Getting traffic is important, but getting quality website traffic is vital if you want those visits to turn into conversions. This means you have to attract the right visitors – those who are interested in what you have to offer.
Whether you’re building a new site or you’ve seen a sudden drop in traffic and want to start working to improve those numbers, it all comes down to attracting the right kind of traffic. We all love a graph that goes up-and-to-the-right. But how?
Make sure that you are found
First of all, if you’re nowhere to be found for important search queries to your business, then people can’t visit your website. There are a few ways to check whether the basics are in place for search engines to crawl and show your website.
Check out Search Console
Having access to your own Search Console is always useful. This is a free tool that offers you plenty of data and configuration control. It can show you whether Google can find your website and it alerts you if it finds any issues.. The tool will alert you to any indexing problems, spam or other issues on your site and will troubleshoot for mobile usability and other search features.
Besides that, it will give you a lot of information about your visitors, like traffic data, how often your site appears in Google and for which search queries. More importantly, it shows you how often searchers then click through to your website for those queries!
To make sure you are found, have a look through your search console and check for any errors. Fixing those will be a great start to make sure search engines can list your website in their search results.
Set up your robots.txt file
The robots.txt file – it sounds so techy and complicated, right? It really isn’t! The robots.txt file is uploaded to your website, to show search engines which pages they should and should not be crawling.
This file is easily overlooked, and that could result in search engines being blocked from crawling the website at all. When this happens, it’s almost always completely accidental. Simply check out your robots.txt file on your website (normally on: www.yourdomain.com/robots.txt) and make sure that the following rule is not in place:
If it is, you’ll need to remove the disallow rule and resubmit your robots.txt file through Google Search Console and the robots.txt tester.
What does your sitemap say?
Your sitemap exists so that search engines can easily consume information about the URLs that are on your website. It’s a way of saying to search engines: “These are my website’s pages. I would like you to crawl these so that they can rank for all my desired keywords.”
Make sure that all of the URLs in your sitemap are current and not returning an error, so that search engines show your live pages and not any old ones (or worse, a page that returns a 404 error!)
Understand who your target audience is
Having a good understanding of who your target audience is will help you create relevant content on your website.
Who is your target audience? Have you defined your buyer personas?
Knowing who your customers are helps you strike the right tone of voice and share useful information with them. To help get a full picture of what your buyer persona looks like, feel free to make use of our buyer persona template:
What does the buyer’s journey look like?
Take the time to understand what questions your buyer personas ask in different stages of their buyer’s journey. Having an overview of what the buyer’s journey looks like can help you review what questions you are already answering on your blog, and which ones you can write up next!
Align your digital strategy to your target audience
Now that you have a clear overview of what you are offering and who you are offering it to, you can align your digital strategy to your target audience. SEO is about ensuring that your website has a strong foundation to be found by search engines, as well as on-page optimisations and content creation that genuinely helps your audience.
Keyword research and understanding search intent
Start with keyword research for topics surrounding the services you offer, and the questions your buyer personas ask.
When you are done, review your website to see where you have already covered topics, or could improve or expand them, and which topics you can start writing about. That way, you’re creating content based on queries your potential customers are searching for!
Decide what channels you want to use
Digital marketing encompasses many channels, so it’s important to think about which ones are right for you. Just because it’s the done thing to have a paid Facebook campaign, doesn’t mean it’s right for your business. Go back to your buyer personas and review where they tend to go online.
This is the traffic we want! People find your website organically if you are giving them the answer to their question or problem. This is the goal.
[add link to SEO cheat sheet]
Experimenting with paid advertising could very well be worth doing, particularly if others are already doing so. In today’s search engine landscape, the first organic search results can be quite far down the page!
Google Ads can be highly profitable when set up thoughtfully. Not only can you target specific keywords, you’re also able to actively target to your audiences, based on geography, time and many other criteria. You’ll deliver your relevant content to those searching for it!
Getting traffic through different social channels means that what you are sharing is resonating with those seeing your posts. The different channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others) tend to get their own type of audience (LinkedIn is good for B2B, getting professionals to see your post, whereas Instagram is great for visual ads targeting a younger demographic).
Referral traffic is visits to your website from websites that are not search engines or social media platforms. For example, you may have written a guest post on an industry blog, where they link to your website. Any visitors that clicked from there will be reported as referral traffic. It can be a valuable source of traffic and can also show that you are a trusted authority in your field.
After people have left their details with you – through a contact form for example – making sure you stay in touch is more important than ever. Sharing appropriate and relevant information can help point people in the right direction and guide them through the buyer’s journey. These people will already know your brand and coming to your website is a sign that they may be ready to purchase, or enquire about your services. In short, a well-planned email marketing campaign can be an effective way to re-engage with those who have visited your website in the past.
The main take-away from this post is that not all traffic is quality traffic, but by creating thoughtful content, that actually helps your visitors, you will get in front of the people most likely to purchase from you in the future.