You need to increase website traffic. It's the oxygen for your digital marketing lungs, whether you're a small online business or massive.
Without more website traffic, your business would slowly suffocate (sometimes not so slowly).
Breathe deep and easy, my friend!
Below are 25 smart ways to increase your website traffic.
Note these are best ways to improve traffic now, not two or three years ago, and likely not two or three years from now.
1) Make Sure You Have a Good Website
But surprisingly, many organizations here in 2017 work hard for strong traffic… but they still have websites that look like they were created in 1997. Created in a hurry in 1997, to be more specific.
Working hard to pull strong traffic into a crappola website, though, is kind of like working hard to get people to visit your restaurant… where mice are dodging the dust balls rolling across the floor.
You have to have a solid website.
It doesn’t have to be huge in terms of volume of content -- that comes with time -- but the content you do present needs to be well-written and engaging.
And the design you present it within needs to be clean and attractive. (And it all needs to be responsive, see further below.)
The great news is that today, here in 2017, it is easy to build a professional site without breaking the bank.
Website builders make it simple and (ridiculously) inexpensive to build your “Wow!” website quickly, and attractively.
I highly recommend Weebly for small businesses and individuals, and if you are a solo entrepreneur definitely check out SiteSell.
2) Have a Strong Presence on Two Social Media Sites
If you want to gain attention and increase website traffic, go where the people are.
And the people are on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Facebook alone has 1/7th of the world’s population – over a billion people – signed up to it!
Both by engaging people directly with great content, and by the value that links from these sites to your website provides, time spent building your presence on social media is time well spent.
And relative to many other efforts, it doesn’t take an overwhelming amount of time and energy to build a following on – and traffic from – social media sites.
(It does take smarts, though, such as knowing the best times to post on social media.)
Here’s a very IMPORTANT tip, though:
Pick two social media sites to focus on, and focus on them well.
Unless you’ve got a team helping you out, trying to maintain a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and maybe also LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Reddit just takes too much effort.
What you end up with at best is a watered down presence that interests no one.
So pick two social media sites where you will build a really powerful presence.
I suggest you pick Facebook – it’s kind of stupid to ignore the beast – and one other.
That one other should be closest in line with your primary market and preferred means of communicating.
If you want to target women in their 20s to 50s, for example, they’re almost all hanging out over at Pinterest. If you prefer to communicate via video, consider building your YouTube following. Etcetera.
And then post fresh and engaging content on the two social media sites you chose to focus on often.
Interact with your followers and fans frequently, including answering their questions and appreciating their praise.
And by all means, DO let your brand personality shine through in your posts. Nothing kills social media presence faster than being beige with a dash of beige (i.e., dull.)
3) Establish Promotional Trades with Other Websites
If done right, this can be the marketing tactic that gets you the most traffic, and best traffic, the fastest.
Find websites who are willing to promote your site prominently in exchange for a prominent promotion from you.
In most cases this won’t be a competitor in the same space as you, though that’s been done and done effectively. In most cases it will instead be organizations in different industries but whose primary market is likely to also be interested in your industry.
For example, if your website is focused on spices from around the world, and another site is focused on ethnic recipes, it could be a good partnership match.
If your website’s primary market is middle-aged men, and another site’s primary market is the same, even if they’re very different industries it could be a good match.
Typically, a promotional swap may drive one another’s traffic to an article that has a strong call to action for opting into an email newsletter, or direct to one another’s sales pages.
And typically, the websites you partner with will have similar statistics as yours – similar traffic numbers, similar email database sizes.
But if they’re bigger than you, don’t let that stop you from asking them for the swap.
You could always work a deal where they’re responsible only for driving the equivalent amount of traffic to you that you drive to them.
4) Run Giveaways and Contests
Another very effective way to build a lot of traffic is to run a giveaway for high value items.
In fact, even if it seems expensive to give away high value stuff, if done right it may be far most cost-effective than investing in many other means of increasing traffic.
5) Answer Questions and Comments, Love Your Readers!
“My time is precious! I need to spend it building mass traffic to my website, in the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands. I can’t waste it responding to every single question and comment I get in emails, on social media, and from my blog!”
WARNING, Will Robinson!
If that’s your way of thinking above, you’re shooting your whole traffic strategy in its big old foot.
Because showing your market that you are paying attention, that you are grateful, that you care, is an often-ignored but powerful strategy to build traffic.
