Question: How do you drive traffic to a new website? Answer: Although there are many strategies, you should consider the following three stages to build new website traffic.
This article will examine the following:
- Building a new website
- Marketing your new website
- Creating Video
You are building a new website to support your new business, or an existing one, and the question remains: How will I get people to visit my site? The simple fact, and one your web developer will tell you, is that building a website will not guarantee you will see immediate traffic.
Depending on the competitiveness of your business niche, many new websites can’t initially break into the page-one SERPs (search engine results pages) for the keywords their prospective clients use to find their services in a Google search.
In fact, in many cases, it can take six months or longer just to make some progress.
Banklinko analyzed 5,000,000 Google search results for organic click through rates (CTR) and discovered some critical conclusions:
- Positions 1-5 on Page 1 in Google SERPs earn a range of all clicks from 37.7% (#1) to 9.5% (#5)
- Less than 1% (0.78%) of Google searchers clicked on something from Page 2
- On average, moving up 1 spot in the search results will increase CTR by 30.8%. However, this depends on where you’re moving from and to
So where do you start?
Stage 1: Creating a New Website to Build New Website Traffic
Why is building a new website such a critically important factor for many businesses?
Your website is the foundation and platform for your business brand, a platform for publishing information about your products or services, a place to tell your story, a hub for providing information that peaks your visitors’ interest, and ultimately converting those visitors to new clients.
Here’s the catch: Did you hire a qualified web developer that understands best practices web development?
As we mentioned before, building a new website doesn’t guarantee you will suddenly see an avalanche of traffic.
What is certain, without any doubt, is the fact that if your website is not properly developed using best practices, you will be fighting an uphill battle to drive traffic to the site. So what do you need to begin building your new site?
Here is a checklist of some of the elements you should expect your web developer to discuss with you when he/she is building your new site:
It’s critically important that your domain name makes sense and relates directly to your business. It’s also very important to find a domain name that is not too long. To our own surprise, according to Buffer the “ideal length of a domain name is 8 characters.”
Characteristics of a Good Domain Name
Your domain name characteristics:
- It’s short
- Easy to remember
- Easy to spell
- Descriptive or branding friendly
- No hyphens or numbers
- Is a .com extension
Like in real estate where it’s Location, Location, Location your hosting should be Fast, Fast, Fast. The other must-have is consistent, attentive customer service access that is easily accessible for times when your site could be experiencing issues.
Platform aka Content Management System (CMS)
The most critically important step is choosing the best platform to build your website upon. In our opinion, after years of development experience, that platform is WordPress (WP). WP provides the richest environment for functionality through plugins which allow you to add dozens of features. WordPress is also one of the top search engine optimization (SEO) platforms available today. WordPress.org currently powers approximately 35% of the websites in the world today. Compare WP with other CMS software.
Getting Your Website Noticed by Google
What does “noticed’ by Google mean? It means your site can be crawled by Google. Simply put, crawling is the “process by which Googlebot visits new and updated pages (website) to be added to the Google index” (Rankings).
Even in this quickly advancing world where images and video are beginning to be factors in helping Google include a website into search results, the majority of content for your website should still be text-based. Why?
Because Google needs to understand your website and what it is about. It does this by crawling and reading the pages on your website. Until Google has comprehended what your site offers readers, it will not index your new site in its search rankings. Or worse yet, if the text-based content you have produced doesn’t provide a clear explanation(s) – description(s) of what your site is about it could be indexed incorrectly.
Internal Link Structure
How you connect your pages, via hyperlink, together (including blog articles) has a big effect on whether Googlebots can find, comprehend, and index those pages in their search rankings. Ask your developer about Sitemaps, site navigation and other strategies to ensure Google can find all of your content.
The Basics Part Two
Once you have the basics covered and Google’s attention and understanding of what your website is about so it can be indexed (ranked) for searches, the next set of basics are equally important to success. Here are a few examples of what you need to discuss with your developer:
Mobile Friendly Design
Your website’s images, text, videos, links should be easily and readily accessible across all different platforms. Most critical is that your site can immediately and automatically resize and adjust to match the much smaller screen of smartphones and tablets.
