Everyone talks about link building strategies. Let’s talk about 38 other ways to increase website traffic, free.
How to Increase Website Traffic for Free
Yes, backlinks are a pillar of search optimisation strategy. However, did you know that there are a bunch of simple steps you can take to increase website traffic free, without using backlinks?
In this article, we outline some alternative forms of site promotion that do not rely on backlinks.
These alternative SEO strategies to increase website traffic for free can set your brand apart from your competitors, while helping you get enough traffic to learn how to properly monetise it (if you haven’t already). If you have, then you’re looking at more conversions.
These suggestions are pretty diverse, like an a la carte Chinese takeout menu. Skim right until the end of the article and find out if there’s anything you could be doing, or doing differently.
Increase Traffic with Content
1. Stop writing crappy content. In a sea filled with so much crappy “SEO content”, you can make yourself stand out with content that’s worth your customer’s time. Woa, there’s a novel idea!
Write something useful and interesting. An answer to a recurring problem. A guide to make an aspect of their life easier. Write content that counts and people will link to your site naturally when they see it has value.
2. Make your headline stand out. Your headline should be concise but not generic-sounding. Experiment with different titles and use a tool like the Headline Analyzer to determine the effectiveness of your headline.
3. Write in your brand’s voice. The effort you put into your website copy is a direct reflection of your brand. Speak in a way you want to be heard; maintain that voice. Users like following a brand that’s consistently delivering value for its viewership.
4. Show search engines the way. Improve your site’s meta tags, keep keyword use at a minimum, provide important details about your brand in the appropriate listings. These are just some of the basic steps you can take to make your brand easily searchable by users.
5. Use longtail keywords. Do keyword research and find out what longtail keyphrases your customers are using to search for your product. Longtail keywords target the ready buyer who knows exactly what they’re looking for instead of a window shopper who only uses short phrases to make a general query.
6. Think of your target customer. Write your content for someone who can benefit from your products and services. What would their hobbies be? How would they spend their weekends? Where do they go when they’re on holiday? Create a detailed buyer persona for your brand and craft your content to answer the persona’s problem.
7. Go in-depth. Make your post just a little longer and thoroughly researched. The better you are at covering a topic in your niche, the more likely it is for Google to find you and bring your site to users’ results. Research shows that top ranking content on Google currently has an average word count of 1,140-1,285 words.
8. Post industry-relevant news. Make yourself an industry-authority among your professional connections by writing industry-relevant content. It can be about up and coming changes to your industry or a new strategy that’s worked for your business. So write content for more than customers, write for your peers, too.
9. Create a resource post. This list for the best free stock photography sites from Digital Impact is a good example of a resource post. It’s ridiculously valuable content that users can go back to every now and then if they need information on a specific topic.
Come up with something similar on a topic in your niche that can’t be found anywhere else on the internet except on your site. It could be a giant master list of all the tools you use in your business or a list of relevant forums your industry partners might be interested in. Update it every now and then so it accumulates in value.
10. Transform text into visual content. There’s a reason why platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and SlideShare are so popular.
PEOPLE LOVE VISUALS! They’re digestible and easy to share. Make use of text content and turn it into visual material that you can use on social platforms.
11. Play with video or audio format content. Give people something new to consume in their smartphones and tablets by mixing up your content with video and audio content. This is another unique way of presenting data that attracts more visitors to your site.
12. Look at your competition’s content. Do a search for the keywords you are ranking for and see how well your competition is answering those queries. Create or edit existing content so that it’s more thorough than your competitors’.
For more traffic-inducing content ideas, read up our article on how to create sticky content as well as our tips for doing off-page SEO.
Increase Traffic with Site structure
13. Make your site fast and user-focused. Visitors stay longer on a site that loads fast and is easily navigable. Images and flash designs are fine now and then but don’t overdo it. Only include elements that succinctly speak of what your business is all about.
14. Add social sharing buttons. Make it easy for your readers to share your content and attract more visitors by adding social sharing buttons. Keep it at a minimum and only add ones that are relevant to your brand.
15. Use social proof. Visitors actively seek for evidence that your site is reputable enough to be trusted. You can do this by making social media shares for every blog post visible or by including logos of reputable brands that you have collaborated with in your About Us page.
16. Embed relevant stuff. Embed a relevant video or SlideShare presentation to your page. Be sure it’s highly relevant and captivating so users stay longer thus decreasing bounce rate.
17. Link to sites bigger than yours. See what I did there? Every time you write a new a blog post for your site, be sure to link back to authoritative sources where you got your information from. This sends traffic to already authoritative sites while improving your traffic in the long run.
