Pretty much anyone who runs a website wants to know how to increase website traffic.
I remember when I saw the numbers for the first trickle of traffic to my first website. I was thrilled. I actually created a website that people found online.
I’m still thrilled people visit my websites and appreciate every single visitor.
It took me a little while to realize that in order for my business websites to work, I needed to increase website traffic by doing some serious website promotion. A trickle wasn’t going to do it. I set out to learn this traffic generation thing.
I never stop learning about driving traffic to my websites. The Web evolves and there’s always new methods for getting website traffic. That said, there’s still the old tried and true methods for traffic as well.
This post sets out 57 ways to increase website traffic.
Before I set out my list, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between website traffic and targeted website traffic. Targeted website traffic is attracting visitors you want. If you’re an accountant in Oregon, then you want prospective clients on your site. You could publish a celebrity tax problem article and probably get some traffic, but that traffic won’t likely be prospective clients.
All website publishers, especially if running a business website, should be most interested in targeted website traffic. Please keep in mind that although the traffic generation methods set out below can increase website traffic, it’s how you implement the methods to dictate whether you’ll attract targeted website traffic.
The methods to increase website traffic below presuppose you have great content on your website. If you don’t have great content, that’s the first step.
57 Ways To Increase Website Traffic using effective website promotion techniques
A. Free Traffic
1. Search engine optimization (SEO)
This is probably the most popular methods of increasing website traffic. It’s my favorite. All website owners love free traffic. The key here is getting your website and individual posts to rank well in the search engines.
SEO is a topic all on its own, and well worth studying and doing. I wrote several SEO blog posts here. You can also grab my free Complete Small Business SEO and Web Marketing Guide to learn exactly what I do for SEO for my offline business. I’m not bad at getting free traffic in the search engines for my small business. It’s the foundation of my online marketing campaign and I’ve quickly grow my business as a result.
2. Have a blog in your website or separate from it
A blog is an easy way to add content and develop a readership. Blog regularly and practice good SEO with it (see #1 above).
Seth Godin in 2006 wrote 56 tips for promoting your blog – but the bulk of the great tips focus on what to write. It’s a classic.
3. Submit your blog to blog networks such as Technorati
Here’s a list of 50 blog networks. This is a simple and fast way to promote your business blog.
4. Network with related businesses and blogs
Reach out with other bloggers and related business owners to promote each other.
5. Blog trackbacks
Trackbacks create a link and perhaps a snippet of text on a blog post to which you link. WordPress automatically enables trackbacks.
6. Link baiting
Write posts that get attention. Be the first to write about a story, product, service, event, etc. Or, write extremely informative blog posts that become the “go-to” resource. You attract links and traffic.
- Matt Cutts (Google employee) writes about link baiting here.
- Problogger sets out 20 Linkbaiting Techniques
- Copyblogger offers a nice list of link baiting resources and gives away a great guide called Viral Copy: Trading Words for Traffic.
Also, do a “link baiting” related search in Google and you’ll discover all kinds of link baiting tips. Viral marketing can hugely increase website traffic.
7. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
Create a mobile-friendly version of your site so people will be inclined to visit your site on their mobile phone. If you use WordPress, check out WPTouch plugin.
8. Google Places
Google Places (a.k.a. Google Maps) is one of my favorite and most effective sources of traffic to my offline business websites. You can learn more about ranking well in Google Places by getting my free 6 Google Places Mistakes that Hurt Local Rankings or my full Google Places Ranking Guide.
9. Article Marketing
A well-written article targeting a decent keyword (not too competitive, yet well-searched) can drive some decent traffic to your website. If you’re going to make article marketing one of your primary traffic generation techniques, then do it on a huge scale. Publish hundreds of articles on topics relevant to your business.
My preferred article directory is EzineArticles (EZA). It’s free to use and gets decent rankings in the search engines.
I also use Unique Article Wizard to submit my articles automatically to blogs and other article directories. I do this primarily for backlinks, but I receive some traffic from these published articles.
In order to seriously increase website traffic with article marketing, it’s important to do good keyword research and write quality articles.
I’m not big into using Facebook to promote my business. I monkey around with it some, but tend to focus on my business websites. That said, if you spend time fostering relationships in Facebook and build a thriving community, you can increase website traffic considerably.
The key is building good relationships. Having hundreds or thousands of fans won’t necessarily do it. You need targeted fans who will be interested in your business and content and will be inclined to like and share it.
11. Videos on YouTube (and other video hosting websites)
I’m going to increase this method shortly for increasing website traffic. I’m not a huge video watcher, but I know it works well for website promotion. I’ve been hired by clients who watched one of my few YouTube videos, so I know firsthand it works well. Although I don’t care to watch videos, I enjoy making them. However, they take a while to create.
Like SEO, optimizing videos is a topic all on its own. Given I’m just getting into video marketing, I’m still working on improving video optimization. Of course, if you create super cool videos that go viral, then you’ll drive tons of traffic to your website.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge Twitter user. My blog posts are tweeted (the titles anyway). Once a week I go into my Twitter account and read some tweets, approve followers, and add people to follow. Given my less than enthusiastic Twitter participation, I don’t drive much traffic to my sites from Twitter.
