The Ultimate Guide to Getting Website Traffic
There are essentially 3 primary ways to increase traffic to a website. The three sources of website traffic are…
- Free traffic
- Paid traffic
- Affiliate traffic
Free traffic comes from setting up a blog, doing Search Engine Optimization or social media. It takes a while to get going, can be unpredictable and there are no guarantees.
Actually there are no guarantees with any website traffic techniques.
Paid advertising can be immediate, but if not done right, it can be costly.
Actually, all of the 3 ways to increase traffic to a website described here, can be costly in one form or another.
Affiliate traffic comes from people who promote your stuff in exchange for a commission. This can be effective because people are coming to your site based on the recommendation of someone they know, like or respect.
The Best Free Traffic Sources for New Websites
We’re primarily going to talk about free traffic sources and while they all work for new websites, most of these tactics will help more established websites, as well. Start with one or two and then test other ideas.
#1: Search Engine Optimization / Blogging
You can get ‘organic’ traffic to your website by creating content that fits the needs of your Ideal Client Avatar or Target Persona. Once created, blog content can attract qualified leads for a long time. For free!
Optimize your blog posts one Focus Keyword at a time by using them in the URL, Meta Descriptions, anchor text links, image filenames and tags. Create an Editorial Calendar of content you’ll produce over a specific period of time to attract desirable leads. Be sure to use lots of semantic or related keywords to the focus keyword, but make the content super-focused.
For more on Search Engine Optimization, click over to my Ultimate Guide to SEP.
Here’s a tip: Content is King. Write awesome content on a regular basis and visitors will come back for more and more. Outstanding content will get shared by your readers to an audience you don’t even know about.
Knock their socks off!
Click to TweetThe most effective website traffic not only has a prior interest in your service or product but is already searching for a similar solution and is ready to spend. Click To Tweet
#2: Improve Your Click-Through-Rate
I found this idea from Gary Dean at Backlinko. You can get more traffic from Google WITHOUT higher rankings. You get more traffic from improving your Click-Through-Rates. In his example, he said, “Let’s say you rank #3 for your target keyword and your CTR is 4%. And let’s say you double that CTR to 8%. Well, you just doubled your organic traffic… without improving your rankings.”
The other cool thing is that CTR is an important ranking factor to Google, so when you get a higher CTR, you get higher search engine rankings
How do you improve your Click-Through-Rate?
To get more people to click on your listing in the SERPs, try these…
- Research keyword appeal. Optimize content for the most popular keyword choice.
- Optimize for keyword ‘clusters,’ not a specific keyword.
- Write a compelling meta description with your Focus Keyword in it. Tell readers what to expect.
- Split-test different titles to see which one gets the most clicks.
- Implement Structured Data
#3: Update Old Blog Posts
Blog content can take 35-42 weeks to reach its peak rankings on Google. A recent study says it takes an average of nearly 4 hours (3:57) to create and publish a blog post. If you don’t have that much time or don’t want to wait 4 months for the benefits to kick in, I suggest overhauling previous posts.
You can often improve rankings by simply adding some good new material. We’ve had great success for our clients doing this! One client saw a 40+% increase in traffic in 7 days.
I have two recommendations. First, look at content that is ranking ahead of yours. What makes it rank higher? More words? More images? Videos? Then, make yours better. There may be other factors, but what I recommend is a good start.
Second, check the keywords you’re optimized for on lower-performing content. Are they getting a decent amount of searches? Should the Focus Keyword be changed and the page re-optimized for the new keyword?
Third, look at your Google Analytics. What content has the highest Bounce Rate? Fix or improve those pages. If you can decrease the number of people who only visit one page of your site and bounce back to wherever they were, you get more traffic (and engagement) from these visitors.
Pages with low Duration may not be resonating with your visitors either. They often have a high Bounce Rate. These double-whammy pages need your attention, NOW!
#4: Guest Posting
Writing a blog post as a guest contributor is another form of blogging and it opens you up to a new audience. You usually get a link back to your website from an Author Bio or Resource Box at the end of the article.
Sometimes you can get links from the article itself back to your site.
It used to be a popular way to get backlinks back to your site that would help rankings, but Google has devalued this tactic a bit.
But there is still value in getting your content on other people’s blogs or in their print publications.
Keep track of blogs or periodicals in your niche who accept guest submissions, or better yet Google…
- your “niche + Write for us”
- your “niche + submit an article”
- “Name of your niche + sites that accept guest posts”
Your queries will look something like “travel + writer’s guidelines” or “website development + writer for us.”
Guest blogging can really help you build your email list, which then turns into a more powerful traffic source.
Click to TweetDiscover how one guy added over 36,000 subscribers solely using guest blogging. Click To Tweet
You can also offer others an opportunity to guest blog on your site. You may get some new or valuable insights that add value to your site, but most of your contributors will promote their content on your site!
