You’ve built an attention-grabbing and functional new website for your business that showcases your best work. But are the right people — and enough of them — seeing it? Even the best-looking website isn’t the right one for your business if no one finds it.
Most consumers begin with a Google search to find the best provider of the product or service they need. This means that creating a smart and effective search engine strategy is key to finding new potential leads for your business.
Web traffic is a self-affirming cycle: The more that people seek out your website via an online search, the more that Google’s algorithm will recommend your website. Having a popular website that provides useful content with relevant keywords tells Google that your site is valuable.
With so much competition — including large companies with robust digital marketing departments — it’s no longer enough for a business to create a website and then sit back and wait. Driving traffic to your business website requires a targeted content strategy that includes keyword research, social media marketing and collaboration with influencers and other sites.
Following are the three key components to a web strategy that will increase website traffic, plus some strategies to get more visitors to your business site.
1. Content Strategy
The quality of your content will make or break your business website. Too many business owners think that a few relevant blog posts and an “About Us” page is enough to drive traffic, but bringing new prospects to your website requires a strategic approach.
One factor that Google considers when ranking search results is how long a visitor stays on your website. This means that your website needs useful, engaging content that will keep your audience reading.
An effective content strategy needs:
Relevant content. It seems obvious to say that your site’s content should be relevant to the service or product your business provides, but you would be surprised to see what people add to their sites just for the sake of content. Coming up with original and relevant content on a regular basis might seem difficult, but think about everything you have to offer, and make it fun.
A regular content calendar. Having a content calendar can help build on ideas and make sure your site is relevant. Having a consistent schedule of original content for your website builds value for your site as a resource for your audience. Company updates, thought leadership articles, product highlights or success stories can all help keep the content on your website fresh and bring in more traffic.
Keyword research. Content is king when it contains keywords people are searching for. Search engine optimization is a huge part of content marketing — without SEO, the right people won’t find your content. The key starting point to any search engine optimization strategy is to better understand your audience and its needs.
Online tools such as Moz Keyword Explorer, SEMRush or RankIQ can help you figure out what prospective customers are plugging into Google to find what they’re looking for. And if those tools seem too complicated, just Google what you are wanting to write about and see what comes up! Keywords based on what people are looking for will be effective at driving traffic to your site.
Cross-posting. Once you have a great piece of content on your website, share it with the world! Blog posts, case studies and company news all make for excellent social media posts and company newsletter content. You’ve already curated your social media followers and email list; make sure they remember why they signed up!
2. Search Engine Optimization
Keyword research is a large part of a content marketing strategy. But when you’re up against large businesses with large marketing budgets, increasing website traffic for a business requires SEO.
If you are new to the world of SEO, there are some amazing guides out there to help you with the basics, or you could consider bringing on an SEO expert. Either way, SEO should be top of mind when thinking about the type of content you are producing and how you are getting it out into the world.
Here are a few places to start with your SEO:
Google your site. Make sure you can find your site on Google so you know others can as well. Keep in mind that it might take up to a week before search engines find new sites. If for some reason you still can’t find your site, you can troubleshoot that through Google.
Create relevant and keyword-focused headlines for each page. Remember those keywords you looked at for your content? Using a keyword-focused headline will inform both Google and users what your page is about before they even look at it.
For example, an About Us page could have the headline “About Us,” but that is not keyword focused. Instead, try using your business name or what your business does, such as “About Our Auto Repair Shop.” In this case, “auto repair shop” is the keyword phrase that explains what the page is about.
Add internal links to your pages. Using internal links (links to other pages on your own site) within your pages and blogs is an amazing tool because you can use those internal links to guide the reader to the pages you want them to see. It also will tell Google that the pages you are linking within your site are connected in some way, and this adds to your SEO rankings.
3. Social Media
Nearly three billion people use Facebook regularly, which means that companies that don’t harness the potential of social media are missing out! Create a social media strategy that puts your web content front and center and continues to funnel your social media followers to your website.
Engage with your audience. If someone asks a question on your social media pages, respond with a relevant link to your website whenever possible. For example, if a follower asks about your prices, send them a friendly reply with a link to your service menu on your site.
Be active in relevant local groups. Facebook groups are a great way to join the conversation around your work and industry without spamming your audience with sales pitches. For example: If you’re an interior decorator, see if there is a local home and garden group where you can share photos of your latest client’s home.
Make sure that the content you provide is similar to other posts in the group. For example, if people are giving advice, feel free to share links to your blog posts that might be helpful.
Cozy up to local influencers. Find out what local figures are interested in the same sort of content that you’d like to promote and encourage them to share your stuff! You can tag influencers in your posts to draw their attention, or send it to them directly with a polite request to share your post. Influencers are always looking for content for their audience — take advantage of it!
Backlinks are a critical piece of a smart and efficient content marketing strategy. The more links to your content that exist on the web, the greater the chance of a prospective client finding your website. By cultivating relationships with other businesses in related industries, you can help build your library of backlinks and raise your business’s profile!
Contribute and solicit guest posts. Say you’re an insurance business looking for new clients. Reach out to small business publications in your market to write a guest post about the best ways to increase employee retention (with a focus on benefits) while offering to write a post for them about the importance of a health savings accounts for employees! Guest posts create backlinks for both you and your collaborator, which is great for SEO.
Swap social traffic. Remember the social media influencers from earlier? See if you can contribute to those influencers’ social media campaigns to attract new audiences. Offer some before-and-after photos for a #MondayMotivation campaign, or share a tidbit of industry knowledge as part of their #TuesdayTips.
Be sure to include a link in your posts to funnel that audience back to your website.
Offer your content to industry sites. Remember that all content creators face the same challenges when it comes to finding unique topics to post about. If there are blogs and news outlets relevant to your industry, reach out to them to see if there are opportunities to be cited in one of their blog posts or share company news and case studies. If a blog has an active comments section, share a relevant link to your own web content for their readers to find.
Even with a framework for your search engine goals, taking on the tasks of maintaining a content calendar, social media strategy and influencer outreach can be overwhelming for businesses. In that case, you might want to consider hiring a digital marketing agency that can help relieve the burden of your digital marketing efforts while keeping a laser-sharp focus on your business goals. With a strong digital strategy tailored to your company and its growth targets, you can reach new prospects and gain new business.