Lina Barfoot
Lina Barfoot Editor at SavvySME

How do you drive more traffic to your website?

What would be a good way to get more traffic coming through to your website? I would love to hear some of the tried and tested tactics that you have used in the past!

Top voted answer
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

One of the ways I've had some limited success with is using e-newsletters (I'm thinking about rebooting my list due to some spam signups) but it has typically driven more site visits.

Another way I've tried is doing some guest blogging at other related blogs (locally). I haven't had the honor of guest blogging in any major news magazines yet (but working toward it).

Also when I post articles on other local businesses or interesting tools, I always include links to their websites and social media accounts. I also try to contact them in advance of me publishing the article. This has two advantages, 1. They know they are getting some press, 2. They are likely to repost or retweet the mentions to their own following (which hopefully drives some traffic back).

Miriam Miles

Miriam Miles, Founder at Resonate - Online Presence Development

Hi Lina, great question. I have spent the past two years learning how to engage with people online and the bottom line is that if you can incorporate social media into your marketing plan, you will find those people who are looking for you.

In the past few months I have really been focussing on my writer for hire site which I run a fun, family friendly blog that connects with readers on a more personal level. I rarely talk about my work life here, instead choosing to connect human to human and build strong relationships with my readers.

I know it sounds a bit trite, but just working with your communication strengths and being yourself seems to really encourage people to engage more.

My current strategy is pretty simple at the moment. I have a loose plan on what I will write about each time and I have my blog directly linked to my social media page on Facebook and Twitter. I don't find it as organic for me to reach out to people on Twitter (maybe an age thing?) but I really enjoy more in depth conversations on Facebook so I camp out there instead.

The result is that at least three times a week I post an article or something on my blog and my Facebook page and Twitter accounts receive that post and shares it there as well. I then re-share my post on Facebook using my personal account and through this process usually find at least a hundred or so people get to see what I've written each time.

This process has seen my author page of Facebook grow from about 70 to 186 since Christmas. Because my blog is on Wordpress, I also get a few readers there, and am finding a steady increase in followers reading my work in the past few weeks.

The end result, so far, is consistent growth. I have used some paid promotion on Facebook which was quite successful, increasing my page likes by over 50 in about four days, but this is something I would not want to rely on too regularly.

As this has been quite a successful plan, I will now start using the same strategy for my specific business sites ensuring that the focus for those readers is highly specific, not random and very resourceful.

This is how I think you will succeed in getting more people to your site:

  1. Be yourself. Seriously. One of the most common things I have heard from readers lately is that they love how 'real' I am on the page. They're tired of predictable sale-sy speak and want to connect with YOU, not your persona and quite frankly, not even your loooooooooong list of testimonials. So, get real and be comfortable with humanese!
  2. Have a plan. It's an old idea, but it still works. Write it down, keep it simple and FOLLOW IT. It won't make any different unless you do!
  3. Find your tribe. This is something a lot of the influential bloggers are writing about. Every business needs to find the people who love them and want to be part of their tribe, so find those people and speak to them. Don't worry about reaching everyone - you never will. Just focus on speaking to that small group and you'll be amazed how much it increases engagement.
  4. Network online. Yes, face to face networking is absolutely important, but you're looking to increase traffic to your site which means you also need to connect online. Use Facebook groups and be a normal supportive person who is NOT trying to sell your stuff. You'll never build relationships that way and followers expect relationship.
  5. Be helpful and kind, supportive and informative but never pushy. Before you know it, people will start asking you questions. I've had three authors contact me in the past week through the groups I have been in for the past few months. One has even asked me to co-write a book on mental health carers. Wow. Just from being me!

Last but not least, remember that building follower numbers and increasing engagement - or as you put it, increasing traffic - to your site is a slower process than many are willing to admit. Buying likes for pages is terrible. Just don't do it! Be strategic, be intentional and be authentic in both your communication and what you offer and the relationships will grow.

These are just a FEW of the ways in which you can work on building your traffic. No, they have nothing to do with advertising, marketing or numbers. But they have everything to do with the actual real human beings you are hoping to connect with to purchase your stuff. And that, my friends, is the bottom line. No connection? No purchase.

Lina Barfoot

Lina Barfoot, Editor at SavvySME

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, I love the idea behind that - basically just be yourself and be honest!

Miriam Miles

Miriam Miles, Founder at Resonate - Online Presence Development

That's it. The more I work toward my goals, the more I realise that the most effective way to generate genuine interest in what we are doing, is to be authentic. People aren't stupid and we can coerce them into becoming subscribers, followers and the like, but if we can't follow through with an authentic and unique message, they'll leave. Simple as that. There's something to be said for the slow and steady wins the race metaphor!