Having a website means you have secured your piece of real estate online, you are present and ready to welcome customers. But part of the game is working to bring traffic into your storefront.
Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, released this month, predicts that internet traffic will almost triple in the next few years due to an increasing number of people coming online. The report forecasts that by the end of the decade there will be 3.4 devices and connections for each human being, an increase from 2.2 in 2015. Within this scenario, each and every small business or startup hopes to be in a position to capture at least some of that incoming traffic.
Equipped with your domain name and website, it is time to start looking at ways to help ensure your online presence is performing to give you exposure to the growing internet population. Here are a few areas to consider working on:
Get familiar with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Hearing the term SEO can be enough to send some people running in the other direction, but there is no denying that knowing a bit about SEO is almost a must when launching your website. At the very basic level, understanding how to measure your website performance in order to optimise its structure and content will help give you the foundation you need to build your traffic flow.
Here are three important questions to ask yourself:
- How does the structure and content of my website enhance or penalise my search engine ranking?
Things to consider and read up on are using search-worthy keywords in your website content, adding meta-tags to your website titles, headers and images, and building links to your website.
- Can I strengthen or broaden my online presence?
According to SearchMetrics 2015 report on factors influencing SEO, webpages with a first position on search results have twice as many Facebook signals than pages ranking second, with similar trends being reflected across other social networks. While the direct relationship between SEO and social is still being researched, direct traffic, brand awareness and the performance of your domain or website will be supported by additional content on social platforms to give your SEO a boost.
- How is my website performing, and what is driving my traffic?
Signing up to tools such as Google Analytics will give you an overview of how you are currently performing on SEO, and details about your page visits and where your traffic is coming from. The added benefit is that you can measure and test optimisations in your content and on your website. With Google’s tutorial videos, there is sufficient information available to help you get acquainted with how the tool works.
Create engaging content for your audience; on more than one platform
The phrase “content is king” was created for a reason. Each word on your website has meaning, therefore it needs to be well thought out to offer relevant and valuable information to your audience. Your website is the basis for your wider content strategy, and online presence. Whether you choose to post creative content on Facebook, Tweet facts on Twitter or create a blog where you can offer expert advice and commentary, the content you produce should have an objective – to make people laugh, to educate or to illicit an action. By integrating your website with at least one other content platform, you can drive traffic back to your website as people share and engage with your content, scoring you extra points on SEO, but at the same time helping you reach and build a relationship with a broader audience.
Nurture and engage your customer base, and your leads
Some customers may need prompting to revisit your website. Email marketing is a relatively easy and affordable way to help you connect with them via email campaigns or newsletters. Using an email marketing tool enables you to store and group your contacts, then communicate with them through a personalized email template for your business, as often as you want.
And, if you are already producing content for your brand, email marketing it is a great way to repurpose this content and engage your customer base across multiple channels.
 Search Ranking Factors and Rank Correlations, Google U.S. 2015