Increasing website traffic to your site is no easy task. Especially if you are a new website just getting started. To be successful, the website needs to have a strong online presence. Without it, the website will see no traffic; which equals no leads; which means no sales. Learning how to increase website traffic can be the difference between your business having a profitable month, and ending the month at a loss.
A strong online presence doesn’t mean just ranking in the top 100 on Google for your keyword. Or even in the top 20. A strong presence means ranking in the top 10 and positioning your website on the first page of the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). Even more so because 75% of internet users don’t even look past the first page of search results.
Online businesses typically struggle to generate new and creative ways to increase website traffic. To make it even more difficult, there is a great deal of misinformation online about the best ways to attract website traffic. This can lead to webmasters and businesses trying to implement black hat practices or strategies that have little to no benefit.
If you are looking to increase your website traffic by using both organic and paid methods, we have compiled 10 approaches that are proven to yield results for your online business.
What is website traffic?
Website traffic describes the number of users who visit your website. Website traffic is measured by the number of sessions, or visitors during a particular period. Moreover, it is an important metric when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of a business’s website and its ability to market online.
Now that we have an idea of what website traffic is, let’s jump directly into our 10 tips for how to increase website traffic.
10 tips for how to increase website traffic
The 10 tips that we highlight below vary in difficulty and the amount of effort needed to accomplish them. Depending on the resources available to a business, all of the tips, or a mixture of them may be used to drive additional traffic to a website. Therefore, we recommend finding a good balance of the 10 strategies, and figuring out which ones work best for your business.
The last thing to note is that you won’t be able to know if your traffic is increasing unless you track it. The best tools to track your site traffic is Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These tools will tell you about the traffic source for when a website visitor arrives at your website.
Tracking Google traffic is important because there are different traffic sources such as direct traffic, search traffic, and social traffic. Depending on how the bulk of your website traffic is finding your site will dictate how your content marketing strategy, social media marketing, and overall inbound marketing strategy may change.
Therefore we recommend having a look at your dashboards on Google Search Console and Google Analytics, to see how your website, and particular blog posts are performing before you make any changes.
1. Target Relevant Primary and Secondary Keywords
To increase website traffic the first thing to do is conduct thorough keyword research and analysis. Identify industry-specific keywords and long-tail keywords to target that your website has an opportunity to rank for.
Spending a little extra time on keyword research at the beginning will pay dividends over the long run. Starting by targeting terms that have a low keyword or SEO difficulty, will make it easier for your website to start building site traffic.
With a new website, webmasters are starting completely from scratch, with no domain authority, backlinks, or traffic at all. This means the website is already miles behind the competitors and needs to figure out how to catch up.
This is why targeting ‘low hanging fruit’ like terms with low keyword difficulty, will make it easier to start building those all important components that Google ranks for (domain authority, backlinks, bounce rate, conversions rate, and so forth). Therefore, don’t pay attention to the search volume for now. Of course, we all want to go after keywords and terms with thousands of searchers. However, this is not realistic for new websites.
When it comes to keywords, sit down and think about your industry. For example, if you are a dental practice needing SEO to boost traffic and leads, local SEO may be the best choice. Additionally, by looking for more specific long-tail keywords, you can start to compete for low-competition keywords that you have a chance of winning.
Let’s take a look at the following example to understand how using this approach can change the competition. Have a look at the volume of head keywords and long-tail keywords for dentists below:
|Emergency Dental Care
|Chipped Tooth Repair Near Me
Note: For this example, keyword difficulty uses a ranking of 0-100 with 100 being the most difficult to rank for.
As you can see, using detailed long-tail keywords can help you lower the overall difficulty of the keyword. The lower the difficulty, the easier it will be to rank for that term.
Additionally, the more specific you are with your terms, usually the further down the sales funnel the potential customer will be. In other words, if you can attract someone to your service page with these terms, the better chance you have of making a conversion.
To conduct keyword research, it is best to utilize a research tool like AHrefs, Ubersuggest, or SEMrush. These sites provide you with free (limited service) keyword research tools. The tools will provide you with valuable data regarding the terms, including keyword difficulty, search volume, and information about the keywords your competitors are using and ranking for. Additionally, you can find data on related keywords and how expensive the keyword is for pay-per-click ads.
