How to increase website traffic & sales
I thought I’d have a little chat about how to improve your website, how to get more people to your website and how to get more sales, ultimately, because as a business owner, that’s the end goal – to nurture an audience, create a customer base and build relationships with those customers and it doesn’t have to be seen as ‘sell sell sell’ or even salesy, it can actually be something that is a nice experience for everyone involved, because we all want to or need to buy things. So as nice as that experience can be, the better for everyone involved.
There are two routes into increasing your website traffic or to improving your sales, and those are pretty much ’paid for’, or organic traffic. Now you can find out your stats on these kind of things with use of Google Analytics, so you can go and have a look at where your traffic is coming from. And you can set up goals and all kinds of things so that you can actually measure the success of your paid for or organic traffic.
I’m going to go straight into it and I’m going to talk about paid for first and we can talk about paid for as being Facebook ads, Google ads or AdWords and Pinterest ads. Now the kind of three main ones that you can get into.
Facebook ads are really good for small business. With a little bit of training or a little bit of research, you can set up a Facebook ad quite successfully. There are people out there who can do it for you, and yes, they are experts, so they probably going to get better results for you. But the key thing that you need to think about is getting your audience right. So really think about the demographics and their behaviours and their job titles and those kind of things when you’re when you’re narrowing down your audience. Make sure you do some ad research. Now I found something recently called at Facebook ad library where you can actually look at any brand and any ads that they’ve done. I thought was super helpful. Also have a look at what people are creating that’s coming up in your feed because you’re obviously running your business.
Facebook knows that you’re doing market research or looking at what’s going on in the wider world to do with your particular content or your particular area of focus. Your own ads are probably going to be targeted at you provide business perspective, so you’ll find in your feed that the ads might be quite similar to companies that you would be competing against. You might want to have a look at what they’re doing and see if anything inspires you – you can actually save them in. Your Facebook account and use them as inspiration. Now obviously we don’t copy. That’s not the done thing, but it’s hard sometimes to come up with ideas for ads. I find that looking at other peoples can make you think I’d like that, but I don’t like that and I’ll do that differently. It might be really nice way to find some inspiration.
Make sure that you get your graphics right. Lots of companies use very different styles: some have text, some don’t have texts, some use video, some use moving images… You want to really think about what represents your brand and what your customer’s going to engage with the most. Also make sure copy makes people want to stop and read it so that opening sentence or two sentences if it’s a Facebook ad is really important, because that’s what people will open up and then start reading from.
There is really good book out there about Facebook ads. It is huge so you might not want to read it, but it might be good for a bit of a quick dip in or a resource, and it’s by Perry Marshall. I’ve had a quick look through it, it’s very detailed. It will give you pretty much everything you need to know from start to finish. There are also lots of people offer courses or workshops that you could do and you can get someone to do it for you. As I said earlier, you might find that paying for that expert to do it for you says you so much time that’s really worth it in the long run.
Okay, Google ads. This is a bit more complicated now. I think people think Google ads is super scary because I think it used to be really complex. You really need to know what you doing and they’ve made it easier as time goes on, to attract more people to it. Again, you could pay for an expert to do this for you, and you probably will get better results just because they do this every single day. Also again, Perry Marshall has done a book I actually have read from cover to cover and again is really big. It’s called The Ultimate guide to Google Adwords, I think it is but if you search Google AdWords book, it will come up as the first return, I’ve just done it and checked.
The copy is really the thing here, with Google AdWords, you want to make sure that it converts, that it’s catchy, that it’s got a call to action, that it’s got keywords in it, all those things that we kind of know about general marketing. But I do think you need to bit more of a read around – you can spend an absolute fortune and it can be wasted money on Google ads. Just be really careful; I think it’s great. I don’t think it’s as powerful as it once was because there’s so much out there, but if you get the right strategy, it can be really, really powerful for a business.
