4 Optimization Tactics That Increase Website Traffic & Conversions

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4 Optimization Tactics That Increase Website Traffic & Conversions

Some people maintain websites so they can use them for experimentation, or because they like to make their thoughts available for all to read — but most websites are fundamentally action-oriented, even if they also serve other purposes. They need to drive their visitors to do more than simply arrive and casually browse. They need them to act, whether they’re clicking on advertisements, placing orders, or engaging in social media promotion.

4 Optimization Tactics That Increase Website Traffic & Conversions
4 Optimization Tactics That Increase Website Traffic & Conversions

This may seem entirely obvious, yet it’s a point that regularly gets forgotten, and that’s still the case in the money-obsessed world of business. This is ultimately due to a lack of understanding of website functionality. Managerial types who know little about the workings of the online world can view websites as vanity projects instead of the revenue generators they really are.

Such people get stuck on having their websites look good to them, acting as glorified digital business cards about which they can boast during networking opportunities. But if you’re running any kind of business, you need to lose that stance. In addition to bringing in as many visitors as possible, you need to convert that traffic — and that isn’t easy.

It takes extensive website optimization to achieve quality on that level, of course. Devising and implementing an exhaustive plan would take a long time. Yet there’s much you can do in the shorter term to drive and exploit traffic, and we’re going to cover some core tactics in this piece. Here are four things you can do to accelerate the growth of your website:

Offer compelling introductory deals

The main barrier to conversion is the tendency of shoppers to change their minds at the last second. Value consideration doesn’t end when someone adds an item to their cart: it keeps going up to the point at which they place their order, and even that doesn’t end it. They’ll likely still be thinking about it until the return window closes. It’s easy to imagine buying something, but considerably harder to part with the price when the time arrives.

Due to this, finding ways to push prospects past that point is a priority, and introductory deals will prove to be your biggest weapons in that fight. There are many types of deals that can work, with the nature of your business determining which ones are available to you:

l  Free trials for subscriptions. Streaming services continue to show the power of the free trial for subscription-based businesses. Giving someone a month of access for free takes all the risk away from taking the plunge — and once you have them in the system, there’s an excellent chance they’ll stick around once their free trial expires. There’s also the freemium model, admittedly, so you can take that into account.

l  Consultations for services. If your business works through an ongoing service or service (something like marketing, perhaps), you can tempt people in by giving them initial consultations for free. Those consultations should offer snippets of useful insight and explain what you’d do if given the chance.

l  Samples or discounts for products. Providing offers is harder when you sell products: you can’t simply give your typical items away for free, after all, as such a system would be ripe for abuse. You can, though, give out samples (pared-back versions of your usual fare if possible) or straightforward discounts (10% off the first order).

Improve performance and accessibility

People who arrive at your website will form impressions based on how well it works. It might seem trivially simple to provide a functional website at this point in the web’s development, but there are still companies that maintain ill-designed sites. If you want yours to perform as well as it can, you need to think about each of the following factors:

l  Page speed. Your website might load well on your internet connection, but is that fully representative of the typical user experience? Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will help you find out where your site is falling short, but is your hosting up to scratch? Cloud hosting is typically more efficient than VPS hosting, for instance, and that’s why a reliable cloud hosting provider such as Cloudways vs a VPS solution is a better bet.

l  Mobile usability. Given that smartphone browsing has become the default for so many people, it’s no longer enough to offer a site that works adequately well on mobile screens. You should be taking a mobile-first approach, creating UI elements to suit phone screens before expanding them to fit desktop screens.

l  Accessibility. There are many internet users who suffer from visual or physical impairments that complicate matters, and you limit your user base when you fail to cater to them. Your website should be designed with sufficient contrast that colorblind people can use it, for instance.

l  Technical SEO. You can have a fantastic website that offers wonderful user experiences, but if it’s poorly designed from an SEO standpoint then it’ll struggle to attract much interest. You should think about everything from metadata (giving your pages suitable titles and descriptions) and microdata (adding structured schema markup) to internal and external linking.

