There are many ways you can increase website traffic for free. Yet it’s surprising how many of these free tips are not taken by business owners. Increasing organic traffic to your website is the first step in bringing new leads to your business.
Strategies to Increase Web Traffic for Free
Today’s marketing is all about growing your circle of influence, as measured by the traffic to your website. Many businesses rely on word of mouth to bring referrals and new customers.
When a referral is being made, which is often offline, what is the first thing the interested listener does? Visit your website of course! Below are some of the key methods that will definitely drive traffic to your website:
1. Utilize Social Media to Reach More People
Think of social media as a form of free marketing, if done correctly. With social media, you can reach a large target audience with a simple thought or image. To do this properly, and for free, the goal is to optimize the value of your posts alongside the time of day you are posting.
If you can provide high-value at a high-volume time, you should notice a significant increase in your social media activity and website traffic.
By properly utilizing social media, you can increase the click-through rates to your website, bringing your social followers to your website. By creating social media accounts and actively posting, you are creating a digital footprint, which you can track through Google analytics.
2. Use Hashtags to Target Your Content
Adding hashtags helps extend the reach of your social media posts, categorize your content, and attract niche audiences. By using targeted keywords relevant to your products or services, posts are more likely to reach your target audience.
Be sure to follow the hashtag etiquette for each site and keep an eye on your Analytics to see what hashtags drive the most traffic to your site. Use hashtags that are short, memorable, and on-brand. Additionally, try creating a few branded hashtags that are unique to your business.
3. Perform On-Page SEO Optimization
Take time to improve the optimization of your website pages by making sure you are using the Yoast plugin. It’s free and easy to use.
Yoast provides an SEO rating for your content and tips on how to improve your on-page SEO. The Yoast tool provides tips on improving your headlines, meta-description, keywords, and even copywriting.
Your website content must be able to capture your audience’s attention. Consider this: 8 out of 10 people will read a headline and bypass the rest of your ad and text (Source). For that reason, an effective copywriting strategy is critical to grab your reader’s attention and to drive web traffic.
Take time to work on your on-page SEO, and you will see increased traffic to your website and improved rankings in search results.
4. Increase Back-links To Improve Brand Authority
An essential part of SEO is building back-links, links from one website to another. Google views websites with a strong link profile as being more trustworthy and authoritative. Not only do the links themselves drive traffic, but they boost your SEO rankings and increase organic traffic.
Your internal linking structure also affects the power of your link profile. Internal links can help boost your SEO rankings and create a more user-friendly experience on your website.
5. Have a Content Marketing Plan and Share Engaging Posts
Content marketing is a crucial tool for improving SEO rankings to increase organic traffic. Great content is informative, engaging, and keyword-rich. With valuable content, you encourage users to continue visiting your website and to share your content with others.
While blog posts are the most common form of content marketing, you can appeal to different audiences through:
- Case studies
It’s important to have variety in the length and format of your content. Don’t forget to add compelling headlines that stand out on search results pages and drive more traffic to your website using carefully selected SEO keywords.
6. Write a Guest Post for Other Websites
Guest blogging on other websites builds your brand authority and establishes your voice as a subject matter expert. You can write these blog posts, or if you’re short on time, a digital marketing agency that has a strong content creation team can ghostwrite for you.
Each piece of content is an opportunity to bring traffic to your website and social platforms, as well as strengthen your position as a leader in the market.
7. Create a Content Schedule
When it comes to increasing organic traffic to your website, there is no better way than to develop high-quality and high-value content. In fact, the only way to get ranked on search engines is through developing more and more content embedded with high-volume keywords.
Because of this, we believe that one of the best ways to begin creating a constant stream of content is through a “content game-plan” or content strategy, as part of your content marketing.
The goal with this is to write down all the different content ideas that you can use for your website. From there, create a map of when you can write the content and begin scheduling the posts out over the month.
For best practices, it’s recommended you write enough content for a few months in advance, while also doing quality-keyword searches, ensuring your keywords are still trending.
8. Leverage the Power of Email Marketing
One of the best sources of website traffic that is often overlooked is your email base. Those who have subscribed to your email list are interested in what you have to say.
Email can go way beyond telling them about deals and specials. Creating blog content that educates your audience on your products and sharing a link to the content via email are great ways to increase traffic to your website.
This can also spark interest on their part for making another purchase of your product or services.
9. Paid Ads
The paid traffic method is used to quickly drive traffic to your website. The first benefit of paid ads is that you can do it on search engines like Google Ads or Bing ads or you can do social ads on platforms like Facebook ads or Pinterest Ads. The choice of platform depends on your product or service. Paid ads are a proven method since it is easy to measure and track the results. Other advantages are that you can control the budget, scale it when you like, and the analytics tools help you to understand the target audience behaviour and trends.
