Beginner’s Guide to Website Traffic
When you first start your website it can be a daunting thought that you’re starting from zero and have to get your traffic up so that you can start making an impact. You know that you want relevant traffic to come to your website that consists of your target audience. But, you’re just not sure where to go from here or how to build up the traffic to where it needs to be. This report will give you plenty of useful, inexpensive ideas to help you get started building your web traffic and hit the ground running from the start.
Getting Traffic: Quality vs. Quantity
Website traffic actually has more to do with whether or not you are providing your target audience with information that they can use, than with whether or not your website looks beautifully designed or not. Of course, you do not want a website that blinds the user, or isn’t designed responsively (meaning it works on all devices such as smart phones and tablets), but you really should focus on what’s inside to drive traffic.
That’s where quality traffic comes in over quantity. A website can have a million visitors due to a free give away that appeals to a wide audience, such as a free iPhone – but that isn’t going to get targeted visitors who want what you have to offer, they only want the gift. So, what was good was having a million people signing up for the chance to win the free iPhone? As you can imagine, it’s probably not worth much at all. It would be a waste of time and money to do that.
Quality traffic, on the other hand, will consist of your ideal audience members, and they will want, maybe not today, but eventually, they will want what you have to offer. You just have to find ways to build the traffic for your website that attracts the targeted, relevant, and ready to buy audience that you desire. Quality traffic will spend time on your site, sign up for your newsletters, and open them. Quality traffic will come back, again and again. Quality traffic will purchase your products and / or services. That’s the type of traffic you want.
Getting quality traffic can take a little effort. But, if you create a plan of action and work toward the right goals, in the right way you will be successful. If you’re providing your readers with the information they want, need and solves their problems, you’ll be much more successful. It’s all about targeting the right audience, at the right time, in the right place with the right methods. Before we get started on the things that you can do to get traffic to your website, let’s talk a little bit about measuring traffic effectiveness.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Traffic
One of the most important things to learn about is measuring the effectiveness of the work you do to improve your traffic. First, each goal you make needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, and time sensitive. These are called SMART goals. You can look it up, it’s a real thing. First, you need to set up a Google Analytics Account. It’s not hard to do, if you already have an email address and a ULR for your website you’ll want to set it up.
Go to Google.com/Analytics to set up the account. Follow the prompts to do so. You’ll need your URL, and a Gmail account. Once you set it up you’ll get a code to put into your site. If you use WordPress, you can get a plugin like Google Analytics by Yoast. This allows you to be able to collect and view the stats. It might take a couple of days before you start seeing analytics, so just keep doing the things mentioned in this report below and check your analytics periodically such as quarterly at first. Later, when you’re more established you can start checking more often.
When it comes to measuring online traffic effectiveness, the things you need to measure are:
Your Website’s General Audience
This is the very first thing you will see when you sign into your Google Analytics account once it’s activated and you have some visitors to track. Until you learn how to set it up completely it is counting your visits too. But, that’s okay for now.
Here you can see how many visitors you have in one day, how many are returning, and how many are unique. This is a good measure to track because you want a good amount of new people so that you can build your list, but you also want a good amount of return visitors because that signals that your content is engaging. By clicking to the left under Audience, you can get deeper into this information.
The Sources That Send You Traffic
In addition to how many people are coming to your site, it’s good to know from where they came. Google lays it out for you in terms of organic, referral, direct and social. You can also, as you get more used to using Google Analytics set it up to be more specific and even set conversion goals and more. In Google Analytics, it’s called Acquisition Overview.
From this area, you can set up goals, and get information about where your visitors came from. Knowing where most of your visitors come from is helpful. If you look at the pie chart above this website is fairly equally distributed with social search being the lowest. More than likely the reason is due to lack of effective social activity.
Landing & Exit Page Information
In Google Analytics look for “Behavior” then click on “site content” and you can learn about which landing pages your audience is more likely to come to as well as which exist pages. These are important to you now because you want to perfect not only who comes to your website but also where they go.
You can even look at the behavior flow of your audience. For example, you can see where they landed, and what they did after they landed by looking under Behavior > Behavior Flow.
The following two images are on one page on your Google Analytics Dashboard. But it would be too small to view in this report.
The information these provide you are important because they help you know who is viewing your website, from where, and what pages they come in on most and leave on most. This information is valuable because it can help you improve the areas that need improving. For example if you see that you have a few thousand visitors coming in to your sight via a certain landing page but none of them are converting, you may realize you need to make that information more targeted toward your ideal client.
So much can be learned from studying Google Analytics, but first, you need to start getting targeted traffic. Targeted traffic is full of people who want what and need what you’re offering.
