Strategies to increase website traffic and conversions
With the clutter of information available on the internet, it's more complicated than ever to reach out to your target customer, even if they are willing to buy your product. When starting a website from scratch or continuing to scale your business into new markets, it is essential to constantly examine and optimize your process to attract new audiences — and turn those users into converting customers.
Strategies for improving traffic and conversions
In this article, we'll explore some of the best direct (onsite) and indirect (offsite) strategies that even businesses without multi-million-dollar marketing budgets can use to increase website traffic. Our focus here is mainly on an organic approach, as this is often the best way to drive quality traffic to your website, as opposed to large numbers enticed by sales or aggressive display-ad strategies. Then, we'll discuss how to turn that traffic into happy customers.
How to drive traffic using on-page strategies
Here is a list of strategies you can implement immediately on your website to increase footfalls:
1. Use a mix of low-competition, high-volume and long-tail keywords with interlinking
According to Aherfs – the famous SEO tool developer, the best keywords to target have high traffic potential, low competition and high business volume. Ensure your website has content that accurately targets those keywords (likely you'll need a mix of blog posts and copy-rich product pages). Then, build internal links between related pages across your website, which helps Google understand the website's structure, boosting your chance of reaching your customers on the first page of search results.
2. Build a sense of community
Readers are passionate about topics close to their hearts: given a chance, they won't lose an opportunity to express their thoughts. A blog commenting system can help entice such readers and develop conversations that engage even more people and drive traffic.
3. Videos are worth the effort
According to statistics compiled by WordStream, videos can increase organic traffic from search engine research pages (SERPs) by up to 157%. Even HubSpot's latest report emphasizes that most marketers are using video extensively. So it can pay to dedicate some time to creating videos that highlight your company's value props and bring your brand to life. Then, ensure that the alt text of the video is SEO friendly to reach new audiences best.
How to get traffic from other platforms using offsite strategies
Here are some recommendations to create a long-term traffic inflow from popular social platforms.
1. Establish your company as a thought leader on multiple platforms
To make people listen to you, build credibility by establishing yourself as a thought leader. Doing webinars, podcasts, developing YouTube videos, and offering free training courses, coupled with the right social media promotions, can do wonders in increasing traffic on your website.
2. Answer questions and comment on social media
Everybody knows posting on social media helps improve website traffic. However, it's best to comment on other posts and recommend solutions with links to make your existence feel. Quora, for example, is a platform where answering questions can lead to an increase in traffic.
3. Leverage the power of LinkedIn, Instagram, and Medium to the repurpose/reuse content
LinkedIn's platform allows you to reach out to business decision-makers. You can reuse and repurpose content created for your website using LinkedIn's publishing platform (as well as Medium.com), share videos or conduct LinkedIn live sessions. Instagram is another proven platform that has powered million-dollar businesses.
How to turn traffic into conversions
Any business knows that getting customers in the (virtual) door is only half the battle. You also need to optimize your site to move traffic down the sales funnel, converting them into happy customers. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Apply a benefits-first approach in your content
Don't just sell your product features. Communicate benefits for your customers that will enable them to solve their most persistent problems. This will help convert traffic into customers and build brand loyalty and increase lifetime value in the process.
2. Optimize the speed and responsiveness of your website
According to research by Google, if the page load time is above 5 seconds, the probability of a bounce increases by 100%. That is why optimizing your website is a must. If you have an e-commerce website, it's best to have its architecture reviewed by expert consultants.
3. Optimize checkout flows and reduce cart abandonment
It is necessary to ensure the checkout process is as smooth as possible to minimize cart abandonment. This can be achieved by eliminating any instances that may impede the conversion process. The following minor changes can make a significant impact on your conversion rate:
- Including shipment charges with the listed product price to eliminate any surprise cost
- Offering multiple payment options
- Auto-filling previously used credit card information
- Including secure transaction icons
- Ensuring promotional codes work
4. Utilize pop-ups to offer special/limited-time discounts
According to a study by Sumo, on average, the conversion rate for pop-ups is 3.09 percent and can reach up to 9.28 percent. Encourage micro-conversions (and boost your lead generation efforts) with pop-ups by offering special discounts or limited-time discounts (with a timer). Don't forget to delay pop-ups by at least 30 seconds and make it easy for the user to close them to avoid frustrating the visitors.
5. Create personalized site experiences
One of the best ways to turn traffic into converting customers is to create experiences that feel personalized to each user on your site. This can include custom navigation or content based on a user's geolocation, using cookies to create personalized homepages, bestseller lists or further shopping recommendations, displaying recently viewed items and more. Each of these tactics acts like virtual salespeople and can increase conversions and average order value.
6. Decrease onsite distractions
Don't overwhelm your viewers by selling multiple products on a single page. It is crucial to direct your visitors' attention to the next step you want them to take. When you offer too much at once, you may confuse your visitors into buying nothing at all. Use whitespaces and moderate highlighting to reduce distractions and focus attention.
If you plan wisely, you can direct high-quality traffic to your website by posting the right content on the right platforms; as such, visitors are more likely to buy your services/products. But remember: every business is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to increase website traffic and close sales. That is where Acro Media comes in. We are a team of experts dedicated to optimizing your company's digital presence, touching everything from ensuring your site is fast and responsive to prevent bounces to analyzing and optimizing every part of your ecommerce flow. Interested in learning how you can take your ecommerce site to the next level? Reach out for a consultation today!
Miles J. Adrian is writing a PH.D. thesis on corporate blogging. He has been enabling sales of IT/technology products and services for almost a decade. He has a keen interest in eCommerce technologies, including CMS— front-end and back-end. Miles has written extensively on emergent technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, Internet of Things, Cloud, DevOps, and microservices.
Note: This article was originally published on June 23, 2020, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.