People remember that, and they talk, and they recommend, and they share with others.
Leave them a positive vibe – even as simple as a “Thank you,” even if they don’t end up buying your stuff – and the positive has a way of returning to you in spades.
Leave them a negative vibe by ignoring them, and sooner or later it will most certainly come back to haunt you.
6) Focus on Boosting Your SEO
As a website owner who wants to increase website traffic, you’ll really want to spend some time learning the basics of search engine optimization – SEO.
And you’ll want to keep expanding your SEO knowledge, and keep implementing what you learn to help your site.
Because the rank of your website as a whole on Google (and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo), and the rank of each of the pages on your website for specific terms people are searching on Google, significantly impacts the amount of traffic you get.
I’d suggest you start by optimizing your site and pages for just a couple of relevant keyword phrases that have thousands of searches on Google.
This takes time, but the payoff is tremendous.
Because when you achieve the Holy Grail – landing your site a page from it on page one of Google’s results for that search term – the traffic you’re licking your lips for comes rolling in!
7) Focus on Longtail Keyword Phrases
Expanding further on working to boost your SEO, this is very important:
Don’t try SEO for short popular keywords like “website traffic,” for example.
Yes, there is a huge number of people searching that term on Google, but the competition to rank high for that term is beyond fierce.
Instead try to optimize for longer, more specific keyword phrases related to what you are offering, also known as “longtail keywords.” For example, “best website traffic service in New York.”
There are not nearly as many searches for the longtail keyword phrases like that, but the competition to rank high for it in Google searches is much lowwe, meaning you have a good chance of hitting that first page of Google results.
Maybe even the Holiest of Holy Grails, organic search result position #1! Which means, of course, traffic.
8) Hire an SEO Expert
Yes, we’re still on SEO, because it can be that valuable to boost your traffic…
Consider hiring an SEO expert.
Sure you’re going to pay for it, but dollar-per-dollar compared to other paid methods of acquiring traffic, it’s almost always worth it.
That’s because traffic from phrases you have strong SEO for is ongoing, not a one-time or brief deal.
Plus, once you have strong SEO on some phrases, an SEO expert can leverage that to create strong SEO on other phrases.
Now do please be careful, because there are many companies and individuals that are marketing themselves as experts, but they don’t have the necessary level of expertise and knowledge to bring significant change.
Do your research. It may be best to stick to those who have built a strong reputation and have great portfolios.
A solid and successful SEO expert is one who follows the latest SEO news and knows the latest trends, because the rules of SEO are always changing.
9) Advertise Online – Start with the Big Dogs
These days, cost-effective online advertising that produces strong, qualified traffic to your website and offers typically requires more self-educating (and researching, and testing) than ever.
But it most certainly can be done.
I’d strongly suggest starting down two online advertising avenues in particular: Google AdWords and Facebook advertising.
Both Google and Facebook make it relatively easy to learn how to use their systems to advertise.
And both have such massive volumes of people using their systems that I can promise you this: there are high volumes of cost-effective traffic just waiting for you to find them on both systems.
It just takes some resolve and work on your end to make it happen.
10) Post Good Comments on Others’ Blogs
This is an old traffic tactic. Done right, it still works here in 2017.
First, hunt down the various blogs related to your industry. Make sure they’re still active.
Focus on those that allow reader commenting. The more active they are, the better.
And then, in the comments area under a popular blog post, add your comments.
Now it sounds simple at first, but the first trick is you need to actually read the blog post, and have something constructive to add in your comment.
You’ve got to find a way to add value to the topic being discussed in the blog post, and direct people to a blog post or page on your own web site to further that value.
Nothing will get your comment removed faster than a spammy promotion of your own stuff.
On the other hand, if you do add value with your own comment (and it doesn't hurt to be complementary of the blogger and the blog post), it may in fact inspire the blogger.
He or she may pay a visit to your website, like something they see there, and via a future post, send even more traffic your way. It happens every day, and it's nice when it does.
11) Be a Guest Blogger
Here’s another oldie but goodie.Post guest articles on other peoples’ blogs.
Obviously you’ll want their blog to pull a market that is related to your market.
Obviously you’ll want to post some very good content that benefits that blog, as well as you.
Sometimes the very popular blogs that allow guest blogging have guidelines for doing so on their sites.
If not, find the contact info for the blogger and don’t be afraid to ask them if you can post a guest blog on their site.
