Getting more visitors to your website is critical to improve your conversions and grow your brand, but competition is stiff. The global SEO industry is already massive – set to hit $40.92 billion in 2021, and it’s all about improving the performance of websites in search engine results. After all, the better you rank on different Google searches, the more visitors will be clicking through to your site.
Almost every online experience starts with a simple search, on the likes of Google, Bing, and Yahoo. SEO alone has the potential of increasing your conversions by 14.6% compared to the 1.7% that is seen with print ads, direct mail and other traditional strategies. Here, we will go over ways to increase the traffic for your site, from the intricacies of SEO to social media marketing.
- Running paid ads to get seen faster
Running ads is a clear way of getting direct traffic to your website – but you have to be strategic before you burn through your marketing budget. Implementing tools such as Facebook and Google tracking pixels allows you to determine how effective the ads will be. The costs will vary based on the industry that you’re in as it affects how competitive the ads are, the customer lifecycle, as well as current trends.
For instance, we ran a lead generation campaign for AMSL Group, an Irish company dealing with fire safety equipment and training programmes. This was a paid campaign through Facebook ads, reaching over 22,500 individuals and making 55,783 impressions with a budget of €609. At the end of the campaign, we had obtained 16 new leads, bring the Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) to €38.08.
With another business – Zen Space, we ran a high-impact Facebook marketing campaign for a month on a €25 daily budget. The business deals with garden room design and construction, and we were able to go from zero to 10 leads per day, get a 1080% increase in page reach and 296% increase in post engagements within that period.
Factors affecting ad spend
The business service niches like legal, accounting and real estate typically have higher costs per click (CPC), but on the other hand a single client can deliver even over $10k, making a $50 CPC feasible. On the other hand, niches in the arts and entertainment industry have much lower CPCs, but you need to bring in much more customers to get to that $10k revenue range.
The customer lifecycle looks at what stage the visitor to your site is in. For instance, with larger purchases such as cars or real estate, buyers take longer to make the final decision, and you want your business to stay in their minds all through – which will require multiple site visits. When it comes to the trends, this mainly affects mass consumer behaviour, in turn affecting the costs of running the paid ad campaigns. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic saw conversions for businesses in the apparel industry increase, and the CPC costs decrease.
As you run the pay per click (PPC) ads, you can start off with one campaign and different ad groups which contain the keywords that you would like to target. Observe how the audience reacts to the different keywords. Some may result in more impressions without increasing the actual website traffic, while others will have more clicks and conversions. Engaging the services of a professional digital marketing agency that has the resources to carry out in-depth research on the keywords, consumer behaviour and develop tailored strategies will get you the most bang for your buck.
- Referrals from Guest Blogs
Guest posting gives you backlinks, boosts the referral traffic, and increases your ranking on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Here, there needs to be extensive research on the websites that will be ideal to work with, after which you pitch to them to post content on their sites that will link to yours.
Check the content of the target site, making sure that it’s of high quality, and that it is in line with your own brand ideals. Look at its domain authority as well as the guest posting guidelines that they have in place. You can also ask about promoting the posts on their social media platforms and tagging you.
- Get social – your clients already are
Social media is a staple of the digital world, and should be a key part of your marketing strategy. Maintaining an active presence on social media platforms will enable you to engage your audience, build loyalty, grow your market share and generate new leads.
From short and quirky material on Twitter, making use of image-heavy platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, using Facebook to get leads through organic posts, paid ads and marketing in groups, publishing on LinkedIn – the potential is vast.
There are different aspects to cover here, including:
Sharing your content on the social sites – from blogs and videos to e-books and infographics
Interacting with your audience, answering their queries, tagging them and reposting their content
Changing your cover photo to go in line with new product or service promotions
Engaging influencers who would be interested in your content. They have large audiences and can get your message out faster, which will quickly drive up your customers as sales in the near term.
Working with the relevant hashtags
Updating links such as in the bio when pushing new content
- Technical SEO – because the engine needs to be running well under the hood
Say you’re a brilliant student, but have terrible handwriting. You can submit all the correct answers in the exam, but will the teacher understand them? You end up with a poor grade. A similar thing happens when ranking websites on SERPs.
Google and other search engines must understand your site. For starters, have you had a crawl report done for your website? This identifies errors like duplicate content, slow page speeds and missing H1/H2 tags. A simple oversight like failing to switch to HTTPS will prevent search engines and users from accessing your website, since having HTTP URLs will cause them to get 4xx and 5xx status codes. URL errors, including 404 errors will also be shown as the site crawl report.
Next, your website needs an XML sitemap that enables search engine crawlers to find pages on your website and rank them. That way the search engine can return the result that matches the query that the user has made – basically the visitor will land on the page that best matches their needs. The XML sitemap can be submitted to Google through the Google Search Console Sitemaps tool.
Implementing schema microdata complements the XML sitemap. Look at it this way: while the XML sitemap is a data dump of URLs telling Google where your pages are, Schema tells Google what the purpose of the content itself is. Moreover, it gets you optimised site snippets that will increase your click-through rate by making your website become more prominent in the SERPs.
- Keyword research – What is your audience searching for?
This needs to be comprehensive, from the keywords that will be part of the content of the website, to those that will be used for the PPC campaigns. There needs to be a balance between the high volume/low conversion short-tail keywords, and the low volume/high conversion long-tail keywords. In addition, given that when people use voice search they typically speak in full sentences as opposed to short phrases, the long-tail keywords will be key here.
Be keen to limit keyword cannibalization. This occurs when you have multiple pages in your website competing for the same keywords, so Google needs to deduce which of the pages is the best. This leads to the authority of the rest of the pages reducing, as well as the CTR and conversion rates. You can use Google Search Console’s Performance report to see which of your site’s pages are competing for the same keywords.
- Optimise your UX/UI design
You want to have an appealing website, and one that is easy to use. Simplifying the navigation improves the user experience, and enables them to get to the relevant content faster. The longer that you can keep visitors on your website, the lower your bounce rate, and the higher your conversions. The colour and graphics affect user behaviour – and it’s no surprise that app and game designers invest heavily in them to hook their users.Improving the UI can crank up your conversions by 200%, and an optimized UX design can increase the conversions by 400%. Aim for a simple design that gets your message across faster. Useful and informative graphics build trust in your website. Buttons and pop-ups that encourage the user to take action, leave reviews or comments, or share information amongst their social circles helps in boosting engagement – but don’t go flooding them with pop-ups. With all this, remember to optimise the page loading speed, since you don’t want your visitors getting frustrated and hopping off to another site.