There is nothing worse for your motivation than that feeling of defeat when you spend a great amount of time, effort and sometimes money to have a website designed just to experience close to no traffic when you finally launch it.
People are ignoring your website because developing your visual web presence is just one aspect of launching an effective business website – driving traffic to your new website is another matter.
Now this isn’t a strict SEO article (search engine optimisation) instead this is intended as a ‘quick-reference’ set of points of action that any web master, entrepreneur or business owner can enact to give the best chances of upping your organic traffic once your website is live.
Go Social – Make Sure your Content is Shareable
Social network links to your website, ecommerce products or blog posts are essential for driving back engaged traffic to your website. Recent studies on Googlebot indexing indicate that social links, comments and shares are one of the highest influencing factors in how Google determines the relevance of your website content. Effectively, the bots are determining that the most shared and read content is likely to be the most useful. So often I read online content and notice that there is no immediate way to share it to my networks if I wanted. When building your site make sure that you use share and follow integrations such as ‘pin it’ widgets – so that your content can be posted on all of the popular networks where possible.
It’s also important to list as many of your products on every social network you utilise. Every instance of your product online increases exposure and leaves a digital footprint that can help to determine an items relevance and importance when considering search rankings.
Keep a Blog
Blogs are great for introducing new content which is another important factor that Googlebots use to rank your website. Setting your website up and walking away is no longer an option. Regular and rich content is important for letting search engines know that you are pursuing a goal or a mission and are providing information to make that happen. That gives your website content a purpose and search engines will notice these additions on regular re-crawls of the available content.
Two things to bear in mind when producing your blog:
- Link titles and content of new posts to high traffic/low competition search terms (Google Adwords Keyword Tool will keep you right with long string search terms)
- Make sure that your website has a searchable and adaptive sitemap so that search crawlers like the Googlebot know where to look for your new information.
Don’t Copy Others
Whilst it’s always a great idea to keep tabs on your competitors and to look for inspiration in relevant places it is never a good idea to just copy. One of the things that will negatively affect your sites apparent relevance is if there is very little to differentiate your content from others. Just because a site is already ranking well for a particular topic or term doesn’t mean that you can copy what they have and achieve a similar success. Now in some industries there will of course be similarities between different businesses sites such as product descriptions, references to common locations/assets or services etc. but where possible try to put your own spin on anything you produce or list. Apart from the effects on search bots, the human effect will also kick-in. People are drawn to bloggers and content producers they feel aligned to, whether that is due to location, services provided or just your personal style. So putting yourself out there as a producer of original content provides the opportunity to develop a loyal audience – which is great as a factor in converting views to sales.
Put Yourself Out There
Now when I talk about back-links I’m not referring to those ads that offer 5000 backlinks for £30.00 – stay clear of those. Having just anyone link to you isn’t ideal, but it is advisable to start making friends and networking.
Search for businesses and companies on the periphery of your industry such service providers for your business types, directories, review sites, regulatory bodies etc. and look to see if they list associated businesses/websites, provide reference lists of relevant businesses or have a partners section on their website and apply to be listed. A good example of this is for accommodation providers, look for your local tourist information website where undoubtedly there will be a list of accommodation providers in that area where you will no doubt be welcome to list your website with a link back to you.
Google Search Console lists these back-links as a crawl results, telling you how many and which wesite link back to you. The higher the proportion of websites with related and relevant content that link to you, search bots take this almost as an endorsement of the relevance of your own content and hence how highly they will rank you.
There are also free business directories and indexes that provide opportunities for back-links. Search for free business directories and list in the more established ones.
In conclusion, these quick-tips aren’t going to teach seasoned web developers anything new but they do stand as a point of reference for anyone without web development skills to give themselves the best chance of generating organic traffic for your website.
Stay tuned for future posts expanding on some of the topics raised above!