How to Increase Website Traffic Effectively
10 Simple Free Traffic Tips You Can Use Now!
So you have your business website all geared up – a fancy web design, social media profiles, YouTube channels, crisp content on all your blogs and landing pages – what happens next? How do you plan to spread the word about your awesomeness without overspending your budget? Should you invest money into Facebook Advertisements, Paid Banners, PPC Campaigns, Sponsoring Events or other media channels just yet?
The biggest problem most entrepreneurs and start-up businesses face is “How to Generate Traffic to their Business.” Most businesses spend a lot of money into multiple advertisement channels or run quite a few paid banner ads on giant websites, thinking that it is going to bring in a lot of customers, which is a major misconception.
Now I do not want to say that this approach is entirely wrong or something. But it all boils down to the conversion ratio of these companies as compared to the amount being spent on marketing. I have specially coined a name for this kind of marketing approach taken by many companies. I call it the ‘Scatter Gun’ Marketing plan. Please don’t do it. As a Digital Marketer, I have come across many companies that are spending way more than required, to crunch small figures at the end of the month.
I have also come across some start-up companies that have awesome products/services, but can barely acquire enough money to invest in marketing their products. Honestly, it pains my heart when I see companies (w/ scattergun approach) wasting their marketing budget in the wrong channels.
MY ADVICE TO STARTUP’s and BUDDING COMPANIES
If you are freshly baked, then you should give your products some time to sink in. Do not plan overly expensive marketing activities that you can otherwise do without. Always try to use free channels of promotion, or tweak your existing media channels or existing business materials (which require minimal expenses from your end), to promote your business and increase website traffic.
GO AHEAD. TWEET THIS MESSAGE!
— Prime One Global Internet (@extreme_seo_net) July 16, 2015
WHAT DO I HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU?
To make the entire process of traffic generation and business exposure less expensive, I have summed up these 10 Actionable Tips To Increase Website Traffic. Most of these are free to implement, and some do not require you to spend a single dime more than what you are already spending.
WHAT MAKES THESE TIPS SO POWERFUL?
- Don’t require you to spend money, so you can start seeing better returns with zero investment,
- No technical SEO knowledge required, so you can do these without hiring experts,
- Don’t need to make professional looking videos, so you can get away with your newbie skills,
- Don’t need to spend countless hours in front of computer, so you can invest your time and energy in running your business,
- Don’t need to brainstorm new techniques for increasing website traffic, so you can rinse and repeat the ones that work best for you,
- Some of these techniques just need to be setup one time, so you do not need to reapply them in the future, ever!
So, let’s kill the hype and show you what I have in store…
1. CREATE LOCAL CONTESTS THAT BOOST YOUR REVENUE WITH MINIMAL EXPENSES
Yes! You read it right, the first time. I know this sort of strategy sounds old and offbeat, but marketing your business through local contests is said to drive 400% more ROI than other forms of marketing.
Take a look at some at this Local Marketing Campaign run by a company. You can read the entire case study on this website.
HubSpot reports some interesting statistics related to Local Contests through this very old Infographic –
- New Campaigns are said to acquire a 34% audience increase than the older channels,
- 1/3rd of local contest entrants subscribe to email updates from companies, which fuels their lead generation capacity,
- Mobile contests are prone to driving 8 times more traffic to your business,
- The best duration for local contests on average is 25-60 days. Anything more than that can kill the momentum.
Now, you must be thinking that running a contest means incurring a lot of expenses and giving away costly products! However, that is not true at all.
If you have Physical goods, you can give away sample products as a prize to a few lucky winners, or you can give away your online services if your business offers digital services.
Not only will this kind of technique bring increase website traffic, but will also get you more credibility and goodwill. As a bonus, you could even get real customer testimonials, which you can put up on your website and even use for future promotions. Sound legit?
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated or connected to KickOffLabs and neither do I endorse their services. I have never used their services).
KEY TAKEAWAY – The use of social media and online contests is one of the best strategies used by companies to boost their online audience reach. Use it wisely, and do not think about making massive investments. Run small campaigns at a time.
