As an entrepreneur, you already know how important a website is to your business' success. Over 80% of customers rely on the internet to find a business near them. Another report said that 79% of entrepreneurs with a business website expect to grow at least 25% in the next three to five years, compared with 64% of those without a site.
But as you wait for those website traffic numbers to skyrocket after you officially go live with your new digital storefront, there's another number you should know — right now, there are nearly two billion websites on the internet.
Today, one of the biggest problems for entrepreneurs isn't about how they can set up a website — it's about how they can drive traffic to a digital destination that's floating around in a crowded cyberspace. So, what do you do? How do you get people to discover your website? In a growing space, the truth is that it can be pretty challenging to get noticed and drive website traffic.
Fortunately, rising above that noise is a matter of understanding some basic principles and tried-and-true methods to build authority, drive traffic over time, and sustain momentum. Whether you're trying to get your very first digital sale or reach your 20,000th customer, here are four easy ways to grow your website traffic as a new business.
1. Take the Phrase "Content Is King" to Heart
Your website is more than just a sales destination — for many, it's a place to find answers to their questions, challenges, and so much more. Your future customers want to land on your business' page and feel inspired, informed, enlightened, and guided through the buying process — because chances are, they're heading there because of a specific need. To ensure your visitors find (and get) this information, a smart content strategy is vital.
Today, nearly 89% of businesses use blogs in their content strategy with one major goal in mind — to get more eyes on their site. And it's a strategy that works. Websites with blogs have more than 400% more indexed pages than those that do not regularly publish content. More indexed pages mean more possibilities for customers to find your website through a simple search engine query.
So, how do you write a good blog post that will attract the right audience? Start with a few of these best practices.
Identify Your Buyer Persona
Who is your ideal audience? What are they interested in? What are their pain points and challenges?
Knowing the answers to these questions helps you craft relevant content that answers some of your customers' critical questions, and that ups the chances of your website landing at the top of their web browser.
Conduct Initial SEO Research
Now that you know your audience, do you know what they're searching for? Use one of the many tools out there to research and discover the keywords that have the highest search volume from your target audience. These keywords can then help inform your content strategy and blog posts.
Develop a Consistent Schedule
Make sure you're publishing new content regularly. According to HubSpot, businesses posting around 16 blogs a month see 3.5x more traffic than those that only published four blogs or less.
Don't Neglect Your Old Content
Never approach your blog with a "set it and forget it" mentality. Regularly revisiting old, outdated blogs and revamping them with fresh information, statistics, and links helps you maintain the rankings you worked hard to earn.
While blogs are the most common part of a content strategy, they aren't the only part. You can use these same best practices across your site pages, downloadable guides, customer testimonials, webinars, and more.
2. Email Marketing Is Still the Tried-and-True Method
Email marketing remains one of the most important and effective ways for your business to connect with customers and generate traffic.
Generally, there are two main ways to build your outreach — promotional emails and email newsletters. Promotional emails let you highlight special sales or one-off events. Email newsletters, on the other hand, give you a place to curate a list of resources (like blogs or webinars) you know your readers will find valuable. Both of these methods accomplish the same goal — getting customers to click through to your site for a quick traffic boost.
Keep the following pointers in mind to make sure your email marketing turns into more website visitors:
Keep It Scannable
Focus on keeping your emails scannable by using bullet point lists and straight-to-the-point descriptions. The average consumer spends only 13 seconds reading your email, so make it count.
Make It Mobile-Friendly
Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly, as most people use mobile rather than a laptop to scan through their recent emails.
Send Personalized Emails
Taking the time to address the person you're emailing (and even their unique scenario) can make all of the difference in whether or not they stick around and visit your website. In fact, message personalization is the number one tactic used by businesses to boost their email engagement.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Put Some Money Behind It
To increase website traffic, you need to get your business in front of your ideal customers. With paid advertisements, you can do exactly that by creating highly targeted campaigns that serve custom ads straight to your prospects. While this strategy requires dipping into your business' budget, it's a method that works. Recent data shows that paid ads generate an average return of $2 for every $1 invested.
Here are a few popular platforms to consider as you launch a paid advertising strategy for your business.
With nearly three billion active users, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. For entrepreneurs, this translates to tons of opportunities to reach new customers and drive them to your online store.
