From small-time blogs to e-commerce powerhouses, dismal traffic figures plague countless sites across the web. While issues like high bounce rates and poor conversions certainly contribute to low sales and disappointing overall results, minimal traffic has a much greater impact, effectively limiting a site’s earning potential. Advertising and expensive marketing campaigns provide some relief for web entrepreneurs and small businesses, but these initiatives can seriously tax tight budgets and rarely provide long-lasting results. Fortunately, there are plenty of organic options available that produce fantastic results without the weighty price tag.
The following eight keys explore some of the most popular ways site owners can generate traffic without splurging on pricey marketing techniques.
1. Targeting the Right Social Media Platforms. The premise of social media networks sounds like a dream opportunity for web marketers. Simply throw up a few tweets with links to newly-published content and watch the visitors roll in, right? Unfortunately, things aren’t quite that simple, with networks like Twitter and Facebook regularly demonstrating click-through rates lower than 5%. Ouch.
Instead of wasting time courting visitors on Twitter or Facebook, web marketers should turn their attention to networks like Pinterest, where participants are actively seeking out content to share and discover. StumbleUpon is another great resource for generating traffic. Rather than neglecting the bigger networks outright, they should be used to build real communities that build brand value, not spammed with ineffective links.
2. Building Clout through Guest Posting Web optimization experts recommend keeping visitors engaged with a constant stream of new content, but many publishers struggle to keep up with the demand. Savvy web entrepreneurs can fill this gap by partnering with webmasters to create guest posts. Posts from established experts hold undeniable appeal for bloggers looking for content, while authors benefit from increased traffic and brand clout. This mutually-beneficial relationship not only generates short term growth, but many successful partnerships offer limitless potential over the long haul.
3. Creating Interesting Videos In spite of the mountain of evidence confirming videos outperform all other forms of content, many web publishers stick exclusively to textual posts. Blog posts and articles certainly have their place, but videos better capture the attention of web users browsing aimlessly. YouTube alone drives the most traffic of any social media site, which should motivate any web publisher to begin making high-quality videos.
4. Interacting with Visitors Slapping up a blog post doesn’t take much time, but many website owners think their job ends when they hit publish. Instead, it’s vitally important to interact with those who take the time to read the post and leave feedback or comments. Authors who interact with their commenters build brand loyalty and help drive future visits. It’s a simple tactic, but the results it generates are undeniable.
5. Collaborating with Industry Influencers Established influencers within a particular industry already possess large followings and powerful sites that foster vibrant discussions. Establishing a relationship with these influencers and collaborating with these individuals can represent real growth opportunities for smaller businesses. Starting a relationship is as simple as leaving comments on the influencer’s posts, tweeting relevant information their direction, and engaging in their digital conversations. It’s important to take a thoughtful approach, however, building the relationship organically with time. Rushing to build a relationship comes across pushy at best, so it’s essential to act genuinely.
6. Linking Back to Older Content Google’s ever-evolving search algorithms have largely rewritten the rules for search engine optimization in the past few years, but SEO remains as important as ever. Including links to older articles within new blog posts is a simple white hat tip that helps solidify a site’s search ranking, while simultaneously increasing conversation rates. Over time, this strategy draws in more visitors and increases the time these individuals spend browsing.
7. Contributing to Well-Known Publications Interacting with influencers builds credibility for web publishers, but becoming a recognizable expert offers even more benefits. Contributing to well-known publications serves as a simple way to increase brand recognition and provide real value to web users. These contributions serve two purposes, funneling traffic back to the author’s own site and growing the brand’s footprint.
8. Focusing on a Winning Strategy
Optimization gurus and marketing strategists abound online, and many web publishers feel overwhelmed by all of the suggestions, advice, and ideas encountered in a single day. Instead of trying to implement every idea into a winning marketing strategy, it’s important for webmasters to focus their attention on a growth plan that works. Analytics information provides a fantastic snapshot of current traffic sources, visitor behavior, and other helpful metrics. Using this data, publishers should pinpoint a few techniques that complement these patterns and invest their time accordingly.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for generating sustainable traffic growth for a website. Nevertheless, plenty of avenues offer potential traffic sources for webmasters to consider. Much like a snowball growing ever larger as it rolls down a hill, traffic numbers often increase exponentially before exploding. Rather than becoming discouraged by relatively low numbers in the short term, publishers should keep their heads down and work diligently to generate better figures. Over the long haul, this approach proves undeniably effective.