Okay, comparing the more technical side of traffic-generation to rocket science may be a bit of a stretch, but for the uninitiated, it can sometimes feel that way. I mean, search engine optimization is a specialist area for a reason, right? And so is the interpretation of advanced analytics, performing A/B tests, and implementing PPC advertising strategy.
Not all business owners can afford to bring in the experts when developing and executing traffic-generation strategies. Nor can they afford to spend the time learning the nuances of such complex fields.
If you’re one of these entrepreneurs, I have some great news for you. It’s entirely possible to see a significant boost in your traffic simply by implementing some simple strategies and plugging some obvious leaks in your current processes.
Let’s take a look at five ways you can improve your traffic without becoming the digital equivalent of a rocket scientist.
1. Keep Google Happy with Your Content
As we discuss this topic, please bear in mind that none of these tips should be implemented at the cost of your audience. Biasing your content strategies too heavily in favor of SEO will be counterproductive. It will hurt your readers’ enjoyment of your content and, ultimately, defeat the purpose of content marketing.
So, that being said, let’s take a look at what Google likes to see in a company’s blog. What does the world’s leading search engine regard as “friendly” content, and how can you give it to them without the need for a degree in computer science?
Use Language That Reflects Intention
After their Hummingbird release, it became clear that Google rewards keywords that reference the reason a person is performing the search.
Google wants to take their users to websites that address pain points, and a post that uses intention-focused language is a very healthy sign for them.
What does this mean in practice? Use words in your topic title and throughout the post that reflect the reason WHY the reader will find it helpful. Use keywords in the context of an actual question, not in isolation.
Take a look at Skillcrush’s blog as an example. Each of the topic titles is a full sentence that answers very specific questions the reader may have. “What is Web Accessibility? An Introduction for Beginners in Tech” is one fine example.
Ensure Your Blog Is Mobile-Friendly
Google knows when someone is searching for content on a mobile device. They also know whether your blog is responsive or not.
In the spirit of always serving search results that their users will find helpful, Google rolled out an update back in 2015 that severely minimizes the chance of an unresponsive page from being returned to a mobile device.
Given that mobile internet usage now exceeds desktop browsing, switching over to a responsive website theme is very likely to have a very real impact on your traffic figures.
Check out idig Marketing for an example of a blog that takes mobile-friendliness to another level.
Don’t Hold Back on Post Length
Google likes content that provides serious value for its users. One of the ways they differentiate between these posts and those that are just going through the motions is the word count.
This may seem like an oversimplification, and it’s definitely worth diving deeper into this topic but, in the interest of keeping things out of the “rocket science” arena, it’s very fair to say that Google likes seeing posts in the region of 1.7K and 2.4K words.
2. Get Social
Your company’s various social media accounts are untapped goldmines of leads, and you should be harvesting them for everything they’ve got.
One of the benefits of successfully using the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as traffic sources is that results are visible much faster than with content marketing. This makes developing a clear-cut strategy much easier since social media activity can very quickly be mapped to specific outcomes.
Essentially, it’s super easy to know what works and what doesn’t.
Let’s take a look at the basics of a successful social media traffic generation campaign.
Make Sure Your Website Is Promoted on Your Profile Page
Since a lot of your social media activity won’t directly display your contact details or a link to your website, it’s critical that people can find these as easily as possible. The most obvious place is your profile page on whichever social media platform you’re using.
All social media platforms will have a website link field, and this (obviously) needs to be captured immediately. Beyond providing your website address in the usual place, it pays to have an omnipresent pinned Tweet, Facebook post, or an Instagram story highlight that contains a link to a page on your website.
For an example, take a look at Gregg’s sausage rolls’ pinned tweet. It changes relatively frequently, but it always contains a link to a specific landing page on the company’s site.
Engage with Your Followers
This goes beyond simply posting a link to your latest blog post or photos of your most recent company event. I’m talking about getting involved in actual public conversations with your followers.
When someone comments on one of your posts, make an effort to provoke a conversation with them and anyone else involved. Ask them a question. Make them feel like they’re a valuable member of your community.
