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Friday, 9 January 2015

25 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

Ask a marketer or business owner what they’d like most in the world, and they’ll probably tell you “more customers.” What often comes after customers on a business’ wish list? More traffic to their site. There are many ways you can increase traffic on your website, and in today’s post, we’re going to look at some of them.


Increase traffic to your website social media icons


1. Advertise


This one is so obvious, we’re going to look at it first. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people. Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you reach for your credit card. If you’re hoping that more traffic to your site will also result in more sales, you’ll need to target high commercial intent keywords as part of your paid search strategies. Yes, competition for these search terms can be fierce (and expensive), but the payoffs can be worth it.


2. Get Social


It’s not enough to produce great content and hope that people find it – you have to be proactive. One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. Twitter is ideal for short, snappy (and tempting) links, whereas Google+ promotion can help your site show up in personalized search results and seems especially effective in B2B niches. If you’re a B2C product company, you might find great traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Image via Pascale Communications


3. Mix It Up


There is no magic formula for content marketing success, despite what some would have you believe. For this reason, vary the length and format of your content to make it as appealing as possible to different kinds of readers. Intersperse shorter, news-based blog posts with long-form content as well as video, infographics and data-driven pieces for maximum impact. 4. Write Irresistible Headlines Headlines are one of the most important parts of your content. Without a compelling headline, even the most comprehensive blog post will go unread. Master the art of headline writing. For example, the writers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy often write upward of twenty different headlines before finally settling on the one that will drive the most traffic, so think carefully about your headline before you hit “publish.”


5. Pay Attention to On-Page SEO Think SEO is dead?


Think again. Optimizing your content for search engines is still a valuable and worthwhile practice. Are you making the most of image alt text? Are you creating internal links to new content? What about meta descriptions? Optimizing for on-page SEO doesn’t have to take ages, and it could help boost your organic traffic.


6. Target Long-Tail Keywords Got your high commercial intent keyword bases covered?


Then it’s time to target long-tail keywords, too. Long-tail keywords account for a majority of web searches, meaning that if you’re not targeting them as part of your paid search or SEO efforts, you’re missing out. Image via thegardensofeden.org


7. Start Guest Blogging


Before you say it – no, true guest blogging isn’t dead, despite what you may have heard. Securing a guest post on a reputable site can increase traffic to your website and help build your brand into the bargain. Be warned, though – standards for guest blogging have changed radically during the past eighteen months, and spammy tactics could result in stiff penalties. Proceed with caution.


8. Invite Others to Guest Blog on Your Site


Guest blogging is a two-way street. In addition to posting content to other blogs, invite people in your niche to blog on your own site. They’re likely to share and link to their guest article, which could bring new readers to your site. Just be sure that you only post high-quality, original content without spammy links, because Google is cracking way down on low-quality guest blogging.


Increase traffic to your website lonely road


9. Go After Referral Traffic


Rather than trying to persuade other sites to link back to you (a tedious and time-intensive process), create content that just begs to be linked to. When Larry wrote about the kick in the proverbial teeth that eBay took from Google’s Panda update, we managed to secure a link from Ars Technica in the Editor’s Pick section alongside links to The New York Times and National Geographic. Not too shabby – and neither was the resulting spike in referral traffic. Learn what types of links send lots of referral traffic, and how to get them, in this post.


10.


Post Content to LinkedIn LinkedIn has become much more than a means of finding another job. The world’s largest professional social network is now a valuable publishing platform in its own right, which means you should be posting content to LinkedIn on a regular basis. Doing so can boost traffic to your site, as well as increase your profile within your industry – especially if you have a moderate to large following.


Increase traffic to your website Larry Kim LinkedIn profile


11.


Implement Schema Microdata Implementing schema (or another microdata format) won’t necessarily increase traffic to your website on its own, but it will make it easier for search engine bots to find and index your pages. Another benefit of using schema for SEO is that it can result in better rich site snippets, which can improve click-through rates.


12. Link Internally


The strength of your link profile isn’t solely determined by how many sites link back to you – it can also be affected by your internal linking structure. When creating and publishing content, be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities for internal links. This not only helps with SEO, but also results in a better, more useful experience for the user – the cornerstone of increasing traffic to your website.


13.


Interview Industry Thought Leaders Think interviews are only for the big leaguers? You’d be amazed how many people will be willing to talk to you if you just ask them. Send out emails requesting an interview to thought leaders in your industry, and publish the interviews on your blog. Not only will the name recognition boost your credibility and increase traffic to your website, the interviewee will probably share the content too, further expanding its reach. Image via business2community.com


14.


