Whether it be a change in your lifestyle, family or business, the New Year is always a great time to start anew and make improvements. If you’ve resolved to improve your company’s website and web traffic in 2014, we’ve got you covered. The best way to go about making real-life changes from any aspect is to first recognize and understand the problem. At Leverage we call this process the Audit phase. The most valuable thing you can do to start making changes on your site and get more traffic is to audit it first. Once you gain awareness of possible problems, you can begin planning your solutions.
Start with a General Site Audit
- Review your web traffic trends over the past year. When have you had the most traffic? Keep these opportunities in mind for promotions in 2014. Also, examine your web traffic sources. How are people getting to your site? This is one of the most important things you can evaluate to make lucrative changes. Next, consider how much of your traffic is coming from organic search and how much is paid search. A healthy balance of both is best: 2/3 organic traffic to 1/3 paid search. You don’t want to rely too heavily on paid search.
- After checking organic search, review your keywords. Take note of which ones are bringing in the most web traffic and which are failing.
- Check for duplicate content on your site. Search engines don’t like duplicate information. Make note of duplicate content and mark it for deletion.
- Check the load speed of each page. The ideal time for a page to load is under 3 seconds.
- Check the conversion rate and CTR of your PPC ads. Google recommends a CTR of no less than 1%.
- Review all inbound, outbound and internal links on your site. Is there a balance? Do your outbound links go to sites that are relevant to the user’s experience? Are inbound links coming from quality sites? Also, check your internal links. Make sure users can navigate from an article to a relevant internal webpage and back. Lots of internal links give you those great sub-links on search results pages.
- Check out your top competitors’ content, keywords and social media. Some things to look at are how much content your competitor has, what information they are offering visitors, and how often they update their blog or site. Next, check to see what keywords they are using and how they are similar to or different from your own. What social media channels does your competitor use, and how are they effective? To get a free competitor’s analysis click here.
Actionable Steps to Improvement
- First, set up traffic monitoring and goal tracking with Google Analytics or a similar application if you haven’t already.
- If you already have your analytics in place and you’ve examined your web traffic ratios, kick up organic traffic by doing new keyword research. Google Trends is one of many ways to go about this. Eliminate any keywords you’re using that aren’t bringing in traffic and replace them or revise them based on relevancy and the amount of competition for each word. You want to find a balance between the two.
- If paid search isn’t bringing in enough traffic, start A/B testing for keywords that bring in more. Check to make sure that your PPC ads match the wording on the web pages where they are bringing your guests. Put yourself in the place of the consumer. Are they really getting what they came for by clicking on your ad? Can they find what they need in 6 seconds or less?
- Examine sources of inbound traffic to see which sites bring in the most. If social media isn’t bringing in enough traffic, analyze your competitors’ and rethink your strategy. If a particular platform isn’t working for your type of business, reallocate your resources.
- Getting more inbound links depends on how others perceive the quality of your site. But, you can add outbound links to high-ranking sites that are relevant and helpful to your visitors.
- Delete any duplicate content on your site.
- Update title and meta descriptions to reflect new or revised keywords.
- Improve your site’s load speed by downsizing images, or change your site’s hosting.
Keep Business Goals at the Forefront
These steps are just some of the steps Leverage takes when auditing and optimizing websites, but they are a great start for anyone looking to get more web traffic for their business. When it comes to improving your website, keep your business goals at the forefront. All changes should be made with these in mind. Take an integrated approach to online marketing because relying on just one tactic can make you fall easy prey to competitors. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea. Focus on improving the methods that get you closer to your goals, and above all, make sure your site offers something unique and valuable to visitors. With these intentions in mind, your site will only get better.