Whether you have a company website or a personal blog, you need web traffic.
More specifically, you need people to visit your website and check out its content so that you can effectively grow your audience and market share.
Online traffic comes from a variety of sources.
Typically, a good chunk of traffic comes from organic search. This is the search engine traffic that reaches your site via clicks users make on relevant search results.
To gain organic search traffic, you would often need to devote a good amount of time on search engine optimization.
While SEO is effective in driving traffic and SEO tools are aplenty to help you gain organic traffic, it can also take a long time and tons of effort to drive your targeted keywords to the first page of Google. If you are in a competitive niche, this could take months or even years.
Fortunately, there are other, not SEO related, ways to bring more traffic to your website and to build your audience, followers and leads for your business.
Here are 10 ways that you can start driving traffic to your website without relying on SEO-driven organic traffic.
Of course, you should invest in SEO for the long term while you use the techniques below.
1. Display Advertising
Display advertising is a form of online advertising which relies on several multimedia elements to be able to convey an advertising message effectively. These include images, video, and audio.
A display ad typically appears in the form of a traditional banner ad or even a large text billboard. According to Google, display ads are most effective when they follow certain size parameters.
- 336×280 pixel or 330×250 pixel for rectangles
- 300×600 pixel for half-page ads
- 320×110 pixel for banners
Whatever size you choose, you must remember that display ads are meant to stand out on any page.
These ads tend to be displayed on some distinct section of a website which is often reserved for paid advertising. The aim of any display ad is to trigger quick conversions for the brand being advertised.
In fact, when display ads are done right, one study has shown that users you target are 70 percent more likely to convert into your customer.
Here’s a guide from Kissmetrics with details on how to do display advertising to drive targeted traffic to your site or offers.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencers are social media users with an astounding number of followers. These followers care about and trust what an influencer has to say.
Just to give you an idea, as many as 51 percent followers say they trust an influencer’s endorsement. Hence, influencers are in the perfect position to spread awareness and promote your website.
The concept behind influencer marketing is based on a simple principle. You tend to share information with friends and other colleagues who are more likely to share the information with others as well.
Influencer marketing is largely about promoting your brand through word of mouth with the help of an influencer (that is, if you are not an influencer yourself).
In the digital world, that means turning to social media and finding people who are influencers.
When you have the support of an influencer, your brand is able to gain exposure to their audience and their audience’s network at the same time. Because of this, you can expect for more referral traffic to come to your way.
And when it comes to influencer marketing, there are tons of platforms to find influencers. My favorite is Instagram. It’s not saturated with your competitors (most are still on Facebook) and it also has a large audience to target.
Here’s a great guide on influencer marketing for Instagram from Shopify.
3. Social Media Marketing
As much as 7 in 10 Americans are using social media to connect with each other. That is why you have to be sure to promote your business here too.
An effective social media marketing campaign can bring more traffic to your website, raise brand awareness and improve your communication with your market.
The key is to plan well before you execute your social media campaign. Keep in mind that different social media platforms have their unique features. Use the right channels to market effectively.
If you want to broadcast any updates quickly, Twitter is a good platform to utilize. It also helps to follow some tweeters in the same industry or even a related field. This should help you get more followers for your brand.
Meanwhile, if you are looking to capture traffic by sharing images, you may want to utilize the likes of Instagram (here’s an awesome Instagram marketing podcast) and Pinterest. The idea is to keep your posts interesting so that users would want to click your link and even share it.
On the other hand, if you are looking to get in touch with the Business to Business market, considering making posts on professional social networks such as LinkedIn.
Posting on LinkedIn regularly can go a long way in driving more traffic to your website. It would also help establish your credibility in the industry among peers.
Here’s how to do social media marketing correctly. I also recommend that you read “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott.
4. Email Marketing
For Americans, it’s practically impossible to ignore emails. Perhaps, that explains why 42 percent of Americans check their email while in the bathroom. Some 50 percent also still check their while in bed.
This is exactly why email marketing continues to be effective in driving traffic to a website today. However, there are some important points about email marketing that you must keep in mind.
First, you need to secure permission from a user before sending them emails. You can do this by asking for your email address through a call to action on your website.
When you do so, be sure to explain the purpose of getting their email address clearly. You have to be more specific than just promising an update.
Instead, you can tell them that signing up will give them access to some exclusive offers or expert articles. The goal here is to make sure they will not view the emails you intend to send as spam.
Once you have the email list, you now have to focus on keeping your promise. If you said that you would send one email each week, be sure to do just that.
Make sure that your content stays fresh and interesting too. This way, your audience will always be happy to receive a new email from you.
In your emails, always take the time to promote any new product or service you may have. It’s also a good idea to include a link to your promotion too so that it would be much easier to locate on your website.
For those who are new to email marketing, you should get started as soon as possible to build up your email list.
