How to Increase Website Traffic
7 Ways To Dramatically Increase Your Web Traffic
It’s the great mystery of the Internet. The white whale of the World Wide Web.
How do you get more traffic to your website?
You’ve created a beautiful website or blog, made amazing content, and you’re dying for people to see everything you’ve worked so hard on. If you could only get more visitors to your site, it would lead to all of the opportunity you’re so eagerly craving.
But it’s tough, right?
You publish something fantastic, but have no idea how to get people’s eyeballs on it. Maybe you post it on Facebook or Twitter and get a few clicks, but nothing substantial. You email a few friends and tell them to take a look, but that can only go so far.
It’s frustrating. You work day and night with little results to show for it. You’ve tried all of the “secret squirrel tactics” from the self-proclaimed traffic gurus, but nothing works. You’re desperate, and frankly, a little pissed off.
Is there actually a method for getting consistent traffic to your site? Or is it all just smoke and mirrors? Thankfully, there is a tried and true method.
In this detailed post, I’m going to give you a step-by-step guide to getting the right traffic and the best traffic to your site. These aren’t complicated steps, and if you follow them, you will absolutely see a spike in traffic.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Step One: Define Your Goals
First things first: why do you want people to visit your site? Are you hoping to increase sales? Generate new leads? Simply get exposure?
Before you can get the right traffic, you need to have traffic goals.
Take a few moments and answer the following questions:
- Who is my target website visitor?
- Where does that person spend their time online (email, Facebook, Reddit, etc.)
- What do I want to happen when they come to my site? (Do you want them to read something? Buy something? Sign up for something?)
- How long do I need them to be on my site to accomplish my goal?
Setting traffic goals allows you to:
- Know if you’re actually accomplishing what you want
- Measure how close to the goal you are
- Make adjustments if necessary
- Target your content to attract the right people
Without specific goals, you may be able to attract visitors but they either won’t come back or won’t take the actions you desire. You need to ensure that you can get people to your site and that they do what you want once they arrive.
Step Two: Track Your Current Statistics
Once you know your traffic goals, you need to know and measure your current traffic stats. After all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you can’t track how many people are currently visiting your site, you won’t know if you’re making any significant progress.
The gold standard for measuring web traffic is Google Analytics. Analytics allow you to see:
- How many people visit your site
- What pages they visit
- How long they stay
- Where they’re coming from
- How many pages the average visitor sees
- And a whole lot more
To install Google Analytics, the first step is to put the Google Tracking Code on your site. Once you do that, you can monitor your web traffic from either the analytics dashboard or using a Google Analytics plugin on your website.
I recommend that you check your traffic statistics regularly, at least several times per week. This allows you to stay on top of what’s working and what changes you need to make. If you don’t examine your traffic, you could end up spending hours doing something that doesn’t make much difference.
Checking regularly also allows you to see what content is performing best. Once you have that information, you can make an informed decision about creating more content in a similar vein.
Step Three: Improve Your Site’s Content
Now it’s time to begin improving your site, and more specifically, it’s content. No matter how amazing it is, you can always improve it to increase your web traffic. This can be an especially useful process to follow if you started your blog or website a long time ago, and have been creating content for a long time. You probably have older content that can be dramatically improved.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
Improve Your Headlines
When it comes to articles and blog posts, few things matter more than headlines. The headline is the first thing people see and it is responsible for catching people’s attention. Given the amount of garbage being published every day, a catchy headline is absolutely necessary.
So how can you improve headlines?
Use words in your titles that will attract attention both on social media and in searches. As you are well aware, a powerful headline compels you to click on a post on Facebook. A boring headline, on the other hand, gets few or no clicks. No one wants to be bored.
When it comes to search engines, the main focus of your post should be right in the title. If you’re writing about parakeets, you should include the word “parakeets” in your title. This is helpful to potential website visitors, and will help search engines like Google to understand what you’re writing about.
Generally speaking, consider using these tips to create better headlines:
- Create list posts, like “17 Amazing Places To Scuba Dive”. List posts perform well on social media and rank well in Google.
- Use power words that naturally attract people.
- Stir up emotion in the reader, whether that’s fear, joy, happiness, or anger. Emotion almost always causes the reader to respond.
- Create a curiosity gap. In other words, pique someone’s curiosity with the headline and then give them the answer in the post itself.
- Ask poignant questions that people want answers to.
Improve Your Quality
Listen. No one will give a crap about your site if your headlines are amazing but your content is lame. We’re all familiar with sites like this. They have crazy, salacious headlines (“You’ll never BELIEVE this cure for cancer!”) and then horrendous content. It’s a tremendous let down for the reader and guarantees they’ll never come back.
