Disclaimer -This is not a “write-post-share-everywhere(!!)” guide to traffic generation. We all know that by now (because, hey, monkey see, monkey do). This here is a collection of 10 of the more advanced, lesser known tips that ingenious marketers around the world use with aplomb to drive extraordinary amounts of traffic to their website.
Your premier, timely, highly relevant content is worth a million dollars… if it’s being seen, that is.
Traffic (more aptly, the lack of it) is a sore spot for every business with an online portal – great product/ service, brilliant content, and next to no visitors to convert.
In this post, I have compiled a list of 2016’s 10 smart online marketing tricks and practices to ensure that your website gets the traffic (and attention) it deserves.
Take a look:
1. Guest publishing
Pay attention to the title, Steve. I said publishing, not posting.
Guest posting typically starts and ends with the aim of link building. It takes no time to degenerate into “wildly getting your content posted anywhere you can manage for a backlink” strategy.
What good is that?
When you say guest publishing, you are aiming to get your content (and by extension – your name and domain) plastered on some of the top ranking and highly revered online publications for your industry vertical. If you are a web developer, aim for Smashing Magazine. If you are an inbound marketer, shoot for Inbound.org, Unbounce, KissMetrics, and so on.
Getting featured on a well-known, niche-relevant blog/publication will place you as an industry insider/subject-matter expert in your target audience’s mind.
This gives a massive boost to your online reputation. This is the kind of content you can talk about at dinner parties (with other similarly-inclined guests, obviously).
A strategic link placed on your website to this post (once it’s published) will get you SEO points (link juice), and of course, a nice portion of audience as referral traffic.
2. What’s and when’s of organic search traffic
Think about the content you are creating and answer two questions:
- What does your audience need?
- When does your audience need it?
It’s not enough to be relevant and timely with regard to your content topics. You need to delve deeper. The keyword here is User Journey.
Smart marketers focus on user personas and journeys in order to understand what their audience needs and then strive to deliver it when they need it. This is the content that’s irresistibly enticing to your audience.
A great way to start (as with everything else) is a Google search. Search some of the top keywords for your niche. Only this time, instead of focusing on your top competitors, pay attention to the links downstairs in related searches.
These are additional, more specific topics/questions your audience is looking up. For instance, searching for “content marketing” brings you this:
Check out the three related searches (highlighted in yellow). Now imagine the kind of traffic you would get with content that addresses all three topics at once (“Best of B2B Content Marketing – Strategies and Examples”). Tell me you wouldn’t hit it.
Another point to latch onto is the right moment. Essentially – When (in the ideal user’s journey) do the most searches take place?
Example – for remote/off-shore web development services, most searches are centered on information seeking. You can home in on that and create remarkable content that explains the jargon and trade in non-intimidating ways.
As the user progresses in the journey towards complete understanding, they’ll look up more specific topics. Keeping those key moments front and center while creating content will make sure it remains visible and relevant, all the time.
3. Q and A keyword phrases
This is a surprisingly underrated trick to get organic search traffic.
Users often treat the search engine input box like an omnipotent, sentient being – asking questions and phrasing them that way. Once you find these keyword-strings-phrased-as-questions, there’s only one logical thing to do – answer them.
”Things I didn’t know could be baked” (because I can burn water)
In the instance above, a cooking class or a food blog could use the top searched questions as prompts to create baking content centered on these topics. With a nice web of internal links and related content to keep the audience on the ride, this content will serve to bring (and hold) organic traffic.
This is where you use your older, high ranking content to get somemore limelight and renew the audience’s attention.
If you have published some (relatively) high ranking content in the past, it’s time to whip it out again. Review and revamp the posts, update it with timely information (and edits), add internal links to related (and newer) content, and update the meta tags + description with keyword-rich (not keyword-stuffed) details.
A brilliant example is Cracked – a humor website with awesome content. The former editor (and NYT bestselling author) David Wong wrote a beautiful, poignant article that served as a slap in the face to every entitled, idle idiot out there – “6 Harsh Truths that will Make You a Better Person”. In 2016, it’s gathered “over 20 million pageviews and half a million Facebook shares”.
He wrote it in 2012.
Yep, they’re proud of it alright
Cracked constantly creates awesome content, so the fact that they keep updating and re-posting it speaks volumes about this particular post (both in terms of content quality and behind-the-scene stats). This is also the post that’s often found in their “Recommended for your pleasure” section of related posts at the bottom of the page.
Do the same with your own blog – look at your previous posts with an objective eye (rank + quality + stats = winner) and leverage them for an added traffic boost.
5. Inbound marketing
As traditional online marketing using Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising becomes increasingly expensive, businesses are turning their collective minds to inbound marketing.
