You’ve taken the time to create a website. You’ve chosen a theme, created posts and pages, and published it for the world to see. Now all you need is a following. Once your site is out in the wild, how can you get people to see it? Here are 5 ideas to help you get more views on your site.
1. Optimize your posts for search engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is all the rage these days, and strategies for maximizing your content’s search engine potential can be quite complex. In general, consider the following basic SEO tips:
- Use header tags (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.) in your posts. Search engines use this information to help determine what a page is about.
- When you add images to your posts, be sure to type an accurate caption in the alt text box. Since search images can’t “read” images, they use the alt text to help determine what a page is about.
- Write an accurate description of your post in the Excerpt box. Search engines tend to truncate these descriptions after 160 characters, so keep it short but make sure it accurately describes what your content is about.
- Use the term you want to rank for in your post’s title, permalink, some header tags, some images’ alt text, the post excerpt, and in the first paragraph of your copy.
- Write at least 300 words in your posts. Search engines tend to disregard pages with less than 300 words.
- Don’t try to trick search engines into believing you’re writing about something you’re not. Search engine algorithms continue to get “smarter” and your content could get heavily devalued if the algorithms suspect your content is illegitimate.
For more SEO tips, see these articles:
- SEO basics: 7 tips to help search engines find your content
- How important is content to SEO?
- SEO strategy: Does social media influence rank?
2. Make the most of your social media accounts
Social media isn’t just for connecting with long-lost friends anymore. When you run a business or organization, social media is a catalyst to help you broadcast your message. But what’s the key to making social media work for you?
Use hashtags wisely
Hashtags can help other people discover your content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While it’s unprofessional to #make #every #word #a #hashtag, it’s a good idea to use one or two hashtags that describe what your content is about. We often use the #WordPress hashtag on social media because our content is focused on WordPress tips. Find a hashtag you can use regularly and also look for different hashtags that you can use in appropriate posts to draw more attention to your content.
Post to social media regularly
Just as posting to your website gives search engines more of your content, posting to social media regularly gets you more exposure on news feeds and in social searches. Experts recommend posting to social media multiple times per day, but if that seems overwhelming, try to post every weekday to increase engagement.
Monitor trending topics
Trending topics also provide a great opportunity for discovery. If a topic you post about frequently becomes a trending topic, publish a social media post while it’s trending and you’re likely to see increased engagement. You can also use a more general trending topic if it fits your content.
It helps if you know in advance when a trending topic is coming so you can have content ready. Major news events typically trend, for example, as do weekly topics like #MondayMotivation or #ThrowbackThursday.
3. Build an email list
The only downside to search engines and social media is that they’re fickle and out of your control. Will you get a lot of traction out of them? Hopefully, but this is never guaranteed.
However, an email list provides you the opportunity to deliver content to an engaged audience. Even though not everyone on your list will open every email — open rates vary but a typical expectation is somewhere around 20-25% — a mailing list provides you with the opportunity to ensure people who want to see your content will see it.
Some mailing systems are robust but expensive, like Infusionsoft and Constant Contact. Others, like TinyLetter and Mad Mimi, are free and much simpler. At MPWR Design, we use MailChimp, a good happy medium between the other above options. Its basic package is free and they offer several paid upgrades with a lot of versatility.
Mailing lists are very helpful for your business or organization because, unlike social media or search engines, delivery is guaranteed. If you provide valuable content, your most loyal readers will want to subscribe so they’ll never miss an update. (Of course, if you feel that way about our site, you can subscribe to our list.)
4. Publish content regularly
It’s a simple concept: the more content you have, the more likely people are to find you. If you only have one or two pages, the search terms that will lead to your site are few and far between. However, if you publish new content regularly, you’ll have a wider array of terms for people to find. At MPWR Design, we publish a new post every Monday unless we’re running a special promotion like our recent Quick Tips on social media. You don’t have to publish that often, but it’s a good idea to post at least once a month, if not more often, to create a larger database of content for others to discover.
5. Publish your site to additional news sources
While social media and search engines are the main source of most page views, looking beyond Facebook, Twitter, and Google could help increase your readership. Consider adding your site to the following:
- Apple News: First developed in 2015, Apple’s News app is designed to deliver news to iOS users. However, any website can be added to Apple News. Use our tips to learn how to make your site work with Apple News, and sign up to have your site included at icloud.com/publisher.
- Google News: Similarly, Google offers a news source for readers on the web. Apply for inclusion in Google News to have your site added.
- RSS feed: Even though its popularity is on the decline, many readers use RSS to subscribe to news feeds. WordPress automatically creates an RSS feed for sites but it helps to provide the link somewhere on your site. If you use WordPress, your RSS feed is available at yoursite.com/feed.