2. DONT FUSS ABOUT GOOGLE, WHEN YOU HAVE YOUTUBE
With a striking Three Billion Searches daily, this video sharing website is the 2nd most powerful search engine in the world, after Google. What’s best is ranking and increasing website traffic from this channel is very easy.
WHY IS YOUTUBE SO AWESOME?
Let’s keep aside the traffic that this channel receives daily, and talk about the potential of this channel in general.
- YouTube Videos get indexed on Google faster
- You can search for videos within the channel
- Share videos to all popular Social Channels
- With a few clicks it is possible to embed videos in blog posts and websites
So, what are you thinking? If you have not entered this channel as a business, then you should go ahead and do it right away.
Lifehacker lists the most useful resources for creating YouTube videos for budding Video Producers and companies.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Search on YouTube for your business or category and try to understand what people are doing and how people are doing it. Don’t copy and paste everything. Pick up bits and pieces from different videos and make your videos even more comprehensive and information-rich.
WHAT IS REQUIRED?
You will need a computer with a webcam at the least for making YouTube videos. The rest of the resources are free of cost. You don’t need any marketing budget for this strategy to work.
WHAT MORE CAN YOU EXPECT TO ACHIEVE OUT OF YOUTUBE?
I use this method a lot, however, dirty it might sound, and it’s still a free way of generating more traffic by leveraging your competitor’s traffic.
Firstly, try and make a list of all your competitors’ videos on YouTube. Now, you can do it yourself or have one of your existing staff do this work. Either way it works fine.
Create better content in terms of Blog Posts or Videos than your competitors. So for example, if they have “3 Super Simple Makeovers for Monday Brunch” you should aim to create a video that has “5 Super Simple Makeover Techniques for Monday Brunch.”
After your content is created and uploaded, you are ready to deploy this super simple traffic leaching technique by using their comments section.
This technique works best for Videos that are more than 10 minutes in length. Make it a point to watch their entire video first and give a detailed review about what they have shared in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
When you submit the reviews, subtly leave a link to “your better version” of the content. The better version can be a blog post or a video. Then ask all your in-house staff or colleagues to up-vote the comment, which will act as a catalyst.
People will appreciate the time you took to watch the video and provide a summary. Your comment will start receiving natural up votes as well, and this will make it stay on top for a very long time.
You have no idea, how much traffic this technique can generate for your business. It’s a free method and an awesome one at that. But, please do not spam the comment section of other videos with links to your website.
This will not only ruin the reputation of your business but also lower the credibility of your work.
EXTRA TIP – Use URL shortening service like Bit.ly or Goo.gl to analyze the amount of traffic your website is receiving from those comments.
KEY TAKEAWAY –YouTube makes it easy to increase website traffic. Do not ignore the channel and if you are not a tech savvy person and the idea of making simple videos from free and easy to learn software spoofs you, then you can either hire a staff or let an existing member of your team learn and handle this activity.
3. Use Hashtags Wisely To Drive a Lot of Like-minded People to Your Website
HashTags were first introduced by Twitter in 2006 and since then have been gradually adopted by all other social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and other networks.
If you are not aware of what Hashtags are, then here is the Definition –
“(On social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a particular topic.”
For Example – #DigitalMarketing
Many companies and marketers have already adopted Hashtags into their social media and marketing campaigns, but still there remains a vast majority of businesses and individuals that either underestimate their power or do not know how to use hashtags correctly to generate traffic.
HOW TO USE HASHTAGS EFFECTIVELY?
- Choose the right keywords – Proper keyword selection is not only important for Search Engine Optimization, but it also affects how your audience will interact with your business. If you are confused about how to start a Hashtag selection, you could try using this incredible Hashtag search engine – Hashatit.com
- Launch The HashTag – Share a unique photo and message around your niche, followed by a link to your website blog or page that is relevant to the tag. Do this on all your social channels.
- Provide Value and Engage With Audience – Make sure that the content you are trying to market is top notch. This is the cheese that will lure the mice into your den. Engage with your audience by tagging them in your posts and asking questions, raising conversations around your hashtag, etc.
