How to Drive Traffic to Your Website: 10 Ways and 30 Tools
Website traffic is like fuel for a car. Without traffic, your sales machine simply won't go anywhere. Nevertheless, how do you increase traffic to your website? With the help of SEO optimization or by increasing the budget for ads? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question, because digital marketing has different ways and tools for it.
There are dozens of ways to increase the number of visitors to any resource. Most likely, you already know some of them, but others are sure to be a godsend or a pleasant discovery at the very least. Let's take a look at 10 ways and 30 interesting tools that will help you attract traffic to your resource.
General overview of traffic channels
First, we need to understand what traffic channels there are. Google Analytics will help us with that.
Google Analytics is a free analytics service. It is the most popular platform of this type and is integrated on 85% of the sites.
By default Google Analytics divides site traffic into Channel Groups:
Organic Search Traffic
traffic from search engines i.e. organic search sources such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
traffic from links clicked on other websites, not including major search engines.
traffic from pay-per-click campaigns run in search results.
traffic from display advertising, such as Google Display Network campaigns.
traffic from social sources, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, etc.
traffic from links clicked in email messages, whether those are campaigns through a platform like MailChimp, Klaviyo, or an individual email.
traffic created when users navigate directly to your URL. This may happen by typing it directly into their browsers or bookmarking it. There is also speculation that a good portion of this traffic comes from "dark" sources (i.e., those that are untrackable), such as text messages, instant messengers, and secure searches.
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Let's look at each of these types of traffic in more detail, and figure out how to boost it.
How to Increase Organic Traffic
Let's first look at ways to increase organic traffic. This channel is one of the most important, and many ways to increase it will be useful for other channels. Let’s pay some special attention to this one, to get this question off the table.
As 92% of search traffic is generated by Google, so the recommendations for increasing search traffic that we have prepared will be related to the Google search engine.
As we have previously mentioned, organic traffic is the biggest traffic channel on many popular websites.
wikipedia.org - a free Internet-based encyclopedia, started in 2001, that operates under an open-source management style. It is overseen by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation.
The amount of Search Traffic is 86.24%
wayfair.com - an American e-commerce company selling furniture and home goods. Their digital platform offers 14 million products from more than 11,000 global suppliers.
The amount of Search Traffic is 46.64%
shoutmeloud.com - a popular internet marketing blog where you find proven strategies and tips to grow your online business and blog.
The amount of Search Traffic is 69.30%
By the way, you can view your site's traffic for free by using the Similarweb platform.
To replicate the success of these sites you need to follow 3 steps:
- Understand how users search for your products, services
- Create relevant pages for user requests
- Increase the authority of the resource
How to understand how users are looking for your products, services?
At this stage, you need to collect as many search queries related to your topic, cluster them, and build the right structure of the website based on these clusters.
Search queries can be grouped by manual (content-based) and automated (clustering) methods.
- While using the first method, you need to analyze the entire list of search queries and similar queries on the content should be combined into groups.
- The second method is automated and is called "clustering". This is a grouping of queries based on an analysis of the top 10 search results. Such services as cluster.army, keywordclarity.io can scan the top output for each search query and then compare the results. If queries found the same pages at the top, such queries are combined into one group. If not - such queries may not be combined and optimized for a single page.
As the practice shows, at this stage, it is better to use both manual and automated methods of grouping.
As we finished with grouping, let’s move on to the design of the structure. At this stage, a group of search queries should be divided into separate pages of the site.
The structure of the site - a scheme that visualizes all the pages of your website, showing their hierarchy and relationship between them (internal relinking). The correct site structure ensures:
- fast indexation of the pages of the site;
- а high level of website usability;
- harmonious distribution of semantic groups between pages.
Creating relevant pages
"Content is king."
Content relevance is one of Google's main ranking factors. If you want your website to generate traffic from search, the content on the resource must be:
- expert, authoritative, and reliable
We won't dwell on each point as there will be a separate article about content.After creating relevant pages, your website will start to show up more often in search and bring traffic. For competitive queries, the website pages will show up far from page 1.
of search traffic is generated by the 1st page of the search, so the website will not get traffic for such queries.
What should you do? You need to increase the authority of the website in general as well as of separate pages with low positions.
Increasing the authority of the website
We are subconsciously guided by the opinions and actions of others. Same as with people, the search engine evaluates the authority of a web resource by focusing on other pages. Links from other websites, mentions of the brand on the Internet, branded queries - all these factors affect the position of your website.
