You’ve started your business and put blood, sweat and tears into creating a website that will promote your brand and generate leads and sales. Now it’s open for action and….well, it’s not quite the lead-generating machine you had hoped it would be for your small business. “If you build it, they will come” isn’t working out, so if you’re looking for some tips on how to increase website traffic, keep reading.
The truth is, it can take a long time for your website to start ranking well on Google. And unless you have big bucks to advertise your new website address, do some major SEO work or do online advertising, it can take months (or even years) to build up a decent online audience. Getting your business onto page 1 of the search engine results can be a real challenge, particularly if you’re competing against big brands, companies with larger marketing budgets than yours, or in a highly competitive sector.
The Power of Page 1
But getting on to page 1, and in particular, the Top 3 results can be game-changing for any business as it’s estimated these top-ranking results get 75% of all clicks! Now imagine, nailing top spot for more than one term, two, three, or even ten. This has the power to increase website traffic substantially.
With only 15% of searchers clicking on through to page 2, it’s clear that ranking well on Google is vital to increasing website traffic to your small business. But how can you get your small business website onto page 1 of Google?
There are some tricks you can try to optimize your website to help boost its page ranking in Google and other search engines. Give them a try and be patient! It can take a few months for some of these strategies to bear fruit so give them a try and keep an eye on results to track what’s going on.
5 Ways to Increase Website Traffic to Your Small Business
1. Do Keyword Research
Using targeted keywords is vital to reaching those people who are already searching for what you are selling. It’s such a simple, quick win but so many small businesses don’t use targeted keywords on their website at all. If that’s the case, then you have very little chance of increasing website traffic organically.
When auditing websites I often find that potential customers don’t use the words and phrases you’d expect them to when searching for products and services. It’s always worth taking some time to research keywords to check you are using the right terms to boost your chances of getting found by your target customers. It can be a big job, so break it down into smaller chunks by starting with researching the best terms for your Home page. Once you’ve done that, you can gradually work through other pages on your website like About and Products/Services.
2. Implement Keywords in Website Copy
Once you’ve researched keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your website copy. The key places to implement them on the page are:
- SEO Title & Description – this is the text that you see when a listing is returned on Google. It should include keywords for Google, but should also be written for humans to entice them to click on your website, rather than your competitor’s. If you’re using WordPress, you can add an SEO title and description using a plug-in like Yoast or RankMath. If you don’t have a WordPress site, ask your web designer or use the help function in whatever platform your website is built in to learn how to update this.
- Headers & Sub-Headers – try to structure your page with a clear title/heading and then at least one more sub-heading. These are the Header 1 (H1) & Header 2 (H2) tags you can see when creating page content. Follow a clear heading structure to organise your page clearly; it will make it much easier for people to scan the page to see what your business is all about and, again, makes your content easier for search engine spiders to crawl.
- Within main website copy – often, website copy is written by the marketing team and, whilst it sounds great, there is little consideration about writing for websites and search engine optimization. It’s surprising how many businesses forget to mention their keywords on their website! They talk about how long their business has been established and other information that isn’t of any interest to a first-time visitor, or get carried away with fancy flash animations that look nice but don’t serve any practical purpose. None of this helps you to get found on Google. Please make sure you actually mention what you sell/do on your home page! But be mindful not to overstuff your article with keywords as you’ll be penalised. Get them in but make sure it reads naturally and entices visitors in and helps them to move around your website.
3. Create a Google My Business Account
Google My Business (GMB) is your personal Google business listing. Easy to use and manage – just create your account here, get verified then you’re ready to go.
Add your business details, website address, links to products and services, photographs, reviews and more. Tell Google all about your business and your key website pages – it’s totally free to use, so it would be a wasted opportunity not to.
When users search for your business/brand name, your GMB profile will appear on the right of the search results (as per this example from my GMB profile). Users will see all your business info as well as any links to products and services within your profile.
A GMB listing is especially effective for getting discovered in local listings and on Google maps. When someone searches for a service-based term or adds ‘near me’ to their search, Google tends to bring up local results generated via the GMB listing. Your business profile will also appear on map listings so you may get discovered by new people in your local area. So, if your business doesn’t have a GMB profile you’re losing out on a potential easy win.
4. Start a Backlink Strategy
Your Google My Business listing is an example of a backlink to your website (essentially just a link from an external website to a page/content on your website). So creating a GMB account is the starting point of implementing a backlink strategy.
But backlinks also help with search engine optimization. Google sees backlinks as a mark of trust and authority for your website. Consistent contact details show that your company is genuine and not a fly-by-night operation.
Whilst backlinks to your blog content show your expertise in certain topics and fields. That tells Google that you might have something worth saying, so these links earn ‘authority’ for your domain, which in turn helps to push your website up the search rankings results.
To learn more about why backlinks are important and how to get started, read; What Are Backlinks and How Do They Drive Traffic To Your Website
5. Develop a Blog Strategy
if you have a simple website with just a few pages, you have less content for Google to index. Now, that might be fine depending on the type of business you run and whether appearing in search results is key to your digital marketing strategies.
But if you want to increase your chances of ranking well and growing organic traffic, then you’ll need to create more content. Creating blog content that’s based on keyword research gives Google loads more content to work with and more results for users to find.
Blog posts are evergreen content that have miles more longevity than a social media post. Hit the sweet spot with the right content, and a well-crafted blog post can drive traffic to your small business website over a number of years. Compare that to less than 24 hours for most social media posts!
The content of your blog will depend on your target audience and their needs. But the type of blog content to create includes:
- answering frequently asked questions about your business product/service
- helping people by sharing knowledge or solving problems
- talking more about your products/services
- offering free resources like E-books, PDFs and worksheets
To get some tips on ensuring your blog gets found on Google read; Blogging for SEO – Tips for Small Businesses
Implementing SEO for your Small Business Website
Did you know that all of the digital marketing tips discussed above are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategies?
People tend to think of SEO as technical, geeky or just generally too much to get your head around. But much of it is straightforward digital marketing tasks that can be worked through on the regular – just like you do with social media and other offline marketing activities.
To find out if your business needs SEO, have a gander at Do I Need SEO for My Website?
Generally speaking, all business websites should have some SEO work done. It’s just a case of looking at your digital marketing goals, then set about discovering the strengths & weaknesses of your website to assess what work is needed.
Request a FREE Snapshot SEO Audit
The best way to get started with SEO for Small Business is with an SEO audit. This is a report that analyzes your website for SEO best practices and gives your website an overall SEO health score. Read more and find out exactly: What is an SEO Audit?
Here at Virtually Optimized, we offer a free Snapshot SEO Audit that helps small businesses to gain clarity on SEO strategy and the health of their website.
Request your free SEO Audit today and learn:
- Which keywords your business website ranks for
- How many ranking keywords and what page position
- Whether your web pages are optimised for SEO
- Recommendations for priority SEO tasks to boost your score
- What kinds of tasks and skills are needed to get your business SEO sorted