The last thing to keep in mind when using keywords to increase website traffic is that they should be used organically throughout your content, and not overused or ‘stuffed’ which may end up being distracting to your reader. Moreover, the keywords need to be used in your meta descriptions, headings, URLs, page title, and throughout the actual piece of content.
Target Relevant Primary and Secondary Keywords Key Takeaways:
- Spend extra time at the beginning of your website developing a robust keyword strategy
- Target low-hanging fruit with lower volume and lower keyword ranking difficulty
- Utilize long-tail keywords to increase chances of ranking, and to attract people further along the sales funnel
2. Write Quality Original Content
Now that you have keywords to target and build content around, it is important to start developing content around these keywords. The content should be of high quality, original, comprehensive, and informative.
Unique and original content will show your target audience that you are a thought leader in the industry and that they can rely on your information to answer their questions. By building trust and authority with your audience, you will be able to drive more traffic and shares of your content.
Unique content is key for building trust with your audience as well as with search engines. Search engines are like your 8th-grade teacher that combed through everyone’s assignment to see who copied who. Search engines are getting better and better at identifying copied content, and when they find it, you can be sure your website will go to ‘detention’ with a hefty penalty.
We are not saying don’t use citations and external links from other sources -External links are extremely helpful when it comes to ranking and building good, credible content. What we are saying is, don’t copy it word for word. Your audience came to you for advice, not a copy and pasted list of advice from another source. Content writing for SEO is essential, but only if it is original and unique, otherwise it could just land you a penalty. Thus those who practice good SEO and publish trustworthy original content are likely to increase search ranking as well as increase website traffic.
In addition to making it unique, the content should be comprehensive as well. It should be in-depth enough to get your point across and leave the reader with more information than they came with. And ultimately, the content needs to match user search intent, and answer their questions! Being thorough and comprehensive doesn’t just provide benefits to the reader, it will also benefit your website in terms of ranking.
Google and other search engines prefer longer content that is logically structured – Relevant title tags, H1 and heading tags, internal and external links as well as photos and videos to support your discussion. Structuring your content well, and making it as in-depth as possible, is exactly how to increase website traffic using SEO. Of course, as mentioned before, you will need to include keywords and long-tail keywords to make sure the search engine knows exactly what the web page is about.
Another important aspect to consider when developing content is evergreen content. In the article, SEMrush describes how it is essential to choose content that no matter what time of year it is, what is going on in the world, or if it is Playoffs for the NBA (Go Blazers), will always sustain a level of searches. Much like an evergreen tree from the Pacific Northwest, it will always stay green and healthy. By focusing on these topics, no matter the search volume associated with them, you should see a steady flow of traffic back to your site.
When considering which topic to use for your evergreen content, think about which topics will bring long-term value to your audience and will not require significant updates. Topics to avoid for this may include seasonal, breaking news stories, or fads in the particular industry.
Develop high-quality content that stands out:
Just posting content won’t do it by itself. Your content needs to stand out from the rest and be able to provide valuable information that can cut through the clutter. Useful, valuable, and insightful content is one of the most effective ways to increase website traffic.
People use search engines like Google to answer their specific questions and locate insightful, accurate, and trustworthy content. Therefore, your content must be able to address the various questions that are being asked in your industry.
One way to do this is by developing a blog for your website. Websites that feature blog content on them, generate 434% more search engine-indexed pages than websites that don’t have one. Moreover, websites that post at least 16 posts per month receive an astonishing 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish less than four blog posts per month.
The takeaway here is that if your website is producing valuable content, posted consistently and regularly, and answers the questions that your audience is asking, your web traffic should improve drastically.
Write Quality Original Content Key Takeaways:
- Content should be comprehensive, in-depth, informative, and unique
- Aim to write longer articles as they usually rank better. However, don’t set a word count limit or threshold. Make sure to get your entire point across and provide value to your audience
- Use evergreen topics when writing content. These are topics that no matter what is going on in the world will always have search volume
- Finally, look to be a thought leader in your industry by creating unique content. Develop new content that is unique and is not just copy and paste content from another website searchers
3. Focus on Searchers’ Intent and Questions
Focus on searchers’ intent! We can’t stress this enough.