#5: Syndicate Your Content
Similar to Guest Blogging, which usually requires creating brand new articles, syndicating your content is simply re-posting your content, word-for-word, on Medium.com.
Since you’ll be re-purposing content you’ve already published on your blog, select the Import Story option, which makes things super easy!
Medium will automatically import all of your content, including images, text formatting and hyperlinks by simply entering the URL of the blog post you want to share. You can edit the post before publishing it on Medium.
Don’t be concerned by “duplicate content” penalties. The use of canonical tags in republished content can help avoid problems while distributing content in more than one place. A canonical tag is included in a line of code that identifies republished posts as duplicate content and identifies your original content on your blog as the original, avoiding penalties.
Repurposing your blog posts on LinkedIn is not as easy as Medium, but it is effective and worth the extra effort. An estimated 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members influence buying decisions made by their company.
Click on Write an Article on your LinkedIn Home page to open the content editor. You will have to cut and paste your blog post and reformat it as you go.
I suggest waiting at least a couple of weeks after you’ve written your original post to syndicate the content. Give Google time to sort it out.
Beyond that, you should share it on all your social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
#6: Set Up And Optimize a Google My Business Listing.
Set up a free Business Profile that lets you post your address and phone number, a link to your website, your hours of operation and photos of your business and/or products. Your account also allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. Use a Google email address to claim or create your listing.
#7: Get Listed in Online Directories
More and more people are looking for more reviews online before making a purchase of a product or service, especially Millennials. Not only are they reading reviews, they are writing them, as well. As with Google My Business, you claim your listings when you set up an account for each platform.
You don’t have to maintain a presence on all of them, but which platforms appear when you search for your product or service, or even more, YOUR BUSINESS NAME.
3 important things:
- Potential clients won’t consider you if you have fewer than 4 Stars, so you need to encourage people who are happy to post a review.
- Recency of reviews are important to viewers, so consider spending time getting reviews on a daily basis.
- It is critical that you respond to reviews, both Good or Bad. Not responding is a deal-breaker.
Top Directory and Review Sites: AboutUs, Angie’s List, Apple Maps, Best of the Web (BOTW), Better Business Bureau, Bing Places, CitySearch, DexKnows, Facebook, Foursquare, Local.com, Manta, MerchantCircle, Patch, ServiceMagic, SuperPages, Yahoo Local, WhitePages.com, Yellowbook.com, YellowPages.com, Yelp.
More on how to attract local customers and marketing techniques for local businesses.
#8: Post to Social Media
Where do your Target Personas hang out? Get in the conversations (Conversations with an S) on their favorite platforms. Someone claimed a couple of years ago to have counted every social media platform out there and said there were 6,700 of them. Some must have been very niched and very small. Just don’t spend all day selling. Give, share, educate and support at least 80% of the time. Build your brand. Then sell.
Make sure your social profiles link to your website.
#9: Facebook Groups
200 million people a day use Facebook Groups and due to privacy concerns, Facebook has begun shifting their emphasis away from the Newsfeed to private groups. Active members of Facebook groups almost doubled in the past year.
Build your presence by sharing other people’s content and a little of your own. Be helpful. Answer questions.
Like YouTube, Facebook prefers to keep people on their site and discourages offsite links. Video content tends to work better than written content, as such.
We’ve seen Pinterest as one of the most effective ways to increase traffic to a website and not just among women or recipe seekers, but virtually any niche, both B2C and B2B. To some, Pinterest is a search engine.
The new format that Pinterest is suggesting is 1500×1000 pixels (As of December 2019). Still in the 3:2 format. It’s best to share 30-50 Pins daily, including yours linking back to specific blog posts. Tailwind Tribes will help simplify and automate pinning. Get started with their free account.
- Share boards that already have 20 pins or more.
- Create your own images that link to post articles. Canva is a free tool that helps make Pins you can share.
- Make sure the images you use relate to your blog post. You wouldn’t use a picture of a dog on a pin that links to a post on accounting. Pins can contain images that relate to your brand, such as your logo or domain name, but are not necessary. What matters is that they bee effective in attracting links to your content.
- Share regularly the best content for members of each tribe you find using Tailwind. They’ll share back.
#11: Email Marketing
Getting people on your email list can be one of the easiest and most profitable ways to get traffic to your site. You can ask subscribers to come visit a specific piece of content whenever you like! It could be a new blogpost (with some kind of Call To Action on it) or you can offer some sort of training or challenge delivered by email autoresponder.
Subject lines are critically important to email marketing success. Make them so good your subscribers can’t avoid opening your email! Good email marketers with write a dozen or more subject lines before selecting one. Great email marketers TEST subject lines to a small sample of their lists.
Want to know more about Email Marketing? Click here.
11 Ways to Increase Traffic to a Website
You can learn much more about how to increase traffic to a website, creating content that converts, email marketing, setting goals, competitive analysis, securing WordPress and more with my course WebsiteSuccessEssentials!
How do you increase traffic to a website? What’s worked best? Please leave a comment below or…