If you own a website, you aren’t getting anywhere unless you figure out how to boost your traffic. Even when you begin to get consistently high visitor numbers, you are always looking for more. Organic traffic isn’t always easy to come by, and we have a tendency as webmasters to lean pretty hard on Google to get us there.
The only problem is that to use Google for traffic, we have to use their ranking system to our advantage. Getting a high ranking is a marketing campaign all its own, and competition is heavy. Not to mention the often temperamental decisions that the search engine can make regarding duplicate content, spam and popularity. Even with services in place to make things more clear, such as Google Authorship.
You are better off finding alternate ways to drive traffic, even if you still work to improve your rankings. Luckily, there are several ways in which you can do that.
Accept That It Will Take Time and Effort
Before we get into the actual tips, this needs to be covered right away. There are plenty of tools out there that claim they can bring you traffic with nothing on your end but a couple of clicks. Maybe they can deliver on that promise, but don’t forget the old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And that is the very definition of sounding too good to be true.
If you want a successful, traffic heavy website, you have to be willing to work for it. So if you aren’t prepared to put in that work, even if it eats up every moment of your free time, you might be in the wrong industry.
Establish Partnerships with Niche Publishers
Another use for social media, you can connect with industry leaders and begin to build a relationship. Why is this helpful? Well, other than the benefits of networking within your field, you can get things like opportunities to feature their guest posts, or even chances to interview them for your site.
This will bring people to your site when they promote their interview/post on their social media profiles and website. It will also give you a bit of second hand credibility.
Another way to establish industry partnerships is using trusted companies that specialize in building those connections for you. talkingAds is a good example of a result-oriented company that focuses on establishing long-term niche connections:
Our clients prosper from the connections we make with super affiliates, publishers and top media sources – it’s our mission to ignite those relationships.
Use Other Blogs
This is going to be a fantastic resource, but one that comes in trickles, not floods. The good news is that the more you do it, the more trickles that creates, and it makes a real difference over time. Other blogs can provide a platform for your own content in two ways:
- Through participating in expert interviews, which usually link to your website, and occasionally links in the content itself to related posts on your blog. Joining up with a site like MyBlogU can help with this, connecting you with blog owners looking for guest posted content.
- Through commenting on other people’s posts, especially on high profile or popular blogs. To do this, you have to make sure that you both catch the post right when it is published (subscribe to their feed or use a reader), and write insightful, well formed comments that show you read the content, then link to a related post you wrong on your own site.
Publishing expert interviews also helps a lot:
— Hire Bloggers (@hireblogger) August 5, 2014
Get Listed Where Traffic is High
Look around your niche and neighboring niches. If you are a local blogger, get listed in high-traffic local directories (here’s a good example of high-quality social-media-friendly local web directory). If you are a fashion blogger, get listed in lists like this one.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to editors and ask what it takes to be listed. If you create a well-personalized meaningful email, it will be well-received by directory editors.
Social Media Hype
You have to accept this right now: social media is everything. It is the lifeblood of the internet. It is a marketers dream. A social platform, no matter which one you choose (and you should choose several) can be means of engagement, low cost advertising and a great way to connect with people to form a community. Which means long term traffic, not just sudden bursts that die away.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, G+, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn… if you can think of a way to use it, do it. Also, pay the cash for a bit of advertising. You can set budgets and do PPC, and sites like Facebook allow you to do featured stories, not just featured profiles. Very helpful for pushing specific content you want to gain more visibility.
The more traffic you can get out of a single piece of content, the better. Repackaging your blog posts is a simple way to wring more out of everything you put out, and then place it on multiple platforms in different incarnations in order to improve your traffic.
Some examples of ways you can repackage a blog post:
- Create an infographic.
- Make a video and post it on YouTube, Vimeo, Blip and other high profile hosting sites.
- Draw a comic with the basics of your post written in a more succinct form.
- Offer a podcast.
- Create an ebook out of all of your content and offer it for free, asking only for a like or tweet to download.
Do you have some tips for boosting traffic without Google? Had some success yourself? Let us know in the comments.