Have you ever heard the saying build it, and they will come? Unfortunately, this promising phrase of instant success does not transfer over to the digital real estate. When it comes to driving traffic to your website, it’s not as easy as hanging an “open sign” across all of your digital marketing platforms. If you’re a newly built website, you’re competing against the hundreds of thousands of sites, brands, and competitors out there in the online world. But you have this beautiful asset that you’ve invested time and money building, and it deserves visibility. After all, your website is a digital representation of who you are. Your website is your first salesperson, and it should be responsible for attracting new customers, driving new business, and growing your company.
How do you get more traffic to your site? Well, there are a lot of tactics out there that exist, including search engine optimization, social media marketing, overall brand awareness, PR, and other digital marketing techniques. But at the end of the day, having a solid strategy that combines many digital marketing efforts is what will drive that bottom line and actually get you more traffic. That’s why today I’m diving into 10 ways that you can drive traffic to your site for free.
#1 GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Having a Google My Business listing should be every business owner’s first step when it comes to establishing an online presence. Not only is this service free and easy to build, but once you set it up, you are now eligible to show up in places like Google Maps. The key here is to optimize your Google My Business listing, which means filling out sections strategically with proper categories, filling out your services and products, adding full descriptions with keyword phrases, adding images and videos, and more. You can even maintain your Google My Business and get a higher clickthrough rate to your website by adding GMB posts. The GMB posts that Google offers are equivalent to social media posts. You can add photos, any special offers that you have going on links to your website, and “call to action” buttons to help drive more traffic to your site.
#2 INSTAGRAM STORIES
In addition to maintaining your social media presence by posting regularly on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, you can take advantage of the different features that these platforms offer. Stories are a great way to drive traffic to your website because you can add links to your site for people who view your stories. You can have a “swipe up” ‘to view my website’ ‘to view this link’ or ‘open this website here’. When people view your stories, they can easily tap the button or swipe up, and it takes them directly to your site. This is super advantageous, especially on Instagram, because you can’t embed links on your Instagram posts directly. Instead, you can use stories and your bio to be able to drive traffic to your website.
Content marketing has been an age-old marketing tactic that has proven extremely successful in getting brand awareness, driving new business, and growing your company overall. When it comes down to adding more content to your site, a blog is a great way to do that. You can blog about industry-specific topics, answer frequently asked questions, and talk about upcoming events in your industry. Whatever you have to say, a blog on your site is a perfect way to do that. Once you create that piece of content, you want to distribute that across your social media channels. Share it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc., to make sure that people know about that blog post. You can also explore different ways of pushing blogs on forum sites like Quora. If you go and browse Quora, it’s full of people who need information and answers to questions, and your blog post might be able to answer some of those. By responding with answers on these forums and including a link to your corresponding blog post, you can actually drive traffic to your site and provide value to a customer. Blogs are a great way to not only get more traffic to your site but also help your SEO because you’re adding valuable content to your site, which Google consumes and treats as a way of understanding your expertise and authority in your space.
#4 HAVING A USEFUL TOOL ON YOUR WEBSITE
If you are a mortgage lender, you can have a mortgage payment calculator on your site, or if you are a real estate agent, you can have an MLS functionality where people can go and use your site to be able to view the most recent listings. No matter what industry you are in, think of what kind of tool that relates to your business that you could put on my site that would value to your customers. Once you have this special tool on your site, this makes your site automatically more attractive to all users looking for somebody like you. You can then promote this tool on social media, and you even can rank potentially on Google for queries like a mortgage calculator. You can also end up building backlinks by having tools on your website. If you have a partner who’s in a similar industry, they can link to your tool to provide value to their customers in addition to yours. A useful tool like the aforementioned can do many things for your website, including driving more traffic.
#5 FACEBOOK GROUPS
Facebook groups are a great way to engage with your audience and connect with the people in your community, whether that is your local community or the people that you share common ground with. You can create your own Facebook group, or you can simply engage in the existing groups that exist across Facebook already.
You can find groups where it’s all about people in your profession or your industry, or broaden the scope and join different groups in order to fill a potential industry gap. Whenever somebody asks for a recommendation or asks for a question to be answered, you can provide helpful value and links to your website. You can post articles, provide links to the tool that you just built on your site, and so much more. Remember to take a value-first approach and be careful not to spam. Often Facebook groups have rules about not letting you advertise your business, so be aware of what the restrictions are on the groups that you join and be strategic about how you go about promoting your website.
