I know a lot of you out there are searching for ways to get more traffic to your website (I get asked questions about how to do that all the time). This post is for people looking for some ideas on how to get traffic. Fair warning; these are pretty basic ideas that any advanced webmaster should probably already know about.
Without further ado, what are some ways that you can bring in web traffic in 2016?
1. Create Quality, Relevant Content And Post Regularly
Duh! If you want people to find your site through search engines, to stay on your site, to return to your site, to share your site, etc, then you need to have good content.
When researching content, you should plug your ideas into Google’s Keyword Planner to see potential search volume. You’ll also want to optimize your page towards certain keywords.
Content marketing is a huge subject that I will eventually be writing more about in some depth. For now, I recommend checking out CopyBlogger to learn more about content marketing.
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of working to improve your standing in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Some simple things you can do to improve your position in the SERPs are to use post name permalink structure (ideally a silo structure too), use the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin or All In One SEO plugin to optimize your posts and pages towards a keyword or phrase (preferably a researched key phrase that has low competition), link your pages together, link out to other blogs, use headings, add alt tags to images, and add a sitemap.
This is of course another complicated topic that I will be covering in more depth. For now, check out the following articles:
3. Social Media
A great way to bring in web traffic is to post to social media (sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and grow your profiles on various social media sites. This will allow you to potentially reach people that might otherwise not find your content, it will promote your content to your followers, it will get you backlinks and shares, and you’ll be able to interact with your readers on a more personal level.
I’ve written the following guides to using social media sites to get web traffic:
- Guide to getting traffic from Facebook (it’s basically pay to play now)
- Guide to getting trafic from Pinterest
- Guide to getting traffic from Reddit (high bounce rate, low conversions)
- Guide to getting traffic from StumbleUpon
- Guide to getting traffic from Feedly
Again, this is a huge subject. Sure, I have some basic guides about a few social sites, but there are also experts on each individual site and entire websites devoted to individual platforms.
4. Buy Ads
Advertising your site or content is of course a great way to bring in traffic, the trick is to find a way to reach your target audience without spending a fortune. One way to do this is to reach out to other sites that cover your topic and ask if they are willing to run your ads. You may be able to get a good deal or even start some sort of partnership.
Besides reaching out to other sites, you can look through the plethora of advertising networks available and try to find one that works for you. I think BuySellsAds is a good place to start. You also could run ads on social media and I would suggest Facebook as you can reach a huge targeted audience there for very little spend. I used to think Google AdWords was too expensive, but really there are opportunities there if you can find them. I wrote this article over-viewing some ad networks you might consider using.
5. Join Haro
HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a service where you can sign up and then get emails twice a day with reporters looking for people in a certain field. If you match the inquiry, you can respond and you may get an interview and backlink(s). Some big sites have used HARO (like the New York Times, Associated Press, and more!), so this service is definitely worth looking into.
Another good idea would be to do queries yourself on HARO. Instead of only choosing one source, use a bunch and make a sort of roundup post. After publishing, email each person you quote in the article and ask them to share the article on social or on their sites. Many will do so, bringing you links and traffic.
6. Become a columnist on a popular site
Once you are established as a professional writer and/or an expert in a particular field, you might be able to get a job writing part time on a large website like Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, and many more. This is an opportunity to grow your reputation, bring your site into the spotlight (if you are allowed to add backlinks or mention your site in your profile), and network with other top people in your field.
You also might be able to simply get your posts syndicated, so that they appear not only on your site but also on some other sites. This might not be great for SEO as there could be duplicate content issues, but it can bring in a ton of traffic and get you valuable backlinks. I wouldn’t recommend getting syndicated by other small blogs, but you might consider doing it if a huge blog wants to run your content.
7. Email Lists
Running an email list where people can subscribe is a great way to bring readers back to your site over and over. You’ll be able to notify users of your new posts via email. Some of those users will right away read and maybe even share your content. Basically, every new post will then have a built in audience. My preferred subscription service is MailChimp (free up to 2,000 subscribers) paired with SumoMe (a WordPress plugin). Here is a list of some other email subscribe box plugins.
8. Make Videos
If you make videos as content and add them to video sites like YouTube and Vimeo, you’ll be able to reach a ton of people that otherwise might not find your content. It also gives you the chance to add a backlink to your page in the video description, and people that click those links have proven to interact with content on your webpage more than people that come from search.
YouTube in particular is a good way to get traffic as a lot of people spend a large chunk of their time only browsing YouTube. In the past, I’ve heard that YouTube makes up around a third of all internet traffic. Videos on YouTube also seem to have a very good chance of making it high in the Google SERPs, so making a video and putting it on YouTube could be a more effective way of getting to the first spot in Google for a search term or phrase rather than trying to get a web page in that spot.
