It’s likely that if you’re here, you’ve wondered how you can get traffic to your website. At some point, you’ve probably asked:
- “What is Traffic?”
- “How can I get Traffic?”
- “How can I get more traffic?”
- Or, if you’re sophisticated, you might ask, “How can I get more buying traffic?”
In this post, we’ll be answering each of those questions. We’ll talk about:
- What it is
- How it works
- and, How to get traffic and sales
So if that’s what you were looking for, stay tuned…
- 1 What is Traffic?
- 2 My Experience with Clients
- 3 Offline Traffic vs. Online Traffic
- 4 Websites Don’t Naturally Come with Traffic
- 5 Traffic Requires Attention
- 6 Don’t Be Gimmicky! Reputation is More Valuable than Speed
- 7 Right Traffic vs. Wrong Traffic
- 8 My List of 30+ Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website
- 9 The Digital Marketing Trifecta
- 10 Commit to 1-2 Traffic Sources when Starting Out
- 11 Stick with it for 12 Weeks to 1 Year (Or Longer) — Consistency is King
- 12 The Most Important thing to Remember when Getting Traffic – Empathy
- 13 Conclusion
What is Traffic?
First, if you’re unfamiliar with what people are talking about when they use the term “traffic”, it’s basically talking about people. In order to get customers, you have to attract “people” (or “traffic”) who might need the solution you offer.
Over time, as you get more savvy, you’ll notice patterns like:
- For X amount of people that visit your website Y amount usually buy
- Or, if you’re offline, it might be for X amount of people that visit your store, Y amount usually make a purchase
There are many other metrics like that, that can help you predict your sales and income, but we won’t be getting into that in this post.
My Experience with Clients
Over the last three years, I’ve had the privilege of working with several startup entrepreneurs who want to use the internet to find new customers and sales. They might be product-based companies, service-based companies, or affiliates, and they know that in order to run a successful business, you have to get sales.
The problem is, traffic online isn’t like traffic offline, so it takes a bit of rewiring to understand how it all works.
Offline Traffic vs. Online Traffic
With offline business, you’d set up a storefront or a location, then you start telling people what you offer and where to find you. You might hand out flyers, business cards, or send things in the mail, and you can physically see your customers. You know when you don’t have customers in front of you, then you need to go out and network more to find them.
Online Business is a Bit Different
With online business, you set up a website and you’re using internet technology to meet new people. You have algorithms and bots that help to connect people who might be able to solve each others’ problems. It’s a whole new way of thinking.
Rather than attending a relevant networking event and talking to people who might be interested in your product or service live and in-person, you’re going to be doing market research, validating the demand for certain topics online, and creating high-demand content to attract potential customers.
Websites Don’t Naturally Come with Traffic
A common myth I see many new online entrepreneurs believe is that “website traffic comes naturally”. They think that once their website goes “live”, people will come.
This thought process even paralyzes some people from taking action because they’re worried about being perfect before they’ve started.
It’s absolutely not true. In fact, I have domains that I’ve purchased that are shelved waiting on me to work on them. They get zero traffic.
Google, social media, or other traffic drivers don’t work that way. You have to put out something of value and people become attracted and give their attention.
Traffic Requires Attention
In essence, traffic requires attention. Think about it for a second. Let’s say, you go on Facebook, you’re scrolling and looking at pictures of family and friends, and an ad pops up. If the ad is interesting, you give your attention, and potentially, visit the website. If the ad isn’t interesting, you continue scrolling and pretty much ignore it.
It works the same way everywhere online: with email, search engines, or anywhere.
Website owners don’t attract you to their websites without sparking your attention. If you want website traffic, you have to be mindful of this. If your content is catchy and complies with the algorithms of the platform you’re using, you’ll get more attention.
Don’t Be Gimmicky! Reputation is More Valuable than Speed
There are loads of instructors out there teaching ways to get traffic. Some teach gimmicky ways of getting traffic that will make you look like a spammer, a scammer, or a mix of the two. Hahaha. Don’t be gimmicky!
