Alright, let’s talk about your website. You might already have a showstopping design with beautifully written content. Or maybe some of those elements need a little work. No judgment either way.
After the world shifted to accommodate remote working and learning, digital channels have surged in popularity. When you look at your own business, you’re probably eager to drive people to your website and convert those “visitors” into paying customers. Admittedly, this process is easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged.
Here at Moxie, we can help you out with all of those goals (yes, even the design and content creation). In today’s blog post, we’re going to introduce you to four methods to boost your website’s authority and create more traffic.
You don’t want just any traffic, you want targeted traffic
We’d be doing our fellow female entrepreneurs a disservice if we didn’t add this little disclaimer. Neil Patel reminds us that “High traffic numbers can be a great thing, but if the traffic isn’t targeted, the numbers are just vanity metrics.”
For example, let’s pretend you have 1,000 people visit your website. None of them are really interested in your product or service, so they all leave without any plans to come back. Now let’s imagine you have 100 people from your target audience visit your website: 50 of them make purchases, 20 sign up for your newsletter, and 10 request a free sample. Even though 1,000 sounds better than 100 at a first glance, when you analyze the data, the 100 visitors were made up of paying customers and people who expressed interest in becoming paying customers.
That brings us to another point: If you aren’t tracking the traffic that comes in and out of your website, you have no way of knowing what’s working. And ignoring that data is doing yourself a major disservice. Make sure you set up tools like Google Analytics to measure the success of your efforts.
Remember, there are many avenues for driving traffic to your website. Some are through paid advertising on Google or social media platforms, but the four ways we’re discussing in today’s post don’t demand money from your budget, just a little time and understanding. Let’s dive in.
Search Engine Optimization
We could write a whole lot more about search engine optimization (In fact, we already did. It’s called: Stress Free Guide to SEO.).
Semrush happens to be one of our favorite resources, and they define SEO as “the art and science of persuading search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.” There’s a lot to unpack there, and SEO gets a reputation for being very complicated. But essentially, SEO is how your website communicates with search engines; your “rank” depends on how well your content’s message was delivered and how the search engine decides your content or website will help a user. So don’t overlook audience research.
Think of it this way: The search engine is trying to pull the best possible match for the user. In order to appear higher on the SERP (search engine results page), you have to know what your audience is searching for, and your website needs to have content that answers their questions. It also needs to function quickly across all devices to provide a positive user experience. There are quite literally hundreds of different tips and tricks that could help improve your ranking. It’s a full time job and impossible to memorize them all. But we’re going to keep it simple.
Let’s pretend you’re a small running shoe store and you’re struggling to get the word out. This is where blogging comes into play, with SEO in mind. Maybe you decide to write a few different articles. One could be a product comparison between Nike, Asics, and Brooks. (Because through your research, you found that users are searching terms like: “Are Nikes or Asics better running shoes?”) Another article could be “The marathon runner’s ideal shoe rotation” (Because you saw a ton of volume around the search query: “shoe rotation when training for a marathon.”)
Now let’s keep the shoe store example. You recently sold a pair of running shoes to a woman who completed her first marathon post-partum. You write up a lifestyle piece about her and submit it to a reputable fitness site; they decide to publish it. Suddenly all of their customers click on your website. Not to mention, your content appearing on that fitness site drives up your authority across search engines, which could help your ranking. And the closer you can get to the coveted number one spot on page one, the more users are likely to click on your page.
Now, we actually just covered backlinks in the example above. Quite simply, a backlink is when one website links to another website (also referred to as an “inbound link). When you receive a backlink, it’s like a letter of recommendation for your website. And, if that website is a trusted source, the search engine will assume that your content is worthwhile, too. So, if you can earn backlinks from reputable, industry-relevant websites, they can increase your search visibility and ultimately drive website traffic.
You can achieve more backlinks through a strategy called “broken link building.” This occurs when you stumble upon a website with an outdated link. Links that travel to an error page decrease authority. If you happen to see one of these and you have content that could fill in, consider reaching out to the owner of the website. You can mention that you saw their link was out of date and you happen to have an article on the topic; you’d be more than happy to allow them to use your article.
This helps both of you because their search engine reputation is saved, and it gives yours a little boost.
Share on social media
When you post on social media, you can draw a lot of industry attention — and direct it to your website! LinkedIn is a great example because it has its own article publishing. If you post regular, relevant content that’s valuable to your audience and links to your website, they’ll likely visit your website.
Don’t just share your content — become part of community dialogue on platforms like Instagram and Twitter through hashtags that your target audience is following. Answer questions on Quora or other channels. Be engaging and have conversations with your followers. Eventually, they’ll follow your content back to your website.
Become a thought leader (and talk to them)
Interview relevant players and publish a writeup on your blog. In addition to improving your website’s credibility, it draws the interviewee’s network to yours and increases your website’s visibility. The more you facilitate real, unscripted dialogue, the more trust and authority you build with your audience. Eventually, you’ll become the thought leader that’s being interviewed.
Until you’re asked, consider using a webinar or podcast as a way to share your tips or candid perspective on industry current events. Webinars help increase traffic to your website, especially if they’re promoted well through social media. If possible, attend conferences (virtual actually makes this even easier) and try to network. Eventually, you’ll be asked to speak.
All of these thought leadership strategies help create engaging content for people to seek out and increase your credibility and visibility on the search engine.
There you have it. Four different ways to increase your website traffic without increasing your budget. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any thoughts or questions (especially about that crazy SEO stuff). We’re always happy to chat about digital marketing.