Your site is up and running, it’s looking sleek and shiny, ready for the whole world to see. You sit at your computer waiting for the thousands of visits and leads that are going to come knocking on your digital window.
So why have the weeks gone by and you’re yet to receive the tidal wave of requests you expected, and your views are struggling to hit the 100 per week mark?
First things first, you are not alone, many companies navigate through the choppy waters of website traffic and have no idea how to bring the boat into port in unchartered territory.
Google is effectively the gate keeper of high search rankings and organic traffic. Meeting Google ranking requirements is one of the most important things for high website traffic, and ultimately lead generation.
What then is the magic Google recipe to put you above all your competitors and become the cream of the Google ranking crop?
One of the most important and relatively easiest ways is with quality content. Writing engaging and relevant information on your website which is often refreshed (i.e. with a blog) is a sure-fire way to see your Google rankings rise.
People react most to genuine content that hits a Zeitgeist or speaks to their values. Which means that no amount of hyperlinking or SEO can replace interesting content that attracts your core audience. You can even attract long-tail traffic, which is basically attracting visitors that are interested in what you do but weren’t specifically looking for you.
A good example of this is if a restaurant, which has a website and blog, posts weekly trend setting recipes. A person might research a recipe that is on the blog and stumble across the post, like what they see, look at the whole website and decided to visit the restaurant.
Another way is through SEO, a term which is being bandied about a lot and is being propelled as the new way to write content. Away from the marketing jargon, SEO is just writing compelling content for your brand which contains words that people are likely to search for when they are looking for what you do.
It’s important though, to firstly write quality content and to secondly concentrate on SEO. The worst mistake a lot of websites do is to try and drive content by solely concentrating on searchable words, this often created conceited and jumbled up sentences which tends to lead to high traffic but also very high bounce rates.
SEO works when you can’t tell the searchable words are there. They should never be the gravitational pull in a sentence but should instead sit calmly behind the scenes in a genuine piece of writing.
It’s also not just about the words you write for the whole world to see, it’s also important to get your back-end in order. All I mean by back-end, is the page settings in your editor suite, where you can view each of your pages and write meta-tags or searchable terms which help Google understand what your site does, raised your profile and directs the right traffic towards it.
It is also important to do this for pictures and videos. Google is basically a very complex algorithm and reacts to data (a colossal 20 petabytes per day). If Google processes a picture or video without a back-end description it is basically invisible to Google and won’t help your rankings.
Social media also has a big part to play, because it can help drive more traffic to your website. Having various social media accounts for your company effectively shines a stronger beacon towards your website by picking up visitors from a wider angle.
You are quite literally providing more opportunities to be searched for on the internet, and Google likes knowing that traffic is coming to your website from multiple sources. A bit like the popular high school kid, who decides whether you’re worth their attention based on how many friends you have.
Picking which social media platform is right for you is also important. If you’re a design company, Pinterest and Instagram are probably the way to go, if you’re a street food company Instagram and Snapchat will probably get you genuine engagement, where a data analyst organisation will probably look to Twitter and LinkedIn as a more appropriate route.
The key strategy with social media is to get your branding streamlined and to constantly generate compelling content which will, if all things go to plan, drive increased traffic to your website and give you a healthy boost on Google.
In the end, raising your Google ranking can feel a bit like a shooting star, some days your rankings soar and some days you are left scratching your head and wondering what changed from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Don’t lose faith though, the best sign that your google ranking strategy is working is that the long-term pattern is one of growth and that you are enjoying writing your content. Sometimes that can be a reader’s individual feedback, an average increase in session duration or a few more contacts via your website or social media accounts than last month.
Whenever I write for myself or for companies I always stick to a genuine voice and write about what is genuinely interesting to the core audience, and then I back it up with metatags and SEO. Just like in real life, when you are faking it, people can tell, and tend to back away. The need for genuine conversation reaches all corners of our life, including the internet and our websites.
Sara is a freelance writer based in Manchester. She owns the commercial and creative content company Fraiche Ink, focusing on think pieces and marketing content.