Growing your web traffic is an essential part of running a business. With a steady flow of visitors coming to your site, your sales and marketing funnels will be filled with prospects and potential customers to engage. However, attracting visitors is a challenge unto itself and requires constant work.
There are two broad approaches you can take to grow your web traffic. The first is to advertise and promote your website across relevant channels, such as social media or third-party sites. Although this is a vital component of your business and marketing strategy, doing so requires a financial investment and can quickly become a costly endeavor.
The second approach involves analyzing your website and how your users navigate it. The insights gleaned from this analysis can lead to breakthrough strategies that attract more people. This requires less of a financial investment as it does an investment of time, but it can be far more worthwhile in the long run as you develop a deeper understanding of how your customers and prospects are using your site.
So, let’s dive into how you can use data, analytics, and insights to improve your site and grow your web traffic.
Getting to know your data
Data is the cornerstone of this strategy, and it’s imperative that you become familiar with what data to look for, how to find it, and what it means. Most content management systems offer basic analytics for data collection. You can also pull this information from platforms such as the AddThis Analytics platform or Google Analytics, which allow you to track how, where, and with whom your content is being shared.
Pulling data is one thing; understanding what it means and how to use that information is entirely different. Without a proper understanding of basic website data, it’s difficult to know which metrics are worth tracking and what is worth ignoring. A good place to start is focusing on referrals, most visited pages, and keywords. Here’s how you can use all three data sources to improve the performance of your site.
Referrals reveal the sites that have sent the most traffic to your website. They tell you where your audience is coming from, which can help you focus your marketing campaigns.
Doubling down on referral traffic
Knowing which channels and sites are driving the most traffic means you know where to focus your attention. Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? It’s the idea that 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes, and that focusing on the 20 percent yields more results. In web traffic terms, that means focusing heavily on optimizing the 20 percent of sites that are generating the most traffic.
Side Hustle Nation, a blog for helping people grow their own businesses, used this tactic to increase their traffic from Pinterest 25x in 60 days. They recognized that this platform was giving them the highest reach and dove headfirst into building a strategy to augment their efforts on that channel. It pays to focus on an area that’s already showing promise for your brand!
Top visited pages tell you the pages on your website that are getting the most views and engagement. You can use this information to find out what content is resonating with your audience so you can create more of it or expand the best-performing pages to drive more engagement.
Giving your top visited pages a refresh
Once you’ve identified the pages that are yielding the best results in terms of traffic and engagement, it’s time to ramp up their success.
Here’s a checklist of things to tick off when updating top-performing pages:
- Call-to-action: Ensure your top pages all feature a relevant call-to-action (CTA). If you’re using paid advertisements, make sure your CTA is aligned to the ad. If you’re advertising a free consultation, your CTA should be signing them up for the call. Having a strong CTA will help you increase your conversion rates.
- Page load times: Load time has a huge impact on traffic. In fact, if pages don’t load within three seconds, roughly 40 percent of users will leave your site. Test to see if you can improve page load times to make sure you’re not missing out on additional traffic. You can speed up your website’s load time a number of ways, including choosing the right hosting option for your needs and removing unnecessary external scripts.
- Optimize for mobile: Are your top-performing pages ideal for a mobile environment? If so, consider converting them into to help speed up load times. Check out our guide on how to do so.
- Optimize the metadata: Metadata tells search engines what your page is about, so it’s critical you get it right. Ensure your meta information is up to date on all your pages— include relevant keywords in page descriptions, and ensure alt tags are filled out and captions are included for images. These are simple steps you can take to increase the visibility of your page.
Keywords are those terms that visitors are using to search for a site such as yours. Knowing this information means you can create keyword-rich content that ensures your site is appearing at the top of search results.
Creating a keyword-rich site
Filling your site with relevant keywords is one of the best things you can do to increase web traffic. And the good thing is, it doesn’t require any additional cost.
Here’s what to do: Compile a list of the keywords that your visitors are using to search for and find your site. Augment this list through keyword research, using online tools to identify similar ones that your audience is using during its search. This research will reveal insights into these search terms, such as how often people are searching for the keyword and how competitive it is to rank for.
This list should give you a strong indication of the keywords that will drive the most traffic to your site. Then it’s up to you to take the best-performing keywords and make sure they organically appear across your site and in the metadata. However, it’s important to make sure that there’s a balance between keywords and content, as Google penalizes sites that try to game the system by overloading keywords.
Bonus: combining all three data sources to create a strategic content plan
When you conduct a thorough analysis of all the data sources listed above, you should have a better understanding of the types of content your audience is looking for. Referral traffic shows where visitors are coming from, the top-performing pages show what they’re most interested in, and the keywords reveal what they’re looking for in search engines. When you combine all this together, you should be able to develop a strong user persona that will lay the foundation for a content strategy.
With this persona in mind, consider the problems and challenges your users face, and the types of content you can create to serve their needs. When you build your site to serve the needs of your persona, you should start to see an increase in web traffic.
Don’t let the data overwhelm you
To organically increase your web traffic, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your site, and which areas you need to optimize for success. Spending the time to dive into your site’s data and analytics is a crucial first step for developing this understanding.
The good news is, this information is at your fingertips, especially with dashboards such as AddThis Analytics. And remember, there’s no need to be overwhelmed by all the data—begin by developing the above-mentioned insights and you’ll be on the right path to success.
Last modified: June 11th, 2019