Over 17+ years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some great websites for large clients: Red Robin, Einstein Bros Bagels, Frontier Airlines, Jimmy Johns, Molson Coors, and the list goes on. Something I’ve noticed throughout my career is that the amount of work I put into a high-profile, high-traffic website is the same as the list of sites you’ve never heard of. The code is the same. So why do some websites get traffic and others don’t? There’s an obvious answer that the brands I mentioned above already had a strong offline presence before the site was launched. There are, however, plenty of sites I’ve worked on that get large amounts of traffic that aren’t associated with well-known brands.
So if you’re wondering what you need to do to drive more traffic to your site, here are some very basic principles to think through:
Is there relevant text content on your site?
I can’t tell you the number of sites I’ve worked on that look great, are well designed, have beautiful photography but rank extremely poorly on search engines. Why? because there’s not actually that much text on the site. If you have a site that promotes a brand or product, make sure there’s enough content on your site that answers the questions people are asking.
Are other websites linking to your site?
The whole concept of the world-wide-web has always been an interconnected set of pages, not just within a domain but across domains. A major part of Google’s search algorithm is based on the idea that relevant content is linked to by many (and important) websites across the internet. The SEO term for this is “backlinks” and it simply refers to the number and quantity of links to your site from other sources. These could be blogs, news sites, membership or trade organizations, partner sites, etc. There are whole SEO industries around building backlinks. I recommend you start with a mindset of becoming interconnected with other sites and finding creative ways to link and be linked to around the web.
Have you tried paid search or social media advertising?
If you’re not running ads through Google for your product or service then someone else is probably getting that space. It may be a very confusing or scary place to start but we recommend running Google pay-per-click ads that drive traffic to your website. We don’t feel like this should take the place of a solid content strategy that builds organic traffic but it should be in the mix for most companies. If you want help coming up with a strategy for online advertising, get in contact with us, we’d love to help.
Are you regularly communicating through social media?
Part of driving traffic to your site means going out and speaking to people where they’re at. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 68% of Americans are on Facebook. If you regularly engage your customers and potential customers on the social media channels where they spend their time, then you can find ways to bring the conversation back to your website. Effective social media communication requires intentionality and consistency.
Know thyself (and be known)
At Wigwam, we start with making sure companies know who they are and can articulate that to others. What is your purpose and why does it matter? If you’re clear about that then you can put your brand personality out to the world. It’s easier for others to connect with you when they know what you’re all about. If you’re brand personality shines through then people will be more apt to pay attention or even talk about your brand to others.
Need some help?
If you’re needing some help in any of these areas, we’re happy to chat with you about it. We’re passionate about helping companies create authentic connection with their customers. We’d love to chat with you about any ways we can be of help.