There’s a common myth that search engine optimisation is only about the written content on a website. However, there is a lot more to it than that. Boosting SEO involves everything from clear menus and mobile-friendly loading times through to maximising the volume of traffic visiting your site – and keeping it there for as long as possible.
Any increase in website traffic has two benefits. It exposes more people to the key messages of your site, and it reassures Google and Bing that you have a resource worth visiting. Since the search engines are also monitoring how long people stay on the site once they arrive, content needs to be interesting. It should also be regularly updated.
There are a number of things you can do to increase website traffic and boost SEO, and inbound links are crucial for maximising both these factors. Search engines regard inbound links as a recommendation, while their presence helps to drive extra traffic onto the landing page or canonical URL you’ve identified as a key point of arrival. External site administrators need a reason to install such a link, so target platforms that complement yours in some way. These might belong to clients, service providers in related industries or media sites.
There are plenty of other ways to acquire inbound links, such as posts and blogs from guest columnists. They will often link to their content from other platforms to raise their own profiles. Reciprocal link agreements between two brands can be mutually beneficial, and testimonials from satisfied customers are an obvious source of inbound traffic. Finally, create profiles with online directories or portals where you can include a hyperlink. Avoid cut-price link farms, which will damage your site’s SEO.
Search engine optimisation is severely compromised if your website isn’t mobile friendly. In other words, it should look as good on a smartphone as it does on a desktop computer. Modern websites feature responsive frameworks, which automatically adjust to suit the screen size of each output device. Keep menus simple and don’t cram too much onto one page. Avoid unnecessary plugins, and stay away from large graphics or auto-playing videos that increase loading times – a key metric used for ordering websites in ranking results.
Another way to increase website traffic involves social media. This builds on the inbound links discussed above, presenting your content to new audiences. Social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram are great for plugging products and services, and every post or tweet can include a link to the webpage of your choice. Ensure posts and blogs are interesting and original – nobody cares whether your rush-hour commute was tedious, but they’ll enjoy witty comments or imaginative visuals. Twitter remains peerless for spreading a message among people you’d otherwise never contact, but building a following on any social media platform is a long-term process rather than a quick fix.
One of the ways social media platforms manage to operate without monthly charges is advertising. Any business can advertise through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and the same is true for Google and Bing. There are plenty of other platforms actively seeking new advertisers, with payment models ranging from pay-per-view (levying a cost every time the ad is displayed) to pay-per-click campaigns that only bill you when someone follows a link in the advert. Providing you set a respectable budget and carefully select where your ads will appear, this can be one of the best ways to drive traffic onto your website.
Few SEO techniques are more effective than long tail keywords. These are phrases on your website that people frequently search for. You might notice this article includes the phrase “increase website traffic” several times. Anyone looking for that term in Google or Bing is highly likely to find this page featuring prominently in their results. Software packages like Chartbeat or KISSmetrics identify the terms audiences commonly search for, while news or blog pages on your website provide an optimal home for these phrases. Don’t overdo it, though – search engines know whether content has been written for people, or simply to cram in dozens of words and phrases. This is a forbidden process known as keyword stuffing, and sites can be heavily downgraded in search results if they’re deemed to be guilty of it.