If you opened up a brick-and-mortar store in the middle of nowhere and never told anyone about it, would you be surprised when you don’t make a single sale?
The same goes for your website; if you build it, they won’t come, unless you help them find it. But how to increase web traffic without shelling out big bucks?
Using these ten creative strategies will help you build an online map that ensures you increase web traffic from every available source.
Section 1: How To Increase Web Traffic With Blogging
You’re reading this right now, aren’t you? That means this blog post has effectively brought you to our site. Now it’s your turn to do the same – over and over again.
But how to create the right blog that brings in the traffic that matters? Be interesting, have something to say, and optimize everything you can.
1. Be The Most Interesting Blogger In The Room
Finding an interesting and attention-grabbing way to hook your readers will get them excited to read what you have to say – and will keep their eyes glued to the screen. Find a story, an anecdote, or even a metaphor to use as a structural tool for your post, which will help your readers stay engaged for longer. We recently used the concept of slimming down for summer to create this post about cleaning up PPC strategies:
This engagement also matters for your search rankings – Google factors in a little-known metric called “dwell time,” encompassing SERP click-throughs, bounce rate, and session length. This metric matters for Google because it shows that your site has worthwhile content that people are actually engaging with – the ultimate goal, after all.
2. Devise Topics Around Traffic
If the goal of your blog is to help drive traffic, skip the boring, technical posts for more universally-appropriate topics. Of course, you want your topics to be related to your industry, but don’t be afraid to reach out for related areas for topic ideas – the more eyes you can draw in, the more chances you have for conversions. One of the best chances you have for your posts to go viral and really bring in the most traffic is to relate them to topical news or buzzworthy stories. Google Trends is a great place to start, as it offers currently trending topics broken down by category and even country.
BuzzSumo serves a similar purpose with a bit more options for data filtering. See what topics have been most shared, most read, what type of content was the most popular, and even compare with topics from the same time last year to help formulate interesting post ideas.
3. Make It Visual
Once you have the written content for your posts, it’s time to add in the right imagery. People’s attention spans are getting shorter every year – while you had 12 seconds of attention in 2000 to work with, the average attention span in 2015 was a mere 8.25 seconds. It took you longer than that to read the previous sentence.
Images and video content can also help break up text for longer posts. Try and use images for every 350 words of written text to give your readers a breather.
4. It’s All About The Title
One of the most effective ways to use your blog to increase web traffic is to have strong titles. Sounds like the easiest part of the process, but really, the right titles take some work. You want them to be short enough that they don’t get cut off on SERP displays, so it’s recommended to make them around 8 to 12 words total. This optimizes the length for social media displays as well, letting your title do the hard work of getting readers to click through.
Tried-and-true title strategies include generating controversy, asking a question, using relevant or topical references, and being creative with word play, when all else fails.
Section 2: How To Increase Website Traffic With A Diverse Online Presence
The ultimate goal of your online presence is to drive users to your site. Therefore, you have to be where all of your potential customers are. In 2016, that means social media is your best friend.
5. Be A Social Butterfly
Social media is a great way to increase website traffic because it is all about the conversation. When you plant the seed in short-format social media that you have something important to say, people are going to want to visit your site to find out more. Share your blog posts but also come up with specific content for social media that ensures you have an active presence. That last part is key: social success will only come from an active presence. With experts recommending five to ten Facebook posts a week, three to five posts a day on Twitter, and at least one Instagram post a day, you’ll have your hands full staying on top of all of your networks. Use a social media calendar to ensure you have the right mix of content and plenty of posts scheduled to keep activity levels up. Fill out all profiles completely, as these are a great chance to use keywords and share company information.
6. Present Content In New Formats
Using social media correctly gives you the opportunity to take one topic or piece of content and share it in diverse formats. Publish your blog posts to LinkedIn, and take advantage of SlideShare. This platform allows you to transform your content into slides, keeping the information presented direct and to the point. You can add in images, graphics, and visuals to keep users engaged, and the bonus? You’ll always have a presentation ready to go if you need it.
7. Go Where Your Consumers Are
Managing your social media presence effectively takes a lot of time and resources, and you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Trying to be in all places at once will eventually start to impact the quality of the content you are posting and your ability to meaningfully engage with your followers. That’s why it is important to strategically choose which social media platforms you participate on. Identify which platforms are most popular in your target market, and spend your time producing content and engaging with users on these platforms. This will help improve your ability to have a significant impact on these platforms, which in turn will help you bring more traffic back to your website.
