Have you struggled to increase your website traffic, even though you’ve tried every “method” out there? No matter what you do, your website traffic numbers don’t budge… Well, I have some good news… You DON’T need to be an expert at copywriting or SEO to increase your website traffic.
Why is getting traffic so dang hard?
The problem: most likely, you’re focusing on the wrong metrics and reading the wrong content… You see, there’s a lot of content out there about how to increase website traffic. Some of it old, some of it okay, but none of it really that actionable… Here is what’s lacking: a proven system. One that you can implement with your website right now, and see your website traffic skyrocket in a matter of weeks (or even less). When you have the right system, it’s really not that difficult to increase website traffic.
At that point, it’s just about following the right steps and BOOM – before you know it you’ll see exponential growth in your traffic numbers.
Step 1: Optimize Your Website Content
1. Know Your Current Traffic Statistics
Before you start growing your website traffic, you need to know your current traffic stats. This is your baseline. From here, you can see how your efforts are affecting your traffic growth. So, make sure you have your Google Analytics tracking code set up. (If you don’t have it set up yet, do it now). Once you have at least a few days of traffic under your belt, check your website traffic report on Google Analytics.
Here are some of the most important metrics you should note:
- Unique visitors
- Pages per visit
- Average time on site
- Bounce rate
- Traffic sources (direct, search, and referral)
- Exit pages
2. Check Website Traffic Often
You’ve probably heard of the old saying, “What gets measured, gets managed.” Well, it’s true! You’ll be testing new traffic strategies, and you need to know how they’re performing. So, check your website traffic often – at least a few times a week. This way, you’ll know what’s working, and what’s not, and you can double down on the good stuff to maximize your traffic growth.
3. Create a Better Content Marketing Strategy
Here’s where many businesses fall off the tracks. They either don’t have a content marketing strategy, or if they do, it’s seriously off the mark. You can try all the SEO hacks, but without a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll be wasting your time. So, how do you create a better content marketing strategy? Before we get into that, let’s talk about the types of content that should be included in your strategy:
A good content marketing strategy has a mix of all these different types of content. Now, as for your actual strategy…
4. Write More Compelling Blog Headlines
A compelling headline is what sells the content. If you want your content to be read – and also to rank in search engines – then great headlines are key. Now, there are two things you must optimize for with your headlines: Social traffic and search traffic. To do so, your headlines should have the right keywords, the right length, and also be compelling enough for social media users to click on them.
To find the right keywords, use Google Keyword Planner. Plug in some possible search terms for your blog post idea.
And here are some general tips for writing better headlines:
- Use list posts (i.e. “10 Ways to Do X in Record Time”)
- Ask a question
- Create curiosity
- Create a sense of urgency
- Aim to trigger emotion in the reader
- Use alliteration occasionally
- Use power words
- Make the value as clear as possible
5. Write Better Content
A great content marketing strategy with catchy headlines won’t matter if you don’t have compelling content. Any readers who come to your site will just bounce out immediately – and that will make for an ugly traffic report. So, how do you write more compelling content? You can start by infusing these hacks into your writing…
Hack #1: Hook readers in from the beginning. People have low attention spans. If you don’t have a compelling “hook” at the beginning of your blogs, people will click off in seconds. You can hook them in by teasing the benefits of the article (see the intro to this article for example!), telling a story, or stating a common problem that your audience faces.
Hack #2: Use shorter paragraphs. Avoid long paragraphs and huge blocks of text. The more scannable your content, the better. So, try to keep paragraphs under 5-6 lines (ideally 2-3).
Hack #3: Read your writing aloud when editing. What looks good on paper doesn’t always sound good. So, by reading your content aloud, you can discover clunky phrases – and any errors will jump out to you.
Hack #4: Tell more stories. Stories connect with us emotionally and drive us to take action. Add stories into your content to prove arguments, hook readers in, explain a problem, and for whatever else you can think of. Stories are gold.
6. Use Eye-Catching Photos
Is a picture really worth a thousand words? We think so…
Eye-catching photos can do wonders for your traffic. They can make your blog more visually appealing so readers stay on your site longer, and they also make your content more shareable on social media. When you combine your title with a strong image, you give it the best opportunity to generate traffic and clicks.
The best part? You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars paying for stock photos. You can use free stock photo sites like Unsplash to find hundreds of eye-catching images (without having to spend a dime).
7. Internal Linking (important!)
Internal linking refers to adding links from one page on your website to another page on your website. This can mean you’re adding links from one blog post to older posts, or from certain pages to other pages. Most websites don’t use internal linking nearly enough. Sure, you shouldn’t overdo it with 40-50 internal links in each blog post – but there is a happy medium.
Why bother with internal linking? These types of links are useful because they help your readers navigate your website, help improve the search rank of the pages you link to, and help define the architecture and hierarchy of your website.
Here’s how you can get the most out of internal linking:
- Create more content. The more quality content you create, the more quality content you can link to. It’s really that simple.
- Use the right anchor text. Using our previous example: if you wanted to internally link to the “how to quit your job” blog post, you can write a sentence in another blog, like “Once you know [how to quit your job], you can start a business and travel the world.” In this case, the reader has a compelling case for clicking on the link because of both the anchor text (“how to quit your job”) and the context of the sentence. There is a clear benefit from clicking the link.
