Are you like me and always have one eye on your website’s traffic stats? Whether your site is personal or for business, more traffic leads to more exposure. And that means more revenue. So it’s understandable why I’m obsessed with my site’s stats, right?
In fact, I’m sure you’ve already realized how important it is to have a consistent flow of visitors and page views. If you’ve done any kind of research on the topic, you’ve probably come across the standard advice:
Create great content on a regular basis. In other words, focus on creating content that would solve your target audience’s biggest pain points while maintaining a consistent posting schedule.
Focus on long tail keywords. As Neil Patel explains, targeting single keywords is no longer a viable technique. It’s insanely hard to rank for a specific word, instead, you should focus your efforts on including common phrases and terms that appear in conjunction with your main keyword.
Promote your content on social media. Being active on several social media outlets nowadays translates into fostering relationships with influencers in your industry, curating their content while inconspicuously sprinkling links to your own content. While you can automate the majority of work when it comes to social media, you cannot automate creating relationships. And that alone can take a significant chunk of time out of your already busy schedule.
While those tactics are great and proven to work, there is one small problem. Everyone is using them.
So if everyone is churning out great content consistently in the effort to rank for long tail keywords, how do you stand out? How do you attract attention and turn that attraction into traffic for your website?
Today, we’ll take a look at a couple of not-so-standard methods of increasing website traffic. If you’ve been promoting your website for a long time, these tactics might not be new to you. However, the goal of this post is to provide tips that are not included in your typical go-to advice that’s scattered across every article on the internet.
Simple Tweaks to Increase Your Website Traffic
Before we dive into other methods, let’s start with your website. Your website is, after all, your main base of operations so let’s examine a few tweaks you can implement right away.
Fill out category descriptions
If you’ve paid attention to basic SEO tips, you’ve probably created categories for your website content. Instead of focusing on promoting one post, why not invest a little time and give your categories some SEO love?
Head over to your dashboard and click on Posts > Categories. From there, click on Category Descriptions and fill out the description field. This is a great place to include a long tail keyword that makes sense for your niche. Once you are done, click Save.
As you can see from the screenshot above, this little tweak can achieve great results; like getting you a top spot in search engine results.
Create a Start Here Page
Beef up your existing About page by adding links to your most important pages and posts that bring in the most traffic, and rename it into “Start Here” or something similar. Use it as a page that will give people an overview of what your site is all about and that can act as a one-stop shop for getting up to speed with what you do quickly.
Create Resource Pages
Do you have a list of must-have tools and apps you use in your everyday life? Create a page that will list them all, along with a brief description of why you like them. If you’re feeling brave enough, write a detailed how-to post explaining how you use them and how it can help your readers achieve similar results. Then link to those posts on the Resource page.
Similarly, you could also create a library of free content that you give out on a regular basis. The library doesn’t have to be anything special – it could just be another page on your website that lists all the posts containing your valuable free content. If you can tie those resources cohesively like a series of how-to posts, the odds of having increased traffic are definitely in your favor here.
Who says you have to constantly create new content? Take your existing content and repurpose it. From one blog you could create an audio podcast, a video post, a slideshow presentation, a PDF guide, or a checklist… You are limited only by your imagination.
Plenty of bloggers use this simple method of distributing their content on different platforms and reaching a wider audience. This method is not limited to blog posts alone, you can also repurpose your videos or your podcasts in the same way. The folks over at Buffer have a great guide on how to effectively repurpose content, and HubSpot demonstrates how they turned one piece of content into 5 different ones that still bring them fresh leads.
Run a Contest/Giveaway
This tip is more geared towards business bloggers. If you sell products or services on your website, create a special offer like a chance to win a huge discount on your most popular product or give away one of your service packages for free. Ask your visitors to share your offer on social media for a chance to win.
You can put a slightly different spin on this and share your offer on social media but require people to go to your website and find a hidden image for a chance to win, like A Small Orange recently did with their St. Patrick’s day promotion.
Create or Participate in a 30-Day Challenge
People love challenges. Aside from the fact that a 30-day challenge usually involves making a change in your life, the fact that you are sharing the challenge with others adds to the appeal. If you search Google for your niche + 30-day challenge, I am positive you will find a challenge you can participate in. If not, you can always create your own.
Pick one area that you would like to improve in the next thirty days. Then dissect it into small actionable steps you can do on a daily basis and invite your blogging tribe to take part. Encourage them to share the challenge on their social media outlets by using a hashtag dedicated to the challenge and invite their friends to participate.
