You have a website that promotes your company, products and services. It’s beautiful. It has your branding, product list, offers, articles, white papers, perspectives and a best-in-class user experience. Now what? You need traffic! And not just any traffic, you need qualified, targeted traffic. How do you attract it? Here are the steps:
1. Know who’s looking for your site.
You want your site to be visible to users who know what they are looking for and may search directly for your company, brands or products. But you also want users who have no idea who you are or what they are looking for to find your site and engage. To reach both groups, you should define your ideal target audience first.
Gather as much data as you can. If you have current customers, you will probably already know their demographics. For prospective customers, if you have access, enable third-party data gathering tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar to see a more complete user picture, including their needs, habits and where they look for information most.
2. Understand how users are searching.
Thirty-two percent of all US online search traffic is controlled by these four websites (share of market shown)1:
- Google 70%
- Bing 33%
- Yahoo! 3%
- Ask .35%
How do you get your site in these top search engine and social media results? Remember, the desktop or laptop computer experience is only driving some of this search. These users are also using their cars, appliances, TVs, smart speakers and mobile devices to search the internet and social platforms. Natural language voice search (Amazon Alexa, for example) is expected to comprise 50% of all searching. That means it’s imperative your site is easy to use from devices other than the standard computer.
3. Follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices.
Make sure your site is built with a back-end foundation rooted in best practices for site crawlability. You can do this through SEO. This is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website by ensuring you are including verbiage and tags on your site that are more likely to show up in the search results. The search engine algorithms guiding them “crawl” sites to find text, tags and data that match all or some of what gets typed in the search bar.
By following these SEO tips, your site can be optimized to make sure your website is a top result when users start searching for you:
- Create a site map. (HTML and XML)
- Craft a clear URL.
- Optimize every page’s SEO meta title by using all the characters available (Shoot for 60 characters).
- Optimize the meta description on every page and strive for 144 characters.
- Page content should be a minimum of 300 words. Google never views less content as that as an “authority.”
- Remember page level authority determines your site’s rank on search engine results pages.
- Include outound links on every page.
- Include inbound links on every page.
- Write to a key phrase (powered by Google trends) and use it in the URL, first paragraph of the content, at least one headline, the alt tags and the meta description.
- The key phrase should be unique to the page. Don’t reuse it. Google should see the page as unique.
- Breadcrumbs are a great way to boost internal linking. A breadcrumb is a small text path, often located at the top of a page, indicating exactly where a user is on the site.
- Use large footer areas containing a site map to boost internal site links.
- All images need alt attributes. Alt attributes describe images through text, helping to boost a site’s search engine rankings. Don’t forget image file names are indexed too.
- Remember that Google buries poor experiences, slow sites, poor contrast, text that is too small and websites that don’t consider mobile first.
4. Boost traffic through SEM and paid advertising.
For search and keywords, focus your efforts on Google Ads, Bing, Yelp and Yahoo. For advertising on social media sites, we recommend platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and even Wikipedia.
Remember both SEO and SEM require ongoing attention. They work best when they’re done in response to current user trends, so careful monitoring is needed to see the best results.
5. Finally, test your site.
Would you be able to find it in a search? Don’t let content or your site go unattended. Treat your website like you would your car; it needs an oil change or a tune up the more miles you drive. The longer you let it go unserviced, the less efficiently it works and the more expensive it is to fix later.
Keep your website up to date, secure and consistently optimized based on your learnings and these site visibility tips.
2Nikolovska, Hristina. 25 Quick and Fascinating Voice Search Statistics. Retrieved from seotribunal.com, June 20, 2018.