Creating a pretty website, setting up your opt-in forms, and listing your product or service on your website is easy.
Once you have your website up and running, this is when the hard work begins.
You’ll soon find out, or you may have already experienced, that very few people actually visit your website organically.
Even if you write a dozen blog posts, you’ll only gain a handful of visitors if your website is new.
Does this sound like a familiar problem?
In this article I’ll list four free and paid ways you can increase your website traffic by as much as 325% using tried and tested methods.
1. How to create viral traffic in 2017
Creating viral content is easier said than done.
To create a viral piece of content you’ll need the following three ingredients:
- The correct audience
- A big statement or humor
Relevance – Your content must be relevant to the present day. Ask yourself which topics are trending in your niche right now. One way to do this is by following influencers in your niche on social media or visiting Google Trends to explore topics.
For example, if you sell health products, then by visiting Google Trends you’ll quickly learn that the month of January is the hottest month to drive traffic to your website.
You probably didn’t need Google Trends to tell you that, but the point I’m trying to make is that it’s a powerful tool to help you find relevant content.
January is when most people create New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and aim to eat better.
Creating content around food and New Year’s resolution during the months of November to January is guaranteed to get more clicks and shares because it’s the time people set their goals for 2017.
The correct audience – Your content can contain all the components needed to go viral, but if you show it to the wrong audience it won’t get shared.
When we share something on our personal social media accounts, we’re telling all our friends that we believe, like, or feel strongly about the content we just shared. We also know that all our friends will see our share or re-tweet on their feed.
Here are the top three shared posts about Basketball from BuzzSumo:
If you were to show these articles to 1,000 people who aren’t interested in basketball, they would not get shared.
How do you serve viral content to the right audience?
The free way is to post your content on social media using the appropriate hashtags.
Hashtagify is a great tool to find current trending hashtags for your niche.
You’ll also need to post your content on dozens of social networks, forums, and Facebook groups. Expect to spend the best part of a day or two getting your content out there to the right people.
The paid way is the faster way.
This involves allocating a small budget to promote your content on the most relevant social media platform targeting your ideal audience. Once people are sharing you can stop promoting and the momentum will carry your content on for days or maybe even weeks.
This is how a Bangkok food delivery service managed to receive over 90,000 users organically after initially promoting their viral blog post:This is how a Bangkok food delivery service managed to receive over 90,000 users organically after initially promoting their viral blog post Click To Tweet
The reason the article did so well was because it hit on all of the points I listed above.
It was relevant, and the article focused on the current heatwave in Bangkok. The correct audience was targeted (people living in Bangkok) and it contained a big statement (foods to eat and avoid during the heatwave) and humor (the image).
This resulted in their content going viral.
Underneath the article you can see the orange bar; the lighter shade of orange shows how many organic views the article received (more than 50%).
The biggest advantage with the paid method is that you can ensure you target the correct audience through targeting. Whatever you pay in ad spend, you save in time posting organically.
A big statement or humor – A viral article needs to provide value. The value can come in the form of factual information, humor, or both (see above).
At the time of writing this article, United Airlines became the laughing stock of social media for how they mistreated one of their customers. Ju-jitsu instructor and gym owner Rener Gracie leveraged this trending topic and created a parody video showing how you can use Brazilian ju-jitsu to defend yourself on a plane:
The video was relevant to a trending topic, reached over 9 million people (and counting) creating positive branding for his gym, and contained value as he showed legit techniques and contained lots of humor.
If Rener decided to create this video four months after United Airlines mistreated a passenger, the video would not have reached as many people. You need to strike when the iron is hot to create viral content.
The upside to viral content is that you can drive thousands of visitors to your website in a short amount of time.
The downside is that within a few days or weeks, your content loses steam and your visitors drop off.
This is why I strongly recommend that you place opt-in forms and lead magnets around your content to bring visitors back to your website through email marketing.
2. Hacking SEO
Ranking for keywords is no easy task in 2017.
If you’re not using SEO as part of your traffic growth strategy in 2017, there is another way you can drive highly targeted traffic to your website without doing the hard work.
This is done by reaching out to bloggers who rank on the first page for your key terms and asking if you can pay them to mention your business.
Let’s say you own a hotel, hostel, or B&B in the heart of Bangkok and wanted to rank your business on the first page of Google for key search terms such as Where to stay in Bangkok, which receives 6,600 searches per month.
Here is what the first page of Google looks like for Where to stay in Bangkok:
TripAdvisor, Bangkok.com, hotel.com, and Rough Guides are all large companies, and you’ll be shut down if you try to reach them.
However, Nerd Nomads who rank at #1 and Nomadic Notes who rank at #6 are personal blogs managed by travelers that are prime candidates for you to approach.
Reports estimate that the first search term on Google generates around 33% of clicks, meaning Nerd Nomads’ article receives around 2,178 page views for that one keyword alone.
The same article also ranks well for other similar keywords:
I’m sure that article receives at least 5,000 views per month, if not more.
