Step 1 : Know your target customer
Knowing your customer isn’t a generic marketing exercise – it’s simply the best way to avoid spraying and praying with your marketing tactics (and money). If you want to improve traffic to your website, step 1 is having a record of who you are aiming to attract. Be clear about your demographic, the problems your product or service solves, and where your customer spends their time online. There are loads of templates online, but here’s a useful one I found recently which can help you to build a picture of your customer persona(s) with your team.
Once you know about who you are talking to, you can understand where they are likely to be on the “intent spectrum”. Some products and services are very intent driven, for example – if your downpipe starts spurting water, you’ll go straight to Google and type in something like “Guttering Company near me”. Other products and services are more impulse driven – if you see an Event you’ve never heard of as you scroll on Facebook, you might decide to give it a go.
Where your products and services sit on this spectrum will inform how heavily you lean on Search activity versus Social activity.
Step 2 : Build great content
We’re often asked how much content you need on a website. If your content is up to date, well written, relevant and useful to your customer; whilst building your subject matter authority, the answer is MORE!
Content can be anywhere on your site, and aside from an awesome Home Page, we’ve found focusing on these 3 drive the best results :
Blogs – Blogs are a great way to entertain or inform your customers about what is currently going on in your world. Ideally, they should educate customers or help solve a problem they have, using language that your customers use.
A great website for inspiration is Answer the Public – they show you the most regularly used questions on any given topic – you simply scan the chart to see the questions with commercial intent for your business, and answer one of them at a time.
At the moment, I’m looking to buy some new saucepans – here are the questions applicable to saucepans that Answer the Public report most people are asking :
If I was a seller of saucepans, I’d want to be found when a customer is showing intent to buy, so I would seek out questions that indicate the customer has a problem to solve & that they are considering a purchase. I’m also looking for questions where I can explore the problem, and demonstrate how buying new pans will solve it, such as….
- How should saucepans be stored? (how frequently to replace your saucepans)
- How to clean a burnt saucepan (and when to give up)
- Which saucepans are best for induction hobs? (and what happens if you use the wrong ones)
- What saucepans do chefs use and why? (which are the best saucepans to buy?)
- Are saucepans oven safe? (what happens if you put a regular saucepan in the oven)
Ask the questions that your customers ask, explore the problem, and show how your product or service solves the problem, and there you have it – a blog full of relevant, helpful content, using consumer language – all good for search engine algorithms.
Video – Video is a great way to build customer engagement – especially when you, your key staff or your clients do the talking. There is also the added bonus that video is searchable by Google. Just be careful that the way you structure your video doesn’t slow down your site.
You’re not on your own if the thought of being on video scares you, so start with a little video on your Social Media to build your confidence – the more you practise, the better you’ll become.
Landing Pages – When people arrive at your site from a search, social media, email or ad, they want to know quickly that they are in the right place and exactly what they need to do next. From your perspective, think of a landing page as a follow up to the promise you’ve made and a scene setter for the next step you want the customer to make. Make sure the page is well branded, remove any page clutter not on topic, and create Calls to Action moving them towards your commercial goals.
If you want to know more about creating great Landing Pages, see our recent article here.
There are some great bloggers out there, as an example, we’ve recently started following our friends at X and Why shared workspaces – in this blog they talk about how they aim to add value to members and visitors through education, entertainment and collaboration. We’ve also written several blogs on how to create great content – please do check them out in our blog library.
Step 3 : Engage with your customers on Social Media
Google looks for “Social Signals” in it’s ranking, so even if your business is heavily intent driven, Social Media will have it’s place.
Social Media can be fun – customers want to be engaged, informed and educated in these channels – but it can also be a time bandit if you are not careful. Focus on the channels identified in your customer persona work, and actively seek out 2-way conversations with customers in those channels – no-one wants to be preached at about your product on Twitter.
Your job is to interrupt the scroll, so don’t talk about the product you sell – focus on the problem that you solve, and how people feel when that problem is solved. It’s about them, not you.
Step 4 : Determine your Search options
Search is broadly split into 2 sectors – Organic and Paid.
Organic : Aside from all the great content you have created in steps 2 and 3, there are more things you need to do to rank highly for SEO on Google.
Firstly, content is King – you need to have in depth, useful, relevant content on each and every page.
Next, make sure that your meta data explains clearly what each page is about, using the keyword phrases you want to get found for. If you don’t complete your titles and descriptions, Google will autogenerate them for you – I’m sure you’d rather be in control!
Finally, assess where you can improve your user experience. Google will mark you down if your site is slow, has irritating pop-ups or contains confusing or irrelevant content, links or metadata.
Remember, organic search is a competition – your competitors add and adjust keywords all of the time, Google tweak their ranking factors, new content is being published continuously. To get to the top of Google and stay there requires ongoing effort – if you take your eye off the ball, you’ll quickly find yourself slipping down to page 2 and beyond.
Paid : Organic search takes time to build, so if you want to be found quickly, Paid Search is the way to go. Google holds more data about what people want than any company in the world, so there are many elements you can tweak in your campaign to reach the right group of people at the time they are looking for a product or service like yours.
However, Supply and Demand means that prices are going up, so whilst it’s possible to self manage your campaigns, increasingly, using pro support is a cost of entry into Paid Search.
Step 5 : Win quality Backlinks
Think of backlinks as a vote of confidence in your site.
Every time you click on a link and are directed away from a site, the site you are being sent to gets a tick from Google. The tick is removed if Google thinks the site is not relevant to yours, and you get a double tick if the site has more authority than yours.
Your aim, is therefore to have other reputable sites linking to yours.
There is a shady world of buying backlinks, best avoided, as when Google finds these, they mark you down dramatically. So how do you build backlinks correctly?
Here are a few tactics to try :
Search for review sites (the “Which” for your industry), identify the writers who write about products and services like yours, and follow them on social media. Engage with their content, so they get to know you, and once you’ve struck up some genuine 2-way conversations, ask them to review your product.
Follow Journalist hashtags – this is where journalists post ideas for their articles and seek out people who’d like to be interviewed on the subject.
Google the most searched statistics in your industry, ask yourself the key questions about the data you identify, and answer these questions in your blog. If your blogs are good enough to get found in snippets, other bloggers will refer to them and reward you with a backlink to your blog.
You can also backlink within your own site. If you’ve written a great blog which got lots of visits, refer to it’s content in future blogs.
Our 5 steps to attract more visitors to your website
- Know your Target Customer
- Build great Content
- Engage with your customers on Social Media
- Determine your Search Options
- Win quality Backlinks
At WSI, we’ve helped clients get more visitors to their websites for over 25 years. We know how it works.
If you’ve read this, want to get more site visitors, but are concerned about the work involved, just contact us for a chat. We’ll listen to your business aims and share some insights as to where you might invest your attention so that you can start building more traffic online.