To substantially increase your traffic, you need to have outstanding content. How do you create fantastic content?
A few suggestions:
- Draw people in from the beginning.
If you don’t hook readers in five seconds or less, they’ll leave. You need to get people immediately interested in your article. You can do this by asking a question, giving them a teaser of what’s to come, or telling a story. You want to quickly grab people and not let them go. Your opening paragraph should be compelling.
- Format for easy reading.
It’s really difficult to read long paragraphs on the internet. People tend to start skimming and then stop reading altogether. To keep readers engaged, create short, chunky paragraphs. Ideally, shoot for one thought per paragraph. Also utilize bullet points and indented text for quotes when possible.
- Write like you talk.
Unless you’re writing a highly technical piece, use conversational writing. It’s much easier for people to read and will keep them coming back for me. You’re not trying to win a Pulitzer Prize, you’re just trying to keep their attention.
- Use bold and italics to catch the eye.
For important points, utilize bold and italics. It allows you to catch people’s attention and draw them back to the page.
- Include lots of stories.
The drier your information, the more stories you should include. Stories allow you to illustrate and spice up your writing. People always love a good story and will read to the end just to see how it finishes.
- Cite reputable sources.
This is especially important if you are trying to establish yourself as an expert. When quoting or linking to other sources, make sure they’re not spammy or sleazy. You want to cite people who actually know what they’re talking about.
- Shoot for at least 3,000 words.
Believe it or not, people actually tend to share longer posts more. Ideally, your posts should be at least 3,000 words long and not more than 10,000 words. Yes, these posts take longer to write, but the result is usually top notch in quality.
Improve Your Photos
Do you use photos with your content? You should. Incorporating photos results in more social shares and higher traffic. If you are using photos, there are some very specific ways you can improve them.
- Use eye-popping, attractive photos.
Remember, your post is competing for attention with thousands of other posts. Attractive photos immediately catch people’s attention, which is essential.
- Use high-quality free images.
When selecting images, you need to ensure that they’re both top-notch and royalty free. Sites like Pexels are a great resource here.
Improve Your Links
It’s essential to include both internal and external links in your content. Internal links point to other content on your site, while external links point to something on another site. Including internal and external links:
- Improves the ranking of your content on Google.
Google favors content that links both internally and externally. Just don’t overdo it. If you go too crazy with links, Google won’t like you.
- Allows you to promote other content.
With internal links, you can direct readers to other content you’ve created. For example, if you’re writing about the nutritious benefits of carrots, you could link to another post about how to prepare carrot juice.
- Allows you to reach out to influencers.
If you link to other websites, you can then reach out to them and ask them if they would be willing to share your post. More on this later.
Improve Your Old Stuff
If you have a substantial amount of content, you may want to conduct a content audit to improve, condense, and even remove your old content. Doing a content audit can significantly improve your rankings in Google and can attract new traffic to old content that has gone stale.
When conducting a content audit, you need to go back through your old content and sort it into two categories:
- Keep / Improve.
This is content that you want to keep on your site. Some of this content may need to be improved through formatting, better images, better writing, and better linking, but it will definitely stay on your site. You may also consider consolidating shorter posts into single, longer, more effective posts. This strategy can actually give you new content without requiring much work.
As you audit your content, you’ll find pieces that don’t work well or don’t fit who you are anymore. These pieces can be deleted from your site. Deleting content allows you to clean up the old junk that’s been hanging around for a while.
Step Four: Utilize A Social Media Strategy
Social media is one of the simplest, cheapest ways to increase your traffic. You already have an audience who is at least somewhat interested in what you have to say and you can easily expand your imprint without too much effort. All that’s needed is a bit of strategy.
Add Links To Your Social Profiles
This should be obvious, but it’s often neglected. Add your website to every one of your bios on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and any others ones you happen to use.
Adding your bio allows new followers to immediately find your website and get a feel for the great content you’re creating.
Optimize Your Sharing For Each Platform
As you know, each social media platform has a different flavor. Twitter is limited to 140 characters, Instagram is all images, Facebook is a hybrid, and YouTube is all about videos. Each status update you share should be optimized for the platform.
For example, when using Twitter, you should:
- Create an engaging Tweet that is less than 140 characters
- Include an image
- Use a hashtag
Optimizing your posts allows you to get maximum engagement which in turn leads to more web traffic.
