We all want visitors to come to our sites to click, read, subscribe, buy, and so on. After all, traffic is the lifeblood of any online and offline business. When customers don’t appear in the amounts we desire, it has an adverse trickle-down effect on our sales and profits. Also, traffic is required to grow our brands and expand our reach.
Let’s discuss ways to increase traffic to your website. Also, many of these activities can be used to drive visitors to your products and services, even if they sit on third-party platforms like Amazon.
1) Develop a YouTube Channel
YouTube is a robust marketing platform and the second most visited site globally. YouTube offers high virality and followership potential. For example, Dollar Shave Club successfully grew their startup and exited (bought by Unilever) in part because of their exceptional YouTube marketing strategy. Thousands of businesses have benefited from implementing robust video marketing strategies.
Build it and they will come. My YouTube strategy is quite simple; combine excellent content with well-structured videos, and people will come to my website to discover more. There are many opportunities to highlight our websites on YouTube including:
- Cover art
- Link section and overlay
- About section
- Video description section
To get started or make improvements to your YouTube channel, you can read my post “9 YouTube Tips and Tricks for Newbies.”
2) Leverage Social Media
It’s one thing to have a profile on the different networks, but it’s another to optimize your presence. Facebook is the number one social media platform and still growing. Facebook has surpassed two billion month activity users (MAUs). Also, they have Instagram in their ecosystem, which is a hot commodity with 700M+ users. It’s critical to have an active personal profile on Facebook and a page if you want to build a brand and following. Twitter and LinkedIn have fallen behind, but they’re still important enough to weave into your social media activities. I don’t use Snapchat or Pinterest because their target markets don’t align with mine, but they’re major players too. I dropped Google+ when Alphabet indicated a change in direction away from it, but I’m sure it’s still useful to some.
There are four keys to a traffic generating profile on any platform:
- A high-resolution, appropriate, and inviting headshot, and note that your profile picture will appear in search results under “Images”
- A link to your website and I recommend avoiding spammy looking short links like bit.ly/buyme10
- A description or bio that is concise, high-level, meaningful, and easily decipherable
- A cover or background image that does something for you in either directing traffic or capturing attention with a value/mission statement or tagline
3) Pin an Enticing Post on Twitter
Every now and again I stumble upon pinned tweets, which are months old. This isn’t the approach to take because it projects a sense of user inactivity and visitors aren’t likely to click on dated posts.
The pinned post represents valuable real estate and to use it effectively, I update my pins at least twice a month with recent posts. I recommend that you keep your pinned posts updated and check back periodically to review engagement metrics such as the click-throughs, favorites, likes, and so on.
4) Incentivize Visitors
Most of my posts and tweets highlight what my blog is about, but occasionally I post an incentive to get users to click. For instance, “Giving away ten copies of my new book, Make Passive Income. Only two copies left.” Also, I’ve seen marketers promote contests and prizes to increase their click-through-rates. Use trigger and call-to-action words like “download,” “win,” and “get” in your posts/tweets to prompt users to visit your site.
5) Include Hashtags in Social Media Posts
Including at least one relevant hashtag in your posts should be mandatory. Adding popular hashtags has shown to increase click-through-rates. According to Buddy Media, “tweets with hashtags get double the engagement metrics that no hashtags get — but tweets with one or two hashtags have a 21% higher engagement than tweets with three or more.”
On Twitter, the goal is not to go hashtag crazy, but on Facebook and Instagram, I add up to 15 hashtags, which have yielded positive engagement results.
I use RiteTag to research trending hashtags before weaving them into my social media posts.
7) Include Images in Social Media Posts
Did you know that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without? Additionally, infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content.
Images have an impact and make a difference, which is why I tweaked my Twitter card settings from “Summary” to the “Summary large image” option (this option is available in the WordPress SEO plugin I use). Also, I plan the images I use on Facebook and for YouTube thumbnails.
6) Cross-Promote to a Different Audience
My Instagram account could similar to my other social media profiles, but I decided to make it different. How so? Instead of painting it with an online business and internet marketing brush, I went with a lifestyle, travel, and food theme to connect with a different demographic who can still benefit from the content on my site. For example, food bloggers might find my WordPress posts useful.
Be open to varied messaging and hashtags to broaden your horizons. More of the same isn’t always beneficial and can limit your reach.
