A big issue companies face is driving targeted traffic to their sites. Even if you have the best product or service in the world, without traffic to your website or business, you’ll struggle to generate awareness and revenue.
If you have an unlimited budget, you can always pay for traffic to your site — this can truly help grow your audience. The reality is, most up-and-coming brands don’t have an unlimited budget to devote to getting traffic.
Though traffic is only a small part of building a successful web property, without it, you won’t get very far in today’s field of competition. If you want to build a thriving business or sell more of your product, you have to spread the word.
There’s a lot of great advice out there about how to generate more traffic, but most of it is specific to one industry or costs a fortune to implement, so we decided to put together this list of 20 ways to increase your traffic — and, in the process, improve your bottom line.
1. Keep your current audience engaged
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to drive more traffic to your site is to keep current readers, visitors, and clients engaged:
- Consistently publish valuable content
- Engage with your audience on social media
- Use push notifications to keep your brand on customers’ minds
Be consistent in your communication and messaging by giving clear expectations on what your audience can expect, and then do your best to deliver. Here are some ideas:
- Publish your content on the same days of the week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example
- Have a live Q&A on Fridays
- Upload a high quality video once a week
The more you’re able to communicate with your audience, the more interested they’ll be. Engaged readers are more likely to buy a product or service, tell their family and friends, and be more responsive than nontargeted cold traffic.
Always keep looking for new ways to drive traffic to your site, and start with taking care of your current audience first.
2. Invest in search engine optimization
In the marketing world, search engine optimization (SEO) has a reputation for being hard to understand and, as a result, is often neglected.
While the rules and best practices of SEO are always changing, having a basic understanding of “good SEO” can boost your visibility on Google, Yahoo, and Bing and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.
While specific SEO tactics are outside the scope of this post, these general SEO pointers will help you improve your rankings:
Avoid keyword stuffing – Using the proper keywords in your content and website pages allows search engines to understand and appropriately rank your content. Stuffing SEO terms into your content, however, won’t improve your rankings. Using the terms naturally will help you rank better in the long run, and overusing keywords sends a red flag to search engines and can penalize you and your rankings.
Avoid black hat SEO – There’s a tendency to chase SEO results quickly, and unfortunately, there are plenty of services and products to do it. Incorporating SEO practices that “break the rules” may produce results at first, but being on the wrong side of search engines will come back to hurt your overall search engine visibility. Instead, invest in long-term SEO best practices, like producing valuable content, and avoid the “magic bullets” just to be safe.
Use heading tags and tag your images correctly – The most popular search engines favor content that is well organized and scannable, so be sure to include bullets, headers of different sizes, as well as high-quality images and tag them with a proper description.
Download or use plugins that help you with SEO – Depending on your content service provider (WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, etc.) there are plenty of plugins and services to help you improve your SEO. Most plugins are user friendly and help you improve your descriptions, title tags, and more. If you’re running on WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin is a fantastic tool.
3. Invest in content marketing
One of the benefits of having a strong content marketing strategy is it also helps you improve your SEO. The more branded content you have around the web, the more links you’ll have pointing back to your site, and that tells search engines you’re reputable and increases your rankings in the process.
Investing in a content marketing will help you gain exposure to audiences you might have missed otherwise. Here are a few ideas:
Free guides and eBooks – Providing free guides and eBooks is an excellent way to keep your audience engaged, and readers will often exchange an email address to receive them.
Blog posts – Consistently publishing valuable content on your blog is the quickest way to build a steady flow of traffic directed at your homepage or web property. When creating content for your blog, experiment with different lengths of content, images, and styles of writing. Over time, you’ll find what your readers respond to best.
Guest posts – Sharing your company’s expertise on places other than your blog is an effective way to drive targeted traffic to your websites. You can reach out to other publications in your industry or offer to create content for other publications.
Infographics – Well-executed infographics can be a great way to educate your audience as well generate traffic from social media platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and even your blog.
Social media posts – Your posts and social media updates play a significant role in your content strategy, so it’s important to make every Facebook status update and tweet count.
There are dozens of ways to incorporate content into your overall marketing and business strategy, regardless of your industry or niche. You’ll even notice, here at Quantcast, we’ve invested heavily in content marketing over the last few months, and we’ve seen some incredible results so far.
4. Get to know your audience
Knowing your audience is one of the most important things you can do to improve the health of your business.
