Whether you're a designer, blogger, business owner, or entrepreneur, you want people to know the services you have to offer or read the creative content you produce. Driving traffic to your personal blog, portfolio, or business website is key to building a larger audience, gaining new customers, and going viral. Everyone can benefit from learning about driving traffic to their site!
When you've put a strategy in place that optimizes your website for organic traffic from search engine results, you're guaranteed to boost the traffic to your site. We've compiled 10 simple and easy tips for driving traffic to your site in this two-part blog post. We hope you find these strategies helpful -- let us know which strategies you've tried before and which strategies you want to use in the future.
1. Don't Make SEO Complicated
People often associate SEO and SEM with words like time-consuming, complicated, and long-term, but in actuality SEO is much simpler than you might think. SEO is a combination of two factors: on-site content and off-site link backs. That means that your website content should be SEO friendly, with titles and headers that incorporate popular search terms so people can find your content, and you should get as many reputable websites as possible to link back and reference your site so your search ranking improves. Really there's not much more to it than that. Simply create amazing posts that are organized and structured in a way that jump out to people as they are browsing the internet, compel them to click on your link, and excite them enough to share that content with others.
Tips for Optimizing Your On-Site Content:
The best way to make your website SEO friendly is to create a basic format for all of your pages and posts. When you get into the natural rhythm of writing titles in a certain format and incorporating certain information in the content of the post, SEO tasks will not be heavily time consuming they will become second nature. You'll actually be able to streamline the process of writing content for your site because you'll already know the elements you need to incorporate into your page to make people want to read your content and share it with others.
- Clear and Concise Titles: Having a clear and concise title that accurately describes the content you're going to display is one of the most important elements of optimizing your on-site content. According to MOZ, the leader in marketing analytics, titles should be less than 70 characters in length, and it should include a primary and secondary keyword along with the company or brand name. MOZ has conducted vast research and also found that "the closer to the start of the title tag a keyword is, the more helpful it will be for ranking—and the more likely a user will be to click them in search results".
- Optimize the Images on Your Site: Make sure that if someone is searching for images or visual items, they can find your website based on relevant search terms. You can optimize your images by using targeted keywords in your file image names, and add descriptions to all of your image files.
- Change the URL: Keep in mind the URL of your webpage does not have to match the title of the page or post. A good URL is one that features targeted keywords as opposed to a bunch of random letters and numbers. According to MOZ, the URL of a webpage reflects the hierarchy of information on that page. This means that the words you put toward the beginning of your URL are ranked as more important to search engines, than those further down the link. Make sure that your URL depicts the content on the page as well as its importance in a clear, concise manner.
- Create Shareable and Quality Content: If you create content that is of high quality, that contains keywords (but doesn't look jam-packed), and is interesting, you're going to rank higher in search results than if your content is unorganized, lacks structure, and isn't interesting.
If you're really looking to get ahead of the game, and optimize for search terms that matter the most, check out MOZ's On-Page Grader. You'll get instant insight into your on-page keyword usage and find out how to improve your content for both marketing and SEO purposes.
The Importance of Quality Off-Site Link Backs:
Link building is the second most important component for increasing your page rank on search engine results, and helping people find your interesting content. It's not enough to have a bunch of websites that link back to your sites, it's also about the quality and reputation of the sites that link back to you. Search engines won't "trust" you if you have link backs from spam sites, or sites that are known for having low quality content. Use tools like Alexa Rank to find out the overall rank and reputation of a website before targeting your marketing efforts to gaining link backs. In addition, Open Site Explorer is a great tool that helps you understand link popularity and the reputation of any website.
2. Produce Attractive and Valuable Content
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your site is to create valuable and interesting content that is highly shareable and relevant to a large group of people. You want your title to be so compelling that people cannot help themselves but click the link to view your content. Then, once they've landed on your page, the content should excite them so much that they have an intense desire to share your content with the rest of the world.
I already mentioned the importance of having a clear and concise title, but I can't stress this factor enough when it comes to driving traffic to your website. If you post a link to your webpage along with the page's title, you want and need that title to convey all the information about the content of the page while being seductive enough to get people to actually click on it. At the same time you don't want to just create a title that gets people to click on the link, but has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the page.
This is where keywords come into play. Say you're writing a post about creativity and you want to craft a unique and interesting title that people will want to click. You might try using something like MOZ's Keyword Analysis Tool or Google's Keywords Tool to find out which terms related to creativity are the most highly searched for on the web. From there you can list the relevant terms that relate to the content of your post, helping you to craft an interesting title that incorporates highly searched for keywords. Then, when someone is looking for an article on creativity, they'll find your amazing content.
Check out BuzzFeed's Post Titles: I absolutely love checking out the latest and trending articles I find on BuzzFeed. They always have really cool stuff I want to click on, and they craft their titles in a compelling way. Some key features of their titles are: Incorporating a # at the beginning to signify a list or the amount of items or tips in a post, How To Posts, Top 10 Articles, and 2013 (or year specific) posts. These pieces are great and important to incorporate when crafting your titles as they can be really eye-catching and make you want to learn more.