Use a Scheduling Tool
Did you know that not all posting times are equal? Posting during peak engagement hours usually leads to more clicks and likes, which then generates more traffic. According to Hubspot, the best times to post are:
Weekends between 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.; Wednesdays between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Mondays through Fridays between 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.; Wednesdays between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Plus, Tuesdays between 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Evening hours everyday and 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Fridays at 5:00 p.m.; Saturdays from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Anytime Monday through Thursday, except between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
However, you probably don’t have time to manually post every day at peak hours, which is why you should use a social media scheduling tool.
These tools allow you to plan out your posts days, weeks, and even months in advance. Once you input your posts, you can sit back and know that they’ll keep posting. Some tools, like Buffer, will automatically schedule your posts for peak times.
There are numerous ones available, such as:
Include Social Share Buttons On Your Site
You absolutely must have social share buttons on every piece of content on your site. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to share what you’ve created with others. If you don’t, you’re missing out on lots of free, easy traffic.
Utilize Forums Like Quora and Reddit
Forums like Quora and Reddit are an often overlooked source of traffic. But on these sites you have groups of people gathered around and interested in a very specific topic. This allows you to located segments of people who are very specifically interested in the things you are creating.
One important thing to note about these groups: They are usually very picky about self-promotional posts. You need to add value to the conversations, not just spam people with links. If you spam, you’ll probably be booted. These groups are about adding legitimate value, not making a name for yourself.
With that in mind, take time to find some forums that revolve around what you’re creating. Get involved in conversations and take time to answer people’s questions.
Comment On Other Blogs
Identify 5-10 blogs who are in a similar niche as you and then begin regularly commenting on their blog posts. This will have two primary effects. First, it will establish you as a regular presence in that niche. Other readers of those blogs will see your name begin to pop up regularly.
Second, you may get a slight SEO boost since WordPress typically links comments to a person’s website. This boost will probably be minimal, but any boost helps.
You can occasionally share links from your own blog in these comments, but only if the link is incredibly relevant. Otherwise it will simply look like you’re trying to steal traffic. You need to be really careful doing this.
Step Five: Create An Outreach Strategy
Influencers are people within your industry who command respect and have a large audience. For example, Tony Robbins is a massive influencer in the personal development arena. If you can connect with an influencer, you may be able to get them to share what you’ve created with their audience.
You may already be familiar with the influencers in your niche, or you may want to use a tool like Buzzsumo to identify those with the biggest clout. Once you’ve identified them, you can reach out to them via social media or email. When you reach out to them, keep these points in mind:
- Be respectful of them and their time. They probably get requests like yours all the time.
- Reference content they’ve created. This demonstrates how your content is related and adds value to their audience.
- Don’t assume that they’ll share your content. Frame everything humbly and with gratitude.
Reaching out to influencers can be particularly effective if you’ve mentioned them in your content or linked to something they’ve done. Keep this in mind when creating your content.
For a lengthy guide on how to communicate with influencers via email, check out this post.
Republish Your Content On Big Sites
There are numerous large sites that will republish content that’s already been created. This can be hugely powerful for you and can generate a lot of traffic. The link back to your site can increase your SEO rankings and your name is put in front of many people.
To get started, you need to find the sites in your niche that are willing to republish. Simply go to the sites you like and look for the option to “contribute” or “write for us”.
Some examples of sites like this are:
- The Huffington Post
- Elite Daily
- The Verge
After nailing down the sites, you need to select the content you hope to publish. Ideally, your first post would be completely original. This usually gets your foot in the door and makes you seem less self-serving to the editors at the larger site. Make sure to create something that matches their tone and style and would fit well.
Finally, pitch your piece to the editor. Remember to treat them with respect. When composing your email, consider including these things:
- Links to other things you’ve published
- A reference or two about why you’re an expert on the topic
- An explanation of why your content will add value to their audience
- A link to the actual content you’re submitting
- An acknowledgement that you’re happy to make any changes necessary
- Any other listed requirements on the site’s publishing guidelines page
Once you’ve published one or more original pieces, you can begin pitching pieces you’ve already written.
Guest Post On Other Sites
Another outstanding way to get both exposure and traffic is to guest post on other sites. This is slightly different from republication in that you’re always creating original content for the other site. The strategy for finding sites to guest post on will be very similar to finding republication sites. Look for sites that welcome contributions, then send an email pitch.
When pitching, I recommend that you don’t send content you’ve already created. Instead, suggest a variety of topics that you think would fit well on their site. This allows them to pick what they think would add the most value to their audience.
I also recommend that you speak about at least one piece of content they’ve created. This lets them know you’ve read their stuff and aren’t just looking for some way to promote yourself.