Pinterest ads are actually really similar to setting up a Facebook ad – the process is really similar. I’ve had a look through it. It’s all about the audience. It’s all about setting up your own budgets , the graphics of the pin etc, and about getting those combinations right. It has also been reported and I haven’t really tried it myself – I tend to do a lot more organic roots, but we’ll get into that in a minute – it is also reported that it hasn’t really good return on investment, so it might be worth trying. For a very small amount of money, you could get quite a decent return. Again, do some research, look into it, and only do it if it’s right for your business. Don’t do it because you think you should.
OK, so onto organic. Organic is basically about how you build and design and look after your website in order to improve its SEO rating and domain authority rating. You can find out your domain authority rating pretty easily through Moz, or you can actually install the Neil Patel UberSuggest Google extension onto your browser and then you can actually look at everybody’s, which is actually quite an interesting thing to do.
I’m going to start first of all with technical, which is where you would set up Google search console, different to Analytics but connected. You can actually see how many times you’ve appeared in various searches, what keywords you’re ranking for, can have a look at who is linking to your domain, which is very important and we’ll come on to n a moment. You can have a look at anchor text and all those things that actually do make quite a big difference to your site, but that people seem to worry a little bit about and think it’s very technical. It’s not, I’m going to go through it with you.
So here’s the first one: you can upload your XML site Maps which really helps with ‘Google crawling’, In order to improve your SEO rating, Google will ‘crawl’ your site, and will look for certain things and check that links are all working and make sure that you’re not spammy and you’re not overly linked and you’ve not got lots of bad back-links. Periodically, sometimes it’s really helpful to upload a new XML site map
this quite love guides on how to do that online. That can be really good way to improve your rating ranking and Domain Authority.
The other big thing that slows down pages is images, so get yourself a page image optimiser, which compresses the image. Make sure you upload it the right size – that’s a really big thing. Don’t upload huge graphic which then your website has to smush every time that you open it. Find out what the graphic sizes should be for your website and upload it at the right size. Often Jpegs are better than PNGs because PNGs are bigger. If it is not important that your images are absolutely fantastic quality, definitely go for Jpegs that will stop it to slow down in further.
The next thing you could do is look at whether you have any broken links: your 404 errors can really slow down your site and they can also make the Google box think that there’s a more serious issue going on, so checking those and correcting those is a very important thing. To fix them, I would recommend looking into how to do redirect. It’s better to do this at host level rather than install a plugin but if you want to as a plugin that can also help. So have a think about which one you would be happy doing and do that if you have any 404 broken links. If any of this is a little bit too scary and you’ve got these issues, send me an email, I’m happy to give you some free advice.
Your on-page SEO is all about the content that’s actually on your website, so the things that you have direct control over. The things you write, things you do on there. For that we would be looking at blog posts and to some extent your pages. The first thing to say about blog posts or podcasts is write content that your audience wants, because they’re going to go to website for that kind of content and if it’s different or not, quite matching, then they might leave anyway, which will have an effect on your SEO.
When it comes to on site or on page SEO, you’re looking at things like making sure your message, description and tags are in the right place. If you’re on WordPress, you can install the Yoast which is really helpful for this, but if you’re not, this is how you do it: make sure you’ve got the right title tags, so your H1 is your page title tag. Make sure that it’s got your keyword in it. Make sure that you’re using your keywords frequently, but not spammy or robotically, to make sure that they feel natural. Make sure that your alt description for your image has your keyword in it and also give a description. It is really really, really nice for people who don’t have the ability to see the image for whatever reason, if they’re using a screen reader, to understand what the picture looks like, so include a description, but also have a keyword in there.
Make sure your URL has a keyword in it and that your website has both external and internal links. Super important, so you could be linking off to a different page on someone else’s website – obviously agree that before you do that – and you could be looking to something else that you posted in another place, another podcast and you could be then linking a different blog post in that copy as well. This really helps for keeping people on your site and also showing that you’re being generous with your information. Another top tip is when you upload your image to your site, make sure your image name has your keyword in it. That means that when people go to Google, they will find your image through a
keyword search and then that will take them to your website. It’s just another nice way of getting people to your website.
