Having a website is one easy thing but getting traffic to your website is never easy and cheap, but did you know that you can always get free traffic to your website. It is not only just traffic that you need but you need qualified and rich traffic. Website owners need traffic for a variety of reasons ranging from increased reach, sales, leads, search engine optimization (SEO), etc. Having a website can be very rewarding to the business and can help you gather a wide range of information about your audience and customers but it all comes down to how well you use your website.
Google My Business
Google My Business has proved to be most effective for many businesses especially for local searches e.g. ‘Borehole Drilling Companies in Harare’. Google My Business is a free platform that allows businesses (even those without a strong web presence) to be included in and manage how they appear on Google Search and Maps. Google My Business comes with options for contact, location, address, map and directions, services, etc. Is your business listed on Google My Business? If not, it’s time to exploit this free and yet effective option. According to research by GoGulf, 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information whereas 97% of search engine users searched online to find a local business.
Online Directories & Review Sites
Though there are other paid listings there are many other free online directories and others that might charge on other offerings and packages like Accommoservice, Yellow Pages Zimbabwe, The Directory, etc. which you can list your business on. These work also very well in driving traffic back to your website or certain web pages.
Content is king and context is queen, the two always go hand in hand. In content creation for your website, we are looking at an inbound marketing strategy which according to Hubspot is defined as, ‘a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.’
The main effective way will be through blogging, with videos and podcasts also proving effective too. You can effectively use the inbound content marketing strategy by first identifying your audience. Who are they? What are their pain points? What solutions are they looking for? What problems are they facing? This will be an important step in knowing the kind of content to create. The next step will be to do a Search Engine Optimisation audit and implement its findings.
Social Media:Organic Reach
Is your business on social media? Social media can be one powerful way of getting organic traffic back to your website, this can be done by optimizing your social media profile e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and your WhatsApp Business for the website or any other links to your site. Social media also works by sharing your blog posts, pages, and web content helping drive traffic back to the website. In 2017, Facebook had an algorithm update that lower the reach of posts containing links to low-quality web pages. (that predominantly copy and republish content from other sites without providing unique value.) According to Henry Franco, a brand marketing associate at HubSpot recommends two things regarding organic social media. “First, don’t spam your audience — it costs a user nothing to scroll past your post, and if you don’t offer them any value, that’s exactly what they’ll do. Know your audience, and craft content that speaks directly to them,” Franco says. “Second, stay active with community management. People love when brands like and reply to them — it’ll humanize your business, and keep people coming back for more content.”
Search Engine Optimisation
This is arguably one of the best strategies to get free qualified web traffic to your website but it’s not as easy as 1,2,3. It requires some mastery and expertise but you can get along with basic SEO tips and strategies. According to Wikipedia, Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. SEO refers to the improvement of unpaid results (known as “natural” or “organic” results) and excludes direct traffic and the purchase of paid placement. The most important step will be to do an SEO audit of your website. What are the most searched keywords on your website? What re their entry pages? What are the bounce rates and any other of interest? Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools properly set up for your website.
You also need to do On-Page SEO optimizing web page content for search engines and users and it includes internal links, URL, content, and title tags. On-Page SEO can also be complemented with Off-Page SEO which happens outside the website. Building backlinks is at the heart of off-page SEO and Google favours sites that demonstrate Expertise, Authority & Trust (E.A.T.). The links span from natural links (given without any action on the part of a page owner eg linking to your favourite site), manually built links (the process of actively trying to increase links to a website say by asking influencers or customers to add backlinks to your site) and lastly self-created links (such as adding a backlink in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature).