website), but also genuinely help others which will build your reputation as an expert in your field, so people are likely to seek you out or recommend you and your site.
9. Provide guest content for other websites
I mentioned this when we talked about backlinks, but it’s worth mentioning again. Providing guest content for other websites is a great way to get traffic to your own, especially if the audience on those websites is larger than yours is (for now 😉)
Pick the right websites, provide helpful, relevant content – either once-off or ongoing – and make sure your pieces include a link back to your website (for SEO “juice” make sure the links are “follow” rather than “no follow” as well).
10. Include your website on marketing collateral
It might seem obvious, but it’s sometimes forgotten… If you want people to visit your website, make sure they know it exists!
There are oodles of places you can promote your website domain, both online and offline:
- Business cards
- Brochures and flyers
- In your email signature
- On your social media channels“Think of ALL the places you can feature it to make sure people know it’s there.”
Try to have a short and simple domain name as well that you can tell people for them to easily remember.
This might seem like a lot, but over time you can easily start to integrate these techniques into your website management so that they become second nature, and help bring a stack of relevant traffic to visit – and stay on – your website. Good luck!
This post was originally published on the Scout Digital Training website.