If you are serious about increasing traffic to your website, don’t waste your time looking for quick hacks. You need to be ready to get your hands dirty in order to actively drive results. This article will steer you in the right direction.
The answer to the question – “How to increase website traffic?” depends on how efficient your website traffic analysis is. You need to be able to evaluate your performance within the context of your industry. You also need to understand SEO best practices and the latest digital marketing trends.
Among the thirteen methods we present in this blog post, some may sound familiar, while others may surprise you. We’ll look at ways to establish sources that generate website traffic, increase the flow from existing incoming traffic sources, and optimize content for more valuable, high-quality visitors.
What Are the Sources of Your Website Traffic?
Before you broach the subject of how to get more traffic to your website, you need to first understand where traffic is coming from and how people reach your website. After you get a clear picture of the amount and quality of traffic from each source, you can start applying the techniques we will discuss in the next chapter.
When a user types your URL directly, bookmarks your page, or clicks through from a non-web document, such as a PDF or a slide deck, Google considers it as direct traffic. Also, pages with a missing or broken tracking code or improper redirection end up here. When a user moves from a secure HTTPS address to an unsecured HTTP, you’ll see them all as direct traffic.
There’s no reason to increase direct traffic to your website, but you do need to keep an eye on it. Identify pages with loads of direct traffic and check them regularly.
Organic Traffic (SEO)
All visitors who reached your site after entering a query in a search engine, such as Google, Bing, or Yandex, will contribute to your organic traffic. You earn this type of traffic with good SEO. Both inbound marketing (SEO) and content marketing are strategies that can help increase organic traffic.
Paid Traffic (SEM/PPC)
PPC (pay per click) is a performance-based advertising model that applies keyword targeting on search engines and other platforms. It lets you boost traffic quickly while giving you control over ad spend and audience targeting. You need to track paid traffic from search engine marketing (SEM) to stay in control and optimize your digital strategy.
Display ads are considered part of SEM and offer a great way to draw more attention to your site. The traffic generated through banners or ads displayed on display advertising networks such as Google AdSense and Apple Search Ads, or other websites is aggregated under display ad traffic.
Pay attention to this type of traffic because there is huge potential here. Referrals refer to anyone clicking through from another website where someone added a link on their blog post or media article. Such backlinks can be a source of valuable traffic if placed on authoritative sites.
This is another traffic source with fantastic potential. Analyze the amount and quality of traffic from each social media platform separately.
Anyone clicking through from a link in an email you sent would show here, so long as the email was properly tagged. Keep this in mind because email marketing is one of the most successful marketing channels with a higher-than-average return on investment (ROI).
Why Do You Need More Traffic to Your Website?
Do you know how a nature photographer gets the perfect shot of a flying eagle? He increases the odds. The trick is to shoot thousands of pictures. The more shots, the greater the chances of capturing the perfect picture (and a higher volume of great pictures too). Your website traffic is similar: the more traffic, the greater the chances that more visitors will convert into paying customers.
The amount of traffic represents the number of potential customers being propelled to your site. But that’s not the only reason. A site that already gets a lot of traffic also attracts additional traffic. This presents an opportunity to increase brand awareness and create thought leadership. Search engines will perceive your site as an authority, and this reflects back on your ranking on the SERP (search engine results page).
It also opens the door to engagement with a broader audience. Get to know your visitors, collect info on who they are, and what they are looking for. You can use their input to understand your audience better, optimize your targeting, and ensure traffic quality.
How to Increase Website Traffic: 13 Tips
1) Use Marketing Channels that Your Competitors Aren’t
Investigate traffic to your competitors’ sites the same way you analyze your traffic. The typical approach is to adopt the same channels. Sometimes taking the opposite direction can be a better bet. Identify the channels your competitors have not discovered yet, or are neglecting, and fill the void. This is your chance to conquer an entirely new audience with clever and focused efforts on marketing channels your audience doesn’t expect.
2) Develop a Blog Strategy
Your blog can be a powerful traffic generator if you manage it correctly. There are different approaches to what strategy works best, and you will have to define what is ideal for you.
Here are the must-haves:
- Be consistent
- Provide relevant, high-quality content
- Cover a variety of topics
- Write in an engaging way
- Put SEO into practice
The idea is to become an authority on the subjects that matter to your target audience and be the go-to source for answers.
If you are in an industry or sector with high blog competition – which is most sectors – here are a few ways to enhance your audience reach:
- Create partnerships with affiliates and other websites. Posting your articles on other sites will increase your authority. These posts could also create backlinks to your site, driving additional relevant traffic.
- Invite guest bloggers who can increase your readership to publish on your site. Guest bloggers are likely to link and share their articles with their followers on social media.
- Publish your posts on content-sharing platforms such as Medium and Quora. Promote each post on your social media channels.
3) Leverage Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is the fastest growing marketing channel in recent years. It is expected to grow into a $5-10 billion market in 2021.
