“I have a website that does not generate enough visitors yet. What strategy would you recommend for getting new visitors to the site?”
We often get this question from coaches, consultants, speakers, authors, and more who are in the process of transitioning from employee to independent business owner. Some are just getting started and want to build an online brand. Others have been running their business for a while but are either just getting serious or just starting to move their business online.
Either way, we’ve compiled this extensive yet to-the-point guide for growing online traffic for your business. We cover the basics of absolutely everything you need to know to get started – and we’ve got a downloadable checklist so you can keep track of all these steps for your own business.
Ready to get started? Then grab your copy of our “7 Traffic Strategies” checklist:
Then start applying these strategies for your own business.
There are 7 main sources of online traffic that we’ll be covering:
Let’s dive deeper into each one and gather essential as well as practical information on how to keep your website more visitor-friendly and multiply your possibilities for converting new customers.
1. Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is seen as “free” traffic. Marketers are obsessed with getting the most out of it. And so, businesses will often employ professional help in the pursuit of gaining more and more organic traffic. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) managers are generally the ones who are held accountable for the metrics and performance regarding organic traffic for a website.
Most of these professionals use the most basic & essential tool for SEO- Google Analytics. It helps you keep a track of all the website activity with major monitoring metrics. You can keep an eye on the trends within the data provided by Google. It’s a huge deal to rank high on the organic results of the SERPs.
Many online studies have observed a rising tendency of people to ‘skip’ ads on the search results. Most of your audience might click instantly on a well-written and informative blog from a website rather than trusting a paid promotion that seems less valuable and more like clickbait. The important insight here is that people come to Google to find answers to their questions, and are more likely to buy from you if you educate them rather than try to sell them straight away.
We work on this through generating informative & helpful content that breaks through the clutter. This slowly ranks up your website higher on the Google SERPs and leads to more and more organic traffic over a period of time.
A few actionable measures you can take to ensure high-quality organic traffic on your website-
- Website Interface & Design: First things first, your website is your online store per se. Make it look like one where people will stay, browse items with joy and have a great experience to have continuous footfalls (visitors). This is the most basic trait that separates those websites that receive maximum traffic from others.
- Relevant & relatable content: You can’t bore your audiences with redundant details that don’t help them. Publish and display precise and relatable content for your target audience so that they feel they are at the right place. Make it a point to stay relevant to what your consumers are actually looking for from your services online.
- Demographics & Insights: To understand your TG better, conduct audits and have consumer interactions through multiple touchpoints both online & offline. This will help you to tap into exactly what the market is moving towards.
- Keywords & SEO targeting: Be more efficient in terms of keywords. Use the ones that aren’t much used by your competition yet have a high frequency of usage by your target audience. Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google Search Console and others to find out such gems. Long-tail keywords are the talk of the town, but remember that targeting and user intent must be adhered to for the best results. This will empower your organic efforts and also improve targeting for your website.
According to Search Engine Journal, 70% of the links users click on the search results that come up are organic. And a recent study found that the first organic result in Google Search has an average click-through rate of 28.5% (highest amongst all the results). Organic traffic is paramount to your digital marketing success in the long run. Keep a constant track of your organic strategy through timely SEO audits that expose any leaks you can fix. The problems can range from minor technical issues like incorrect redirecting & indexing or slow load times to overarching blindspots like repetitive content, insufficient call-to-actions, redundant flows/processes that impede sales directly.
The current best practices include providing free yet valuable resources to your visitors. This leads to consistent resharing of your content and hence more organic visitors. Give an inside view of your brand and service, a demo if you will. People are more inclined to invest time & money in something that they have already had a taste of. High-quality content & differentiated web experiences are an absolute must when it comes to building your organic traffic strategy bit by bit.
2. Social Traffic
If your brand is present on major social media platforms (which is a must now), any traffic or visitors that reach your website through those mediums make up Social Traffic. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Quora are the mainstream sites that get the most clicks, reach, and engagement today followed by some active forums like Reddit.
After organic traffic on Google and other search engines, what matters the most is the traffic coming from your social handles. Because lots of direct and insightful engagement occurs on these sites that generate lots of data about your audience. You can use this data to target better through paid campaigns and engagements.
Social traffic also lends a glance at how well your marketing strategy is aligning with your current marketing goals. And here are some tips to make your best efforts at social media marketing to achieve higher social traffic for your website:
Make it visually attractive- People visit social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook & YouTube to watch pleasing and eye-candy content. So don’t forget to post high-quality & relevant visual content that sticks with your audience. A picture definitely speaks much louder and clearer than just words. It also represents the overall experience your brand can cater to your audiences.
