Traffic is the life and blood of web-based businesses, and I think I have mentioned and used this passage many times in the past. In this line of industry, websites are made, typically, to be visited by people with the aim of meeting a certain end goal, whether it is to sell a product/service or to just get a message out to the public or to a specific audience.
In a simple equation, the more traffic that a website is able to generate, the greater chances of selling the products, services or even ideologies that the site is providing.
There are many methods that can amplify a site’s ability to attract and drive traffic, which can be segmented into two major areas of online marketing – paid and organic. Paid traffic generation techniques are known to return immediate positive results in terms of traffic, though most require expensive investments. They may come in form of:
PPC advertising (Google Adwords, Microsoft adCenter, etc…)
Social Networking Ads (Facebook ads, Linkedin ads, Stumbleupon ads, etc…)
Direct advertisements (banner ad placements, paid reviews, etc…)
In-text advertising networks
JV Partnerships and Affiliate Programs
Conversely, organic traffic generation requires loads of inbound marketing techniques that do necessitate time and effort in planning as well as in executing, though it’s proven to offer more efficient and sustainable results. Below are some of the ways that can help improve a site’s – new or already established website’s – ability to draw natural traffic.
4 Ways to Intensify Organic Traffic
Acquire contextual links that can produce more links
Getting featured on absolute authority websites such as high traffic news websites, social voting sites and highly-influential blogs can get you links that have greater value, as these citations have high visibility and have the capacity to mount the probability of getting more voluntary links through massive impressions.
Absolute authority websites have strong readership and following, and being highlighted or simply being featured on these sites’ front pages (ex: Mashable, NYTimes, Digg, Reddit, LifeHacker, etc…) carry out multiplier effects, which often leads to more reviews, social shares or editorial mentions of your brand from other websites, as the information can logically reach thousands of readers that will translate to an immense volume of referred visitors to your site.
In aiming to obtain these types of links:
You will first need to create a content that will specifically target each “reach multiplier” site’s type of audience, which should aim to cause interest and/or awareness about your site.
After producing the content (such as web-based tools, article, research results, etc…), gauge and analyze if the material will be seen by these absolute authority sites as newsworthy.
Pitch your story to authority news sites by presenting your content as a resource when tipping them off the story. Most news websites provide contact details or forms on how you can reach them when submitting a news tip. Keep the copy short and concise, though it has to offer as much detail/resource as needed to increase the chance of coverage.
Once your story succeeds on getting published on news sites, it will be much easier to get votes from high authority social voting sites like Digg and Reddit, especially when the link submitted is from an authority news site or blog.
Link building will always be about authentic citations.
Build more high quality pages
A high quality and well-optimized webpage can and will always naturally draw search engine traffic, whether it’s through personalized, localized or global search results – as people will always come across an exceptionally created webpage. Building more of them will rationally result to more specifically targeted web visitors (more quality webpage = more landing pages).
Nowadays, SEO seems to be more of a contest of content dilution (perceptible demonstration of authority, popularity and trust), and that’s why it’s important to produce content that gets searched organically (appropriate keyword usage) and have high potentials of being linked to or socially shared by your possible visitors.
Here are some content ideas that can be easily promoted and can constantly attract readers/visitors through search or social channels:
Unique content that can’t be found elsewhere like research and case studies.
Unconventional or twisted interpretation of trending topics.
Comprehensive resource articles or pillar content.
Exceptionally written content about popular brands and having the content shared on their social networks (Facebook Fanpage, Twitter, etc…).
Rich media content like infographics, slide presentations and high-quality videos.
Publishing multiple contents in your domain all at the same time, as this method can naturally draw search engine traffic, particularly if the site has a good domain authority.
In promoting your high quality content:
Promote through relevant discussions on forum threads, Q&A sites, social networking sites and blog discussions by referring other readers back to your page for more extensive resource about the topic.
Mention your site’s best pages/posts on your guest blog posts, press releases or interviews basing on the topical relevance of the content.
Disseminate your site’s top pages through internal contextual links, wherein you can highlight your best content on your recently added pages/posts and other major traffic entry pages, as this can easily attract clicks from new visitors, which can practically make their visit longer and perhaps take actions such as subscribing to your list, buying a product, etc. You can as well use the page(s)’ targeted search terms as anchor texts when internally linking to boost their search rankings.
Advantages of continuously building high quality pages:
Improves your site’s link equity, as it allows your site to gain and create strong internal links, which lessens the need of building artificial incoming links.
Can progressively increase the amount of new traffic to your site as each newly added page is capable of constantly generating visitors through search engines and other referring sites.
