Increasing traffic—users, readers, fans, customers, the people who visit your site—this is the lifeblood of your online operation.
You need people coming to your site. And once you do, if they love it, they’ll recommend it to their family and friends, colleagues and coworkers—and you’re off to earning money online.
But if you’re having trouble attracting people, you’re not alone. It’s not easy. And there’s no full-proof, one-size-fits-all formula for increasing traffic.
Fortunately, the internet offers a huge opportunity to reach people. More than 3 billion people around the world use the Internet.
There’s a smartphone in virtually everyone’s pocket—according to some sources, by 2020 more than 70% of the world’s population will have a mobile phone.
People want to be entertained and they want to connect with people like you who are passionate about their interests.
Increasing traffic is not an easy task, but it is worthwhile and rewarding
You need to attract many, many people to generate real cash. If you’ve run a site in the past, then you know it takes careful planning to create a loyal following and build up your page views. And there are a lot of ways to get traffic to your site.
Advertising, social media, press releases, affiliate marketing, word-of-mouth marketing—you have so many ways to get the word out. But all of it requires time and money—and nothing is guaranteed.
Don’t worry! There are some good strategies for increasing traffic. Here are 5 of them:
Step 1. Invest in native advertising
Sometimes the best way to get people to your site is to spread the word when your potential visitors are looking at other sites.
With native advertising solutions, you can advertise your site with ads that seamlessly weave into the content that your potential visitors are already viewing.
> A few top native advertisers
Outbrain: Capturing your target audience’s attention by recommending your content on the web’s largest and most respected media sites, such as CNN, People and ESPN, Outbrain gives your business a premium publishing platform.
Taboola: Recommending editorial and sponsored content across the web’s most popular sites, Taboola helps you monetize your content and drive engagement.
Step 2. Make sure you rank well on search
Most people search using Google, which returns search results based on a complex algorithm. Increasing traffic using organic search is not easy and doesn’t happen in a day, but here are a few things you can do to get started:
- Writing interesting, original content that people want to read and other sites want to link to
- Posting images with captions
- Using keywords that people use when they search. For example, if you want to reach car lovers, use phrases that car lovers use when they search on Google
> The world’s top search engines
Google: The world’s most-popular search engine, handling more than three billion searches every day.
Bing: Search engine developed by Microsoft, which features web, image, video, local, news and product search.
YouTube: The world’s number one video site and also the number one destination for people searching for How to videos.
Insider tip: There are many ways to improve where you show in search results. But it takes a savvy understanding of how search engines work. To help you know more, here’s an excellent guide to SEO from Moz.
Step 3. Get on the right social networks
When you want to leverage the trending social platforms of the day—Facebook is the best example—you can advertise on these sites. But Facebook isn’t the only platform that can help you with increasing traffic.
If you write about business or professional topics, try LinkedIn. If you’re a photographer or a chef, Pinterest offers a great platform to showcase your work. If you’re looking to reach a younger group of people, try Instagram.
But more importantly, you can set up a page on these social sites and attract a loyal following by getting the word out about your blog or site.
> The most popular social platforms
Facebook: With over 1.3 billion users, Facebook is the largest social network in the world.
Twitter: Offering a highly engaged audience—the average user spends 170 minutes on Twitter per day—Twitter offers great potential.
LinkedIn: With more than 400 million business professionals, LinkedIn is a terrific place to connect with people about business topics.
Step 4. Advertise online with PPC advertising
PPC or pay-per-click advertising is a great way to attract people to your site. You pay for placement on Google or Yahoo or LinkedIn or Twitter, and in return you get to tell people about what you have to offer.
> The best PPC platforms
Google AdWords: The world’s leading advertising platform—AdWords gives you the opportunity to get your site in front of people searching on google.com.
Media Net: The Yahoo-Bing network gives you relevant ads and helpful tracking tools so you can see how well your ads are performing.
Insider tip: You can spend a lot of money on PPC advertising or just a little. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. But you need to have a good idea of your budget, your audience and what you need to offer to attract customers. To help you advance your site, take a look at this introductory guide to PPC advertising.
Step 5. Spruce up your website
The first thing to do—even before you do anything else—is to make sure your site is somewhere people enjoy visiting. A poorly designed site is a site that most people will click or tap away from—because it’s not easy to use.
> The best sites to make your site
Squarespace: An all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website. Whether you need a simple page, a professional blog, or an online store, it’s all included with a Squarespace site.
GoDaddy: With GoDaddy, you can build a professional site easily from hundreds of customizable designs.
Conclusion: Get traffic, make money
If you’re already running a blog or a website, you’re on the right track. More than 3 billion people around the world use the Internet.
To help reach new customers, successful businesses want to partner with successful bloggers and site owners.
That’s where your ambition and drive to be better comes in. When you get more traffic, you open up the opportunity to make a steady source of income.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get more traffic to your site!
A growth blog for professional bloggers and ad ops professionals.