When it comes to operating a business with a website (i.e. every single one), pretty much everyone has the same question in mind.
“How do I build more traffic?!”
The idea amongst many is that the more traffic you have, the more clients you will get, and the more money you will make.
To a certain extent this is correct. If you turn 1% of your web traffic into clients, it’s obvious that 1,000 visits is going to get you more clients than 100.
Still, traffic should be the last thing you think about.
I’m fully aware a lot of you want to find where I live and burn down my house for saying that, but bear with me.
It’s pointless trying to generate web visitors if you don’t have a good digital marketing system set up and ready to go.
We don’t want to be spending money and time sending 1,000 people to a website that isn’t set up to turn as many people as possible into clients.
If you’re already well versed on this (or you’re just a particularly persistent fellow) let’s get started on how to generate more traffic to your website.
Search Engine Optimisation
For those who aren’t sure, SEO is the task of getting a website to appear higher in Google for relevant terms.
As a pre-warning, SEO is something that you should be doing but it may take a while before you see some real results from it. Even SEO agencies offer a 6-month wait.
Don’t be put off, though, as there are numerous studies that show the majority of people find out about potential services using Google over anything else.
Simply being found in Google is still the top ways for companies to be found online and this is supported by Venture Harbour’s lead generation article that puts SEO as the best lead generation tool for B2B companies in general.
Your minimum requirement should be to get your site on the first page for your target keywords. Ideally, you want to be in the top three or five results, as it will help you get the most traffic possible.
To do this, you need to completely optimise your website for Google.
So, how do you do this? Well, it all starts with your keywords. These are the words or phrases that your potential clients will search for when they’re interested in service similar to yours.
It’s your job to utilise your main keywords as well as possible on your target pages by optimising your titles, your content, your meta tags/descriptions; everything!
You need to find your relevant keywords before you start adding them to your site.
To do this, you can use Google Keyword Planner. It’s a really easy to use tool that’s completely free and helps you pinpoint the best keywords for your business based on your products/services and your target audience. When you’ve done this, you’ll have a handful of keywords ready to use on your website.
The next step is fully optimising your web pages for search engines.
What you need is a clear title for each page that uses your keywords. This is the title people will see when they search for something on Google and view the results.
As well as including one or two of your main keywords, it has to actually make sense, you can’t just make your title a list of keywords.
You also need to create a meta description of your pages, which allows you to include more information and keywords. This is shown as the brief description underneath the title in Google search results.
Don’t forget to do this as it can help make your keywords more effective and give you a little rankings boost.
Furthermore, it’s important to include keywords in your content too.
To start, you need to construct your web pages, so they’re more SEO-friendly. Instead of having a complete block of text with no paragraphs or spaces, you should split everything up with headings.
Within each heading you should include one or two of your keywords, particularly in the first heading – this is known as an H1 tag. Try and include your keywords throughout the main body of text too, as this helps ensure your page is relevant and easy to find for search engine bots, which contributes to a higher ranking.
Speaking of your content, it needs to make sense and be relevant to your business. Not only that, but Google prefers content that provides users with valuable information. Your content must be useful, or it’s unlikely to rank well.
Finally, there are two things most companies don’t realise are important when optimising their site. The first is your URL.
You should aim to set up your URLs so they include your keywords rather than just a long line of random text and numbers, which it may have been set to by default.
For an example, look at the URLs of the top competitors in your industry. They aren’t random, it makes complete sense and includes their top keywords. This little step can help you improve your ranking a lot.
The second thing is optimising your actual services page.
For example, if you have a list of different service options for other businesses to use e.g. content marketing, email marketing etc., you need to ensure they’re listed properly. The description of each item needs to be SEO-friendly and include keywords people are most likely to search for.
By applying all these tips, you will be able to get your website ranking higher in Google. Over time, this will allow you to start seeing more traffic on a regular basis.
Having a strong social media presence is another essential if you want to generate a large stream of traffic to your website. The larger your presence is within your industry, the more influence you have.
