Updated: SEO for Beginners 2016. A guide to search engine optimisation for Google in the UK and aimed at beginners.
How to Increase Your Website Traffic Without SEO
Written by Neil Patel on March 22, 2016
A lot of us know that SEO can be a brilliant way to generate traffic for a website.
However, for some of us, SEO might be our only means of traffic.
This can be a bad thing.
It is essential that you know how to diversify the traffic that is coming to your website. Otherwise, if your primary traffic source fails you, it could mean the end for your business.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at how you can increase website traffic without having to rely only on SEO.
Do you want to increase your website traffic without SEO? This how to guidewill help you to do so.
We’ll look at a variety of strategies that you can put into place right now and also how you can optimize each source of traffic.
By the end of this post, you’ll have the peace of mind needed to know that your website isn’t going to crash and burn, just because of a change in Google’s algorithm.
Is all traffic equal?
Before we begin, I just want to remind you that not all traffic is equal.
Traffic that is highly targeted is going to generate a better ROI than traffic that is not.
Now while that might sound obvious, it is something that can be easily overlooked.
High traffic numbers can be a great thing, but if the traffic isn’t targeted, the numbers are just vanity metrics.
This is something to keep in mind as we explore the topic of increasing traffic to your site.
1000 untargeted visits is not the same as 100 targeted visits.
Always ask yourself what else can be done in order to make each source of traffic that we discuss more targeted when going through each of the suggestions below.
Online ads can instantly generate hundreds, if not thousands of clicks to your website.
Plus, with new ad platforms appearing and innovating regularly, getting your ads in front of the right people is becoming easier than ever.
In fact, the effectiveness of online advertising is so great, that, in the UK, digital ad spend rose 13.4% in 2015, when compared to 2014.
However, if you want to generate traffic using online ads, it is important that you know, beforehand, how you’re going to make money from this traffic.
Odds are you don’t have a bottomless pit of money. You need to find a way to generate an ROI from your ads, if you want to advertise sustainably in the long term.
Remember – when running an ad campaign, traffic means nothing if you can’t turn a profit.
This big challenge can be broken down into two separate ingredients.
Advertising something that people want is the first ingredient. And, creating effective ads that encourage the right people to click on them is the second.
We can’t talk about advertising a product that people want here, but we can briefly cover the creation of great ads.
In general, there are two things you need to acknowledge when creating ads – the targeting of the ad and the design of the ad itself.
The design of an ad includes the copy and the image. If you want to get better at designing ads that will generate clicks, study some of the ads that your competitors are running.
Create something known as a swipe file, which is essentially a record of eye catching ads that have caused you to take action.
Study these ads and see if you can emulate their success, by deducing what makes them work.
Targeting refers to who the ads are shown to.
Each ad platform has its own form of targeting and you’ll need to do some homework on your chosen platform ahead of time.
Thankfully, with innovations such as ‘Lookalike Audiences,’ targeting your ads is now a lot easier than it used to be.
The way that you target your ads will influence how much you’re going to be spending.
For example, the industry you’re trying to advertise within will deeply affect your costs.
This is especially the case with Facebook.
When running ads, you don’t need to go big straight away, nor should you.
Test the waters with $5-$10 a day and see what happens.
Do that for a week, just to learn how the ad platform works.
Then, the next week, work on improving some metrics such as profit or email signups generated.
Make sure you experiment with different ad platforms.
If you’re looking to advertise for a B2B and reach decision makers, LinkedIn might be your best bet. That’s because 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members can influence the decisions made within their company.
If you’re looking to advertise primarily to the B2C sector, Instagram might be better.
Bloom and Wild managed to achieve a 62% increase in bouquet orders, thanks to Instagram Ads.
They wouldn’t have been able to achieve similar results on LinkedIn.
You can also use guest blogging as a tool for generating visitors to your website.
There are two things that you need to get right, when it comes to guest blogging.
The first is finding websites that are suited to your niche and also will accept guest posts.
You can find such websites by searching for them within Google.
Use the following search strings to find relevant opportunities.
The next thing that you need to work on is writing a compelling piece of content for the site that you’re going to be writing for.
There are three tactics that you can use to generate guest post ideas.
One tactic is to search Buzzsumo to find popular topics that are being shared a lot within the niche where you want to guest post.
The second tactic is to use Buzzsumo to search the site that you want to post on. View the topics covered by their most popular content and the style that their content follows.
You then either write something that is ten times better than what already exists or you can write something that is very similar.