Detail the topic for them, the benefits to their reader, and note that all you ask for in return is a link to your own website.
You may be surprised at how many say YES, because many blogs are always looking for more good content.
Note this can also improve your SEO, especially if the blog you are guesting on is a highly ranked site itself.
12) Put Effort into Creating Great Headlines
If you can’t create great headlines, you’re not a marketer.
Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true.
Because headlines have all the most essential elements of marketing in their concise space. They are precisely how you emotionally grab people and pull them in.
Smart marketers spend very significant amounts of time working on their headlines, whether it’s for an article like the one you are reading, an online ad, a sales copy page, or an email subject line.
What goes into creating a great headline?
13) Make Sure to Link Internally on Your Website and Blog
Many people forget this, but it’s quite helpful for increasing traffic to your site:
Link from the content on your website to other content on your website.
Almost every article or blog post you share should come with at least one link that redirects readers to other related posts you’ve done.
In this way, you will both keep people on your site longer, improving your reputation with them while reducing your “bounce rate” (a noble thing to do, you don’t want people bouncing away from your site too quickly.)
PLUS you’ll improve your ranking on popular search engines and thereby increase external web traffic.
14) Publish New Content More Frequently
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the amount of new content you should add to your website and blog.
However, try to post at least three new items per week, bare minimum.
And more is typically better.
However, here is the caveat: make sure it is at least good, if not great, content.
Lots of good content = HOORAY.
Lots of mediocre to downright shitty content = YOU AND YOUR WEBSITE SUCK.
If it’s a choice between several very good posts per week, or a bunch of mediocre ones per week, in other words, always… go… with… the… quality… choice.
People and search engines will still reward you with more traffic, albeit more slowly than if you could publish a whole bunch of good content weekly.
15) Do Email Marketing. And Do It Well.
It plain old DUMB that many blog and website owners ignore email marketing.
Their stupidity = your gain.
Because still and by far here in 2017, email marketing is THE most effective way overall to market online.
Here’s how to do email marketing, in a small nutshell:
16) Create a Forum
You may hear in some circles that social media has “eliminated the need” for online forums on your own website.
If you do hear this in any circles, say “BAH! Not true!” Then cover your ears and move to a different circle.
Because I have seen – and recent statistics confirm, in case you don’t yet trust me with your life -- that online forums can still attract a good to very good number of visitors and participants.
This is especially true for certain types of organizations and content.
For example, websites dealing with certain diseases need to have forums, because people with those diseases have a great need to communicate with others who are dealing with similar issues.
If you determine that your website could generate a lot of communication amongst visitors, don’t hesitate to build an online forum and direct traffic from your blog posts and other pages there.
It keeps people coming back (i.e., traffic.)
And other people’s posts in your forums can also quite significantly boost your SEO, meaning even more traffic.
17) Do Webinars!
You’re an expert on your topic. Right? Hope so.
So you can surely give seminars on a variety of different material within that topic.
And you should. Right there from the comfort of your home.
It’s called a Webinar, and if you Google “Webinar services,” for example, you’ll see there’s all kinds of tools that enable you to do it easily. (Including some free ones like Google+ Hangouts, which can be good for those starting out.)
And here in 2017, webinars are a popular and fast-growing way to reach people.
Because many people love to kick back and listen to audio or watch a video to learn, versus the hard, hard work of reading stuff ;-)
A couple of quick tips on webinars:
One, be sure to record your webinars, because you can offer the recordings as free bonuses to opt in to your newsletter, for example. Or simply offer them as great content.
Two, always try to offer listeners and viewers the option of asking questions during or after your webinars. And, of course, try to answer their questions.
18) Know Your Website Responsiveness
People access websites from computers, phones, and tablets. And there are all kinds of different screen sizes out there.
Responsiveness is basically how well your website is optimized to work on all these different screens and devices. And it definitely impacts your website traffic.
Is the content readable?
Is navigation easy?
Or does stuff look weird or flat-out impossible to get to?
Check your website on all sorts of devices (and various browsers, like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. for that matter.)
People don’t usually notice a positively responsive website, nor should they.
But they sure do notice unresponsive – i.e., screwed up – websites.
And they leave, and never come back.
PLUS Google tends to rank websites that have not implemented responsiveness lower in the search engine results pages.
19) Speed Up Your Website
The speed of your website (loading time) was always important.