Facebook's Ads Manager is a robust advertising platform that lets you easily set up ads and target users based on their demographics, interests, behavior, location, and more. Facebook also makes it easy to engage past website visitors with personalized messages. Dynamic Product Ads, powered by Facebook Pixel, use behavioral information and click patterns captured from past website visitors to determine which products should be featured in your future ads.
This process, also known as retargeting, is an incredibly effective way to turn one-time window shoppers into dedicated customers. Website visitors who are served retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert.
Instagram is a hugely popular platform, with more than a billion active users worldwide. Those followers are pretty quick to take action, too. In fact, 60% of people say they discover new brands on the platform, and 75% of Instagrammers take action.
So, how can you ensure your posts are getting in front of these eager users? Sign up for an Instagram Business account or convert a personal account to a business one, and get ready to launch your first Instagram ad. You can create ads as photos, videos, carousels, or stories, giving you plenty of creative freedom to reach your customers the right way.
Bonus: Instagram uses the same advertising system as Facebook, so you can tap into the same advanced targeting strategy.
Unlike social media advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Google Ads lets you put your products and services right in front of people who are actively searching for them. Google gives you three options to do this: search ads, Google Display network, and YouTube ads. Additionally, Google lets you choose what type of ad you want, like text-only, video, responsive, image-based, or even an ad-type specifically geared towards product display for easy shopping.
To get your ads up and running, Google asks you to set your goal (like website traffic and sales), your budget, and your preferred keywords to match your business to popular searches. From there, you have the freedom to craft whatever creative message your heart desires.
Google Ads can be pretty effective, too. Paid ads on Google get 65% of clicks from users who are ready to buy. Another 43% of customers buy something they've seen on a YouTube ad.
4. SEO Gives You The Benefits of Paid, Without the Costs
When customers search for the types of products and services your business offers, you want your store to rank at the top. In fact, 93% of all online interactions start with a search engine. And 75% of all clicks go to the top three results on a search engine results page. These statistics show just how important it is to invest in proper SEO practices.
Here are a few strategies you can implement right now to get your business on page one of Google's search results.
Write Titles and Descriptions With Your Audience in Mind
Meta titles (your webpage's header) and meta descriptions (a summary of the page's content) are the critical snippets of content search engines show on their results page for search queries. That means they're your one shot to pique your audience's interest and get them to click through.
When writing your meta titles, make sure you're creating unique titles for each page. Length matters, too — keep your page titles to less than 55 characters. This is also where you want to include your target keyword.
For meta descriptions, use a max of 145 characters to summarize the content on the page. While it's essential to ensure the description is attention-grabbing and click-worthy, it's equally as important to include the keyword here, too.
Weave in Internal Links Whenever It's Relevant.
Internal links, which means linking to pages throughout your site, play a vital role in boosting your search ranking. That's because of the Google metric called PageRank, which is a formula that measures the importance of a page by quality and number of other pages that link to it. Here's how to jumpstart your internal linking strategy:
- Map out the high-value target pages you'd like to see at the top of search engine rankings.
- Identify the pages on your website with the most authority and page rank. Moz, for example, has an easy tool that lets you find out your page's authority score.
- Once identified, add a link from your authority pages to your target pages. You can incorporate the links naturally on the authority page by using anchor text related to the keyword you'd like the target page to rank for.
Don't Forget to Target Long-tail Keywords.
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific than more commonly used keywords. While long-tail keywords get less search traffic, they generally offer a higher conversion value since they're more specific.
So, what does a long-tail keyword look like? Let's start with the keyword: "tie-dye." Turning that into a long-tail keyword can include things like: "tie-dye shirts for girls," "tie dye-shirts for boys," or "tie-dye shirt designs."
To find long-tail keywords, leverage your industry knowledge. You can also do some research by simply searching for your basic keyword to discover what other, more specific things people are looking for.
Driving Website Traffic Is an Evolving Project
Following one (or all) of these strategies is the first step to getting more people landing on your website and coming back for more. But as you start seeing those numbers rise, there's one more important thing to remember — digital marketing strategies are constantly evolving, and so are your consumers' interests and needs.
Make sure your content, paid advertising, and SEO strategies continue to grow and expand. This long-term tactic can ensure sustained traffic well into the future.
At Swyft Filings, we know that opening your business's (digital) doors is just the beginning of your job as an entrepreneur. As you focus on boosting your website traffic and growing your customer base, let the experts at Swyft Filings take care of the stuff behind the scenes — like forming an LLC to make your business official.