5 Ways To Increase Traffic To Your Website

 

Rewind the clock back to the year 2000. Back then, it would have been unusual for a small business to have a website. Today it is pretty much essential to have one in order to survive in these tough economic times. However, having a great, fully functional ecommerce website is just the first step of the journey to a successful online business. The remaining steps of the journey involve driving relevant traffic to your site. Here are 5 ways to help you take this important step.

1.    Guest Posting
This tactic du jour in the online marketing world can be a powerful way of connecting with potential customers on external websites and driving traffic to your own. However, many get it wrong as they fail to utilize this strategy to its full potential.

Guest posting isn’t simply about getting a link. Publishing useful content on a high traffic site relevant to your business niche, will enable you to capture some of that traffic and drive them to yours.  This will mean you will have people coming to your website, who may have an interest in what your business offers thus creating the potential for increased sales. And all this would be in addition to building a link and increasing your site’s visibility with the search engines.

2.    Interacting on social media
Small businesses simply cannot ignore this marketing channel any longer. Social media is a valuable tool for connecting with potential customers. But beware – don’t market your products or services as social media is a ‘personal space’ for people. How would you feel if somebody barged into your home to try and sell you something?

Many businesses set up social media accounts then never use them. It is important to interact daily and build up a following in your niche. If you interact daily, posting information which is useful or interesting to your target market, your following will grow, and so will the number of visitors coming to your site.

3.    Create A Site Blog
If your business website doesn’t have a blog you’re missing out on a tonne of traffic. Posting regularly on a blog enables you to capture what we call in the digital marketing world, long tail search traffic.

Imagine you have an online business selling plant seeds and flower bulbs. Your website is perfectly optimised for the search term ‘buy flower bulbs’, but because this is a highly competitive (short tail) keyword, your site never ranks highly enough to drive any traffic. However, write a blog post ‘Best Growing Conditions For Lupins’ and you stand a good chance of ranking on page 1 for the search query ‘what are the best conditions for growing lupins’ (long tail, low competition). This will drive relevant traffic to your flower bulb site, and create awareness for your business within your target demographic, in addition to potential sales.

4.    Add Social Share Buttons
Once you have published a new post on your site’s blog, the next step is to make that content work for you. You need to get that content under the radar of as many relevant people as possible and drive them to your site. A good way of doing this is to encourage your readers to share the post via their social media channels, so make it easy for them to do so by adding social share buttons. There are literally 100’s of plugins out there, so you don’t need to be a coder in order to add this functionality to your blog.

5.    Add schema mark up
Web pages are coded in HTML and marked up to tell a browser how to display the content. For example, the following text has been marked up (with h1 tags) so that a browser will display it as a heading:

<h1>Click Alchemy</h1>

Schema mark up is additional mark up to provide the major search engines with additional data (known as microdata) regarding the content on a web page.

Search engines such as Google love schema mark up, because it helps them provide the most relevant results to their users. However, there is also an advantage for online businesses using schema mark up, as rich snippets are added to your website listing in the search results. Rich snippets are additional information which is sometimes displayed in search engine results, such as in the following example where the third result has a photo of the author:

how to increase website traffic

Which result are you most likely to click?

Rich snippets can have a positive effect on click through rates and therefore increase traffic to your website. People are more likely to click on a result which displays author name and photo, or any other relevant information, even though it may not be the top result. Adding schema mark up is fairly easy to implement and is a simple way to drive more traffic to your website.

Posted in seo

Factors To Consider When Expanding Your Online Business Overseas

 

The internet has opened up the global economy in ways never imagined 25 years ago.  Back then companies with goals of international expansion needed to invest a vast amount of resources and time in order to set up a base overseas. And after the initial set up there were the inherent difficulties of navigating the particularities of a foreign business culture. Now, I’m not proposing that the internet has broken down all these barriers to entry, but things are a little easier for small businesses wishing to target foreign markets, because setting up a website is far simpler than establishing a bricks and mortar premises abroad.

However, setting up a website to target a foreign market requires some planning and there are a few important questions you must ask yourself, from a digital marketing perspective.

What Will The Domain Strategy Be?

There are three options to choose from and the best option is probably out of reach for many small businesses:

  • Choosing a country specific top level domain (best option)If you want to target the French market, then it’s best to go for a .fr domain. However, this means a totally new website so will require resources to build links to it in order for it to rank well with local search engines. Many small businesses don’t have this level of resource.
  • Choosing country specific subfoldersFor a small business on a tight budget this is probably the best option. Instead of having to begin again, adding a subfolder eg: www.mycompany.com/fr  to an existing site means that any link equity built up over the years will filter to the sub-folder. However, the ability to rank in the local market will not be as effective as having a country specific top level domain.
  • Adding a subdomainFor example france.mycompany.com. This isn’t a great choice as more authority is passed down to sub-folders than sub-domains. However, sub-domains can be hosted on a different server to the main site, so a slight benefit could be had by hosting in the country you wish to rank in.

 

Language Difficulties

Although many people throughout the world speak very good English as a second language, studies have shown that people are more likely to buy from websites in their own language. Any required content needs to be written by a professional translator or native speaker. Never rely on translation services such as Google translate otherwise you will look unprofessional as these services are only useful for translating single words and short phrases at best.

Localisation

In addition to creating a website in the official language of your target market, it is essential to localise for the culture also. Do not assume that search terms translate directly. For example, in the UK we might search for ‘low cost flights’ when looking for a bargain holiday. The direct translation of this term in Italian is ‘voli basso costo’ but people in Italy use ‘voli low cost’ when doing an online search. Failure to take into account these details could lose you potential business and waste time and money in ineffective marketing strategies.

What is the main search engine

Google may  be the Gods Of Search in the UK, US and many other parts of the world, but in a few countries their market share is minimal. For example in China, where the main search engine is Baidu, Google only has a 3% share of the market.  Different search engines will use different algorithms to rank websites, so it is important not to assume that what has worked well for your business website in one country, will work in another. Different countries will require different SEO strategies.

Although English is still the web’s most common language, its share is rapidly decreasing as countries such as China, Brazil and India embrace eCommerce in favour of traditional bricks and mortar businesses. The business potential for UK based online businesses is huge, but careful consideration must be made to language and cultural differences, and the SEO strategy has to suit the specific market.

Posted in seo