Today, we will share some of the best ways you can increase traffic for free. Almost all of these methods are free.
Spoiler alert: you can’t get more website traffic without content. So if you plan on skipping this section, go for it! When you realize you can’t implement any of the other strategies if you don’t have good, quality content, you’ll be able to tell within 10 seconds.
Have a business blog
Your business needs a blog where it can regularly publish helpful, long-form content. This is non-negotiable.
- Companies who blog get 97% more links to their websites.
- Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t.
- Marketers with blogs are 13 times more likely to generate positive ROI.
More people will want to visit your site if you add more value to it. Without a blog, it will be hard to implement most of the strategies in this article (or any article on this topic, for sure).
Focus on evergreen topics
Create content around topics of interest to your audience, regardless of whether they’re currently interested. These posts will continue to attract visitors and links even after publication. While news and trending topics can give you a traffic boost in the short term, they’re not worth the time and effort.
Write irresistible headlines
Headlines are one the essential parts of any piece of content. Even if you write the best blog posts, they won’t be read unless you write headlines for them. Studies have shown that effective blog headlines can generate 500% more traffic.
Invite others to guest blog on your site
Guest authors not only help diversify your topics and perspective, but they’re likely to share the article with others in their networks and link to it on sites they manage, which could bring new visitors to your site. Be sure only to post high-quality, original content without spam links. A standard set of guidelines for guest posting can help ensure that your content stays on brand.
Create awesome visuals
Design tools like Canva help you create graphics for your business. If other websites use your photos, they’ll often link back to your site, which helps boost traffic to your site. And Google is now displaying more images in its regular search results, which means you have more chances to rank and increase the click-through rate of your result.
Video content is great for attracting visitors and keeping them engaged. There are several ways to use videos to increase website traffic:
- Embed videos into your blog posts so they can appear in video search results
- Do YouTube SEO to rank higher on YouTube, then add links to your website in the video description.
- Add call to action buttons directly in your video that sends people to your site.
Have a resource center
Blogs and videos aren’t the only types of content you should create to educate your audience and help them understand your brand better. Don’t forget about infographics, ebooks, guides, templates, webcasts, etc. Content libraries will attract visitors who come back to your site repeatedly. As you create these leads magnets and use them elsewhere on the Web, collect them on a Resources page.
How to increase traffic to your website with SEO
There’s one problem with all of the strategies above: They don’t work. They won’t drive visitors to your site unless people know they exist. With the first page of Google accounting for 71% of all search traffic clicks, you must have an SEO strategy.
Search engine optimization is the practice of making a website more visible in search results for relevant keywords. An SEO strategy is another animal, but here are the SEO basics.
Keywords are the words and phrases people use when searching for something online. As you can imagine, some words and phrases get searched more often than others. Keyword research tools allow you to see, for example, how often people use specific keywords. For example, if you type in “how to increase website engagement,” you’ll see that there are only about ten searches per month. However, if you type in “how to increase traffic to your website,” you’ll see that there are about 300 searches per month.
The latter is a better blog post topic if you’re looking to get traffic.
So the higher the search volume, the higher the traffic potential, right? Not so fast. Many super-high-volume keywords are also super-wide and super-difficult to rank for (for instance, “websites” have a volume level of 143,000).
On the one hand, short-tail keywords are harder to rank for and will attract less relevant traffic to your site; on the other hand, they’re easier to rank for and therefore bring in more traffic than long-tail keywords.
Place your keywords strategically
On-page SEO is the bread and butter for optimizing your content so that search engine spiders can understand what it’s about and rank it accordingly. Be sure to place your target keyword in the following locations:
- Title tag (meta title)
- H1 heading
- At least two H2 headings
- Naturally, in the body
- The first 100 words
- Image file names and alt text
- Meta description
Optimize your SERP appearance
Including the keyword in your meta description and meta title isn’t enough. It would be best if you optimized these essential pieces of content to improve their appeal on Google and encourage more organic clicks.
- Meta description: Keep this between 155-165 characters, indicate the value the reader will get out of the post, and make it actionable.
- Meta title: Make this 60 characters or less value, with the keyword close to the beginning, and indicate value or benefit.
Make sure you add at least one link back to your site from each of your articles. It helps drive traffic to those pages by increasing the number of people who visit those pages. It also keeps visitors on your site for longer, which increases their chances of viewing more pages on your site. And it helps increase the value they get from your site, which improves your search engine rankings. If you want to learn more about the different types of marketing, check out our guide to marketing types. Paraphrased: If you want to know more about the different types, check out our guide on marketing types.