8) Automate Your Content Marketing Activities
I’ve covered content marketing automation techniques and how these activities lead to being omnipresent on social media. The goal of automation is to promote yourself and content around the clock. The online environment is way too competitive to limit promotional activities to a few hours or few posts a day. For example, I use Hootsuite to automate 216 tweets a week, which consist of blog posts, videos, and related content from others. Also, by using a Twitter bot to like posts, I grow my followers easily. I view automation as a necessary process and investment to gain traffic, compete, and remain visible throughout a day.
9) Comment on Relevant Posts
An efficient way to get seen and heard is to post insightful and helpful comments on posts related to your target market. For example, I’ve commented on posts about online courses, WordPress plugins, and internet marketing. Most comment forms allow users to input their web addresses so that others can click-through to their websites.
10) Start a Facebook Group or Become an Admin
It remains one of the smartest things I’ve done to date; I launched a free online course Facebook group that has blossomed to 21,000 members. By owning this group, I control the narrative, content, and pinned post. I usually pin my latest blog post or YouTube video to attract a flurry of visitors.
Finding unique group ideas or themes that will lead to success isn’t easy. So, becoming a co-admin or moderator and gaining pin privileges is another option. When searching for an admin position, seek credible and well-managed groups to join. Spammy groups, irrespective of size, are of very little use.
11) Implement SEO Best Practices
Much of my focus during the first half of this year was to improve my SEO knowledge and skills. As a blogger, understanding SEO is vital to rank highly in organic search. Conversely, not having a firm grasp of SEO techniques results in working against yourself and many lost opportunities. I wrote about the top five ways to learn SEO and must say that taking a couple of online courses from Coursera has improved my efforts. I’ve gotten some of my posts to rank on the first page of Google search results, and I see positive results from several Google Webmaster search metrics.
12) Develop High Quality and Unique Content
I come across a lot of thin and useless content on the web. By thin content, I mean posts that are less than 200 words (you should aim for at least 300 words, by most accounts). By useless content, I’m referring to blogs that lack substance, originality, and perspective.
Knowing how much Google and other search engines appreciate high quality and unique content, my aim is to post write-ups of at least 2,000 words. Two thousand words are my target because several studies highlight that 2000-word pieces dominate search results. Google wants to showcase well-researched and high-quality content in its results. Given two excellent posts, it makes sense to give the lengthier post priority because it will likely provide more value to the reader.
I’m not suggesting that all of our posts need be 2,000 words or more, but where we can provide insightful and comprehensive posts, we should. Also, people favor sharing rich content, which can lead to even more traffic for you. While 300-word posts may be acceptable, I encourage you to up your game to 1,000–1,500-word-posts.
13) Blog and Post Consistently
Blogging is a powerful marketing activity that enables storytelling, knowledge sharing, value positioning, and more. I blog to grow my online business and reduce my dependency on online marketplaces such as Amazon and Udemy. In the short time that I’ve been blogging, I’ve grown my traffic to over 1,000 visitors a month. My goal is to exceed 5,000 visitors monthly by the end of next year.
I blog three to five times a month, which is fairly consistent and aligns with my objectives. On the other hand, posting once or twice a month may not cut it to solidify an audience and steady traffic. Also, publishing new content regularly is essential to increasing site traffic. You can check out these impressive stats on how often companies should blog.
14) Self-Publish an Ebook on Amazon
Amazon is a top ten visited site and leader in e-commerce. Additionally, they dominate the online market for books. When you’re an author on Amazon, there are multiple ways to drive traffic to your site.
- You can feature your web address and entice readers with a gift on the first page of your book. For example, “Click here to download my special YouTube report.”
- You can list your web address in the author bio section.
- With an Amazon Author Central page, you can connect your blog for increased visibility.
- No blog? No problem! Your author page allows for videos, which can be used to plug your website.
You can visit my author page to see how I’m using it to generate traffic to my site.
15) Self-Publish an Online Course
Similar to leveraging Amazon, you can publish an online course on a marketplace such as Skillshare or Udemy to drive traffic to your site. With Skillshare and Udemy, you can mention and add links to your website in your videos and from your profile page.
16) Share Content from Others Manually
Sharing is caring and sharing excellent content will increase your overall engagement metrics. For example, Hootsuite posted “34 Twitter Tools You Can Use in Your Marketing Strategy,” which I then posted manually. It received high engagement on their Twitter feed, so, I felt it was excellent content to reshare.
