Everyone with a website is seeking ways to increase its visitor count, this is what we call traffic. Us website owners are basically in need of traffic to thrive. If no-one is coming, then motivation drops and income most likely as well. Unless it’s just something for fun you do.
This article is for everyone who is seeking to increase website traffic. It’s all done in a sustainable way with proven working methods. Experiments done on this website are the result of traffic increase. I am here to share what works, and what does not work.
If you are running Google Adsense or another advertising network, this is also interesting because you get to know how to earn more. More traffic can mean more money.
I am going through some basics to intermediate and then advanced. When there is a good understanding of all, it’s likely you can improve much of your website traffic. In the basics, I give some understanding to traffic for websites. In intermediate and after we’re going on how to gain more traffic.
Advanced is paid for those who are willing to pay to gain traffic.
Basics of website traffic
Before we get started, let’s get through some basics. As a reference, I will be using TaleTravels.com. This is because I had full control and decided what strategies to apply to increase website traffic. I could see what helped and what did not.
The basics of website traffic will also tell us if website traffic got increased or even decreased. Over time this helps with strategy.
What is website traffic and sessions?
Website traffic are visitors that come to your website. These visits are counted in a session. A session is a period of time where they either visit multiple pages or just only the one page. A session is closed after 30 minutes of idle time or when you close the browser/tab.
If it was one page they visit, Google Analytics will count this as a bounce rate. Your aim is to lower the bounce rate as much as possible.
How do I measure my website traffic?
To measure your website traffic and get accurate information I suggest using Google Analytics. The best way is to add the snippet code you receive when signing up on Google Analytics into the <head> element. If this is too advanced you can follow the video instructions.
Why is adding the code manually better than using a WordPress plugin? It uses fewer resources of the hosting. On websites with high traffic, this will result in a lot of resources saved.
Why should I measure my website traffic?
When you measure your traffic you know that what you are doing works or not in changes for your website. In the long term, you should be able to see that the traffic is growing. Changes for your website can be:
- Changing the layout
- Adaption of content strategy
- frequency of adding content
- Hiring SEO
It is important to know how your website is performing in traffic. The ultimate goal is to grow and keep increasing traffic. So measure your traffic, it’s not very difficult and it gives important insights.
How do you measure the traffic on another website (competitor)?
If you are interested and feel some rivalry with other websites it’s important to know how you are performing versus them. A competitor might change strategy which forces you to adapt in order not to lose traffic to the competition.
To measure traffic from other websites I use Ubersuggest and SEMrush. Both accounts have a free version, limiting the daily queries you can perform. This is enough to do some research like how is the competition performing.
It’s not super accurate but it can give you an educated estimated guess based on rankings and performance how good the competitor is ranking.
When you enter your own URL you notice that the information might be off. So use this to your advantage by also requesting traffic information on another website (perhaps a competitor). This allows you to do a relative comparison.
Is your competition increasing in traffic? You can also find out what keywords work for them, which pages are performing the best. Valuable information to increase your own visitors.
Now we covered some of the basics it’s time to take actionable steps. In the article it’s already been discussed about competitor, however I will get back to that later. Let’s cover the niche and frequency of posting.
I have written an article about doing keyword research and the free tools I use. Whenever you start writing a new article, start by asking yourself:”Is this what the public is even looking for?”
It might take some time to rank for those keywords but when you keep it up, in the long term you will be a winner. Post by Post they start ranking in the top3 or top10 of Google. Your traffic will increase and your work paid off. So do some keyword research. Even for this post I did some research making sure to use the right wording.
Add new posts regularly
Adding new posts on a regular basis is important. Not only for your readers to digest content but also for the search engines, they want to digest new content too. They want to know what’s new with your website this day/week or even month.
Having irregular updates can keep the reader and the search engine away. Lure them by adding high-quality content on a regular basis.
I myself am trying a new experiment. I am updating almost daily, and it’s paying off. I can already see after one month of blogging that my traffic is steadily increasing. Both my old and new posts are being visited more and more. This is exactly what you want right?
Improve your site speed
Your site speed should be optimum. It should not load longer than 3 seconds. Take it as a guideline. I took it from the Google Documentation. I also wrote a whole article about how I got this site to 1.1 second load time. How to increase your website speed
Improving speed will also gain you better ranks in the search engines.
Guest Posting and receiving guest posts
So what good is it if you would add your high-quality content to another website and not your own. This is about getting exposure on another website. Do check if their traffic is worth it to make a guest post.