Improve your page speed
Have you ever waited 30 seconds for a webpage to load fully? If your site loads slowly, your bounce rate will likely be high. Speed has always been an important ranking factor, but speed was more significant after the page experience update. Make sure that your webpages are as technically optimized as possible, including image file sizes and page structure. The faster your site loads, the better.
Google’s page speed insights tool will give you a page speed score and provide suggestions for improving your core web vitals. Use it!
Make your site responsive
Today, more traffic comes from mobile devices than desktops, so if you’re making your visitors pinch and zoom their way around your site, they’re essentially telling them to go somewhere else. Even if you have an ugly website, you still need it to be accessible and comfortable to view across a range of devices.
Regularly refresh your content
Even if your post has not yet been removed from the first page of Google, you’d be surprised at what a fresh content update can do. Even the most evergreen content loses its luster over time, and content freshness is a ranking factor. If you’re not sure whether or not your site has been updated recently, you can check by visiting Google Webmaster Tools.
You can’t just change a few words in your content and then update the publish time on your post. Google knows better than that. Here are some strategies for increasing traffic from evergreen content.
- Update and add new information and stats.
- Replace outdated visuals and create new ones to illustrate concepts.
- Add new links to more recent resources.
- Fix broken links and images.
- Add new keywords from the query report in Search Console (later on).
- Tweak your meta title and meta description.
One of the most important Google ranking factors is your site’s quantity and quality of backlinks. The more backlinks you have from reputable sites with high domain authority, the more your domain authority increases. Higher DA means higher ranking and higher traffic. Not to mention any traffic you receive from the link itself.
Several link building strategies work, but here are just a few:
- Reach out to credible sites and offer to write a guest post where you can link to your site in the body or your author bio.
- Use an SEO tool to find broken links on other websites and offer yours as a replacement.
- Create original, high-quality content that begs to be linked to.
How to increase traffic to your website using social media
Social Media Marketing comes with several benefits, one of which is referral traffic from social media sites. Here are some ways you can use these massive platforms to generate traffic for your site.
Promote your content on social
It’s not enough to produce great content, and hope people find it. You should promote your content on the most popular social media channels for your audience. Twitter is best for short, snappy links, whereas Google Business Posts can help your site appear in local search results. If you’re a B2C product business, you may find excellent traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
It will increase the number of people who see your content, but the more people who see your content, the more likely you will get those links.
When sharing your content online, use relevant hashtags to increase its visibility. Make sure the hashtags are particular to the topic but don’t be too specific. Our guide to Instagram hashtags has everything you need for this!
Post native LinkedIn articles
The world’s largest professional social network is a valuable publishing platform in its own right, which means you should regularly post content to LinkedIn. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel—write a reflection piece on a recent topic or repurpose content you’ve already written. Doing so can help boost traffic to your site, get more people visiting your LinkedIn company page, and improve your reputation within your industry.
Interview industry thought leaders
Don’t think that interviews are only for the top players. Post interviews with thought leaders in your field on your blog. The interviewee’s name recognition will boost your credibility, but they will probably share the content too. You’d be amazed at how many people will be happy to talk to you if they know you’re asking for their help.
Add social share buttons
It is an easy website traffic win. Social share buttons allow readers to share the page they’re reading with their social networks in just a few clicks.
Another option is the click-to-Tweet feature, where you offer a prewritten Tweet that readers can publish in one click. Check if either of these plugins is available for your site and give it a go.
Post at the right time
If you want to get into the weeds, you can check out your social media analytics to see when your audience is most engaged and share your blog posts there. Start by looking at the overall average best time for each race. Then, dig deeper into the data to refine your strategy.
- When’s the Best Time to Post on TikTok?
- When’s the Best Time to Post on Instagram?
More ways to increase website traffic
Webinars are a great way to teach people about your business. Webinars are an excellent tool for increasing traffic to your website. They’re beneficial when combined with an effective social media campaign. Send out an email a few days ahead of time, and send a last-chance reminder the day before the event. Make sure to archive your webinar for later viewing and share it widely via social media. If you’re wondering how to do a webinar, click the link for some tips.
Optimize your listings
Business directories are a promising source of website traffic, but adding your website to your listing isn’t enough. It’s essential to optimize your listings to rank on their respective platforms and get seen by local searchers.
