14th March 2019
5 Steps to Growing Quality Website Traffic
I'm always striving for better quality traffic on every website I help take to market.
Of course, it's important to strive for more in terms of volume too - and if you know me, you know enough is never enough - but high volume, low quality traffic shouldn't be what you are trying to achieve. Thousands of site visits a month mean nothing without conversions.
Thankfully, there are ways to ensure you’re pulling in good quality website traffic. In this blog post, I’ll cover six steps that I consider to be crucial to the growth of quality traffic on your website.
And remember: these aren’t tricks or hacks, they’re steps. Either you work them into your existing strategy (and you work hard at them), or you don’t. Simple as that.
Step 1: Audit your competitors’ keywords… and use them to your own advantage
If you’re really looking to achieve a competitive edge, you need to attract traffic that would otherwise be siphoned off by your competitors.
In my experience, the best way to do this is to audit your competitors’ keywords to find the ones they rank for that you don’t.
Then, use these keywords to inform your content… which leads me to my second step.
Step 2: Target LONG-TAIL keywords for QUALITY traffic
As I mentioned before, you should be aiming for growth of quality traffic that converts to your site, not just “any traffic”.
A prime example of “any traffic” is a viral blog post about ice cream with hundreds of shares and thousands of views, on a website trying to sell software as a services (SaaS). Now whilst we all love ice cream, chances are, 90% of those views are going to be from people who don’t particularly care about the rest of your service offering.
Remember, it’s about getting your site in front of people that will actually convert. So, target relevant keywords and bear the searcher’s INTENT in mind first and foremost. If you offer web design services, for example, you’ll find that targeting “web design in Newcastle” will be way more effective at attracting relevant, local traffic than a blog post on your favourite Pantone swatches.
Step 3. Focus on answering the questions your potential customers are asking
When it comes to executing a successful content strategy, I’ve always found that focusing on answering the questions your potential customers are asking is the way forward. I call this pre-purchase content, the content consumers are searching for right before they make a purchase decision. If your website is listed in the SERP features answering these questions then you are simultaneously building brand authority whilst acquiring revenue.
For example; you’re a printing company working with a range of clients, but most of them are in professional services and don’t fully understand what it is you do. You want to attract more of the same type of client, but don’t want to intimidate or confuse them.
Your content strategy might focus on “How-to” guides. “How to submit artwork to your printing company”, “How to design for a roll-up banner stand”, “How to choose the right size of poster”. Do keyword research based on the questions people may be asking right before they make a buying decision. Preposition your seed keywords in Google’s search box and use autocomplete to see the top related searches. Another pre-purchase content type might be based on comparison phrases such as “Roll-up banner vs. pop-up banner” – as long as we are adding link-worthy, shareable, contextually relevant content we are giving our traffic, and Google what they wants.
Obviously, you can’t just make this stuff up. Research, find out what your customers are searching for, target the right keywords; and start putting out informative, relevant content that actually gives potential customers the answers to their questions.
Step 4: Stop keyword stuffing: optimise long-tail keywords around a content topic instead
Keyword stuffing – or the act of stuffing your copy full of a keyword in order to try and further manipulate a page ranking – may result in penalties from Google. Plus, it’s old hat, blatantly obvious, and doesn’t work.
Instead, focus on long-tail keywords, and execute a content strategy designed to pump out in-depth, relevant content around a topic. Long-tail keywords are the unsung heroes of conversion rate optimisation (CRO), in that they tend to be low volume (read: “unpopular”), but they convert really well because the people searching for them are looking for highly specific results.
If your site provides the specific answer or action they’re looking for, they’re far more likely to convert. Plus, people tend to “talk” to Google.
Long-tail keywords, such as those found within a question – “Where is the best web design agency in Newcastle?” – or a statement – “Best web design agency in Newcastle” – are low-volume compared to a simple “web design”, but they’re more specific, and they’re coming from someone who clearly wants to find the best web design agency in Newcastle.
Ranking for these keywords (and ensuring your site is packed full of relevant content) can really help to increase the quality of your website traffic.
Step 5: Revise and update old content
The great thing about being able to post content via a CMS like WordPress, for example, is the ease of which it can be edited. And yet, so many people are adhering to the old “the more the better” adage when it comes to content.
It’s important to post regularly, but you shouldn’t be letting older content stagnate in the archives of your blog. This is particularly relevant if a page is performing well.
Analyse the pages of your site that are already performing well, and make them better by getting rid of outdated statistics, data, images, and links.
It’s good practice to go back and review your “evergreen” content, and even better practice to consistently review the performance of older content in an effort to improve its traffic potential.
This blog is really only a snapshot of how you can grow quality website traffic, and I appreciate it focuses primarily on a keyword-optimised, content-led strategy.
However, it’s important to remember that to see results; whether you adopt these steps or not; you’re going to have to work hard, invest a lot of time into your approach, and most importantly – review your strategies.
If you have any recommendations on how to grow quality website traffic, I’d love to hear them.