Interactive content is more important than ever- Start asking questions and prompting discussions with your audience. This makes your online presence feel more real to them instead of just some taps, clicks and swipes. Replies and engagement immediately lead to an increased reach – meaning your content appears in front of more people more often. Plus, it lets your audience develop a relationship with your brand. When engagement is high on your social platforms, online word-of-mouth spreads like fire and sales increase as a result.
Social listening is the new cool- A study by Sprout Social informed that only 11% of people receive replies from the companies and brands they interact with on social media. Also, the 2020 Sprout Social Index states that 79% of consumers expect a response in the first 24 hours. Read the comments regularly, respond well & quickly, and analyse the data you gather on a continuous basis to keep an eye on the ongoing consumer trends in your industry.
Be aware of your competition- Check how your competitors treat your audiences, their content buckets, brand tone etc, and then try to differentiate yourself on social media to stay relevant. Research and look for an element where your brand can have leverage on competitive brands. This can be your online USP or a highlight for your social presence.
Social traffic plays an essential role in driving your digital and social strategies to the planned goals. So, take care of the elements like content vibe, audience interaction, data analysis and insights that help you better your reach and acquisition. Also, keep experimenting and improvising on the ongoing trends like podcasts, voice search and others. Determine what works and what doesn’t for your brand and audience.
3. Paid Traffic
Paid Traffic is a result of a paid promotion/campaign either on a search engine like Google or on popular websites/blogs or on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. PPC ads, Facebook or YouTube ads and Google ads are the usual suspects when it comes to paid traffic management.
Leads you get from paid traffic may not be as warm as the ones you get from organic traffic since there might not be any necessary intent for your product or service. But such traffic is useful when you are launching a new product or introducing a new variant or a campaign.
Paid traffic can lead to better ranking through increased traffic and reach. Yet on the other hand, if the bounce rate is high- it might cost your website’s ranking because of crawlers. Still, if you approach paid traffic strategy with a solid plan coupled with a robust SEO, your website and brand can experience multi-fold benefits. Remarketing and proper targeting are essential to make the most out of PPC ads on Facebook and Google.
Here are a few crucial terms to remember before you delve into increasing your paid traffic:
- Search & Display advertising- Paid search traffic comes from the SERPs (Search engine result pages) that come up when you put a word and press Enter on a search bar. Display advertising consists of the adverts that you come across on sites with the label ‘sponsored’ or ‘promoted’ and on third-party websites and blogs in the unused spaces of the site. Every paid campaign that you implement on social media or search must have a strong objective.
- PPC (Pay-per-click) platforms- The most popular one is Google Adwords. It’s followed by the social media giant Facebook with its Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads. These are followed by Twitter Ads, Linkedin Ads, Quora Ads, etc. As a basic rule of thumb, when you conduct campaigns on these platforms, try to connect and foster a relationship through your ad creative to make them take the next step in the buyer journey.
- Campaigns, ad groups and types of targeting- Google Adwords specifically provides multiple options like lead generation, brand awareness, shopping & ecommerce, and video campaigns. Along with this, it also has device targeting which lets you push your ad on mobile, desktop or tablet; and location-based targeting which you can use to tap into specific territories your target audience is most available at. In addition, there are ad groups to help you organise your campaign objectives and content buckets well enough.
Paid traffic planning can be cumbersome with all the constant changes that Google and Facebook introduce almost every month. But with the help of clarity and being aware of your current objective and campaign goals, you can achieve great results in lead generation.
LinkedIn & Twitter are fast becoming the online advertising hub for B2B marketers looking to target the professional & niche audiences. Yet the power of mass reach available on Google & Facebook is the first choice for many as it helps in building brand awareness through effective methods.
There are many types of paid traffic tools from PPC to PPA and others. Use them with a crystal clear marketing plan in mind to gain maximum benefits out of paid advertising efforts and hence get better visitors and overall traffic. But stay on top of all the major algorithm updates & features released by Google & Facebook to make the most out of paid advertising. Like the recent location extensions, dynamic search ads introduced by Google are revolutionary in the targeting accuracy for your audience-based remarketing strategies.