So we will say it one more time. Focus on searchers’ intent! Your content should be developed to provide an answer to a certain question. For example, this piece of content is targeting ‘How to increase website traffic using SEO’. So we named it that. And we are writing the content inside the article to answer that query.
Thousands of blogs are made every day, providing content on every topic imaginable. But much of it gets lost in the ocean of content flooding into Google every day. One reason a lot of this content is going unnoticed, or not driving traffic back to its website, is because it doesn’t do a good job answering the questions being asked. Every piece of content should serve some purpose. Whether it be to provide more comprehensive information on a previous article that you wrote or to target a new keyword, it has to have a purpose. And whoever is writing it should know what that purpose is.
Focusing on answering questions should be built into the process while conducting keyword research. Especially since we recommend targeting long-tail keywords. By utilizing this process, you will provide valuable content that answers the exact question the searcher is looking for, as well as show Google that your content should be ranked #1 for that specific keyword or query.
While writing a piece of content, put yourself in the shoes of the searcher and ask yourself these three questions:
1. Why did I Google this?
2. What information am I looking for with this question?
3. What extra information, or follow-up information will I need?
The goal of the article should be to answer all three of these questions. So first, sit down and come up with a strategy or outline to ensure you have a robust amount of information that encompasses all of the required information. Additionally, make sure to use simple language and stay away from industry-specific jargon as it may confuse the reader and result in them bouncing from your page. Remember, you are developing content, building authority and trust with the reader to bring them further into your website and sales funnel. Just like in Field of Dreams, ‘If you build it. They will come!”
To come up with content ideas around possible queries to answer, there are a few ways to find some topic ideas:
- Conduct keyword research, and find some long-tail keywords and phrases to target. Now plug these into Google and go through the related searches section. These related searchers are all topics that people are searching for and asking questions about. Pick a couple that you feel you can provide ample information for, and check the volume and keyword ranking difficulty. If all of these fit into your expertise, objective, and website’s ranking ability, go for it!
- Talk to your customer-facing team members. They have heard thousands of questions about your product or service from real customers. Ask them what the most common questions they get are. Then Google it, and do some research about search volume. Are there a lot of other articles about the topic? No – Then go for it! Or can you provide a better answer to the question than your competitors? Yes – Then go for it!
- Use tools like Answer The Public. In Answer the Public, you can enter keywords and phrases, and it will generate a graphic that provides you with different questions that people are asking on the internet. The tool can be a great place to start looking for different questions to answer or even questions you didn’t consider. After you have found a few, do some research to check the quality of content out there and what kind of search volume there is.
Focus on Searchers’ Intent and Questions Key Takeaways:
- Focusing on searchers’ intent is essential to ranking well. If you can provide the exact answer they are looking for, you will make your audience happy, as well as show Google that you should be ranked well
- Don’t get fancy, if you are writing about a particular topic, then only write about that topic. Include relevant information and make sure you provide a comprehensive answer to the particular question
- Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher, and ask yourself: Why did I Google this? What information am I searching for? By doing this, you can put yourself into the correct position and mindset to ensure your content is targeted and to the point
- Use free tools as well as your team to generate questions that could be focused on for content building. Your customer-facing team will know exactly what is being asked, and what should be answered to provide the most value to your audience.
4. Optimize Your Page Titles, Headings, and Meta Description
SEO experts consider the optimization of titles, headings, and meta descriptions as some of the most important contributors to increasing a website’s SEO score and traffic. So how exactly do we use these elements to our advantage to increase website traffic? Well first we need to understand what these elements are:
- Title: This is exactly what it sounds like, it is the title of your entire page. This is more than likely the first element of your website that potential traffic will see. It should be short, sweet, and descriptive. It should convey exactly what the page is about, and how it will answer their search query.
- Meta Descriptions: This can be considered as a blurb about your website; or a synopsis. It provides an overview of the site and what information will be provided in it. Moreover, the more technical definition says it is an HTML element that will be displayed under the website’s title as part of the search snippet in a search engine results page (SERP).