Your guest post should also have a link back to your own website. Preferably the post you make for the other website contains one of the core niche aspects your website is about. Google will make a link between the website and post. If they are relevant you increase your E-A-T score. (Expertise Authority and Trustworthiness). This brings me to the next part.
Increase your E-A-T score
E-A-T is something considered important. A fake news website doesn’t score in this at all. They do not link to their resources, you often don’t find any information about the author or website in general and nobody really wants to link to you as a “do-follow” backlink.
So the basics on how to increase your E-A-T score and thus also your traffic:
- Make an about page
- Make an author page
- Each article should have a link to the author and also written by “author name”
- Your post should back-up the claims it is making.
Source: Marie Haynes on EAT
See what I just did? I mentioned the source where I got the information from as a do-follow to another website which is considered high on authority on this particular subject. It’s not hard to point out to the sources where you get your information from. So start doing it. In the long run you are doing yourself a favor.
One of the harder things is to look out for other websites that could complement information on your post or website. Linking out to each other helps Google. An algorithm (BERT) would take note content of both sites would be relevant to each other.
The purpose is to increase domain authority and rank. With that it will be easier to rank for keywords in the future. The higher your authority and rank is, the higher your page will get ranked in search engines.
*Important: Do not buy links even though they are cheap. Your domain might get stopped being ranked. Google has ways to detect low-quality links. Links from websites that have no value or content related to your website.
Apply Social Media
This is not an area I am an expert on. But I do use Facebook and Twitter to promote my blog posts. It helps a little bit. In the near future I plan to add Pinterest as well.
Satisfy the curiosity of your visitor with good quality information
In the end it’s all about your visitor. Your traffic is coming to your website for a reason. Normally, or at least most of the times, they would find your page via Google. They had an intent to buy or gain more information.
Your website should provide to fulfill the intent of the visitor. If this is the case your website and pages will rank higher over time making you get more traffic. So invest time in good quality content to satisfy their need.
Broadening your niche
This website was mainly about traveling, what to eat, and tips. Then COVID-19 came and basically nobody needed that kind of information since travel got suspended for many countries. People were afraid to travel. My response: Broadening the niche to Food and Blogging.
Broadening the niche allows for more types of post. This way I could make content that was still searched for and the website could even gain more visitors this way.
Get that rich snippet
A rich snippet is a more elaborate way of standing out. It can be done on multiple ways. There are WordPress Plugins to help with this.
For my recipes, I stand out often and get good traffic because I am in the rich snippet. I use Google Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure I can get in the rich snippet somehow. This increases the clicks by a lot! So stand out
To gain more organic traffic it’s important to keep an eye out on: https://developers.google.com/search, this website tells you all the valid information.
Advanced for gaining more traffic
If you are willing to spend money then this part might be interesting for you. If your website is very new, it might take some months before you get traction on search engines.
Advertising works good for short term. There are many platforms to advertise on. From Search Engines to Social Media you can promote your website. For Search Egnines you can pay per click even.
Getting Social Media influencers to promote you
Contact social media influencers in your niche and ask them to promote your website. Often they have some followers that are willing to go to your website and buy your product or service.
Hiring writers to expand your content on your site is also something that can be done. You are still targetting organically: those who find your website to Google without advertisement.
Hire SEO/SEM expert
Do an SEO Audit and find out where you can improve on. (contact me for free SEO Audit). Apply changes and keep track of results by measuring traffic. Small changes can have big effects.
For Search Engine Marketing, you are advertising. The expert will research what kind of keyword should be targetted to advertise on.
What did not work for gaining traffic fast and free
Gathered from my own experience and what I have learned online: I will compile a list that does not work to grow your quality traffic.
Facebook Groups promoting blogs and blog posts
The groups have become a big mess where people reply to nonsense links to each other. People do not always have an interest in these. The traffic you get is not interested in your link. The Analytics are getting filled with higher bounce rates.
Promoting regularly on Facebook groups is not getting you reliable and sustainable traffic. You are increasing traffic in an unreliable way. It’s not the quality of traffic you are searching for.
Broad Keyword Advertising
For advertising, I have noticed that broad keyword advertising does not work. Broad keyword advertising is like I want to be found for Glasses. You can get different meanings: Glasses to see better or glasses to drink from.
When Advertising set an exact keyword match.
It does not work! Google is smart enough to know and can even remove your website from the listing. Buying links because it was cheap to increase your Domain Authority is not something you should ever do. Whatever people say. (source: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-buying-links-throwing-money-away-24003.html)