Every company wants to drive more traffic to their website — because increased traffic means greater opportunity to generate leads and increase sales. So, what can you do to maximize visits, click-throughs, and sales without adding a ton of extra work to your already overloaded schedule? Honestly, there are a lot more options than you think.
From quick and easy to a little more complex, the following methods will get you well on your way to increasing traffic to your company’s website.
When You Have Little to No Time to Spare
Share your links on StumbleUpon
If you haven’t heard of StumbleUpon, this is going to rock your world. It’s possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever done to increase traffic. All you need to do is copy the link to your blog post, product, or specific web page, and submit it to this bookmarking site. You then pick a topic category and whether or not it’s safe for work. If you want, you can also add keywords and a description of the link, but these things aren’t mandatory. It takes about 30 seconds, if that, per link.
Pin it to Pinterest
Just like StumbleUpon, Pinterest is a bookmarking site, but this one is more social. You can create boards and pin links to those boards. Then simply start to follow people, get people to follow you, pin your links, and you have traffic.
I should warn you, though, that Pinterest is harder to get traffic from. People are on this social network to see pictures of food, wedding plans, crafts, health/fitness tips and motivation, and the like. It is a very visual platform. If you don’t have awesome pictures, you won’t get awesome traffic.
Use your social About pages
The About pages on your social networks are a great place to add a link back to your site. People are there to learn something about you, so give them something good. Share a link to your blog, too. You’ve got a captive audience, so they’re likely to check it out.
Submit your blog to Alltop
Alltop is a great place to submit your blog. You can find news and articles on just about any topic imaginable. If your content is good, people will read it.
Add your URL in your email signature
It only takes a minute to add your website URL to your signature and people might actually click on it. It’s a quick and painless way to up your odds.
When You Have Some Time to Spare
Talk to your followers
Answering questions and starting conversations is a good way to build relationships. Keep up with conversations on social media, as well as on your blog. When you show people that you care, they’re more likely to continue coming back.
Submit your links to Reddit
Now, I know some of you just gasped. Reddit? Why would you do that? Because it’s considered the front page of the internet. It’s where everything happens, and it’s usually the first place that stories go viral.
Yes I agree… it can be a scary place. But if your topic is good and you aren’t too “salesy”, there’s a chance you can pull it off. Just be prepared to answer questions. And be forewarned that if you fail to answer them to the user’s satisfaction, your ideas will get ripped apart. If you’re feeling brave, here are some tips.
Answer relevant questions on Quora
Quora is like a social search engine. Someone asks a question and people answer it. If you respond to questions that are relevant to your industry and, ideally, provide a link to content on your site that answers someone’s question, you can get some decent traffic.
Update your headlines
Headlines are important to both search engines and people. Headlines help your audience understand what each page is about. But make sure they are descriptive! If your page is about awesome T-shirt designs, don’t call it Fun with Ink. Call it Awesome T-Shirt Designs. Users are busy, and they don’t like being directed to a site only to find out that the headline was misleading.
Comment on blog posts in your industry
Don’t leave a comment that says “great read!” That’s nice, but that’s what the share buttons are for. Start a conversation. Tell the blogger what was so great about their post, or even what you might have changed. Getting people involved in a conversation helps you get to know other commenters as well as the author, and it helps to bring in traffic.
Start a Flipboard magazine
I love reading other people’s Flipboard magazines. These are digital magazines that you customize with whatever content you want. There are over 30,000 topics to choose from on the site, but you aren’t forced to choose only from that list. You can add a Flip It bookmarklet button (much like Pinterest’s Pin It button) to your browser toolbar and add whatever content you like. And, you can manage your magazine from a dashboard. When you have a magazine that you’re happy with, share it with your followers, clients, etc. When you provide people with useful and/or entertaining content, they will always come back.
When You’ll Do Whatever It Takes
Post more content
Both people and search engines like good content, so the more frequently you update your website and social networks, the more likely people are to find it. If you come up with strong content and a solid social media strategy that includes short-term and long term-goals, you can really increase the traffic to your website.
Here are a few content-driven options you can choose from:
Set up a new (or additional) social page
Social media is a good way to get traffic to your site, but there’s a catch. I know this sounds like common sense, but your social pages only attracts audiences when you’re active. Many companies have a Facebook or Twitter page that’s been dormant for months… and it’s not doing them any good. If that sounds like your competitors, and you think you can spare 20 minutes a day to manage a new social page, then this will be a good option for you.
Speaking of your competitors, make sure you do your research. Find out how they are trying to build traffic to their site and whether or not it’s working for them. If it is, ask yourself if that method could also work for you. Here are a few questions you’ll need answers to:
- What social networks are they using?
- Do they get more engagement on one platform than on the others?
- What kinds of posts are getting them the most engagement?
- Who’s following them?
Based on the answers to these questions, you can make an educated guess as to which social network would also work best for you.