Naturally, promoting my content is priority number one, but layering in outstanding content from others indicates that I have a broader interest in helping individuals succeed. Also, it’s a fantastic way to diversify your content.
17) Share Content from Others Automatically
Hootsuite allows its users to automatically post articles from RSS feeds on their profiles, which is an awesome way to keep content flowing. I recently added several feeds to my Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and hashtags to get noticed.
18) Email Subscribers and Provide an RSS Feed
Emailing your subscribers about new posts and updates will prompt them to return to your site. Furthermore, enabling an RSS feed will allow users to receive updates concerning new posts. To boost your email click-through-rates, consider adding videos to your emails.
19) Participate in Live Events
Nothing is more authentic than live events on platforms such as Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, and others. I haven’t done any live events recently, but I did enjoy my experiences and engagements on Blab before they shut down. Recorded videos from live events can be recycled and used on your website and in emails, courses, and so on.
20) Conduct a Webinar
Organizing webinars used to be tricky and costly. Today, they’re much easier and affordable to execute. So forget costly platforms such as GoToWebinar and ClickMeeting. You can use YouTube Live (this replaced Google Hangouts) to host webinars for free. Read how to broadcast with YouTube Live or how to use Facebook Live.
People like attending webinars because they’re informative and live. The live factor allows webinar hosts to demonstrate their knowledge and interact in real-time. Also, webinars are amazing for list building purposes. If you have a WordPress website, here’s how to create a webinar funnel using YouTube Live for your webinar.
21) Create an App
I’m on the fence about creating an app for this site since I consider myself to be a part-time blogger (three to five posts monthly), but I didn’t want to exclude this option for full-time bloggers. We can all appreciate the relevance of apps in our lives, and smartphones are go-to devices for millions of people. The first thing I do most mornings is check my phone and apps before turning on my laptop. Turning your blog into an app is a step-by-step process, which can lead to attracting app-centric users. While many people won’t learn about you through other marketing channels and search, they may discover you through your app.
22) Use Bots and Automated Messages
Bots are popping up everywhere. I’ve come across bots on Facebook, Messenger, and Skype. “Bot” is a generalized term used to describe any software that automates a task. Chatbots, which anyone can now build into Facebook Messenger, automate conversation. For example, if I make a purchase through a company’s Facebook page, a chatbot could send me a message of thanks along with details of my order. Bots can be set up to provide customer service, virtual assistance, real-time information, and so forth.
What bots are to social media and apps, autoresponders are to email marketing. In both cases, you can automate messages to inform and direct people to your website, products, and services. For instance, when you sign up to my email list, you’ll receive a sequence of automated messages regarding my books and online business tools.
23) Guest Blog and Get Interviewed
These are not activities I focus on, but many others swear by them. By guest blogging and getting interviewed, you gain access to someone else’s audience and readership base. It’s important to focus on opportunities with established and credible bloggers rather than anyone and everyone. For instance, doing a guest post on a site that receives one hundred unique visitors a month could be a waste of your time.
24) Ask Your Network to Help Promote Your Content
Sharing content can be a two-way street and sometimes you need to ask. Similar to how guest blogging is a relationship marketing approach, so too is asking others to promote your content. Perhaps striking a deal to promote content mutually or paying to have content shared, one-time or recurring, can be an effective way to expand your marketing horizons. If you have folks in your network with a similar message, consider leveraging them to amplify your reach.
25) Create a Referral or Affiliate Program
I send traffic to websites such as Thrive Themes, and TransferWise because I use their services and receive commissions through their referral and affiliate programs. I promote these companies on my site, YouTube, and through social media. If you sell products and services, an affiliate program could increase your visitor count and yield additional sales opportunities.
26) Pay for Ads
Free marketing activities are always popular with website owners, but there’s something to be said about the effectiveness of paid advertising. Whether it’s Facebook, Google AdWords, or another medium; creating an effective ad campaign can produce an excellent return on investment (ROI).
27) Speak at an Event
Speaking at an event is an offline activity, but many people will follow up by visiting your website. Also, giving business cards will lead people back to you.
28) Attend Networking and Social Events
Networking events labeled as “networking events” with a bunch of non-VIPs running around isn’t what you’re after (been there, done that). After attending several business card free-for-alls, I pivoted to attending paid and exclusive events relating to fundraising and galas. My aim was to mingle with established professionals who had status, influence, and money. This activity is perfect for those in client-oriented and service businesses.