Table of contents:
Step inside for 7 tried and tested ways to drive traffic to your site. By the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to achieve your goals.
Looking for a shortcut to drive more traffic to your website?
Want a cheat code to transform your domain into a page-one money-making machine?
In an ideal world, that’s all it’d take. But, sadly, increasing the amount of traffic reaching your website takes a lot more work. And commitment. And strategizing.
But with the right approach, there’s a near-constant chance of someone finding their way to your site, whether directly or indirectly.
Every. Single. Second.
You want to boost your visibility and take your business website — be it brand-new or an established domain in need of a boost — higher up the SERPs. You want to draw fresh visitors to your brand, engage them and convert them into paying customers.
The trick to success lies in knowing:
- Where to find your target consumers
- How to engage them
- What it takes to bring them to your website
- When they’re likely to convert
- Why they’ll become repeat customers and stay loyal
Now, if you’re new to the prospect of inbound marketing, this all may seem confusing. We know how daunting it can be. After all, we were novices once upon a time, too.
That’s why we’ve put our heads together and created this guide for aspirational readers just like you.
And, by the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to achieve your goals.
1. The Power of Content Marketing: What it is, How it Works and Why it’s So Important to Your Strategy
Content. Marketing. Two simple words.
But put them together and you have one of the most effective, vital techniques for driving traffic to your site.
Content marketing revolves around creating and distributing content designed to capture attention. That’s basically it.
But while it sounds simple, there’s so much more at play than you might imagine.
It’s not just about putting content out there for the masses. You can’t just throw anything and everything against a wall to see what sticks.
A good content marketing strategy demands a focus on:
We simply cannot over-emphasize how important these four words are when planning your content marketing campaign.
But, sadly, not enough businesses take content seriously enough. Sure, they may publish a blog post twice a month, but they don’t formulate a cast-iron plan.
In fact, research shows a jaw-dropping 63 percent of companies don’t actually have a documented strategy for their content. Ouch.
Every brand looking to increase the amount of traffic to its website, grow its audience and establish a loyal customer-base must put a well-planned content marketing campaign into action.
What types of valuable content should you be creating?
- Blog posts
- Visual content (presentations, infographics, etc.)
- Premium content
- Case studies
- White papers
Now, let’s be clear. You don’t have to be working on every one of these for your content marketing campaign to be effective. Finding time to write, record and produce a podcast (for example) can be a challenge for even the most tech-savvy, lucrative businesses.
But a combination of a few can still set you off in the right direction. Let’s take a closer look at each type:
Blog posts are awesome. And here are two key stats that demonstrate just how awesome:
- Businesses publishing blog posts tend to receive 97 percent more links than those that don’t
- Blogs are considered the fifth most-trusted source of accurate information online
As you can see, there’s ample reason to embrace blog posts. Generally, companies should aim to blog as often as possible, though even publishing a post once or twice per week is enough to generate real results.
The key thing with blog posts is to offer the reader something of value.
It may be a how-to guide, a news update on products/services/industry events, an opinion piece or almost anything else. But it has to have a point beyond simply promoting your brand.
And remember: the more compelling, engaging and informative a blog post is, the more likely people are to share it across social media. Integrate social buttons on the same page as your posts so readers can share it with just a click or two.
Visual content — such as infographics, charts, slideshow presentations — can be integrated into blog posts or published as standalone pieces.
Either way, it’s more immediate: the human brain has the capacity to process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Needless to say, infographics, presentations and other forms of visual content should be:
- Easy to share
- Informative (or entertaining, depending on its purpose)
Good visual content has real potential to go viral. And that means more traffic heading your way.
How many videos do you watch online each week?
Well, if you’re like 45 percent of people, you consume over an hour’s worth of videos on Facebook or YouTube — every single week. Not bad when videos lasting no more than two minutes achieve the highest rates of engagement.
More than 500 million hours of YouTube videos are watched daily and 87 percent of online marketers leverage video content, too. And that’s not surprising when it can lead to a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engine results pages.
Videos should be available on business websites and YouTube channels. But again, the key word is value: aim for well-produced, concise videos offering the viewer useful information in exchange for their time (no matter how brief).
Your basic blog posts should be free. Your basic videos should be free, too.
But you can still take advantage of gated content to encourage conversions.
Gated content is exactly as it sounds: content placed behind a ‘gate’. And anyone who wants to unlock it can do so for a fair swap — usually their name and email address.
For example, visitors might be invited to submit their details in exchange for a lengthy ebook or an exclusive tutorial video.
