It is not the website developers responsibility to drive traffic to your website and unless they are an agency, and you have an agreed content contract with them, they will not change the copy or rewrite it, or create new blogs, pages etc without input from you.
If you think about it logically, they host thousands of websites and their time and energies are spent in building them and maintaining them so that they work properly in any browser, any visitor may use.
Recently, I’ve heard this complaint from my developer friends more often than usual, so I thought I’d write a blog on a few ways you can kickstart your website and get it working hard for you.
- Get a baseline of how many people are visiting your site at the moment, how they are finding you and which pages are most popular. All this information can be found in Google Analytics and if you haven’t got this install on your website, do it now (this is something your web developer can do!) The analytics are free to use and provide you with valuable data to help plan your marketing activities.
- Understand the data in the acquisition tab (my favourite). It tells you how people are finding your site. Ideally you will have a lot of visitors finding you organically (search engine discoveries). Some visitors will come directly, if they already know the URL, some via referrals from other sites and back links and some from social media. This then currently tells you what is working in order to get people to visit the site and what is not. Eg if you are spending hours on social media trying to generate interest and not getting direct response from the platform AND not getting visitors to the site, it may be time to reconsider your strategies. If you recently advertised your Website address somewhere and you get a spike in direct visitors then it could reasonably be assumed that the activity was related. This is why this information is so important. Recently, I was able to pinpoint several spikes in website visitors for a client that resulted from post they had put on Facebook; it help them identified messages that were resonating with their potential customers.
- Make sure you have your on-page SEO (search engine optimisation) as up together as you can. It’s not rocket science, although often touted as such, and it does make a huge difference to how you can become more visible in searches. That said, your site is still only as good as the content you have on it – you can’t optimise a page with one sentence or short paragraph on it. Search engines want to understand what your page is about and quality and quantity counts in this instance. Be aware that SEO is not a one-hit job either. In order to stay highly ranked you have to be aware of how your pages of being viewed against your competitors, and they may not be who you think they are! Competitors in this instance are those that Google/Bing think they are – they are the ones competing with you on search terms and keywords.
- Acquire more links back to your site. Now this is a really important point and not one that is always easy to fulfil. Back links, as they are called, are hyperlinks from someone else’s website back to yours. These links tell the search engines that you are important to that website and therefore that they should take more notice of you. They are a mark of confidence, and so form part of the criteria for ranking for your site. The more quality back links the better. I underline quality because links from poor sites can be detrimental and work against you. There is no point in signing up to listing sites in America if you don’t trade there; there is every reason to sign up to relevant business directories, local business community sites, Chambers of Commerce, newspaper listings, clubs and societies, network trade directories etc.
- Write blogs. Blogs are amazing tools in your armoury. They not only give you valuable, fresh content for your website (bearing in mind that the more frequently the search engine finds fresh content on your site, the more they visit and re-index), they also give you the opportunity to write something specifically that can strengthen your hold on certain keywords that you may be struggling with. People read good blogs. They value them and it allows you to showcase your knowledge, gain the confidence of the reader and warm up potential new customers. When you have written a new blog, put it out on social media, put links back to the full article on your website and share your knowledge. Giving away a little bit of your hard-earned learning will reap benefits and remember, what goes around comes around!
- Finally, although there is a lot more you can do that I will cover in another blog another time, please make sure your sitemap is working and that it’s been submitted to Google and Bing. I have come across more sites that I care to mention that miss this vital stage. If this is not done, it will take longer for the search engines to find you. Without getting too technical here, the sitemap tells visiting search engines what pages they should visit on your site and where they are. Your website developer or marketing team can help you with this. And, if you make a huge amount of changes to the site, resubmit the site to be indexing so that your hard work is recognised.
These six points are just a starting point, but they will take you a little way down the road to getting your website working harder for you.
We are considering the possibility of giving some taster session on how to understand Google Analytics and what it is telling you. If this is something you may be interested in – I would be pleased to hear from you.
And remember, this is just the starting point. Your website, especially if starting from new, will need nurturing before it returns the love!