When forming search engine positions, in addition to evaluating the quality of content and usability of the web page, Google takes into account the authority of the site. In 1997, the co-founders of Google developed an algorithm to determine the "value" of a web page, called PageRank. The PageRank was shown as a number from 0 to 10 and depended on the number and quality of links on other web resources that referred to the site. You could see the PageRank of a web page in the Google Toolbar, but only until 2016. Google closed the ability to learn PageRank position, although the PageRank algorithm is still used in the search engine.
At the beginning of 2020, Google's lead analyst John Mueller confirmed that the search engine will continue to use PageRank for internal purposes, as one of many site evaluation metrics. John also added that today's algorithm for calculating PageRank is very different from the original version.
Increasing the link mass is quite a "white" method of SEO promotion. If you do it right, of course. In Google documentation, you can find information on the position of the search engine to increase the link mass.
Increasing a website’s link mass is called link building. Link building comes in different forms and is divided into 3 branches:
inks placed on forums, review sites, and message boards;
links from articles that are posted on other sites;
these are links that are posted on various directory sites, for example, company directories.
This topic deserves another article but to put it simply, the web resources that are worth publishing should be:
- thematic - the topic of the website should be partially or completely relevant to your web resource;
- authoritative - use Domain Trust (DT) from SE Ranking, or Domain Rating from Ahrefs to analyze the authority of web resources. We recommend looking at sites that have DT and DR over 50;
- with traffic - web resources must generate traffic. To see website traffic use the SimilarWeb service.
Branded queries as a method of increasing organic traffic
Branded queries are search terms that contain the name of the company or brand. For Google, an increase in the frequency of branded queries is a signal that the resource is gaining popularity, has a loyal audience, and deserves certain preferences in the ranking. This feature is well traced on sites without technical and external optimization which are in the top ranks for competitive requests.
To sum it up, increasing organic traffic is a long process, which consists of 3 consecutive stages:
- developing the structure of the site;
- creating relevant pages;
- increasing the authority of the site.
Now let’s move on to the other traffic sources.
How to increase Referrals Traffic
The process of increasing referrals traffic is very related to link building. From the previous section, we already know that link building is the action of links distribution that directs users to your resource. It is the referral channel that captures such conversions.
Let's take Outreach's link-building method. You prepare an article, post it on a trusted resource, and place a link to your website in it. The trustworthiness of the website increases the chances of your article getting into the top 10.
Usually, you are allowed to place 2-3 links to your website in one article. The link should be placed in the first half of the article. The closer is the link to the beginning of the article, the higher the probability of the user coming to your resource.
How to increase Paid Traffic
Paid Traffic includes all clicks from ads. It is a quick way to get traffic. You set up an advertising cabinet, top up your advertising balance, run ads, and almost instantly ads start generating traffic to your site. There are two ways to increase paid traffic:
- Increase your advertising budget. It's simple. You pay more for advertising, you get more traffic.
- Optimization of advertising. To pay less for ads and get better results, you need to take care of the quality of your ads.
Ads in Facebook, Google, and so on are shown to the user according to the results of an auction, which involves all those who have created ads for specific keywords or a target audience. Each ad is assigned a rating. The position of your ads and ad impressions frequency depending on the rating.
This rating is formed taking into account the CPC rate, the maximum amount of money you are willing to pay per click on the ad, or its display (CPV-rate) as well as the quality of the ad itself.
Although Google and Facebook are commercial organizations, they’re always on the side of the user, so ads will work better not for the one who pays more, but who cares about the quality of advertising.
There are instructions in the guides of advertising systems, which help to set up quality ads. We’re not going to dwell on that, though. However, remember that in advertising offices there is an opportunity to experiment called A/B-testing. You set up different versions of ads, ad systems show these ads on a rotating basis, and after completing the experiment on a separate dashboard you see which version of the ad is effective. To get the full picture, you can set up targeted actions on the site (button click, scroll, fill out a form) in Google Analytics and integrate https://www.hotjar.com/ on the website to analyze user behavior.
How to increase Display Traffic
Display Traffic includes all conversions from display advertising, such as Google Display Network campaigns. To increase Display Traffic, carry out actions for Paid Traffic, which we’ve already mentioned. Watch the quality and analyze the different versions of ads.
How to increase Social Traffic
Social traffic is traffic attracted to any website from social networking pages. To date, attracting this type of traffic is among the most important tasks for optimizers of Internet resources.
Any social network attracts only targeted visitors to the pages of an Internet resource, which positively impacts the formation of its behavioral factors. Usually, the user who came to the website from a social network behaves on its pages quite actively: spends a few minutes on it, browsing its pages, leaving comments, and so on.