Whatever the specifics, gated content can help to capture more leads and gather information to help you segment customers based on their interests (it’s not hard to identify what interests users have if they download your ‘cake-baking masterclass’ or ‘50 must-know PPC tips’ ebooks).
The humble case study is a must for helping to drive traffic to your site.
Because case studies are a simple way to demonstrate how your business solves problems for customers.
How did your brand’s products or services equip that local restaurant with what it needed to bring more diners through its doors?
What results did your expertise achieve for that growing startup?
Research is a key part of the customer journey now, for online and offline purchases (82 percent of consumers check for social proof before parting with their cash). Case studies are just one way you can build credibility, demonstrate authority and earn trust.
White papers are considered one of the most valuable options for generating leads by more than half of businesses questioned for a survey.
What is it that makes them so effective?
As with case studies, white papers help you earn consumers’ trust and showcase your business’s thought-leadership.
White papers should be focused on providing value and educating the reader, rather than stuffing thinly-veiled ads throughout. White papers offer you the opportunity to conduct original research and position yourself as a go-to resource for accurate information, rather than yet another business regurgitating the same tired data.
You can truly say something original and attract attention with a well-written, accessible white paper.
Much of the above applies to e-books, too. These are typically longer than white papers, but should be dedicated to high-value information — not endless plugs for your brand.
You can repurpose existing content for ebooks, provided you expand on it and increase its value. Provide snippets from your ebooks on your website and social accounts, to increase interest.
If you can engage readers and position your business as an expert, your ebook could help drive solid traffic to your site.
Here’s a shameless plug to our ebook section with tons of guides to help you grow your business.
Podcasts are big business. Companies invested almost $500m on podcast advertising throughout 2018, and more than 30 percent of Americans listen to podcasts every month.
Creating a podcast may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually easier than you may think. Smartphones are capable of recording sound well enough to achieve crisp audio, while free editing software such as GarageBand and Audacity boast quality production features (there’s a handy list here to help you get started).
Podcasts are an effective alternative/complement to videos and help you forge a stronger bond with your audience. It’s as if the listener is sitting at a table with you while your experts discuss new/upcoming products, industry news and more.
2. Paid Advertising: Putting Your Business Above Others
With paid advertising, your business is buying space in which to promote your products or services on a search engine results page (SERP) or social network. You see them most times you Google something or browse Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Paid advertising is a huge source of income for Google, accounting for around 96 percent of its revenue. Google AdWords is one of the biggest advertising platforms, offering businesses a huge variety of options to boost relevance and targeting-efficiency.
Several types of paid advertising are available, including:
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads appear at the top of search engine results pages, above others displayed based on organic ranking factors. These are placed according to the advertisers’ bid amounts, Quality Score and more.
PPC advertising caters to companies of different scales and budgets, with diverse bidding options to choose from. This flexibility helps you control your spending and minimize expenses that may rack up in alternative formats. You can adjust costs in response to fluctuating results, too.
With PPC campaigns, you only pay for clicks rather than the display, and you can position your business in front of users more clearly than if your organic results appear lower on SERPs.
Display ads include banners and videos. They appear on sites included in Google’s Display Network, on specific areas of a page (usually the top or sides, though it’s common to see them placed between paragraphs of text, too).
Display ads can be targeted to focus on certain audience segments, built from your own list of contacts if need be (via Google’s Customer Match feature). Well-made display ads engage with consumers on pages as they’re watching videos or reading articles, helping to drive traffic to your site in a non-intrusive way.
Social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
More than 2.6bn people across the globe use social media — and this is expected to top 3bn by 2021.
That makes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other leading platforms fertile ground for boosting brand awareness.
Each of these major networks incorporates its own advertising tools for businesses, allowing you to target prospective and existing customers alike with relevant ads.
Your ads will appear on users’ feeds as they scroll through posts, but it’s vital to create ads that really stand out. There’s a wealth of competition in all sectors, so creativity and maximizing relevance to your ideal customers is fundamental.
Retargeting empowers companies with a way to reconnect with consumers who engaged with your website or app, yet failed to convert. It serves as a reminder if they still have products in their cart and grows brand awareness, helping to drive users back to your site or app.
Video ads play on YouTube and partner sites, with multiple formats available (in-stream, non-skippable, Outstream, etc.). They provide a more dynamic, immediate and immersive way to sell your brand, products or services within just a few seconds.
Do they work? The numbers speak for themselves:
- More than half of consumers engage with a business after they watch just one video on their social media page (up to 66 percent for millennials)
- A massive 93 percent of companies have secured a new customer due to their social videos
It’s worth waiting until you can create high-quality videos before venturing into this area of advertising, though.