The method emanated as a byproduct of social media popularity, and it utilizes the effectiveness of third-party advocacy. Influencers are personalities perceived as authority in an industry or niche. They can be celebrities, journalists, bloggers, or any kind of expert in a particular field. Getting them to promote your product or website lets you reach a much wider audience, namely the influencer’s followers.
To find the right influencer for your business, you need to do some serious research. Here’s what to look for:
- How many followers do they have? The size of their audience can be a factor in your partnership costs. There are four main types of influencers: nano (less than 1K followers), micro (between 1K to 100K followers), macro (over 100K followers), and mega (over 1M followers). Each level of influencer can provide different influencer marketing strategies, based on their size.
- What are their values and what do they stand for? You want to choose someone whose personality is representative of your brand.
- Where do they advertise? Make sure they advertise on channels relevant to your target audience and make sure their activity will complement your marketing activity.
- How engaged are their followers? The engagement rate indicates how well they are reaching and impacting their followers.
Start engaging with relevant influencers, and build a relationship before talking business. Get them to know your brand and make sure they are a good fit. The influencer will be your partner, and a partnership is a two-way street.
4) Expand Your Reach with Social Media
Start by analyzing your website demographics and matching the appropriate social media platform. Also, investigate which social media platform(s) your audiences spend their time on. Similar to the blog blueprint, you need to work out a strategy because marketing through social media has become extremely competitive.
Decide on the types of content to promote on each platform, which media to use, and the ideal times to post. Be creative in repurposing your content for various channels. For example, promote your latest blog post with a tweet on Twitter, a story on Instagram, and a few lines on LinkedIn.
What else you can do:
- Use Hashtags. This allows users who aren’t following you to find your content, and additionally, you can reach more readers.
- Get involved. Encourage your audience, i.e., ask questions, request feedback, make a quiz, or a raffle. Answer each comment.
- Participate in forums and discussions. Don’t limit your activity to your page; show your expertise in groups and comment on other posts.
5) Create High-Performing and Engaging Content
Quality and relevance are the cornerstones of high-ranking content. Now add engagement and accessibility, and you have a formula for irresistible content. In other words, make it easy and interesting for your audience to digest by using different media and content types.
- Use infographics to present an overview of a concept, an idea, or data. With infographics, facts and figures become visual and are easily digestible in context. Infogram is a great tool for this.
- Create specific guides. Identify issues your audience may be facing and help them tackle them head-on. Offer a helping hand by creating step-by-step guides to solutions (see, for example, our guide on competitive benchmarking). People will appreciate you sharing information without asking anything in return. It’s a great way to reach a broader audience and build trust. Chances are Google will also view your site as an authority on the subject, and consequently, increase your traffic.
- Webinars are especially valuable in B2B and often help prospects leap down the funnel (see, for example, our range of industry webinars). It’s a perfect occasion to offer them free information and the opportunity to get answers to specific questions in real-time. This type of interaction is a lot easier to handle than a call from a sales rep. A webinar can be the stepping stone to making direct contact.
6) Listen to (and Answer) Your Audience
Be active on Quora, in forums and communities, and on social media. Listen to what your audience is talking about. Answer questions that are related to your product or service. This demonstrates your authority and lets your audience recognize your brand as such. Every once in a while, provide a link to additional valuable information on your website, for example, the infographic, guide, or webinar we talked about in the previous points.
Here’s another great way to answer your audience’s questions: Find out from your sales and customer support teams which questions customers and prospects ask. Then post answers in the various channels. You can even have someone post a frequently asked question on Quora and then provide your answer.
7) Consider All Aspects of SEO
Optimizing your site for SEO seems obvious, but are you sure you have all aspects covered? Keyword research is the first step. Here are a few things to remember:
- Make sure to research your competitors.
- Your keywords need to match the user intent. Optimizing a page for a single phrase is not very effective if it isn’t aligned with the overall context.
- Don’t stuff keywords (i.e. load your website with keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engine algorithms), but rather incorporate a variety of keywords related to the subject.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your on-page SEO. This includes all factors that are not language and content related:
- Pay attention to your meta titles and descriptions, alt texts on images, etc.
- Consider the length of content, page design, placement of CTAs, etc.
- Optimize the infrastructure and architecture of your website for the crawling and indexing process of search engines.
You might want to get an SEO expert to audit your site for technical SEO, or even outsource this task to a professional service. Similarweb can help you increase organic website traffic with the right SEO and content strategies.
8) Target Long-Tail Keywords
Adding specific highly relevant long-tail keywords can increase traffic to your website. Find exact phrases that your audience types in a search engine. Most companies focus on keywords with high search volume, which are usually short-tail. For long-tail keywords, there’s a better chance to rank higher and generate highly relevant traffic.