- Always Mention Relevant People – Always invite interesting and influential people into your conversation to make it more heated. TIP – Raise a controversial topic, ask a few people by using the @mention and watch how your social traffic starts flooding.
- Use Free Analytics Tools To Track Your HashTags – I have not used many to be honest, but I surely love Topsy and Talkwalker. At Talkwalker, you can measure the impact of your hashtags by looking at a diverse range of metrics like engagement, general buzz, potential reach, sentiment, etc.
- Feature Links To Your Website and InnerPages – And when you are using Hashtags, do not forget to highlight your websites and inner pages because your ultimate aim is increase website traffic, and about the rest, #KeepItSimpleStupid
QUICKSPROUT’s AWESOME INFOGRAPHICS ON HOW TO USE HASHTAGS –
Click on the Image to see the full post @ Quicksprout.
KEY TAKEAWAY – Learn to use HashTags effectively. Educate your employees to use them and always try to create new or find existing and relevant HashTags for better content outreach.
4. Embedded Tweets Facilitate Instant Sharing Of Your Content
Google has recently tied with Twitter. Reference: Independent.co.uk
Do you understand what this means?
Your Tweets are now going to show up in Google search directly. Talk about a better approach to content outreach. If you are not already on Twitter, then it’s never too late to jump into the boat.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE BEST OF THIS SITUATION?
Use relevant #keyword and place shortened URL links to relevant pages on your website about that #keyword. Also, start embedding Tweets in your blog posts and pages to facilitate instant re-tweeting and content promotion.
Tweet Insight – According to a small survey we conducted at our office (We have around 67 In-house Staff), we found out that 95% of our employees and their connections were more prone to re-tweeting embedded tweets in posts, rather than tweet the message themselves.
Advantages of Embedded Tweets
- Take any tweet and embed it into your website, widgets, and posts
- Embedded tweets are interactive, thereby facilitating instant action
- Easily enable your readers to follow-up after your CTAs
- Over time, Google might include Embedded Tweets as a ranking signal
- Can easily Insert Twitter searches into your Blog Timeline as well
- Can be used to share Spontaneous customer testimonials
- Can be used to promote Events or brand messages
- And I am sure there are other advantages as well…
Check the original source @ Unbounce
How to Embed Tweets into Your Website?
Step 1: Find the tweet you want to embed on your site.
Step 2: Hover over the tweet and click on the (More) Link. There will be an option for Embedding Tweet, Click on it.
Step 3: Copy the code that appears on the page. This code has to be pasted in the relevant section of your website where you want to embed the Tweet.
Step 4: Once you have pasted the Embed code on your site, you are done.
Alternate Method for WordPress
You can alternatively embed the tweet with a Shortcode. Simply copy the following shortcode into your post or text widget and remember to check the URL correctly before posting. It’s really straightforward.
SHORTCODE TO DISPLAY TWEET
This feature may not work for the old versions of WordPress, so make sure that you have the updated version installed on your website.
KEY TAKEAWAY – Start embedding tweets into your Blog Posts and Landing pages. Embedded customer testimonial tweets on landing pages are proven to improve conversions. Embedded Tweets might also be included in Google’s massive arsenal of ranking signals in near future.
5. Insert Trackable Link into Website Content to Increase Referral Traffic
9 out of 10 Clients of mine reported a significant increase in their website traffic after installing something called TYNT. It is very easy to install, check out all the features and how-to at www.tynt.com
Also, Matthew Woodward published an insane case study on Tynt:
What Tynt does is installs a trackable link into your website so whenever any content or image is copied and pasted somewhere, and it places a link to the source page. Take a look at the picture below.
If you have got a relatively old website, then you will notice an increase in overall traffic to your site. It will also generate tons of mentions and backlinks that you would never receive otherwise.
KEY TAKEAWAY – Make sure you integrate Tynt into your website. It is free to use and even if your website is brand new, it will come in use over time. It hardly takes less than a minute to setup Tynt and this program handles bringing in hundreds of visitors to the Prime One Global blog every month.
