Grow are small business marketing consultants, whose founder and MD, Alasdair Inglis, is the Marketing Expert in Residence at the Business & IP Centre. Here they give us five tips to help drive traffic to your website.
You had to build a website for your business, that much was clear. You designed and honed your site until it was ready. Then what?
Like many people, your website is all dressed up and ready to go, but where's the traffic?
There are lots of brilliant websites like yours selling great products and services but don't have the traffic they need to be successful. If you find yourself at this point, youâve come to the right place. This guide will run through some basic techniques to help your site rank on Google and get traffic.
- Find the right keyword phrases for your web pages
Keywords are the building blocks of how search engines work. Keywords are crucial for driving traffic to your website for free. When people perform Google searches, an algorithm decides what content to show them. You need to tell the search engine that yours is the best result to show. Using keywords throughout your web pages helps Google understand what you offer and when you should appear.
There's also a bit of a catch. Some keywords are so popular that you haven't much chance of ever ranking for them. If you tried to rank a web page for the keyword, chocolate, you will struggle.
The trick is to find less-popular keyword phrases e.g. "Where can I buy organic chocolate?", where you might be able to rank for the phrase, but you'll never rank for the keyword chocolate alone as it's just too competitive!
Targeting the right keyword phrases is crucial. When researching for the best keyword phrases, the key is to find the balance between low enough competition and high enough volume. There are many ways to do keyword research, and some software packages such as SEM Rush give you an idea of how hard it is to rank a keyword phrase in Google.
- Putting your keywords to work
Sadly, it's not quite as easy as just putting the right keywords on your web page. You need to optimise your web pages in order for search engines to rank the web page for a particular search term.
Think about it from Google's point of view. Every person that searches is their customer â and they want to provide the very best service to that customer to keep them coming back (it seems to be working!). To do that they must strive to eliminate poorly written and irrelevant content and anything that could deliver a bad experience to their customer. Optimising your site is saying to Google, "I'm here, I've got good content, and my site is worth showing". Weâve written a detailed guide to optimising your web pages.
- Create your content
Once you know your keyword phrases, it's time to start creating content. Many people dip their toe in the water with a blog. If you're reading this and can write, congratulations, you're qualified to create a blog!
Some find writing daunting, and others don't enjoy the process. Luckily for those people (and writers, too!), we're in the age of video content. Video content is on the rise at the moment and generally receives higher engagement.
A combination of text and video might be the ideal way to boost social media shares and links to your blogâ and therefore your search rankings!
*Tool tip: Yoast SEO is a great little tool for free on-page blog optimisation. If you're using WordPress, give it a try! If not, set up an account and test your content with Yoast before posting text your site!
- Get other websites to link to your web pages.
It seems strange to think about, but the internet is just a collection of pages linked to each other. Links are the fabric of the internet. Search engines know this and use links to help them work out the quality of websites and web pages.
The more links from quality sites that point to your website, the more important Google knows your website is. Quality links are one of the major ways Google and Bing rank your pages. If your chocolate-themed website is linked to from chocolate-lovers blogs and chocolatiersâ groups, great!
Link building (the process of acquiring links from relevant quality websites to your content) can happen quite naturally. If you have great content, people will often link to you. Millions of links are being created daily without anybody asking for them.
Sometimes, the organic way can be a little slow. Especially right at the start! If nobody sees your content, nobody can link to it. An outreach programme can be a good bet. Dust-off your best email manners and contact other businesses, make connections and show them what great resources you have! Once you have a good network within your niche, it will be easier to pick up links along the way. This process can be carried out with a relatively low budget by using mail merge software, but it can be time-consuming.
There are a number of different strategies you can use, such as contacting bloggers who write about your niche and asking them to link to a useful article youâve written, is a great way to get a link. Bloggers are usually keen to be the first to break some news or get involved with something fresh. Perhaps think about what you can offer them in return? Sometimes sending them a product to review is a great way to do this.
Another common link building strategy is to offer a complimentary guest post to a high-quality website. You will need to write an excellent guest post though!
- Use social media to share your content
More than three billion people worldwide now use social media every month. That's also a lot of potential customers and website traffic back to your site!
Ensure that your social media profiles all link back to your website and that you're sharing your own content and driving traffic and engagement to your site.
Social media can also be an excellent tool for finding relevant bloggers and businesses to get links from and to share your content. Connect with people via Twitter and form a relationship. The clue is in the nameâŠ so be social!
Posting useful content, engaging with people and building your followers is a sure-fire way to increase traffic and promote your website. So, what are you waiting for? Your next blog, article or video post is just a few hours away.
Remember your keywords, build those links up and stay social.