Traffic is the heartbeat of any website.
The more targeted traffic a website receives, the more money that website will likely make.
In fact, increasing a web site’s traffic is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to increase overall revenue.
However, it is important that the traffic is targeted.
Sonia Simone wrote over on Copy Blogger about famous blogger Daniel Lyons, who was getting about half-million visitors to his blog every day yet only made around $1000 from AdSense. The simple reason is that you can get all the traffic you want, but if those people are not interested in what you have to sell, that traffic is a bit pointless.
With that in mind, there are five key things you can do to grow your site traffic in a way that will help you successfully monetize your site.
1. Forum posting
Have you ever thought to yourself that forums are a bit old school?
Well, just because they’ve been around for many years, doesn’t mean they aren’t a viable way to drive traffic to your site.
The tactic is recommended by many successful bloggers – including Ryan Biddulph, the travel blogger who travels around the world and make a living out of his blog, in his blog traffic guide.
Show off your knowledge. Attract forum members to your blog.
Forums are often overlooked because they take a lot of effort to bring in positive results. However, once done right, the return on forum posting will be massive.
Except for Internet marketing forums, forum members in a variety of niches are generally very friendly and receptive toward good, helpful content.
If you’ve been a member of the forum for a while and are regularly contributing thought provoking posts, then the mods will likely be receptive to a senior member (you) writing good content and dropping a link in the post.
The key is to find the right type of forum that matches your own site/blog.
- If you’re running a mom blog, you might want to check out some cooking or child care forums. Share something useful, such as a family recipe or dos and don’ts for breastfeeding in public. Drop a link or two back to your blog so that people can read more on these topics.
- If you’re running a business site about finances, look for forums about investing in a 401K or about different retirement accounts. Post your own experiences and link back to an article on your website.
You get the idea. Find a forum that relates to what you are writing about, make sure the rules allow you to post a link, and share valuable information that is helpful to others. The key is to not spam the forum with self-promoting messages. Be helpful to the community and only drop a link when a member asks for one or it actually adds value to the discussion thread.
To find relevant forums in your niche, Google “inurl:/forum + key terms”, “inurl:/vbulletin/ + key terms”, and so on. Try:
- “inurl:/vbulletin/ + burger recipe”
- “inurl:/forum/ + blogging tips”
- “inurl:/forum/ + mom advice
2. Write epic content and go viral
Every site owner dreams of writing something that goes viral and suddenly there is so much traffic to the website that you see a spike in book sales, mailing list subscriptions and advertising revenue. It is possible to accomplish this, but like most things it requires hard work.
To hit on a topic that goes viral, you basically need two main things:
Most website owners don’t have a fat budget that allows them to launch a huge marketing campaign. Efforts have to be very targeted and somewhat frugal. Most bloggers don’t have a personal connection to a high profile influencer in their industry or access to insider information.
All of these limitations make it hard to go viral.
Most of us are just the “little guy”.
However, a viral post can be accomplished if you’re smart and you work hard enough.
One example is a post on link building tools over on Clambr.
Early on in Clambr’s creation, this post was published. It received over 3,000 social media shares in a short period of time. You’ll notice that it has over 226 comments, which is an indication of just how much traffic the post has received. Not everyone will comment who visits.
Going Viral – How?
There are some very specific things you can do to encourage a post to go viral.
Getting the basic done right
- Make sure it’s easy to share your blog post or content. A good social media sharing plugin is a must. When readers love your content, they can easily share it on their own social media pages. Make sure any sharing buttons are easy to spot and use.
- Make sure that you use Call-to-Action at the right time and ask your followers and users to share your content. For example, you shouldn’t ask readers to share content before they’ve had a chance to even read the first sentence. No one wants to share something they don’t know anything about.
- Make sure that your site is loading fast. According to KISSmetrics, 47% of the people visiting your site will expect it to load within two seconds. If it doesn’t, they will leave and go elsewhere.
- Write engaging and catchy headlines.