- H1 and Headings: These can be considered the ‘chapters’ of your content. They consist of a hierarchical ranking starting at H1, H2, H3, and so forth. These will provide information to the reader as to where new sections start and what they will be about. Additionally, they are relevant to search engine crawlers as they carry more weight than normal text. This means that you should utilize keywords to demonstrate the importance of the section and the text to come.
All three sections should be optimized with keywords, knowing exactly where to place keywords on a website is essential for optimization. These will be telling your readers as well as search engines exactly what the content is about. Search engines add more weight to these snippets of text and thus you should include keywords to inform Google exactly what the article should be ranking for, and what questions it will be answering.
For example, for this current article, we will be using ‘How to increase website traffic’ in all three sections to demonstrate the relevance of our article to that particular question. If you ended up here after typing that query into Google, then the phrase did exactly what it was supposed to. The magic of keyword optimization, right?
To optimize these sections, you first need to conduct keyword research and choose which terms you will be targeting. After that, you need to place them in their respective sections. Typically, the platform you are using to host your website will offer a way to edit these particular sections. For example, WordPress has two boxes that are labeled “SEO title” and “meta description”, type your keywords in there and you are good to go!
Remember, you never want to stuff keywords into any section of your website, no matter if it is the actual text or the titles, headings, and meta descriptions. You want to make it read as naturally as possible and provide value to the reader about what awaits them inside your website. Especially when it comes to titles and meta descriptions, as these will be the first things that your potential readers will see. If you stuff keywords in there, not only will Google rank you lower, but the people that do see your article will skip it as it will come off as being spammy.
A few other things to remember when writing these sections are:
- Keep your page title between 30 and 60 characters
- Keep your meta description under 160 characters
- Include your target keyword
- Communicate what your page is about and what makes it unique
- Make sure your title and meta description is unique for every page
Check out the image below to add a little bit of context to what exactly we are talking about with meta descriptions and titles:
Title of the article: How to increase website traffic using SEO.
And then the meta description is found right under the title: Clear Door SEEO provide five actionable steps to answer the question of ‘How to increase website traffic using SEO’ in 2022.
5. Increase Website Speed and Responsiveness
Website speed is crucial for both the website’s SEO score as well as for making a good first impression. Google hasn’t been shy when telling websites and SEO experts that a fast site helps you to rank better. In 2018, Google also began focusing on site speed with their ‘Speed Update, which will prioritize speed, especially mobile searches, as a ranking factor. Moreover, the update stressed that it would negatively impact slow sites, but it wouldn’t provide any bonus points for fast sites making their websites faster.
In addition to speed affecting ranking, it will also affect the user experience. If a page is unresponsive and takes too long to load, people will simply leave the site in search of something faster. A slow site will significantly impact the bounce rate of your website, and lower the overall conversion rate.
Many aspects can affect the speed and performance of a website. From design to images and videos to the plugins that are installed, call all negatively impact site speed. These should all be optimized to ensure that your site is performing as well as it can. Graphics and images are a good place to start when optimizing your design and site. A few things to consider when optimizing your images should be:
- Size and Image Type: Ensure that the image size and file type are a good fit for your readers. The image should add value and further your discussion, Additionally, the image should be easily seen and understood and not too small. On the other hand, don’t make images so large that they take up the entire user’s screen. Not only does this affect user experience, but it also puts a toll on your page speed and will significantly slow down your page. Additionally, videos can take a long time to load, so ask yourself, ‘Is a video needed here? Or can I use an image instead?’ Choose your image type carefully.
- Accessibility: This is an opportunity that a lot of websites miss out on. For all images and graphics, it is important to add descriptive alt text. Not only is this essential to ensure that your site is more inclusive, but it also gives you an extra opportunity to optimize a location with keywords.
- Specify Image Dimensions: We often forget to resize images correctly when placing them on our websites, as it usually gets auto-fitted into whatever space we have selected. However, even if it gets crammed into that space, more than likely the image’s pixel size is still far too large. Therefore, make sure to resize your photos and images before you insert them into your website. You can use photoshop to do this, or even utilize free tools like Canva! Just make sure that before you resize the image you know the dimensions that the particular location requires.