In addition, attracting users from social networks allows increasing the number of social links of the resource as well as improve the quality of its social link mass. Thus, if a user of a social project has linked to a certain site, it means that the information on the page can be very useful to him. Therefore, such visitors often use social media buttons located in the structure of web pages, and can also subscribe to their news.
There are two main groups of methods to attract traffic from social networks - active and passive.
The essence of active methods to attract social traffic comes down to the fact that the optimizer of the resource by various means increases the number of his social links. To this end, he can independently leave links on thematic pages of social networks, buy links on such pages, inviting potential target users of his project to join his groups and communities in social networks, and so on.
Passive promotion in social networks - a set of methods of social promotion, the essence of which is to introduce the structure of a web project certain social additions: buttons, forms of subscription to news, forms of commenting, developed by social resources.
It is important to note that any website actively promoted in social networks should also have well-configured pages from the social point of view.
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How to increase Email Traffic
An email newsletter is one of the most effective tools to promote the site and attract new visitors to the site. By communicating with each client individually, the website owner can inform the visitor about upcoming changes on the site, about any new products or planned promotions, raising the awareness of subscribers.
Every year companies pay more and more attention to email marketing. There are several obvious advantages of this communication channel: low maintenance costs, accurate targeting, and personal communication. In order to use email marketing to attract additional traffic to your website you just need to stick to simple principles. You have to know to whom, what, and when to send.
You can collect databases of addresses from open sources, such as social networks, online directories, forums, message boards, and thematic sites. Special parsing programs are used for this purpose.
Parsing is the process of extracting contact data from open sources. You can manually search hundreds of pages, copying addresses from them, or you can run a parser, which collects contacts from sites in a few seconds.
It scans one or several sources (depending on the parameters you choose) and finds all the strings that contain characters @, "email", "com", and so on.
If you are interested in this way of collecting contacts, pay attention to the following parsing services and their pricing policy:
- Skrapp.io - prices range from $0 to $209, depending on the number of addresses per month;
- Hunter.io - free rate includes 50 contacts per month, the most expensive $399 - 50,000 addresses;
- Scrapebox Email Scraper - one-time payment of $97;
- Email Extractor - free extension for Google Chrome;
To drive traffic to the website from email newsletters, work with them on the model of social networks. Think about what you can offer your subscribers that will make them want to come to your site.
Here are some basic rules to help you increase the effectiveness of your newsletters:
- Work on your subject line and preheader. Add emoji to them, try to write with intrigue.
- Research your audience, segment your content, personalize your emails. Relevant content will get you more clicks, and a satisfied subscriber will continue to open your emails and click on the links.
- Don't overload your email. If there are too many links you run the risk that the subscriber won't read the whole "sheet" at all. Choose the most interesting stuff.
- Make the layout adaptive. Carefully check templates before emailing, to make sure they display on different devices. Emails with a "screwed up" layout are uncomfortable to read, and this will affect the mailing results.
- Add social network buttons to your emails. Let the subscriber choose the channel in which they feel comfortable interacting with you - it's the key to a long and good relationship.
How to increase Direct Traffic
Direct traffic refers to website conversions in which visitors set the address of your website in their browser. And you, unfortunately, can't trace how they found out about your site and why they decided to visit it. Another option for direct traffic is the transition by a saved bookmark.
We can only influence direct traffic indirectly (no pun intended):
- Increase brand awareness through advertising (including offline) of the brand/site.
- To get direct traffic, you need to actively maintain pages in social networks, to motivate users to go to the website, while not providing direct links.
- Regularly update the information on the site.
- Encourage visitors to add the website to their bookmarks. For example, place in a prominent place the button "Add to bookmarks," which will add the site to the browser bookmarks.
- Fill the site with useful content. Several times read the useful information on your site, the user is likely to remember the name of the website and in the future may make a direct entry from the address bar or add the resource to the bookmarks.
- Conduct work on the purchase of anchorless links on forums, message boards, thematic websites.
The level of conversion and sales on the Internet depends on the quantity and quality of traffic. That is why every business owner strives to increase website traffic. It is impossible to give a short and succinct answer to the question "How to increase traffic?" because there are so many ways you can increase website traffic. That's why we decided to prepare this material for you - a handy cheat sheet with the key ways to get traffic. Use it wisely and your page will be full of new visitors in no time.
Oleksandr KryvotsiukHEAD OF MARKETING AT REXSOFT