Cultivate a cross-platform brand presence

The more broadly you can extend your brand presence, the more opportunities you’ll have to get the attention of relevant people. And while brand expansion is neither free nor easy, it isn’t the overwhelming practical challenge that it once was, owing to the existence of numerous convenient online services and solutions capable of significantly reducing the work involved.

Before you can proceed, you must ensure that you have a comprehensive set of brand guidelines detailing everything from the tone you want to strike to the color palette you want to be associated with. Consistency is key: the more frequently your brand image fluctuates, the harder it will be to prove memorable. If you don’t yet have any brand guidelines, take the time to create some. You need a substantial document that everyone can consult.

The logical follow-up is extensive audience research. Though you should aim for your brand to radiate authenticity, fully reflecting the personalities of those on your team, you need to know how to communicate with the people you’re trying to reach. How do they like to be addressed? What areas of information interest them? Which content types meet their preferences? Look around to see which platforms they use, then follow their activity to answer these questions.

Planning and deploying your content

At this point, you can devise a proper content marketing strategy. Your goal should be to maximize ROI by making good use of your time: when you create an excellent piece of content, you should share it as broadly as possible to yield optimal results. Take a well-presented and relevant infographic, for instance. Such a resource can play well on a mobile screen, so there’s every reason to promote it across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other such platforms.

When you do this, you must ensure that traffic is properly tracked with detailed analytics. JotURL offers comprehensive tracking, and even allows you to experiment with tactics such as linking directly into apps. If you have an app for your site (whether it’s a fully-featured mobile app or a progressive web app — PWA — that essentially packages your mobile-responsive site in a linkable app-like package), you can encourage its use by treating it as a content hub.

Being active on social media

Simply linking to your best content on social media isn’t enough. You also need to be active on those platforms in general discussions, starting or joining relevant exchanges. This engagement is vital for showing that your website is run by real people with interests and preferences of their own, and allows you to embrace elements of informality that might be unsuitable elsewhere.

You do need to be careful when doing this, admittedly, as it’s all too easy to get into social media spats. The key is to be genial, show positivity, and stay away from controversial topics, however milquetoast you think your stances are. Keep things light and breezy unless you’re subjected to direct criticism, in which case you should do your best to address it responsibly.

Directly target your main competitors

Your website doesn’t exist in a vacuum, unfortunately. When a prospective visitor comes along, your brand will be pitted against a range of alternatives, many of which are likely to be known more widely and completely than yours. You can try to forget about this and aim to operate with maximum originality, but that’s a mistake. You need to give people reasons to pick you over your rivals, and to do that you must understand what makes them appealing.

Is it their pricing? If so, and you can beat it (or explain why your higher prices are warranted), do so. Mention your competitors directly. This shows confidence and awareness of your industry. Acting as though you’re the only game in town will only give visitors more reasons to look elsewhere for additional context. Addressing their strengths (and offering price-matching if you’re willing to take the occasional hit) will do much to win people over.

If you can spare the time to create some long-form content, there are two things in particular you should work on: skyscraper posts, and comparison posts. The skyscraper technique is all about finding the most popular pieces of content for conversion-driving keywords and putting in the minimum effort required to improve upon them.

Suppose there’s a hit article listing ten ways to make better use of a product you (among others) happen to sell: if so, you could use the skyscraper technique to create a similar piece listing twelve ways, building on everything good from the first piece to yield a completed piece of work in much less time than the existing post no doubt took. 100% original content, but based on ideas already collated and shown to be of interest to your audience.

As for comparison posts, these are all about expanding upon the focus on your competitors. You can have one such post for every competitor, targeting their primary keywords and attempting to convince visitors that your brand is the better choice. This will take a lot of time and research, and likely incite some comparable responses, but it can certainly pay off.

Final thoughts

Just one of these tactics will prove a substantial practical challenge, let alone all four of them, but online success won’t come easily. If you want to win more traffic and convert the traffic you manage to earn, you need to make a serious commitment. Only through patient effort can you achieve the results you want — but the good news is that you can do it, and following these tips is the first step. Good luck.

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