- Make sure the articles are easy to read. Write in a conversational tone and use simple English. If someone has to go look words up in a dictionary, you aren’t using simple language.
If a topic is trending, you have a better chance of your content being read. If everyone is talking about the latest tech gadget and you’ve written an article about how to use the gadget to grow your business, people are going to want to know more.
It’s common sense to see that trending content simply gets higher CTR on social media because those are the topics people are concerned with.
You’ll gain a reputation as having insider knowledge about current topics.
Write something useful or influence readers’ emotion
Statistically, a longer post with higher word count is more contagious – though correlation isn’t causation. News Whip reported on what is called the “V Curve” for chances of social media success. This is the belief that posts that are very short (under 500 words) or longer (around 1200 words) have the highest chances of social media success. Those 700-word posts that are popular everywhere else? Those average posts are typically not as popular as posts in the other word count ranges.
But don’t get misled by the stats. The main reason why longer posts grow in popularity more easily isn’t because they are long; but rather because the content is more useful and solves viewers’ problems. Longer posts simply offer more value to the readers.
Also, quality content is one of the keys to going viral. Before you can hit massive social media success for your website, you must give a reason why social media users should share your content and follow you. That starts with content that is helpful, interesting, unique, and that readers want to share with family and friends.
Consider your category. BuzzFeed took a look at their most successful content and identified several specific content categories – LOL (humorous content), Win (useful content), OMG (shocking content), Cute (well… cute content), Trashy (ridiculous failures of others), Fail (something that everyone shared frustrations of), and WTF (strange, bizarre content).
Not all social media shares are created equal
After analyzing 100 million articles, Noah Kagan from OkDork found that the average shares were generally higher if you managed to get more influencers to share your content.
If just one influential person shared the content, the article received 31.8% more social shares. Having five influential people sharing your content almost quadrupled the total number of social shares for an article. It’s the same thing as compound interest. Once it starts to grow, it grows exponentially.
So in short, it’s important to get connected with influencers in your industry and have them to share your content.
When it comes to breaking news, get your posts up as fast as possible. In general, if you’re one of the first to write about and comment on the latest big news item, you rank higher on Google SERP (for a limited time) due to the fresh component of Google’s algorithm.
You also are more likely to get links as the news source from a wide variety of other bloggers and influencers.
One example of this is that BSN, which is a popular gamers’ hangout, is linking to Game Spot instead of the official Sony press release. This likely generates a ton of free traffic for Game Spot.
Tools that will help you newsjack effectively
- Google Alert is a good place to start with – it is free but very basic. Set up a keyword and Google will email you when something is posted in that category.
- Feedly helps you keep track of the latest blog posts and news in one place.
- Newsmap is handy when you need to grab what’s happening around the world quickly.
4. Q&A platforms
Another place that can allow you to drive targeted traffic to your website is Q&A platforms.
The trick to utilizing these platforms for marketing is to keep an eye on ongoing conversations in your niche. You can then chip in with some information when you have something of value to say. If your content expands on the idea, you can likely link to it, if the platform allows.
Consider building custom content to fit a hot conversation.
For example, if someone asked about how to do something with .htaccess code, you could write a simple tutorial on your blog, then answer the question at the Q&A site and suggest the asker visit your blog for the actual codes and demos. Don’t worry that you are only targeting one person. Many others will see the Q&A and visit your site.
If you are a publisher who sells programming books – StackOverflow is a good place to participate in Q&A. Alternately, you can ask your writers to be active at the site and to share links to their content where appropriate.
Travel bloggers would join a site such as Trip Advisor.
Whatever your niche, there is likely a Q&A site that fits the topic.
5. Sponsor, speak or organize an event
When it comes to growing your website traffic, it is natural to look at online promotion methods. However, promoting your website in person can be quite effective, especially if you are speaking to a large audience. Most people simply forget that they can market a blog in the offline world.
Events are an excellent place to get the word out about your website . Most event planners offer their speakers great publicity and will either offer you free admission to their conference or may even pay you a small speaking fee. It is an effective and inexpensive marketing channel. Even if you have to travel to the event, you can take the costs off your taxes.
