“Man, that’s a lot of traffic.”
While this phrase is generally the last thing you want to hear (especially when you’re heading out of the office to go home), it is actually music to a marketer’s ears.
Increasing online traffic is often one of the top priorities and goals for most marketing teams – as a higher number of website visitors usually equates to more opportunities for sales.
And yet, increasing traffic remains a top marketing challenge year after year.
If you take a quick Google search, you will see that there are plenty of marketers who claim to spill the secrets on growing traffic numbers. But if these pieces of advice were all true, wouldn’t every marketer have mastered this piece of the sales puzzle by now?
The truth is that there is no one secret to generating traffic. Instead, there are multiple ingredients to the recipe – and some parts are more important than others.
Let’s dive into the marketing strategies that can actually have a significant impact on your website traffic numbers.
The Ultimate Guide to Organic Traffic for Small Business
#1. Optimizing GMB Accounts
Your Google My Business (GMB) account may drive in far more online traffic than you think. According to BrightLocal, most companies receive over 1,000 views directly from their GMB links. Furthermore, 84% of this traffic comes from discovery searches – with only 16% from direct queries.
An updated GMB account that has information like location, hours of operation, specific business offerings, and images also makes it much easier for Google’s algorithm to collect data that can be used to provide better search results.
Therefore, by refreshing your GMB account frequently and ensuring its accuracy, you can send stronger signals to Google and (potentially) get a higher ranking. In fact, research from Moz found that over 25% of the local ranking factors for Google come directly from GMB – including proximity, categories, and keywords in the business title.
Elite Strategies conducted a case study to measure the impact that an updated GMB account had on traffic.
After just 30 days, their traffic grew by 68% by simply updating the content on their account.
#2. Publish reviews on multiple sites
All marketers know the importance of reviews for building trust with new customers. But it can be an amazing SEO hack, too.
BrightLocal’s latest report states that 86% of consumers actively search for reviews before making a purchase. Customers also preferred to buy from a business that had at least 40 published reviews.
Furthermore, Moz’s previously mentioned report found that 15% of ranking signals came from reviews. This means that the more reviews you have published online, the higher chances you have of ranking and driving in more traffic.
Since buyers are actively looking for customer reviews, be sure to publish them on other trustworthy sites instead of just your own website to build up more links and drive in traffic.
For instance, jewelry retailer Laguna Pearl partnered with Google-licensed review sites, like Trustpilot, to increase the velocity and diversity of their customer reviews. This resulted in a 38% increase in CTRs from advertisements and organic traffic – since publishing reviews helped them to increase their rankings.
#3. Optimize content for rich snippets
Most question-based queries bring up a featured snippet as a result – and 70.2% of the links from this snippet are clicked on. This means that optimizing your content to be featured in these snippets is a surefire way to drive in traffic.
Additionally, voice-activated devices – like Alexa and Google Home – rely on these snippets to provide instant answers. Since voice search is steadily increasing, this is yet another reason to create content that is designed for featured snippets.
One of the best ways to do this is to incorporate “snippet bait” into your content. This is often a paragraph at the beginning of a content piece that provides a summary or answers a question.
You will need to do some thorough keyword research and target long-tail searches that are related to your industry. Also, organize your content so that Google can easily find featured snippets by including subheadings, lists, and tables.
#4. Get involved in forums
The more backlinks and mentions your website has, the greater your chances are of a higher ranking – which can equate to more traffic.
These also give your site more chances to drive in visitors from additional sites outside of the Google SERPs. For this reason, many companies periodically submit written articles to popular industry blogs.
While this is certainly a solid SEO strategy, there is also evidence that participating in forum sites can be helpful for generating traffic, too. By engaging in relevant online communities, sharing insight, and including links to your website, you can start to target niche audiences that will be interested in your company.
Ahrefs’ marketing team used this tactic by answering questions on Quora, which is a popular forum site similar to Reddit, HARO Answers, and Yahoo Answers.
They specifically targeted questions that were related to their bread and butter (in this case, SEO and digital marketing) and built up a reputation as a trusted resource. This resulted in consistent traffic driven in through Quora, much of which converted into customers.
There are plenty of tricks of the trade when it comes to driving in more traffic – but these strategies have truly been proven to work. The key here (as always) is to understand what your customers want and provide it for them, whether this is business information, customer reviews, or answers to their most pressing questions.
That is the real secret to driving converting customers to your website.
Guest author: Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.