OK, off-page SEO: consider SEO for every single page; your home page, your About page, your services pages, any pages on your website, think about what you’re SEO keywords could be. Do the research and then add them exactly how we just discussed it. For blog posts, there are some amazing resources out there for SEO writing, so go and have a look. When you’re adding your SEO keywords to your page, consider adding locality to some, so for instance, if you are a florist and you work in a certain area so you don’t do nationwide, you definitely want to be ranking for the area you’re based in. You want to have, for instance Nottingham, where I’m based, in your home page. I’m not florist, but you might have ‘Florist based in Nottingham’ and then my other keywords might be something like ‘Bouquets for your special day’. I mean, that’s probably not going to work as not many people put that into search!
That’s the thing about keywords: it wants to be things that you think your ideal customer will put into a Google search bar. There are other ways to find your keywords: you can go to places like Ubersuggest, there are quite a few out there. You can do it in Google Adwords if you have that function. There are keywords tools in there too, so there are ways to find your key words.
Link building is also really important because you want to be linked to higher ranking domain or authority websites. Say you’re at three because you’re a new website and you obviously don’t have lots of history. Google’s not quite sure whether to trust you yet. You probably want to find someone with a domain authority above 20 and either offering them something that you can give. You could say, “Oh, your blog post is similar to my blog posts, they complement each other. Maybe we can both share each other’s links on our blogs, which is a really good way to get a back-link.
If you do that, you’re wanting a ‘do follow ‘back-link, not a ‘no follow’ back-link. If you do that, the Google bots will go from that person’s site to your site and connect them and a ‘no follow’ means that it will not be connected officially. It’s basically a permission gateway. Try and get some kind of ‘do follow backlinks: I’ve done this before when writing guest posts for other blogs and websites and it does really work. It really helps with domain authority, and is well worth thinking bout. You can go to agencies and ask them to create you and find you backlinks as well. That’s also very trusted method.
Linked into that is guest posting another site, which helps get your back-links, but also can just generate traffic to your website – it isn’t just about getting the link. Sometimes you might not get a ‘do follow’ link, but it’s still worth doing because they’ve got a massive target audience and massive amount of people come to their site every month, so it’s worth it because some people might click through to your site anyway because they like what you’re doing.
Trust is a massive factor for off page SEO, so you need to be thinking about having a better sell certificate that is a trust symbol for Google. It shows that your website can’t be got into my anybody else. You need to make sure that it’s secure and safe. If you have a WordPress site, keep it up to date, keep the plug-ins up to date, keep everything up to date so that people can’t get into it. That shows Google that you are looking after your site. Domain authority we’ve talked about. It’s really important to keep that rising and a way to get that to rise is to continue doing what you’re doing and to make sure you’re updating it constantly. That sounds like you’re updating it every day! The most important thing is to have a consistent schedule. Every couple of weeks you could write a blog post, or every week or every month, but make sure you do it as a rule and do that all the time.
Back link checks: this links back into Google search and see who is actually linking to your website. I’ve had websites lose domain authority because people have managed to link to anchor text on your website and Google thinks that you’re connected so you just need to be really careful. There’s a way to remove those backlinks by submitting a text file and again it’s quite technical, but not too hard to do. Again, there are good resources out there but if you’re struggling, please send me an email and I’d be happy to give you some advice.
Okay, so internal linking, this is a really big one, and one you can have quite a lot of impact on. We talked a little bit before in the blog post section about having links to your other pages and your one-off site. Think as well, when you’re on your homepage, for instance, you would want to be having lots of different places that your customer can go to next, so this is part of your customer journey work and I’ve talked about this before in previous podcasts and in blog posts. If you want to look those up, I’d recommend it. You want to be thinking about where you want your customers go next, because the whole point of getting someone on your website is to keep them on there as long as possible and for them to go through the process of trusting you, liking you, knowing you, and then maybe buying from you or coming back to buy from you at later time. It’s really important to think about that journey, which can have a huge impact on your bounce rate. If you can get customers to go to at least one other page when they come to your website, it can have a big impact on lowering your bounce rate.