4. Direct Traffic
When your website receives visitors on its own or through some unknown referral, it’s generally considered as direct traffic. Sometimes, direct traffic is a subset of organic traffic as it’s a go-to category for Google Analytics when it’s unable to find the source.
It can happen if the referring site is HTTPS, but has linked the HTTP version of your website. Sometimes bot traffic such as crawling, non-human artificial links can cause this too. This leads to the transfer of no referral information on the receiving site. In addition, incomplete UTM parameters on your website might be a cause. Rectify and put the right values if you make changes in it during any campaign. Also, shortened URLs and redirecting can cause loss of referral data, so use the right URLs and redirects to ensure correct traffic data.
True “Direct Traffic” is when someone types your website link in the address bar. These can be your customers, employees, any other internal staff, vendors, social media profile links and others. It generally comes from high brand awareness due to other forms of marketing.
5. Referral Traffic
Referral Traffic is exactly what it sounds like. Visitors coming from another site that refers you through your website’s link on its own page. It can be through backlinks or any social link that has your website embedded like a swipe up a link on an Instagram story.
Referral traffic is very useful for building up your brand online. It helps you build a strong network of backlinks which leads to better rankings on Google. Here are some of the best ways to increase referral traffic:
- Blog on other websites- Blogging and writing articles for other websites create opportunities to put multiple backlinks for your website. And also the website owner promotes your brand as you helped their cause. Crosslinking creates more bot crawling and more instances for traffic on both websites. Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get quality referral traffic and online PR.
- Go social- Share your website content on your personal social media and encourage others to do it as well. This creates more referral traffic organically, which also creates better leads that are most likely to convert as they reach your website. Word-of-mouth created through it can also benefit your long term brand value.
- Interact with other blogs- Similar to guest blogging, this technique can be used for further brand building of your website. Comment with your brand account on other blogs and social handles. This will also reinforce relevance and candor for your brand; which in turn, makes the brand more human, warm, and personable in the eyes of the viewers.
A strong promotion strategy will help increase your referral traffic.
6. Email Traffic
Email is still a go-to marketing tool when it comes to lead generation and converting hot leads into customers. It generates a potential return on investment of up to 4400% according to a few email marketing experts. Traffic that comes from the emails to your website is very warm. They’re most likely to buy from you. Hence, there exists an opportunity to build further brand loyalty with them.
Tracking email traffic is essential for your email marketing success. Use UTM codes to track major metrics like open rate and CTR (click-through rate). Open rate shows the impact of the headline and the initial body copy that led the reader to open the mail. Note the following points to get the most optimum results out of your email marketing efforts:
- Continuously build your email lists: With the ever-decreasing attention span of people, your readers might lose interest even when your content is top-notch. Also, they might change their address or their lifestyle hence leading to opting out of your subscription. This is why it’s so important to always keep building your email list and acquire new leads all the time.
- Write attention-catching headlines: Most users swipe and clear email notifications without checking them and ignore most of their inbox. Only a headline that talks directly to your customer and creates mystery in the reader’s mind stays to see the light of the day. Try using attention-grabbing headlines and subjects that speak to a pain-point of your target audience.
- Create and share relevant content: You are trying to interact and stay present with your audience through an email update. You shouldn’t share unnecessary or downright useless content. Create newsletters that are informative and which click with your audiences. They must take away something substantial like information, guidelines, or even just a pleasant feeling that stays with them.
- Send offers at the right time: Send the right emails, in the right way, and at the right time. Introduce exciting offers at the start of a festive season to gather maximum leads. Give away gifts and vouchers as an end of season sale or a limited-time bonus to generate urgency for an enhanced CTR (Click-through rate).
- Put out visual messages: Just like social media, a well-drafted, visually appealing email newsletter is received much better than a bland one that feels like a work email. Don’t forget to customize every message that triggers interaction and demands action from the audience. Having flashy CTAs (Call-to-actions) is not a criminal offense!
Email marketing might be one of the oldest digital marketing methods. But it still works wonders when done right. Make sure that you stay aware of the above points while designing a newsletter, sales proposal, seasonal campaign, or even just a welcome email.
7. Other Traffic
Google Analytics has this category tugged in for those traffic that it can’t clearly identify with any of the above. It can be due to multiple UTM parameters set up by different developers or link builders on your website. Or a misread on Google’s part.
Most of the time, the source is available and so you categorize them manually. For example, it could be the result of an influencer collaboration. You can create a new category and set up the parameters and rules for identifying it on Google Analytics.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a lot to work on. Need a hand keeping track of all of this?