One example of a blogger running an event is Darren over at Pro Blogger. He’s been offering this event for two years now.
Why does this work so well? First, he is reaching out to other bloggers.
Those bloggers share their experiences at the event. Pro Blogger gains more traffic. It is like a viral event with thousands of bloggers sharing and linking back to the blog.
And one last tip – If you do speak at or sponsor an event, be sure to ask your audience to download your slides, visit your blogs, follow your Pinterest boards, and so on.
What the experts say
Helvis Smoteks, the founder of MarketMeGood, suggests, “I manage several blogs and throughout the years I have tested different content marketing strategies thus I know what works and what does not.”.
He suggests the following 3 steps of content marketing strategy to bring traffic to a blog,
- 1st Step: From the start, we are building our blog as part of our lead generation system that means each content includes a lead magnet and an email drip sequence. This helps to automate our marketing funnel which is the only purpose your content should have.
- 2nd Step: Besides sharing content on our social media channels, we start with the platforms where we have spent months and even years building community, those sites include Flipboard, Publi.sh, Medium, Stumbleupon, Growthhackers, Inbound, Quora, Redit and Tumblr.
- 3rd Step: Then we do link-building – email all the URLs we included in the article, execute Skyscraper technique and try to include infographic on each post that we try to share with few high-quality sites.
Find Helvis Smoteks on MarketMeGood.com
Helvis, also a SEO-mastering and content-smithing marketer, highlights, “What’s even important – you will lay a great foundation for automatically attracting new customers.”
Alice Ellicott, (aka The Fairy Blog Mother®), has shared with us the 5 tips to growing SEO traffic to a new website,
- 1st: Search for a subject that is very popular and the majority of people are
looking for (usually a problem with a solution)
- 2nd: Think how to present the problem in a way people can relate to (take out any jargon or buzz words, and focus on how the problem makes their lives a misery).
- 3rd: Research keywords that relate to this problem that have a high SEO score.
- 4th: Write a headline that totally relates to this problem and shows your empathy and understanding with the viewer. If you’re really clever, you could weave in the solution at this point, but it needs to be subtle and intriguing to make them want to find out more.
- 5th: Use your SEO keyword in your homepage’s (or landing page’s) headline and content carefully and selectively.
Alice Elliott is running a successful website at Fairyblogmother.co.uk.
Alice further elaborates on her tips, “This will get you traffic, but it doesn’t guarantee this traffic either being the right kind, or actually taking action on your homepage or landing page.”,
- You could help get more traffic by writing directional blog posts and creating directional conversations on social media. Again the posts will need a high SEO keyword relating to the problem. And the social media conversations may need to happen over a period of time to gain the trust of your followers.
- I also recommend thoroughly researching the subject and finding other blog posts relating to it and commenting on them constructively and usefully. This isn’t a way to promote your website, but to draw the right kind of attention to you so that people naturally click the link back to your website to find out more about you.
The last piece of advice from Alice on this topic, “And remember, traffic is useless unless you can convert it. And also all traffic may not be suitable unless you specifically target it.”
I have reached out the Eden Fried, the owner of EdenFried.com, on how to grow traffic for a new website. She has suggested the following,
- An incredibly simple way to grow traffic to a brand new website is to constantly mention influencers (well-known people in your niche) in your blog posts, lead magnets, etc.
- Send a quick email to that influencer with a link to your content, and tell them that you gave them a shout-out. Chances are they’ll jump up and down for joy that you linked to them and they’ll do you a solid by sharing what you wrote.
You can find Eden on EdenFried.com.
Eden added, “Those social shares from influencers are powerful and can potentially drive the sort of traffic new bloggers’ crave. Super easy marketing.”
The Traffic Game
Getting people to your website takes time, dedication and creativity. Be open to new ideas, what is trending and sharing both in person and online.
The original article is first published on WHSR Blog; it’s now managed and updated by BuildThis.io staffs.