- Test: Finally, make sure you do a manual check of your website on both desktop and mobile to ensure that it is loading quickly and all of the functionality is still present. Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly, or friendly to other screen sizes than a desktop is essential for page speed as well as user experience. If you want to ensure that your site is optimized for all screen sizes, you can utilize responsive web design. Another way is to use plugins like AMP on WordPress to help increase the overall speed and responsiveness of your site. Just remember, after completing the redesign, or using plugins, you should double-check to ensure it is displaying the correct way!
As mentioned above site speed is essential to SEO rankings now, and optimizing for it is one of the best ways to increase website traffic. A great tool to use to ensure that a website’s site speed is acceptable is by using Google PageSpeed Insights free SEO tool. It will crawl your page, score your overall webpage speed and provide tips on how to increase the speed! Just remember, site speed is nothing to skip over, as a page’s loading time is a huge ranking factor contributor and one of the three Core Web Vitals.
6. Build Backlinks
To increase your organic website traffic it is important to have higher domain authority. With a brand new website, there are little to no backlinks pointing to the domain.
In the eyes of Google, backlinks are considered to be votes of trust from another website. These backlinks or votes of confidence add authority to your website. The higher authority, the easier it will be to outrank another website.
There are multiple ways to generate backlinks to your website. Below are four ways to build quality backlinks to your website. Before we jump into the different ways to build backlinks, It is important that you only go after white hat backlinks.
Building links in the proper way is important because of what Google had to say about link schemes:
- Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes:
- Exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links
- Exchanging goods or services for links
- Sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
- Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking.
- Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links.
- Using automated programs or services to create links to your site.
- Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of qualifying the outbound link, should they wish.
With these link schemes in mind, let’s dive into different ways to build links:
Write Guest Blogs
Writing guest blogs for other websites in your industry is an effective way to develop new backlinks, boost your referral traffic, and increase your overall search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Before you jump into writing other blogs though, you should thoroughly research the website to make sure they are trustworthy and worth writing for. Remember, not all backlinks are made equal.
The first thing to do will be to look at a website’s content and determine if it is high quality or not. You can even check the website’s domain and authority, as well as conduct an overall audit to understand as much information as you can about it. To do this, use Ahrefs’ free backlink checker.
If you determine that the site is trustworthy and you want to write a guest post for them, make sure to inquire if they will promote your blog on social media and if they will tag you in it as well.
Develop an Industry Tool or Piece of Content
Allowing your website visitors to receive something of significant value could be a great way to drive more website traffic. Especially if it’s a free tool!
One example of this could be providing your keyword research template, a calculator for your industry, or an audit tool. Websites love to link to free tools on the internet. These tools gain backlinks for you and provide their audience with valuable content!
These tools can help you maximize your returns and find new leads through the acquisition of email addresses and other personal information. Make sure that you promote all of the tools you develop on various social media platforms, especially on Linkedin, and in industry-related groups on Facebook.
Submit Press Releases to Influential Publications
Whenever you develop any sort of major piece of content like press releases, no matter if it is for your company or your client, you should be proactive with its distribution. Therefore, make sure to push the press release and send it to influential websites and publications in the specific industry.
To reiterate, whenever you have some sort of major piece of information or you want to announce a big event for your client, you should send it to industry blogs and publications that your audience reads. Make sure to include contact details on the release so you can collect new leads and boost referral traffic back to your website.
With online businesses consistently working to increase their website traffic, there are many different opportunities for backlink exchanges. You can find other relevant websites in your industry and reach out to them to set up mutually beneficial backlinks for both websites.
Backlinks can help increase your authority and your overall SEO ranking in the eyes of Google. These backlinks can be considered as votes of confidence that tell Google that your content is relevant, trustworthy, and provides insightful content. Referral traffic can also be increased through the link, as people may arrive on your website after seeing your link.
However, keep in mind that you need to follow Google link scheme policies to ensure that your link exchanges are not breaking their guidelines.