An authoritative expert on this subject is Search Engine Journal and their definition explains this critical strategy:
“On-Page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing web pages to improve a website’s search engine rankings and earn organic traffic. In addition to publishing relevant, high-quality content, on-page SEO includes optimizing your headlines, HTML tags (title, meta, and header), and images. It also means making sure your website has a high level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.”
Is also known as the time it takes for a page on your website to load and be accessed by a visitor. Website visitors are impatient and if a website loads slowly, your visitor will bounce away rather than wait for your site to finish loading. You can check your site page speed by using the Google Page Speed Insights tool. This tool gauges your sites load speed and provides actionable instructions on how to increase site speed.
User Experience (UX)
Simply put, UX is about making it easy for your website visitors to find your content and easily navigate your website. The gist of UX design is to build easy, efficient, relevant and a pleasing experience for the user. If your web developer’s strength is code and not design, be sure to find a UX consultant who can help.
Stage 2: Marketing Your New Website to Build New Website Traffic
You and your developer have done all of the critical basics in building your new site as well as produced a content schedule that will attract prospective clients to your site.
But now is the time to reiterate one big task: if you want to drive traffic to your website you must have a marketing plan for new your site.
Where do I start?
Online Directory Listings
The good old days of gaming Google’s algorithm are gone. Back in the day website owners could list their new site on dozens of directories and the accumulated links increased a site’s authority. It was a link building scheme and Google caught on and they have changed their algorithm. Links are now weighted differently dependent upon where they originated.
But wait, there is real value still in listing your new website. According to Search Engine Journal’s Amelia Wilson: “The real returns will be from the credibility and traffic they drive to your business site.”
The real key according to Amelia is to find directories that aren’t just mere citation opportunities but ones that have real traffic numbers that could translate into real value for your website. Lucky for us Search Engine Journal has compiled a list of the Top 21 online directories:
- Best of the Web (BOTW)
- About Us
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Yellow Pages
- Chamber of Commerce
- Hot Frog
- Super Pages
- Merchant Circle
- Better Business Bureau
- B2B Yellow Pages
- Next Door
If you are working for a law firm, the best directory listings and review sites include:
- Google Lawyer Reviews
Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
One of the fastest, if not the fastest, strategies to drive traffic to a new website is through Google Ads.
If you are in an extremely competitive niche business, with your competitors dominating organic search results for your keywords, your greatest weapon is Google Ads.
Google ads run at the top of most Google pages above the organic (free) search results. According to Google, “When people search on Google, text ads can appear above or below the search results. Only up to four (4) ads are eligible to show above the search results.”
Email marketing is one of the most effective channels to build brand awareness and sell your products or services. As of 2019, there are 3.9B global email users with expected growth to put the number at 4.3B users (equal to 50% of the world’s population) by 2023.
Most incredible is email marketing return-on-investment (ROI) which has been reported by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in 2019 – for every $1 you spend on email marketing the average ROI is $42!
If you’re not sure where to begin, this article outlines 3 must know tips for email marketing beginners.
Choosing which social media platforms are best to build new website traffic and which ones you should adopt depends upon the answers to these questions:
- What industry you are in?
- Where are your prospective customers online and which social networks does your target audience frequent?
- What demographic is your target audience – Baby Boomer, Millennial, Gen X-Y-Z or all?
- What is your current level of involvement on social media sites?
- Are you restricted by industry laws? Lawyers cannot directly communicate an offer of services to a potential client
- Are there no restrictions on you communicating directly with a prospective client?
- Do you have a video library or photo library of content or is your content primarily in written format?
Once you understand where your target audience is and the mix of marketing messaging and posts you want to support, then choose your networks.
Don’t attempt to be on every social network. Instead include the mainstays, for your needs, and consistently share content, post helpful how-to guides, and participate with your audience. Those brands that automate/schedule all of their updates do not receive the full positive impact that brands that communicate directly, with their prospects, experience.
