You’ve heard it before, and it bears repeating: Your website is your front door. If you think about the way people work and play today, it makes perfect sense. When somebody wants to know about your business or organization, the first place they go is your website.
But what if people can’t find your website to begin with? What do you do if you’re not showing up in basic Google search results? How will they ever know where to find you?
Increasing website traffic is important for long term success. Fortunately, there are a few ways to help your website get found…and many of them are free or low cost! Here are a few ways to help your site (and your business) show up for your customers and clients.
Set up your Google My Business page
If your Google My Business listing isn’t set up, stop right now and do it. Google My Business is where you can place important pieces of information such as your phone number, business hours, provide a link for directions, and of course a quick link to your website. If somebody searches for your business by name in Google, and your listing is set up properly, your GMB listing will show up.
Google My Business is also where your reviews will live. Having an active, positive review listing will attract more potential customers.
Google loves it when people use their tools, so you are also more likely to gain organic traffic. To get started, just go to https://www.google.com/business/
Make sure your robots.txt isn’t blocking search engines
I know this sounds like a technical thing, but it really isn’t difficult to research.
Most websites utilize a feature that disallows certain web “bots” from crawling a website. This is useful in many situations. Maybe you have a client portal that you don’t want to show up in search. Or maybe you just want to keep out suspicious bots that might be using your server’s bandwidth. One common use, however, is for developers to block a site when it is under development.
Unfortunately, some developers forget to remove the block once a site launches. This can create problems.
In order to see what your robots.txt file says, just type your domain name followed by “/robots.txt” like this: https://thirdside.co/robots.txt. The line that says “User-agent” is addressing specific crawlers. If the line says “User-agent: *” then all crawlers are being addressed. The line that says “Disallow:” is telling those crawlers which page to ignore. By way of example, the robots.txt for ThirdSide (at the above link) says:
This is telling all bots to ignore the /wp-admin/ directory. If your robots.txt file says:
Then all bots are being blocked from all pages. This includes search engines! You may need a developer to help you clean this up, but it’s a fairly simple process.
Keep an active blog
Search engines such as Google and Bing index websites based on their content. While most people think of content as just words, it can also be pictures or videos. An active content marketing campaign is one way to increase conversion rates, but the best–and potentially least expensive–way to ensure engaging content is to create a blog for your website.
People are probably looking for fresh information about you when they go to your website. Blog posts are a great way to keep your site content current. Sites with an active blog that includes great content receive more traffic than sites that don’t. Some estimates are as high as 67%. Publishing a blog can increase your traffic, your authority, and give your visitors a reason to return to your site.
Search engines also favor sites with fresh, engaging content. So by serving your users well, you attract search engines. This will increase your site traffic. It’s a very positive, upward spiral.
Ensure your site is mobile responsive
We’ve talked about this in-depth for over six years, but we never miss the opportunity to say it when we can. Recently, Google has begun indexing mobile versions of websites before the desktop version. If your site isn’t mobile responsive, don’t expect it to rank well…if at all.
Invest in SEO services
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the process of making your site attractive to search engines so people can find you. While there are some SEO processes you can perform on your own, it may be in your best interest to hire this out.
The SEO landscape is constantly evolving. A good SEO firm will be able to tell how people visited your site, monitor your Google Analytics for you, monitor traffic to your website, work with you to develop the best types of content, and even help you create content.
Many companies offer digital marketing services. These services can include email marketing, social network marketing, and ad placement. While these services do require an investment, they have been shown to have a very high rate of return. Do your research, though, before hiring somebody to handle your digital marketing. Make sure they have a proven track record and are available to answer questions when you have them.
Where do I go next?
It may come as no surprise, but ThirdSide is able to help you with everything on this list. If you would like assistance getting more visitors to your website, or even a quick consultation, get in touch with us!