Understanding Who Your Audience Is Exactly
The fact is, knowing your audience is a huge factor in whether you will be successful or not getting traffic to your website. It’s also the key to creating excellent products and / or services that are sought after too. Understanding your audience goes effects everything you do to develop a successful business.
- Describe Your Ideal Customer – To determine who your audience is, first write down exactly the type of person you’d like to work with. This is a make believe person right now, and you’ll refine this description as you move forward. For example: “My ideal customer is an upper level executive who loves playing golf and going on golfing vacations.”
- Find Your Audience – You can use social media like Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, and Twitter.com to locate your audience. Find them on forums and social media and read what they are talking about. Learn what they care about. Learn about their needs, problems, issues, and questions. For example: Find discussion groups online of people talking about golf, and golfing vacations.
- Engage Your Audience – Once you find them, it’s important to converse with them. Ask them questions; find out how they feel about things. You can get so much information, as well as fodder for online content and even product ideas by talking to and engaging with your audience. Caution: This is not the time to try to sell to them. Just be friendly, ask questions, offer help if you know something, and keep it casual. For example: If someone talks about a problem with their golf clubs or golf balls and you know the problem, talk to them about it. Do so freely and without expecting anything in return.
As you converse and participate with your ideal audience members, you’ll refine your description about your audience, perfecting it so that you can easily search for and find out where your audience members spend their time. Once you know where they are, you can learn more about them, as a group, and what their needs, wants, and desires are.
Most importantly, you’ll be able to come up with products that fit perfectly with that audience as well as develop marketing ideas that connect you with them like a laser. Describing, finding and engaging your audience and then delivering exactly what they want and need based on your discoveries involves a very powerful series of methods that will lead to success.
Now, let’s assume you know who your audience is, and what your products and or services are. We’ll go over some free and inexpensive methods to get the right type of traffic that will help you become more successful not only getting traffic, but getting the right type of traffic to your website.
10 Easy, Free, or Inexpensive, Traffic Techniques You Can Use Right Now
Traffic to your website will evolve as you create and perfect each of the ten ideas below. They are not in any particular order. You can choose which one you want to focus on, but pay close attention to the sections that mention anything to do with content. One of your best marketing techniques comes with content on your website, and within email marketing.
Search Engine Optimization involves using strategies and methods to ensure that your website is most attractive to your target audience. SEO includes everything you put on your webpage, and anything you do off your webpage to help improve your page rank and ultimately get more traffic. Technically, it includes all activities that are free and not paid advertisements. This is called, on page SEO and off page SEO.
On Page SEO
Any type of process that will improve page rank and traffic that is performed on the pages of your website, such as adding content, using specific keywords in the content, using keyword tags, titles, subtitles and more is on page SEO.
10 Tips to Improve On-Page SEO
One thing you can do today to immediately improve and drive traffic, is to improve your on page SEO. When embarking on any SEO strategy remember that what works today may not work tomorrow. It’s imperative to keep up-to-date on SEO strategy so that you can keep your websites updated and attracting the freest traffic from search engines possible.
- Improve URL Structure – If you use WordPress this is easy to do, you just have to set it up right. Choose the structure that makes your URL shorter, rather than longer, using words that describe the pages topic. If it’s a keyword, that’s even better. When you choose a URL structure, ensure that as your site grows you’ll easily be able to organize the pages.
- Optimize Page Titles, Headings – A page title is usually also the URL, although it is suggested that if a title is long, you should shorten the URL. Also, within any page you will have headings, subheadings and more that are all opportunities to use keywords and descriptive words that will help search engines find you and locate your website.
- Use Keywords Thoughtfully – When you use keywords, it’s important to understand that you don’t want to overdo it. In the old days, this was called “keyword stuffing”. On any page of your site, whether it’s a page, or a blog post, you do not want to have more than a 2 percent keyword density. That means for every 100 words, you do not want more than 2 of any one keyword for which you’re trying to rank.
- Use Images Properly – When you use an image be sure to use only images that truly bring your information to life. Also, don’t put them where H1 header information goes, which should always be text. In addition, fill out the “alt” information for the image in a descriptive format. Instead of adding “flowers”, state the name of the flowers and explain why that image is important. What does it demonstrate?
- ALT Text and Tags Still Matter – As mentioned above “alt” text serves a purpose. Many people will say they don’t really matter anymore but the truth is that they do matter, for a variety of reasons. Two reasons include the disabled people, who may come to your site, and search engines use that information to rank your website.
- Use Internal Links – Linking to other relevant information on your website under blog posts, and under any information you share is a good way to help search engines find more relevant information but it’s also a great way to keep people on your site longer, both of these things help your site rank higher.
