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5 customer-centric strategies to increase traffic to your website

More website visitors means more engagement and more sales, right? That equation is nearly perfect, except it’s missing a critical piece—user understanding. 

Instead of focusing on how to increase website traffic at any cost, aim for qualified traffic. That is, attracting visitors who fit your target audience.

Last updated

28 Jul 2023

Reading time

7 min


This guide explores why understanding your customers is an essential way to increase traffic to your website, with five effective strategies to attract more qualified visitors to your site.


Focus on qualified web traffic from your target audience to increase website traffic and boost engagement and sales. The key to getting more visits from potential customers is learning their needs, preferences, goals, and motivators—and applying these insights to your marketing strategies.  

Here's how:

  1. Keyword optimization: learn what your audience searches for and use those keywords throughout your website

  2. Content marketing: ask customers what they want to learn and create relevant content

  3. Referrals: identify satisfied customers and ask them to recommend your company and products to others

  4. Social media: use topics, visuals, and strategies that drive engagement to your website across social media platforms

  5. Optimization: use every customer interaction and marketing strategy to learn and improve

5 effective ways to increase quality traffic to your website

If you spend even five minutes researching digital marketing strategies, you’ll quickly learn there’s no shortage of opinions and ideas. But you need to understand your audience’s goals, preferences, and interests to squeeze as much value out of these web traffic strategies. 

Understanding your current users lets you create a better experience for future visitors, which helps you boost your web performance and focus your time (and budget) on the highest-performing channels and campaigns. In short, adding user understanding to your digital marketing strategy is better for your customers and business. 

Here are five digital marketing strategies with a customer-centric twist. 

1. Find new keywords and use them throughout your site

Your customers use search engines to find information and products—you want to be the result they see and choose. Keyword research and optimization is the process of understanding what your audience searches for and creating a website that answers their query. 

Using an SEO tool to analyze your website traffic is one of the most popular ways to find your top-performing keywords and uncover related terms. Another way to learn about your customers’ interests is to ask them! 

An open-ended survey on your website lets you ask visitors what they want to know, so you get responses in their own words. Then, you can use these terms throughout your website. 

Keywords are often associated with blog posts, but there are opportunities to add keywords across your entire website, including

  • Product descriptions and meta titles

  • Structured data for products (like price and ratings)

  • Product reviews

  • FAQs

  • Key pages like product, about, use case, and pricing pages

  • Customer stories

  • Help guides

🔎 Pro tip: consider the user’s intent at each step of your marketing funnel. 

A marketing funnel describes the different steps a customer takes to learn about your company and make a purchase. For example, someone who wants to buy their first kayak may read a blog post about the types of boats, then read about the company’s manufacturing process, review models, and finally make a purchase. 

At each step of your marketing funnel, your audience has a different intent—that is, the type of information they want and need. 

Use an exit intent survey to discover what’s missing throughout your funnel, and then add keywords at each step to increase engagement.

Imagine the kayak company uses an exit intent survey and realizes visitors leave the product page because they don’t know if they’ll fit in the kayak. In that case, the company would add keywords about weight limits and seat dimensions to optimize the page for user searches at that stage of the funnel.

Use a Hotjar survey template to ask visitors what’s missing from your website 

2. Learn which content engages your visitors the most

There are a few ways website content, like blog posts, drives traffic to your website. 

First, blog posts contain keywords that your audience searches for. Second, if your content is engaging and relevant to your audience, they may share it with their network and introduce you to new potential customers. Finally, other websites, publications, or industry newsletters can share your blog posts with their audiences to drive traffic to your site. 

However, you need to have relevant and engaging content to drive traffic. Thankfully, your existing audience is the perfect testing group to learn what to do more of and what to leave behind the next time you sit down to create content. 

Here are a few ideas to create user-centric content to drive traffic and engagement:

  • Use a content feedback survey to gauge how visitors feel about your content overall 

  • Use a heatmap to determine which blog topics and layouts catch (and hold) users’ attention 

  • Use open-ended surveys to find topics for new blog posts, webinars, and guides

  • Watch recordings from blogs with the longest average time on page to learn what engages your audience

  • Ask your sales and support teams what questions and concerns they hear most often

👀 Watch now: grow your audience with organic content. 

Hotjar (hi, that’s us! 👋) is a product experience insights platform that gives you behavior analytics and feedback data to help you empathize with and understand your customers. For example, Hotjar Recordings lets you watch how visitors use your website, like how they scroll and where they click. Recording filters also let you focus on specific user interactions, like for a particular page or customer segment, to sort through playbacks quickly.

These customer-driven insights help you improve your content to increase website traffic. We know because we use it ourselves!

