Simple things that you can do, both on your website and off, to start getting in more website traffic.
We all want to get more visitors, and convert them to sales wherever possible.
But how can you go about setting yourself up for success? In this article I’ll go through my quick and easy tips to get your website ranking, and things you should consider to boost traffic to your site.
First of all what can you do on your website that will start to have an immediate impact?
Search engines, such as Google, are constantly crawling the web looking for new content to index and display.
That said it takes a while for them to find things (the internet is huge!) and it may take them a while to come across your content by themselves.
To make sure they know you exist you can just simply let them know by submitting your sitemaps to them.
If you are in WordPress then using on-site tools such as Rank Math makes it easy as they will generate the sitemaps that you’ll need.
WordPress, as of version 5.5 also has a sitemap feature built-in, but as of this update (August 2020) I would recommend sticking with an SEO plugin to handle this until the WordPress version matures a little,
This submission process only needs to be done once. Any content changes on your website will be automatically noticed after your initial submission.
After your sitemaps have been submitted, Google (and the others) will come and have a look at your content to work out what your website is all about.
Rather than leaving them to try and figure it out from your content, you can give yourself (and them) a helping hand by setting up some data which describes your content to them.
This is called on-page SEO.
This includes things like page title, meta-data, keywords and alt image text
They will analyse your page content and help with suggestions as to what you need to do to set up your page properly.
Search is getting more sophisticated, have a look at this example of a search done in Google for ‘chicken tikka recipe’
You can see loads of information in the search results. A video, images, description, summary information even ingredients.
This is called rich search, or schema markup.
I previously mentioned Rank Math, and in this tool you have the options to setup the information needed to deliver similar results for your content.
Here’s what’s currently supported
As you can see, the list is fairly broad, and will only get larger over time.
Schema markup, if relevant to your content, will certainly help anyone searching by supplying more information to them, increasing your chances of a click on a link and a visit to your site.
This one is a simple on-site task, which will improve your chances of ranking higher, and consequently getting more clicks and more visitors.
Google is built on the idea of links. The thinking is the more links to content there are, the more ‘important’ the content must be.
Kind of like a party, you’re probably more drawn to the group of people laughing at someone telling an interesting story than you are the person sitting quietly by themselves in the corner.
But linking isn’t just looked at between websites, it is also looked at within websites.
This is called internal linking, and it is when you link from one place in your content to another page, post or even content within them.
It’s simple enough to setup, and it will make your readers and the search engines happy.
Site speed is a major ranking factor.
Site speed is also something to consider when thinking about your potential visitors.
Load slow, customers go….
If your page takes too long to load people may just give up and move somewhere else before even getting a chance to see your content.
So how do you check your page speed to make sure it is OK?
There are a number of online tools which will give you feedback about your site speed, and suggestions about how to speed things up if you need to.
My personal favourite is GT Metrix, which presents information clearly.
So what’s a decent site speed?
Ideally you need to be above the average page speed (around 75%). Of course higher is better.
Page speed is important, but not something to obsess over. Getting 100% is not so important.
For example take a look at the results for some of the world’s most famous websites and see how they are doing.
So what can you do if your site speed is slow?
The first thing to check is your images.
Making sure that your images are the correct format, correct size and are compressed makes a huge difference in page speeds.
Just sorting out your images if you have issues will bring real improvements in your page speeds.
You can also use on-site tools such as re-Smush it, which will optimise your images even further.
Do keep an eye on .png files though. These can also be run through tiny png before uploading to your site.
This is quite often overlooked, but hosting can make a huge difference when it comes to the performance of your website.
It is possible to find cheap hosting, but that’s cheap only in up-front $ terms.
If you are using wordpress then a better solution is to go for managed hosting, such as Flywheel or siteground (who we use)
These hosting providers will do a lot of the site optimisation work at their end of things, in other words at the server level.
On-site technical optimisation
If you are using hosting that is not managed, and which doesn’t do a lot of optimisation, it is possible to do it yourself from within wordpress.
One approach is to follow the recommendations in the GT metrix report, and use a plugin within wordpress to get the results you want.
I talked about cheap hosting, and that’s really only cheap in terms of upfront costs. There can be a huge cost in terms of time and effort if you need to do a lot of site optimisation work yourself.
Remember too, optimisation should be done for ALL the pages on your site, not just the home page.
Marketing foundations that will generate traffic.
Writing content that people will enjoy and find useful will drive traffic to your website.
Blogs are really useful for a number of reasons.
- People have something interesting to read.
- Increased brand awareness for you.
- Articles ca be shared, hence driving traffic. (see the bottom of this article as an example)
- There are more things to search for, so more chance of being found
- You can use your articles to suggest other areas of your site people may wish to visit, such as sales pages or other articles.
- Google likes to see content going up, this again is a ranking factor.
Having a business page is a perfect opportunity to drive traffic to your site.
Be careful though that your Facebook page doesn’t just become a long list of posts to products or services.
This is where blogs can come into play again, giving your audience value in return for their visit.
It works! Chances are you are here because of following a link from a Facebook post.
Remember that I said that Google likes links?
Back links are where another site links to yours.
For example if you have written an interesting article then perhaps reach out to another website owner to see if they would like something similar on their site, in exchange for a link back to yours.
They get visitors, you get visitors via your link andyou make Google happy as it sees back links and will factor this into how it deals with how to list you in search.
No cost / low cost tips for getting people engaged.
If you have a business page already on Facebook you might have noticed that when you post something it doesn’t go out to all of your followers, only to a small percentage.
If you want more reach you need more followers, and one way to do that is to ask your friends to like and follow your page.
You can also ask them to ask their friends…
Just ask people to go to your Facebook business page, like this…
Then go to the community tab
Click “See all friends”
A box will pop up, click “select all”
Then click “Send invitations”
To ask your friends to do this post something like the following on your timeline
“Please take a minute to read this, it could make a huge difference to myself and others you know. Small business like mine need your support, so it would be great if you could…”
Invite them to let you know they’ve done it and then do the same for them.
Easy and free, and a great way to generate followers.
Go ahead and try it
Another way to boost followers is to run an ad campaign for page likes.
It can be relatively low cost and will generate followers to your page.
Facebook has some great marketing tools in their ads manager, which allow you to target to region, age, gender and a whole load of other choices.
One thing I would caution about Facebook advertising is using the boost button. It’s quick and easy, however it will not give you the tools you need to properly target your adverts, or the feedback that is available in Ads manager for understanding the performance of your ad.
It can be a bit of a numbers game, the more followers you have the more people your messages will go out to.
Posting on a regular basis will keep people engaged. If you have a page and never post people may forget about you.
If you post on a regular basis it will reach out to that person who has been thinking about getting in touch and purchasing a product or service, you know, the one who never quite gets around to saying hi?
Well, you’ve just sent out a great prompt, and chance are they will drop you a message.
If you really want to focus in on your site performance and actively work on increasing visitors month on month then you will need to do a number of things to make this happen.
One great example is to keep an eye on your keyword performance, or the performance of the keywords of your closed competitors, and adjust your content and mark-up to improve the performance of your own site.
If you’d like to know more about this then have a read of out article “SEO – what is SEO and why is it so important?“ for more information.
SEO as an ongoing effort can be quite time consuming and it may be something that you consider asking someone else to take on for you.
I hope you have found this article interesting and you’ve now picked up some top tips to get your website ranking
If you’d like to know more, or talk about how we can help with your website or marketing needs then drop us a message and say hi, it would be great to hear from you.