The best products and services in the world are no good unless people know about them. Whether you operate an e-commerce business or simply have a business website, the success of your business depends upon the volume of traffic on your website. Business owners and webmasters constantly struggle to find quality, organic approaches to generating higher traffic on their websites. Some opt to pay a third party a monthly fee to cultivate leads and push them toward the website.
In some cases, it is not an option to pay for those services. If you don’t have the resources or lack faith that such a paid service will work well, you need to figure out a way to boost traffic to your website for free. In the following paragraphs we have compiled some helpful strategies you can use to generate greater traffic and sustain those levels over time.
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Optimize Your Site for Google
Whether you like it or not, when Google says jump, most webmasters respond “how high?” Google is the dominant search engine in the United States, and in many other countries around the world. When the company decides to alter a search algorithm, place a greater emphasis on local search parameters, or focus more tightly on quality content, you need to respond in kind.
The best thing you can do to put your website in Google’s good graces is to optimize it with good SEO. All of the content on your site should be original, high quality material that is relevant to your target niche. If you don’t have a blog on your website, start one. Google loves to see fresh material on websites, and a blog is a great way to add relevant content on a regular basis. With 70% of the searches in the US taking place through Google, this is a critical source of free traffic.
Don’t Ignore Yahoo and Bing
Yahoo and Bing have been relegated to a spectator’s position in the US search market, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea to completely ignore your ranking on their search engines. There are still millions of individuals using these services instead of Google. Ignoring these search engines means ignoring millions of potential visitors.
Much like Google, you can improve your standing on both Yahoo and Bing by maintaining SEO-optimized content on your pages. Publishing fresh, relevant content on a regular basis is also a good idea. First and foremost though, you should register your site with Bing Webmaster tools. If you’ve done this already with Google, you’re familiar with the process. If you need a refresher course, there is a tutorial available to help guide you through the process.
Consumers now use their mobile devices more frequently than laptops and desktops when searching the web. We all live our lives on the go, and no one has time to run home to access the Internet and look up a business phone number, address, or read a product review before buying something. Consumers want to view your company website instantaneously, which means accessing it (most often) from their smartphone.
A recent study found that 28% of consumers conducting mobile searching convert within an hour. A mobile website allows your business to attract more viewers and can be done with relatively little effort. If you are on WordPress, there is a plugin available to help you create a mobile-optimized website. There are also dedicated services that allow you to create a website that is mobile friendly.
Guest Post on Other Sites
This point generates a lot of heated debate among webmasters. Following the Panda and Penguin updates, as well as other Google changes, the idea of guest blogging on other sites came under scrutiny. Google didn’t place too much value in guest blogging and it was deemed a useless endeavor as a result. However, it hasn’t been shown to have a negative impact on either the site owner or the guest blogger.
The problem with that argument was that guest blogging was viewed strictly as a link-building strategy. Webmasters would post on other blogs, sharing their link and linking to their content elsewhere. Guest blogging still offers a potent source of free traffic, if it’s done right. Find some blogs in your industry that have an established brand and consumer base. Make contact with the editors and discuss the potential of posting a guest piece on their site.
If you make valid attempts to connect with the individuals, via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, it looks better in search engines when you provide a guest post and share the link via your social media accounts. The post gets your name out there in the industry and can attract regular viewers from those sites over to your site.
Engage on Social Media
While we’re on the topic of valid connections via social networking sites, don’t forget to be an active player on those platforms. There are consumers who spend the majority of their day perusing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. These are all potential visitors to your site. You can use one of these platforms, or all of these platforms, but success isn’t dependent upon the breadth of your activity. It depends on the depth of your engagement.
You can have a profile and be present on all of these sites, but if you aren’t really engaging with connections on these various sites, you aren’t using the platforms to their fullest. Focus on the platforms you think are most relevant to your industry and put your efforts into communicating with your consumer base on each one. For example, if media-rich content is better at engaging consumers in your industry, you could opt for Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Facebook posts can be used to keep consumers updated on deals, coupons, and new product launches from your company. Your Pinterest account can be used to share images and product concepts with viewers, while your YouTube account offers instructional videos or notes from the staff to help humanize your business in the eyes of consumers.