Traffic. It’s the holy grail of a successful website and translates to revenue, brand and business growth in many exciting ways. This post is the ultimate traffic guide for how to grow a blog from scratch.
I’m so excited to have compiled this guide with some of the most common methods for increasing your web traffic.
I’ve included free methods, paid strategies, secret hacks and more.
And although I recommend starting with free options, adopting multiple traffic avenues is something any website, blog or business should strive for.
Sure, paid ads offer quick wins and results that can generate conversions and sales even for new blogs and websites. However, once you stop inputting money, the system and your results freeze.
This is why free traffic methodologies should be a top priority. They will pay off for you in dividends over time – all on autopilot.
And I’m confident that the information in this post will serve as a crucial guide for anyone wanting to increase their web traffic.
As you may have gathered, this article is intended for individuals who already have a website up and running and blog content created.
So if you’re truly just starting out, then check out this guide for starting a blog first.
Then, once you’re ready to grow your blog and increase its traffic, you can come back here!
Now just one more thing!
This post is pretty long, quite detailed and packed full of useful information.
So after giving this ultimate guide a once-over, I’d recommend saving this post so you can revisit the information as you move forward.
I’ll also be keeping the information updated and relevant and will be available to answer any questions or comments.
So without further ado, let’s dive in!
- Free Traffic
- Paid Traffic
- Other Traffic Sources
- Tips, Hacks & Tools
Free traffic is probably the most enticing solution for many websites and business owners. Luckily there are many ways to experience organic growth.
The different strategies below outline some of the methods that I’m personally most familiar with and/or are actively pursuing myself.
Most of the strategies in this free traffic section will involve SEO, which stands for search engine optimization.
If you’re new to internet marketing, content marketing or website building in general, this term may be new.
If it is, don’t worry – I promise it’s not as complicated as it sounds!
SEO refers to making your website and its content optimized so it’s easily found by search engines.
We do this primarily through targeting specific, searchable keywords and creating content to match those user search inquiries.
There are many tools – both free and paid – to help with this process (which you can find in the Tips, Hack & Tools section below), but you can quickly and easily do this by simply starting to type something into Google and seeing what suggestions pop up.
These are popular search terms that people are actively searching for.
Now, if you’re a newer website, you’ll want to avoid targeting high-competition, general keywords that already have thousands (or millions) or posts from high authority sites competing for ranking.
So here’s the takeaway for SEO:
- To Get Started With Using SEO for Free Traffic, Aim for Low-Competition, High(ish) Search Volume Keywords
This is where using a keyword research tool can come in handy because they will give you search value and competition data and analytics so you can choose the best possible keywords to create content around.
Once you’ve got some keywords that you can realistically target and rank for, you’ll need to create good, high-quality content for those terms.
This brings us to the next section, content building for SEO and free traffic.
SEO & Content Building
So let’s kick things off with my personal favorite, SEO content building. It’s my go-to for three big reasons:
- It’s Free
- Except for the upfront time commitment or if you decide to outsource writing or other related tasks
- It’s Value-Adding
- If you’re adding more value to people, traffic becomes organic over time and trust and authority will follow suit
- It’s An Asset That Will Continue to Compound & Grow Over Time
- This is like a digital investment that will continue to give you results for years to come
- And it can take a long to time rank – up to 36 weeks or longer according to this YouTube video by Income School
First things first, you need to find keywords to target and create content around. Depending on your objectives, good keyword research should also consider about buyer intent.
For example, consider the different audience and search intent between “how do websites track my data” compared to “how to track my websites visitors”.
The latter of these two search terms (how to track my website visitors) would equate to a higher-value customer that’s looking to have a specific problem solved or questions answered.
This particular query would also result in a higher likelihood that the visitor is willing to purchase some product or service to help track website visitors.
The first search term however (how do websites track my data) is very personal and there does’t seem to be a lot of buyers with action-taking intentions.
So choose a relevant keyword for your website and traffic objectives and then create a high-quality, long-form (I’m talking like 2,000+ words) blog post answering the search term.
You can also search Google to see what other website content is ranking for that term.
Then take a look at their content, analyze it to see what your competition doing, then go and make a better article.
This skyscraper technique ensures you’re not only aligned with what Google determines to be good content for that search term, but you’re also providing users with even more value and raising the bar.
Together, this is a great strategy for content building.
Finally, to optimize for SEO throughout your post, there are many hacks, tricks and methods. But here’s a crash course:
- Use Your Target Keyword in The Title Description
- Intentionally Place the Target Keywords in the First/Second Paragraph
- Use H1, H2 & H3 Headline Tags Correctly
- H1 are main title tags
- H2 are your main sections of your blog
- H3 are subsections within the main H2 sections
- I rarely use other headlines tags (H4, H5, etc.)
