There’s no magic wand or one low cost thing we can do to fix poor website traffic. Every client need, every website product/service and every market differs. But, here’s my own 7-step plan that applies to most situations.
- Get Found by Google – Firstly, Google must like you, know you exist and be able to crawl your site, making sense of the content therein. Our post on SEO for WordPress outlines the key WordPress tricks. Googles webmaster guidelines is a good read too. Good content is vital, as is mobile compatibility and high speed. Just moving off your cheap $10/mth shared host to a fast VPS often improves traffic. Nobody, especially Google, likes a slow, unreliable website. (Read more)
- Get a Google Apps account. This doesn’t help traffic directly, but provides business-grade email, mobile apps plus countless tools to help small businesses. I’ve used it for over ten years. Only US$50/year/user is well worth it. This is gmail optimised for business, on your own domain with more space. Now with your email, backups, documents, adwords, search and traffic analytics here, everything is finally under the one roof.
- Google my business. A recent revamp of the old Google+ gives access to other marketing tools which may help you show up in maps and a search, especially locally. Do this once you’ve the above Googleapps sorted. https://www.google.co.nz/business/
- Get Social – Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Youtube. It’s not expensive to get started, but can take up a lot of time. Yet a social presence can improve your business credibility and user engagement. Having some Youtube videos can be especially beneficial, generating way more sales than Facebook when done right. But success with social media depends upon the sector you’re in. Some business claim half their business comes via Facebook, others none. But please don’t get obsessed with building up Facebook ‘likes’ or ads (Watch – The Problem with Facebook). However, Facebook could fix that tomorrow. And here’s a new service they have coming soon…
- Get AdWords. This will be important early on as it will take several months to get any new website ranking high organically. Initially, I’d budget around $100-250/mth for this, increasing or decreasing as needed. It will be cheap for some, costly for others. Need expert help? Ian Redford is the best ‘downunder’ trainer I’ve found. He knows the tricks that will reduce your AdWords spend (which Google certainly won’t tell you). It really does work well if done right, but is costly and frustrating if not. Read more.
- Get Backlinks; Reviews. Much is written on the value of ‘content marketing’ to improve SEO. But the fact is that this alone is never enough. What others say about you holds more weight that what you say about yourself. Obtaining links from relevant, high authority websites together with reviews from happy clients. Look for sites (or clients) in your sector that will list your services, write an article, provide a review or comment about you. Small Business Amplifier is worth a look.
- Start List-building; Boost Conversions – Engaging visitors and turning traffic into sales is the forgotten child of most website builds. Thrivethemes provide some good tutorials as does Brian Massey, the conversion scientist and the talented Chris Lema. The tools available here are many and varied. Wishpond is a new, well-featured one we like. But, setting up of these advanced systems correctly takes time. The software or service is relatively cheap, but the time to learn and configure it all is not.
But, how long does it take to get good traffic you ask? Contrary to the hype from ‘experts’ selling dreams, it takes established websites 3-6 months to get good organic traffic – Double this when starting out or in a competitive market (e.g. a florist).
So, aside from AdWords, there are no shortcuts to all this. Success, as always, only comes from hard work, perseverance and good planning. Start slowly and set aside a few hours each week. Believe me, the effort will be worth it long term. If you don’t have the time, technical inclination or patience for this, give us a call using the form below and we’ll help build and maintain it all for you, letting you focus upon sales and clients.
Kevin Trye, Senior WordPress Developer – Contact me using the form below.