- Blog & Add Content Often – The content you create needs to be laser focused and targeted toward your audience. It also needs to be added regularly and consistently over time so that your website is being updated often which will cause the search engines to crawl your website more often, improve your authority, and also keep your audience interested.
- Make Your Website Responsive – Starting in April of 2015 Google decided that they would rank responsive websites higher than those that are not. A responsive website works on any type of device that your audience may use to access your website such as a smart phone or tablet. If you use WordPress, you can easily use a responsive theme to accomplish this.
- Improve Your Website’s Speed – If you use a self-hosted WordPress site, you can make your page-load fast. Ensure that it loads in less than 3 seconds for the best ranking, and use by your audience. You may need to talk to your web designer to accomplish this as it’s a little more advanced.
- Secure Your Website – Setting up your website so that your URL starts in HTTPS instead of just HTTP you can immediately get a higher ranking, and offer your users a much safer experience because it’s all about security. Just realizes that the S stands for security. The way you get this is to get an SSL certificate for your website, which is something you purchase from your hosting.
You don’t have to do everything mentioned above, do the ones that you can, the ones that you understand, and save the more advanced issues for later. Remember, having a website up and done is better than waiting until everything is perfect. You can improve as you go.
Off Page SEO
Any type of process that will improve page rank and traffic that is performed off your website, such as guest blogging, performing interviews, selling products on other sites, activity on social media websites, social bookmarking, participating on forums and more are all considered off page SEO.
8 Tips to Improve Off-Page SEO
- Social Networking Websites – Join the social networking websites that you are sure your audience participates in. Create profiles that stand out. Each networking site needs a different style of profile so it’s important to find information about how to create the best profiles for each site. In addition, use the site, participate, and engage with others.
- Promoting Your Content – When you create content, whether it’s text, image, video or audio based — everything you create needs to be promoted via social networking and other avenues. No one is going to see what you created on the level you need them to without promoting everything you do.
- Social Bookmarking – Using social bookmarking sites like Reddit.com can be very helpful to improving your search rank, and thus the traffic you receive to your website. Be sure to use only social bookmarking sites that your audience uses.
- Forum Commenting – A great off-page SEO technique to help you get more traffic to your website is to join a forum consisting of your core audience. Create an awesome profile that links back to your website. Then freely talk to and give of yourself to the members of the forum through your well-thought out and helpful comments.
- Blog Commenting – You can set up an alert with Google Alerts to tell you when someone is talking about a topic of interest on a blog. When you get these notifications, go there immediately, read the post, and the form an educated and informative response.
- Guest Blogging – In the “old days” of Internet marketing you could easily use the same blog post, or article to market on many different blogs and article marketing sites. Today, it’s imperative that you create unique content for any guest blogging or article marketing that you engage in. It should be written just for the publication in question, and the publication should be highly regarded and ranked. It should cater to your target audience and the content you write should be made especially for their audience. Your biographical information links should direct back to your website.
- Join Relevant Directories – You don’t want to go around joining every directory that pops up. But once in a while a good directory comes along that is targeted, relevant, and run by people who understand what they’re doing and don’t just allow anyone to list on the directory. When you find directories like that, which are relevant for you, join them.
- Share Relevant Things – Sharing content with your followers on social media, and even from your blog things such as videos, images, photos, memes, infographics and more that you created and that others created that is relevant to your audience will bring up your status as an expert. People will return the favor.
Using off page SEO will increase your rank on search engines, and it will make you a better member of your community. You’ll further your reputation as an authority in your niche, and help spur an upswing in the rankings for your website.
SEO is an important component in the strategies and tactics you use to improve the traffic coming to your website. Using one or all of these ideas will improve traffic exponentially. But, one thing to remember is that getting traffic is to your website and online marketing is a “long game” meaning this is something you’re going to do long-term. Overnight success is rare, but with persistence and a plan, you will have success eventually.
- Content Marketing
Content marketing is both an on page and off page SEO tactic. Creating and promoting blog posts, social media posts, videos, infographics, and memes are all great ways to improve traffic to your website. Within content marketing there is also email marketing. Email is a form of content and is a fabulous way to promote anything you do including posting a new blog post because you have the permission of your audience to do so.
It’s important to create a well thought out content marketing strategy before you even begin to think of any other type of marketing outside of the things mentioned regarding improving on and off page SEO.
Understanding your ideal customer’s buying stages will do wonders for helping you create an abundance of content that get results. You’ll need content for all aspects of your product funnel for at least two or three types of audience members that you have. Some people call these “buyer personas”.