You can find the best accessible business listing sites here. But the most important one is your Google Business Profile because an optimized listing can help improve your ranking on Google Maps and Google Search. Facebook is also important since it’s the second-largest directory. To optimize your listings:
- Fill out every section available.
- Include your business category.
- Add photos. Keep your information as consistent as possible across listings.
- Get reviews and respond to them.
- Keep your information updated regularly.
Start an online community
People want to share their opinions and express themselves, so having a community on your site can be a great way to start conversations and increase traffic. Implement a robust commenting system through third-party solutions such as Facebook comments or Disqus, or create a dedicated forum where visitors can ask questions. Don’t forget to manage your community so that minimum standards of decorum are met.
Participate in forums
On the flip side of things, join forums and social networks on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Reddit, where you can share knowledge. Only include links if they’re allowed and appropriate, and don’t post them just for posting them. Ensure the link is to an actual blog post on a relevant subject. The main goal isn’t to drive traffic to your website; instead, it’s to get people to sign up for your newsletter. It’s for adding value and building brand awareness. Interested people will search for your site on their own or go to your profile where they can find your site.
If you’re in any industry, chances are there are some major conventions and conferences that relate to your business. Attending these events and speaking at them is a good idea – but speaking at them is even more beneficial. An even better speaking engagement is a fantastic way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and gain significant exposure for your site and your brand.
Submit your content to aggregator sites
If you have a blog, it likely has an RSS feed that allows aggregator sites to display the latest content on a particular topic. These websites let people follow their favorite blogs, newspapers, and more, and they often allow them to sign up for email alerts to get updates from those sites. Most aggregators will be able to find your RSS feed by themselves, but some services charge for this service.
Start an email newsletter
It’s an excellent way to keep up with new content on topics that your audience may not be familiar with. For example, this blog post on emotional copywriting receives about 1,000 visits per month from organic searches. But it was a massive success for our email list, generating almost 5,000 sessions in just three days.
Just be careful not to bombard your readers with too many emails or links in one email.
Reach out to email newsletters
There are newsletters out there for just about any topic under the sun, so if you’re looking for one, you’ll probably be able to find one. Please do some research to find the ones in your niche looking for great content and supply it. If you get featured on a blog, you’ll get a spike in traffic, but you might also find more regular readers who come back to your site regularly (and subscribe to your newsletter).
Create a free tool
What’s better than free and valuable content? Free and valuable tools. Various tools for generating ideas, assessing knowledge, quizzing students, and more Use long-form content and optimize the landing page for your tool to rank organically. Make it something your visitors can use repeatedly, and you’ll see droves of traffic coming in.
If you play your cards right, this one won’t be free, but it could quickly pay for itself if you invest wisely.
SEO is all well and good (very, very good), but it takes a few months of consistent publishing to accumulate traffic, builds links, and earn Google’s favor. Meanwhile, you might want to consider a paid ad campaign. Search, display, or social ads are all excellent methods for attracting highly targeted visitors to websites at scale. Every paid media channel has its advantages and disadvantages, so think carefully about what you want to achieve before you start paying for advertising.
Tools to help drive traffic to your website
Aside from the all-in-one SEO tools in this list, all of these are…you guessed it…free!
Track SEO metrics in Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an indispensable tool for tracking almost everything about your website, from your most popular content to visitor demographics. Find out what topics people are interested in, their demographics, the channels they’re coming from, and so on—and then use that information to create content that’s relevant to them. Monitor your SEO metrics closely, and use this information when making decisions about your promotional and content strategies for your site.
View your queries in Google Search Console
Google Search Console is super helpful in finding the queries leading people to find your site in search results and click on it. It can help you make sure your pages are ranking for what you’re targeting, find new keywords to add to an existing page, and new keywords to target altogether. You can also view the organic click-through rate in GSC and troubleshoot indexing issues.
Analyze the SERP with SEO tools
All-in-One SEO Tools allow you to do keyword research, get backlink analyses, analyze the SERP, identify content gaps and ranking opportunities, audit your site, and more. You can even use these tools to analyze pages on your competitor’s websites.
Audit your site with website graders
The reports are easy-to-read and offer insights and action-oriented guidance on how to improve them. Some also look at other aspects of your site, like accessibility and content readability. These tools will also audit your website to find opportunities for improvement, but they’ll be a bit easier to use than all-in-ones.