With millions of new websites being added every year there’s no shortage of destinations for the average internet user. But one thing you can be sure of is that a high percentage of those websites will sit quietly in the corner with dust accumulating and the tumbleweed rolling through.
So why do some websites run hot with traffic while other sites never seem to see the light of day? Is there a magic formula to turn your sad and lonely website into a haven of high traffic?
Step 1: How are you promoting your website?
We’ve talked about this in a previous post but website traffic will not just magically turn up on your doorstep. Just because your website is live and you’ve yanked Google’s chain to let the mighty search engine know you’re on the scene, you will not see instant results. It’s not like turning on a tap – think of it more like a well; you have to do some work to draw that traffic from the well.
If you haven’t already read our post on ways to promote your website in Google’s search results, I recommend you read that now – it has some simple ideas you can implement right away to start driving traffic.
Step 2: Make your website a rewarding experience
I know this is step 2 but in reality it should be step 1. Before you start driving traffic to your website spend some time taking a good hard look at it from a visitor’s point of view. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time (or money) getting visitors to your website only for them to exit quickly.
As part of your review you can ask yourself these questions:
- Why would I come to this website?
- Knowing the likely reason someone is coming to your website, do you think they would accomplish their goal easily?
- Is your website logical and easy to follow?
- Is it clear where to go for help or more information?
- Does the website feel inviting and easy to use, or is it cluttered and disorganised?
When you review your website, try a few different browsers such as Internet Explorer (I can’t believe I actually said that but a large percentage of people still use it, pity them). Also try viewing it on a tablet or smartphone – while this may currently represent a small percentage of your visitors, this number will increase over time.
When deciding what you could do to make your website more appealing take a look at some sites that are already popular. When booking accommodation, for example, sites like booking.com are popular because they make life easier. By aggregating all the accommodation options in one easy to use interface it saves a lot of time. They’ve thought about what website users are trying to do and thought about ways to make their life easier. Could you do the same in your area of expertise?
For example, maybe you sell custom jewellery? Maybe think about some common questions people have about custom jewellery like what are some things to watch out for, are they shower resistant or how can I look after them?
There’s a saying in the software industry: “Eat your own dog food” – obviously don’t take this literally. What it means is you need to approach your business as if you were a customer. Pretend you don’t know anything about what your business does and try to use your website to learn more. Remember as a customer you have one objective: solve your problem. If your website doesn’t accomplish that they will exit in a flash, most likely never to return.
As you work through reviewing your website make a list. Some changes you can manage on your own using the content management system (WordPress) that comes with your PogoStick website but other things may be out of your reach; feel free to contact us for assistance and remember all PogoStick hosted clients get up to one hour free of assistance every month!
The more your website helps to solve the problems your visitors have, the more likely they will be back. Word will spread and your website will start to step out of the shadows and join the winner’s circle of successful websites.