4 Ways to Boost Traffic to a Small Website
Establishing an online presence doesn't happen overnight. The smaller your business, the steeper the challenge might seem. Small businesses with bare-bones websites aren't as easy to find in search engines. Few people, if any, check these websites on a regular basis. They don't attract much organic traffic. It takes time, effort and patience to build and develop your website to the point it ascends in the rankings.
It also takes strategy. You must strengthen your content, be active on social media and improve your link profile. None of these should be done on the fly - crafting an optimization plan makes everything easier. You can also turn to PPC advertising to drive traffic to your website while working to optimize it. Read on for four important ways to boost traffic on a very small website.
Quality content is the foundation of your website. If you can't offer something that visitors want or need, then you can't expect to establish a flow of persistent organic traffic. This is common sense.
That said, your online offerings aren't limited to the goods and services offered by your business. A properly optimized website also offers helpful guides, insightful blog posts, engaging videos, informative graphics and more. That's why having high-end content is so vital - it gives people a reason to come back.
So, how should you go about strengthening your content? Start by following these steps:
- Study the demographics of visitors. You can't make content that's targeted for an audience until you know who is visiting your website. Although you clearly haven't built up a significant flow of online traffic (or else you wouldn't be reading this), you can learn quite a bit from the small number of visitors you have. Assuming you're using Google Analytics, check out the Audience feature. Use this to learn broad-but-useful information about your visitors including breakdowns of their ages, genders and interests.
- Check out the competition. The free way to do this is to search for your most relevant keywords on Google, then click the top organic search results. How does the content on each landing page add to the website's value? How is it useful, relevant or entertaining for visitors? You can also use online tools such as SpyFu and Ahrefs to gain vital insights on competitors' content schemes, but using these tools often costs money. It's money well spent, if you can afford it.
- Understand your audience's needs. What, exactly, is your audience searching for? If you own a shoe store, it's not enough to say your audience is searching for shoes. Rather, why does your audience need shoes? Are people looking for shoes that are good for marathons, or shoes that are good for business-casual office wear? Do your customers want to know when it's time to replace their shoes? Do they want shoes made in America? Do they want sandals made locally?
- What does your business offer? It's a simple question, and one you must answer with complete honesty in order to fully connect with your audience.
Once you've taken these preliminary steps, it's time to get to work. Start by listing all of your content ideas, and add to this list whenever possible. Next, set the pace for creating new content by making an editorial calendar. Don't be too ambitious - start out slow with manageable deadlines. Releasing new content at a consistent pace is more important than ratcheting volume.
When writing, always aim for at least 800 words. Don't try to stuff your content with keywords; stick with natural, well-written posts and articles. If possible, pay for professional, high-quality images. Add pictures, graphics and videos to your content whenever possible. Focus on writing insightful, remarkable content that will leave a lasting impression.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is important for small businesses. There is no better way to connect online with consumers in your area. A stronger social media presence will bolster your website traffic and your link profile, both of which will ultimately improve your website's SEO and conversions.
Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.