However, I know that if you work hard with Twitter and participate, like Facebook, you can deliver some serious traffic if you build trust and credibility among your followers. You have to establish an audience, not just a following. This requires tweeting information people want to read.
13. Create sharing opportunities
At the bottom of my posts you see “Share the knowledge”. To get this sharing tool, I installed the SexyBookmarks plugin (it’s free and very cool, but developed for WordPress). Readers share good content. In fact, people like to share cool and informative content. Make it easy for them to do.
14. Forum membership and participation
Become a member and participate in forum(s) within your business industry and/or blog niche. It’s an excellent way to network and drive traffic. Many forums let you place a link or links to your website in the signature of your posts.
Check out BigBoards for a list of popular forums. However, don’t restrict your forum search to BigBoards. Search in Google. There’s some gems out there.
15. Blog commenting
I write extensively about blog commenting. Check out my posts:
If you want to promote your website with comments, it’s important to comment on high-traffic blogs. Otherwise, the dofollow blogs offer excellent backlinks for SEO.
16. Write and publish guest blog posts
Many high traffic blogs welcome guest posts. You’ll need to put some effort into these posts. If published, you could get a lot of traffic to your website (and a great backlink or two).
Chris Garrett is very knowledgeable about guest blogging. Check out Chris Garrett’s blog.
17. Social Bookmarking
When your readers bookmark your blog posts and website in popular bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Digg, you can drive a great deal of traffic to your website quickly. Make it easy for readers to bookmark your site with sharing options in your post.
LinkedIn can also be good if work at building relationships with other business people.
18. E-mail Marketing
When you have an email subscribership, you have an instant source of traffic. You simply email informative emails or alert your subscribers to a great post on your blog.
The best guide I ever read about e-mail marketing is Nicheology’s 31 Days to Growing Your List (it’s free). It’s perfect whether you run an offline and/or online business.
19. Create digital materials to give away
- Develop software tools such as calculators and other widgets prospective customers will find useful.
- Create a smart phone app.
Be sure you have a link to your website in all materials.
20. Website directories
List your website in free (and paid) website directories. Here’s a killer list of website directories.
21. Joint Ventures
Approach other bloggers and marketers with lists in your industry/niche to promote each other’s sites to each other’s lists.
Working with other bloggers can work well in the long-term for increasing your website traffic. It requires a little legwork, but the right relationships can be excellent for mutual website promotion for years.
22. Q & A websites such as Yahoo Answers
Become an authority on Q & A websites such as Yahoo Answers.
23. Optimize images
If you place images on your website, be sure to properly optimize them so they show up in image searches. For example, if you have a photo of your business’ building, optimize it for the geographic location and a descriptive keyword.
24. Add your site as a resource in Wikipedia
Do this intelligently. Be sure to write an original post and then edit a Wikipedia page adding your post URL as the source. The post you link to must be top-quality and original and a true resource.
25. Craigslist and other online classifieds websites
Submit where appropriate, listings on classifieds websites to your website.
26. Press Releases
Write and publish press releases when you have an announcement. 3 good free press release sites are:
B. Paid Traffic to Increase Website Traffic
PPC stands for pay per click. Google Adwords is the most popular, but also the most expensive. The key with PPC is that you create a high converting landing page. Since you’re paying for each click, you need to maximize conversions.
Maximizing clicks and conversion entails:
- Writing great PPC ads;
- Targeting buying keywords; and
- Creating high-converting landing pages.
28. Set up an affiliate program
I write extensively about How to Set Up a Killer affiliate Program and explain why, as an affiliate marketer, I love the ShareASale network and recommend it for businesses that wish to establish an affiliate program.
29. YouTube video ads
You can place ads at the beginning of YouTube videos. Inquire to YouTube about advertising.
30. Facebook Ads
Facebook ads is also a pay per click model. The ad format is different and you target demographics. Again, for this to give you a good ROI, your ads must be good, you must target the right people, and your landing page must convert well.
Facebook Ad Power is a good video course on how to effectively use Facebook Ads. I bought this course and use Facebook ads to promote my offline business from time-to-time.
31. Social bookmarking sponsored ads
You can pay for ads with StumbleUpon and Reddit for traffic.
32. Banner ads and media buying
If you can get high-converting banner ads created, then it may be worth engaging a media buyer to get your banner ads placed on high-traffic websites. Consider contests, valuable give-aways, or excellent discounts to attract clicks. You generally pay flat rates for a certain number of impressions rather than per click. Therefore, you need a compelling ad and an excellent landing page.
33. Ezine ads
Search in Google “ezine ads” and you’ll find all the information you need about advertising in ezines.
34. Solo ads
You can pay people with an e-mail list to include an ad in an email message to their lists. This can result in a nice spike in traffic. Be sure the list is relevant to your market.