The content you create will come in a few general categories:
Awareness – You’ll want to educate your audience and create buzz so that they know you exist. You might create a book, cheat sheets, checklists, “how to” content, or host a webinar. These things are all designed to educate the audience about your existence.
Evaluation /Consideration – Once your audience knows you exist they’re going to compare you to others. This is why you should go out of your way to learn as much as you can about both your audience and your competition. Providing case studies, an FAQ, demo videos, webinars, and even a free sample is a great way to allow your customer to evaluate your offerings.
Decision / Purchase – To get your audience member to purchase your product, you may need to provide a live demo, consultations; price estimates (services) or even a coupon or free trial. To the entire product so that they can finally choose your product or service over someone else’s, the trick is to reduce their perceived risk level.
As you consider the types of content you will need to create for each of your potential client personas, plus for all stages of the buying cycle, it’ll be hard not to think of tons of content ideas. The last two areas of the buying cycle should also be included such as finding your audience and turning them into advocates.
- Get Published
Even before the Internet, a way to prove authority and get some credibility behind you was getting published. Today, it’s far easier to get published than ever before. You can publish yourself right on Kindle easily. You can easily use Create Space to publish a print version of your book too.
There are a lot of opinions about this. Old school people are horrified at the ease of entry into the publishing world. But smart markers know the advantages of getting published with or without a publisher. Plus you can even earn extra money in the process and you don’t need anything special at all to publish on Kindle. Just use MS Word and follow the detailed instructions for formatting, and you’re good to go.
Include Hyperlinks – In your Kindle Book, include hyperlinks to products you recommend and your page. These links will direct people to your page. Note: Be sure your website is responsive so they can actually view the info. Tip: Include the links as hyperlinks and as easy to remember links too so, they can get to them on their computer if they want.
Provide Extras – Kindle books are so great because you can put links, which allows you to provide extras that print books can’t. For example, you can link to a video, or link to a special download page with worksheets, cheat sheets and other important information for your audience to use. Tip: This is a great opportunity to collect their email address to add them to your email list.
Getting published does not take a publisher, or anything but the ability to write about 5,000 to 10,000 words that make sense and help your audience in some way. What’s more, if you wanted you could outsource that task to someone else.
- Comment Marketing
There are numerous discussions going on in forums, blogs, and on social media networks like Linkedin.com. Join communities and start commenting. Make sure your comments are well thought out and that your profile is fully completed and accurate. As mentioned before, you can set up a Google Alert to notify you of any discussions anyplace that you might want to comment on.
- Be a Guest
Guest blogging, interviewing, speaking, and other actions can help you get traffic to your website because people like doing business with people they feel are trustworthy. Being invited to guest blog, do an interview, or speak can be a sign that you know what you’re talking about and further establish you as an expert. A good place to start is to become a case study for someone else. Many people who sell products ask for referrals and case studies. If you’ve been successful, shout it out to the world.
- Do Reviews
Writing reviews for products you’ve purchased is a great way to recommend products to your audience but also a good way to get the attention of movers and shakers within your niche. The more you can associate your name with their name, even in something like a product review you look more like an expert and people will want to know more and click through to your website. You can also post reviews on your own website as another form of content.
Hosting and participating in webinars is an excellent way to build your email list, and get people visiting your website if you set up things right. Remember that you want to send traffic to your site so each time you mention the webinar, like directly to your site first where they can find more info about singing up, not the webinar site.
- Contests & Freebie Giveaways
Hosting and participating in contests is a great way to get links to your site and up the buzz about your products and services. You can design contests in a lot of ways, but the important thing is to make the prize something only your audience would want, not something the public would want.
- Paid Traffic
There are a lot of types of paid traffic that you can use to improve your business, but the two that you’ll want to look into are pay per click, and banner ads. You can start a highly targeted Facebook PPC campaign and run banner ads with the keywords you select with Google AdWords. Don’t attempt this until you’ve done everything else.
- Joint Ventures
A JV is where two or more people who market to the same audience non-competing products and services join forces on a small project. For example, let’s say you have a new book you want to promote via webinar. You can invite other people to join in who have products that would appeal to that audience to make the webinar more beneficial to your audience.
Conclusion: The Take Away
What you should take from this report is that getting traffic to your website requires you to do a little specific types of work. You can go through this eBook and do everything inside, one-by-one until each one is perfected and you’ll find that your traffic will improve exponentially. In addition, you’ve learned that viewing your analytics and tracking the metrics of the activity that you do is important to your success. You can’t know what is working if you’re not tracking it. Don’t assume, know, and you will be successful with marketing your business online too because you’ll get more website traffic that consists of your ideal customers.