Using tools like Quantcast Measure to understand your audience, you can:
- Create better content
- Serve your audience and customers better
- Test particular ideas and experiment with new offers and products
- Give better customer service
- And much more
5. Write guest posts
If you’re unfamiliar, guest posting is sharing your content and expertise on another company’s blog or publication. Even if your business is in a lesser-known industry, writing guest posts lets you share your content to with an audience that’s already engaged. Here are a few tips for writing successful guest posts:
- Write useful, high-quality content
- Consistently publish on a variety of different sites
- Aim to publish on larger publications such as the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc, etc. as well as on more niche publications with small but engaged audiences
- When creating your guest posting strategy, test different publications and types of content (long form and short form) to determine which are best at driving your business goals
6. Run a contest
Whether you’re a clothing brand, B2B company, or a tech start-up, you can benefit by running strategic contests to build awareness. Contests are often heavily shared on social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook and can go viral. Follow these tips:
- When planning your contest, make it easy for your readers to share it via email, social media, or text
- Say what you mean and do what you say — if you overpromise and underdeliver, you’ll create an unnecessary PR problem
7. Give away a lead magnet
A lead magnet is an eBook, report, or more information about your product or service that you give your readers, usually in exchange for an email address.
Lead magnets are valuable traffic opportunities because they give you the opportunity to create a high-value piece of content your readers are likely to share with colleagues or friends.
A well-executed lead magnet will create a memorable impression to new and old readers alike. Here are a few examples of lead magnets for a few different industries:
- If you’re a construction company, create a “27 top tools” sheet
- If you’re a consultant, share five benefits of hiring a top-notch consultant over a cheaper option
- If you’re a fashion brand, share a preview of the most popular styles for that season
8. Promote your old content
Chances are, you spend a lot of time, effort, and money creating content for your business. This is a great first step, but don’t forget to reuse your old content strategically.
Entrepreneur Derek Halpern, suggests following an “80 percent promotion and 20 percent creation” rule.
If you’re looking for ways to repurpose your content, the publishing platform Medium is a perfect place to test the waters. Generally speaking, you don’t need to tweak your content much, and there’s a huge audience of highly engaged readers. Another benefit of Medium is its supportive community.
9. Engage in strategic partnerships with decision makers and influencers
Connecting with the proper companies and influencers in your industry is a quick way to jumpstart your traffic and continue building your awareness. It’s particularly efficient on visual social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- When you write about or mention an influencer or company in your content, contact them through social media or email and let them know. They’ll probably share your content with their audience, boosting your traffic in the process.
- When building relationships with other influencers in your industry, it’s important you take a long-term approach. Always try to make win-win deals, and be open and transparent about the process.
- If you’re a clothing brand or product company, for example, find some of the top influencers in your target demographic and send them a sample in exchange for a post on their social media platforms. Be sure to follow all FCC guidelines regarding influencer marketing.
10. Answer questions on Quora
Quora is one of the world’s largest question and answer platforms. And since it’s such a large platform, it can be a way for you to increase traffic to your site. When you answer questions relevant to your industry and link to your site, you are providing real value you to people while simultaneously increasing awareness of your brand.
Here are the main benefits of using Quora:
- By researching popular questions and topics, you can learn which pieces of content are performing well in your industry — information you can use to create better content.
- Quora has consistently high rankings in most major search engines, so answering answering questions related to your business or market is an excellent way to increase your organic search traffic. Be sure to properly link your Quora profile with your website and other relevant information.
- Best yet, on Quora you can use one piece of content to answer many different questions. That means you can check tip #8 off the list because you’ve repurposed your old content you’ve already utilized in the past. When necessary, be sure to edit and update your content.
11. Have strong calls to action
You can invest in a great design, a perfectly worded team page, and have an incredible product; but if you don’t have strong call actions embedded throughout your site, your visitors probably won’t stick around (or buy your products.)
A compelling call to action gets your audience engaged, which makes them invest their time and energy in your brand and increases the chances of them talking about your company.
Here are a few strong calls to action:
- Sign up to get the latest deals and free shipping.
- Watch our webinar to see the latest features.
- “Join our community of 10,000+ fitness enthusiasts.”
12. Create a quiz
This won’t work for every industry or niche, but a quiz is a fun way to increase your traffic and get information about your audience at the same time.