You’ve seen them but here is a quick list of just a few social networks you may consider:
- Google My Business
Blogging is the voice and heartbeat of any business. It is the publishing platform that allows your company to share great ideas, give helpful information that answers questions, and showcase your company’s goals, ideals, employees as well as news. It is one of the major strategies to build new website traffic yet, even today, many firms do not support blogging.
Here are 7 reasons your company should blog:
- 77% of internet users read blogs
- U.S. internet users spend 3x more time on blogs than they do on email
- Nearly 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages every month
- Businesses that blog receive 2x more emails than those that don’t blog
- Blogging SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate
- Websites that also have a blog are shown to have 434% more indexed pages.
- Companies who blog get 97% more links to their websites
There are other forms of marketing, depending upon your budget, that can drive traffic to your new website including radio or television advertising, direct mail campaigns, call center campaigns, automated dialer calls, and print ads in top publications.
Stage 3: Create Videos to Build New Website Traffic
Why do you need to create video to build new website traffic? Here are some very good reasons:
- 82%+ of all internet traffic by 2022 will be video content– more than 8 out of every 10 pieces of content shared will contain a video or link to a video.
- YouTube has 2 billion active monthly users – it is the second largest search engine to Google
- 1 billion hours of video are consumed each day by YouTube users
- 90% of YouTube users say they discover new brands, services, and products on YouTube.
Even more important is the fact that internet users have reached a saturation point to the amount of new information they can read.
Not only do they prefer watching rather than reading, but watching video has an important added benefit – retention.
Wordstream’s research shows that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. This is a staggering difference in comprehension and something that should drive even more video creation.
DIY Video vs Professional Video Production
This is so important I am going to provide some basic tips in this section for beginner DIY videographers.
But let’s get this out of the way immediately – if your company’s budget is robust then you should strongly consider hiring a professional video production company. The expertise, equipment, production savvy, and experience a professional brings to a project is often worth the expense.
If your firm’s budget does not include funding for a professional video production company then consider the following tips on video production from Visme.
Plan Your Content
- Outline Your Goal: What are you looking to achieve?
- Identify Your Audience: Your messaging, edits, and where you distribute your video all depend upon who you are trying to reach
- Use the Power of Emotions: Eliciting emotions in viewers is what drives them to take your call-to-action steps
Pick the Right Background
- Real Backgrounds: Outdoor setting, inside a home or office something that’s a real-life environment
- Fake Backgrounds: Green screens, curtains, or papers used as a backdrop are often tough to create for beginners so be careful with these backgrounds
Don’t Buy a Camera (Yet)
- Borrow a camera from a friend
- Begin by using your smart phone
Don’t Use Your Camera Audio
Possibly the worst mistake, outside of correct lighting, is using a camera microphone which often doesn’t pick up audio from distance and can sound distorted.
- Use a dedicated external mic or clip on wireless mic is the best option
Use the Right Lighting
Easily the most misunderstood and frustrating issue when making video is getting the lighting correct.
- Shooting Video Outdoors: The three settings, meant to take advantage of natural light, are shooting video outdoors on a cloudy day, shooting 1 hour after sunrise, or shooting an hour before sunset
- Shooting Video Indoors: The two tips for shooting indoors are pick a room with lots natural light shining through big or multiple windows and augment lighting by including ceiling lighting, table lamps or if you have access professional spot lighting
A Final Thought
So much of your business success centers on your ability to build new website traffic. And when you are just beginning with a new website, the steps outlined in this article are even more important.
“If you build it, they will come” worked in the movie Field of Dreams but for a new website just building your site correctly is only the first step.
This isn’t a “set it and forget it” infomercial world we live in today. If you’re willing to put in the time, effort, and money or if you are willing to hire outside talent you will be successful in your web traffic goals.
Don’t want to do-it-yourself? Contact Inner Architect (415) 485.6961 for a free consultation on the steps we can take together to achieve your goals.