Looking for a few ways to attract website visitors in the new year without compromising your ethics or stooping to spam techniques? Give any of the following options a try:
- Focus on content creation. Good content markets itself. When you put the effort into building and promoting great pieces of content, the natural result is more traffic to your website via shares and referrals.
- Add social sharing buttons to your website. Don’t assume that your readers will take the initiative to share your content on their own. Instead, make it easy for your site to accrue more visitors from social networking sites by adding social sharing buttons to your company’s blog posts.
- Answer questions on social networking sites. When you see people asking questions online, provide whatever helpful information you can. Doing so will earn you both website traffic and customers for life.
- Distribute press releases for actual achievements. While you shouldn’t abuse press release distribution websites to promote insignificant accomplishments, take advantage of this traffic stream whenever you have something noteworthy to share.
- Use SEO responsibly. Don’t over-optimize your website, but do make use of current SEO best practices (which put the emphasis on looking “natural”) to let the search engines know where they should list your site in the natural search results. High rankings will result in plenty of new visitors to your website.
- Invest in your website’s blog. By publishing high-value posts consistently, you’ll build your relationship with your readers, resulting in visitors who check back frequently to view your latest posts.
- Share slide decks and other presentations. Posting informative materials to sites like Slideshare and Scribd will help you to increase both brand awareness and website traffic through exposure to new markets and new potential customers.
- Build a killer email newsletter. When readers find valuable email newsletters, they tend to share them with others. If your current email followup sequence is lackluster, making improvements here could result in significantly more referral traffic.
- Publish a helpful podcast. Similarly, producing a regular, high-quality podcast will increase referred website visitors, while reaching new visitors through podcast directories.
- Deploy infographics. Infographics get shared more often than most other types of content. This makes them ideal candidates for traffic generation campaigns that make use of content marketing.
- Run a YouTube channel. YouTube is one of the web’s largest search engines, making it a great way to expose new audiences to your brand. As an added bonus, your videos may be listed in Google’s blended search results, leading to even more traffic!
- Ask visitors to share your site with others. Simply asking your visitors to forward your articles to others or share them on their social networking profiles is a great way to quickly boost page views.
- Write guest posts for top industry sites. Ask other websites in your industry if you can pen guest posts for their blogs. Having your content featured there isn’t just great for traffic – it’s a good way to build your perceived authority as well.
- Connect with influencers in your niche. Having an authority figure in your industry share just one of your blog articles can result in a tremendous amount of new traffic, subscribers and buyers, so make relationship building a key part of your company’s marketing strategy.
- Pay attention to up-and-coming social networks. Newer social networks like Tumblr and Pinterest are sprouting up all the time. Because there can be a significant “first adopter” advantage to the people that establish a presence on these sites early on, keep an eye out for these future opportunities.
- Eliminate website errors. If the search engines aren't able to index your website properly (which can occur due to a number of different errors), you may not be receiving all the search traffic you should be. Check your Google Webmaster Tools account for information on common problems.
- Add pillar content to your website. Every website should have at least a few pieces of “pillar” content -- in-depth, well-written content that will always be of interest to readers -- to help drive traffic via person-to-person sharing.
- Over-deliver on your company’s products or services. From a word-of-mouth traffic standpoint, over-delivering can’t be beat. When you go above and beyond in your industry, customers will recommend you to others – leading to more traffic and a higher marketing ROI.
- Interview experts within your industry. People love hearing from experts, so if you can snag an interview and publish it on your site, you’re in for a big surge of traffic from the authority’s existing audience.
- Comment on other websites. Leaving valuable comments on other websites’ blogs can be a great way to build traffic back to your own site. Just be sure to say more in your comment than, “Great post!” or “Thanks for sharing!”
What traffic techniques have worked in the past for you?
AJ Kumar is the co-founder of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency based in San Francisco. Single Grain specializes in helping startups and larger companies with search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media and various other marketing strategies.
TheYoung Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched#StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.