Without a doubt, the one thing that gets asked most in initial client meetings and once a site is launched would have to be “How do I get more traffic to my website?” There are a few generalities that apply to all sites, but in the end the real formula depends highly on what your website is about, what your goals for the site are, and who is your audience. So there are variables and there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.
Let’s start with the generalities because if your reading this article, chances are pretty excellent that these items are should be important to you.
- Your site must be mobile friendly. More people are going to view your site on a tablet or phone than on a laptop or desktop device. It’s just fact – get used to it. Here’s a tool that Google offers to show you where your site stands: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly Evidence of the importance of this is that when someone uses Google to search on a mobile device, Google’s list of sites will ONLY include sites that they deem “Mobile-Friendly”, so if your site doesn’t meet their criteria, you don’t show up … AT ALL. Fortunately, we use tools that automatically design your site in a mobile friendly manner, so if you are hosting with SiteCrafters, you’re probably “good” on this one.
- Your site must be secure. Over the years, the internet has become a pretty risky place for both businesses with sites and for potential customers. More and more people are expecting to see that reassurance in their browser bar that the site they are visiting is really who they purport to be … the https:// and the padlock are ESSENTIAL, which means you need an SSL certificate properly installed on your site – EVEN IF YOU DON’T DO E-COMMERCE! Again, Google is ‘marking’ sites that don’t meet this criteria, so the words “Risky” or “Insecure” could be associated with your search engine ranking. If you’re hosting with SiteCrafters – you have an SSL Certificate on your site … it’s part of every hosting plan.
- Your site must load quickly. The faster it loads, the better your ranking on the search engines. Why? Because the search engines want THEIR USERS to be happy with the results, and if they toss someone out to a site that loads slower than a sloth drawing a picture of a tandem bicycle, the users of the search engine are not going to be pleased. Google has a tool to measure page speed but it’s really cumbersome and goes far “deeper” in to nerdiness than most of our clients find beneficial. So here’s a useful link to a great web resource for page speed: https://tools.pingdom.com/
- The mark of the beast. Google issues an ID number to every website that registers for the Google Analytics program. Google issues the ID and the website should include a sitemap which helps their “bots” index everything and include it all in the massive database of everything Google knows. Similar strategies are in place for other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, etc., so getting everyone’s everything included on your site helps them point to your content more readily.
Those are the essentials that apply to everyone. Here’s where it gets a little more scattered. Depending on what you do, what your site is used for, and who is coming to your site, you need to formulate a plan beyond the basics to really reach out to potential site visitors and invite them to check out what you have waiting for them.
One of the most basic strategies which applies to everyone in some respect, is to have social media channels directing people to your site. Where do food trucks go? Where there are people and usually where there are other food trucks … it’s a simple dynamic. If they see something relevant to their life on a social post, they’re gong to follow a link to your site to learn more. The corollary to this is that everyone who has been to your site, knows you, or has been a client, also knows people that you don’t and that don’t know you. Just about every entrepreneur, non-profit administrator, or service provider understands the power of networking. This is the www equivalent of “word-of-mouth”.
Social channels also provide opportunities for paid advertising. Whether that is a good fit for you or whether the return on investment would make this a viable option depends, again, on your situation – but online advertising can be extremely valuable and is consistently earning its’ rightful place beside brick-and-mortar advertising and the traditional media.
What social strategies and advertising mix would work best for you should be a well-planned strategy which is hashed out with professionals that have deep knowledge on the topic. Here are some of the best resources we know for gaining a basic understanding of how to go about the next level of enhancing the value of your web asset:
- 25 Ways to Increase Web Traffic
- A Practical Guide to Improving SEO with Google
- Free Advertising and Other Google Tips Marketers Should Know
- How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels
- How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels – Checklist
There’s a lot of information here – if you need help sorting it all out, we’re here for you … just Contact Us and we’ll help you get to the next level!