9) Optimize Your Internal Linking Structure for SEO
The importance of this is often underestimated. Google identifies relevant content in a broader context and structure, and you should plan how individual pages connect. Include methodical internal linking to your content strategy. Creating several pages on a topic, each with a specific focal point, helps you become an authority on your subject and improve organic search results.
10) Update Outdated Content
Keep monitoring the key website traffic and engagement metrics of your site. A page that ranks high today for a specific keyword is likely to move down over time. One reason is that competition can snatch its ranking away. Even if that isn’t the case, Google eventually realizes when content is no longer up to date.
Frequently update content that works well. Merge posts that target similar keywords if none of them singularly ranks as well as you’d like. Repurpose content to match variations in search intent.
11) Fine-Tune Your Paid Search Strategy
PPC is a prominent online advertising method for companies. Its backbone is keyword research, together with constant optimization and updating. Contrary to SEO, for PPC focusing on the exact keywords is critical.
- Consider these three factors when choosing your keywords: 1) find out what your users are typing into the search field, 2) see which keywords your competitors target and how much they are willing to pay, 3) define what is most relevant to your USP (unique selling proposition).
- Calculate your max CPC (cost per click). Often targeting long-tail keywords with higher relevance for your target market can help keep your ad spend low.
- Create excellent ads that meet the search intent and are relevant to the search query. This may take some experimenting, but PPC generates quick results, and you can adjust as you go.
12) Partner With Affiliates and Other Websites for Traffic
Users often find it easier to trust a third-party site promoting your product or service – this is referred to as Affiliate Marketing. Affiliates can be huge companies, like coupon sites, review sites, shopping comparison sites. They can be experts with a blog on a specific field, or influencer affiliates with access to your target audience. Some affiliates do email marketing for you or conduct their own paid search. You can also partner with digital media sites.
Understand your customer behavior and journey. Ask yourself where in the funnel affiliate marketing is needed to make an impact and what you want to achieve.
Find out what works for your competition. Uncover your best-performing affiliates and create exclusive partnerships with them. Build a relationship with them and manage them closely.
13) Encourage Employee Advocacy
Get your teams on board. Employee advocacy is a great way to reach additional audiences and get everyone involved in achieving a mutual goal.
Encourage employees to share content on social media. You can even set up internal contests to increase motivation. Provide basic guidelines on how and what employees can and should share (as well as what not to). You want your employees to represent your brand.
How to Check the Amount of Traffic You’re Getting?
With Google Analytics, you can see the actual traffic to your website, such as daily visitors, unique visitors, page views, and more. You can also view the traffic sources to understand where your traffic is coming from and where you need to focus your efforts.
Similarweb provides a different form of data derived from multiple sources, including panel-based behavioral data and public data sources. This lets you analyze your website traffic in the context of your market.
You can compare your own data to specific competitors and benchmark the amount of traffic per source against industry averages. Do the same for average visit duration, bounce rate, and pages per visit to better evaluate the quality of your traffic. Understand where your best traffic is coming from and plan your steps to increase traffic accordingly.
According to a comparison review conducted by Software Pundit earlier this year, Similarweb offers the most accurate and complete data set when it comes to website traffic analysis. They found that “data was most accurate in terms of visit duration (47% difference from actual), pages per visit (9% difference from actual), and audience geography (only solution to accurately predict the top 4 countries).”
It’s Not All a Numbers Game
You want high-quality traffic, not necessarily a high quantity of eyeballs. A high bounce rate means too much irrelevant traffic and will lower your website ranking. It signals that your content doesn’t meet the user’s intent or expectation. Moreover, these visitors will not convert.
You need data to evaluate the quality of your traffic as well as the quantity. Use Similarweb to understand website demographics and audience engagement metrics and reveal if the sources that provide a lot of traffic also provide valuable traffic.
A great way to identify what makes high-quality content is to benchmark against your competition. This process lets you identify successful content and SEO strategies, as well as marketing areas that you can improve.
Increasing your traffic is an ongoing effort. It’s not enough to set things up and watch what happens. Competition and ever-changing search engine algorithms require you to continuously monitor and manage your website traffic. To effectively optimize your performance, you need accurate, insightful data that helps make crucial business decisions.
Find out how to use Similarweb metrics to understand your website traffic and build an effective strategy for your business. Download our exclusive eBook on how to develop an effective strategy for marketing and scaling your online business.
This blog post was written in collaboration with Ruth M. Trucks.
How can I increase my website traffic without SEO?
Use marketing channels your competitors aren’t, develop a blog strategy, leverage influencer marketing, and expand reach via social media. Be sure to maintain and update high-performing content, listen and respond to your audience, target long-tail keywords, refine your paid search strategy, and finally, partner with affiliates.
What is good website traffic?
A good way to understand what is a good amount of website traffic is to benchmark yourself to similar websites in your industry/niche.
Wondering what Similarweb can do for you?
Here are two ways you can get started with Similarweb today!