When you have the power to influence a lot of people, it makes it very easy to strategically direct them to where you want them to go.
However, it’s important to only focus on the social media channels that your audience are on. For example, if your service helps IT Professionals do their job better, the best place to find them is on LinkedIn and Reddit.
A lot of people make the mistake of focusing on channels their audience aren’t on. While this admirable, they are going to be very ineffective for traffic and building a list because their target audience simply isn’t there.
So, once you’ve decided on the right social channels for your company, you then start the struggle of actually gaining followers.
An easy way to start is to get all of your employees and family/friends to share your social media pages through their personal accounts. This means you reach a wider audience right away and people can decide whether or not they want to opt-in and like your page or give you a follow.
You should also follow influencers in your industry and then look to naturally share their content on social media.
This will get them to notice you, and make it more likely they’ll follow. Plus, by sharing other influencer’s content, you potentially tap into their followers too, which means you could gain even more followers for yourself.
As well as this, you need to have great social media content yourself. The easiest way to do this is to share your content that you’ve written that will help out your audience.
Also, make sure you stay up to date with current industry trends and topics too. This could be particularly difficult if you’re in a fast-moving industry such as fashion but, if there’s a certain topic everyone is talking about, make sure you’re talking about it, too.
The main point behind all of this, is that you keep your brand at the forefront of your target audience’s thoughts.
If you want to know how to turn this influence into actual traffic and emails, every social media platform lets you add a link to your website in your bio.
This simple link can get a few clicks each day and send traffic your way but, you should also post links to your site regularly as well. Draw your followers in with a call to action, and tempt them into clicking your link and visiting your content.
If you ever have any special offers or deals/discount codes, make sure you post about them on social media as you can start to turn your hard work creating an audience into actual revenue.
A way this could work is as follows:
Social Media > Content > Retargeting > Lead Magnet> Email
Once you’ve started to get this working for you, it’s then time to focus on growing your following even further and using your social media posts to direct people to your website.
The two above tips given were completely free, and you don’t have to pay a penny to get the most out of them.
However, it’s important to note that paid advertising is also out there and is most definitely growing in importance for all companies in general.
If you’ve never managed paid advertising before, it would be best to start looking at Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads and Google Adwords.
The main goal and challenge in paid advertising is finding the right criteria for your audience, so do your work trying to find out as much as you can about your ideal clients and customers.
For example, if you wanted to target entrepreneurs with an interest in passive income, you’ll need to know that they’ll most likely be fans of Pat Flynn. That sort of knowledge only really comes from research on your part.
Paid advertising costs money, yes, and it can be more difficult to get working for you. However, once you get it running well for you, the sheer volume of people that you can access make it comepletely worth your time.
Turning traffic into leads
If you want to start using any of the methods above, make sure you refer back to the very first thing that was mentioned in this article – your online marketing system.
In other words, you’ve got a successful system setup that helps turn your traffic into an email list and then customers or clients.
In relation to paid ads in particular, it’s important you’ve worked out the lifetime value (LTV) of your leads over time. This term refers to the approximate projected earnings a customer or client will bring you during their lifetime.
Once you’ve calculated the LTV of everyone on your email list, you can use paid ads to start getting people on your list for a lower cost than what they bring you in money.
As an example, let’s just say you figure out the average LTV of one person on your email list in the first month is £36. You now know that you can spend up to £35 to get someone on your list.
The good news about this is that paid ads can regularly bring in leads for under £5 each when being managed properly.
Over time, you can start to add in separate marketing campaigns with different email marketing series.
These will have their own individual LTV and, because of this, its important you look at your cost-per-lead on a campaign-basis, rather than as a general number.
In conclusion, if you want to build a large stream of traffic to your website, you need to consider all three things mentioned here. Work on SEO to make your website perfect for Google, increase your social media presence, and look into paid ads.
But remember, all of this advice is pointless if you don’t have a good lead generation system in place, to begin with. Work on that first, then follow the advice above.