Instead of spending months (or years) trying to rank for that keyword yourself, contact the blog owner and tell them you would be happy to negotiate a fee if they mention your hotel as one of the places to stay.
How much should you pay?
There isn’t a black or white answer to how much you should pay for a placement. There are a number of variables to consider:
- How much is a lead worth to your business?
- How strong is the keyword intent?
- How many visitors per month does the page receive?
To carry on with the example above, if a single-night stay in your hotel is worth $200, you may want to be paid more than if your room rate was only $25.
Keyword intent reveals where the customer is on their buying journey.
For example, the term where to stay in Bangkok clearly demonstrates that the searcher is actively searching for a hotel or apartment.
This keyword shows a greater intent than if the searcher typed Where to stay in Thailand as this term shows they have not defined the city they will be visiting.
However, it will be less defined than Where to stay in On-nut (a district in Bangkok) which shows the user has honed down their needs to a fixed district.
Finally, the more traffic a page receives, the more you’ll pay.
Tip: Bloggers will typically try to lock you into a six- or twelve-month deal (which is great as you’ll usually get a better deal), but I strongly advise you to run a one-month paid trial first to see how viable they are to drive you targeted traffic.
Tip 2: Ensure all links on blog pages are no-follow to ensure you comply with Google’s Terms of Service, this will also keep your SEO Startgery white hat.
3. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is when you leverage people of influence in your niche to better position your product or service and reach more people. Influencers are usually on social media and have a very similar audience base as your customers.
There are three types of influencers:
Newbies – usually have 10,000 followers or less:
Nearly made it – 10,000-350,000 followers:
Big time – 350,000+ followers:
Of the three, the groups you want to target is the nearly made it segment because it’s this group that will happily plug your business for a small fee or even for free if you send them your product.
The newbies influencers don’t have a big enough audience to make it worth your while, and the big time influencers are being contacted on a daily basis by bigger brands who are happy to spend big.
Influencer marketing is huge nowadays, so much so that 59% of marketers increased their influencer marketing budget in 2016.
It was also voted as the best customer acquisition channel because relationships are built upon trust thanks to the influencer.
Unbox Therapy is a YouTube channel hosted by Lewis Hilsenteger. On average, his videos reach over one million people within 24 hours.
How do you pick the right influencers?
Influence.co is a great place to start finding influencers in your niche. The platform allows you to find influencers based on keywords and follower count for Instagram.
Klout is another website that ranks social media influencers on a 1-100 scale based on over 400 signals from the eight biggest social media networks.
These are the two best places to find the right influencers for your business.
Tip: Ask your influencers to create content in various forms (video, audio, and blogs) as you can repurpose it as part of your own marketing strategy. When I use influencers to market my client’s products, I specifically look for influencers who have created stunning videos in the past and I’ll ask them to do a video for the client’s product.
I’ll then use their content on the client’s website, social media, and other avenues.
4. Target long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are the future of SEO because they drive more profitable customers than regular keywords.Long-tail keywords are the future of SEO because they drive more profitable customers than regular keywords. Click To Tweet
Long-tail keywords are typically three or more words that are very specific to what you offer compared to generic keywords which are usually one or two words and more broad to what you offer.
Generic keywords: laptops, cheap laptop, best laptop
Google returns about 133,000,000 search results for the term best laptop:
Generic keywords usually target people at the start of their buying journey (research phase).
Long-tail keywords: Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, Dell XPS 15 Touch
For the long-tail keyword Dell XPS 15 Touch, Google only returns 763,000 results.
There is almost 100x less competition to target this long-tail keyword. Long-tail keywords are more profitable as the customer is near the end of their buying journey (they know the exact model they want).
How to find long-tail keywords
I use three tools to search for long-tail keywords. They are:
- Google Keyword Planner (free)
- Keyword Tool (paid)
- SemRush (paid)
The keyword examples you’ve seen so far in this article come from the Google Keyword Planner. It’s a free tool that lets you search for keywords by search term, website, country, and date range.
What I love most about the Google Keyword Planner (other than it being free) is its suggestions. If you search for a keyword, it will also return similar keywords that users may be searching for.
If you want to know what your customers are searching for outside of Google, the Keyword Tool allows you to also search for keywords typed on:
- App Store
SemRush is an all in one SEO tool. Its biggest feature over Google Keyword Planner is that it allows you to see which key search terms your competitors rank for. Google will reveal hundreds of potential long-tail keywords to target, but not all of them will be profitable.
By using SemRush you can see which keywords your competitors rank for, how much traffic each keyword receives, and how you out-rank them in the search.
These four methods to drive website traffic are proven, fast, and scalable in 2017.
Having a great-looking website and updating your social media accounts once per day isn’t a good way to drive traffic – it’s just lazy.
In 2017 you need to think outside of the box, create powerful partnerships with influencers, and target long-tail keywords to rank for the highest converting keywords for your business.
How will you drive traffic to your website in 2017?