As a business owner in the 21st century you’re probably aware of how important your online presence is, and that increasing your website traffic is very important. From generating leads and creating interest to final point-of-sale transactions on e-commerce websites, the quantity and quality of your website traffic is critical.
How do you increase visitors to your website in an affordable and sustainable way?
In this article, we’ll break down what you need to know to get started increasing the number of people coming to your website for free.
What is website traffic?
Understanding the term “website traffic” is important. In summary, when we refer to website traffic we’re talking about the data sent/received by visitors and the number of visitors themselves. It’s important to note that we are not including any online traffic created by ‘bots’ or inauthentic website users.
What is the benefit of extra website traffic?
Apart from the value of increasing the number of leads or sales, there is a positive feedback loop involved in extra website traffic as well. The higher the traffic to your website, the better your search engine result rankings will be. This enhanced visibility will subsequently improve your website’s traffic, and so on.
What is quality traffic?
Not all traffic is equal and it’s not entirely a numbers game either. If your conversion rates (the percentage of visitors who go on to purchase something, contact you or sign up) are quite low, or your traffic is actually increasing while your sales are decreasing, you’re not attracting quality website traffic. You might be successful in getting more people to visit your website but they’re not translating into paying customers/clients.
When we focus on increasing website traffic for free, we’re looking at more than just increasing numbers. We want to attract interest from the right types of visitors (i.e. quality leads) and ensure their user experience on your website is intuitive, convenient and easy.
Why is it important?
Some business owners wonder why website traffic is so important. Especially for businesses with physical storefronts or premises, the priority may not be on increasing website traffic at all.
Regardless, in the modern market, not having a strong digital presence in the form of a website is going to set your company back. Highly effective websites allow you to generate more sales, increase leads and expand your customer/client base. But that’s not where the value of traffic ends.
Apart from being able to increase awareness of your business, website traffic is hugely informative. The manner in which visitors interact with your website–including the pages they visit, the activity they conduct and the length of time spent–can provide you with invaluable indicators and insights as to the strength and weaknesses of your business. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to make the right decisions.
How can you drive traffic to a website?
There are a number of marketing strategies for increasing traffic to your website. Some of these cost money, while a good deal are actually free to implement. Some methods require active effort and an investment of time, while others allow you to set and forget.
Strategies to increase website traffic include:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – including on-page and off-page SEO
- Email marketing
- Social media posts, ads and engagement
- Online advertisements including Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing
- Blogging on your own website and guest blogging on other websites
Different businesses are best positioned to use one or more of the above strategies. There are a number of factors that go into optimising a custom game plan for increasing your website traffic.
But to get you started, let’s outline best practices for increasing the number of visitors to your website for free.
How to get traffic to your website for free
SEO is the practice of working to improve the quantity and quality of your website traffic through search engine results. The better your SEO, the higher your website will rank in the list of results provided to Googlers and other internet users.
Content and on-page SEO
There are many ways in which your website’s SEO can be improved. But one affordable way is to ensure the content of your website is of a high quality with relevant information. This includes both the wording of your web pages and blog posts, but also some ‘behind the scenes’ stuff such as metadata (information used by search engines). The higher the authority of your website, the more likely search engine algorithms are going to promote your site above others.
Orienting your on-page content to relevant keywords and search terms (without engaging in forbidden practices such as keyword stuffing) is important when trying to distinguish your website from others. The more relevant your website, the more likely you’ll see increased website traffic.
Remember to also include long-tail keywords in your content. These are search terms that typically have 4 or 5 words. While they’re searched for less frequently in search engines, this often means there’s less competition. Targeting long-tail search terms can help drive more specific and suitable traffic to your website.
2. Landing pages
A landing page is a specific webpage that is used to promote things like a special, event, discount code, free downloadable or trial. Unlike the rest of your website, the landing page is geared directly towards converting website traffic into customers/clients. The targeted nature of these pages allows you to focus on more custom audiences (i.e. higher quality traffic) and increase the number of people visiting your website.