8. Get Active in the Comments Section
Being active on social media goes beyond just sharing valuable content with your followers. You need to work on starting a conversation. Not only does this show that you are engaged with your consumers and care about their thoughts, it can also help you get to know your consumers on a more personal level and gain valuable insight into their wants, needs, and motivations. One of the best ways to communicate with your followers on social media is in the comments section. When people comment on your posts with ideas or questions, you can leave meaningful responses that help create a better user experience.
Section 3: How To Increase Website Traffic With Paid Advertising
While there are plenty of free ways to drive traffic to your site, paid advertising will be one of the fastest and most targeted ways of getting your content out to your audience. The caveat when it comes to using paid advertising to boost your traffic? You’ll have to be careful that you’re not spending too much money on what turn out to be nominal returns.
9. Make Your Ads Stand Out
No matter what you’re selling, if your ad isn’t interesting, you won’t get the conversion rate you want. An effective ad makes someone have to click through to find out more. Two major elements will go into your ad: your copy, and an image or graphic. To be most effective at making your ad stand out, understand what your competitors are doing. Not only can you learn something about effective language, but you can figure out what their ads are lacking – and take over their dominant spot.
10. Hone Your Targeting
To increase website traffic that matters, you want your ads to be seen by your ideal customers, and using targeting is the best way to get your content in front of the right eyes. Start with formulating buyer personas, which flesh out who your ideal customer is, what they do for fun, where they work, and any other information that will help you identify your consumer demographics. Then, set up your ads to reach people who meet your criteria. Reach out to your local audience with ads that are tailored to location.
11. Use Different Ad Platforms
When it comes to advertising, you want to choose the ad platforms that will provide you the biggest reach in your target market. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to focus on just one ad platform. PPC ads are great for reaching search engine users, but don’t forget about outlets like Facebook ads. If your target market is spending a considerable amount of time on places like Facebook then it might be worthwhile to test some ads on this platform as well.
12. A/B Test Your Ads
Every time that you run an ad, you are spending money. If you want to get the most out of your ad spend, it is important that you optimize your ads for increased website traffic. A/B test your ads to identify the best headlines, body copy, images, and CTAs. Once you find a winning combination, you’ll be on your way to increasing website traffic.
Section 4: How To Increase Website Traffic By Building A Community
In 2016, influencers are in. Throughout social media platforms, there are “experts” in each industry who have massive followers who regularly engage with them.
How can you become part of this community? Start engaging.
Influencers are a huge opportunity to increase website traffic. They have large audiences, and so by sharing your content with their community, you have access to even more eyes. Everything from links on their sites to social media mentions will get more visitors to your site.
13. Have Guest Bloggers (Or Be A Guest Blogger)
Guest blogging is an easy way to share your knowledge while gaining access to a new audience. If you are interested in guest blogging, find a site that welcomes posts from others, and reach out with a pitch. Do your research, so you understand the blog’s audience, voice, and the topics they’ve covered, so you can bring a fresh perspective that will attract their readers.
The same is true for having others guest post on your blog. Reach out to influencers and start building relationships, so that when you ask them to contribute to your site they will understand your platform and brand in a more comprehensive way.
14. Become an Influencer
Your goal should be to become an influential voice in your field if you’re not already. This will come through having an active blog, being communicative on social media, and finding opportunities to share your knowledge. To do so, you’ll need to have your finger on the pulse of the industry, and make sure that all of your content is designed to be helpful.
15. Interview Thought Leaders in the Industry
One way to show your online community that you are up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry is by interviewing industry thought leaders. Though you may ultimately want to become an influencer yourself, you’ve got to start somewhere. Interviewing big names in your industry will help you boost credibility and increase traffic to your website in the meantime.
Many influencers and thought leaders are willing to chat if you just ask. Reach out to them through email, by phone, or on social media to see if they would be willing to take an interview. You can then publish this interview on your blog, and repurpose pieces of it in other content. For instance, you might take quotes from the interview to support your own ideas on other blog posts or create video content that relays the top takeaways from the interview.
16. Use LinkedIn to Unlock a New Audience
Previously, we mentioned publishing content on LinkedIn and taking advantage of SlideShare’s visual format. Not only does LinkedIn provide another platform for you to share content, but it also allows you to connect with others in your industry. Join groups on LinkedIn to start or participate in conversations about your industry. This helps you establish credibility while also giving you an opportunity to network with others.