Don’t create a bunch of social media accounts, so you can “outsmart” algorithms or systems”. Don’t reach out to people that you don’t know trying to sell without giving value first, and don’t exaggerate about what you do. There are many more gimmicky things that people teach. Be careful of gimmicky teachers and traffic methods.
If it tries to circumvent giving and receiving value, then it’s probably too good to be true.
Right Traffic vs. Wrong Traffic
Another common problem I see is people who are attracting the wrong traffic. There are various reasons for this happening. Some people attract the wrong traffic because they’re still in the learning curve.
Focus on Giving the Perception of Mastery
It’s important to demonstrate mastery on a topic. Even if you are creating content about weight loss to sell a weight loss product, but you haven’t completely solved the problem yet, it’s still important to focus. If you talk about too many topics, it gives the illusion that you haven’t mastered anything, and it can be confusing.
Buying Audiences vs. Non-Buying Audiences
Some content attracts people who are looking to buy and some attracts people who are simply looking for information or entertainment. For example, I have a 3-year old. She likes to watch nursery rhymes and cartoons. People are creating content that’s entertaining her, but she doesn’t buy anything from them most times.
In contrast, when I’m looking to buy something, I tend to use keywords more like “product name review”, “product name vs. product name”, “or product name testimonial” because I want to know about other people’s experiences with the product before I swipe my cards.
When you’re creating content to attract customers online, you want to choose keywords that demonstrate a clear intent to buy for the highest sales conversion rates. You can also target tutorial keywords, how to’s, lists, and other things, but those usually attract people at a different stage of the buyer’s journey, and the conversion rate to sales is lower.
My List of 30+ Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website
Now, that we’ve discussed a few important facts that can limit your traffic, let’s talk about the ways to get traffic to your website.
1. Search Engine Optimization
One of my favorite ways to get traffic to my website is search engine optimization. I like this method because it doesn’t cost per visitor and because one article can attract visitors for months (or even years)!
With search engine optimization, you:
- Study to find topics that people are actively searching for online
- You try to verify how much competition is also providing content on the same topic
- You make sure you can outperform the competition in the rankings
- You create high quality content
- and, when it ranks, you get free traffic from the search engines for as long as its ranking
Search Engine Optimization is a very logical way to get traffic. It’s highly sustainable and it’s calculated based on demand and supply. A disadvantage to search engine optimization is that it takes awhile. Studies show that it takes upwards of 6 months to rank, which means that an article I write today won’t be ranking until 6 months from now!
It takes quite awhile for the work for search engine optimization to pay off unless you have a highly authoritative site. Added to that, search engine optimization can also be a little unpredictable. Many people who use it have experienced drastic changes in rankings when there’s an update to the algorithms or when a competitor creates a better article than them.
As a result, it’s a good idea to have other traffic sources.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media can also be a huge traffic driver. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Quora have people that visit there to interact, share updates, ask questions, get answers, find new projects to work on, or to find products and services to buy.
They each require the output of high quality content and engagement, but if you dedicate time to give value on these platforms, they can be great places to meet potential customers.
SEO can be a driver of hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of website visitors monthly, but social media can too. I’ve heard people using Pinterest to attract hundreds of thousands of website visitors for free.
3. Facebook Live
Facebook organic posting has lost alot of its reach. Companies with millions of Facebook subscribers noticed a considerable hit. Rather than the thousands of subscribers they were able to reach before, algorithm updates have made it where they’re reach has gone down considerably.
Now, the new feature that helps to get lots of reach is Facebook live. Similar to a webinar, you can host a live event on your Facebook fan page to engage with your subscribers. When they see or hear something they want to hear more about, they might decide to visit your website for additional information.
4. Youtube Live
Like Facebook Live, Youtube also has a live function. With Youtube Live, you can interact with people in your audience live. They can ask questions chat-style and you can respond. Once you get to the point where your channel is monetized, people can also pay to get priority engagement with you.
