We get this question the time: How do I increase traffic to my website?
Our staff here at Appletree MediaWorks studies Google’s newest algorithms all the time, because it is our job to increase web traffic for our clients. We have a developer on staff who spends most of her day doing SEO – search engine optimization for our clients. Whether it’s for a union, an organization, or a business, it takes the same steps to get a website in front of a user. No matter how many times Google has changed its formula for showing websites, overall web presence has always been the key.
What is web presence? Is it paying for ads? Is it paying to be listed on a link site? No, your web presence is something you build over time and continue to build every month. A few hours a month grows your web presence exponentially. We see the results with our clients that invest in their online presence and put their time into the 3 areas we’ll talk about. Your website presence is essentially a scorecard for search engines to rank you: the more places your show up as active and useful, the more points you earn.
Build a Useful Website
It starts with a solid website that accurately portrays your organization or business. Your website should be updated every 2 weeks at a minimum. Those updates can include calendar entries, a news webpage post about your organization, or pictures from a recent outing. Website updates don’t have to be complicated or extremely time consuming, but they need to happen to tell search engines “Hey I’m an active website and I’m a good place to send people“.
Google also gives preference to Mobile friendly websites, so if your website is not mobile friendly, now is the time to fix that.
Be Active on Social Media
Next is your social media. At a minimum, get on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and make sure your organization’s contact information is complete and accurate. Google has started showing your organization’s Google+ posts along with your contact information when someone is using Google. Take advantage of that!! Facebook is now allowing for tabs to let visitors contact you right from Facebook. Again, take advantage of this free feature.
Also get on the newer social media sites like Alignable and Ello.
Drive Traffic through Directory Sites
Finally, get your organization into free directory sites. These directory sites are different from the ones who send out emails about link listing websites. Search engines know about “link farm” sites and penalizes you for taking part. Legitimate directory sites include: Merchant Circle, Super Pages, and Yellow Pages. Appletree maintains a top 10 directory sites list and make sure our clients are on these.
Yes, these sites will try to sell you “for-pay” premium services and it’s your call whether to invest in the premium services. Be sure to ask them what kind of results you should expect and monitor the traffic you receive from their premium services. But at the very least take advantage of the free listings.
Want bonus points? Update your directory site entries periodically too, many allow for photos, news and offers.
We know this is overwhelming and trying to keep up with all of these online sites seems impossible. Don’t be afraid to contact an expert. For less than a cell phone bill, many of our clients invest in our maintenance package of 3 hours a month where our staff spends 3 hours a month to keep up with website posts, social media management, and directory entries to create a strong web presence. This puts our clients at the top of the search engine results and leads to more clients for them.