Start a Forum on Your Website
An active forum can is a great way to expand the conversation, increase time visitors spend on your site, build a community and decrease your bounce rate. On top of that, forums can begin ranking for long tail keywords rather quickly. You can easily add forum functionality to your WordPress website with bbPress.
Using Social Media to Increase Traffic
By now, we all know that social media can play a huge role in driving people back to your site. However, simply curating quality content and scheduling updates that promote your own posts isn’t enough. Reaching out to people on a one-on-one basis is wonderful as you can establish great and valuable relationships, however, there are other, often under-appreciated methods of using social media to drive site traffic.
Optimize Your Profile
It goes without saying that your profile should be optimized for every social media account you have and are active on. That includes having the most recent profile photo, your bio completely filled out, as well as a link to your website. It’s a good practice to link to a special landing page geared towards a particular social media network instead of the homepage of your blog.
For example, if your favorite social media outlet is Twitter, then adding a link to a page that offers a checklist with tips and tricks for twitter users, or tools that help you manage Twitter more effectively is likely to lead to more people clicking on that link than if you simply linked to your homepage.
Make sure to include a call to action on that page – either a signup form for your newsletter or a link that will lead them deeper into your site.
Take Advantage of Facebook Groups
Before Facebook went through all the recent algorithm changes, having a Facebook page for your blog was one of the must-haves. However, nowadays you are better off participating in Facebook groups.
Facebook groups are a dime a dozen and cover almost any niche imaginable. Joining relevant Facebook groups and participating in conversations where you provide genuine insight on a specific topic will inevitably lead to people clicking on your profile to learn more about you which is where the previous tip of optimizing your profile comes in handy.
As a complement to your website, you can go a step further and create your own Facebook group where members can ask questions, get support from others, and also gain direct access to you. Be sure to point them back to your site’s content where appropriate.
Use LinkedIn to Drive Traffic
LinkedIn is one of the social media networks that often gets ignored in social media marketing plans. However, it’s a network that shouldn’t be underestimated. In Hubspot’s recent study they found that LinkedIn traffic converts at 2.74% as opposed to Facebook and Twitter which convert at 0.77 % and 0.69% respectively.
There are many different ways of using LinkedIn to increase website traffic but let’s focus on three major ones here.
Similarly to Facebook groups, you want to join relevant LinkedIn groups and be active. Post thoughtful comments in discussions, create your own discussions and go above and beyond to be helpful.
If and when a particular group allows for self-promotion, take advantage of the opportunity by posting a relevant link to your content but make sure not to overdo it.
The other great way to build authority within your industry and drive traffic back to your site is LinkedIn Answers. It’s a professional question and answers community where you can find information on various business-related topics. Whenever you answer a question, you have the chance to add “Web Resources” to supplement your response. This is a great way to link to content on your website if it is relevant to the original question.
Originally, Pulse was a content publishing platform that was invite-only. However, things changed in 2013 when LinkedIn acquired Pulse. It still remains a content publishing platform but now it features articles from anyone who publishes their posts on LinkedIn.
Having your article featured on Pulse is equal to having a guest blog post published on the top blog in your specific niche. And that alone can lead to more connections and ultimately more traffic to your website.
I should note that not every one of your articles will be picked up by Pulse, nor should you repost every article from your blog on LinkedIn. If you want to really take advantage of Pulse, you should aim for thought-provoking topics that are educational, practical, and actionable. It might take you a couple of tries but don’t give up because the benefits are too good to be ignored.
Drive Traffic with Twitter Chats
Twitter chats can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. The way Twitter chat works is it’s usually centered around one topic and has a dedicated hashtag that all participants can use to quickly find all the messages related to that particular chat. Some Twitter chats follow a set structure of questions and answers, some are more free-flowing.
In order to easily keep track of a Twitter chat I strongly recommend using an app like Hootsuite or TweetDeck. You can find a list of all Twitter chats here. Joining and participating in a Twitter chat is easy. Not only do you get to talk with your industry peers, you get valuable insight and advice you can apply to your own blog or business. The general rule of the thumb is to respect any chat guidelines and, of course, be helpful without being overly promotional.
The way Twitter chat can help you drive traffic to your website is by knowing when to include a link to your own content. In almost every chat there are quite a few people who are always on the lookout for additional resources or advice on a given topic. You can and should reply to their question or offer advice by including their username and the chat hashtag. After you’ve sent out a tweet or two that answers their question send them a link to your post that answers their question more in-depth.