5. Youtube Marketing
Youtube marketing is a way I’ve been able to meet lots of new people! I create videos, optimize them for search engines, and people find me on Youtube.
You can do this too.
Youtube is the #2 search engine in the world, and gets billions of queries every day. You can get started with a basic camera setup and continue improving things as you go. Publishing content on Youtube can help you to meet millions of people in a short period of time (in comparison to what it might take offline).
6. Search Engine Ads
I talked about search engine optimization before, but I also mentioned how it’s competitive and it can fluctuate. You don’t have control of SEO because it’s free. Google can move your position for various reasons and you can’t do anything about it.
Once you have a budget to invest in advertising, you can use search engine ads to drive traffic you have more control of. Unlike SEO, where you wait nearly 6 months for results, with search ads, your content can appear in search results within less than 24 hours: almost instantly.
Search ads work like an auction. You’re bidding on a keyword and the bidder with the highest bid, most quality user experience, and highest relevance usually wins the position.
7. Display Ads
Search ads are mostly words with little to no images. They show up in the search results just like organic listing, but have you noticed the ads that show images before?
The image ads might show up on websites in various locations. They might also show up in search results across the sides or the bottom (depending on your browser).
Stats show that display ads aren’t usually as effective as search ads or social ads, but have you ever noticed an ad that seems like it’s chasing you all over the internet?
Those are called retargeting ads. Often times, retargeting ads incorporate a mix of social, search, and display ads to follow up with someone who has shown interest already. When you use display ads as a mix for retargeting, that’s where stats show they work very well.
Regardless, if you have a budget for it and enough help to implement, you can stack many different traffic methods to get great results.
8. Social Media Ads
Social media ads are powerful, but you have to be careful with them. Facebook and the other social media platforms are becoming more and more sophisticated. Just by way of the amount of activity that takes place on the platforms, they’re able to learn alot about the user’s behavior, so they offer this data to their advertisers.
You can go into the Facebook advertising platform and target audiences by:
- Buying habits
- Location (even to a very granular level)
- Other companies they’re interested in
- Topics of interest
- and more
It’s even a little scary when you think about all they know about you. Many people are using the “sign-in with Facebook” features, so there’s lots of information they can collect.
As an advertiser, this means you can target people who are very relevant to what you offer. It’s not like the “old school” days where you’re knocking door-to-door without knowing who’s interested in what.
Most of the social media advertising platforms give you the ability to target based on demongraphics and psychographics, but I think Facebook is the most sophisticated social media advertising platform, which is why there’s alot of hype behind it.
At one point, I thought forums were things of the past since social media is so popular, but I was wrong about that. There are big and small communities popping up all over the internet.
Comparing again to offline…
There are places you can go that attract the general public: places like the grocery store or utility companies. Those places are mandatory, but it’s not the place you’d go if you want to engage with people who have hyper targeted interests with you. For example, you wouldn’t go to the grocery store to see if you could find a group of internet marketers, right?
You’d look for a more targeted place to go to find niche specific audiences–that’s where forums come into play online. There are forums for internet marketing and forums for all kinds of other things. Many influencers are using forums as a way to network with their audience outside of a platform that is controlled by algorithms and things.
You can create your own forum once you’ve established a consistent audience–that can help make the relationships more engaged. You can also participate in forums that are already established–this can be a great way to meet people with a very focused interest.
10. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are also a great way to meet people with very focused interests. People use the Facebook search bar or the built-in algorithms on Facebook to learn about groups that suit their interests.
There are paid groups and free groups. Within some groups, there are lots of rules, but in other groups, things are much looser. You can start a Facebook group as a forum alternative. Many people are already on Facebook so it can be an easy sell.
You can also participate in Facebook groups where a relevant audience would be.
11. Collaborations (especially with Influencers)
From what I’ve seen, the fastest way to grow you social circle is by getting in the flow of traffic that’s already there. In the offline world, you might try to submit articles for industry magazines, speak at industry events, attend trade shows, and do other things to attract customers and credibility.
