You’ve built a website from scratch and finally hit publish, but now what? How do you drive traffic to your brand new homepage and reap the rewards of your hard work?
There are probably as many web traffic strategies as there are stars in the sky, so how do you know what approach to take? To make your life easier and set you up for success, we’ve created a guide on both free and paid traffic strategies that have proven to work for us. We use these strategies on a day to day basis to help our clients’ businesses thrive and are confident that they’ll make you feel like a marketing genius, too.
The Sources Of Website Traffic
To understand how to increase the number of high-quality visitors coming to your site and better absorb the methods explained below, you need to know a few things first. There are two ways to increase web traffic:
The first one is free and what we refer to as organic traffic. In the case of organic traffic, visitors land on your website after typing in a search query and seeing your site pop up in the Google or Bing search results.
Building on organic traffic involves the creation of search engine optimised web copy and blog content, technical aspects of making a site search engine friendly, referrals from social media profiles and other websites – what we also call backlinking, and traffic from email marketing efforts.
Usually, the only resource involved in driving organic traffic is your time. And since time is precious, many businesses tend to outsource copywriting tasks and hire SEO specialists who put in the hours on their behalf.
Here is what organic traffic looks like in Google search results when you type the keyword “hiking shoes” into the search bar:
The other way to drive traffic is by paying for it. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC), both on the Google and Facebook network, works beautifully for businesses of all sizes and industries. But paid advertising can quickly become very expensive and if you don’t understand conversion rates and tracking methods, you should probably bring in a PPC expert to help you out.
The same search query from a moment ago also shows us several paid placements:
What are the Most Popular Websites Doing Right?
At the time of writing this article, there were more than two billion websites on the internet. The exact numbers are pretty much changing by the second:
- 1.8 million new websites go online every 24 hours.
- 94.3 per cent of pages don’t even get a single visitor from Google.
What does that mean? It means that you have to step up your game if you want visitors to find and check out your site. The internet is a highly competitive space and one that can only be mastered by staying agile and integrating a range of content and search engine optimisation efforts.
How to get there? By combining both paid and free marketing efforts to drive traffic to your website. There are many tried-and-true ways to do this and we’ll break them down for you now.
1. Web Traffic Campaign
Paying for social media ads and prime spots on search engine result pages (SERP) are reliable ways to drive traffic to a website. This can be extremely useful before and after you launch your site.
You could create excitement about the launch of your website or eCommerce weeks before you go online. Many businesses now advertise ‘teasers’ or a sneak peek on what they’ve been working on and grow their social media following to build authority and social proof their brand.
They might do so with a social media campaign aimed at raising brand awareness or collecting likes. And because that’s not quite enough for avid marketers, they also set up a landing page and collect visitor emails they can later use for automated email marketing campaigns. As you see, the opportunities are sheer endless.
Let’s say you’ve used a similar strategy.
Your website is now online. Because you’ve collected a lot of data with your previous social media campaign, you know exactly what your target audience looks like. Using this knowledge, you can create social media and Google Ads campaigns to drive highly-targeted, quality web traffic to your page.
Tip: Ensure that different ads lead to different pages and use pixels to keep track of how individual pages are performing.
And don’t forget to reach out to all of the people that signed up to your newsletter through your landing page. Let them know you’re open for business and ready to roll.
2. Posting Relevant Content At The Right Time
Content is what keeps visitors coming back for more. Some sites struggle to attract visitors because Google’s ‘freshness algorithm’ promotes content when it’s trending. The publishing date of an article has nothing to do with its freshness. Instead, it’s all about the content’s relevance to users. Knowing this should make creating new content that drives web traffic a lot easier.
Here is how Google describes freshness:
“…we’re making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 per cent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness.”
In other words: Post new content, but make it relevant rather than tweaking or changing old topics. There is a difference between changing content and updating. Changing old content won’t necessarily help you rank for freshness.
If you’ve just overhauled your old website and were planning to repurpose your old content on the new site, don’t worry. You can still do so. In fact, we’ve written a guide on how to repurpose blog content successfully. There is merit in updating, as it provides new ideas and backlinking opportunities and gives you the chance to correct outdated information.
3. Writing Relevant Topics for Backlinking
Backlinks are the backbone of most search engine optimisation strategies. Simply put, they are created when one website links to another. You might have heard someone referring to them as “inbound links” or “incoming links”. To learn the essentials of backlink building visit our recent article on backlink building basics, including major do’s and don’ts.
The relevant topic tip also translates to backlinking. If your content is boring, badly-written and doesn’t offer relevant information, chances are no-one will give your site a shout-out. The better your content, the more engaged are users and the higher are the chances of your content being shared.
Tip: Guest blogging is a tried-and-true tactic that involves writing for other blogs in order to link back to your site and build authority. The benefits of guest blogging include:
- More referral traffic
- More backlinks
- Increased brand awareness
4. Picking Content That is Trending
Google isn’t easy to impress. One of the most effective ways to at least get close to this ambitious goal is to create content that stays relevant over time. News articles may die of old age, never to be looked at again, but evergreen content does not become outdated. It’s timeless and may attract thousands of visitors over the years.
Unfortunately, new sites often find it hard to rank for evergreen content. The internet is flooded with these types of posts and most newcomers are outcompeted by established sites. One way around this is by watching emerging trends and finding new ways to address the needs of your readers.
5. Target Topics With Search Traffic Potential
There is no doubt that search engine optimisation is one of the best ways to achieve consistent, long-term results. For as long as you rank highly in Google, you’ll be able to compete with rival businesses and drive organic traffic to your site.
In other words, focus on topics with search traffic potential. The goal is to find high-volume, low difficulty keywords. This gives you a manageable list of low-competition topics with decent search volumes. Further prioritise your list of topics by focusing on those with high business value (i.e., choose topics that make your product or service the missing piece to solving a particular problem).
Here are a few great tools that will make keyword research easy:
6. Promote your Content on Relevant Platforms
Writing insatiable content that lives on your blog is not enough. To drive traffic to your site, you need to get a little creative and think outside the box. Where else can you talk about and promote your business?
Getting social on Facebook and Instagram are the obvious choices, but what about LinkedIn and Pinterest? You could create entertaining videos and useful tutorials on YouTube or go on a podcast. Or share a blog post on Medium and answer questions that relate to your products or services in online forums such as Quora and Reddit. There is really no limit to your imagination.
Since we’re all for transparency, below you can see the results of the hard work we’ve put in on our own site over the first half of 2020. Although it usually takes up to three months to see the first clear results, our SEO efforts are already beginning to pay off. With more traffic to our site, we’ve also seen an increase in leads.
However, like all good things, achieving a great search engine ranking and noticeable increases in web traffic, in the end, takes time.
Feel free to experiment with the above-mentioned strategies and check out our blog for more insights into search engine and content marketing. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime! We’d love to hear from you!
Anchor Digital, your partners in climb.