35. Paid website directories
Yahoo’s Business Directory is a biggie. However, if you’re a local business, pay for listings in local business directories as well.
36. Press Releases
PRWeb is the biggie here. It’s costly, but you get decent distribution, including Google News. A single, well-written press release published all over the Web can increase website traffic nicely. However, generally a few or many press releases is the best strategy – published weekly or monthly (not all at once).
C. Offline Website Promotion to Increase Website Traffic
Offline efforts are effective because somebody must be interested in your message to remember your URL and then make the effort to visit your website. In other words, effective offline website promotion brings targeted traffic to your website.
37. Word-of-mouth / Referral Marketing
John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing fame has a product all about referral marketing. Offline word-of-mouth is still powerful and effective. Never ignore this tried and true promotional method.
38. Tradeshows and other large gathering events
I read about this guy who had a website about do-it-yourself renovations. He made up a flyer and went to a home show event. He asked a booth owner if they would set the flyers on the booth counter. In exchange the website owner would buy them lunch. By lunch the flyers were all gone. He checked his website stats and sure enough he had a spike in traffic.
He then did this on a big scale and shared profits with booth owners in home shows all over the country. He ended up attracting thousands of website visitors.
39. Print ads
Use print ads to drive people to your website. Make the ad incomplete and that they need to visit the URL for more information. Consider:
- Yellow Page (a little expensive, but still viable for now)
- Magazine ads
A word about Yellow Pages. In my experience, you get the biggest bang for your buck if your ad is as big or bigger than the biggest ad in your category. If a competitor has a full 2 page spread, then pay for a 2 page spread.
40. Radio advertising
I wrote an entire post on integrating radio ads and online marketing.
41. TV ads
Apply the same concept of integrating radio ads with online marketing.
42. Community bulletin boards
People check out bulletin boards all the time. Again, you want a flyer that attracts attention. You can place small slips with your URL for people to rip off at the bottom or a little pouch with slips or business cards. Be sure to ask the premises’ occupier first.
43. Direct mail – consider:
- Coupon booklets
- Post cards
Again, as in all advertising, you need a compelling ad with an excellent offer. Discounts, contests, and freebies work well.
44. Print materials
Place your website URL(s) on stationary, letterhead, fax cover sheets, envelops, printed logos, in your e-mail signature, business cards, brochures, books your publish, and pretty much any printed materials you generate.
45. After-hours voice mail message
Include your URL(s) in your after hours voice message.
46. Schwag / Freebies
Get mugs, T-shirts, pens, etc. to give away. Be sure your website URL(s) are listed on the materials. If you hand out enough free stuff, you’ll get your website URLs in front of many eyeballs and in the long run increase website traffic.
47. Write a book and get it printed
If you can’t get a traditional publisher to print your book, self-publish. Then hand out your book to prospective customers. Be sure you website URL(s) are prominently displayed on the front and/or back cover.
I did this. It cost me $1,300 to print 100 books. I’m ready for another printing. It builds credibility and gets passed around.
You can also submit your book for sale and/or download for Kindle.
48. Printed press releases
There’s all kinds of talk these days about digital press releases, but people still read the printed word. Printed Press Releases still work.
49. Print classified ads
Classifieds are inexpensive and still attract many eyeballs. Test some ads in printed classifieds such as local and regional newspapers (depending on the geography of your market).
50. Be a speaker at seminars and workshops
You can generate traffic and interest in your website and you simply by speaking at seminars and workshops. You’ll become an expert in a particular area and can work the live-exposure into driving people to your website.
51. Publish articles in trade journals, newspapers, magazines, seminar materials, etc.
If you have a great article to publish, why not approach traditional media with it. Not only will it appear in print, but it will likely be published online.
We still drive a lot. Billboards are visible and the perfect place to put a URL. Be sure to have a memorable domain name. This is easier to remember than a telephone number. Create the ad so people are inclined to visit the given URL.
Place your URL(s) on your vehicle and company vehicles. If you don’t wish to pay for a full paint and graphics job, consider a bumper sticker.
54. Grocery store conveyor belt separators
Do you know those separators you use on grocery store checkout conveyors? Many grocery stores will let you advertise on them. Many people handle and view them every single day.
55. Store receipt printouts & bags
Find a business that sells related products and services and ask about placing a small ad on the receipt printout. Same thing with bags given out by stores.
56. Joint Ventures
Approach related businesses and enter a joint venture with them where you promote each other. You could promote your JV’s discount and your JV could promote your discount. Be sure the discounts are exclusive for each other so your and your JV’s customers get “the exclusive” offer.
You can promote each other’s offers in:
- sales receipts
57. Put your URL/business ad on any public visible space
Restaurant coasters, bus benches, sides of buses, vehicles … take a look around and you’ll discover all kinds of places where you could advertise your URL(s). Contact the owners and make a deal.
Head spinning yet? Mine is. Can a single business operator do them all? Probably not. However try out a few of these website promotion techniques see what works to increase website traffic.