3. Link building
A critical component to improving your website’s visibility online and thus website traffic is ‘authority’. This refers to how search engines view your website in the context of a user’s search. Is your website reputable? Is it trustworthy? Is it relevant?
Apart from on-page SEO as outlined above, off-page SEO can be just as important, and building backlinks is the backbone of this strategy. A backlink is just a link from another website to your website. It can be references to your blog or just hyperlinks to your various pages.
The more backlinks you have the more likely you’ll see an increase in traffic, for two reasons:
- They provide another source for website traffic.
- They help to improve your SEO and search engine ranking.
4. Blog posts
Blogging can take a few forms in the context of your website. You can and should be adding blogs and articles that attract more potential visitors to check out your website. But your online blog also provides opportunities for collaboration with influencers and authorities in your industry. Whether you turn interviews and case studies into blogs, or even ask the influencer to guest publish an article on your site, both tactics can drive more traffic.
Collaboration with others in the industry, especially those with influence, can provide mutual benefit for both parties and is an effective and free way of improving your website traffic. Pro tip: Offer to contribute a blog post to their website as well (with a backlink of course)!
5. Social media
Social media is not just about being social anymore. It’s one of the most effective and (mostly) free ways of promoting your business and directing more traffic to your website. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tik Tok and YouTube all offer a lot of value and potential. Regular posts to social media, and online engagement, encourages users to visit your website and helps to educate them on what you have to offer.
When you’re posting, keep a few things in mind:
- Keep the content of your posts relevant.
- Promote your website and blog posts.
- Focus on reaching beyond your immediate network.
- Include relevant and current hashtags in your posts.
- Collaborate with industry influencers.
Remember not to just focus on your own social media channels. Commenting on other social media posts, participating in conversations and getting involved in online engagement can help you become more visible to potential customers/clients. Keep your engagement authentic though, you don’t want to come off as salesy or appear as spam.
6. List on directories
There are many online directories and review sites across the web. Many or most of these directories allow you to create a listing or profile for free. Apart from helping to funnel even more visitors to your website from these directories, Google and other search engines recognise them with quite high authority so any backlinks will be very helpful for your SEO.
7. Email marketing
Email marketing, automated and otherwise, is an effective strategy for driving users to your website. Regular newsletters detailing updates, new products or current promotion is a great way to stay top of mind.
Emails also provide plenty of opportunity for you to include links to your website directly, promote blog posts and other landing pages. While striking the balance in terms of frequency and content of emails can be a challenge, it’s a highly effective website traffic tool.
8. Use Google
There are many ways you can use Google to increase your website traffic for free.
Free to use and intuitive to navigate, you can really delve into the details of your website traffic. From geographical location to mapping out their journey across your various web pages, keeping track of your traffic will allow you to learn what works and what doesn’t for your business and adapt strategies accordingly.
It’s completely free to create and optimise a Google Business profile. Including the right information, relevant links and helpful data can increase your website traffic hugely. Even if the customer/client doesn’t actually end up clicking on your website, they may contact you directly through your phone number or find out how to visit you through Google Maps. Not to mention that having a relevant, detailed and complete Google Business profile will also positively impact your SEO.
Remember: As your business evolves, make sure you update your Google profile so that it’s relevant and current.
Increasing website traffic for free: The takeaways
Where does all of this information leave you? Increasing website traffic requires a multi-faceted approach and can be done without breaking the bank.
Keep in mind these ways to increase your website traffic:
- Conduct on-page SEO
- Build backlinks
- Focus on short- and long-tail keywords
- Create specific landing pages
- Blog, guest blog and invite others to blog for you
- Post and be active on social media
- List your business on online directories
- Use Google analytics to inform your decisions
- Create a Google Business profile
If you would like to invest in your website and online presence to truly take advantage of the enormous digital potential, feel free to reach out to the GO Creative team. We’re specialists in performing website audits and creating customised digital marketing strategies to help you improve both the quantity and quality of your website’s traffic.
Ready to get started? Call us today to find out how we can increase website traffic for you.