How to increase website traffic
- Publish date: 01 January 2014
- Archived on: 24 February 2016
Have you ever wondered why some firms’ websites appear at the top of Google search lists, while others are much further down? It’s all related to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
SEO is the term used to describe steps you can take to raise your website’s profile on search engines, resulting in a better ranking. The more optimised your website, the more likely it is to increase your search engine ranking.
Here we outline some basic steps you can take to improve the SEO for your website, which will allow your site to move up the search results list and likely attract more visitors.
Free online tools
Woorank is a great starting point when embarking on a traffic-generation strategy.
This free tool will analyse your website (mainly for SEO purposes) and prioritise areas for improvement using a traffic light system. It also gives you an indication of difficulty in implementing the changes and a reasonable description for each area to illustrate what it’s referring to.
Another essential tool is Google Analytics (GA). It’s free to use and will give you in-depth information about how visitors get to your website and how they behave while on there (ie, what sections they use and how long they spend on the site). You can find out more, including instructions on how to install GA on your website, by visiting the GA website.
When someone searches for your firm, which words or phrases are they most likely to use?
Choose a selection of these words and phrases and use them throughout your site. Bear in mind generic words like ‘accountancy’ will have much more competition than ‘accountancy practice in (name of your town)’.
When using such words on your website, make sure they are included within the bulk content. Simply listing key words on a page will have a negative impact on your ranking because search engines will pick up on the list factor, assume you are spamming and consequently reduce your ranking.
Additionally, it’s important to make sure your page titles, descriptions and headings contain your key words and phrases. Depending on how your website is set up, you may not be able to access all of the required sections yourself, but your web developer should be able to help.
The importance of links
When a search engine trawls your website – to make sure you’re not spamming and to see how good the site is in their terms – it uses internal links on the pages to move around the site. The more internal links you have, the longer it will stay on your website – which is a good thing. You should check that all of your links lead to the correct destination and you have no error pages.
You should also consider external links to your website, such as listing your company in valid online directories. If you work in partnership with other companies, encourage them to include a link to your website from theirs.
There are mixed views on this topic. Only you can decide what’s best for your practice based, to a certain degree, on what resources you have.
Different types of social media can be more or less efficient in different industries. In professional industries, LinkedIn tends to be very popular and it can generate business if used to its full potential.
Twitter is also popular and an ideal tool if you have lots of regular news or updates to share.
There are many avenues for social media and they all work in different ways, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. However, they represent a free marketing opportunity so it’s worth to consider creating a profile containing at least contact details as well as a link to your website.
Improving a website to increase traffic is a very complex topic and we only scratched the surface here. If you’ve been inspired to delve deeper into the world of SEO, searching for the term SEO on Google will return plenty of advice and guidance. Just select the advice that works for you to make a start.