No one likes to wait.
However, here in 2017, when most people have high-speed Internet, the need for speed is even greater.
A slow-ish website will send traffic that’s come to your website away from your website faster than you can say, “Please don’t go!”
Aim for your website loading in 5 seconds or less.
There are many things that affect the loading time like your hosting, the type of content you are sharing and how you share it, the elements present on your website, and more.
Your website host or service should have easy tools in place for you to check your speed.
Or head to GTMetrix to check your website speed, and get feedback on the issues slowing it down.
20) Remember to Add Social Share Buttons
Adding social media share buttons on your website is just plain smart. And easy.
These are the little Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram etc. buttons that people can click when they like your content on your site.
You should add them at the bottom of the blog post or on a place where readers can notice and use them easily.
You can also, within your content – typically at the end of an article, for example – simply remind people to click on the buttons if they liked your content. That alone tends to boost the number of people doing so.
And of course, when they click on those social shares, it appears as a recommendation on their social media, driving others there to your content.
HEY... if you liked this post, try social sharing now! Click the "Share" below ↓ ↓ ↓
21) Tap the Power of Influencers
Earlier we covered you guest posting on other bloggers’ sites.
It’s also smart to identify the right influencers with a large fan base, and ask them to guest post on your website.
Or just get them drunk, sleep with them, and get them to agree to guest blog on your site.
No, don’t do that.
But be genuine in your request, and you may be surprised when they, “Sure, what the heck, why not!”
This can drive traffic in several ways.
For one, people may search their names and find your content.
Another potential benefit – and this is the Blue Ribbon Benefit – they may share the link to their post on your site with their own followers.
That could mean some serious traffic to your site, baby.
22) Tap the Small-Time Influencers, Too
Let’s say that getting one big-time influencer to post on your site equals 10,000 visitors.
But it may have been a lot of work to get that one big-time influencer to do it.
Now let’s say that getting 20 smaller fish to guest post blogs only equals 500 visitors apiece, because they’re promoting their post on your site to their small following.
Not nearly as impressive on an individual scale.
Then again, they’re likely a whole lot easier to reach and to convince to post on your site.
In fact, they may be far more than 20 times easier to get to guest post on your site, making this an even smarter tactic than the big-time influencer tactic above.
23) Ask Your Friends and Family
If you’ve already got traffic in the thousands per month or more, this one may not be for you (unless you have 10,000 or so friends, or a really large family ;-) )
But if you’re just starting out or close to it, and also especially if you’re in a more consumer oriented niche, don’t take this tip to increase traffic to your website lightly.
You may be surprised at how it can give you just the boost you need.
Start by taking the time to list all family, friends, co-workers, old acquaintances and other social contacts you may have, and that you’d be comfortable enough contacting.
The list is often longer than people expect.
And then contact them and kindly ask them not only to visit your website themselves, but to share it on their social media and/or via email.
Even better, especially if your content has somewhat broad appeal, is to direct them to a specific stellar piece of your content and ask them to share that with others. (Make sure you have email opt in or at least social shares in place on that content!)
If you’re rolling your eyes at this tip, unroll them… I’ve seen this result in a mini-viral effect and some handsome traffic more times than I can count! (And I can really count.)
24) Unleash the Power of Good YouTube Videos
Did you know that YouTube is among the five most popular websites in almost every country in the world?
Point is, it’s really popular.
And with good videos, people can be really responsive, and traffic can seriously flow.
So consider creating good videos and sharing them directly on your YouTube channel.
These videos can be based on blog posts you’ve already created, or you can create videos from scratch.
The key to increasing traffic back to your website from the videos on YouTube is have some kind of “call to action” at the end of your videos that makes people want to head to your website:
Perhaps a free report that goes deeper into the topic of your video.
Or a free trial on a related product that can help them.
Or a picture of someone naked that they’d really love to see naked. (Okay, no. Well, maybe.)
25) Promote Your Website Offline
Here’s a secret: the world is now so focused on promoting their businesses and brands online, that many have forgotten about promoting their websites offline.
Or they've foolishly written offline off as ineffective.
That ain’t so, Joe.
There’s still masses of people reading the snail mail they receive, reading national to local newspapers and magazines, listening to radio, attending conferences, and so on.
The beauty is that, whereas online you have a lot of competition, in offline mediums it’s often just you alone advertising in your industry, your space.