If you have any online presence at all, it is highly likely that you are marketing something. Whether you are offering a tangible product or service or you are attempting to gain traction for your company or brand, you still want people to take an interest in what you are pitching. That is done exclusively through traffic to your website, landing page, or other online content. Many marketers, content creators, and business professionals believe that the key to driving traffic to a website is to adhere to and apply as many SEO best practices as possible.
While effective search engine optimization can improve your website or page ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs), better ranking does not always correspond with a higher volume of visitor traffic. There are some on-page SEO tactics you can employ that hurt your opportunities for attracting visitors, rather than helping them. For example, failure to properly make use of page title tags, meta descriptions, and headings can give potential visitors a vague, incomplete, or misleading impression of the content they might find on your website or page.
Aside from SEO itself, there are several things you can do to drive more traffic to your website, landing page, or another form of online content, whether a blog, social media post, professional profile, or other information. Here are 12 indispensable tips that you should start using now to boost the flow of visitors to your online presence:
Create headlines and subject lines that make people want to know more. Some of the best content online today is often crippled by a headline that is lackluster, generic, or just plain boring. Many users today are searching for data while on mobile devices, which means they are on the go. That gives you just a few seconds to catch their eye and their attention with a short, snappy, actionable headline.
Publish guest blogs on authoritative, reputable, and highly-trafficked websites. Being a guest blogger is an excellent way to drum up attention for your blog or other online content, so try to do it as often as possible. Guest blogging standards and practices have changed significantly over the past few years, however, so it may take you some time to get your foot in the door at a site that offers the most potential for traffic to your content.
Revamp your older content to make it more relevant, if possible. Search engines always like new content over old information, mostly because the internet is continually evolving in many different areas. Old data appears outdated or stale just because it is old, regardless of how relevant the content may be. As time permits, go through your previously published material to see if any can be updated or republished more freshly and engagingly.
Spread the word with advertising. There are many different ways you can advertise your content on the internet. Not only can you talk about and link to it through your existing online locations, but you can also take advantage of email blasts, guest blogging, and paid or sponsored advertising to get the word out. A word of caution when using paid advertising: make sure you are doing so on sites that are reputable, rather than paying to have your content featured on random link lists or catalogs.
Keep your content interesting by using different styles and formats. Even if your online following is small and exclusive, your users don’t want to see the “same old, same old” every time you publish something online. Change up the format or style of your content by varying the length (more extended content does work well for search engines but doesn’t always win in the eyes of users). That may be by including videos or images, creating infographics, charts, or tables to support your data, or by using other modifications to make your content more appealing.
Make use of cross-channel traffic opportunities with social media. Social media has gone far beyond Facebook these days. You can use a variety of social networks to let people know about your website, landing page, or other content by linking to it on any number of social sites. Make sure you hit the more popular ones like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit, but don’t forget the other social sharing opportunities available at locations like LinkedIn, Google+, and many others. Keep in mind when posting to social networks that the primary user demographic varies from site to site. That means you will need to customize your messages to capture the attention of the users that are specific to each social network, rather than creating one generalized message and posting it on all social sites.
Create content that people want to share via backlinking. If your content doesn’t get shared somewhere online by someone other than you, you are apparently doing something wrong. One of the best ways to organically drive traffic to your website, landing page, or other online content is by making sure it is worthy of being visited, liked, followed, or shared. That can sometimes seem like an insurmountable challenge, given the fact that the internet is drowning in content. Start focusing on who you want to attract, what they want from you, and how you can provide it to them in the most engaging, original, and actionable way. Once you better understand your audience, you will be much better positioned to deliver share-worthy goods.
Strengthen relationships with your existing users, followers, and fans through engagement. Some of the most popular brands online today aren’t those with the most numbers behind the dollar sign in their net worth – they are the brands that stay connected with their audience. People who want to patronize your company also want to know that you are ready, willing, and able to communicate with them, answer questions, resolve issues, and build a better relationship with them. Stay visible, active, and accessible, so your audience will know that you are invested in them as much as they are in you.
Stay on top of what others in your industry, market, or area of interest are doing. There are tools and applications you can use that will give you insights into the performance of other content online, including that of your competition. In addition to keeping tabs on what’s working well for your competitors, you can also find out what topics and trends are currently making the rounds via the word-of-mouth grapevine (aka social media). If you can do so, publish content that is relevant to presently trending subject matter.
Avoid posting just for posting’s sake, or piggybacking on the content of other people (via comments, links, etc.) unless you have something original, insightful, or valuable to say. If you have spent much time reading comment streams for popular articles, you have undoubtedly had to wade through dozens of ‘great job, love the tips, awesome ideas’ comments that people post simply for the sake of saying something. In many of these comments, you will also see links to the comment maker’s content (“check out my awesome ideas” or “I also have a list of guaranteed tips”). Do not use these types of tactics to try to drive traffic your way. If anything, it will turn traffic away from your content rather than to it, because it appears spammy or like little more than gratuitous salesmanship.
Find out who the influencers are in your industry, market, or area of interest, and start creating content that makes them take notice. That can be one of the hardest things to do because industry influencers, those people who can get information actually ‘moving and shaking’ on the internet, can often be hard to influence themselves. Your content has to make them want to know more and tell others about it. While traffic from traditional sources, like generic social shares or blog backlinks, for example, can give your visitor volume a boost, traffic driven to your site from relevant influencers can take your traffic to an entirely new level. Know who these people are and impress them, then watch your traffic volume change dramatically as a result of their contribution to spreading your message.
Give away something of value to interested users. By the way, “give away” means free. People love to get something valuable in exchange for nothing at all, so freebies are excellent attention-getting tools. Some of the more popular freebies today include guides, manuals, and tutorials on how to successfully market something online or perform SEO more effectively. People also enjoy information on solving problems, answering questions, or meeting needs for issues they encounter during their day-to-day routines. Your free item can be in the form of a white paper, manual, webinar admission, or even a product or service offered by your company. Make sure you ask for a review or testimonial relating to the giveaway item, too, and be sure to publish it on the web page that is offering the piece.
When asked what their biggest concern or challenge is regarding online marketing, most people will say that it has to do with increasing site traffic. After all, more traffic equals more leads, conversions, customers, and of course, profits. The tips listed here will help you boost the traffic volume to your web-based content and get more visibility for your online presence. When looking for ways to improve your online marketing potential, however, don’t forget to also invest time and effort into adequately optimizing your content for search engines, as well. Effective SEO, combined with other successful traffic boosting methods, should be critical components of your overall marketing strategies so you can more quickly and efficiently achieve your goals.