This strategy is exceptionally powerful on a platform like Twitter, where everyone’s interactions are public. If you get into an interesting conversation with a follower, there’s no telling how many people will see it, find it compelling, and click on your profile link to find out more about you.
Make Meaningful Contributions to Existing Conversations
This tactic starts with following the right people in your industry. Thought leaders and other influential figures followed by your target audience will frequently post content that warrants input from knowledgeable people like you.
Don’t be afraid to get involved! Post a thoughtful, diplomatic view that contradicts their point. Or bolster their standpoint with an original opinion of your own. These interactions represent an incredibly powerful way for your account to get noticed.
3. Get a Guest Blogging Gig
Guest blogging gets your website URL published on an established platform that often has a decent following. It’s a tried and tested way to boost traffic and, if the guest blog is a recurring thing, you’ll see an ongoing benefit.
Landing a guest post spot isn’t easy, though. Doing so needs exceptional insight into an industry or niche, excellent writing skills, and no small amount of persistence.
Outreach plays a huge role in making a guest post happen. Get ready to pound the digital pavement as you go looking for the ideal gig. Finding relevant prospects that are “in your league” is going to be one of your biggest challenges, but there’s no shortage of great online info on how to do this effectively.
Making a great impression, communicating expertise, and being diplomatically persistent are critical when seeking out guest blogging opportunities. But getting successful at it may require you to do some additional research.
Buffer is one of guest blogging’s great success stories. The social media company’s CEO, Leo Widrich, famously relied very heavily on this tactic to grow his subscriber base to over 100K.
4. Create New, Linkworthy Knowledge
Getting other blogs to link to your content because it proves a point they’re trying to make is an excellent way to boost traffic. Not only because their readers are likely to click on the reference link but also because Google loves those backlinks.
If you want this kind of exposure, what type of content will you need to create? If blogs are to link to your content, they’ll want to see highly original knowledge that’s been harvested from verifiable sources. In short, I’m referring to data that’s been created from original research.
Think about the questions that professionals in your industry are asking themselves. Find ways to conduct customer surveys or mine other informational sources for up-to-date data that no one else has published or that haven’t been updated for a long period of time.
WyzOwl is one of my favorite examples of a company nailing this tactic. The video production specialists are known for frequently publishing insightful, original statistics relating to the role of video in digital marketing.
As a quick Ahrefs backlinks search reveals, each of these posts is frequently referenced by external sites looking for helpful statistics. This is a big score for WyzOwl, both in terms of direct traffic and in terms of generating SEO credibility.
5. Promote Internal Links
You may roll your eyes at this tactic, but don’t discount the importance of retaining traffic that your website has already managed to attract.
Just to put a super-fine point on this, I’m not talking about links to your product pages or anywhere else where conversion happens. I’m going to assume that these links are already pretty prominent on all of your website’s relevant pages.
No, I’m referring here to links that take users to content that you’re certain they will find interesting. You can use the age-old “related posts” feature that most blogs display in the sidebar or below the post itself, or you can embed links inside the actual content of your posts.
No matter what the purpose of your site is, it pays to keep visitors engaged. The chances of them turning into customers grow with every minute that they spend browsing your website.
Neil Patel is a master at this. The writers working on his blog posts have no difficulty finding reasons to include links to related posts inside the text of almost every single post they publish.
You don’t have to be an expert in traffic generation to see a boost in one of your website’s most important metrics. As it is, it’s very likely that your site suffers from some traffic leaks that are pretty easy to solve.
On top of those leaks, there are also some actionable strategies you’ll be able to absorb into your company’s day-to-day activities that will see a welcome spike in your site’s traffic.
Make time for these tasks. Fix what’s broken. Just because the fruit is hanging low doesn’t mean that it’s not worth reaching for.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to do all you can to address problems that are immediately fixable. Solving these little issues may seem inconsequential, but they can often be the difference between a bad month and a decent one. Or a decent month and a great one.
Be proactive and take ownership of everything that’s within your control. The rewards are there!