Another important and smart thing that BuzzFeed does is creating witty and smart sub-headers and captions for their posts. They are far from boring and they definitely make you want to click through and read more. Check out a few of my favorite examples below:
Check out the Kissmetrics Blog: I have to thank Zack for turning me onto the Kissmetrics Blog. They do an amazing job of crafting unique and interesting posts with compelling titles that are highly shareable and provide valuable and reputable information. Check out how they also incorporate features like numbers, How To's, and 2013/year relevant keywords into their titles.
Aren't all these titles juicy and seductive? I see these titles and I just want to click on them, share them, and read them. It isn't just about the title though, it's the content of the posts themselves that are really important. These writers are coming up with information that people actually WANT to read and learn more about, and the title just gets them intrigued enough to see the content.
Still having trouble crafting a catchy title to highlight the awesome content of your post, or can't figure out what to write about to drive traffic to your site? Check out these resources:
- 15 Tips to Awesome Eye-Jerking Post Titles
- 30 Killer Blog Post Titles for Spring
- Creating Valuable Content
- 47 Ways to Create Valuable Content People Will Love
- 3 Ways to Create Valuable Blog Content
3. Optimize Sharing Tools & Utilize Social Media
Social Media is a great way of getting your name out there and helping people discover your posts and products. RSS feeds, social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, and blogging can all be considered a part of social media. Utilizing many of these outlets and channels can help you reach a larger audience and help promote your content when users share and distribute your content.
Make it easy for people to share the content on your site. Have "buttons" or links to help people who come to your site drive even more traffic to your site, by sharing your content on Twitter, Facebook, and other channels.
Some great places to submit your blog posts, as well as, discover interesting content are: StumbleUpon, Chime.in, Digg, Reddit, Slashdot, and Newsvine. All you have to do is make an account on any of these sites to start submitting your work. I do suggest that you engage in these communities, follow other people, try and get followers, and submit work other than your own. Many of these sites monitor your account and want to see that you're not just submitting your own work to the community.
Don't forget to Pin any interesting images you find or create on Pinterest! Pinterest is a huge design community and you can gain thousands of followers by submitting interesting images. Once you have all these followers, all you have to do is convert them to your site's content.
Most Importantly, Use Twitter
Twitter is a great and powerful resource to connect with people interested in design. Not only can you broadcast updates on design products you create, but you can learn a lot of cool information and get great inspiration for your future work.
4. Implement an Effective SEO Strategy
Creating and implementing an SEO strategy often stresses people out because they consider it to be a time-consuming task that only has a long term drip. In reality, this isn't the case. Once you understand the basics of building your SEO strategy, you'll be well on your way.
Tips for Implementing an Effective SEO Strategy:
- Create a Good Structure To Your Site: Know the important SEO related components of your site including titles, tags, images, and content. You'll be able to easily structure and layout all of your content and blog posts in a clear and concise manner when you have a basic structure laid out in front of you.
- Learn What SEO actually is: Check out this handy checklist from MOZ that walks you through the steps of understanding the science and ideas being SEO and online marketing.
- Know What Keywords Are Trending: It's important to understand which keywords are commonly searched for and if there is a high amount of competition in that area. Competition basically means that there is a large amount of reputable search results that correspond to specific keywords. This can even help you know what to write. If there's a search term that is commonly searched for and low competition in the space, you could potentially drive a lot of traffic to your site.
MOZ, the leader in online marketing analysis has created simple and easy tools to help you get an SEO strategy up and running to optimizing your website to help you drive more traffic to your site. What's great about MOZ is that they offer a variety of useful free and paid tools to help you drive traffic to your site through optimization tips and tricks. You can even take a pro product tour from MOZ to see how they can help you analyze the mentions of your brand and your competitors, analyze your search engine ranks, grade your keyword usage on-site, measure your inbound marketing efforts, and ultimately drive traffic to your site.
If you're new to the world of SEO and online marketing, not only does MOZ have amazing tools, but they have an online Beginners Guide to SEO that outlines everything anyone would need to know about Search Engine Optimization.
We are also pleased to announce that Creative Market members have the opportunity to try MOZ free for 60 days. Click through the image below or the link provided to start managing your SEO and online marketing with the premium tools at MOZ.
5. Build Symbiotic Relationships with Influential People
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your site is to target influencers in a particular industry to try and get them to help you increase your audience. The best way to do this is to form a mutually beneficial relationship with influencers, by sharing their posts and content, or advertising for them on your site. You want to create a relationship that will make both of you happy.
Examples of Mutually Beneficial Relationships:
- Newsletter Trades: Offer to feature them in your newsletter in return for being featured in theirs.
- Guest Posts: Offer to guest post on influential blogs and sites with links back to your website and blog.
- Advertise: Offer specials in advertising on your site or free advertising if other sites feature you.
- Social Broadcasting: If you have a large Twitter or Facebook following, offer to Tweet about other's websites or posts. In return they can do the same for you.
This is part one of two in a series on 10 Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Website. Be sure to check out the continuation of this post next Monday for more helpful tips and tricks.