Regardless of your industry or product, we all want to increase the amount of traffic to our website. Right? After all, more visitors usually means more sales.
But what happens when you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall in terms of website traffic?
The easiest way to increase website visitors is to pay-to-play. You can buy ads on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter to send more targeted traffic. You can also pay Google to appear in the search results more often.
But money does not grow on trees and this model is not always sustainable.
If the number of visitors to your website has plateaued, I feel your pain.
Here are some ways to increase the number of visitors to your website which don’t require a huge budget.
1. Business Listings
Sites like Foursquare, Google, Yelp, and Yellow Pages are great for driving more people to your website.
Several years ago, HubSpot published a list of 50 local business directories to submit your business listing to. Check it out.
These links will not help you for SEO purposes, since many of the actual hyperlinks are ‘no-follow’, but they still generate a great amount of human traffic (let’s not forget, humans click on links, too)
2. Create a Slideshare
Slideshare, a service now owned by LinkedIn, is a like a traffic firehose.
The service allows you to upload presentations (think about that PowerPoint presentation that you made last quarter for the talk you gave at the local Chamber).
Visual marketing and corporate storytelling are huge this year (and will be for the next several years), having engaging slide decks on SlideShare will drive your targeted audience back to your website and increase your reach.
If you need some inspiration, here are some examples of great PowerPoint or Slideshare designs.
There is a huge demand for video content right now. In fact, video posts generally out-perform text and image-based updates on Facebook.
Moreover, most modern smartphones are packing a high-quality video camera anyway.
Use your smartphone to record a series of videos answering common questions your customers have. Upload to your blog, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook (side note: upload the video directly to Facebook, it will get more reach than simply sharing a link to the video from another service).
4. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is writing content for another website in your industry. Just like you and your website, other brands are struggling to generate relevant content.
Contact the owners of a complementary website and offer to write a high-quality blog post for them. Don’t be overly promotional (respect their audience and their platform). Again, you won’t get a ton of SEO benefit, but you will get exposure to their readers and benefit from that cross-promotion.
5. Interview Other Experts
Chances are, you know other folks in your industry with an expertise or specialty.
Interview them and post the transcript on your website.
6. Blog On Your Own Site
Blogging — that is, regularly publishing high-quality content — on your own website is absolutely, without-reservation the best way to attract visitors to your website.
Blogging works because search engines are always looking for the best possible content for their customers — the searchers. Search engines love fresh content that is relevant to a specific topic. By publishing this on your site, you are signaling to the search engines that you are an authority on that particular topic.
7. Evaluate Your Message
Visitors are always asking WIIFM: “What’s In It For Me?”
If you have some traffic coming to your website, but are not converting them into known leads (growing your email list, for example), then it is likely that you are not “speaking their language” and providing a clear unique proposition for them.
Be very intentional about your language — and use words, terms, and phrases that your ideal audience will connect with.
8. Experiment with Pay-Per-Click
Facebook and Google offer incredible pay-per-click programs. You can set a either a daily budget or a campaign budget and your ads will be shown to your selected audience.
For as little as $5 per day, you can see how your message resonates with your intended audience and adjust accordingly.
I usually see website traffic increase almost instantly when running pay-per-click ads.
9. Social Media
Social media is a great “outpost” for your brand. It should be used for listening to the needs and frustrations of your ideal customers — not for self-promotion (there is a place for that, but that is in another article). Focus first on developing a relationship with your followers, ask questions, answer their questions, be helpful, and always be looking for ways to make their lives easier.
My article on social listening has a ton of how-to tips on using Twitter to “listen” for folks who need you.
10. Website Analytics
Install a free analytics tool like Google Analytics to start tracking where your existing visitors are coming from, what content is most popular, and how visitors are interacting with your site. This will give you key insights on what your audience is craving — publish more of that.
Bonus: Make Several Pieces of Content from One Idea
Don’t fall into the trap of using your content only once! Members of your audience consume content in different ways, from video to podcasts and infographics to text, be creative by re-purposing your content.
If you interview a partner within your industry, host the interview on Skype or Google Hangouts and record the video and audio.
Pull out key quotes from the interview and schedule them as Tweets with a link back to the edited transcript on your blog. Hire a graphic designer to apply those quotes to an non-stock photo and share on Instagram or Facebook. You can also use a service like Canva.
Next, save just the audio of the interview and make it available for offline listening.
If the interview is especially long, break it into multiple parts and publish them over time. Assuming you publish 1-2 blog posts per week, this will give you content for your blog for 2 weeks.
As you can see, it is entirely possible to generate 10-20 pieces of content from just one interview:
- 6-10 Tweets of quotes from the interview
- 6-10 images with text to publish on Instagram or Facebook
- 1-2 part video segments
- 1-2 blog posts with a text version of the interview
- 1 downloadable audio file for offline listening
- 1 Slideshare presentation recapping the interview
While the technical aspects of search engine optimization have changed over the years, the principles have not. If you continually optimize for your human visitors and establish yourself as a knowledgable authority in your field, you will see an increase in website traffic.
Remember, Rome was not built in a day. Neither will your online empire; but with any combination of these tips, you will attract more traffic to your website.