Growing your website traffic

Website Analytics Graph

Growing your website traffic is like any endeavour worth doing, it takes a certain degree of determination and focus combined with some knowledge and helpful tools & resources.

You can grow your website traffic, it is possible – but you must understand this is not something that will occur overnight. There is no magic bullet as such, rather a unified approach that improves your traffic over time. Yes, you can use paid for services like Google AdWords to give you a ‘boost’ – but we presume you would much rather have traffic without paying for each visitor. We expect you are running a business and such overheads are difficult to justify; whereas an hour to two a week working on your website is quite possible.

So what is this unified approach? Let me explain.

You need to play the content game..

All search engines use programs called spiders to index websites, naturally these can only index what they find, and are a bit like a teenager with a short attention span –  they need LOTS of content to remain interested in your website, otherwise the search engines will just move on, as your website won’t be considered content rich enough to rank highly.

Yes, it’s the truth –  having a small website with a handful of pages is the online equivalent of a postage stamped sized advert in the back of a magazine – it’s going to do ZIP for  you. Size does matter online!

For instance, this very website has over 10,000 distinct pages within it – it acts as a massive black hole sized magnet to traffic. The more people who visit, and engage with the site, the better.

So, forget about getting to number #1 with a website with 10 pages on it – it ain’t going to happen, you have more chance of winning the lottery when you don’t play – you need to invest in content for your website to win out. This requires hard work and some smarts, and I’m going to tell you how:

  • First off, work out what is the real focus of your website. Search engines want to find websites that have a clear focus and deliver relevant content to them – it’s a win win for all concerned.
  • Second, think outside the box – who would visit your website for that content? How would they use it and how would it be of benefit to them? You should have a list of about 5 to 10 different people.
  • Third –  what would they search for, in their ‘language’, to get to your content? You should be able to produce a list of about 20 to 30 phrases.

Great – now you have a starting place to work out from. Think about how you could write articles around your visitors and what they would search for that relates to your website. Aim for about 5 articles to begin with.

Writing the articles

Your articles need to be informative, funny and sufficiently detailed to be worth reading to the end. No use writing something so bone dry the reader’s interest has gone before they get to the end of the first paragraph – search engines are smart and will pick up on such ‘dead weight’ articles and not index them.

We suggest you write the articles first in a word processor, print them out, read again (and correct). Get your friends to read them and ask them what they would change or add – you might find a whole subject area you missed or assumed was not important.

Publish or be damned

Time to get those articles up on your website! We suggest you write them actually as blog posts on your website and progressively release them. Why? Well search engines, like Google, rank content in part by its ‘freshness’ – so whats new and relevant beats out in the rankings on what’s old and relevant – all other things being equal.

Although before you hit that Publish button, you need to make sure you the following correct:

  • Is there a feature graphic with the post? Important for social media
  • Is there a clear way for people to get in touch with you?
  • Have you got all the SEO qualities spot on for your website?

What are ‘SEO qualities’ – well these are all the Search Engine Optimisation qualities  that help leverage all that content you wrote to the max – idea being that when you get these right the search engines can’t help themselves in indexing your content well.

So how do you check this? Well, we at Aykira realised that everybody isn’t a website technology Ninja and we have written an online tool to help – read the page here to find out more – we think you will be impressed.

Social Spin

Now, once all your SEO qualities are firing on all cylinders, you should publish you first article. Once done you then need to share your Article out in the social ether – ideally you should get your article out to at least the following social networks:

  • Facebook – share it on your business page
  • Twitter – write a Tweet about the article
  • LinkedIN – again share it on your business page.

Now, remember the goal here is not necessarily to get people coming in from the social networks (although that would be nice) it’s more to demonstrate to the search engines that the page is actually linked to from other sites and is therefore worth indexing as something of note in its own right.


 

We hope that this article has been of some help to you in gathering traffic to your website. If you would like more direct help, please get in touch .

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