Hotjar’s Senior Content & SEO Strategist Sean Potter shared nine ways to grow your audience with organic content. 

Watch here to learn the strategies we’ve used to grow Hotjar’s organic search visits into the millions annually.

#Talking to customers reveals how to create engaging content 
Talking to customers reveals how to create engaging content 

3. Use your existing audience to increase website traffic

Influencer marketing is a massive industry (as in, $21 billion dollars), and some websites and blogs work with content creators to drive traffic to their sites. But professional influencers aren’t the only way to encourage people to recommend your brand—your customers and team can drive qualified web traffic, too. Here’s how:

  • Use a Net Promoter Score® survey to ask your audience how likely they are to recommend you to a friend: customers with a high score are called ‘promoters’, and NPS surveys let you identify these fans. Then, ask them to share your company with their network or use their experience as a customer success story. 

  • Set up a referral program to encourage customers to share your business with friends and network. For example, Hotjar has a partner program where agencies and freelancers earn a revenue share for referrals.   

  • Share your perspectives with industry influencers: for example, Hotjar’s COO Ken Weary was a guest on the ‘Mastering Remote’ podcast. Giving your internal team opportunities to share their experiences makes your brand feel more personal while increasing traffic and attention. 

#Hotjar’s partner program promotes your business and supports you with education and exclusive launches
Hotjar’s partner program promotes your business and supports you with education and exclusive launches

The social media marketing landscape is constantly changing, and there’s no way to be active and effective across all channels all the time. Understanding your customers and which content and channels drive the most traffic helps you prioritize your work

Try these strategies to create a customer-centric social media strategy:

  • Place a survey on your blog that asks visitors where they heard about you to identify top promotion channels and referrers

  • Use an Engagement Zone heatmap to see what imagery catches visitor attention on your website to reuse in social media campaigns

  • Create a concept test survey on your site to let your audience vote on their preferred visuals

  • Interview customers to uncover audience psychographics that influence your campaign positioning

#A Hotjar Engagement Zone map reveals on-page patterns so you understand what content your users find most valuable
A Hotjar Engagement Zone map reveals on-page patterns so you understand what content your users find most valuable

5. Test, measure, repeat

Measuring marketing performance helps you make informed decisions to choose the right traffic-increasing strategy in the future. For example, suppose a webinar and a social media campaign took the same effort to produce, but the webinar delivered more qualified traffic. In that case, you know which tactic to use again. 

Everything you learn about customers also allows you to collaborate within your company. 

While teams might work in silos, like marketing or product management, your customers experience your brand holistically. Everything is connected, and each channel provides insights you can use in every other medium. For example, if a blog post on a particular topic drives a lot of traffic and engagement, create a social media campaign on the same topic. 

Here are a few tips on how to measure and improve your website traffic strategies:

  • Use Hotjar Trends to spot user behavior patterns over time, like which page has the highest drop-offs 

  • Use customer satisfaction surveys to spot downward trends in satisfaction

  • Share insights across teams so everyone makes customer-centric decisions

  • Use a feedback widget (like the red ‘Feedback’ tab on the right side → of this page) to get customer insights for specific pages and improve the user experience

  • Use Funnels to find where users drop off and investigate with recordings

#Hotjar Funnels quantifies how visitors move through your website and lets you zoom in on steps with recordings
Hotjar Funnels quantifies how visitors move through your website and lets you zoom in on steps with recordings

💡 Pro tip: talk to customers to avoid working based on assumptions. 

A feedback loop lets your team continuously connect with customers through interviews, surveys, and feedback tools to improve your website performance and increase traffic. Staying close to customers also prevents you from making random decisions based on guesses and hunches. 

But what do you ask in a customer interview or on a survey to understand your audience? Here are 11 questions to get you started. 

  1. If our product disappeared tomorrow, would you try to find a competitor or could you live without it? 

  2. How often do you use our product?

  3. What is your main goal for using our product?

  4. What's preventing you from achieving this goal?

  5. What's your greatest concern about our product?

  6. What changed after you began using our product?

  7. Why did you choose to use our product over others?

  8. Have you used a similar product before?

  9. How can we make our product better?

  10. What do you like most about our product?

  11. What do you like least about our product?

Customer-centricity is an ongoing effort

Your customers and company are always evolving, so your work needs to constantly evolve, too. The more you invest in customer-centric strategies, the more insights you uncover, which you can then re-invest into your next campaign. 

Combining curiosity and empathy with customer experience research tools ensures you make continuous progress toward your website goals.

Use customer insights to increase website traffic

Hotjar’s tools help you understand your users to create relevant content, campaigns, and marketing strategies.

FAQs about increasing qualified website traffic