Here are a few industry-specific ideas:
- If you’re an organic and green clothing company, create a quiz centered around the environmental costs of clothing
- If you’re a shoe company, create an interesting quiz on the history of shoes
- If you’re a lawyer, write a quiz testing your readers’ awareness of some common legal misconceptions
Get creative here. You’ll be surprised by the results. Make an entertaining quiz and it will be shared widely on social media and email.
13. Produce a podcast
While podcasting has been a “top trend” for several years now, there’s still a massive opportunity for you to connect with your audience using this personal medium. Recent podcast trends show listenership will continue to increase as podcast platforms grow.
Of course, creating a podcast requires a significant investment of time and energy, but it draws in your target audience. Based on recent podcast trends, it’s safe to say the podcasting platform will only increase in listenership as podcast platforms continue to grow.
14. Run a virtual summit
If video and audio is a part of your overall marketing strategy (and it should be), holding a virtual summit is an excellent way to generate buzz for your brand or company.
Gather a dozen or so influencers in your industry and bring them together for video or audio interviews. Depending on the work you invest in your virtual summit, you can charge a fee for your audience to consume the content.
Virtual summits can work for nearly any industry if you position them properly, and they can quickly enhance your brand or company’s reputation.
15. Test your headlines
Whether you’re sharing on social media, your email list, or on your own site, catchy titles can be the difference between someone buying your product and closing the browser window.
Some successful publishers even require their writers to create up to 25 different headlines for each proposed piece. Some of your headlines will work, others won’t work very well — the trick is to experiment with different titles so you can discover which is best received by your audience.
16. Take a controversial stance
It goes without saying, sparking controversy just for the sake of doing so probably won’t do much to support your brand, but you can definitely stand out in your industry by sharing a true but contrarian viewpoint.
Taking a controversial stance works in politics, sports, journalism, Hollywood, and beyond. But this strategy only makes sense if your values are in line with your stance. You don’t need to wade into every issue, but don’t be afraid of speaking up.
17. Hire an expert
Hiring an expert will save you from the biggest mistakes you might make when you’re struggling to generate traffic, improve SEO, or get better conversion rates. Ultimately, this could save you time and money.
If you’re struggling to bring in traffic, hiring an expert is a great way to get back on track.
18. Guest posts
Just as guest posting is a great strategy to build your brand, you can also see a great return by accepting guest posts from high-quality writers and content creators.
Here are the two main benefits of accepting guest posts:
- Those contributing to your blog will likely go out of their way to share and promote the content
- Good content will get read, so accepting high-quality guest posts will increase the chances of people finding your site and reading your material. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
When accepting guest posts, make sure you only allow high-quality content that offers value. Watering your brand down with low-quality content will hurt you in the long run.
19. Speed up your site
At most, a new visitor will only wait a few seconds for a site to load before checking out completely. That’s why it makes sense to invest in the infrastructure and speed of your site — it will increase the time people spend there and consequently increase your overall traffic.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on server costs, but the more you work to optimize the speed of your site the better off you’ll be. Even just speeding up your site by 10 to 20 percent can drastically improve your user experience and increase most of your important site metrics.
These simple tips will get you started:
- Invest in a reputable web host
- Avoid uploading large images and files to your servers
- If you use WordPress or a similar service, install a few optimization plugins to help your site load quicker
- Run your website through Google’s PageSpeed tool
20. Expert roundups
Expert roundups are an easy way to generate buzz around your brand while also helping other industry leaders in your field gain exposure.
While the days of posting a low-value quote from 25 influencers and seeing a high return are over, an expert roundup can still go viral often especially if you’re giving your readers something they want.
A few examples of roundups in a few different industries might be:
- The Fitness Routines of the 27 Best Athletes on the Planet
- 31 Marketers Share Their Best Tips and Strategies on How to Increase Website Traffic
- 19 Fashion Experts Weigh in on the Hottest Trends of the Season
By their very nature, expert roundups are designed to be shared by those who contribute, amplifying the size of your potential audience.
Go out and get more traffic!
Implementing two or three of these strategies can go a long way in improving the amount of traffic you get to your site.
Remember, there’s no such thing as a “magic bullet” when it comes to generating traffic. Some of these methods might take weeks, months, or even years before providing substantial results. However, if you invest in a few of these strategies and commit to the process, you’ll put yourself in the best position to succeed.