You’re looking for anything below 41. Anything between 41 and 50 is still very good, anything below 41 is excellent, so that’s what we’re looking for, because Google then knows that when people go there, they’re going to find what they want, they’re going to be happy with the content and they’re going to stay there. That will include increase the amount of time people stay there, which then also has an impact on your SEO rating as well. You want to set up Google ‘My Business’, because it’s a trusted link between Google and your website. Even if you’re a service-based business, set up a Google My business, I’m not going to enter into that.
Then you want to post content to social media and Pinterest on a regular basis because you are sending people to your website from those places. Every time you do that you are creating another little link. Even though it’s a ‘no follow’ link, it’s still creating a link to your website from another place, which shows that you have excellent sources and people are staying there, they’re not bouncing off and it creates an all-round picture for SEO.
Just to finish with something I found: in order to rank on search engines 42% of it is to do with how much traffic you get, so that’s huge, if you can improve your SEO and improve how you get people to your website and how you keep them on your website that will show google that you have to be put in search engine results. 14% is ‘on page SEO’, so all about the content they are creating. 7% is about social activity so what you doing off your site to send people to your site and what you’re affiliated with, where you are on Pinterest, where you are with social, and 10% student domain name and age.
I think I covered this before, but if you change your website domain name too frequently, you can lose domain authority for that – try and keep holding them. Be really cautious if you’re thinking about changing your domain name. Only do it if you really, really need to, because it’s completely new business and the older your domain is, the more trusted. gets, and the better it gets. Google sees it as a source of information, so they’re really interesting figures in my opinion.
42% of it is the amount of traffic that goes to your website, so you can tell that those off page things about link building and getting people to your site is actually really, really important. As important as the content on your website. It really is worth thinking about how you’re getting people to your website, and then how you’re keeping them. All of that is joined up together, so it’s about how you create links to your website, where you put those links on things like Pinterest, like social media, and that that content is quality that somebody will then click onto another link and read something else of yours, or go and purchase the product from your shop, or go and listen to podcast episode. if you offer that.
It’s a joined up process – I think that can make it quite confusing or difficult, but I think if you start at the beginning and go OK, this is what my content is going to be, this is how often I’m going to create it, this is how I’m going to promote it, I’m going to use Pinterest, social media, I might use LinkedIn. I might use various other tools to promote it and this is how I’m going to improve my on-page SEO and then every month I’m going to check my results, I’m going to check my Google search, I’m going to make sure I’ve got an up to date sitemap, I’m going to check for any broken links. If you build it into a strategy that is done on a monthly basis, it becomes a lot easier, and take it one step at time!
You can’t do all this in one day. It takes a long time to get into these kinds of processes, but just do it, just start, is my advice just start and if you need any help let me know because I’d be more than happy to chat with you about any of these things and give you some advice.
The takeaway this week is there are two routes for getting more traffic and sales to your website. One is paid, one is organic. Paid for it is to do with ads. If you are setting up ads on any platform, make sure you do your research first. Make sure you think about who you want to interact with that advert and how are you going to get them to do that? What are you going to use in terms of a call to action and your image or your copy if it’s Google ads? Organic traffic comes as a result of SEO. It’s not the be all end all, but it really is a big factor, so you need to be thinking about all elements of SEO: technical, on-page and off-page.
That traffic is 42% of the reason that Google will return you in a search, so we really need to be thinking about how you getting people to your website. And that when they get there, they’re happy and they keep clicking around in order to improve your domain authority. And that building your domain authority, SEO is a journey. It’s a big process, it isn’t going to happen overnight and just start small. Start with something like a content structure: this is how I’m going to get people to my site and this is what they’re going to see, and then next time you come to think about it, think about how to do the more technical side of things. Just take one step and go from there.
If you are thinking about using Pinterest for your business and you’re not quite sure how to set it up or you want some guidance, I’m opening up a second round of ProPinners Academy very soon, so head over to Moxieva.co.uk if you want to sign up for the Moxie mail to know when it’s going to be launching. You’ll also get access to it before anyone else does, if you do that. I’m so excited, as the last time was so much fun. I can really emphasise how much value Pinterest can bring to your business.
I hope you found that useful. If you want to chat some more, my details are in the show notes. I’m here to help.
Listen to the podcast episode here
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