Slick, polished ads convey professionalism and credibility, while poor ones can damage prospects’ perception of your business within seconds.
Don’t rush into producing marketing videos until you’re ready.
3. Influencer Marketing and Social Media: Forging Valuable Connections that Make an Impact
We’ve all heard the term ‘influencer’ by now. But while it may conjure images of reality-television stars earning millions of dollars for promoting their favorite lip gloss or fashion designer on Twitter, there’s far more to it.
For one thing, not all influencers are celebrities. Far from it.
For example, YouTube creators with large fan bases have proven to be four times as effective at increasing brand familiarity than celebrities, and just as effective in influencing purchase decisions.
Influencers don’t have to be YouTube stars with millions of followers and international sponsorship deals — they can be ‘ordinary’ people.
But they do need:
- A large group of followers on social media
- A respected blog, video channel or website with the power to be a valuable marketing tool for your business
The Dunkin’ Donuts Strategy
One solid example of influencer marketing done right is Dunkin’ Donuts’ strategy to capitalize on National Donut Day. This well-known brand worked with eight influencers on SnapChat across the US, each of whom posted content designed to drive their followers to a local branch.
And it worked. Dunkin’ Donuts’ SnapChat account secured ten times the number of followers it would typically earn in one month in just one day instead.
There are other great examples out there proving that influencer marketing campaigns can be powerful additions to your marketing strategy and drive traffic to your site.
The Importance of Research, Planning and Strategizing
Influencer marketing isn’t the same as handing a celebrity a wad of cash and asking them to plug your business in an explicit manner.
It’s a little more complex. Influencers are people with expertise and/or authority in a specific area, with a circle of loyal followers.
These people rely on trust to keep their readers/viewers/customers satisfied. If they clearly promote goods or services that are irrelevant to themselves or their audience, this trust may be compromised.
That’s why an effective influencer-marketing campaign demands a smart, well-researched strategy. Businesses must find influencers with a lot of authority and credibility in a relevant area — not just the biggest name in a tenuous (or even totally unconnected) field.
Because that’s the only way to ensure your alliance will bring your brand to the attention of an audience likely to take an interest in your products or services. Said audience has placed its trust in the influencer and, as a result, will view their partnership with your business as an endorsement.
A failure to deliver on that faith has the potential to damage the influencer’s reputation and scupper their hard work. Companies should invest time and research into finding influencers best-suited to their mission, profile and target customers.
Set Your Price, Establish Your Goals
Another key consideration for any business looking to enter into a partnership with an influencer is budgeting. How much can you afford to pay and how often? And, crucially, what is your limit?
It’s no good having an open-ended agreement. You must remember the impact of the influencer’s involvement could be far bigger than you expect. This would be fantastic for your business, of course, but you could end up with an influencer who feels their name is worth more than you originally believed.
Work out a clear strategy for your influencer marketing and only put the campaign into action once you know exactly what you’re doing. Especially if this is uncharted territory for your company.
Approaching an Influencer
So, you’ve researched your options. You know your goals. The time has come to contact one or more influencers to kick-start the scheme.
But there are a few points to keep in mind:
- Does the influencer have a good record for engaging followers and driving interest in other businesses they may have partnered with in the past?
- Does the influencer’s audience respond well to their posts when they mention a company, or does it seem to alienate them?
- Has the influencer worked with businesses like your own before or are they likely to be out of their depth, too?
Think about these questions and try to answer them before you reach out to the influencer. It’s vital to know as much as you can about people you plan to work with, especially if they’re not the biggest name in their field.
Top influencers have more to lose with a partnership than amateurs — and so have more reason to do things right. They’ll want to handle their involvement carefully and likely do as much research into your brand as you have into them.
If you lay the foundations well enough, you could build a successful influencer-marketing campaign that drives valuable traffic to your site, earns credibility and exposes your business to a whole new audience.
4. Guest Posting: Building Brand Awareness, Visibility and a Diversified Audience
Guest posting (AKA guest blogging) is a common technique for driving traffic to your site.
What is it? Here’s a concise (yet helpful) summary.
Guest posting refers to the practice of creating a post for a blog outside your business or organization, as a guest.
This simple process has the power to help you:
- Secure new followers
- Attract attention from a wider audience
- Gain valuable links
- Build authority
- Forge mutually-beneficial relationships with other brands/organizations/content creators
Placing your guest post on the right site gives you an outstanding opportunity to receive a link back from an established, popular, high-authority website. And as good links are a key ranking factor for Google’s indexing, a successful guest post can help to propel your brand higher up the SERPs.
