In this latest edition of our ‘Covering Bases’ series of blog articles, which are aimed at those just getting started and looking to bootstrap their first start-up, we will take a brief look into the rich and often nuanced subject of audience development.
Did you know that there are currently around 2 billion websites currently in existence?
Whilst that’s an impressive number, it also means that there’s a whole lot of competition for you and your business. If you already have a website, you’ll know just how hard it is to get the traffic numbers you want.
But, there are plenty of tried and tested ways to improve your site and market it to the world. With these tips, you can increase your traffic, drive sales, and boost your profits.
Take a look at our quick guide below to discover the top 7 ways to increase traffic to your website:
1. CREATE A TRAFFIC PLAN
A starting point for any audience development activity is to think about what your goals are. Who exactly are you trying to reach? Once you understand the basic, then it is worth formulating realistic targets, by activity and spend. This is best done using a spreadsheet.
You can download our ‘Rudimentary Audience Development’ Excel model free of charge here.
2. START ADVERTISING
If you’re wondering how to get website traffic quickly, one easy way is simply to start advertising! This is an easy way to get your brand noticed and drive traffic directly to your website. There are a couple of different ways of advertising, including PPC.
Search engines like Google use PPC (or pay per click). You can bid on specific keywords relevant to your brand, like pet groomers, and appear as an advert at the top of search results for that keyword. As 25% of all traffic goes to the first result on Google, this should help you quickly boost the number of clicks you get.
There’s also social media advertising. This year, social network ad spending is expected to increase by 11.4%, reaching a whopping $40 billion, showing just how many brands are now advertising on social platforms.
You can create sponsored posts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram which will appear across the feeds of targeted users. You can use factors like age, gender, and location to narrow down your audience and increase the ROI on your marketing.
3. CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA MAREKTING STRATEGY
Social media marketing is a brilliant way to gain a bigger audience, with or without paid advertising. With around 2.9 billion social media users these platforms offer a huge audience that makes it a lucrative space for marketing.
Set up a profile for your business on a relevant channel (e.g. LinkedIn for B2B marketing and Instagram for younger demographics) and start posting content to engage your audience. You can use hashtags to gain more attention, follow people who might be interested in your brand, and comment on other people’s posts to increase your visibility.
To drive more traffic, be sure to add a link to your website in your bio. You can also add a swipe up feature to your stories with a link to your site, letting users quickly access the products or services they’re seeing.
4. LEARN ALL ABOUT ON-PAGE SEO
With 65% of people using search engines when they want to buy something, it’s a hub of quality traffic. But, with 32% of all searches going to the top search result, it’s vital you’re one of the first pages to pop up for relevant searches. This is where SEO comes in.
SEO uses the algorithms of search engines to optimize your own website’s rank. By knowing the factors that Google uses to rank websites, you can adjust your own to be seen more favourably when they crawl your site. There are lots of known techniques out there, including:
- Reducing load speeds
- Optimizing content with keywords
- Adding metadata
- Using heatmaps (take a look at this one from Decibel) to learn more about your audience and improve site navigation
- Formatting your headers
- Internal link building
However, as you can definitely get SEO wrong and be penalized if you do, dropping down the ranks rather than rising, it’s important you know what you’re doing. Make sure to read up on the riskier ‘blackhat’ techniques before you start implementing any of these strategies. BTW, the risk almost always exceeds the benefits.
5. USE KEYWORDS IN LINK BUILDING
Keywords are a crucial but complex part of SEO. You need to use keywords to show Google who you are and the industry you’re in so that they can match you with relevant queries, but you need to do it properly. Never overstuff your content with keywords, for example, or risk getting penalized.
You should also be careful which keywords or phrases you pick. Choose those with a high search volume but less competition for the best results. It’s also a good idea to like at click-through rates for different keywords now that Google often answers simple searches in their own snippets, meaning that users might not click onto your site even if you show up (which isn’t ideal!).
6. UTILISE GUEST BLOGGING AND PRESS RELEASES
When it comes to how to get more website traffic, the more content and mentions you have out there, the more attention you’re going to get. This is where guest blogging comes in. By guest blogging on someone else’s blog who already has an audience, you can quickly get your name out there and gain attention from a relevant audience.
It’s best to find a blog that shares your niche so that you can market directly to your target audience. Add a link back to your website to drive traffic and boost your SEO.
7. START EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
A lot of brands spend huge chunks of time and money chasing new customers but forget those they already have. When you’re looking to increase your traffic, don’t make this mistake!
Traffic doesn’t always have to be from new users. In fact, when you consider that existing customers are 50% likelier to buy new products from you and will spend around 30% more on your website, you can see why focusing on customer retention is just as vital as customer acquisition.
One strategy that will help retain customers is email marketing. Offer customers an incentive to give you their email – like a 10% discount – and start marketing straight to their inbox. Send them offers, keep them up to date with your latest products, and give them behind-the-scenes access to your brand to build relationships and drive traffic.
Audience development is one of the most significant challenges faced by all digital properties. It is not only incredibly hard, often boring and detail-driven, but it also takes up a huge portion of of time. Remember to put aside plenty of time in your working week for actioning these tips and more. Start creating your own traffic boosting strategy today.