6. Forget Spending Money on Solo Ads, Use Tried and Tested Blog Commenting
Apart from Search Engine Optimization, I invest a lot in buying media for my other businesses for traffic generation. Off late, I took inspiration from Matthew Woodward to try to the old school technique of Blog Commenting and Blogger outreach on a personal level.
What Method Do I Follow?
- I subscribed to blogs in my Industry
- I commented on new blog posts when they went live. I was always the first one to comment on them.
- Shared their content and gave a no hype, crystal clear review
- I just did things that I do at social events or corporate gatherings.
This kind of outreach apparently takes a lot more time and patience. But, the connections I have developed are priceless and worth every bit of sweat.
Now, I have asked one of my in-house colleagues to focus more on building relationships and commenting on other blogs.
Through this method, I have met a lot of awesome bloggers and businessmen. These people were more than happy to link back to my blogs and share my stuff on their social profiles, which leveraged my business to their circles, and extended circles as well.
What Should You Do?
First thing you need to do is make a separate email for this method. It should be a branded email preferably, but Gmail also works fine.
Get a branded email like email@example.com.
Do a Google Search for all your important industry keywords.
Make a list of websites in the first 2 pages for all your important keywords.
By the end of the process, you should have a list of 50-60 unique sites in your industry.
Now, subscribe to each and every website one by one and use the freshly created email address. The reason I suggest you do it with a new email address is because, subscribing to some of these websites might put you into their Auto-responder list. You will be receiving tons of wanted / unwanted emails from them.
Once you subscribe to their blogs, you will receive a message whenever they write new blog posts. Always make it a point to go through their blogs and give your feedback.
Many of these fantastic bloggers and entrepreneurs will be more than interested in knowing about you and your business. Eventually, the blog commenting game will become more of an anticipatable thing.
Whenever there is fresh content on your blog, not only will those people come in to raise discussion, but they will also link to your work and share it on their social channels, without you asking them to do so.
KEY TAKEAWAY – Relationships cannot be automated. Quit automated link building, as they give you meaningless backlinks from deadbeat websites. Most of the quality sites do not auto-approve comments and getting a reference on even one of these websites is much powerful than 100 backlinks from automated software.
7. Don’t Let the Language Barrier Limit Your Business Outreach
No, I am not talking about learning new languages, nor am I talking about hiring linguists or translators to translate your website into different languages.
I came to know about this plug-in from Neil Patel, and I admire him for effortlessly finding these awesome techniques that help seal the deal, without carving a hole in your wallet.
This stuff is way easier than you can imagine. All you have to do is install a WordPress plug-in called Transposh and you are set.
Neil Reported a 47% Increase in Search Engine Traffic just after installing the plug-in. We use a more reliable but complicated Multi-lingual architecture on Prime One Global, but that stuff is so complicated that I cannot do it myself. We had our developers sit with a bunch of linguists to convert our website to various languages.
Download the Transposh Plug-in and Install it in your website right now.
What Transposh does is it translates your pages into other languages automatically. It opens a whole new world of traffic since your pages will start ranking for foreign search engine queries.
Note: Even though this plug-in offers support for 92 different languages, I would advise you only to select a few languages at a time to reduce the chances of errors.
Neil’s advice for Transposh – “uncheck the option that reads:
This enables auto-detection of a language used by the user as defined in the ACCEPT_LANGUAGES they send. Doing so will redirect the first page accessed in the session to the same page with the detected language.
The reason you have to uncheck that option is because the plug-in automatically sends people to a translated version when it shouldn’t. It’s not perfect…”
Rinse and repeat the Translation Process by selecting only a few languages at a time. Keep doing it till you have covered all the languages. Do not worry about translating future posts, as the plug-in will do those automatically.
KEY TAKEAWAY – Installing something as simple as a Translation Plug-in called Transposh on your website can quickly increase your website traffic by 50%. If you have not done it already, then you should do it right away.
8. Implement Long Tail Versions of Organic Keywords
This trick will only work for people who already have an established website and are receiving some traffic from the search engine. You can skip this section altogether if you have a new website.