9. Start a Podcast
You have probably noticed that Podcasts are becoming really popular lately. I think this is partially because of the popularity of the hit podcast Serial, but also because iTunes and Google Play are making it easier than ever for people to listen to podcasts. For people that are busy, they might not have the time to read articles online, but they can probably listen to a podcast on the bus or train, in the car, or while they work out. This really is just another way to reach your target audience. Podcasts also are a bit more personal than articles, and listeners are more likely to return than people that just read your articles.
10. Make Informational Graphics
People love graphics. They draw the eye and make information easy to consume. They also are more likely to get shared online than plain articles, and thus making an infographic could get you both backlinks and visitors. There also are sites out there now that let you enter info and they come up with an infographic for you. This saves a lot of time and you don’t need graphic design skills.
11. Join A Forum
If there is a forum that covers your topic, I highly recommend that you join and begin interacting with the other members. Make yourself known as an expert and include links to your site when relevant (don’t spam!). Some forums allow you to add a link to your site in the signature area, which you should take advantage of. Forum traffic tends to interact more with your content than people from search engines.
12. Run A Forum
Running your own forum can be a great way to get and maintain traffic, if you can get the forum off the ground. After all, if you have hundreds of people writing posts each day, you are more likely to fit search inquiries than if it is just you writing posts. The people writing posts will of course come back to see if anyone responds to their posts.
13. Guest Post
Guest posting used to be the really en vogue way to get backlinks and traffic, but has since fallen off and Google seems to be against it. I honestly still believe in guest posting, but only if it is done in the right way. Don’t buy a guest posting spot, and only guest post on a site that has good standing and is closely related to your topic.
14. Ask People to Guest Post
If you know of other experts in your area of expertise, don’t be afraid to ask them to guest post on your site. They likely will want to if your site is closely related to theirs, and if they can get a backlink. There also is a good chance that your guest poster will link to your site and their followers might come read the post on your site.
15. Respond to Popular Posts in your category/niche
By this I mean that you could write an article that is a response to another article. If someone writes on opinion and you think it is wrong or have another opinion, write a post. You could even try to contact the writer of the original post and let them know about your response.
16. Comment on other sites
Commenting on sites in your field is a great way to network with other people in the field. You might even be able to promote your site, just don’t spam other people’s comment sections! Any links you do post should drive some amount of traffic and they help with SEO and your backlink profile, even though they are likely nofollow links.
17. Join a blogger community like CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, or Triberr.
This is just another way to network with other bloggers. By making friends with other people in your field, you might be able to get guest posts, backlinks, mentions, and you can grow your authority.
18. Join Quora or Yahoo Answers and answer questions in your niche. Eventually you can add links.
This only works if you are an expert in a field and can answer questions about this field and link to related content on your site. So if you teach people to make videos, you could answer questions about making videos and link to posts you’ve made on that topic. However, if you do something more commercial like you only sell steel beams, you probably won’t have a lot of people asking questions that you can respond to and linking to a page where you sell steel beams probably isn’t appropriate.
19. Add your blog to Alltop and Technorati
Just a good way to get traffic. These sites take all your posts and categorize them. Other people browsing the site can then find your posts when they are looking through categories. To get your posts listed, just make an account, claim your site, and pick categories that your content fits.
20. Update and promote articles that were star performers
If you notice a lot of traffic going to a page, be sure to keep that page up to date with relevant and correct information. For instance, if your post is about how to register for a website, and that website then redoes how registration works and how the site works, you should change your post as your information is now out of date and not helpful to people. If a post was a star performer in the past, don’t be afraid to promote it again in the future.
21. Update and rerun old posts that never took off
If you worked hard on creating a great post and it didn’t take off, don’t be afraid to change it and try again! There is no reason not to, and maybe it will do better the second time.
22. Make a mega resource post
Making a huge post that is a resource is a great way to get traffic from search and to get people to see your site as an authority and return to it. Some sites only make resource posts and that tactic seems to work really well in search engines. Resource posts have a higher likelihood of being linked to and bookmarked. Longer posts tend to do better in search engines. If the goal of a website is to provide valuable content to users, than of course making a resource post has a lot of value, certainly much more than rehashing the same news stories that every other site is running.
23. Make a list of top blogs in your niche and tell the people that made the list
Once your site is somewhat established, making a list of the top other blogs in your niche and then telling the people that made the list via social media can be a good way to get traffic. Even if the popular people that made the list don’t respond to you, it is likely that their readers will see your list and maybe read it, and could potentially become readers of your site.
So there you have it! I’ve covered 23 ways to bring in more website traffic in this, my guide to bringing in web traffic 2016. I hope these ideas help you to get more traffic this year!