We all know that you can optimize your website to increase web traffic with strategies like paid advertisements on social media and Google (e.g. Adwords), SEO, social media campaigns with influencers, and so on. These are the big boys when it comes to improving web traffic. However, there are also a lot of little things that you can do to boost your web traffic—and unfortunately, they’re often ignored.
These tactics, often concern search engine results page (SERP) features since many potential users discover your brand or product through Google searches. You may not notice how much you’re losing out on at the moment, but you could be getting hundreds or thousands more visits to your site if you follow the tips below.
1. Meta Descriptions
A meta description is that short bit of text or summary of the content of a page, shown under the main Google search result on the SERP. If you have no meta description, would-be visitors to your site won’t be as encouraged to click on your content. Rather, Google will pick something generic from the site instead, which will miss the mark and cause you to lose an opportunity to “sell the click.”
Remember to put together a meta description for your landing page as well as other important pages (e.g. for popular products, an informative blog post, etc.). You only have 155 characters, so keep it short, sweet, and include something to reel the user in. For example, if your website sells yoga mats, a good meta description might include details with your keywords, unique selling point, current discounts, a small call to action, etc. You can also make it a little more personal to the customer or client by using words like “you.”
2. Images and Image Alt Tags
It’s been proven that articles with images get 94% more views than articles without. Plus, if your images show up on a Google image search, then a user who wouldn’t normally visit your site may be converted, increasing your traffic. Don’t forget to optimize your images so that they load quickly and don’t slow down the site!
An alt tag is a description of the image in the image tag, which functions as an aid for the visually impaired. Not only do these descriptions help those people whose devices can load the images properly, but it also helps Google index your site, content, and images so they show up in more searches. Avoid stuffing the alt tag with a bunch of keywords, as Google dislikes this; just be as descriptive about the image as you can.
3. Featured Snippets
These appear on the front page of a SERP when Google wants to pull more precise information for a search result that does not pull up a knowledge graph, which is typically found on the right side of the page (i.e. when you look up a famous person or place). List articles are great ways to obtain a featured snippet, but graphs, tables, and direct answers will do the trick as well.
These snippets will generally feature 1 – 5 relevant points, tips, or steps related to the search. For example, if you search “how to clean your microwave,” the featured snippet might pull the top five methods for microwave cleaning from a wikiHow article or blog post from a company that sells household cleaning solutions.
4. Internal Linking
We all know that links from external sites are helpful most of the time, but including helpful internal links to other blog posts on your own site, such as reviews, how-to’s, products, services, FAQ’s, and other pages on your website are great ways of increasing traffic. These links may be included on a SERP as site links under the feature, which may show up when the user explicitly searches for your domain. They will encourage the visitor to view more content, and it will suggest that your site has more information than the others.
An FAQ section is a great way to include helpful and relevant links that Google can pull from for the SERP. It may also be featured as a sitelink, and it also helps the user by predicting their next question. For example, someone searching for hair straighteners may see an FAQ like “Do I need to use a heat protectant?” and be convinced to add an extra item to their cart. Additionally, FAQs are great pages to sneak in a few extra SEO keywords and phrases.
6. Limit Social Media Buttons
Allowing your readers and users to share your blog posts and products to their social media platforms is a great way to increase traffic to your site. However, providing these users with too many options can actually reduce your CTR and web traffic. Keep a few social media buttons, such as an option to share to Facebook, but keep in mind that it has been revealed that Facebook “likes” do not increase traffic as they don’t repost the link for others to see.
7. Optimize for Google’s Mobile-First Index
In response to the rising popularity of internet use and Google searches from smartphones and tablets, Google now ranks its search results by the website’s mobile popularity and mobile reputation. That is, if your site isn’t accessible from a mobile device, the chances are that your website won’t appear in searches related to your product, service, or content.
To make sure that your site is mobile friendly, you can create a separate, AMP version of your website, or alternatively, you can ensure that the desktop version of your site translates well to a mobile device with a responsive web design, which enlarges or shrinks the site and its contents as necessary to fit individual screen dimensions.
There are so many ways of increasing your web traffic, and phrases such as SEO, CRO, and CTR get thrown in all the time when discussing strategies. However, there are also many nuanced tactics that are often overlooked, but shouldn’t be forgotten, as these can dramatically increase your web traffic by placing you in an optimal position on SERPs.