By David Wright – Contributing Writer
Driving traffic to your website requires a steady stream of new content. Unfortunately, many businesses have trouble creating new web content and, as a result, struggle to attract potential customers. While you can’t get away from writing good copy altogether, there are a few easier alternatives that will help drive traffic to your site while you develop a strategy for creating well-written web content.
Creating fresh copy content is harder than it looks.
Writing –and getting people within your organization to write– isn’t easy. Some folks can get pretty uncomfortable writing an article that the whole world will see. Another obstacle: the feeling like there isn’t really any news to talk about. This is almost certainly not the case, but often makes the list of reasons why another day has passed and you still don’t have new web content to share.
Fortunately, copy content is not the only way to drive traffic to your site.
I worked with a small company that struggled to publish a newsletter and blog posts. Their website is pretty nice – good images and copy and built with an open-source blog platform that eliminates technical hurdles to posting web content. Unfortunately, their site was only attracting 250 unique monthly visitors. They needed more traffic, but had the same challenge– getting their people to write content.
Three simple things quadrupled traffic to more than 1,000 unique visitors for about two months:
1. Post more images.
You may not be a writer but you can take a picture. Once you have some interesting photos, make them searchable by adding metadata. This is not as hard as it sounds, especially if you are on a blog platform like Drupal or WordPress. Simply:
- Save the file with a descriptive file name, like “mainbeachsantacruz.jpg.” Avoid “beach.jpg.” or non-descriptive names.
- Add an alt tag to the image. In most content management systems (CMS) you are prompted for extra information when you upload the photo. Don’t leave these fields blank! The CMS will create an alt tag that looks like this:
<img src=”mainbeachsantacruz.jpg” alt=”Sunset at Main Beach, Santa Cruz, California, 95060”>. .
- Write a descriptive caption. The CMS will offer you a blank field for this.
2. Use video.
Using a video camera and iMovie or Windows Movie Maker you can produce decent-quality video content. Edit your video into short segments (five minutes or less) and create a YouTube Channel. As you upload the videos to YouTube you will be offered several fields for descriptive information (metadata), as well as a field for a link to your website. Here are simple instructions for the best video quality. You will be pleasantly surprised by the traffic on your channel and the resulting traffic that links back to your website. Your search engine results should improve as well.
3. Share content.
I recently attended a seminar that provided several great content-rich PowerPoint presentations. I asked the presenter if I could share them on our website. He said yes! Of course I gave full credit for the information, but with just a few lines of introductory copy I was able to share the hosted content via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Keep your eyes peeled for good relevant content –this is a nice short-cut.
These non-text techniques will help increase traffic to your site. However, you should not give up on creating written content. Yes, a picture or video says a thousand words, but clear, compelling, persuasive language about the way you do business will always be essential. In the meantime, keep posts coming with images, video, and shared content, and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
For more information:
Getting started on YouTube –
Instructions for Best Quality Video –
How to Write a Good Blog Entry –
When to Hire a Copy Editor –