The according to certain sources, as of July 2015 the entire indexed web contains over 4.5 billion pages. In this sea of content, images, videos, and social media, it’s easy, as someone with a struggling website, to feel overwhelmed. That said, there is no greater tool your business or brand can have than a website that both promotes your product or service while adding value to your readers’ experience. By generating awesome content and engaging traffic tools to expand your reach, you can boost website traffic while simultaneously establishing yourself as a trustworthy member of the digital community.
Here are 6 quick, creative, DIY ways to improve your website and increase your traffic.
1. Optimize your content for search engines
To increase the visibility of your website and boost traffic, incorporate content-rich search words that will earn your site more play in popular search engines. Since much website traffic comes from search engines like Google – especially when a user is discovering your site for the first time – you want to make sure you’re employing simple on-page SEO techniques, like consistently stellar website performance, keyword-rich text and titles, frequent content updates, etc. When incorporated organically, these are great ways to increase your presence in search results and bring more traffic to your site.
2. Improve your social media presence
Your social media outlets should function as an extension of your website. Maintain fun and active Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts that don’t only promote your content, but serve to build up your personality and profile. Become active in social communities that are relevant to your content. In addition, make sure your content is easily shareable by implementing social plugins on your website (Like, +1, and Tweet buttons) in order to increase your site’s visibility on social networks.
3. Get grabby
When sharing your content on social media or in link trades, think about creating titles for your posts and pages that will be more interesting to readers. Check out sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed – they are experts at titles that are creative, honest, and engaging without being sensationalist. We’ve researched and collected some best practices on title length and word choices to determine what kinds of titles generate the most clicks. Think about ways you can implement these best practices to make the content you’re sharing more clickable.
4. Paid traffic
In order to generate high traffic, many websites rely on the pay per click (PPC) model, a form of internet advertising in which the advertiser pays for clicks on their ads, only paying for actual traffic driven to their website. Depending on your budget and industry, this might be a good option for you. If you do want to take your site to this level of visibility, paid content discovery platforms like Google Adwords, Facebook’s PPC platform, and Outbrain Amplify can radically extend your website’s reach and increase your traffic. These content discovery platforms can help extend your reach and bring you a whole new audience that otherwise might not have been looking for you.
5. Find your community
One of the best ways to increase website traffic is to become a hub for your industry. By connecting with other writers, bloggers, and thought-leaders in your field, and forming a virtual community, you will be positioning yourself as a trusted go-to. One way to form real and lasting connections is by prioritizing giving back – ie. employing the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality. Participate in link trades with other related site owners. And don’t only wait for others to notice you: drive traffic to other websites you respect and trust, and be sure to participate in conversations in forums or on social media to establish yourself and your site as a dynamic community member.
6. Provide real value and increased traffic will come
While all the above techniques may help you to gain new readers, you also need to think about keeping the ones you have – and how to inspire those readers to tell their friends and share your content. Create useful, unique, and timely content that your readers will organically want to share with their friends, and that will inspire those who are site owners or bloggers to link to your content. These links are a great organic way to improve your SEO. Use videos and images when appropriate to provide a more dynamic reader experience. Proof your content for grammar and spelling, and reveal your unique voice, point of view, and expertise. Word-of-mouth is still one of the most trusted ways to boost website traffic, and to generate this level of engagement, your website needs to focus on providing real value – both entertainment and educational – to your audience.