If you are looking to monetize your website, either through advertising, selling products or by creating a membership site. You need traffic. Experts tell us that only a small proportion of website visitors actually convert into customers, so the whole process of getting more customers becomes a game to drive traffic.
Recently I had a conversation with a new client about her website traffic, and how to bring more people to her website. Well known in her field she was suffering from low visitor numbers. Appreciating the industry she was in and working with similar types of clients, I was surprised to see how few visitors were being attracted to her website. As I dug under the covers I found a few clues as to why.
Here are six key actions I suggested as a way to remedy some of those problems and immediately start driving more traffic towards your website.
Post Fresh Content, Regularly
Google will reward you by ranking you higher when you consistently write new, original content for your website. If you have developed bad habits like overwriting old posts or pages with new content this will not help your ranking, because it’s unlikely Google will see your site as fresh and ever-growing. By constantly creating new content and fresh posts it does two things. Firstly, it gives Google hooks for search (more keywords that could possibly appear in search results). The second is that it tells Google your content is not old and stale.
Ideally you should look at posting some sort of blog post feature every 1-2 weeks, and more often if you can. This could be something topical, like an opinion or analysis of current events or something in the news, or something more planned like a feature series. Whatever would be most interesting to your target audience is what you should be writing about. The regularity of your posting along with high quality content tells your reader that when they come back, they have something good to look forward to. If you don’t focus on quality, then people may be less likely to return.
From Google’s perspective each post must be a combination of text, pictures and appropriate links. Links can be to other articles on your blog or to useful links on other people’s websites. A good length is between 400-600 words. There will be exceptions to this, but this is what I see as a good sweet spot especially for people reading on a mobile device. When you’re posting things like podcasts and videos make sure that it’s accompanied by a written summary, because Google can’t read audio or video.
Always use images in your posts. Add a featured image as a minimum, but use relevant illustrations to break up your copy and make your post visually appealing. We always recommend the always-free source unsplash.com as a great place to start looking for these.
Add your post to social media
We always recommend having a Facebook page that is updated as often as your website, as well as Twitter and possibly Instagram depending on your appetite. Your posts here don’t need to be long, and they should be about the articles that you’re posting to your website. Your strategy on social media is to draw people from your social media pages to your website, and definitely not the other way around.
Remove random links to other people’s websites
If you have a blogroll or links to other people’s website on your home page or on every page of your website, remove it immediately. If people have just arrived at your website, why on earth would you want to send them somewhere else? Google Analytics calls this a ‘bounce’, and you want to keep people on your website for as long as possible, not bounce them away as soon as they arrive.
Linking to someone else’s website is fine and here’s the caveat, only if they have useful information and most preferably only if they link back to you. This forges strong relationships between your content and theirs in Google. Always link in posts and pages, and where it’s relevant. Quoting another astrologer and linking to their website is ideal while posting a long list of links is not the right idea.
Keep your old posts
You may be tempted to remove old posts, because they’re no longer relevant. If they still add value, I’d try to keep them. Update them and freshen them up if you need to but try to avoid removing them. This will ensure that your site continues to build new content, and Google will know it. This will increase your ranking and prominence in the search engine and drive you more traffic.
Write for other people
Find the highest trafficked blogs in your industry sector or other relevant locations and offer to do some guest posting. Propose that you write something of value for them, or be interviewed, and that they post content for your readers. This builds the relationships between your sites, and will drive traffic towards you. At the end of each article make sure it has your strap line and website attached, and a short bio of 2-3 sentences. Invite the other person to do the same. This is far more effective than just a list of links on your home page as it will invariably help blog readers find your site.
Plug your website at every opportunity
Once you’ve done the steps above you have a strong strategy content in place, and a site that people will want to return to. Why wouldn’t you should it from the rooftops? At every opportunity make sure you are sharing your website URL so people can find you. Some easy targets are in your social media profiles, and on your email signature. You might also put it on any brochures and if you are published in your magazine, book or newspaper columns.
Once you’ve started to get the traffic flowing in, you’ll have established the right writing habits for supporting a membership website. You’ll also have the critical mass of readers (and importantly readers who are followers), who are most likely to start buying products and services from you.
All of these things will help you on your way towards having a robust and well trafficked website. You may have some other great ideas to share with readers here – feel free to share them in the comments below.