Research shows more than half of people view blogs with multiple writers behind the scenes as more credible, so websites can definitely benefit from hosting guest posts — including your own. (Other credibility-boosting factors named in the research include quality content, regular publication and good design.)
How? Because welcoming a guest writer aboard your business’s or organization’s site means their followers have a reason to visit your domain. The author will bring their own audience over and, hopefully, win you some fresh prospects to convert.
And, likewise, having a member of your own team (or a writer acting on your brand’s behalf) publish a post on an established blog or website brings your business to the existing reader-base. You can include links to your site and a brief description in the bio section, showing anyone interested exactly how to find more on your brand.
Links may be incorporated into the body of the post itself, provided the anchor text is natural and not forced. Deviating from the crux of the post to shoehorn a link to your new line of hats or phone cases isn’t just blatant — it detracts from the post’s readability, too.
Making Guest Posting Work
The trick is, of course, to write a good post. Nobody’s going to click a link back to your site to buy your products if you the content’s poor. As with any type of content your business or organization creates, guest posts must offer value to the consumer.
But a reputable blogger or business which has worked hard to build an audience and gain trust will be careful about who they allow to publish a post on their site. It’s a similar situation to influencer marketing: working with a guest poster can be mutually-beneficial — but only when the match is right.
You need to care about the quality of the post you create as much as the individual or team behind the website hosting it cares. Their audience may be different to the one you usually write for, which can add to the challenge.
But do your research and study the type of content typically published. Look at the tone, the format, the flow. How can you engage with readers in a similar way, staying true to your business’s voice without alienating the publisher’s readers?
Again, asking the right questions and investing real thought into your guest blogging strategy will drive valuable traffic to your site. Just be sure to consider where your guest posts link to — create a bespoke landing page or, at least, direct readers to a relevant existing area of your site.
5. Backlinks: Driving Traffic to Your Site from Others
We’ve touched on backlinks already, but they’re worth looking at a little deeper. They’re a fundamental element of driving traffic to your site and can help Google recognize your brand.
Because Google’s algorithm regards sites with numerous other domains linking back to them as authoritative. But they should be quality sites — not just any one will do.
One of the most important factors to bear in mind as you embark on your first journey into acquiring backlinks? Relevance.
It’s imperative to choose websites related to your own business, products, services and/or industry. If you specialize in selling carpets and a dating site carries several explicit links to your brand, that’s likely to get Google’s alarm bells ringing.
Furthermore, readers will be frustrated if they click a link only to find themselves browsing a site with no relation to the one they just left. And that creates a sour taste in their mouth right away.
Another important element of good backlinks is that more doesn’t necessarily equal better results. It’s best to have just a few links from authoritative websites redirecting to your page than hundreds from spammy domains with no authority.
Here are some examples of good backlinks that can help drive traffic to your site:
- Links from your own high-value infographics published on other sites
- Links from testimonials/reviews on quality sites
- Links from recognized bloggers/thought-leaders
- Links from publishing guest posts on blogs/sites
Building a roster of solid, valuable backlinks takes time — but it’s well worth doing. You’ll bring more visitors to your site and appear more authoritative in Google’s eyes.
It’s easy for small businesses new to the world of digital marketing to be a little more liberal with acquiring backlinks than they should. And, as a result, they can end up with questionable links from questionable sites, increasing their risk of incurring Google’s wrath.
Focus on establishing links from other sites organically instead. Build good relationships, earn a solid reputation and produce quality, shareable content. Over time, more and more sites may link to yours.
6. Local SEO: Reach Consumers in Your Area and Bring Them Through Your Doors
Why is local SEO important?
- 97 percent of consumers discover more about local companies online than from any other resource
- In 88 percent of cases, people searching for local businesses online will visit or contact the company within the following 24 hours
- 46 percent of all searches performed on Google relate to finding local information.
Once upon a time, you might have flipped through the Yellow pages if you were looking for a local restaurant or salon. Failing that, you’d turn to friends or relatives for a recommendation.
Now, though, you can find almost any business in the world (let alone your local area) on your phone within seconds. People have far greater choice than ever before, thanks to the latest technology and the internet.
But without a local SEO strategy, you could be missing out on the opportunity to bring more traffic to your site (and paying customers through your doors).
So, what can you do to get it right?
