For years, you have relied on your website's impressive traffic for enough advertising revenue to help pay the rent, cover your lighting bill and ensure you have food in the refrigerator. Lately, however, traffic has been down, the ad dollars are tumbling, and you've become disenchanted.
Suffice to say, the World Wide Web is starting to become a crowded venue, and this will only grow as the rest of the world catches up and adopts the internet and the latest technologies.
This means that it can be hard for your website to maintain its popularity and garner enough traffic to make the website sustainable. Your website may have been around since the early days of the Internet - reporting on the latest video game news, discussing the Austrian School of Economics or sharing cat images from around the world, but it is still not generating traffic that you have been hoping for so long. You then become frustrated and bothered by this trend.
Indeed, the way things operate on the internet changes all the time. Everything from Google updating its algorithm to digital marketing practices can be difficult for an existing website to adapt to the evolution of the online world, especially if you've become complacent in your ways.
With the New Year arriving, you may have a resolution of improving your website traffic. Many of the white hat suggestions are obvious, while others may not be as noticeable at first.
Here are five important methods to incorporate into your strategy to higher web traffic:
1. Rethink Your Marketing Strategy
Online marketing has greatly changed in the last five years alone. Social media, mobile marketing and blogging have all become essential elements of any website's marketing strategy to improve traffic. Without these, it is hard for most online resources to survive in an ocean of websites, blogs and an array of other platforms to share ideas, news and tips.
Here is how you can transform your current marketing plan into a marketing endeavor of riches:
If you speak to any old-time marketer, they will immediately inform you that email marketing is dead. However, the rumors of email's death are greatly exaggerated. Email has never been more popular or more successful than it is today, which is why so many digital markets embrace it with open arms!
Therefore, you must incorporate email into your marketing strategy in order to boost your traffic. Are you still unsure about this? Well, here is one statistic that every single website must be aware of: for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 to $41 in return on investment (ROI).
Here are a few tips to implement:
- Build your email list by means of social media, your website or blog.
- Send out newsletters that provide various types of content.
- Never be spammy; write clear and concise titles, content and call-to-action (CTA).
- Offer free stuff from time to time, like eBooks, discounts or white papers.
- Encourage your subscribers to forward the email newsletters to others.
Content Is King
The best kind of marketing is content. Remember: content is king, and it has never been more vital to a website's marketing initiative than it is today. With content, you can achieve many things.
Content marketing has become the latest craze in the last couple of years. With Millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – dominating the consumer landscape, studies have found that Millennials value content marketing as long as it isn't too salesy, pushy or spammy.
So, what kind of content marketing can you embrace for your website? Here are a few ideas:
- Sponsored Content
You just have to produce stellar content that is free of errors, engaging to readers, and that ensures that the target audience knows what to do afterwards, which is known as your call-to-action.
Be Active on Social Media
If you're not active on social media by now, then it may not be a surprise that your website traffic has become sluggish. Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. – is essential for any website, new or old; without it, you lose out on potentially millions of eyeballs.
Yes, you should have an account and share your content, but it requires much more than that.
Here are a few tips to consider instituting in your social media plight:
- Engage with your audience by thanking them for positive reviews or sharing content.
- Start to share content from others that may interest your audience.
- Provide special offers that only your social media followers will be aware of.
- As you share links to your articles, mix up the content of the tweets or posts.
- Take advantage of the latest trending topics and hashtags.
Social media activity is one of the best ways to gain attention and perhaps even go viral.
Guest blogging is a unique trick to improve your website traffic. Whether you're submitting a guest blog post on another popular website or you're allowing another website to submit a guest blog post to your website, it is a win-win scenario for all parties involved.
You just need to make sure that the blog post you're submitting is interesting, unique and engaging. With this in mind, you will notice a significant uptick in views to your webpage.
The benefit to these suggestions is that they are free. By utilizing these strategies, everything will not cost you a penny, which can be valuable for struggling web outlets in today's market.
2. Work on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, has been around since the formation of search engines (do you remember Excite, WebCrawler, Lycos and AltaVista?). Over the last few years, SEO has become a lot more sophisticated than back in the day. This is because today's search engines – Google, Yahoo! and Bing – want to provide quality content to users.
If you are not plastered on these search engines, then your website traffic will suffer big time.