- Write Enticing, Click-Worthy Titles
- You’re competing with other search results, so give people a clear, enticing reason to click to your website
- Write Naturally
- Your keywords will probably come up naturally throughout writing, which is fine, but just don’t try to “keyword stuff” by adding the phrase too much
- Just keep your writing natural sounding and with the end-user in mind
Local SEO Strategies
If you’re a small business owner that doesn’t necessarily have a global target audience and operates at a local, you may be wondering whether SEO strategies are still relevant for you. Well simply put: YES!
Let’s forget about the income opportunities in creating digital products related to your business, online consultations and/or other internet monetization channels.
Local SEO is still an important part of modern marketing and can be done in a few simple steps.
For starters, you’ll want to make sure your business is added to the Google My Business listings. From here you can start creating content using the same strategies as above.
BUT, you’ll simply add your specific location to the back-end of the keyword.
For example, if you’re a bike shop in Minneapolis you could create content related to the best bikes for long-distance biking- but catered specifically to people living in Minnesota (or in the Midwest in general).
Check out this super helpful video from Income School to learn more about local SEO!
**EMBED VIDEO INSERT
Using YouTube to grow your traffic echoes much of the information related to content building above. That is, you’ll still want to target specific keywords and answer specific questions or solve specific problems for people.
However, instead of writing the content, you’ll be putting the information into video format – which many people actually prefer!
In fact, according to OptinMonster, video content increases traffic to websites, increase sales, helps with better lead generation and produces a high ROI.
So starting to use YouTube can be an excellent way to reach your target customer and grow your traffic online – organically!
Also, keep in mind that by providing value-adding, quality videos online, you’ll be building unwavering trust and authority for your business and brand.
This is a huge leg up compared to businesses or websites that have zero content or value-adding content strategy.
Keyword research and strategy is also critical to optimize for YouTube ranking. You’ll also want to add your keywords in the description and even explore using hashtags to help the YouTube algorithm place your content.
However, effective long-term YouTube strategy requires some additional steps beyond the scope of written website content.
Here is a short list of some things to consider if you decide to adopt a YouTube traffic strategy:
- Post Regularly
- Set a schedule and stick to it
- Upload consistently
- Create batch content so you can consolidate the video-making work and then simply drip out the content over time the following weeks
- Brand Your Channel
- Use your logo
- Have a captivating intro and outro
- You can use a free tool like Renderforest to create beautiful intro/outro clips, logo reveal videos, professional videos and animated videos!
- Have a theme and message and articulate that throughout your YouTube channel and website
- Add CTAs
- CTAs (calls to action) are the actions you tell your audience you want to take next
- For example, “Be sure to click subscribe and hit the bell notification so you don’t miss out on the most helpful information for (insert your skill, industry or expertise)”
Recommended Read: How to Make A Video Ad That’s Professional, Free & Converts
This last free traffic source is a huge opportunity for online businesses and websites.
This platform is especially popular for websites with blog content, so if you decide to adopt any of the content strategies above, you should definitely consider adding this Pinterest method to your traffic and marketing protocol.
Pinterest is perhaps more commonly known for its visual appeal and as the go-to place for new recipes, fashion ideas and design inspiration.
However, the reality is that virtually any niche, industry or subject can be searched for and found using Pinterest. This is because Pinterest is more of a search engine rather than a social media platform.
Imagine Pinterest to be Google’s trendy search engine cousin. Whereas Google provides primarily text-based search results, Pinterest offer beautiful visuals that link to web pages and products.
And the best part is anyone can easily get started with creating Pinterest images that will start showing up in the search results.
Compared to Google or other search engine ranking, Pinterest can yield traffic and ranking results at a much quicker rate.
This can be attributed in part to the social aspect of Pinterest. People can pin, share and spread your content within their own boards, groups and to their own followers.
So besides just organically ranking for Pinterest SEO keywords, other users can (and will) share your content – provided your content is actually good and value-adding!
Besides having good content, the key is to be strategic in your profile and pin SEO optimization, to pin consistently and to have great images with enticing, click-worthy titles.
Ultimately, using Pinterest to grow your website’s traffic is extremely powerful.
So I definitely recommend you start researching Pinterest traffic strategies. You can start by checking out Create and Go.
The site is well-established and run by Alex ad Lauren, two famous bloggers that have had huge success with Pinterest and online business.
They have a YouTube channel as well and provide a ton of useful information for using Pinterest (among other things) to grow your website and business online.
