If your website has only ten recorded clicks (and all of those clicks are you), it can be pretty frustrating. When you run an eCommerce site, it’s vital to get good traffic. Each pair of eyeballs is a potential customer who’s dying to put money into your bank account. Think of all the people who would happily buy from your website, if only they knew it existed. But if you want people to visit your website, you need a great SEO strategy.
In a second, we’ll get into the actual nuts and bolts of getting more traffic, but first, just so we know we’re on the same page…
What’s website traffic?
Website traffic is the number of users who visit your website or a specific page on your website in a certain period.
Detailed web traffic analytics also tell you things like how many of your visitors were first-time users and how many were returning, how long your visitors stayed on each page, and how quickly they clicked out of your website.
You can’t develop an effective marketing strategy without knowing these things. They help you figure out exactly what’s working and what isn’t.
How website traffic is measured
You can measure website traffic by using a tool that analyses your web server’s log files, or you can use a traffic-measurement service, or you can use a database to store visitors’ information each time they click onto your website, or, assuming you don’t intend to spend all your time researching website traffic monitoring tools…
You can choose a great web hosting service that will help you monitor your website traffic so you can figure out how to use SEO to get more of it.
What’s SEO and what does it have to do with getting more web traffic?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Most people who visit your website are probably going to stumble on it while looking up something else. For example, if you sell warm, cozy socks for mice, they might find it after doing a quick search for “How to keep mouse feet warm.”
Among other things, search engines list websites in order of relevance. So, if your website is the only one of its kind in the world, congratulations! You’ll probably be at the top of the search results page every time. And you don’t even have to know what SEO means.
But if you do something other people are already doing, like, say, running an eCommerce website, you need to make an actual effort if you want to rank high on the search results page. Search engine optimization means actively working to increase the chances of your website showing up in the first couple search results when your customers type a query into the search bar.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a tech genius to use these thirteen easy, surefire ways to get more traffic for your website:
1. Use the words your customers use
If you’re a toothpaste company, it’s all well and good to write an article called “How to Treat Halitosis”, but if your customers are more likely to type “How can I get rid of garlic-breath?” and couldn’t spell “halitosis” if you dangled them off a cliff, good luck getting anyone to find your website.
How do you figure out which words your customers are using?
With a bit of digging, you could find website SEO tools online, but with something as important as your marketing strategy, it’s best to get help from people who know what they’re doing.
Yourwebsite’s SEO analyzer uses SEO crawlers to give you the targeted keywords your customers are using. When you know what your customers are looking for, you can use the exact words they’re typing and reel them right in. The SEO analyzer even lets you silently spy on the keywords your competitors are using, so you can figure out how they’re getting website traffic. (Don’t worry, this is all kept super private. Nobody will know you’re being a Sneaky Sneakersson.)
2. Get an SSL certificate
An SSL certificate might be your secret weapon to getting more web traffic. Google takes is serious about cybersecurity, so when you use an SSL certificate, you rank higher in search results.
3. Build a healthy email list
When you have your visitors’ email addresses, you can send them notifications when you post new content on your website (or when you have a new product you want them to buy)!
In a perfect world, you could just ask nicely, and your visitors would gladly hand over the keys to their precious inbox, but we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in the same world as mosquitoes and spam mail.
People don’t just give out their email addresses willy-nilly.
So how do you get access to your visitors’ emails?
The easiest way is to give them something they want in exchange for their email address.
This could be something like early access to sales, occasional discounts that are open only to the people on your email list, or a useful ebook. (Feel free to use your creativity to combine these or to come up with an entirely new reward!)
4. Answer questions on popular online forums
The most popular ones will change from time to time, but you’ll know which ones they are. Type any question into google and you’ll see a couple question and answer forums pop up. The ones that come up more often are the most popular ones. Right now, that’s Quora, but you can also give Yahoo! Answers a whirl.
Search these forums for a question you can answer or a problem that your product or website can solve. Give a helpful, detailed answer, then leave a link to your website, so people can look up your website for more solutions to their problems (and hopefully even buy some of your products).
5. Slay social media
Your website can’t be your only online presence. If you want people to visit your website, you can’t always stand around like a shy teenager waiting for them to come to you. Sometimes you have to go to them.
This means having a strong social media presence.
Make videos, tweets and posts that advertise your products and your website. The funnier, more intriguing, or more useful these are, the more likely it’ll be that visitors will click through to your website.
6. Include Click-to-tweet links
Find a short, snappy sentence in your blog post and invite readers to click to tweet it. People tweet things that will make them look smart, knowledgeable or funny, so make sure you include lots of tweet bait in your articles. This way, your readers will share your articles for you. Free advertising!
7. Ride the wave
Don’t try to go against the tide by writing obscure articles that nobody else is writing. (Sometimes there’s a very good reason nobody else is writing them!) Look around. What are people up in arms about? Microtransactions? T-shirts with low cotton content?
Don’t try to force people to care about the content you want to make. Figure out what people already care about and then write content about that.
8. Beef up your headlines
You’re trying to get customers, not publish a thesis. So, write like it.
Unless you know for sure it’s the kind of thing your visitors like, don’t write technical, drawn-out headlines. Write tantalizing headlines that make people laugh or wonder, so they click on your website for more.
This doesn’t mean using clickbait (which can backfire really quickly). But you do need to find the most interesting way to write your headlines.
9. Guest blog and get guest bloggers
When you collaborate with other websites, you get some of their web traffic. That’s a whole new group of people who might otherwise never have heard of you.
People trust their frequently visited websites the way they trust their best friends. Appearing on someone’s favorite website is like being vetted by their best friend. This makes them more open to seeing what you have to offer and hearing what you have to say.
10. Link to your own articles
Remember before, when we said that part of web traffic is how long a visitor stays on your website? Well, visitors stay longer on your website when they have more things to do once they get there.
The easiest way to keep visitors on your website is to link to other useful articles on your website, so your visitors keep clicking again and again and again.
11. Make sure your site is optimized for smaller screens
Most people don’t have only laptops anymore. People view your website on all sorts of screens. Your loyal longtime visitors might put up with a janky-looking website on their mobile, but if your text comes up scrambled and weird-looking on small screens, first-time visitors will clutch their pearls and click away in horror. So, make sure your site looks great on screens of all sizes.
12. Write meaty content
It’s not enough to have a snazzy headline. You need to make sure that when visitors actually read your article, they get lots of useful information. That’s why clickbait isn’t a great long-term strategy. It might get you some eyeballs in the beginning, but over time, it teaches people not to trust you.
If you have a reputation for writing clickbait-y titles and articles that don’t have much substance, your web traffic will grind to a halt.
13. Jazz up your website
If your website looks like it somehow got stuck in a time loop in the 90s, you’re not going to have many visitors. Websites have gotten faster and prettier since the era of dial-up internet.
So, your website shouldn’t only be useful; it has to look great, too.
And there you go! Thirteen surefire ways to get more website traffic.
Now that you know how to increase your web traffic, don’t feel pressured to try all of them at once. If you do that, you’re going to end up getting overwhelmed, and you won’t do anything at all.
So, start with the first three and work from there. Soon, your website will be bursting at the seams!