10. Hold Contests and Promotions to Build Your Rapport
Running contests and promotions is one way to increase site traffic. By creating a special landing page with the promotion or offer, you can track and measure engagement for the campaign.
Having fun with a contest or promotion allows you to express your brand personality and shows your community another side of your company. A contest is also a great way to build your email list!
The more your business can promote your contest through social media platforms, free or paid advertising, word-of-mouth, online engagement, blogs, or any other method of advertisement, the more people will sign up.
This gives you more quality leads that you can market and engage with, even after the contest or promotion is finished.
11. Utilize Online Directories & Review Sites
Consider review sites like Yelp and Google Business to be digital forms of word-of-mouth marketing. These referrals can be a great source of free traffic to your website.
Additionally, review sites and directories have strong domain authority on search engines. This means your business’s free page on their site could begin ranking in relevant searches. Actively update these listings to ensure your contact information, address, and links to your website are up-to-date.
12. Research Your Competitors
When improving your strategy, it’s crucial to understand what marketing tactics your competition uses. Subscribe to their email list, stalk their social media, and skim their blog to see what type of content and advertisements they are creating.
A digital marketing agency can help conduct competitor research, saving you time and effort while still providing valuable insight into improving your strategy.
Let’s also look at some of the common mistakes that can lower your traffic and you want to avoid.
Website Mistakes To Avoid That Lower Your Traffic
You can easily develop and create a beautiful website. But without proper search engine optimization or website optimization, no one will be able to see it!
Word of mouth and purposely telling people about your website may stimulate a couple of visitors a month, but SEO is key for true success and high-volume traffic.
So, let’s look at a few common website mistakes that even you maybe guilty of.
1. Bad User Experience Leads to High Bounce Rates
First, a bad user experience means the website visitor spends little time on your website. Common issues that will deter people from spending time on your website include:
- Slow loading speeds (they will not wait for the site to load and instead go to the next company on their list, your competitor).
- No calls to action.
- Not mobile-friendly (in some industries, the volume of search traffic is coming from mobile devices).
- Contact info is difficult to find.
- Unattractive visuals and poor product shots.
- Broken links or content that appears broken or outdated.
- Confusing navigation and poorly organized content
- An outdated website. (Styles change rapidly, so your website needs to be refreshed every couple of years if you want to be perceived as a growing company).
The amount of time spent on your website is tracked by search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. They use this data to determine the rank and quality of your website.
A low rank will deter the search engines from sending traffic to your site, and instead, direct it to a higher-ranking website. By working to provide a high-quality experience for your website visitors, you will naturally increase website traffic-free.
2. Boring Content That Doesn’t Speak to Your Audience
Another common error is boring content. Your content must speak in a meaningful way to your audience. If you have relied on industry jargon and lists of features to describe your products and services, it’s time to understand that things have changed
Some of the common mistakes made when trying to increase web traffic include:
- Over-extensive descriptions
- Bland About sections
- Outdated Contact information
- Dry Product descriptions
- Outdated Services sections
- Keyword-heavy text
These will bore your audience, not engage them.
Creating quality content is about keyword strategy combined with a keen understanding of your target audience. This is used to create content for the website that your customers (and new customers) truly want to read.
3. Not Mobile-Friendly and Responsive
Finally, this may just be one of the most important aspects of modern web design. When it comes to increasing web traffic for your business, you need a mobile-friendly and responsive website.
With the massive penetration of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, computer engagement has lost the digital media battle to mobile by 65% (Source).
Essentially, people utilize their phones and tablets more than anything else. Therefore, if your website is not mobile-friendly, it can severely hurt your chances of increasing web traffic.
Furthermore, search engines have developed algorithms that specifically look for mobile-friendly websites. As a result, those that aren’t will not perform or generate traffic as planned.
TIP: We offer lots of great Web Development & Design options that are geared towards ensuring your website is mobile and tablet-friendly!
So, those are the three most common mistakes that can harm your website’s ability to drive online traffic to your website.
The best advice we can give anyone is to do your keyword research. It’s imperative to have a solid keyword strategy from the outset, and then evolve it as you see your marketing goals attained.
As the business owner, you need a core understanding of keywords and some of the simple ways to conduct research. However, the industry has moved on from the early days when you could manage your keyword strategy yourself.
To see traction and progress, growing companies must engage a digital marketing agency. But you’re the boss. If you don’t understand what they are doing, how will you properly manage the relationship, hold them accountable, or call them out if you see your service levels decline?
When was the last time you visited your website? Spend time on your website, viewing what your website visitors see. Take stock and then develop your list of improvements. This should be your first step in developing a digital marketing strategy for your business!