Ask any marketer what they want the most from their website, and they will give you a one-word answer — leads. It’s rather simple, right? More leads equal more sales opportunities, which means a happy CEO, and that means a happy marketing department. But in order to get leads, you need traffic to your website. Any marketer worth their weight in salt will understand it isn’t about the volume of traffic; it’s getting the right traffic to a website.

So, how do we drive the right kind of traffic to a website in 2016? It’s an ongoing process, but these five steps below will help you get on the path for more site traffic.

Step 1: Identify long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when searching online. For example, let’s say your company manufactures a revolutionary glue that works with composites and carbon fiber. You might decide that you want to target the keywords “carbon fiber glue” or “composite glue.” But those keywords are highly competitive and produce over 800 thousand results. So getting your site listed on the first page for these keywords is going to be tricky. However, targeting long-tail keywords will improve your chances of ranking on the first page in Google SERPs (search engine results page).

Pro tip: If you want to identify long-tail keywords for your industry, go to Google and type in your keyword. On the results page, scroll down to the very bottom of the page, and you will see “searches related to.” These are commonly searched long-tail keywords related to your original keyword search.

Google Example

Step 2: On-page SEO still matters

Organic search is still a critical part of driving traffic to your website. Most potential customers use Google to search for solutions to their problems or challenges. This is where you take your long-tail keywords and add them strategically to your website copy.

Pro tip: There is no magic number for keyword density, but many experts recommend a keyword destiny of 2% per paragraph. Any more than 2% could be perceived by Google as keyword stuffing, which will actually penalize your rankings. Instead, concentrate on writing clean, readable copy that includes your long-tail keywords while still communicating the message clearly.

Step 3: Get social

Yes, on-page SEO still matters, but it’s only a small component in driving more traffic to your website. Google is going to continue to improve its search algorithms and make changes, so as a marketer, you need to focus on other outlets.

Social media is going to be a great driver of traffic to your website. In fact, an increasing amount of internet users are finding out about new products and services on social media. If you have never been active on social media, you could have an entirely new audience to promote to.

Pro tip: Social media requires a significant investment of time and effort. Make sure you concentrate on the most established websites: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Step 4: Responsive design

Desktop usage is on the decline, while mobile phone usage continues to climb. This is why it’s critical for your website to not only have good usability for desktop users, but mobile users as well. In some cases, having a mobile-first strategy makes the most sense.

Responsive design focuses on providing an optimal viewing and interaction experience across a wide range of devices. It ensures easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling. No matter what device your potential customer is using, your website will provide the best experience if it’s responsive.

Pro tip: Google uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, rewarding websites that are fully optimized for mobile platforms.

Step 5: Make sure your site is fast

Did you ever land on a website from a Google search and the page takes forever to load? Of course, we all have. The first thing you do is hit the back button and scan the search results for your next click.

What’s the point of driving more traffic to your website if it takes forever to load right? The first step is to benchmark the speed of your website. Tools like Pingdom can tell you how fast or slow your site is on a global scale.

Next, make sure the images on your website are sized correctly for the page. Having an image that is 1200 pixels wide in a space that only requires 250 pixels wide is a waste of bandwidth. Once sized correctly, make sure they are compressed so every pixel has a purpose. An image compression tool will help remove the fat from your images.

Content Delivery Networks (CDN) also provide a great advantage in offsetting the server load on your web host. CDN’s have server locations all over the world that help deliver content faster to users no matter where in the world they are. Not only does this help provide a better overall website experience, it is also believed to be a search ranking indicator. In fact, Googles AMP Project (Accelerated Mobile Pages) reinforces the need to make sure your website is fast.

So, there you have it — the five steps for driving more traffic to your website. Following these steps will help improve traffic to your website as well as improve the overall usability of your website.

All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all tactics, the programs become more effective and cost efficient. An Integrated marketing communication plan helps you meet real business objectives – generate leads, grow revenues, gain market share, and become the leading brand.

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