How to Leverage Pinterest to Increase Site Traffic
For many people, Pinterest is their main source of traffic. By now, I’m pretty sure you’ve done your due diligence when it comes to Pinterest: enabled rich pins for your website, installed the Pin it button, followed best practices when it comes to creating graphics for Pinterest, included your website link into your profile description… but how does all that translate into traffic?
The easiest way to drive traffic to your website from Pinterest is by making sure every image you pin from your website has a brief summary of what the pin and/or article is about. The summary needs to pique the interest of your target audience and should be followed up with a call to action to click through to read the rest of the post or to download a checklist or a free worksheet.
Sometimes a graphic, no matter how well designed, isn’t enough to get people to take action. That’s why you should take advantage of utilizing the description area to lead your target audience towards your desired goal: visiting your website.
How to Capitalize on Video
Video is big these days. Youtube is the second largest search engine on the internet. When you consider the fact that Youtube videos get indexed rather quickly in Google’s search engine it should come as no surprise that utilizing videos as a part of your marketing strategy can lead to a significant traffic increase.
So how do you take advantage of Youtube videos?
Tell People Exactly What to Do
By far, the easiest, yet the most often overlooked step is creating a great video and then not telling people what to do after they’ve watched it. At the end of each and every one of your videos, you need to specifically communicate what you want people to do and tell them why they should check out your website.
You can easily do this by including a sentence at the end of your videos that says something like: “Thanks for watching my video! To discover the seven ways to reduce stress visit my website http://www.notarealstresswebsite.com to get your hands on this powerful, 3-part video series right now.”
Optimize the Video Description Box
Whenever you upload a new video to Youtube you have the option to add a description of the content. To really take advantage of it, include a brief call to action at the beginning along with your website’s URL.
This URL then becomes a clickable link that video viewers will easily see under your video. Finish off your video description with a paragraph or two that goes more in depth about your content.
Add a Call-to-Action Overlay
The last tip to convert video viewers into highly targeted traffic is through a little-known YouTube feature called the Call-to-Action Overlay. Essentially, the overlay is a simple banner ad that sits at the bottom of your video.
Unlike the other methods on our list so far, it’s a paid method but one that can pay off rather quickly. To activate this little-known feature, you’ll need to start by signing up at Youtube Advertise and creating your first video ad campaign. You have full control over the copy, thumbnail image, and the desired destination you want to send users, which means you can send a highly-targeted audience right back to your website.
Other Online Methods of Increasing Website Traffic
We’ve covered how to optimize your site for increased traffic as well as how to optimize your social media profiles and posts. Now it’s time to talk about some other ways to give your page views a boost.
Using Social Currency
Among various social media sharing plugins, there are those which allow you to “charge” your site visitors for content with a simple like, tweet, follow, or share from the social network of your choice. This method works well when you offer downloadable content on your website such as a checklist, a PDF, a short ebook, or something similar.
Offer Generous Affiliate Commissions
A great way of boosting your site traffic and sales at the same time is by creating an affiliate program with generous commissions. The reason this works well is because your affiliates are taking over some of the promotion load by sharing the word about your product and pointing the people back to your site to make the actual purchase. With this method, you stand to gain a lot of new traffic and followers for all your current and future products down the line.
Answer a HARO Query
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out and it serves as a sourcing service in the English-speaking world, connecting journalists with relevant expert sources to meet journalists’ demanding deadlines and enable brands to tell their stories. Answering a pitch only takes a few minutes, and leads to great PR, high-quality inbound links, as well as referral traffic to your site.
Submit Answers on Quora
Quora is a great way to come up with blog topics when you run into writer’s block. On top of that, it’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Quora is filled with new questions on a daily basis and some of the questions sometimes go unanswered for a long period of time. You can sign up for email notifications on topics relevant to your niche and provide short and concise answers.
Then you can provide a more detailed answer in a blog post and update your answer to include the link.
Use Guest Blogging
Despite what many people say, guest blogging is not dead. However, there is a right way and the wrong way to do it. Guest posting on sites that are irrelevant to your niche is not only completely useless but can be seen as guest posting just for the sake of getting backlinks. Instead, focus on contributing quality posts to authority websites that are relevant to your blog’s topic and area of expertise and use it as a chance to establish yourself as an influencer.
