How can I drive more traffic to my site?
When we talk about driving traffic here at Volume Nine, we’re talking about helping your ideal customers or clients find you — whether through organic search, social media, or paid advertising. We want them to visit your site because they connect with your listing in search, or because you’ve shared something they’re interested in on another platform.
It’s sort of a chicken and the egg scenario: you need to drive traffic to build your reputation and rank in search. But you need to show up in search and on social to get that traffic in the first place. Because of this cycle, and because of the sheer volume of listings and social media accounts online, it can be increasingly difficult to get seen without putting a few bucks behind your strategy (paid traffic). However, it is also possible to focus on the long game (organic traffic) and win.
What’s the big deal about organic traffic?
Organic traffic, or traffic that isn’t driven by ads or third-party sites, is one of the best ways to boost your rank in search, as well as your online authority. The direct benefit to organic traffic is pretty obvious: more eyes on your content, products, and/or services. But the more organic traffic you get, the more organic traffic you have the potential to attract in the future. This is because Google takes into consideration how much organic traffic a site has, and will boost that site further up in search results because it’s obvious that site is helpful to querents.
It is mostly organic traffic — visits from searches and click-throughs that weren’t connected to an ad — that advise how you show up in search. However, paid traffic has an important role in building organic traffic, too.
Can I boost web traffic with paid ads?
Paid traffic can be useful in driving visitors and maybe even sales. It’s also highly useful in boosting brand awareness and helping you retarget customers after their first touchpoint. However, it’s important to note that driving a ton of paid traffic to your site won’t necessarily boost your rank in search — Google knows there’s a difference between paying to have someone look at your site and having someone find it on their own. But with paid ads, you can make that first touchpoint and make it much more likely that your audience will find you again, whether in search or in social, and that will drive organic traffic that way.
So… how can I drive organic traffic?
Driving organic traffic requires attention to detail and a targeted plan to engage with your target audience. Using basic SEO principles, content marketing, and even paid advertising can help. But that’s just part of the process. Below, you’ll learn just a few of the strategies we use to drive organic traffic for our clients.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
As you know, Google dominates the search engines, accounting for about 80% of search traffic and market share. But don’t forget about opportunities for organic traffic from Bing and Yahoo. On those platforms, only 3-4% of searchers click on an ad, leaving the majority of clicks going to organic search. This makes it a great opportunity for you to build traffic and a strong reputation with non-Google users.
Also keep in mind that, while search engine optimization is becoming harder (thanks to fewer opportunities and real estate in Google search), a strong SEO strategy can help. By focusing on keyword opportunities and consistently optimizing your content, you’ll be able to stay in front of potential customers who are searching for your goods or services on Google and other search engines. Speaking of content…
A content strategy is key to driving organic search. Start with research to identify your target audience — who you’re talking to — and then develop a content strategy that helps you talk to them. This may include mapping out the social platforms you’re engaging on, the blogs you write, and so on. Part of this strategy is to make sure all of your content is high-quality; there’s a lot of content out there and your audience wants to engage with brands who care.
Keep your site fresh with relevant content, whether on the main pages or in the blog (both is good, too). Blogging is still one of the best ways to reach your target audience with long-tail keywords.
There’s a few more ways to drive organic traffic: creating unique content that encourages people to click, or shareable content that builds brand awareness (and curiosity). Infographics, for example, are a great way to share information relevant to your brand, provide value to your target audience, and get shared in multiple places. You can also leverage infographics to show up in image search on Google.
Other content that gets more eyes on your brand (and that encourages people to visit your site) include webinars or online trainings, getting featured in other blogs, videos, or events, and even working with influencers. Influencer marketing is a fantastic way to drive third-party traffic from their site or social, which can help influence your organic traffic ranking in Google.
Social media marketing
There are countless social media platforms to leverage today, but we’ll stick with the Fab Five, if you will. Facebook, for example, is one of the most powerful social media platforms — nearly 2.5 billion people use it. With an audience like that, Facebook ads can help your reach your target audience. Instagram is an important part of any social media marketing program and a great place to build trust that drives traffic. Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all great ways to drive traffic, although they may have lower rates of conversion. This is where the high-quality content comes into play again. Make sure you’re making content that is engaging and clickable if you really want to see more organic traffic.
Other traffic sources
There are also some other platforms on the internet that offer somewhat “untapped” potential for organic website traffic. YouTube is often thought of a social media platform, but it is technically the second largest search engine — and it’s deeply integrated into Google Search results.
Reddit and Quora are both online “forums” that are ideal for answering questions and including links to useful/relevant information that can drive organic traffic. They are a little more involved from a time and attention perspective, but they can pay off extremely well depending on your audience and industry.
Paid search (PPC)
And of course, we’d be remiss to not talk about paid search and how this can help you kickstart your organic traffic campaigns. Of course, it’s not the end-all-be-all of your strategy, so use it wisely. Paid search with Google AdWords, for example, is one of the fastest ways to generate traffic to your website is Google Adwords. You can bid on keywords and generate search traffic to appropriate landing pages, which builds authority and gets more eyes on your site. Just make sure you are getting good click-through rates to ensure high-quality traffic.
What should I be aware of as I drive more traffic to my site?
As you increase website traffic organically,there are a few important things to remember:
- Always capture email addresses. You can drive organic traffic with content people want, but in order to keep them coming back, you’ll need to leverage email marketing.
- Be sure Google Analytics is installed and that you are monitoring conversion rates across your site and organic traffic efforts. This will let you know what’s working, what’s not, and what you should be doing more to draw in future traffic.
Which one do I need: organic or paid campaigns?
A final note on the difference between organic and paid web traffic efforts: you probably can’t just do one. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. If your audience is only finding you through ads, your listing may not showing up in organic listings. If you’re relying on organic search and social media, you’re at the whim of the algorithms and you might not get traction.
That’s why you need organic and paid traffic: to show the search engines and your audience that you’ve got what they need. To do that, you need to make it easy for them to find what you’ve got.