- Now that we’ve covered all 7 sources of traffic, how should YOU decide where to start?
Not all traffic is created equal.
Now that we’ve figured out that there are 7 types of traffic, the question is – which one should I focus on first?
The answer is… that depends!
I’ve ranked traffic in the order of how well it converts!
Email traffic is traffic that is already on your email list so this traffic will convert higher than any other traffic. This does not mean that if you have a large email list that you will have a lot of sales. You need to have an engaged email list that is actively opening and clicking on your emails. The way to do this is to always be sending awesome content to your list that will make them want to open the emails.
Next is direct traffic. Since people are coming to your site by typing in the exact URL of your site, they are looking not just for what you have to offer but specifically looking for YOU. They might have heard about you on a podcast, read a book, or just remembered that they found your site a long time ago and are now ready to do business with you.
Next is organic traffic. Even though this is 3rd on the list, organic traffic is usually the best source of traffic because it does not depend on if you have an email list or not and it is something that you can control. You can’t really control direct traffic because you can’t control when or how a person will type your web address into the search engine to find you! So organic traffic will convert the most, but it is also the hardest to get when first starting out. That’s why many people choose the next traffic source.
Paid traffic. Paid traffic is one of the easiest to acquire traffic sources – but potentially the hardest to get a return on investment on. It requires a lot of trial and error and testing to find a winning funnel – but once you do, you will be gold! In my ACTion Method training, I teach about the 3 funnels that you need to be able to get an ROI on your paid advertising campaigns.
Referral Traffic. Referral traffic is awesome because people are already pre-sold on your offer as they are coming from a source that they know, like or trust. Referral traffic can convert higher than paid traffic but it is also harder to come by which is why it is ranked after paid traffic.
Social Traffic works well if you have the right strategy. The challenge is that the best strategies involve a lot of time to have real conversations and develop real relationships. The days of mass publishing the same content to multiple platforms so people would see your awesome content, click on it, and go to your site – are numbered.
So what traffic strategy are you going to focus on first? Let me know by posting a comment below!
1. Organic Traffic- The Bread and Butter of your Website
- Develop content that breaks through the clutter
- Your website is your online store-front. Keep it user friendly and easy to use.
- Be clear about your value proposition and your target audience so your content is relevant and useful.
- Start using long-tail keywords but avoid keyword stuffing at the same time.
- Create a content calendar or planner so you have content planned in advance and can post regularly.
2. Social Traffic- The new and faster word-of-mouth
- Start developing your social media presence by creating personal and business profiles on at least Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
- Be wary of being identical to your competitors. Look for a real or visual USP to help your audiences separate you from the competition.
- Visuals are really important on social media – make sure your graphic design is on point and use visuals in every post.
- Start interacting with your audience more often. Ask a meaningful question. Run polls. Maybe even share some jokes or memes once in a while.
- Create a social media calendar so you have posts ready to go well in advance.
3. Paid Traffic- Scale up your lead acquisition profitably
- Start with advertising on Google and Facebook but don’t underestimate other platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Reddit etc. Create a well-rounded paid traffic strategy.
- Narrow down on the best platform, your ideal audience demographics, and the best campaign objectives for your business.
- Try and make creative use of search and display ads. Experiment with multiple formats and budgets to find the right balance for your brand.
- Always stay updated on the ever-changing algorithms of the paid search and social platforms to stay on top of your traffic game.
4. Referral Traffic- Leverage sources of traffic built by other businesses
- Start looking for high DR (Domain Rating) blogs that have guest posting opportunities.
- Make guest posting part of your content strategy. Pitch some of the blogs you identified and start working on guest posts.
- Start sharing content and achievements on social media as well.
- Interact as a brand with other websites and popular blogs to gain credibility and authenticity. Simply comment or share a POV that aligns with your brand voice on other places on the internet.
- Network on the internet as well as you do in real life to create continuous referral traffic for your website.
5. Email Marketing- Classic and Reliable
- Always keep collecting emails and refine your list once every month to determine if you need to improve your strategy.
- A good headline brings major traffic even with average body copy. Try humorous clickbait, wordplay, and anything your audience will directly relate to.
- Timing is key here. Know the best times your audience checks and clicks on emails.
- Share your offers, vouchers and gift cards at the right time with the right intensity to get them onboard.
- Great visual representation coupled with informative and helpful content can make the difference. Make sure you use visuals consistently just as you would with social media.