So you just created this great website that looks awesome and represents your brand clearly, but it gets no traffic. Have you wondered why you’re getting no website traffic? This article will teach you how to drive traffic to your website.
The classic new website, no traffic.
Your website is brand new to the internet. If you just purchased your domain and built your website, you are brand new on the internet. Google and the other search engines have no idea who you are or what you post.
Let’s change that.
Step One: Submit your sitemaps to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
The first step to getting your website out there and building some domain authority is signing up for Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. These tools won’t give you any kind of special treatment when it comes to ranking but they are valuable tools in your SEO efforts. They are also free!
Google Search Console:
Once you sign up for these services and verify your website, you will then have access to the tools where you can submit your sitemap.
You will find the sitemap tool on the left site menu once your website has been verified and you have access to Google Search Console.
Once you click that option, you will be prompted to submit the sitemap for your website.
It will take a little bit of time for Google to process your sitemap but once you have completed this process, Google will know about your website.
This beats waiting for them to discover you on their own. Google is good at what they do but if you can make it easier for them to find you, that benefits you.
Bing Webmaster Tools:
This is a very similar process to submitting your sitemap in Google Search Console and also important. Bing is a highly used search engine. It isn’t trafficked nearly as much as Google but you should still submit your sitemap.
You will find the sitemap options in the left sidebar.
Once you click that option, you will be prompted to submit your sitemap, just like in Google Search Console.
So now these search engines can discover your website easier. This won’t instantly shoot your traffic up but it is a great first step when building a new website.
Step 2: Start promoting your website.
- Contact all of your business acquaintances and let them know about your new website.
- Let customers know about your new website. If you are a brick and mortar establishment, you can let them know before they leave or put a flyer in your store about it.
- If you operate an email list, send out a new email about the website.
- Get active on social media and let all of your followers and friends know about the new website.
- If you are a business to business company, let all of your LinkedIn and Alignable connections know about the website. They might just share your website and your content.
Step 3: Write quality blog posts and get backlinks and shares from other major websites.
I will go more into detail about this later in the post but this is a great way to get your website some traffic.
Creating optimized content that is targeted correctly is an amazing way to build traffic to your blog and get some leads in the process. Content marketing takes a lot of effort and time to be successful but there is no better time to start than now.
Once you have created some content, you can get other major websites to link to you by sending a nice email to them letting them know about your content. The more high authority links your content has, the better it will rank and the more traffic you will see.
In conclusion, you can’t throw a website up on the internet and expect it to immediately perform well. You have to put in the effort to drive traffic to your website. In the eyes of Google, the older a website is, the more credible it is so you have to show search engines why your new website is worth ranking.
Your website is not optimized for search engines.
If you have done your research on building websites, surely you have heard of SEO. People make it sound like an overwhelming concept and it can be very difficult at times.
The main goal of search engine optimization is to build your website in a way that makes it easy for search engine crawlers to read and index your website. It is possible that whoever built your website put SEO on the back burner.
Here five best practices that you or your web designer can use to boost your rankings and drive more traffic to your website:
- Make sure that your website content is structured. Use the correct heading and subheading tags to organize your content. This also makes it easy for Google and other search engines to decide what is important on your web page.
- Your website should be mobile responsive. This is a major ranking factor for Google and if you don’t have a mobile responsive website, this could be hurting your SEO. Check out this article about mobile-friendly websites and why you need one.
- The user experience on your website should be top notch. It should be easy for users to find what they are looking for and your pages should load as fast as possible. If your load times are over three seconds, your page could be suffering.
- Be sure to do extensive keyword research or hire an SEO firm to do this for you. Once you have done keyword research, implement the keywords in your content. Be sure not to overuse keywords because this can cause you to be penalized. Check out this information about keyword research that you can use with your digital marketer to create an awesome keyword research campaign.
- Be sure you are using plenty of internal links on your website. If you write a blog article, link to another similar article on your website. This improves the internal link structure of your website and this is very important in terms of search engine optimization. This helpful article from Yoast goes into more detail about internal linking and why it is important.
These optimizations can take a lot of time, especially if your website wasn’t built with SEO in mind from the ground up. You might find it easier to hire someone to do this work for you so you can get the best results.
Search engine optimization is one of the MOST important aspects of a successful website. It also offers the highest return on investment as organic search traffic is free.
If you invest the time or money into building organic traffic for your website, you will see a high return on investment as time passes.
You don’t create content and engage with your target audience.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website. If you create great content that is targeted at the right audience, you can drive more traffic to your site.
There are many different types of content that you can use to generate traffic. Here are several different types of content that businesses successfully use to grow their web traffic.
- Blog posts
- FAQ Articles
- Guest posts (this is great for getting backlinks to your blog)
- Case Studies
- White Papers
If you are not creating content for your website and keeping it updated, this will hurt your traffic. Google prefers websites that are up to date and beneficial to its users.
Here are a few steps you can take to build your audience through content marketing.
Step 1: Research.
