Website Traction

Let’s face it, there are not many overnight sensations when it comes to a website. There may be the odd exception of course, but if you are like the vast majority of us, it is going to take time.

No matter how innovative the product or service is, or how aesthetically pleasing the design, if people are not visiting your website then it is not meeting its objectives. You could use social media or send out press releases, but with so many brands clamouring for attention, those messages can often have little effect.

Launching your website

The first place to start is to get your website indexed. Submit your url to Google. You should also consider submitting it to Bing and Yahoo as well. You don’t necessarily have to do this as the search engines will pick up your website in time. However, this step will often speed up the process. (We give Google particular attention as they are the biggest player with over 70% of the world’s market share of search as of August 2016.)

Submit a sitemap in the Google search console and check that there are no issues with the site and that your site has a robots.txt file.

Keep calm. Frantically changing things around too soon won’t do you any favours in the search results, especially if it is a newly registered domain. Give it some time. Keep drip feeding new, quality articles periodically over the next couple of weeks.

Pitfalls to avoid

It is very important to write for your users, not for robots. It’s ok to listen to SEO advice but if you are not careful your articles will lose their appeal and become spammy and your readers will not appreciate it. Many so called SEO experts are having to constantly re-evaluate their approach. If you want your site to do well in the long term, filling your page and site with spam is not going to work. Google is constantly looking at this. Do it right and you will be rewarded. Write content for your user first, and for search engines second.

Suggestions you might want to try

Here are some top tips from people who have either tried this or witnessed first hand what happens when people do.

1) Invest in a short, aesthetically pleasing video.

2) Write an article for a popular online resource in a similar field. Often you will get a credit and link to your website.

3) Offer something for free, like an ebook, website template or plugin (maybe you have some code for a project that never saw the light of day) and then aggressively promote it. It will definitely attract a lot of new visitors. For web designers, try to get a free theme featured on WordPress.org and make sure to link to your website, or create a free theme in a niche that people are looking for and feature it prominently directly on your site. It will help immensely.

4) Submit your page to StumbleUpon. Be prepared to expect a high bounce rate, but it can create interest (sometimes a lot of interest at once). That said, it can be very hit and miss, so there are no guarantees here. People have also reported success with their paid results, but here we are particularly looking at organic methods.

Final thoughts..

  • Performance. Look at page speed (or site speed). Yes Google has made page speed part of its search algoritm, so it’s going to affect your search engine results (to what degree I am not sure, but it’s a fact). However, more importantly, people aren’t likely to stick around or come back for more if your page takes an eternity to load. This applies even more so to mobile. Start with your theme, keep it clean and functional. Don’t do with an image what could be done with css. Optimise images (especially for small screen widths). Look carefully at your typography and ensure it reads well on all devices.
  • Https? Regarding search engine results, the jury is still out on this one for many people. Clearly if you are selling online or passing sensitive information an SSL is a must. Since you are just starting out you won’t have the worry of losing your position in Google so it’s probably a good idea to start with https from the off rather than have to switch down the line. The web is certainly moving that way, and it will show that you value your visitors security, which is always a good thing, and can go a long way to building trust.
  • Link building. Just to be clear here, we are talking about building meaningful relationships with other website owners and working to build a meaningful brand online. This takes time. We are not talking about artificial manipulation of the search engines with spammy link building campaigns.
  • Get social. Love it or loathe it, you cannot really afford to ignore social media. Promote your website on Twitter and Facebook. Whilst you may want to utilise some automated tools for sharing your articles (time is precious after all) remember to keep the human element, engaging with your followers whenever possible.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Of course, success comes from doing things “right”, but when you are just starting out you will likely make many mistakes. Don’t let fear of failure stop you. Successful people have often made a lot of mistakes, but the key thing is that they don’t quit. They keep moving until they arrive at their goal.
  • Above all else – Be patient, be persistent and keep positive.

Ok, there is nothing new here. It has all been said before many times, but it is worth repeating. Be determined, and your hard work will pay off. 3-6 months of following the above advice and your site is bound to be getting relevant traffic and traction.