Unless you find yourself saying “my organization is too successful,” you probably want to increase traffic on your website. Increased traffic means increased awareness, increased interactions via downloads and newsletter sign-ups, and hopefully, increased sales.
The best way to increase traffic on your website is with a multi-pronged approach. By considering all five types of traffic listed below, you will not only increase website traffic, but increase traffic that is relevant.
But first thing is first, have you determined a baseline? To increase website visitors, you have to know how many visitors you currently have. The best way to do this is to sign-up for and plug-in Google Analytics – it’s completely free and totally rad.
Bonus tip: Use Google’s Campaign URL Builder to better track your website traffic
Once Google Analytics is properly set-up, it’s time to review the various sources of traffic and create a plan to increase website traffic. Let’s start plotting.
Ways to Increase Website Traffic
1. Direct Traffic
Definition: When someone enters your URL in the search bar or has it bookmarked; in other words, they go directly to your website
Direct traffic can be a good measure of brand awareness – if people are going directly to your site that sells shoes rather than searching for a company that sells shoes, that means they are aware of your brand.
Suggestions on how to increase direct traffic to website:
- Update your website frequently with new and spicy content – when people look forward to your content, they are more likely to return to your website directly
- Bolster your offline marketing – drive people to your site with print ads, radio segments, coasters at your local bar – whatever fits with your message
- Include your website URL on your marketing materials, especially if your site differs from your business name or isn’t a .com
Warning: Direct traffic can often come from your own company – exclude your company’s IP address, if possible
2. Organic Traffic
Definition: When visitors enter your site from a search engine
Organic visitors are likely looking for or are already comparing and contrasting options – they are not dedicated to or promoting a brand… yet.
Suggestions on how to get more organic traffic:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): select keywords that best describe your product or service and include them in your content, blogs, h1s and h2s, etc.
- Local SEO: add your business to local directories and legitimate online directories like Bing, Google My Business, and more
- A Solid Blog: a good blog can generate up to 4 times as much traffic – in fact, 80% daily blog visits come from new visitors
Warning: Yes, it’s important to speak to search engines, but make sure you’re also speaking to living, breathing people who have the power to make conversions
3. Paid Traffic
Definition: Traffic resulting from paid advertisements on search engine results
Suggestions on paid traffic sources:
- Google AdWords, Google AdGrants for Nonprofits, and Bing AdCenter: search engine marketing (SEM) is a great way to bolster your SEO efforts and compete with other brands
- Facebook & Instagram Ads: if this is the right avenue for you, think clothing company or brewery rather than law firm or accounting business, these social media outlets can be a solid way to speak to your audience on a more personal and engaging level
- LinkedIn Ads: again, if this is the right avenue for you, think consulting firm or marketing services, this social media outlet can help you create new business relationships
Warning: Wwe suggest at least outsourcing your paid SEM to an agency – it can be time-consuming to learn and maintain, not to mention costly if you’re not utilizing your dollars correctly
4. Social Media Traffic
Definition: Traffic from the social media accounts you manage
Suggestions on how to increase traffic through social media:
- Select Outlets: determine the avenues that work best for you – are you business-to-business or business-to-consumer? what platforms do you personally have an affinity for?
- Content Calendar: plan posts to align with events, releases, holidays, or anything else that’s related to your business
- Schedule: utilize tools to upload your planned posts in advance for increased time efficiency and to ensure that you actually do it
Warning: Cut the avenues that you don’t have time to keep up or that don’t work for you – don’t do it just to do it
5. Referral Traffic
Definition: Traffic from sources outside of search engines, likely another website hyperlinking to yours
Suggestions on how to increase referral traffic:
- List Your Network: make a list of everyone in your network including, but not limited to, vendors, purchasers, banking, personal friends, etc.
- Tap Your Network: people want to help – ask them to link to your site, but be sure to make it easy for them e.g. “I photographed a wedding at your venue – I posted the photos on my website here. Would you mind linking to it on your website? It would be a great way to showcase your venue (and introduce others to my business as well).”
- Guest Blog: ask related businesses if you can write a blog post for their website – be sure to link back to your website e.g. ‘The guest author is from [insert your company and link here]”
Warning: Be sure to tap businesses that align with yours, not just any business
Increase Website Traffic Conclusion
To get the most out of your website, you should employ a multi-pronged approach driving direct traffic, organic traffic, paid traffic, social media traffic, and referral traffic. This may seem like a lot to tackle, but it’s worth it.
We suggest focusing on one avenue at a time, dividing and conquering amongst your team, or outsourcing.
Is your website completely new? Check out this article on How to Drive Traffic to Your Website
Need some quick and dirty website tips?