Don’t Neglect Email Marketing So many businesses are focused on attracting new customers through content marketing that they forget about more traditional methods. Email marketing can be a powerful tool, and even a moderately successful email blast can result in a significant uptick in traffic. Just be careful not to bombard people with relentless emails about every single update in your business. Also, don’t overlook the power of word-of-mouth marketing, especially from people who are already enjoying your products or services. A friendly email reminder about a new service or product can help you boost your traffic, too.


15. Make Sure Your Site is Responsive


The days when internet browsing was done exclusively on desktop PCs are long gone. Today, more people than ever before are using mobile devices to access the web, and if you force your visitors to pinch and scroll their way around your site, you’re basically telling them to go elsewhere. Ensure that your website is accessible and comfortably viewable across a range of devices, including smaller smartphones.


16.


Make Sure Your Site is Fast Ever found yourself waiting thirty seconds for a webpage to load? Me neither. If your site takes forever to load, your bounce rate will be sky high. Make sure that your pages are as technically optimized as possible, including image file sizes, page structure and the functionality of third-party plugins. The faster your site loads, the better.


17. Foster a Sense of Community


People want to speak their minds and weigh in on subjects they feel passionately about, so building a community into your site is a great way to start a conversation and increase traffic to your website. Implement a robust commenting system through third-party solutions such as Facebook comments or Disqus, or create a dedicated forum where visitors can ask questions. Don’t forget to manage your community to ensure that minimum standards of decorum are met, however.


18.


Make Yourself Heard in Comment Sections You probably visit at least a few sites that are relevant to your business on a regular basis, so why not join the conversation? Commenting doesn’t necessarily provide an immediate boost to referral traffic right away, but making a name for yourself by providing insightful, thought-provoking comments on industry blogs and sites is a great way to get your name out there – which can subsequently result in driving more traffic to your own site. Just remember that, as with guest posting, quality and relevance are key – you should be engaging with other people in your niche, not dropping spam links on unrelated websites. Image via organictalks.com


19. Examine Your Analytics Data


Google Analytics is an invaluable source of data on just about every conceivable aspect of your site, from your most popular pages to visitor demographics. Keep a close eye on your Analytics data, and use this information to inform your promotional and content strategies. Pay attention to what posts and pages are proving the most popular. Inspect visitor data to see how, where and when your site traffic is coming from.


20. Get Active on Social Media


Increase traffic to your website comments section


It’s not enough to just share content through social channels – you need to actively participate in the community, too. Got a Twitter account? Then join in group discussions with relevant hashtags. Is your audience leaving comments on your Facebook posts? Answer questions and engage with your readers. Nothing turns people off quicker than using social media as a broadcast channel – use social media as it was intended and actually interact with your fans.


21. Submit Your Content to Aggregator Sites


Firstly, a disclaimer – don’t spam Reddit and other similar sites hoping to “hit the jackpot” of referral traffic, because it’s not going to happen. Members of communities like Reddit are extraordinarily savvy to spam disguised as legitimate links, but every now and again, it doesn’t hurt to submit links that these audiences will find genuinely useful. Choose a relevant subreddit, submit your content, then watch the traffic pour in.


22. Incorporate Video into Your Content Strategy


Text-based content is all well and good, but video can be a valuable asset in both attracting new visitors and making your site more engaging. Data shows that information retention is significantly higher for visual material than it is for text, meaning that video is an excellent way to grab – and hold – your audience’s attention, and boost traffic to your website at the same time.


23. Research the Competition


If you haven’t used software like BuzzSumo to check out what your competitors are up to, you’re at a huge disadvantage. These services aggregate the social performance of specific sites and content to provide you with an at-a-glance view of what topics are resonating with readers and, most importantly, making the rounds on social media. Find out what people are reading (and talking about), and emulate that kind of content to bring traffic to your website.


24. Host Webinars


People love to learn, and webinars are an excellent way to impart your wisdom to your eagerly waiting audience. Combined with an effective social promotion campaign, webinars are a great way to increase traffic to your website. Send out an email a week or so ahead of time, as well as a “last chance to register” reminder the day before the webinar. Make sure to archive the presentation for later viewing, and promote your webinars widely through social media. If you're wondering how to do a webinar, click the link for some tips.


25. Attend Conferences


Whatever industry you’re in, chances are there are at least one or two major conventions and conferences that are relevant to your business. Attending these events is a good idea – speaking at them is even better. Even a halfway decent speaking engagement is an excellent way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and gain significant exposure for your site. Well, that just about does it for today’s post. If you’ve got your own tips for increasing traffic to your website, I’d love to hear them.