- Link to relevant content. Don’t link for the sake of linking – always link to content that will add to your readers’ experience.
- Don’t overdo it. Anywhere from 5-10 internal links can be used in a 1,000-word blog post. Any more than that and you’ll overdo it.
8. Conduct a Content Audit
What if you could delete and third of your content, and yet triple your website traffic? You see, when you’ve had a website for several years, you can start running into problems like redundant and irrelevant content that no longer matches up with your message. By conducting a content audit, you can solve these problems.
A content audit can also improve your SEO ranking. Think about it: quality is the new SEO. Google wants the best quality experience for their users, and by conducting a content audit, you signal that you’re trying to deliver the highest quality experience.
So, how do you conduct a content audit? Before we get into it, here’s what you need to do first…
Go through your entire archive of content and put it into a spreadsheet – every page and every post. Check off and categorize each one according to one of four categories:
1) Keep (good content that will stay on your site)
2) Improve (it’s on-brand, but needs updating)
3) Consolidate (for example, short content on a similar subject can be combined into a single post)
4) Remove (delete because it’s irrelevant or off-brand)
From there, use this step-by-step for conducting the content audit:
Step #1: Edit and improve the content in the “Keep” and “Improve” categories. Consider creating lead magnets for higher traffic articles.When analyzing this content, use the following criteria:
- Is the formatting on point?
- Are the images SEO friendly?
- Is the writing quality up to par?
- Is it easy to scan and read?
- Is the title optimized for search engines AND social media?
- Are the affiliate links correct?
- Are there enough internal links? Can older posts link to newer posts?
For posts that you update and consolidate, make sure to delete older comments that are no longer relevant, so as not to confuse readers.
Step #2: Consolidate the shorter, similar blogs into new blog posts. You’ll probably have several groups of similar posts to consolidate. Once you consolidate them, you should:
1) Choose the most popular blog post of the consolidation grouping.
2) 301 redirect all of the other blog URLs of the consolidation group to the URL of the most popular blog.
(Note: A 301 redirect is a way to send users and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested. The redirect saves 90-99% of the link juice to the redirected page. Implementation of the 301 redirect depends on your web hosting – so contact your host for how to do this.)
Step #3: Delete content from the “Remove” category. Simply delete the content you no longer see fit for your site! Now, the content audit isn’t an easy process. But if you put in the work and actually do it, you can see some great results with your traffic numbers. So, we highly recommend giving it a shot.
Step 2: Crush It With Social Media
9. Share Your Content the Right Way
In terms of how to get traffic to your website, social media is the next big key. You need to make sure you share your content the right way so that you get highest increase in traffic. Here are some tips for sharing your content so that you get the most engagement, shares, and traffic:
Tip #1: Optimize for each platform
Social media posts appear differently on different platforms. So, you need to optimize your posts so that each can be eye-catching and shareable. For example, for Facebook, a great post constitutes the following:
- A high quality photo (like we talked about earlier)
- Quality description, posts with 80+ words get 2X as much engagement
- A compelling link description underneath the photo
Do your research and learn how to optimize your posts for the other social media platforms as well, so you can get a higher amount of shares, engagement, and traffic.
Tip #2: Create a sharing schedule
How often are you sharing content on social media? That’s where a sharing schedule comes into play. This schedule helps keep you organized, so you’re not over-sharing or under-sharing your content. Your schedule should answer the following questions:
- Which social messages are sent immediately after publishing content? For which platforms?
- Which messages are sent the next day?
- Which messages are sent in a month? Two months?
With a consistent schedule, you won’t have to scramble every time you post new content. You’ll know exactly which platforms to post on and when to post.
Tip #3: Don’t be spammy
If a post doesn’t pick up steam the first time you share it, don’t try to keep reposting it the same way. This is spammy behavior and will turn your audience away if you keep doing it. Instead, aim for a good mix of social media content – share blog posts and videos, as well as content from other influencers, and also share other interesting and value-adding statuses.
Tip #4: Add sharing buttons to your website
Sharing your content out the right way is important – but an added bonus is if you can get your audience to share it straight from your website. To do that, you need some easy social sharing buttons.
There are plenty of free social media share buttons on WordPress. Select the one you like best, and place the share buttons directly below your articles.
Tip #5: Post during peak hours
According to Hubspot, here are the best times to post to the biggest social media platforms:
- Facebook: Weekends between 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.; Wednesdays between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- Twitter: Mondays through Fridays between 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.; Wednesdays between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
- LinkedIn: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Plus, Tuesdays between 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
- Pinterest: Evening hours everyday and 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Fridays at 5:00 p.m.; Saturdays from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
- Instagram: Anytime Monday through Thursday, except between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
That’s it! That’s all it takes to get more traffic.
You no longer have to wonder about how to increase website traffic. If you take action and use this proven system, you will get more traffic to your website – and that traffic will stick around for the long haul.
To recap, here is the two-step system:
Step #1: Optimize Your Website Content
Step #2: Crush It With Social Media