Invite Guest Posts
Once you’ve built up some traffic on your site, you can also invite others to contribute guest posts. This allows you to promote their content to your audience and your content to their audience. It also allows you to expand your network, which is always helpful.
A simple email to potential guests is usually all it takes. If they are a big name in your niche, you’ll probably need to give them some good reasons why they should post on your site, whether that be traffic numbers of connections you have.
Appear On Podcasts
Podcasts are huge these days, with hundreds of millions of people downloading them every day. Making an appearance on a podcast can be an amazing way to connect with people who would never hear of you otherwise.
One way to find podcasts that would be a good fit for you is to look in the appropriate category on iTunes. For example, if your site is about business, you can search through the business category for various podcasts that would work well for you. After you identify 5-10 podcasts, reach out to them in the same way you would reach out to a website for guest posting.
Ideally, start with small podcasts first. Make sure they accept guests and tell them why you think you would be a good guest.
Do An Expert Roundup Post
In an expert roundup post, you take a topic and then search around the web to find what the most knowledgeable people in the field have said about that topic. Then you compile all that powerful knowledge into one document, add some key takeaways, and then post it on your site.
There are several advantages to this:
- You don’t need to create much new material. Rather, you can utilize what has already been created and is regarded as expert.
- You can then reach out to those mentioned in the expert post and ask them to consider sharing what you’ve created.
- There’s also a possibility you’ll create new connections with valuable people.
- You’ll grow in knowledge yourself.
Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest ads
Sometimes it can be incredibly valuable to spend a bit of money on ads for your site. For as little as $10, you can get your content in front of thousands of targeted people who will already be interested in what you have to say.
For example, with Facebook ads, you can target people by:
- Other Facebook pages they like
- Personal connections
- Email addresses
- And a lot more…
This kind of specificity allows you to get your content in front of very specific audiences. For example, if you create content around bodybuilding, you can ensure that only those people who like bodybuilding content are seeing your ad.
It’s not essential to spend money on traffic, but it can give your site a quick and easy boost.
Step Six: Repurpose Your Content
Just because you already published something on your site once doesn’t mean you can’t use it again in another form. That’s the beauty of publishing on the Internet. You can use one thing in multiple ways. For example, you could take a series of blog posts and…
- Combine them into an eBook which you could either give away or sell on your site. If you give it away, it’s sure to cause an increase in traffic. After all, people love free stuff.
- Create a how-to guide. For example, if you wrote 8 blog posts talking about how to start a band, you could combine and condense them into a single, useful, step-by-step guide. Then you could give this guide away, drawing even more traffic.
- Turn them into a series of videos which you could record and then post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. This would allow you to venture outside the medium of writing and connect with those prefer video instead.
- Share bits and pieces from the posts in forums and on Facebook groups. Rather than spamming groups with links to your posts, you could share small portions. This would allow you to develop your reputation as someone who knows what they’re talking about. Once you’ve established yourself, then you can share the occasional link.
Don’t let a single piece of content go to waste. Repurpose it in as many different ways as possible to drive maximum traffic to your site and connect with as many people as possible.
Step Seven: Build Your Email List
Finally, one of the best ways to consistently drive traffic to your site is to build up an email list. People are constantly overwhelmed by notifications but they still pay attention to their inboxes. Email allows you to connect with people in a more personal, one-to-one basis.
To build an email list, you first need some type of email marketing service, such as:
These services allow you to build a sizeable email list and then create and send emails to that list.
To build an email list of people who want to read your content, you could:
- Give readers the option to get your content in their inbox. A simple entry form would make it easy for them to input their information.
- Do giveaways in exchange for their email address. You could give away a prize and the way to enter by putting in a valid email address.
- Give away a guide (like the ones above) that you send to their email address. You can take content you’ve already created and use as what is called a “lead magnet”.
It can be easy to think that email is outdated and no longer effective, but this simply isn’t true. A large email list can enable you to reach those who don’t regularly interact on social media, as well as cut through the noise that you typically find online.
A Final Note
The most important factor in getting traffic is creating consistently great content. You can implement all these steps, but if your content isn’t good, it doesn’t matter. The only way to stand out in the crowd is to produce great stuff.
The steps to more traffic are as follows:
STEP #1: Define Your Goals
STEP #2: Track Your Current Statistics
STEP #3: Improve Your Site’s Content
STEP #4: Utilize A Social Media Strategy
STEP #5: Create An Outreach Strategy
STEP #6: Repurpose Your Content
STEP #7: Build Your Email List
Remember, this is a repeating process. The more consistently you do it, the more traffic you’ll see. There are no shortcuts, but if you follow these steps, you will see results.