This beautiful, sustainable technique relies heavily on premier quality content and its distribution to precisely targeted audiences in order to drive traffic as well as conversions through the roof over time. It relies on patience, smart decisions backed by data, and a keen understanding of the target audience.
A good, inexpensive way to start is with your blog. Create fresh, relevant, and timely content to pique your readers’ interest and keep them coming back for more. Add keywords (smartly and sparingly) and a unique tone that’s inherently yours to help build a solid foundation for SEO and brand identity.
6. Inform and educate
While attractive, enticing content will get you visitors, it may not ensure loyalty.
To truly build a loyal readership, focus on creating content that has a, as one marketing expert puts it, “extended shelf-life”. Identify your target audience, study the user personas, and build some nice, long, detailed content – guides, walkthroughs, lists of actionable insights, etc.
A quaint example is Tracey Jones’ “Setup guide for Google Analytics for Small Businesses”, published earlier this year on the Themify blog – It became a one-stop-tutorial for WordPress beginners and intermediates and ensures a steady stream of returning visitors to the blog.
Stop salivating over the keywords (in the title alone, no less!)
You can create similarly informative content and promote it via Guest Publishing (see Point #1) and other well-known, niche-relevant communities.
Tip: LinkedIn advertising can get your content noticed (and talked about – which is the goal since eWOM travels faster than the speed of light) by influencers in your niche.
You know that saying? “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” I have always thought that I can think of a dozen more ways it can be served. It depends on context, right?
That was probably a bad example.
Nonetheless, I am a huge, huge fan of content – all the time it takes – on painstaking research, good writing, proper formatting, and ingenuous promotion – all of it is paid back with interest once you see your audience responding to it.
But then again, not everyone is a reader and willing to spend minutes poring over something someone wrote on the internet. A not insignificant segment of your audience would rather watch a video, or listen to a podcast, or simply download a book and read it at their leisure than read an entire post online.
This is where repurposed content comes in – transforming a blog post into different ways that clicks with different audience segments. The platform they find it on also plays a part, so keep that in mind before you go about repurposing.
A good rule of thumb is – infographics (for social media), data-backed op-eds (LinkedIn), e-books and whitepapers (email and website), videos and podcasts (social media and website), and so on.
Remember that you’re not changing the content, simply packaging it in different ways to appeal to different audience segments.
8. ‘Lookalike’ audiences
You have a pretty good handle on who makes up your audience. What about people with the exact same preferences and tastes?
Marketers call it Customer Match Marketing.
Essentially, a lookalike is a custom audience segment, assembled after careful evaluation and scoping, whose online traits match that of your existing audience. It was introduced by Facebook (Zuckerberg is nothing if not smart), and it’s one of the biggest reasons behind the reach (and increasing demand) of Facebook advertising. It’s been adopted by Twitter and Google since then.
The algorithm uploads your audience’s mail addresses and runs it through an algorithm to find out people with similar search/sharing/browsing history. This data gives you an entirely new segment that has a high likelihood of becoming your loyal audience. Once you’ve found them, target them specifically and watch your traffic soar.
This one is well on its way to become a classic.
Giveaways, when valuable (and not obnoxiously centered entirely around your own product) will attract visitors like bears to a honey trap. Prompt visitors to sign-up (or just provide an email address) and keep them on the ferris wheel with further rewards for sharing content or referring.
Done right, giveaways will get you astronomical amounts of traffic – so make sure your domain and hosting are prepared for such a massive traffic surge. In return, you’ll get a healthy subscriber list and/or registered users for your website.
10. Influencer marketing
If influencer marketing is good enough for the gaming industry, it’s good enough for everyone else.
Influencers are people with long years of credibility and authenticity in their particular niche. Consider them Gandalf or Dumbledore – everything they say is practically gospel. One good word or mention about your product or service (heck, even one of your blog posts) will send people flocking.
When done right, influencer marketing will drive the most conversion-ready traffic to your website. Identify the top influencers in your niche (use Followerwonkor or BuzzSumo) and reach out to them about your product/service promotion. Those with massive reach may even have special media packages with details about promotional activities they’ll conduct in exchange for a fixed payment or sales percentage.
Just make sure you don’t land your butt in hot water (like Machinima and Microsoft).
Despite the variety of approach and execution, you’ll notice that every single one of these tricks revolve around content. Content is, and will always be, the undisputed King.
Get used to it.
Give, and ye shall receive. (Luke 6:38).
To receive value, you must first give it. Smart marketing tricks can drive traffic, but not keep customers. For that you need covetable, valuable content. Once you have that, you can use a combination of the aforementioned tricks to set your traffic soaring.
Guest Author: Catherrine Garcia is a web development expert who works for HostingFacts. She is also an enthusiast blogger who loves to share her knowledge with other bloggers.