- Create and claim your local Google My Business account: This helps increase your visibility on search engine results pages and on Google Maps, as well as key information and contact options (click-to-call is a winner)
- Building local citations is critical for a good local SEO strategy: Citations feature on a variety of well-known online listings sites, such as Yellow Pages and 192.com. This increases your visibility and helps more consumers find your business.
- Secure quality (but honest) reviews: 90 percent of people check online reviews before using a business for the first time, while 88 percent trust them as much as a personal recommendation. Invite customers to leave feedback, on Google or any reliable review site. Just make sure they’re honest — never offer a freebie in exchange for an overly-generous review.
Another solid way to aid your local SEO strategy is to create content of value to the local community. This might be an upcoming event related to your business or industry, or even updates on new products/services you plan to launch.
Publishing content relevant to your local area can help you capture the attention of news sites or even newspapers. They may want to cover your announcement themselves, building more interest and — potentially — driving fresh traffic to your site.
7. On-site SEO Optimization: Taking Your Website to the Next Level
We covered local SEO tips and techniques above — but what about the real nitty-gritty of on-site SEO?
It’s a little different. Your on-site SEO has a major effect on your search engine performance, user experience and more.
Let’s run through the essentials to help you get up to speed.
Keywords, keywords, keywords. It’s a term you’ve probably seen a million times, but there’s no getting away from it — keywords matter.
And deciding your keywords is one of the biggest steps in getting your on-site SEO right. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on reaching as many prospects as you can and receive far less attention from search engines.
Nailing your keywords means research. And while we don’t have room to dive deep into this here, keyword research is a fundamental element of any good on-site optimization process. You need to know:
- What your target audience is looking for
- Which keywords perform highest
- How you can incorporate them into your content organically
One of our absolute favorite (and free!) SEO tool is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.com. You can use it to get an overview of how well your domain is performing, see what your top SEO pages are, get keyword suggestions and content ideas, and backlink data.
The title tag tells search engines exactly what a page being indexed actually contains.
It’s not the main title you see on a page — that’s the headline — but the line of text on your browser’s tab. Title tags should be clear, accurate and contain your main keyword in a natural way. This benefits both Google and users.
Meta descriptions serve a similar purpose to title tags, though they offer more room to be creative and explicit about a page’s content. But the meta description doesn’t actually appear on your website itself.
Instead, they display on search engine results pages as a guide. Consumers and search engines should be able to determine exactly what they’ll encounter when they click a link by viewing the meta description.
As with title tags, meta descriptions should be clear and informative, without being too salesy. You want to entice prospects in without beating them over the head with how great your brand is.
The Art of Good Content
Never underestimate the power of good content. Every business, big or small, new or established, must take it seriously.
One of the most important points to consider when writing content is to keep it unique, well-presented and valuable. Even the most beautifully-designed web page can be scuppered by weak text.
Plagiarising text from another business’s site or duplicating your own across multiple pages can see you fall into Google’s bad books. And that’s not where you want to be.
Creating your own unique content is difficult, especially if you operate in an industry or sell products which don’t lend themselves to in-depth discussion, but it’s crucial. Not only does non-unique content damage your ranking, it can make you appear unprofessional, unethical and lazy to consumers, too.
But don’t forget about the way in which your content is displayed on the page.
Like it or not, research reveals users read just 20 percent of the content on your page.
Because they like to scan and search for quick answers, rather than wading through block after block of text. As Econsultancy’s article explains, users scan web pages in an F-shape, scrolling for that essential piece of information they need in a common pattern.
That’s why all content on your website must be presented in a format that’s conducive to scanning. Here are a few hints to help you get started:
- Keep paragraphs short and to the point (no more than four or five lines
- Use bullet points and lists to break the text up (particularly helpful on mobile sites)
- Make sure there’s plenty of white space on each page, otherwise your content can look cluttered and off-putting
- Embrace a logical structure with content, using multiple headers down the page (H1, H2, etc.)
- Don’t be afraid to write in a simple, straightforward way — users are looking for valuable information, not an example of your flair for colorful metaphors (unless, of course, your site’s actually dedicated to poetry or creative writing)
Follow these easy on-site SEO tips to help your business earn a better reception from both search engines and visitors.
Taking the Next Step
We hope this guide to insanely easy but effective ways to drive traffic to your website has packed your brain with plenty of helpful tips and tricks. Your business or organization matters, and you have to do everything you can to bring customers in.
Remember: there are no shortcuts or instant fixes. Building a strong reputation and a loyal customer-base takes time, effort and — crucially — patience. But working with the right people and following the right steps can help increase your traffic, boost engagement and drive conversions.
We’re here. We’re ready. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch now.