When it comes to social media, it’s important to remember the following:
- Post interesting content: Don’t post the first thing you see because you don’t feel like looking anymore. Find something that will be beneficial or interesting to your target audience.
- Be social: You have to talk to your audience in order to build trust and garner relationships. Answer questions, respond to comments, post on their walls, and Like or +1 their posts.
- Vary your posts: Don’t stick with just one type.
- Track your progress: If you don’t have a social platform like Hootsuite or Buffer that you can use to review your analytics, make sure you’re tracking your progress it in a spreadsheet. It’s important to know what’s working and what isn’t.
You can also start a niche group on your favorite social network. If Facebook is the most profitable to you, set it up there. The whole point of social media is community, right? So invite your most active fans to the group and start some good discussions!
Start a blog
Blogging is, by far, my favorite way to get traffic…but it’s also the most time consuming. Content has to be well thought out, well written, and presented in a way that everyone can understand (that means no buzzwords). It should also have appealing imagery. Finding topics to write about and finding the time to write about them is hard, so blogging is not for everyone. But when it works, it really works.
Search engines don’t push websites to the first page of the search results that haven’t updated their content in 5 years (or that users don’t visit or link to). The more you update your website with quality content, the better your chances of getting additional traffic.
If you plan to give blogging a go, set up your blog as a page on your website. Don’t make it a separate page and link it back to your site. You want this to be a tab that anyone can access from your navigation, so it’s always easy to find. You also want it to have the same look and feel as your website, so that people know they’re in the right place when they land on it.
As you get further into the process and gain some traction within your industry, try guest posting on other blogs in your niche. It is a great way to get exposure to new audiences and to get more traffic to come to your site.
Tips for success:
- Get guests posts from influential bloggers in your industry. It will bring you more relevant traffic.
- Write a few long blog posts (a couple pages at least). The more content you have, the easier it is for search engines to learn what you’re writing about.
- Use categories to organize your blog posts. Categories are great for SEO, and they make it easy for people to find something of interest.
- Format your posts. Make sure you use headlines, sub headlines, bullets, and short paragraphs. These things make it easier for someone to skim the post and quickly find what they’re looking for.
- Fill out image title and alt text: This helps search engines and users understand what your image is. Especially if they are using screen readers.
- Link to other blog posts. Some of the links should go to other posts on your site, but make sure you also link to other blogs in your industry. Webmasters will notice this — and appreciate it. They might even link back to you in their future blog posts.
Other content options
If writing isn’t your thing there are other options to consider, like offering webinars, starting a podcast, or sending a monthly newsletter. All of these options are convenient because the information is easy for the audience to consume. All the user has to do is listen, and if they miss something they can always return to the recording later on. If you’re not sure what the difference is between webinars and podcasts take a minute and read this article for a quick overview of each.
Webinars are a great way to interact with a group of people who already want to hear what you have to say. To watch a webinar, people actually have to register for it. By doing so, they’re committing to paying attention to you (usually for about an hour). You should have a pretty substantial following before you start inviting people to watch a webinar.
If you are interested in learning more about webinars, Adobe has a great eBook for beginners that you can download. It has a ton of information on best practices, how to generate leads, tips for the technical side, etc. It’s good stuff. I highly recommend it.
Podcasts are another option. These are simply discussions that are recorded via audio. They then get uploaded to a location like iTunes, your company website, or podcast.com for easy access. Then, people who think they might be interested in your discussions give it a listen.
The best thing about podcasts is that people don’t have to be completely focused on them. They can listen anywhere at any time — while they’re at work, in the car, or even out for a run. If you’re going to go this route, I highly recommend creating show notes for your listeners. Since most people are doing something else while they’re listening, they probably aren’t able to take notes of their own. Make sure you document any tools, websites, or people you might have talked about during the podcast, and put it on your website so that people can check in there for anything they might have missed.
Email is another great way to get website traffic. If you do it right, it actually has the best ROI of all the different marketing channels. It does take some time and a lot of thought, though. So if you’re new to the game, make sure you do some research. We have a nice guide for beginners if you want to check it out.
One email idea is to put together a weekly or monthly newsletter about your newest products, latest sales, industry news, company news, etc. and send it to your existing and potential clients. It doesn’t have to be super long and packed with information. It just needs to be interesting and useful.
If you feel like getting a little more personal, you can keep track of your customers’ birthdays and send them a discount coupon each year. Your email could also include items they’ve looked at in the past or added to their cart but didn’t buy, a list of products that are frequently bought with or compatible to products they have bought, and maybe even a “did you know” section with facts specific to their birth date or year. It’s an easy way to make your customers feel appreciated.
There are plenty of ways to get extra traffic to your website. Sometimes you just have to get creative. Remember that you don’t want just any old traffic…you want targeted traffic. You want people who have an interest in what you’re offering. More people visiting your site is good, but only if they’re engaged with your content. 50% more traffic is great, but not if your bounce rate is 90% and no one is clicking on or reading anything. More is not always better. Find your happy medium.