The first step for any marketing strategy is research. You need to find out what your customers want and find a way to give it to them. Before you start any kind of marketing research, you need to develop a buyer persona. Figure out who your ideal customer is, what their problems are, how they do their job, and what they are searching for.
Let’s create a scenario here. You just built a website selling graphic design resources. Your company develops premium templates, fonts, shapes, patterns, and more. The only way you make money is if you sell these resources so you need targeted traffic to your website.
It is pretty clear that you are targeting graphic designers.
Below is a very simple buyer persona that I created with Hubspot’s Buyer Persona Tool. This persona is a man, in his mid-twenties who works for a graphic design firm. His responsibilities are to design materials per a client’s request.
It is clear that they need the tools that you are selling so you want to find content that you can write that will persuade them to purchase your premium tools.
So now you need to think about what kind of content they would want to read. Here are some ideas I can think of off the top of my head:
- 10 of the best fonts for 2019 with some sample work. This article could include some of the premium fonts that you create alongside some other popular fonts on the market. You can include a sample mockup using each font. In this article, you can go over the benefits of using these premium fonts.
- How design templates can save time and help inspire a graphic designer.
- 2019 design trends that stand out to you.
All of these ideas allow you to promote your premium products alongside some helpful information. These are very basic ideas but hopefully, they give you an idea of why research is important.
You can also do keyword research to see how often a certain keyword is searched for. Maybe you want to target the keyword “graphic design resources”.
You can use a free tool like Ubersuggest to figure out if a certain keyword is being searched and how difficult it will be to rank for it.
This is also a very useful way to develop content ideas. You can research keywords that relate to what you want to write about and see if that topic or keyword is being searched for.
There are plenty of tools you can use to do efficient keyword research. Most of them will cost a monthly fee to use but these tools are worth it.
You might also benefit from hiring a professional to help you research as they know what to look for, which competitors to research, and which content ideas will work the best.
Step 2: Develop a content strategy
So you have done your research, it’s time to develop a content strategy. Before you develop that strategy, you need some goals.
Let’s say your goal is to increase website revenue by 20% in one year. To do this, you need website visitors who are going to purchase your products.
Now you need to develop a strategy to meet that goal.
The strategy could be to make a resourceful blog post 3 times a week and 1 video each week for your Youtube channel. In your blog posts, you can write about the topics you have researched.
So you now know that you will be creating 4 pieces of content each week, designed to generate more traffic for your website. As part of your strategy, you need to figure out a way that you are going to make these blog articles convert visitors into buyers.
One idea is to include a link to your products within the blog posts.
Here is an example from Canva. In this article, they provide a very long list of design resources but they plug their own products as well. This is a great way to promote your products in your content without creating an article strictly about your own business.
You want to take the same approach with your videos as well. In the video descriptions, you can provide links to your products and you can also talk about your products in the videos.
This strategy is all about creating content that drives traffic to your website and then provides the visitors with links to your products while they are consuming helpful information.
If you help your visitors solve their problems and provide good information, this will drive them to purchase from you.
So now you have your strategy, it’s time to get to work.
Step 3: Create content that drives visitors to your website
We already talked a little bit about creating content in the last step but it is important that we cover this in more detail.
Let’s just be clear, effective content creation is not a walk in the park. There are roughly 4 million blog posts that pop up on the internet every single day. You have to stand out.
You want the content that you create to be better than all of your competitors so you can beat them on the search engines. To do this, you need to be a resourceful writer with original ideas.
The blog posts that you write need to also be related to your target market and easy to read. You don’t want to hit your target audience with a wall of text like this:
If this is what your blog post looks like, any visitors to your website will quickly leave. Nobody wants to read that.
You need to make your article easy to read and easy to skim through.
Here are a few articles about writing readable, SEO-friendly content:
17 Tactics to Create Engaging & SEO-Friendly Content – Search Engine Journal
SEO Copywriting: How to Write Content For People and Optimize For Google – Neil Patel
10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post – Yoast SEO
There is no magical recipe to perfect content. You just have to present your original ideas in an easily consumable way and promote your content.
That leads us to the next step…
Step 4: Promote your content
This part is probably more important than the content creation itself. You can’t just create content and wait for people to show you. You have to get busy.
Figure out where your target market is and tell them about your helpful content.
Here are some promotion tips:
- Post your content to social media daily. Don’t post the same article every single day, that looks spammy but make sure your social media following knows about your new posts and videos.
- Find people in your target audience who your article might benefit and email it to them. Be friendly and don’t be pushy.
- Find other bloggers in your niche and share your article with them. If your article is good enough and it would benefit their readers, they might give you a backlink. This could be a great way to boost your SEO and get some more traffic.
- Create targeted PPC ads on Facebook or LinkedIn that promote your article to a targeted audience. Be sure to start with a small budget to see what works and then scale your most successful ads.
Many gurus say that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and the other 80% of your time promoting it. People are not going to magically show up on your blog as soon as you make an awesome post.
As you get more backlinks, social shares, and views, your rankings in the search engines will grow and your content could snowball into something that constantly generates traffic for your website.
