Are you running low on budget, but still need to drive traffic to your website? Welcome to the club! Small- and medium-size businesses suffer from low budget restrictions the most.
Trying to decide whether to spend all of the allotted budget on advertising, verses tools, content, and traffic is overwhelming and usually ends with a large advertising budget and a small strategy spend.
Luckily, there are a few different free and low cost ways to drive traffic to your website. Some require thinking outside of the standard marketing box, while others require a friendly tone and lots of outreach. Take your shot at the different strategies below and see which methods get you the most website traffic.
Create Headlines That Need to Be Clicked On
As you’re reading the newspaper with your morning coffee (on the computer, phone or tablet, of course), you’re looking for those headlines that make you stop in your tracks. It’s headlines like those that inspire us to want to learn more about a topic and chose to read on. Create headlines like that, over and over.
For each new content piece, brainstorm 3 to 5 headline variations. Try to include emotion and relevancy with each headline draft. There’s five levels of emotion that most headlines can usually relate with one of:
Share the different headline options with coworkers and friends to see which one the majority is drawn to most.
Direct Traffic With Email Marketing
There are many ways to utilize email marketing to increase website traffic, but the success comes down to the email itself. The key is to get the email not only into the inbox, but opened using enticing subject lines and designating a proper “From” address. Once an email is opened, the click through rates can be as high as 4.62% for media and publishing industries, which translates to a lot of traffic opportunities. The email body should feature different products, hyperlink images to relevant pages, and link the header image to the homepage, creating a simple and easy user experience.
Here’s a few tips on how to craft the perfect email newsletter to help drive traffic.
Improve the Website’s Load Time
Speeding up the load time of a website can help increase it’s user friendliness, decrease it’s bounce rate, and improve it’s overall rankings. But, it’s not just about increasing your speed on desktop. The optimization for your mobile website needs to be fast, as well, if not faster. Mobile users are more likely to bounce off of a slow loading website since they are on a handheld device.
Image Source: Hobo
Respond and Participate in Forums
Rand Fishkin does a great job of doing this for Moz. He’ll check in frequently in forums like Quora and find where his name or Moz is mentioned and respond. Seeing a response directly from a business owner with a URL in their signature is not only a great traffic driver, but demonstrates a positive customer service experience by humanizing the business.
Research forums within your industry or specific questions that your business can relate to and help solve problems for. Forums are usually a consumer to consumer type of conversation, so when an individual from a business inputs their opinion or response to a question they are opening the doors for an opportunity to drive traffic. Include links to your website or blog posts as part of a resolution.
Publish Engaging Social Media Posts
One of the top three goals for SMB social media programs is driving website traffic at 53%. Social media is a great channel to encourage website traffic and has both organic and paid opportunities to do so. Publishing offers, shortened URLs to specific product and landing pages, and impressive imagery all help focus the traffic from social media to an actual website.
Not only is this a relatively free option to increase traffic to your website, but publishing engaging posts on social media also helps build brand exposure and adds an additional communication channel for customers.
Share Blog Posts on Social Media
Don’t just copy and paste a link to a new blog post across all of your social media channels. Give each post a little customization to fit the audience type. Facebook’s blog post can link to the post and share a preview with a 1-2 sentence description, whereas Twitter may only need the title and a shortened URL. Use the captivating headline from the tip above and play with brand personality to encourage click throughs.
Blog Until Your Heart Explodes
How many blog posts do you publish a month? That’s not enough. In an ideal world, the content team is pumping out thoughtful, and keyword-researched blog posts on a daily basis. In the real world, most businesses do not have the time nor overhead to support daily content. Find a happy middle point and blog consistently, (at least 2-4 times a month) not only keeping your website updated with new content, but also providing consumers with answers to their questions through your website.
Note: When writing blog posts don’t just write to the consumer. In order to stand out among the industry, you also need to write to influencers. Take simple topics and tear them apart, creating lengthy blog posts that influencers will respect you for. This not only helps build the busniess by displaying knowledge and skillset, but is more likely to increase exposure to blog posts from more than just consumers.
Work With Similar Industries to Create Content Together
Search for like-minded blogs and reach out to see if there is an opportunity for content contribution. While staying close to and within your industry, build relationships with other websites and create content like blog posts and infographics together sharing each other’s expertise. This creates an opportunity for additional links to your website and increased exposure to your demographic, for free.
Interview Industry Leaders
Another free way to utilize content for website traffic is through conducting regular interviews. We all want to hear from the experts. Reach out to these experts on Twitter or through their website and ask if you can pick their brain, quickly.
Without taking too much of their limited time, prepare 3-5 questions and get responses from multiple leaders. Publish the interview in a blog post, share the new post on social media tagging each expert, and email a link to the post. Encourage them to share the link to their social media following, helping to drive even more traffic to the post.
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