7. Keep Active Social Media Pages
Social media plays a huge role in attracting traffic to your website. Therefore, we want to highlight a few key ways social media can be utilized to increase website traffic:
- Post content (blogs, e-books, white papers, infographics, and videos) across all of your social media platforms
- Engage with your followers by replying to them, reposting their content, and tagging them to increase interaction
- Research and utilize relevant hashtags
- Consistently update your bio to contain links to your new content and promote it when it comes out
- Change your cover photo to promote new content. Remember try to use visual content that resembles your brand
- Tag influencers and engage with their content if you believe they may be who may be interested in your content. Tagging influencers in your social media posts can be a great way to utilize influencer marketing techniques – just make sure not to spam them or be annoying!
- Use blurbs and important data from your content to influence people to click on your content
Depending on which social media platform you and your audience are most engaged on, will determine if you should use a Facebook group to promote your blog post, or if Instagram would be better to build your community and brand awareness.
8. Use Advertisements to Increase Website Traffic
Using paid advertising by developing strategies for search, social media, and display ads can pay dividends when it comes to increasing website traffic. However, each type has positives and negatives to it. For example, users can block display ads from showing up, and Google Ads can be expensive with the cost per click ranging between $1 and $2 per click. In order to maximize your campaign and save your ad money, it will be important to set a budget and realistic goals before partaking in an ad campaign.
When conducting a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, it will be essential that you begin with one campaign with a few different ad groups which will target your various keywords and audience. After the campaign has started, you can monitor it and see just how your audience is interacting with your ads, and how they behave to various keywords. Whereas, let’s say one keyword only generated impressions but did not result in increased website traffic, while the other ad groups resulted in a great deal of website traffic. The best thing to do will be to engage in some A/B testing to pinpoint which ad and method are the most effective.
9. Send Email Newsletters
Developing a marketing by email campaign can not only increase website traffic, but help your business to a great return on investment for the marketing channel. Whereas, email marketers have said year after year that email marketing has resulted in the highest ROI as well as one of the best ways to build a strong community.
You can develop newsletters that you send out promoting your recent content to increase website traffic back to you. A few good ways to use email marketing can be seen below:
- Strategically place enticing information from your content in the subject line and the body of the email
- Insert a link or call to action (CTA) that subscribers can click to read more of the content.
- Emails should be mobile-friendly, with links that are easy to see. This is a crucial point as 46% of all email opens are done on mobile devices.
- Make sure to personalize emails by including the name of the subscriber in them
- Make the email visually appealing with the use of well-designed templates.
- Conduct A/B testing to see which versions of emails receive more opens and clicks.
10. Influencer Outreach
Reach out to industry influencers to get your content in front of more people, especially in front of their followers as they are already interested in your industry. A couple of ways a business can reach out to influences include:
- Tag the influencer in a social media post if your piece references their content or research.
- Ask the influencer for an interview to get valuable information from them. After you have developed the content, make sure to share it on social media and tag them, so they can share it with their followers.
- You can conduct events with multiple influencers (i.e. “10 Experts Share the Best Ways to Increase Website Traffic in 2022”). Once again, after the content has been developed, make sure to release it on social media and tag all the participants that were involved.
- Pay influencers to run sponsored posts on their social media pages with your content in them.
Additionally, if you are not sure about reaching out to influencers you can work with a digital marketing agency.
Key Takeaways: Increase Website Traffic
These are just 10 ways to increase your website traffic. It is important to state that some of these methods can pay off quickly while others may take some time. However, the best thing to do is to consistently engage in these methods to make sure you are making improvements every day. We believe that the best way to increase website traffic is to work on making small steps constantly to make sure you can build up to your goal and ultimately, gain sustainable website traffic for the long term.
No matter if you are a seasoned SEO expert, or a brand new website getting started, the question of how to increase website traffic will always be there.
Search engine optimization is something that is constantly evolving and demanding new elements to rank better. However, we at Clear Door SEO are positive that our list of five elements will remain ‘evergreen’ content.
As an Oregon SEO agency, we are always striving to deliver the best content and help our readers succeed. Therefore, if there is anything that we can provide, either as information or services please contact us!