This is a very general content strategy and there are different tips and tricks for each niche to increase your views but the foundation of content creation will always remain the same. You need to do thorough research, develop an organized strategy, create original content, and promote it to your target audience.
If you invest the time into doing this, it can be a very effective way to increase your website traffic.
Your website is not user-friendly.
This is a problem that kills so many websites from the beginning. User experience is key and if your website doesn’t provide the best experience possible, people are going to leave.
User experience also directly affects your search engine rankings. Google’s main goal is to provide the BEST answer to a search query and if your website provides bad user experience, they are not going to rank you. That would leave their customers unhappy.
Make sure your website loads quickly on desktop and mobile devices.
Over 50% of mobile users abandoning sites that take longer than three seconds to load, but most web pages take a lot longer to load, creating a significant gap between consumers’ expectations and most businesses’ mobile capabilities.
David Kirkpatrick – Marketing Dive
There are many tools that you can use to check your website loading speed. These tools will give you tips to improve your website loading speed as well. If you are working with a web development company, be sure to stress the importance of a fast loading website.
Here is a list of tools to check website speed:
GTMetrix – This is a simple website speed test that gives basic recommendations to improve speed.
Google PageSpeed – Test your website speed and receive more in-depth recommendations to improve speed.
Dot-Com Tools – This tool allows you to test your website speed in 25 different locations around the world.
In 2010, Google made page speed a ranking factor because it directly affects user experience. If your website loads slow, users will leave and Google will penalize you.
Your website should be mobile friendly.
This is just as important as page load speed because it is also a major ranking factor for Google. It doesn’t just matter for rankings, though. It matters because a mobile visitor who enters a website that isn’t optimized for mobile will leave immediately.
I wrote an entire article about mobile responsive websites that will go into detail about why they are important. Check that out for more information: Why do you need a mobile-friendly website?
To add more to mobile responsiveness, ensure that your website fits the browser window is half the battle. You also need to make sure your fonts are easily readable, your buttons are not too close together, and all your images and content scales properly when resized.
Having a mobile-friendly website that loads quickly is extremely important when trying to grow the amount of traffic to your website. Your landing pages should be accessible and easy to navigate or you will lose anyone who shows up on your page.
That takes us to our last section…
You’re not capturing the user’s attention when they do show up.
When a user shows up on your website, you have about eight seconds to capture their attention before they leave. So you might be getting some traffic but that traffic doesn’t matter if all of your users “bounce.”
So what is a bounced session?
Bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of people who land on your website and do completely nothing on the page they entered. So they don’t click on a menu item, a ‘read more’ link or any other internal links on the page.
- Annelieke van den Berg – Yoast SEO
Your goal is to grab the attention of your visitors and start them down a sales funnel that is built into your website.
You want to focus on the above the fold content of your website. This is the content that a visitor sees before scrolling down your page. This is the most valuable piece of real estate on your website because every visitor will see it no matter what.
This above the fold content should include a strong headline that tells a customer what you do and why they should work with you or purchase your product.
To accompany your headline, you need a call to action. This call to action can lead a visitor to a contact form, an online store, or a myriad of other places. Your goal with the call to action button should be to get a visitor to complete some kind of marketing oriented action.
Your call to action phrase should be something that persuades a visitor to complete an action like clicking a button or making a phone call. Here are 100 call to action phrases that you can use for your marketing campaign.
Here is an example of a website that doesn’t use a clear headline or call to action:
When a user lands here, what do you think they are going to do? They are going to bounce because they have no idea why they should choose this coffee shop. Nothing is informing them at all.
Here are some ways they could improve this above the fold content:
- Create a headline that draws the attention of visitors. Something like “Tired? Wake up with Spyhouse.”
- Create a subheading that gives the visitor a little bit more information about the business. A headline like “If you are struggling to get going, stop in for a fresh coffee made with 100% local beans.” This gives the visitor a little more information and some benefits to stopping by Spyhouse.
- Create a call to action. They could create a button that says “Find a Spyhouse Near You” that links to their “Cafes” page.
If they implemented this content above the fold, visitors would immediately know what kind of website they are visiting, why they should go to this particular coffee shop, and how this coffee shop is going to help them. Then there is a call to action that helps the visitor quickly find a cafe near them. This will then turn in to more traffic to the brick and mortar store which leads to more sales.
This is why above the fold content and marketing driven design is so important.
Check out this example of a website that utilizes a benefit-driven headline and call to action to convert visitors into paying customers:
This is the kind of design you want to shoot for when you are trying to see results from your website. Your website designer should be able to help you achieve this.
If you don’t capture the attention of your users immediately, they will leave your web page without ever viewing the content you have created or browsing the rest of your website. This means that your website isn’t performing the way it should and it is time to make some changes.
There are often many reasons why your website isn’t getting the traffic you would like. These problems can usually be solved with some design changes and marketing efforts.
If you are not receiving the traffic that you need to meet your goals, you can learn how to fix your website or you can hire a web designer and digital marketing firm to help. There are a lot of benefits to hiring someone to do this work for you. You can ensure that the work is done properly and you get the results you need. Hopefully, you have learned a little about how to get traffic to your website.