#6 KEYWORD RESEARCH
Keyword research is the foundation of every search engine optimization campaign. You want to be able to find the keywords that people are typing in Google to find out who you are and what you do. If you are a chiropractor in Austin, Texas, people may be searching “chiropractor near me” or “Austin chiropractor” or even more specifically -“chiropractor that helps with sciatica”. You can find data to see how many people search this phrase a month, whether or not it has search volume, etc. – this is the foundation that will help you build your website more strategically and get that organic traffic via search engine optimization. So you can use different tools to be able to do this.
As a full-service marketing agency that specializes in SEO, here at Succeeding Small, we use a tool called Keywords Everywhere. This is a browser extension that you can go install in your internet browser, and it will show data live in real-time. When you type in a search, it’ll show you how many searches a month that particular keyword phrase receives. Once you have keywords on your site, that is just one step closer to having a better search engine-optimized site.
#7 INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC DIRECTORIES
To further distribute your presence online, you can sign up for industry-specific directories. All kinds of internet directories exist that sort businesses and their information and present them to their users who are searching with them. Now, a common directory may be something like Yelp, where you can add to your listing, and it sorts business information. When people go and search, it will populate the answers that people find most useful and relevant to their query. There are also directories for specific professions. Some of these might include Health Grades for medical professionals, Angie’s List for contractors, Zillow for mortgage lenders and real estate businesses, etc. Keep in mind that some of these directories are “pay to play”. You will need to decide if you want to allocate your marketing budget to a premium spot on these directories or pay for a lead, but most directories do have a free listing option. These industry-specific directories will help your search engine optimization by distributing your business information across the internet, and it will provide another traffic outlet for people who are already searching on those platforms to find recommended professionals.
#8 TITLE TAGS AND META DESCRIPTIONS
A title tag and meta description are what show up on the search engine results page. If you were to Google chiropractor in Austin, Texas, you would get 10 blue links that show up on the search engine results page. From there, you have the option to choose which one you want to click on. Title tags and meta descriptions are your opportunities to drive that click by having a persuasive introduction to who you are. You can integrate keyword phrases in your title tag and meta descriptions, and you can also integrate your brand -what makes you different, to be able to stand out from the competition. Most website platforms have an option for you to customize these title tags and meta descriptions. If you choose not to fill in those title tags and meta descriptions, your platform will auto-generate them based on what the content is on your page, or sometimes Google will go and fill in the blanks. Take control of whatever you can and make sure you’re filling out your title tags and meta descriptions, and be sure to integrate keyword phrases. Finally, remember to be enticing to your audience. You only have a few characters for both of these, but this is a proven way to increase clicks through your website.
#9 WRITING GUEST BLOG POSTS
This strategy is helpful on many fronts, including search engine optimization and helping you generate backlinks (Learn more about Backlinks here). This can also be a great avenue to drive traffic to your website. If you show up on other sites talking about your level of expertise and your authority in the subject matter, you can get more visibility -more eyes on your name, on your voice, on your brand, and that could potentially drive more users to your website who want to consume more of your content and become your paying customer. In order to find opportunities to write guest blog posts, think of your power partners in your space. You can write a blog post for their website or find local news outlets and write guest articles for their publications. Other online publications accept guest authors that you can submit a request for as well. All of these combined will allow you to not only get more backlinks to your website and get more high authority credibility to your brand, but you will also be in front of more eyes and drive more traffic to your site.
#10 LEVERAGE LINKEDIN
LinkedIn is a fantastic social media platform for B2-B businesses, and it is still highly underutilized when it comes to being a marketing strategy. If you can leverage LinkedIn and post regularly, you are actually doing better than the majority of the population when it comes to actually showing up on this platform. A common marketing strategy for LinkedIn is something called thought leadership, this is where you share your thoughts and insights on your journey. Either as a leader or as a CEO, as a business owner, as a human sharing, your thoughts and your journey on this social media platform can be very beneficial to growing your brand and your community to help drive more clicks to your website. You can also use LinkedIn to be able to share your upcoming blog posts or create original content specifically for LinkedIn.
PRO TIP: MEASURE TRAFFIC
How do you know where people are coming from? How many people visit your website on a regular basis? You can know all of this by installing Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use by signing up for an account and installing a bit of code on your website that will translate data straight to Google Analytics. In relation to how much traffic you are getting to your site, this will show you how many visitors are on your site over time, and you can even break it down further to see what channel they came from. Did they come from social media? Did they come from organic search? What kind of referrals is driving traffic to your site? From here, you can begin to measure your data more specifically.
If you want to streamline your marketing efforts, understand how you are getting traffic to your site and how to optimize for potential clients, begin by taking an omni-channel approach to your marketing strategy where you can be visible on multiple platforms, including search engines, like Google, social media and internet directories and websites.
Want to learn how Succeeding Small can help increase traffic to your website today? Book a free consultation with one of our marketing experts!