So, you’ve designed your website, added content, and hit “publish”. Congratulations! All you have to do now is to sit back and wait for droves of users to come galloping toward your website, thirsty for its offerings…
The cruel reality for many new websites is that sometimes, driving traffic is a bit harder than you might initially think – especially without an advertising budget or a team of people able to dedicate hours to promotion day to day. In this blog post, we’ll divulge 5 DIY tricks to drive traffic to your website, using tools and know-how you already have.
1) Links, Links, Links
How many social media accounts do you have? For that matter, how many times have you been asked to fill in profile information for a web app or social network you ultimately forget about? If you’re experiencing a lag in traffic to your website, try tracing your presence on all the websites you’ve signed up for (from StumbleUpon to Facebook and Twitter). When possible, add a link to your website in your profile information. Search engines will appreciate these links, as it makes it easier to identify that your website is consistent with your larger online presence, but adding a link to your site left, right, and center will quite simply broaden your exposure.
If you, like many of us, are at a loss to recall the sheer number of website you’ve signed up for over the years, there are a few tools that can help jog your memory. If, for example, you usually use the same user name, KnowEm can search through hundreds of social networks to identify where your name is being used.
Social media accounts aside, another oft-forgotten opportunity when it comes to linking your site is in your email signature. Not only will an updated email signature help the people you correspond with to keep track of your details, it also puts contacts you may be getting in touch with for the first time at ease, allowing them to instantly verify who you are.
2) Talk About It In Real Life
What happens on the internet doesn’t need to stay on the internet. Your website is an integral tool for your business, online and offline. When you’re networking in the real world, keep on offline version of your website with you on your smartphone or tablet. Providing a visual cue in conversations will help remind your new friend or potential client to visit your website again and spend more time exploring.
3) Check Your Keywords
You don’t have to search for long to find hundreds upon hundreds of blog posts encouraging you to get hip to keywords on your website. “Use popular search keywords in your headlines!”, the cheer. “Throw as many keywords as you can around your site!”, they plead. The reality is, orienting your website content around keywords alone will rarely win you long-term gains in traffic or conversions.
Keywords can be broken up into two different categories: “broad keywords” and “longtail keywords”. “Broad keywords” refer to general (and usually high-traffic) words that you might use throughout your site to align yourself as broadly as possible with an industry. “Longtail keywords”, meanwhile, refer more specific terms that help users narrow what you do down from a larger industry. While they’re often industry-specific keywords, longtail keywords can also be strings of several words, such as “what/who/where is ______?” or “ways to _____.” In these cases, consider what your audience might come to your website looking for, and address their potential questions in your longtail keyword.
Longtail keywords help to drive your most relevant traffic, meaning that you will have a higher chance of starting and sustaining a relationship with your new visitors. For more tips on how to structure keywords to drive traffic, check out this informative article via our friends at HubSpot.
4) Get Friendly With Google
There’s little doubt that Google wields inimitable power on the Internet (and our daily lives). Like it or not, to get ahead online, you may have to get friendly with them. Google offers a huge variety of tools to help sites get ranked on their search engines, but for new site owners, your first step should be to submit your website and its contents to Google. All you need to do is enter your URL and a captcha, and Google will take care of the rest.
There are other ways to cuddle up to Google to improve your search ranking. There’s Google Business, which allows you to register your physical business so that it will more easily show up on searches while providing basic information such as opening hours, reviews, and price ranges. Despite is second-fiddle reputation, Google+ is also a helpful resource when it comes to driving traffic to your website by linking your own website’s content to third party content, comments, and your entire existing social network.
Aiga Waitingroom at Wiki Commons