Often times this is the first thing a business owner/marketing person is interested in when we chat. It can be a good question but let’s take a step back. Do you simply want eyeballs on your website’s content? Probably not unless you earn money by the eyeball. Most likely, you have an ulterior goal that most businesses have for trying to do something hard – revenue. If that’s the case, I would challenge you to not worry about getting MORE traffic to your website – at least until you have analyzed some data.
Things to look at in your current data:
1) How much relevant traffic are you receiving on your website from your target market?
For example, if you run a business that only caters to Indianapolis patrons, you probably don’t care about traffic from San Francisco. In that same vein, if you are receiving a ton of traffic from Indianapolis-based visitors yet your website isn’t generating any leads or revenue, that data point should hit you like a lightning bolt. You already have the right people coming to your website – why aren’t they converting to leads or revenue? You can also look at visitor engagement metrics like time spent on the site, bounce rate, etc. This is a much better jumping off point than simply trying to push for more traffic that may or may not be targeted. Plus, even if they are targeted visitors, if your current website isn’t converting people from that same target, why would it be different for the new folks you bring in?
2) How many leads/how much revenue is your website currently creating?
Most companies don’t do a good job of figuring this out. If that’s the case for you, make it easy on yourself (until you implement more rigid controls). Simply find the number of website forms that came in over the last year (count old email notifications if you have to). Then look the at the total number of leads you received last year. Divide the number of website leads by the number of overall leads. That’s the percentage of leads coming from your website. Then take that percentage and look at your overall revenue. If we pretend that website leads convert at the same rate and have the same per deal value (generally not the case but better than nothing) then we can come up with a very basic guideline for how much revenue your website produced. Used in tandem with the first data point, you should be able to get an idea of how much more your website can produce if you bring in twice as much targeted traffic.
One more thing
Perhaps it’s easier than that because you haven’t received any website leads over the last year. Make sure your website’s form are actually working (simply fill out the form and make sure you receive an email notification). You wouldn’t believe how many times I run into a company that hasn’t had a working contact form and they never knew it. Imagine how many leads and how much revenue was lost. If this happens to you, don’t imagine that – it will depress the heck out of you. Instead, fix it right away.
Back to the original question – how do I increase my traffic? Resources – money, time, etc. and unfortunately it isn’t a quick fix. To substantially have ongoing traffic increases that are lasting you are going to not only have a great website and content foundation but keep it up. Generally a mix of on-page optimizations, PPC, SEO, and email marketing is the right path to go. The percentages for each of those efforts is dependent on your budget, short and long term goals, and what type of business you have. Sound hard? It is. All of your competitors are fighting for the same traffic and Google makes it increasingly more difficult for small businesses to simply do this without an excessive amount of hand holding or paying them money. However, it can certainly be done.
If you get nothing else out of this blog, please remember this – it is always easier to take the traffic your website already receives (especially traffic that can potentially generate revenue) than to use resources for traffic that may or may not generate revenue.