5. Referral Marketing
It’s quite natural for people to engage in a conversation about products and services that they enjoy. This is perhaps referrals account for as much as 65 percent of a new business.
Referral marketing works in various business settings. Today, it is commonly employed in retails stores, specialty stores, airports, hotels, travel agencies, banks, health clubs, gyms, and restaurants.
Online referral marketing can be done effectively through social media platforms. After all, people would pay two times more attention to recommendations made by their friends.
When doing referral marketing, be sure to give your customers enough tools to promote you with. This can be a hashtag to use on social media or even an email template that they can use when sharing your content.
Don’t forget to also give some attractive incentives. This can be a discount, store credit, a free trial or even a free product. You would be amazed at how successful this type of marketing can be.
Again, a really good guide can be found here.
6. Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Whereas SEO deals with helping your website rank higher across relevant search results, pay per click or PPC allows you to appear ahead of the search results themselves.
PPC is ideal to use when you want your brand to gain more exposure fast. Considering that 67 percent of clicks go to the top five listings, it is important for your website to secure a spot at the top part of the first search results page.
When creating your PPC ads, pay special attention to your copy. Make it interesting enough so that users would notice it and click. More importantly, be sure to include your keywords too.
In addition, don’t forget to utilize ad extensions on your ads when advertising on Google. They can help in better explaining what your site is about to the user. They also help make your ad stand out more.
Check out this extensive guide on PPC for beginners.
7. Content Marketing
At the heart of every great online marketing campaign is its content. Content marketing is ensuring that you develop consistent, valuable and relevant content to attract your target audience.
Hence, content marketing is a long-term type of marketing strategy. When done right, it allows you to build a strong relationship with your target market so long as you always deliver high-quality content.
There are several ways that you can approach content marketing. You can do it by showing some infographics, which provide statistics and various colorful graphics to support your numbers.
You can also simply develop your web content for content marketing. That means the information you publish should be helpful and appealing to your audience. They have to be fascinating enough to get users to visit your site again.
Before coming up with your content, it helps to some in-depth research. Find out what your market is interested in and more importantly, what they often search for. Develop your content around this.
When it comes to content marketing, Brian Dean is the king, in my opinion. He calls it the Skyscraper Technique. You can read his case study here.
8. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest types of marketing around.
The idea here is for you to offer your product in an affiliate program and let affiliates do the marketing for your product. In this case, you are the vendor of the product.
In an affiliate marketing set up, you can sign up with an affiliate program network and let them deal with the payments to your affiliates. The network then takes a cut from the sale.
You can also set up your own affiliate program. But in this case, you would have to handle the affiliate payments as well as the technicalities of setting up an affiliate tracking software.
Regardless, this a great marketing channel for you to gain new customers without having to spend a hefty sum of marketing dollars.
Here’s an interesting article about becoming an affiliate vendor.
9. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing uses various forms of pull marketing to help generate new business. This can be through social media, blogs or content marketing.
Before you go down this road, you need to understand the difference between inbound marketing and content marketing.
The goal of inbound marketing is to capture the attention of possible customers and make your website easy for them to find. When done right, it can be 10 times more effective in generating traffic and even, increasing your sales.
Like other types of online marketing, inbound marketing starts with attracting customers. This is often done by creating brand awareness to draw in traffic.
To do this, you can create useful education content on your blog or put insightful posts on social media. Once you have captured visitors, you should continue to market to them to convert them into customers.
To do this, you can chat with them from your website to start the sales process. You can also invite them to have a virtual meeting with you to get the chance to win new deals.
Here’s how inbound marketing works.
10. Video Marketing
In today’s world, videos are just incredibly popular. After all, internet users turn to them as a source of both information and entertainment.
In fact, videos are projected to claim over 80 percent of all web traffic by 2019. This is exactly why it pays to utilize video marketing.
What’s great about videos is that they are both auditory and visual. This makes its content easier to remember than text. Hence, using videos to get users to remember your brand is a smart move.
Video marketing can be approached several ways. You can upload videos on popular video sites like YouTube and Vimeo to draw traffic to your own website.
You can also consider incorporating videos into your website content. 90 percent of customers have said that product videos have helped them with purchase decisions.
Hence, you can possibly increase your website’s conversion if there are videos on your product page. Not to mention, it’s also an enjoyable way to educate customers about your product.
On the other hand, you can also choose to add video links to your marketing emails. Studies have found that doing so can increase your email’s click-through rates by 200 to 300 percent.
Here are some tips on how to step up your video marketing game.
Just keep these tips in mind, and your website should be achieving more traffic in no time.
Remember that you also don’t need to do this alone. Ask an expert for help if you still don’t feel confident about doing it yourself.
Jinghong Chiu is a resident instructor for SEO at Derek Gehl’s Ignited Academy on ProjectIgnite.com. He is a specialist on online startups, SEO, and outsourcing. He also provides SEO services to startups and businesses.