Moving forward, you will need to revamp your SEO strategy and initiate one that is modern and that will give your viewership a shot in the arm. The right SEO plan will result in success.
Here are a few tips to consider incorporating into your SEO initiative:
Seventy-six percent of marketers today use social media to improve their SEO efforts. Why? Because it is projected that search engines will prioritize content that is specifically found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and elsewhere.
If you want to stay in the good graces of Google, then you need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. There is nothing more important to your search engine rankings than maintaining a responsive website. And Google has certainly warned webmasters about this trend.
For years, we have been concentrating on single keywords to game the system. However, this is gradually becoming out of date; keyword phrasing is replacing it. A keyword phrase is two or more words that users search for on Google or Bing. Let's face it: most of us don't just type in "news" on Google but rather "Boston Red Sox news" or "news on European elections".
Whether you're a small business or a news outlet, you need to concentrate on local SEO. This is when you inform Google of where you are and what you are providing your audience. Local SEO is only getting bigger and bigger as the years go by. The benefits of local SEO are definitely impressive. In other words, don't shy away from local SEO.
It doesn't seem like it now but voice search will soon become more prevalent on search engines.
The accuracy of voice search has improved and the importance to social media has amplified. You can embrace voice search by using long-tail keywords rather than a single keyword. For instance, someone driving in a car or cooking a meal is far more likely to voice search "local pizza places" or "recipes for Chicken Alfredo".
These SEO functions will dominate online marketing for the next few years, so use them!
3. Develop Inbound Links to Your Website
Want to increase both your search ranking and web traffic? You need to develop inbound links on the website. An inbound link is a hyperlink that sends visitors from another website to your website. This has been one of the most consistent and successful strategies to improve your overall website, but it can be hard to accomplish, especially with Google cracking down on link selling.
Don't worry, though: there are plenty of ways to boost your inbound links with a white hat.
Here are a few tips to consider when creating a greater number of inbound links:
- Develop insightful content that is easily shareable by other websites.
- Participate on the web by answering questions on Quora, forums, and Yahoo! Answers.
- Conduct a series of interviews with industry leaders; they'll share your link.
- Fill out your profiles everywhere and anywhere with a link to your website.
- Submit content to LinkedIn and include a link to your website at the bottom.
- Send out intriguing and newsworthy press releases.
These are the simplest ways to develop a strategy that involves inbound links.
4. Promote the Website offline
Is it time to go offline? It may perhaps be, especially if you want to diversify your strategy.
Whether you are paying for advertising on posters, sharing business cards with others, or sponsoring local events, you must always think of promoting your website in the real world. Moreover, you should also consider promoting your social media accounts.
The offline world is just as important as the online world.
5. Use Affiliate Programs and Advertisement Exchanges
When you think of affiliate programs and advertisement exchanges, you generally conclude that they are effective methods to boost sales. Indeed, you never believe they're a great measure to improve your website traffic. But, as you will soon find out, they can increase your viewership.
An affiliate program is, essentially, a marketing tool where you receive commission for helping a parent company generate sales. If you're willing to invest money into such a program, you can get other websites to advertise your website and its products in exchange for a commission.
An ad exchange is a digital landscape that allows advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space. Again, if you're willing to invest money into this program, you can purchase lucrative advertising space on websites that generate a lot of traffic.
Here are a few tips to remember if you're starting an affiliate program or partaking in an ad exchange:
- Select a niche that most closely fits to your website's topic.
- Concentrate on the ad's headline that piques the reader's interest.
- Ensure the other websites are professional; you may not be in control of the way your brand is presented to other readers that may not be familiar with your website.
These two initiatives can help any website experience both an increase in traffic and revenues.
The way websites garner attention, the way we consume content, and the way online marketing tools are used have all changed over the last 20-plus years. Everything from what computer devices are used to how SEO works, getting traffic to websites has evolved. Some will say for the better, and some will say for the worst. Whatever the case, change has been the theme.
For websites today, it is all about adaptation and adoption. Whether your website is 10 years or 10 months old, websites need to always be on the lookout for the next big thing in marketing, the next cool technology that consumers use, and the next policy that search engines will install.
Website traffic can stagnate or surge. It is all up to you which one you want. If you prefer the latter, then you must incorporate the aforementioned tips into your future plans. If not, then you know what will happen down the line: visitors will see the message: "This domain has expired".
Do you have anything you’d like to add? Join the conversation below!