More importantly, how can you drive the right people to your website? Because boosting traffic to your website isn’t the goal—you want traffic that converts.
To that end, we’ve gathered a list of the 12 most effective ways to increase targeted website traffic and keep customers coming back for more.
To direct traffic, you need your business to be at the top of the Google Map Pack. When someone googles tire shops ‘near me’, yours should be the first one they see. Google has a number of ranking factors, but a key one involves making it easy for crawlers and customers to identify your business. This means keeping your NAP (name, address, phone number) consistent across all your directory listings.
This seems fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised by how big of an impact NAP has, for both good and bad. According to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, NAP and citations should be your primary tactic if you’re wanting to rank in the local pack. And believe it or not, inconsistent NAP information is one of the biggest reasons for a poor local search ranking. Make sure your listings are as accurate and clear as possible, using the precise name your business goes by without any unnecessary abbreviations or add-ons. Be sure to update these listings immediately after any changes such as moving, changing a brand name, etc.
Reviews have a huge impact on SEO and an increasing influence on customer behavior. According to a recent survey, reviews influence 88% of consumers in discovering a local business. And 97% of people read reviews before choosing to engage with local businesses. On a local SEO level, small businesses have the advantage over national chains if they can consistently get new and authentic reviews.
One key factor in collecting hundreds of high-quality reviews is using a channel that offers your customers ultimate convenience, such as text. After switching to text to collect reviews, Paul’s Pest Control jumped half a star on Google within 24 hours and gathered more reviews in one month than they had in five years.
3. Review response
Just as important as reviews are your responses to those reviews. In fact, 89% of users read responses to reviews. And 56% of consumers say a business’s responses to reviews have changed their perspective on the business.
Your business should respond enthusiastically to positive reviews (best practice is within 24 hours) and quickly and proactively to negative ones (best practice is within 2 hours). If you do this, potential leads will be much more likely to engage with your website because they will know that you are responsive, proactive, and considerate of your customers.
Did you know that most consumers won’t engage with a business that has a star rating below 3.4? If you want to get found, and more importantly convert, increasing your online rating is key. You can do this by increasing your review quality and quantity. And this involves optimizing your customer experience.
You can use review and feedback tools to continuously improve your experience. For example, if a customer leaves a 4 star review for your auto shop, claiming that the hour she had to wait in finance was the problem, you might change your process to offer a free cleaning while the paperwork is being completed.
5. Long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are the few highly specific search phrases that people use when looking for exactly what they are wanting to buy. Targeting these phrases with your content will bring your product or service to the top of the search when someone is looking for what you sell.
Long-tail keywords are especially important nowadays because they account for the majority of web searches. Make sure to also include popular keywords and phrases associated with your service or product, along with your local city or region.
6. Irresistible headlines
Without a headline that hooks, even the best blog post will go unread. Your headline should be dynamic, concise, and irresistible. And this takes effort. Writers at BuzzFeed write upwards of 20 headlines before picking one that will drive the most traffic.
Take time to really work, and rework, your headlines to land on the ones that potential leads won’t be able to help to click. You can even research which words and phrases are gaining the most traction on the web and capitalize on them. This will help your content to be the first thing potential leads see in their online search.
7. Insatiable content
Your content should be so good that it’s almost addictive. If your content quality is high, leads will convert and keep coming back. They will also share your content, which means free marketing for you.
Research your target audience to gain insights into what they’re looking for. You might also locate the websites in your field that see high traffic and look into what makes their content so appealing. At a high level, your content should be relevant and varied, appealing to all different sectors in your audience. Include short and long form, news- oriented and high-level pieces, and great graphs, images, graphics, and videos.
Implementing quality backlinks is a great way to drive the right people to your website. Major search engines such as Google consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page in their algorithm; so the more backlinks you have, the more likely your page will rank higher in terms of SEO. Your content will also come across as credible and resourceful.
Take special care to ensure that your backlinks direct customers to credible sources. You don’t want to send customers to shady or irrelevant websites that will downgrade the value of your own site.
9. High quality images
Google has found that listings with feature photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions from Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to a website. That’s straight gold. Stock your website with high quality, relevant, and appealing images. Each should be chosen intentionally, load quickly, and serve a clear purpose.
Before uploading any photo, make sure the size is optimized for the platforms customers are using to find you. It’s also important to optimize for various devices. Consider that nearly 68% of consumers are likely to engage with your business using a mobile device compared to 32% who would engage via desktop. Businesses rank higher when their images are optimized to load at lightning speed on both desktop and mobile devices.
10. Live chat
Live chat is a feature that 41% of customers expect to see when they land on your website; and this kind of convenience pays. A recent survey reported that live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate. And with a live chat feature that can seamlessly move from desktop to mobile interfaces and back, those percentages increase.
Choosing a chat tool that doesn’t let messages fall through the cracks or make you sound like a robot is critical. You can learn more about live chat features and options with our webchat breakdown.
11. Website responsivity
Another major factor is how responsive your site is—whether it transitions easily to mobile interfaces and back is not only important to building a quality site but is a major Google ranking factor.
Your website should also be fast—each page should be technically optimized so that it will load as quickly as possible. Take stock of images and videos to ensure that they are optimized and not slowing your customers down.
According to Neil Patel, effective websites obey the law of pithiness. They capitalize on clarity and concision while avoiding complex ideas. Simplicity is an extremely powerful (often under-utilized) tool that can have a big impact on converting leads. Consider capitalizing on white space, concise wording, and a very simple link flow to attract visitors and keep them coming back.
Want to know if it’s working? Test it.
Increasing web traffic includes a number of moving variables and experimentation. To find what works best, you might try conducting an A/B test, or split test, on your homepage.
Make two versions of either content or website design that differ on a single variable. These can be simple things, like the words of your CTA, the image on your landing page, or the subject line of an email. Test these two versions to see which performs better in terms of CRO over a specific period of time. If your website gets lots of daily traffic, a few hours might be enough. If not, you might need a couple of weeks to find out which works best. Conducting effective A/B tests regularly will help you to determine the most productive ways for you to optimize your website to convert, based on actual market research.