In the online world, collaborations could be doing interviews, having influencers share your content, or engaging in a way that an audience that has context, trust, and authority built with a person, company, or brand can transfer to you–this is why people think they’ve hit the jackpot when they get on Oprah.
They know that by collaborating with Oprah, they instantly have access to millions of people, and people will buy. Similarly, in the online world, if you collaborate with others, then you can access new audiences and “cross-pollinate”.
12. Guest Posting
Guest posting is one way of collaborating. You can write an article for a blog that’s relevant to your niche. When you give a lot of value and display expertise before an audience, they can become interested in you, and may buy from you.
13. Blog Commenting
Similarly, if there are certain topics you’re very knowledgeable about, you may want to set up Google Alerts, so Google can send you a listing of new articles that are published on the topic. When you comment on blogs, add value, and demonstrate expertise, it can lead other visitors to follow you.
For example, let’s say you’re a doctor that offers virtual consultations. You have an alert set up to notify you when people write about colds and flu. When you go and comment, you can give suggestions for how to cure colds and flu, medicines that work, signs and symptoms, and genuinely provide great insight.
When people see how peculiar your level of insight is, they may feel prompted to inquire more of you.
Don’t go spamming in people’s comments though! I get hundreds of spam comments every month where people don’t add value to the conversation, but simply want to post links and attract traffic from my website to theirs–that gives a bad reputation.
14. Video commenting
Similar to blog commenting, there are channels that attract lots of people. When you can leave a comment that adds value, people tend to be a little nosy and they’ll check you out to see what you do.
It’s really nice to find a Youtuber who does a great job, has a complimentary audience with engagement, and who publishes consistently. If you find a channel like that, you can add it into your calendar and be the first one to leave a very valuable comment.
For example, let’s say you’re a business lawyer and you comment on a business accountant’s channel with a legal perspective on what they’ve said. People may really appreciate the comment and follow you for legal advice.
You want to be careful with doing this with people within your niche because they may feel that you’re competing in an awkward way. Just be mindful of that.
15. Mastermind Communities
I’ve had the privilge of finding more than one very engaged community where I feel elements of accountability, support, and I’m able to meet new people–these have been extremely instrumental to my business growth.
You can find mastermind communities offline or online. For example, if you’re a pediatric physician, it might be helpful to join a community of pediatric dentists. You can network and collaborate to refer clients back and forth. Mastermind communities can work similar to forums, or can include forums.
It’s a place where people are highly engaged and where there’s some sense of accountability. The people can help you stay on task, can help you find collaborations or participate with you, and you can even find people who might buy from you (if you offer something complimentary).
16. Live Speaking
If you don’t mind public speaking (or if you’re okay with overcoming the fear), then doing live speaking in your local community could be a great way to demonstrate your expertise with people. I’ve done several live speaking engagements at places like local co-working spaces and small business education centers. When I speak on topics, people in the audience get to see the value in what I do for their businesses, and they may follow up with me further for more information or help–this could also apply to you.
You can speak on topics that are relevant to your expertise or passion, and attract potential customers to your website that way.
17. Live Events
Like live speaking, you can also meet new potential customers by going to live events. There are some events that will attract a highly relevant audience for what you offer, and you could attend, network with people, and find more people to follow up with. Sometimes, they’ll be attracted to you and follow up with you, but normally, it’s the entrepreneur or salesperson’s responsibility to follow-up.
LinkedIn recently acquired Slideshare.
The concept behind Slideshare is similar to Pinterest or a visual platform, but with Slideshare, you’re uploading slideshow presentations. People can go thru the presentations for entertainment or education, and if you catch their attention, then they may visit your website for more.
I’ve seen some websites (like Hubspot) who use Slideshare as a powerful way to drive traffic.
19. Freelance Sites
When I first started my online business, I was mostly offering marketing services. I had just started learning search engine optimization and I didn’t attract many customers thru posting on social media. Instead, I would go on freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr, post my services, and attract people like that.