Builds a robust pulse for your site, since continuous creation of high quality page that will be useful to your target traffic may outcome to a larger rate of return visits. This can in turn lead to building brand advocates and a strong following base for your site, which can slightly automate the process of marketing your site’s important pages.
Develops your site’s domain authority and trust that can help make most of your site’s pages show up prominently on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Syndicate social sharing
Social media has been a vital process and aspect of modern online marketing, knowing that even search engines are now relying on social data and signals to improve their search results. Prominence on social media channels is a good indicator of quality content, seeing as it is shared by users for good reasons.
There are several ways to syndicate the process of sharing your content on various social networking sites, but the basis of this strategy should always root from the relationships that your site/brand has able to develop along the process of marketing it:
Use your networks/connections to grow the reach of your content, wherein you can use tools such as Triberr or Twitterfeed to automate the process of sharing your newly published content.
Build a strong following base on social networks where your target audience or link prospects are active (Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Digg, etc…). It’s important to constantly share useful links, relevant information as well as to interact with your followers to make your brand more visible on these networks.
Influence influencers in your sector by engaging them through conversations on social networks and eventually through your site’s content. Here are some other ways to get influencers to notice you.
You can also contact your connections directly through email, when requesting for your content to be shared on special occasions (launching a link bait, new product, etc…).
Another way to utilize your online relationships is through their list of newsletter subscribers. You can use your connections in getting massive traffic to your site by offering something for free (like free reports, whitepapers, ebook, tools, etc…) and asking them if they can feature it on their newsletters.
Building relationships for your online business is essential these days, given that it can benefit both parties in several aspects of marketing, may it be through acquiring high-value links, referring traffic, generating leads as well as in expanding your business as a whole.
6 Ways to Turn Traffic Spikes to Return Visits and More New Site Visitors
Maximize CTAs on major traffic entries
When your site starts to experience a sudden spike in traffic through the various marketing approach mentioned above, you can then encourage new site visitors to follow you on social networking sites, subscribe to your list or RSS feed and to share the content through its call to action, as this will enhance the number of return visitors to your site and possibly invite more visitors to your site as they share the content.
It’s also best to identify the major traffic entries to your site, or the pages that are constantly bringing traffic to your site through search engines or other referring websites. Improve these pages’ calls to action in order to constantly grow your list or followers. Make it easy for your visitors to follow you on social networks through highly-visible or good placements of social buttons.
Showcase your best content on your site’s front page
New visitors have high tendencies of checking the site’s front page if they have found your domain through an inner page (maybe through search or a referring website). Making your site’s best content very visible can make new visitors stay and possibly subscribe to your list/feed or convert to leads/sales.
Make your site’s top content visible on your inner pages
You can highlight your site’s top pages by linking to them through popular posts widgets (on sidebar), related posts plugin or by directly linking to them within your content as a recommended reading. The more your visitors are able to click-through over your best content, the higher chances of getting multiple social shares from a single visitor, especially if you have good placements of social sharing buttons on your pages.
Offer freebies to proliferate traffic
Providing freebies in a downloadable file format (like free whitepapers, ebook, video tutorials, etc…) alongside your traffic-generating content can also help in amplifying the capability of your site to attract more visitors and in establishing a following base to your site. You can use Cloudflood to automate the process of socially sharing the content each time a visitor downloads your free giveaway.
Follow up with more compelling content immediately
After you’ve manage to get new visitors, followers and subscribers, offering more remarkable content (immediately) can significantly impact your brand’s identity as an authority figure in your industry, and this can in turn build and cultivate loyal visitors to your site and brand advocates that can help in spreading your content through linking and social sharing.
Study the sudden spike in traffic and master the process
It’s important to determine how, why and where you have obtained the large amount of traffic to be able to replicate the process in the future. Areas that you’ll want to analyze when studying traffic spikes may include:
Major source of traffic (referring website or keyword)
Why was it featured on that site? (depth of content/information, type of approach, etc…)
Why was it ranking for that search term?
Who have shared the content? (you can use tools like Topsy to track social mentions on Twitter)
How do you get the same influencers or referring websites share your future content?
Once you know the answers to these questions, it will be easier to make traffic spikes happen again, and those spikes can as well be your site’s permanent daily/weekly traffic stats in the long run of consistently implementing this content strategy.
I’ve been sick for almost a week now (running a high fever) after hosting my kid’s birthday party, so if you still liked this post, you may want to subscribe to my feed and also follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.
Jason Acidre is the Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive - a digital marketing agency based in the Philippines. He's also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre.