Long-term website traffic is something most people are after for their website. Let’s say you’re a business and you make sales or get leads through your website. Having traffic that you can count on and that converts is huge for the sustainability of your business and for consistent growth.
There are many opportunities when it comes to traffic source. And each comes with pros and cons. And there can be unforeseen threats to traffic.
For example, I used to have a blog where I would write new song reviews. And it did really well with traffic from Google. But then Google changed the results pages for songs and started showing links to the song video on YouTube. That made sense, but traffic to my reviews went down.
So it can be kind of tricky, but here are a few of my thoughts for building long-term traffic.
1. Content Creation
In order for someone to visit your site they need a reason to visit. If you’re already known as the best at what you sell then you’re probably going to gets consistent traffic from all sources. People will type your website address directly into their browser. They will search for your name. They will find you on social media and click to your website. They will confidently click on links to your website from other websites.
But without that recognition, you likely need content that will give people a reason to visit your site. Content is basically text, video or audio. So today that’s really blogging, video and podcasting. You can create the main content on other platforms like YouTube and Anchor and post to your website.
But you can also create content on your website.
A few key considerations:
First, you have to publish consistently and with a long-term focus. Weekly is a common frequency for most of the content being created. That even goes back to weekly television shows. There are many that create daily content. You can do other frequencies, but the main key is to stick with a consistent schedule.
Second, look at what questions your customers are asking and provide the best answer you can. Google is basically the easiest way ever for people to find information they seek. If the Internet is one big information universe then Google found the best way to organize it all so people could find what they want. Align your strategy with Google’s to position yourself for likely success.
Third, as you create regular content you’ll start to see indicators of what is working. Use this to develop future content and also leave some room for experimentation. Experimenting allows you to find new things that will become future regular formats.
Content brings people to your site. Through Google, social media, linking from other sites and more. It also helps to build your brand recognition. If you and your competitors are equal in every way, but you create regular content and they don’t, you’re likely to stand out and that leads to traffic in other ways. Such as strong rankings for industry terms that lead to traffic to your homepage and to your product pages.
2. Brand Recognition
We’ve talked about the power of a brand. If people know that you exist and they are interested in what you’re selling they’re going to find you. They’re going to skip all the competition and search for your name on Google or social media or they’ll go directly to your site.
Obviously this is not easy to achieve. It’s a long-term investment. Look at just about any business that you recognize and they have likely been around for a long time. Even Facebook has now been around for nearly 20 years. It took awhile even for a fast growing company like that to achieve real brand recognition with lots of people.
To build brand recognition it starts with the people. Then it’s about the products and service you provide. These build slowly over time and usually pick up steam the bigger and bigger you get. That’s the long-term play that’s the case for any successful business. You have to build the fundamentals.
And then it also comes from working to go where your customers are and trying to earn their attention.
I’m a fan of guesting. Imagine the actor that films a new movie and when it’s ready to release they visit all the talk shows, go on all the podcast and things like that. They’re going where the audience is and trying to get the audience to notice a new brand, which is the movie title, and getting them to seek out that movie title in theaters or on streaming services or whatever.
If you’re looking to build brand it helps to have a regular effort to put yourself or your team where your customers are. You can guest blog. You can be a guest on podcasts or video channels. You can partner with other brands to create content.
Guesting builds brand awareness that leads to more traffic over the long-term from all kinds of sources including Google, social media and referrals from other websites and apps.
3. Paid Methods
Many sites and platforms online are built around advertising and paid promotion. On Google, you pay for ads that list you at the top of search rankings. On Facebook, you can pay to have your post at the top of the feed. In comparison to many things, these avenues are still extremely cheap. They’re not easy to figure out, but if you commit to it and have the budget you can figure out the nuances that work in your favor and when you do that you can build relatively fast traffic and even long-term traffic.
Long-term traffic is not easy. I think we all realize that. But if you’re looking to start building the foundation that leads to long-term traffic I recommend the areas above. Focus on creating content that people want to consume either for education or entertainment. Then focus on a brand that you can build recognition for over the long-term and that people can seek out no matter what the channel is.