Section 5: How to Increase Website Traffic by Boosting SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a vital part of bringing more visitors to your site. The better optimized your content is for search engines, the easier it will be for users to find you when they need you.
17. Keep an Eye on On-Page SEO
Look at all aspects of your on-page SEO to ensure that your pages are optimized for search engines. From creating better meta descriptions to making sure all of your images include alt text, it’s important to pay attention to all aspects of your on-page SEO in order to improve your search engine rankings and increase your online exposure.
18. Implement Schema
Though implementing schema or microdata will not necessarily instantly boost traffic to your website, it makes it easier for search engines to find and index your pages, which in turn makes it easier for consumers to find you online. In the end, schema not only helps more consumers find you, it helps ensure that the traffic coming to your site is more relevant, which is ultimately what improves conversion rates.
19. Find Opportunities to Link Internally
Backlinks are an important part of your link profile, but did you know that internal linking can also impact your SEO? When you publish content, look out for opportunities to link to other relevant internal content. This can help boost SEO efforts, but it also provides a better user experience, which in the end will help you bring more traffic back to your site.
20. Target Long-Tail Keywords
In addition to targeting high commercial intent keywords, you should also be looking at long-tail keywords. These keyword phrases account for most web searches, and the competition for these keywords is much lower than those with high commercial intent. Make sure that you are creating targeted content around these keywords as well.
Section 6: How to Increase Website Traffic with Effective Website Design
Your content is not the only thing that needs to be optimized. Did you know that your website design can also impact your search engine result page rankings? Not to mention that the design of your site has a big impact on the customer experience.
21. Implement Responsive Site Design
In today’s digital marketplace, mobile-friendly website design is no longer optional. As more and more consumers are using their mobile devices to get online and look up information, it’s important that you make sure your website design is responsive. Mobile users should be able to be access, view, and navigate your site from any device. In addition to site design, consider image and text sizes to ensure that the site not only loads quickly, but that mobile users are able to read the information on each page.
22. Pay Attention to Site Speed
In today’s fast-paced world, most people do not have the time or patience to wait 30 seconds for a page to load. In fact, people may just move on to a different company’s site if your web pages do not load quickly. Not only do load times affect the user experience, but site speed can also impact your search ranking. Make sure that your site design and pages are optimized. This includes the page structure and image file sizes as well as third-party plugin functionality.
23. Make Sure Site is Easy to Navigate
Site navigation is an important part of the user experience, and thus making your site easy to navigate is vital to boosting web traffic. If your website is difficult to navigate, most users will move on to another site in a matter of moments. Be mindful of what information is included in your navigational bar as well as how you link to other pages throughout your site. The key is to make it as easy as possible for users to find the information they need.
24. Consider the Customer Journey
One way that you can increase website traffic is by taking the customer journey into consideration when designing your site. Different users will need different types of information depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey. Keep this in mind as you design a home page that is aimed at directing visitors to the information they need most.
Section 7: How to Increase Website Traffic with Email Marketing
Though there are many ways to reach your audience online, email marketing remains an effective marketing strategy. In fact, according to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than some social media platforms. Not only is email marketing still relevant, but it can help you boost website traffic when done correctly.
25. Start with Engaging Subject Lines
With all of the emails floating around in a consumer’s inbox, you have about 3 seconds to make an impression and encourage them to open your email. That’s why it is vital that you create engaging subject lines that not only catch the reader’s attention but also let them know what they are going to see inside. Asking a relevant and thought provoking question is a good way to intrigue the reader and entice them to open your email.
26. Personalization Goes a Long Way
When it comes to getting people to open and read your emails, personalization can go a long way. In fact, according to Aberdeen, personalized email messages can improve click-through rates by 14% on average and conversions by 10%. Personalization goes beyond just using the reader’s name in the subject line or greeting. Segmenting your email lists to create specialized groups can help you deliver more relevant and targeted content to your email subscribers.
27. Conduct A/B Testing
If you want to find ways to bring in more website traffic from your email marketing, it is important that you A/B test your emails. This allows you to see what type of messaging and which offers bring more visitors to your site from your emails. Test your subject lines, personalization options, content offerings, promotional content, and even images to see which bring more traffic back to your site. Use what you learn to optimize your email marketing campaigns.
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