Wordstream                 Dan Shewan                               @larrykim




Thursday, 8 January 2015

Your Business - Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips

When you're doing Local SEO, columnist Greg Gifford reminds us, you must take a step back and look at the big picture if you want to be successful.

You can't do Local SEO with a microscope
Local SEO is getting more and more complicated, and as we roll into the new year, I want to share my biggest, most important tip:


STOP Using Your Microscope In Local Search!



What do I mean by that? Put simply: A microscope is a great research tool, but it’s a flat-out awful marketing tool.
It seems like we’re hearing more and more of the same kind of question over the past few months: “I’ve done X on my site, why isn’t it working?” or “I read your post about Y, does it make sense for me to drop everything and go do it?”
Local SEO is not, nor has it ever been, based upon a single tactic. Recently, it seems like many business owners will read a post or watch a video, realize that they’re not utilizing the tactic mentioned, and immediately drop everything and concentrate on the shiny new object.
Local SEO is not just citations. Local SEO is not just Google My Business (aka Places) optimization. Local SEO is not just inserting your city and state in title tags and H1 headings.
When you use your microscope to focus on a single tactic, your field of view is so zoomed in that you’re blinded to the other factors that are just as important. It’s a new year, so try a new process — toss that microscope in the trash, take a step back, and look at the big picture.







Recent Updates Shed Light On The Big Picture



You’ve got to spread out all the pieces and figure out how they fit together if you want to assemble the puzzle. Let’s take a look at some important recent updates in the Local Search arena that will help you get a better view of the big picture in 2015:
• Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors study is a great place to start. David Mihm’s study shows a simple pie chart that arranges the signal groups by weight in the algorithm. Check out the factors and compare them to your current efforts. If your workflow and task list aren’t a fairly close match to the weighted areas of the pie chart, you might want to shift your priorities a bit.
• The most important Google update this year for local businesses was Pigeon. Google drastically changed the way that local results are calculated, and business owners and Local SEOs all across the country collectively freaked out.• Last week, Pigeon rolled out in Canada, Australia, and the UK, and the collective freak-out went international. If you’re still holding out hope that Pigeon was just a temporary test, you need to let it go. SEOs in all three countries are reporting the same results that we’ve been seeing for the last 5 months. Pigeon is here to stay.
• Google threw us for another loop a few weeks ago when it dropped the Local Carousel for many types of businesses. Instead of the Carousel, Google is now displaying an expanded 3-pack.
• The new expanded 3-pack still shows a thumbnail photo like the Carousel, but the listing only shows the business name, review stars, and a short description. Like the Carousel, if you click on one of the listings, you’re taken to another SERP for that specific business… instead of the business’ website or Google My Business page.
• Another critical recent update: Google’s updated Google My Business guidelines. Google is cracking down on category selections, removing the option to add a descriptor to business names, and finally flat-out disallowing virtual offices.

So What Does It All Mean? What’s The Big Picture?



Google is putting significant effort into local search. Whether we like Pigeon or not, it’s a part of the game now, and we all have to adapt.
A few years ago, you could rock some citations and do nothing else, and you’d still rank at the top of the map pack. Now, there might not even be a map pack for your vertical.
With Pigeon and the new expanded 3-pack, it’s clear that mobile behavior is having a huge impact on how Google is approaching local search.
As the scales tip and users switch to mobile devices, local results will be increasingly unique because Google knows exactly where each user is located. You’ve got to have the right (current) relevancy signals both on your site and off your site if you want to compete in 2015.






You’ve got to stop focusing on one or two tactics and instead work on everything.
  • Make your content amazing and informative, but optimize it with local signals
  • If you’ve got location pages, make sure they’re unique and well-written
  • Create local content for your blog
  • Optimize the heck out of your Google My Business listing
  • Get some good links to your site
  • Clean up your citations and go grab any that you’re lacking
  • Get more positive reviews on your GMB listing, and on other third party sites
  • Use social media to interact with your customers
In a nutshell, you should click the “local” button up in the menu and read everything. Twice.
In 2015, you’ve got to be a jack of all trades if you want to succeed in Local SEO. You can’t just bang out a bunch of citations and win any more. You can’t just put your city and state in a few title tags and H1 headings. You can’t just spam a few Google Places categories.
You have to look at the big picture and do it all if you want to succeed.



Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

  About The Author
                                                           Search Engine Land
      
Greg Gifford is the Director of Search and Social at AutoRevo, a software company that provides websites and online marketing to used car dealers all over the country. Check out their awesome blog for Greg’s local search posts and videos.














Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Online Apps To Boost Your Online Content





Live Lab Staff