You do not need any marketing know-how, and you do not even need to spend a lot of money for this to work. If you just do as I am saying, I can guarantee that your website’s traffic inflow will increase by at least 30%.
Use Long Tail Keywords
Who doesn’t want to rank for terms like “auto repair services” “home loan” “auto insurance” right? Even though these words are extremely powerful, they are difficult to rank for.
If you use long tail variations of the same keyword, not only will those keywords be easy to target and rank, but you will also get tons of search engine traffic for the same.
Take a look at Prime One Global’s search traffic, and then you will notice that most of the traffic we get is from search engines. And a majority of this traffic comes from long tail keywords, no kidding.
Now, what do you need to do in order to leverage Long Tail SEO?
Firstly, log into Google Webmaster Tools and go to Search Traffic -> Search Queries.
You should now come to a page with a lot of keywords that looks something like this…
Yes, these are the keywords that your visitors are typing into search engines to reach your website. So now you already know, which keywords are going to work for you right?
Now take, for example, we are ranking for the term “Enterprise SEO.” I will go ahead and type this into the Google Search. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and you should be able to see tons of Long Tail Variations of your keyword through the “Searches related to local SEO.”
There are long tail phrases that Google will see as significant to a term that you are already ranking for. And since you are already ranking for the head keyword, it is going to be way easier for you to rank for these terms.
Just scatter these terms a few times in your primary page for the “lead keyword” and you are good to go. In a few days, you will start receiving more search engine traffic for that page.
I came to know about this strategy from Neil Patel, from Traffic and Conversion Summit 2015’s Wicked Smart Panel. He had shared two more techniques. However, it wouldn’t be fair to share all the exclusive strategies without his consent.
KEY TAKEAWAY – Make a list of the “keywords” for which you are already ranking, get long tail variations of the same through Google Related Searches and then sprinkle those keywords on the respective pages. Watch your search traffic increase in a few weeks.
9. Change Your Email Marketing Strategies
Do you own media? Do you already have a list of subscribers? Are you sending out emails to your followers?
Well, here is something that will not increase your subscriber list, but it will increase your open rates and thereby it will increase the amount of traffic you are receiving from your email campaigns.
You can also buy email marketing lists from www.directmail.com/mailinglists/. Though I have not tried them myself, there are a few people in my circle who have used them and got pretty decent results.
Take a look at these five simple email strategies –
1. Spend Some Money On Your Subject Lines
Why? Because what good is your email if it doesn’t inspire any clicks?
Subject lines are the most famous lines in your entire email. Think of it more like crafting a headline for your blog post or landing page. Standardized subject lines like “Your weekly newsletter” or “How I earned $1000” are not going to work anymore.
Take a look at these 5 ideas that will help you propel your Email Marketing Campaign:
- Use a question in your subject line to invoke a sense of connection with your subscribers. Emails with questions in their subject are 77% more prone to being opened than ordinary subject lines.
- Use cliffhangers in your subject lines. People love suspense. If you can use this effectively, then your subscribers will not be able to help but open your emails.
- Lists in the subject lines like, Top 10 Wedding Destinations, Top 5 Pickup Lines, etc., work great as subject lines.
- If you want to announce something through your email, don’t let the readers open it to get the message, break the ice in the subject line itself.
2. Make Better Use of Your From Name
People are less susceptible to opening your emails if you have a weird ‘From the name’. Emails from unknown businesses and websites are mostly never opened by email readers.
Check the ‘From’ name, and make sure it is the name of a proper person, instead of just your company or website name. Also, make sure that the email address you are using to send these emails is not from a private free email system, it should always be from your branded domain email address.
Instead of firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, something like firstname.lastname@example.org will be more personal. People do not like automated emails, so even if you are automating them, always give a personal touch to your emails.
3. Time Makes A Big Difference In Email Marketing
One of the best ways to find the right time to send emails is to divide your subscribers into 3-4 equally sized lists. Then send them the same email at different time intervals.
After you do this a couple of times, you will be able to find out the 2 best time sections in a day to send your emails. Many people think that they should not send the same copy of the email to people twice. But I beg to differ here.