Bonus: Secret Traffic Strategies
- Viral Content Bee
- Similar to Tailwind Tribes for Pinterest, you share others posts and in turn your articles also get shared
- Email Subscriber List
- Of course, you’ll need email subscribers, but email marketing is an incredibly effective method for blog traffic, sales and marketing
- Check out this post on how to grow an email list fast!
- Posting both on your blog and on Medium is a great way to increase your organic reach
- This is non considered duplicate content and will not hurt your SEO ranking
- Similar to Medium, also posting on LinkedIn can increase your traffic
- This is not considered duplicate content and will not hurt your SEO ranking
If you’ve started implementing some of the traffic strategies above, then that’s great! But they can take some time and work to really start seeing the results from.
So what can we do in the meantime? Short answer: Paid traffic.
There is more opportunity than ever to find your target audience online and in many ways – especially with social media platforms – it’s pay-to-play.
That is to say, if you put in the money to reach your ideal target audience, then you can reach your ideal target audience.
And it doesn’t have to break the bank either. However, it does require some know-how and marketing strategy to do it effectively.
Here are a few of the most important concepts for successful marketing:
- Understand The User’s State-of-Mind & How It Varies Between Different Platforms
- For example, people go to Facebook, Google, Pinterest and LinkedIn all for different reasons and with different expectations
- Create your campaigns (and content) to match those expectations
- Read more about paid ads and how the user’s state-of-mind changes here!
- Understand The Sales Funnel Model & Create Content & Ad Campaigns To Match The Funnel Stage & Your Target Audience
- Testing Is Crucial
- Start Cheap To Test Audiences & Creatives, Then Scale The Winning Combinations By Raising the Daily Budget
Recommended Read: Quick Guide – 6 Steps To Successful Facebook Ads
Common social media platforms for advertising include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
And each platform will have a different audience with a different mindset, each requiring a different strategy and message. Luckily, these differences can be quickly realized without too much effort.
Take for example LinkedIn. This is a more professional platform and when visitors are on the site, they are ina business, professional and networking mindset.
However, head over to Facebook and people are looking to engage with family and friends and are more likely to share posts that are entertaining and reveal interesting information about themselves, their interests or their life.
As you can start to see, each platform attracts a particular visitor profile and mindset. Recognizing this point is critical to run successful ad campaigns on social media.
So although this post will not go over the details of building these campaigns (which I link relevant and useful information for this), I would like to present some of the reason people visit different platforms and potential ad strategies associated with them (of course, there will be some overlap).
- People visit for to connect with friends and family and to be entertained and consume interesting content
- People visit to be entertained; Highly visual platform; High engagement from users
- People want to quickly read interesting information, humor and/or news
- People want to be entertained
- People want to connect with other industry professional and to consume content formally
- People visit for inspiration, new ideas and to have questions answered; Highly visual
Google, Bing & YouTube Ads
Although social media ads can be exceptional choices for a website’s traffic strategy, they still do miss out on user intent.
That is, users are not actively searching for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems when using social media platforms. This is where Google, Bing and YouTube can help.
For the sake of time and space, I’ll only be providing a brief over for using these advertising strategies.
Of course, I will provide links to external sources should you decide to adopt one of these methods.
Essentially, although social media offers extensive targeting options – such as targeting users based on interests or previous actions and using existing data and email lists – Google (and Bing) allow us to bid for top spots on their search pages.
In this latter scenario, you’d be targeting your ads based on search engine keywords to drive traffic to your site. The type of customers you’d be reaching would be actively searching for solutions to their problems and are more likely to be in the buyer state-of-mind.
And since purely driving to your website is more of a top-of-the-funnel objective, it’d be in your best interest to consider using search engine marketing with conversion objectives and more fine-tuned sales strategies (beyond only traffic).
Finally, in addition to paying for these search engine spots, you can also look into participating in Google’s adsense program, which will allow you to advertise your website as banner ads on other ranking websites.
If you’d like more information about search engine marketing, head over to Search Engine Journal and check out their PPC (pay-per-click) advertising guide!
Other Traffic Sources
The internet is an expansive, often overwhelming place with a multitude of places to advertise.
However, don’t try to overwhelmed with this fact.
The best thing to do is to choose just one place and focus your attention on developing your brand, traffic or marketing objectives using that platform.
Once you’ve mastered this first platform, you can then start branching out and adding other channels.
Depending on your budget, team size and technical experience with digital marketing, you may be able to diversify your advertising efforts sooner, but if you’re just starting out, remember to stay patient and concentrate on one place at a time.
And to reiterate, be sure to go with the most suitable platform for your specific ad objectives, marketing resources and offer.
You need to know where your target audience is and the state of mind they’re in when visiting a particular platform.