While you’re at it, consider allowing guest posting on your own website as well. Not only does that lessen the load of constantly creating new content by yourself, it also opens up your blog to a new audience.
Contribute to a Well-Known Website
After you have a few guest posts published, try your luck with high-authority websites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, or Huffington Post. Similarly to guest-posting, having a piece of content published on one of those sites can really cause a spike in your traffic.
Write an eBook
You might think that writing an ebook has nothing to do with website traffic. However, a simple Kindle book can lead to a significant increase in your traffic. You can link directly to your website inside the book when you submit your book to Kindle Direct Publishing.
To get even more traffic and make sure you stand out, make your ebook a traffic magnet by including a free giveaway.
Host webinars or online workshop
People love to learn, and webinars are an excellent way to share your knowledge with your audience. When you combine webinars with a social media promotion campaign along with some clever email marketing, you can expect an increase in your website traffic.
Send out an email a few days before the webinar takes place, as well as a few last chance reminders on the day before the webinar as well as on the day of. Once the webinar is done, you can offer a replay for either a set amount of time (between 48-72 hours) or archive it and allow those who missed it to watch it whenever they want.
Interview industry thought leaders
Interviews are no longer restricted to people with huge following. The simple truth is that many people will be willing to talk to you if just ask them. Before starting your interview hunt though, take some time to establish a relationship with those you want to interview. Then send out emails requesting an interview to those who you consider to be the thought leaders in your industry. Finally, publish the interviews on your blog.
Don’t forget to notify interview subjects once the actual interview is live. Chances are the people who you interviewed will be willing to share the link to the interview with their tribe, thus exposing you to a new audience and boosting your credibility which leads to, you guessed it, more traffic.
Offline ways of increasing website traffic
Working with websites, it’s not uncommon to forget that there is a world outside the internet. And you might think that there is no way of promoting a website offline. But, you’d be wrong. Just because your website belongs in the digital realm, that doesn’t mean that some good old-fashioned promotion won’t work.
Sometimes, you can achieve great results by connecting your website with something tangible.
A few ways you can do this include:
- Put your site URL on business cards
- Create branded t-shirts
- Create branded posters
- Create branded postcards
- Take your blog posts, re-format them into a zine, and drop a pile off at your local coffee shop
- Have mugs made
- Have branded stationery or pens made
- Create a branded calendar
- Have keychains or door magnets made
To sum it up, find a way to create a physical experience for your potential target audience and don’t limit yourself to just one way.
But these aren’t the only ways to promote your website in the offline world. You can also:
Attend and Participate in Events
Check out your local Chamber of Commerce for meetups and events, or use Meetup to network with people from your industry. You can also attend a fair related to your industry.
If you aren’t a business blogger, see if there are any blogging conferences around your area and attend one. Events are a great way to build relationships with others who belong to the same niche or industry as you do. Make sure to have your business cards ready for such events with your website URL included.
Book a Speaking Gig
We all have a story, an experience, and knowledge to share. But most of us never capitalize on that. If you feel your experience can help others, format that into a short and powerful presentation. Pitch that idea to event organizers and chances are you will be presented at the event as the speaker. Prepare handouts for the event which include your website’s link.
As a bonus, record the gig via audio or video then upload it to Youtube or iTunes to share it across the web at a later date. This goes a long way toward establishing your authority and building an interested following.
Ask Your friends and Family for Help
If all of the above methods don’t appeal to you, you can always ask your friends and family for a little help. Tell them you have a website (if they don’t know about it) and mention how you’re trying to get more people to visit your website. Explain what your site is about and then ask your close friends and family to send your blog link to at least three people they think will find it valuable. If you do it correctly, it can provide a huge influx of new traffic. However, it’s one method that can backfire rather quickly if you do it too often, so use this method as a last resort.
Use Regular Mail Instead of Email
Finally, the last method on our list is the one that can quickly get expensive if you go overboard. But the point of this method is to do it occasionally for those who prove to be your most loyal followers/readers.
Choose one person who regularly visits your blog. Ask for their address and send them a Feel-Good package. This can include anything from your products, a special coupon code for your services, or something you know that they will enjoy like their favorite brand of chocolate or coffee. Include a personalized thank you message and you have just created a fan for life that will spread the word about you to almost everyone they know.
We’ve covered a lot today. While this list is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to increasing website traffic, I hope it gives you a nice starting point and inspires you to come up with even more ways of generating traffic for your own sites.
What are your favorite methods of increasing website traffic? Which ones from our list have you used?