By Holly Chaffin, Search Engine Optimization Specialist at Hostway Services, Inc.
Social media and blogging have become staples of search engine optimization – but these efforts alone aren’t necessarily enough to boost traffic to a company’s website. To go above and beyond these baseline best practices, businesses need to get a little creative.
So how else can companies effectively drive traffic to their websites? Let’s take a look at a few best-kept secrets for SEO and increasing visitors:
Press releases: Remember these?
In the past, press releases were much more popular – any time a company released a new product, launched a new service or welcomed a new staff member, it would issue a press release to share the news. However, these pieces have taken a back seat to blogs and other content in recent years.
While press releases may seem outdated to some, Egg Marketing and Communications President and Marketo blog contributor Susan Payton noted that they can be great ways to capture the attention of a brand’s audience and drive website traffic.
“A press release isn’t only a way to announce information – it’s also a great little ball of SEO,” Payton wrote.
In her post, Payton provides several best practices for creating effective press releases and support SEO. Click here to find out more.
Linking strategy: Earning inbound links.
Hubspot contributors Jessica Meher and Shannon Johnson underscored the importance of inbound links – links from other websites that lead to the company’s site. Having a linking strategy that includes links to other pages on the company’s site as well as other websites can do a lot for SEO and driving visitor traffic.
While inbound links are important, they can be somewhat difficult to cultivate. Meher and Johnson suggest including high-quality, educational content to encourage other organizations to link to the site. In addition, it can be helpful to submit the site to online directories and have the company’s staff members write guest posts for external blogs.
Feature in-depth articles.
As noted previously, blogging has become a mainstay for SEO and driving traffic. Even this tried-and-true strategy has room for improvement, however.
In the past, many companies observed a quantity-over-quality approach, where brief blogs and content pieces were published on a daily basis, if not more frequently. Now, however, search engines like Google appear to prefer quality.
According to statistics from Moz, 6 percent of Google search results are related to more in-depth articles – an impactful percentage when you consider the sheer number of Google queries taking place every day. In addition, Moz contributor Cyrus Shepard noted that websites featuring longer, more in-depth pieces see a considerable boost in visitors.
“While this doesn’t seem like a huge number, the articles that qualify can see a significant increase in traffic,” Shepard wrote. “Anecdotally, we’ve heard reports of traffic increasing up to 10 percent after inclusion.”
Longer articles not only drive traffic, but can also help educate and inform readers, particularly those looking for more than brief blurbs on current news and industry trends.
Include video content.
Video content can also be helpful for capturing potential visitors’ attention – Shepard pointed out that when a video clip appears in search results, “our eyes go straight to them.”
Videos also present the opportunity to showcase products, offer visual tours of company facilities or educate customers on the business’s processes or strategies.
Offer a winning user experience.
Finally, it’s critical to ensure that once visitors reach the site, they have the best user experience possible. While design and functionality elements are important here, one of the top ways to guarantee a beneficial UX is with proper website support.
Holly Chaffin is the Paid Media Marketing Manager/SEO Specialist at Hostway. Holly’s passion for marketing expands to include experience in; Brand Development, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Development and Website Content Development.