Although choosing just one of the above mentioned platforms are great options, I’ve listed below a few more places and methods that businesses and websites have found success with.
- Another search engine option to explore for both SEO ranking and advertising
- Join groups and post links to helpful content when appropriate
- Careful not to come across as a sales pitch – you’ll get eaten alive!
- Start answering questions (with high quality responses) and link back to your website for people to learn more
- Perfect if you have blog-style content
- Community Boards & Online Groups
- Join in relevant conversations and start helping people, answering questions and promoting discussions
- Add your website links to your online profile pages and in appropriate comments or posts
- Sponsored Posts
- Find a blog or influencer and have them either feature your content as a blog or advertise your website on theirs
- Influencer Marketing
- Find influencers (large or small) and negotiate with them to find a promotional idea for your website
- It’s usually best to let them maintain creative control over the content and how they present your content/website to their audience
- Local listings can always be a good traffic source!
- Also good for ads
Tips, Hacks & Tools
When trying to drive traffic to your website, you should also remember what your end goal is. That is, what specific action do you want this traffic to ultimately take?
This could be anything from signing up to your email list, purchasing a product, making an appointment, watching a video or signing up for a free consultation call.
So remember, traffic alone isn’t enough.
We should always be looking to optimize our websites for conversions by focusing on one specific objective (for one specific target audience) and clearly present that offer through value-adding or entertaining/interesting content.
Tips & Hacks
- Use Video
- Use Quizzes, Calculators, Polls & Interactive Style Ads to Increase Engagement
- Check out this post to read more about this strategy!
- Offer Irresistible Value for Visiting Your Site
- What’s in it for them? Why should they visit your site?
- Offer something of high perceived value by solving a problem or providing a solution to a common problem in your target audience
- Do Ad Retargeting
- Retarget your website visitors with followup ads and communication, pushing them further down your funnel
- You’ll want to be sure that you first install the Facebook pixel so you can track visitor data
- Retargeting is an incredibly powerful strategy, which is essentially required to make actual sales from paid ads
- Create Curiosity in Your Ad Messaging
- Entice people to click through and visit your website to find the answer to something or the finish a story
- Optimize your website for conversions
- Understand your specific objectives and audience and optimize for these things
- Sending traffic to a website that’s not optimized for conversions is wasted traffic
This last section presents a few tools that can be useful for digital marketing, SEO and generating traffic to your website.
Of course, these are by no means required but they can help optimize, automate and streamline the process of traffic generation (among many other online business objectives).
I’ve also included some extremely useful tools (such as video creating and editing software) that will help improve your website content as well as any ad creatives you make.
- Tailwind (free trial)
- Pinterest pin & Instagram post scheduler; Completely automates and optimizes your Pinterest & Instagram posts
- Bonus: Exclusive access to pin-sharing groups (Tailwind Tribes) to explode your website traffic
- Renderforest (free plan option)
- Easily create beautiful, professional quality video, intros, outros, animations, presentations, music visualizations and more
- Create free logos
- Easily make websites and landing pages (perfect for consolidating your sales funnels and traffic campaigns)
- ConnectAutomate (money back guarantee)
- Automatically turns your best performing Facebook posts into profitable Facebook ads – all on autopilot!
- Canva (free plan option)
- Create free graphics, designs and more for any social media platform or creative media needs
- This is an especially useful tool if you decide to go with any Pinterest SEO (or paid ad) strategies
Generating web traffic is an ongoing goal for most businesses and websites and this post has presented some common and effective strategies for this.
Regardless of the method(s) you choose, implementing long-term strategies (such as content building and SEO) are things every website and business owner should start doing.
Although SEO and other free traffic strategies can often take longer to see results, the benefit of investing in this digital asset is compounded, sustainable growth in the long-term.
Ranking for search engines, YouTube and other platforms (Such as Pinterest) will provide your website with a free traffic source that will continue to deliver – for many months and even years.
Regardless of the methods you employ, ensuring that your website is first optimized for a specific target audience and a specific objective can help increase conversions and take full advantage of any traffic generated.
After all, if people are only visiting your site but quickly bouncing and never taking any desired actions, then this would be wasted efforts and/or dollars.
Finally, employing effective retargeting strategies will be the most effective way to start making sales from any traffic generated.
You can do this by first installing the Facebook pixel code onto your website (before you start a traffic generating campaign).
After you have enough data (i.e., visitors), you can then retarget these people with specific followup ads, pushing them further down your sales funnel and closer to a conversion, or purchase.
Either way, traffic is simply the first step to more engagement, followers, sales and website revenue.
And by implementing effective targeting with interesting, entertaining or educational content that is value-adding will always be an effective starting point.