I think it is a good idea to send the same copy of your emails to people 2 times in a day because it is very easy for emails to get overlooked, and sometimes even if people are interested in your emails, they might just be too busy to open and read them.
4. Understand The Requirement Of Your Audience
What might be interesting to you might not be as appealing to your audience as you think. So always think twice before you send stuff to your subscribers. After all, the last thing you would want is to piss them off and make them hit the unsubscribe button.
Always take time to understand the requirement of your audience, before you start imposing your ideas on them. Comprehending the desires of your audience will play a massive role in the open rates of your email campaigns.
One of the best ways to know more about your audience is by doing short surveys. If you are confused about how to write surveys, here is an excellent blog on Hubspot.
5. Follow Your Sign-up Process To The Teeth
We can only talk about enough open rates when people start subscribing to your email list. Have you taken the time to find out how efficient your sign-up process is? Well, if you haven’t then you should do it right away.
When reviewing your sign-up process, you should always check the kind of promises you are making and ask yourself whether those are rational things that you would be able to deliver to your audience on a consistent basis.
Don’t promise something that is not true, because that will result in a lot of un-subscriptions and spam reports, which could limit you from otherwise reaching the audience that might be interested in what you have to share. Seems legit?
KEY TAKEAWAY – Maximize the potential of your email campaigns by capitalizing on things like better subject lines, personalized ‘From’ name, understanding the audience’s requirements by conducting surveys or asking them personally, and understanding the right time to send your emails.
10. Leverage Your Business Offline for Success Online
The current state of online marketing feels a bit broken. There are those old-style media guys who work with offline media channels like Radio, TV and Newspapers. Then there are those Search Engine and Social Media specialists and website techies who manage to improve the digital-sphere of a business alone.
The issues that most businesses face in their online marketing phase is that they create an invisible barrier in their mind, which tells them that online marketing has to be done online. But my question is, why don’t you ‘market’ your online business offline as well?
How is that possible?
Well, for most businesses that have physical products of services, it is quite easy to leverage the traffic to their online business through whatever reach they already have in the offline world.
For example: If you have products, then you can print 20% discount coupons on your products, which can be only redeemed through your website. You can offer a lucrative giveaway for simple answers that can only be replied to @ a particular URL.
Make sure you print your WEBSITE ADDRESS AND SOCIAL MEDIA URLS in bold in all your products, magazines, newspaper and other promotional material.
Use both sides of your business cards. On one side, you give the address, email, website URL, and other details and on the other side, give a special offer that incites people to subscribe to your blog to get updates.
The biggest advantage of this technique is that you do not need to spend a single penny other than what you are already spending to grow your audience and get more traffic to your website.
KEY TAKEAWAY – Use existing promotional materials in whatever form you have to get more traffic to your website by making use of whatever media outlets you are investing in now. Tweak them and incite people to visit your site.
WRAPPING IT UP
So there you have it – Top 10 Actionable Tips to increase website traffic instantly. It doesn’t matter what business you are running, whether it is totally based on physical products or services or just rendering digital products or services. These tricks can work for any trade.
In order to be successful at driving traffic to your website, you need to have a concrete set of plans so let me tell you what you should do next.
- Pick the easiest methods from the list like the Language Translation and YouTube Methods and apply them to your business. Do not procrastinate. Just get down to work or you will lose your focus.
- Share this post amongst your family, friends and colleagues so that everyone can benefit from these free tips. Most of the strategies that we have talked out in this post do not need any major investments. So anyone can do it.
- Once you execute some of the strategies that I have talked about in this thread, try to measure the outcome from the same and share your progress through the comments section below.
- If you get stuck during the execution or need help with any of these tips, feel free to leave your comments below.
Traffic generation is a mind numbing topic and it can be a fairly expensive endeavor as well. There is not a single soul on the planet, who can claim to be the master of all traffic generation channels, it’s nearly impossible.
Instead of aiming to complete all the methods in this post, you should aim at completing one and mastering it and then moving onto the other methods.
Good Luck executing and have a good day!