If you need some inspiration, simply take the top piece of content you have found on the site and put it into Buzzsumo.
You’ll then see examples of how such a piece of content can be made better. You’ll also see examples of content that is similar to what you found in the first place.
The third option is to write something based on your own personal experience. You could write a case study, for example, that outlines what you have managed to achieve.
When writing such a piece, it is essential that you provide ‘how to’ instructions for the people that are reading, so that they can achieve similar results.
Remember to be respectful when approaching any sites that you want to guest blog on.
Follow the instructions provided in their editorial guidelines when submitting a guest post proposal and when you write the guest post itself.
If one site doesn’t approve your ideas, don’t be afraid to approach them again and propose new ideas.
After all, they rejected the idea and not you.
If you do happen to get something published on a site, make sure that you always answer any questions left in the comments section.
This raises the value of the content. It also makes the site look better and the editor of the site will encourage you to write for them again.
There’s also the option of using blog comments as a way to generate traffic to your site.
In the past, I have managed to generate $25,000 as a result of 249 comments.
So, how exactly do you go about using comments to generate traffic?
First, you need to find sites that are posting content related to your niche.
It’s worth mentioning that comments left on industry sites are going to bring you better results than blogs that are not related to your industry.
I followed this rule myself and you’ll see from the chart below that most of my comments were left on ‘industry blogs.’
The reason for this relates back the first section in this post.
Traffic from industry blogs is much more targeted than traffic from other sites.
As a result, this kind of traffic is more likely to ‘convert’ when presented with an offer or a signup form on my site.
It’s a good idea to avoid commenting on competitor blogs. This is generally out of respect.
When leaving a comment, make sure that you are adding something worthwhile to the discussion.
If someone posts a question, make sure that you take the time to answer thoughtfully.
This showcases your expertise in the given niche and will encourage someone reading to click on your name and be taken through to your site.
Refrain from using the name of your business as your ‘commenting name.’ Use your actual full name instead.
This works, because it makes you appear more personable and it also reduces the impression that you’re just leaving a comment to promote your blog.
Try and ensure that your comment has a good ‘avatar’ too, whenever possible.
A picture of your face will work well. Again, this will make you seem more personable.
If you’re struggling to find sites to comment on, you can use Buzzsumo to help you find sites where relevant content is being created.
The strategy used to find sites that accept guest posts can also help you here.
You can also use a plugin called ‘Similar Sites,’ in order to find industry sites similar to the ones you’re already visiting.
Social media can massively impact your business and its ability to generate traffic and sales.
78% of companies now have dedicated social media teams and 54% of B2B marketers claim to have generated leads using social media.
When it comes to social media, you can’t just barge into the ‘conversation’ and ask people to buy something from you or to visit your website to look at your lovely homepage.
You need to provide value first, and develop some goodwill between you and your potential ‘followers.’
This is why content marketing tends to work well, when combined with social media.
With content marketing, you can first provide value to people, who will then be encouraged to visit your site.
If your content is good enough, they’ll be persuaded to visit again, so that they can consume some of your latest content.
They’ll also be more inclined to follow your social media profile, which can help drive traffic when you post content in the future.
Just because a piece of content is old doesn’t mean that it is not worth sharing.
Thanks to tools such as Buffer, you can repost old content again and again, so that it gets the coverage it deserves.
Here is a guide, provided by Buffer, that helps you figure out how you should go about posting your content.
If you’re worried about being seen as a spammer, here are some things to keep in mind.
One of the main reasons people are seen as spammers is because they go about posting the same message over and over again.
You can overcome this issue by describing a single piece of content in different ways for each status update.
This works well because different ‘hooks,’ work for different people.
Some people connect more with status updates that include data and others are more lead by ‘curiosity’ style status updates.
By using the different approaches seen above, you’ll be able to make your content look attractive to different segments of your audience.
If you consistently provide value, you have more leeway to promote offers on your social media platforms and to generate more sales.
You shouldn’t only rely on search engines to generate traffic to your site.
After reading this post, you should now be familiar with the different tactics that you can use in order to get people to visit your site.
Such tactics include online advertising, social media traffic and guest posting or commenting.
Whether you use one of these tactics in isolation, or you use all of them together – any of them can transform the way your website currently attracts visitors.
Try one the methods out and see if you can finally break away from having to rely on traffic coming only from search engines.
What have you experienced when it comes to generating traffic without having to rely on search engines? Share some your tips and experiences!