Driving Traffic to Your Website
You’ve invested in a quality website. Now what? What’s the secret to maximizing your site’s potential by drawing users to it? How can you find out about the traffic to your site?
You may have heard or seen the term “SEO.” It stands for “Search Engine Optimization.”
Search engines use programs called “bots” to “crawl” your website, analyzing words, links, and images on its pages to help categorize it. Websites are then ranked by the search engine based on their perceived legitimacy and relevance to keywords. Because natural search accounts for 70% of all website traffic, getting SEO right is very important. Building your site to account for the preferences of common search engines ensures better placement in search results.
Optimizing for Search Engines
To optimize for search engines, first make sure search engine bots know how to crawl your site! Depending on what platform your site is built in, you may need to provide them directions by creating a “site map.” Site maps help bots navigate your site so they don’t accidentally skip any pages that you may want indexed by search engines. If your site was built from scratch using custom HTML, your web developer may need to create a site map for the site. However, if you’re using Wix or Squarespace, these platforms may do so automatically. Either way, be sure to check with the developer of your site to verify bots can crawl it!
Next, check to see if all images include “alternate text.” This is a string of text embedded in the page’s HTML code that describes what the image is. Alternate text was originally created to ensure that if the images of a page failed to load, the user would at least have a description of what the image contained. Though it’s preferable the image actually appear, the alternate text prevents a lack of context should the image not load. Alternate text is now used by search engines to help categorize website content. Providing accurate and descriptive alternate text for images on your site increases the likelihood that your site will be presented to users searching for similar content.
Finally, if your target demographic of users is local to your state or town, be sure to mention the location of your business whenever relevant. For example, place your address in the footer of every page, include text such as “we service businesses in the Austin area” within service descriptions, etc. Using these geographical cues will help with placement of your site when local users search for nearby businesses.
Your website’s traffic isn’t driven by search engines alone. Ensuring cross-traffic between established and reputable websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Manta, can increase the number of users visiting your site.
When it comes to having a social media presence for your organization, it is imperative that its page remains consistently active. If you can’t commit to posting a blog post or relevant article that your users will find useful at least once a month, you’re better off not having a social media presence at all until you can keep it fresh. Having no social media presence at all does not necessarily help or hurt your brand, but having a dead feed will absolutely cause harm.
Before committing to writing a blog or having a social media presence, do the following:
Consider what kind of topics you can write with authority about, and how much content you can reasonably produce based on those topics. If you only envision writing a few posts about your specialty, it may not be sustainable long term.
Determine what kind of value your posts provide to your followers. Will you be providing helpful tips about your industry so they can make informed buying decisions? Recommendations for new products to advance their business? Users will only follow your feeds and funnel to your website if they feel you are providing value to them.
Test your process to figure out how long it will take you by writing a sample article or blog post. Make sure you can consistently devote this amount of time to writing, or be sure to designate a specific person who's responsibility it will be to write for your company.
If you feel your business isn't ready to maintain an active social media presence, fear not! There are other ways to increase your online reach. For example, you can:
Create a LinkedIn Company Page for you business and connect your personal LinkedIn to it. Learn how here.
Create a Manta Company Page for your business. Get started here.
Having a website is not enough. It’s important to take the time to think about the purpose of your site and who you want to utilize it, and then take action to target the right users and drive them to your site. Whether you attract users through natural search or other online methods, taking the steps outlined above can go a long way to reaching your goals.
If you think you could use the help of an experienced web designer, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you implement a plan to maximize your online reach. X Factor will analyze your current online presence, provide useful feedback, and address any pain points that impact your ability to attract users. Contact us today!