Running a great site takes time and effort. There are so many factors and components to consider, from choosing the topics your site will cover to picking a distinctive yet user-friendly look and optimizing the website for search engine visibility.
But for all the moving parts a website has, you might be surprised to learn that increasing traffic to your site is rather straightforward. In fact, there are several little-known tips, tricks, and growth hacks that you can use to drive more traffic to your WordPress website.
Here are five ways to boost traffic to your site:
1.Develop and implement your keyword plan
While there are numerous aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), one of the most important is the keyword research. Although you’ll do keyword research for each piece of content published on your WordPress site, you’ll also want to have a small group of relevant keywords to use across the entire site.
When it comes to keywords, there are “macro keywords” and “micro keywords.” The macro keywords lead traffic to your overall site, so they’ll often pertain to broader topics. The micro keywords direct traffic to specific pages on your WordPress website. As such, both types of keywords are important for different reasons.
With both macro and micro keywords, you want to pick relevant keywords with less competition on search results pages. Less competition means that it’s easier to rank higher for those keywords. Keep in mind that a lot of these keywords will be long-tail, high-intent keywords. Tools like SEMRush or Moz make picking and tracking your chosen keywords super simple. Additionally, Google Analytics is great for assessing how your chosen keywords are performing in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Generally, the content should relate to at least one macro and one micro keyword. If you find that a topic doesn’t seem to fit with your keywords, maybe the topic isn’t consistent with your overall site. Consistency creates cohesion and makes the site’s visitors more likely to continue exploring the website rather than immediately leaving (called “bouncing”).
Pro tip: The Yoast Plugin for WordPress is a great tool for making sure all the content you publish is fully optimized for search engine visibility.
2. Use breadcrumbs
You’ve probably noticed the links that are often present just above the blog title or featured image on a web page. These links are called “breadcrumbs.” Well-known eCommerce sites, a growing number of bloggers, news outlets, and entrepreneurs have found this simple navigation tool to have an immense value when it comes to driving traffic to your WordPress site.
Each “breadcrumb” represents a potential touchpoint with a search engine. When each of your breadcrumbs is a search-friendly keyword, those breadcrumbs could route users to the site via SERPs. Additionally, breadcrumbs serve as clickable keywords for your visitors.
Not only are breadcrumbs a great tool for driving traffic to (and across) your site, they’re actually simple to add to your WordPress site. Many WordPress themes have built-in options for breadcrumbs. When available, the theme will automatically add breadcrumbs to each and every post on your site. If your theme doesn’t have a built-in breadcrumbs option, a plugin like Breadcrumbs NavXT can add breadcrumbs separately.
3. Submit a sitemap to Google Search Console
What is a sitemap? It’s a file that lists all the posts and pages on your site. They’re crucial in search engine visibility because sitemaps tell search engines which pages of your site should be indexed, which pages shouldn’t. Also, they help Google know how often to update or “crawl” your website. Although there are other ways for search engines to find you, a sitemap is one of the few ways that ensure the search engines are aware your website exists and begin including your pages in SERPs.
Here’s another reason to use the Yoast Plugin mentioned previously. Among its many features, Yoast automatically creates a sitemap for your site, which can be downloaded or linked to, anytime you want. Once you have a sitemap, you can submit it to Google and (1) create an account on Google Search Console, (2) provide the site’s info, and (3) then upload the file.
4. Bring strong visuals to build credibility
To this point, we’ve focused on ways to make your WordPress site visible to search engines. That’s a big part of increasing traffic, but you should also consider the visitors’ experience on your website.
The visuals of a site such as the images, WordPress theme, navigation, ads, page and post layouts, make an impression on every visitor. In fact, regardless of the quality of the content, a poorly-designed website is a top cause of bouncing. However, when your site is clean and professional, you’re more credible. And your visitors are more likely to share your content, which generates more traffic.
Depending on what stage of development your site is in and the kind of audience you already have, it might make more sense to simply invest in a high-quality, premium WordPress theme rather than paying top dollar for a professional to build a custom WordPress site for you. Great WordPress themes are something for which TagDiv is well-known. Newspaper and Newsmag are best-selling news, blog, and magazine themes, intuitive and powerful for any publishing or editorial website. Alternately, there’s also a library of free WordPress themes available, too.
Beyond the site’s actual theme, take special care with the photos used as featured images on your posts. Due to copyright considerations, make sure you have permission to use your chosen images. Of course, you can bypass that problem by being aware of sites that offer free stock photos, including Pexels, StockSnap, and Unsplash. Besides, you can pay for a premium subscription (with more photo options), iStockPhoto and GraphicStock are popular options.
You can also create your own images with a tool like Canva. This is a great way to create professional-looking images to complement your content and the brand you’re establishing with your WordPress site.
Pro tip: Write keyword-rich metadata for your images and other media. Google Image Search is the most popular, so implementing basic keywording practicing in the names, descriptions, and metadata will help your media will drive additional traffic to your site.
5. Network with professionals, influencers, and other publications
Whether you have a new website or you’re already well-established, you should always build relationships. Why? Because networking with other professionals can increase your site’s visibility and traffic, potentially by a substantial margin.
In fact, this is why writing guest posts has become one of the most highly-recommended ways to gain web traffic. The site where this kind of post appears often links back to your site. This way, the visitors will enjoy your guest article and also can visit your website to read more quality content. Basically, guest posts are open doors to your site from other online publications.
There are also other ways to grow a site’s traffic through networking, including by using the social media accounts you probably already have.
Twitter is a particularly valuable platform for networking. For starters, it’s a great place to share content with your audience and also make it available to other people. It’s also a great platform because other professionals can find your content and share it with their own audiences.
When the right people are sharing your content on their social networks, the gains in traffic to your site can be astronomical. As well, there are social media analytics tools that will help you to gauge how these mentions and social media shares are contributing to more traffic while also providing actionable insights on your own social engagement.
It’s important to remember that you probably won’t see significant increases in your web traffic overnight. Web presence and search engine visibility are long-term goals, meaning that achieving your desired traffic goals is going to take some time. But by utilizing the tips we’ve provided here, it’s only a matter of time before your WordPress website is getting choice positioning in SERPs and seeing significant increases in traffic.