8 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website: Part One
One of the biggest reasons why clients come to us at Clever Marketing is because they do not have enough traffic to their websites.
Getting traffic to your website is all “a numbers game” and the only way to know what those numbers are is to have the right analytical tools.
So, whilst having the right analytical tools will not, in itself, increase traffic to your website, it is absolutely essential to have these tools to see what your traffic is and how your efforts to improve it are coming along.
If you do nothing else you should at the very least have Google Analytics installed on your website.
Most web designers know about Analytics and will usually have installed this for you. However, we have seen websites where this is not the case. This is the twenty first century so we really need to see GA installed as soon as your website goes live.
All you need to do is:
1) set up an Analytics account and
2) copy the code snippets that Google provides and 3) place them in the code of your website.
At a very basic level that will give you the insights into how many visitors you get every day, how long they stay on your website for and which pages they look at.
This is all provided in a (we think) very simple to understand interface and you can customise it and deep dive into the data to your heart’s content.
If you want a more in-depth analysis of how your visitors behave, then you can look at things such as which pages they look at after they reach your website. You can follow the flow of users from your homepage to your product pages to your enquiry or contact pages and then to your “thank you” pages which show successful interactions or goal completions.
Analysing this data you can see if users start to “drop off” at any stage as they move through the website. Armed with this information you can start to optimise individual pages to make them more appealing, improve your Calls to Action (CTAs) and make the whole user experience more easy and enjoyable.
You can even see whether your users are on desktop, tablets or mobile devices. If you need to know whether its iPhone users or Android visitors, Google Analytics will show this too. Which iPhones your visitors are using is also possible to see.
Google Analytics is your friend so you really must use it.
Google Search Console
The next tool that you really must have in place is Google Search Console.
Re-branded in 2015, Google Search Console (GSC) became the new name for what was formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools.
GSC allows webmasters to do a number of very cool and useful things such as control which XML sitemaps are submitted to Google, if there are any errors with pages and which pages are in the Google index, when they were last crawled etc.
But one of the biggest bonuses of Google Search Console is its ability to show website owners the value of the search terms that are shown as “not provided” in Google Analytics.
The keyword (Not Provided) problem came about when Google decided to withhold keyword search terms from Google Analytics when user were browsing your website whilst logged in to their Google accounts. The search giant said that this was due to privacy concerns and that it was not able to provide keyword data if it could potentially expose a user’s personal details.
For website owners this was a great blow at first. How could you tell which search term campaigns were working successfully if you couldn’t tell which keywords were attracting people to your website?
That’s where GSC filled in the gap.
Search Console provides keywords, click through rates (CTR) and rankings, so you can look to improving your content, building a successful content strategy and also how to markup your descriptions so that they work better in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google Search Console is absolutely invaluable, so we recommend it as one of the right analytical tools to include in your website build.
Google Tag Manager (GTM)
Google Tag Manager (GTM) may not be quite as essential as Google Analytics or Google Search Console but, for best practice reasons, we are going to include it.
What Google Tag Manager does is provide the vehicle for delivering tags or snippets of code to your website in a very controlled manner.
As an example, if you run a site with many display ads, you will probably want to rotate those ads and the code snippets on a regular basis.
Google Tag Manager has all the controls to add and remove, swap snippets and keep in control of your website’s scripts – Google Analytics tags, Hotjar tags, Pardot snippets etc.
At a more advanced level we can do other clever things with GTM such as control how long sessions are and whether your users scroll through your pages. So it’s an invaluable tool that many designers and website builders often overlook.
But to a digital marketer GTM is absolutely essential as it provides levels of control and insight that quite literally add another (data) layer to your performance.
Those are the essential and right analytical tools that you absolutely must install in your website. Once this “holy trinity” is in place you have almost everything you need to analyse your traffic, how your users interact, what they look at, where they came from, which pages they landed and left on and how long they hung around.