Increase Traffic with Social Media
18. Get social. Hang out at social platforms where your customers are. Consistently share beautiful and captivating content that urges them to know more about you.
19. Use the right hashtags and user names. People are more likely to share a post that has hashtags with the appropriate tagged usernames in it. Make sure to moderately use the right hashtags and tag people involved in your post.
20. Avoid being too salesy. Nobody likes a brand that only talks about themselves. Talk about something that people are interested in: themselves! Limit your promotional posts and start talking about topics that matter to your audience.
21. Highlight the user, not the product. When publishing a testimonial from a satisfied customer, put the focus on them and not your product. You want to empower your customer for making the right choice in trusting your product.
22. Avoid bad mouthing competitors. Not only is it in bad taste to do so, you’re giving your competitors traffic that’s supposed to be yours alone had you not mentioned them.
Increase Traffic with Cross Platform Promotion
23. Setup PPC. Gain more traffic in just a short amount of time through paid ads. Platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram allow you to set up ads and tweak them accordingly so it shows up on the right people’s feeds. Most website hosts will give you a coupon code for $25 or more for free.
24. Write or host guest posts. Bring your content to new eyes by writing a guest post for a blog relevant to your niche. You need not to put a link to your site but you can establish yourself as a valuable resource of information in your industry.
Alternatively, you may also invite someone in your industry to write a post for your site. Not only are you helping them gain a new audience for their content, you are also inviting the guest poster’s audience to visit your site.
25. Make friends with up and coming influencers. If you build a good enough relationship with the bigger guys in your industry, they might just share your content thus bringing more referral traffic to your site.
26. Interview a popular friend from your industry. Find someone who knows more about your industry than you do. Ask them interesting questions. Dig for some nuggets of wisdom. Share the conversation with your readers. If you’re lucky, your interviewee might just share your session thus bringing your brand to a new audience.
27. Organize an affiliate program. Provide incentives to people who can bring more business to your brand. This opens up your prospect list to a wide network which you wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the people you know and those that know you.
28. Hand out your business card to potential business associates. Whether you’re having your first coffee for the day at a café next door or you’re attending a networking event, it’s important to always carry business cards with you. You never know when you might run into someone you can potentially do business with in the future. Make sure to include your website in the business card.
29. Crowdsource your content. People love to share and discuss their ideas. Incite conversations about your brand and get your followers to visit your site by asking them photos or stories related to your product.
30. Announce company milestones through press releases. Instead of regularly distributing press releases to hundreds of PR sites like many blackhat SEOs do, you will only publish a press release if your company has reached an actual milestone, not because your traffic is going down and you need a little boost.
31. Join a public speaking event. Share your learning experience with others by volunteering to speak at a conference in your local area. Get in touch with event organizers and pitch your idea. Be sure to include your website in the handouts. You can even have your talk revolve around your business and its application to personal life.
Increase Traffic with Customer/User Care
32. Send out thank you notes. Everybody loves getting thank you notes. Maybe because they’ve become such a novelty that it’s a surprise when you receive one. Show your most loyal customers and awesome people in your industry how much you appreciate them by sending them a heartfelt thank you note in the mail.
33. Grow your email list. Make sure to include growing your email list as one of your marketing goals. Subscribers are people who are already sold on you. Now all you have to do is consistently deliver value to your subscribers’ inboxes so they visit your site more often.
34. Create subscriber-only content. Create an aura of exclusivity in your brand by creating content that only subscribers have access to. If you can convince a visitor to like free content on your site, you might just be able to get their email in exchange for more exclusive content.
35. Take customer queries seriously, no matter how small. Customer service is a huge part of what makes your business thrive. Treat your customers well and leave no query unanswered.
Find serious answers to small questions. Aside from providing value through your products and service, you can also answer questions related to your product. You’ll attract more people when they see just how good of a source of information you are.
36. Give people what they want. Give your visitors an incentive for visiting your site. Make sure it’s related to your offering which can then later lead to a purchase.
37. Do more than what’s expected. When it comes to actually executing the service, always go the extra mile. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Use it to your advantage and provide customers with an experience they won’t be able to resist telling others about.
38. Be patient. You can’t expect positive results right away if you are not consistently putting the hard work needed in attracting traffic. It’s normal for traffic to grow at a gradually slow rate but with patience and hard work, you will earn more visitors your site rightfully deserves.
Do you have other suggestions related to getting more website traffic for free without link building? Let us know in the comments.