If you ask a marketer or business owner what they’d like most in the world, they’ll almost always tell you “more customers.”
What often comes after customers on a business’ wish list? More traffic to their site. There are many ways you can increase traffic to you your website. We’re going to look at 21 of them, including several ways to boost site traffic for FREE.
This one is so obvious, we’re going to look at it first. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people.
Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you reach for your credit card.
If you’re hoping that more traffic to your site will also result in more sales, you’ll need to target high rating keywords as part of your paid search strategy. Yes, competition for these search terms can be fierce (and expensive), but the payoffs can be worth it.
2. Social Media
It’s not enough to produce great content and hope that people find it – you have to be proactive. One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content.
Twitter is ideal for short, snappy (and tempting) links, whereas Google promotion can help your site show up in personalised search results and seems especially effective in B2B niches. If you’re a B2C product company, you might find great traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
3. Mix It Up
There is no magic formula for content marketing success, despite what some would have you believe. For this reason, vary the length and format of your content to make it as appealing as possible to different kinds of readers.
Intersperse shorter, news-based blog posts with long form content as well as video, infographics and data-driven pieces to create maximum impact.
4. Craft Irresistible Headlines
Headlines are one of the most important parts of your content. Without a compelling headline, even the most comprehensive blog post will go unread. Master the art of headline writing.
For example, the writers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy often write upward of twenty different headlines before finally settling on the one that will drive the most traffic, so think carefully about your headline before you hit “publish.”
5. Pay Attention to On-Page SEO
Think SEO is dead? Think again. Optimising your content for search engines is still a valuable and worthwhile practice. Are you making the most of image alt text?
Are you creating internal links to new content? What about meta descriptions? Optimizing for on page SEO doesn’t have to take ages, and it could help boost your organic traffic.
6. Target Those Long-Tail Keywords
Got your high commercial intent keyword bases covered? Then it’s time to target long-tail keywords too. Long-tail keywords account for a majority of web searches, meaning that if you’re not targeting them as part of your paid search or SEO efforts, you’re missing out.
Before you say it – no, true guest blogging isn’t dead, despite what you may have heard. Securing a guest post on a reputable site can boost your website traffic and help build your brand at the same time.
Be warned, though – standards for guest blogging have changed radically during the past eighteen months, and spammy tactics could result in stiff penalties. Proceed with caution.
7. Invite Others to Guest Blog on Your Site
Guest blogging is definitely a two-way street. In addition to posting content to other people’s blogs, invite people in your niche to blog on your own site. They’re likely to share and link to their guest article, which could bring new readers to your site. Just be sure that you only post high-quality content without spammy links, because Google is really cracking way down on low-quality guest blogging.
8. Go After Referral Traffic
Rather than trying to persuade other sites to link back to you (a tedious process), create clickable and shareable content that just begs to be linked to.
9. Always Post Your Content to LinkedIn
LinkedIn has become much more than a means of finding another job. The world’s largest professional social network is now a valuable publishing platform in its own right, which means you should be posting content to LinkedIn on a regular basis.
Doing so can boost traffic to your site, as well as increase your profile within your industry – especially if you have a moderate to large following.
10. Use Internal Linking
The strength of your link profile isn’t solely determined by how many sites link back to you – it can also be affected by your internal linking structure. When creating and publishing content, be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities for internal links.
This not only helps with SEO, but also results in a better, more useful experience for the user – the cornerstone of increasing traffic to your website.
11. Interview Those Industry Thought Leaders
You’d be amazed how many people will be willing to talk to you if you just ask them. Send out emails requesting an interview to thought leaders in your industry, and publish the interviews on your blog. Not only will the name recognition boost your credibility and increase traffic to your website, the interviewee will probably share the content too, further expanding its reach.
12. Use Email Marketing
So many businesses are focused on attracting new customers through content marketing that they forget about more traditional methods. Email marketing can be a powerful tool, and even a moderately successful email blast can result in a significant uptick in traffic. Just be careful not to bombard people with relentless emails about every single update in your business.
Also, don’t overlook the power of word of mouth marketing, especially from people who are already enjoying your products or services. A friendly email reminder about a new service or product can help you boost your traffic, too.
13. Make Sure Your Site is Responsive
Today, more people than ever before are using mobile devices to access the web, and if you force your visitors to pinch and scroll their way around your site, you’re basically telling them to go elsewhere. Always ensure that your website is accessible and comfortably viewable across a range of devices, including smaller smartphones.
14. Make Sure Your Site is Fast
Ever found yourself waiting thirty seconds for a webpage to load? Me neither. If your site takes forever to load, your bounce rate will be sky high. Make sure that your pages are as optimised as possible, including image file sizes, page structure and the functionality of third-party plugins. The faster your site loads, the better.
15. Create a Sense of Community
People want to speak their minds and weigh in on subjects they feel passionately about, so building a community into your site is a great way to start a conversation and increase traffic to your website. Implement a robust commenting system through third-party solutions such as Facebook comments or Disqus, or create a dedicated forum where visitors can ask questions.
16. Make Yourself Heard in The Comment Sections
You probably visit at least a few sites that are relevant to your business on a regular basis, so why not join the conversation?
Commenting doesn’t necessarily provide an immediate boost to referral traffic right away, but making a name for yourself by providing insightful, thought-provoking comments on industry blogs and sites is a great way to get your name out there – which can subsequently result in driving more traffic to your own site.
Just remember that, as with guest posting, quality and relevance are key – you should be engaging with other people in your niche, not dropping spam links on unrelated websites.
17. Look At Your Analytics Data
Google Analytics is an invaluable source of data on just about every conceivable aspect of your site, from your most popular pages to visitor demographics. Keep a close eye on your Analytics data, and use this information to inform your promotional and content strategies. Pay attention to what posts and pages are proving the most popular. Inspect visitor data to see how, where and when your site traffic is coming from.
18. Get Active on Social Media
It’s not enough to just share content through social channels – you need to actively participate in the community, too. Got a Twitter account? Then join in group discussions with relevant hashtags. Answer questions and engage with your readers. Nothing turns people off quicker than using social media as a broadcast channel – use social media as it was intended and actually interact with your fans.
19. Post Your Content to Sites Like Quora and Reddit
Firstly, don’t spam Quora, Reddit and other similar sites hoping to “hit the jackpot” of referral traffic, because it’s not going to happen. Members of communities like Quora and Reddit are extraordinarily savvy to spam disguised as legitimate links, but every now and again, it doesn’t hurt to submit links that these audiences will find genuinely useful. Choose a relevant subreddit, submit your content, then watch the traffic pour in.
20. Use Video into Your Content Strategy
Text-based content is all well and good, but video can be a valuable asset in both attracting new visitors and making your site more engaging. Data shows that information retention is significantly higher for visual material than it is for text, meaning that video marketing is an excellent way to grab – and hold – your audience’s attention, and boost traffic to your website at the same time.
21. Research Your Competition
If you haven’t used software like BuzzSumo to check out what your competitors are up to, you’re at a huge disadvantage. These services aggregate the social performance of specific sites and content to provide you with an at-a-glance view of what topics are resonating with readers and, most importantly, making the rounds on social media. Find out what people are reading (and talking about), and emulate that kind of content to bring traffic to your website.
I really hope this helped. Hey, have I missed anything here though? Drop me a note in the comments section below and let me know your thoughts.
If you’ve got your own tips for increasing traffic to your website, I’d love to hear them.
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About Phil Adair
Phil Adair is the host of one of the most downloaded online marketing podcasts on the internet (go here to subscribe and listen to The Online Marketing Strategies Show.)