I used my website to help convert the sale. I would use my website to demonstrate that I have the skills to solve their problem.
Freelancing sites can be a great way to meet new customers. You can use your website to nurture the new relationship rather than an alternative marketing method (like search marketing) where you’d be using the website to attract visitors you don’t know.
20. E-Commerce Sites
Sites like Amazon, Etsy, or Zazzle get alot of traffic. People come to those sites to find products and services, and if you have a product that they’re looking on, why not consider distributing thru one of those sites?
I’ve written and published 15 books, and I did that before I had a significant audience. At one point, I was earning up to $300/mo in royalties while working full-time in the military. Now, 5 or 6 years after publishing them, I still earn royalties monthly and I haven’t done any work in years–that’s passive income. It’s been nice to make money from sharing a message about something I’m passionate about.
You can find ways to make your knowledge into a product, or to distribute your products on e-commerce sites that already have an audience–this gives you a great opportunity to leverage what’s already working.
Some e-commerce sellers put flyers, business cards, and other things into the packages–this way, when you’re looking for products again, you can buy direct from their website and possibly even get better prices!
There are many creative ways to distribute products on e-commerce sites and use the platform to attract visitors back to your website. You can do things like reviewing products, posting video testimonials, inserting notes into packages, including coupons into packages, and more.
21. Social Shares
When you create content online and people like it, they can share it. I know there have been several times where I’m doing research for a loved one or family member, and I share what I’ve found with them using a “share button”. As a result of my share, I’ve sent a relevant customer to the website owner.
Unfortunately, some people don’t have share buttons or they haven’t created valuable enough content worth sharing. Social shares can be a powerful way of driving highly relevant traffic to your website.
22. Television interviews
Like online entrepreneurs, television producers and hosts are looking to create the highest value content for their audiences as well. They’re looking to collaborate with people who have expertise on a topic so they can give a valuable perspective to their viewers.
If you find a television show that has a relevant audience and speaks on topics you can add a valuable perspective on, it might be worthwhile to try interviewing on the show. You’d create your media kit, submit some possible ideas, and reach out to those with the authority to make the decison about whether to have you on or not.
In most instances, you’d be trying to contact the show producer. Getting a spot on television where you share valuable tips and advice to a relevant audience could drive credibility and traffic to your website.
23. Press Releases
Like pitching producers for television slots, press releases are a way to “pitch media companies” for spots on blogs, large newspapers, and other major media outlets. Many reporters and media insiders rely on press releases or sites like HARO to find experts to reference in their articles or interviews.
When you’re quoted in the media, oftentimes, they will reference your website for people to find more information about you–this can drive major traffic. It may be a little less targeted traffic, but attention and brand awareness can help sales (even if it’s in the long-term future).
24. Radio Interviews
There are some surprising statistics about radio users. If you think about it, the people who are listening to the radio are likely to:
- Have cars
- Have electronics
- and, to be adults and somewhat established
As a result, getting on the radio could be a great way to meet new people, to share valuable information, to increase brand awareness, and to get website traffic.
25. Podcast Interviews
Similar to radio are podcasts. With the new cars, smartphones, and evolving electronics, podcasts are becoming more and more popular. Cars are being made where you can play itunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms instead of AM/FM radio. As the cars and electronics continue to evolve, podcasts may become a leading way for listening to radio-style content.
There are podcasts that speak on many different topics. If you find a podcast with a relevant audience where you can add value, then consider reaching out with your media kit, and trying to schedule a collab. Podcasts can have a long shelf-life because many people use Itunes (or other podcast players) search bars to find content.
When you share value and tell people where they can find out more about your business, it can drive traffic to your website for a long time.
26. Youtube Interviews
Even if you decide not to have a Youtube channel, you can do Youtube interviews. Similar to podcast or radio interviews, you’d be offering value to an audience and cross-pollinating as a result.
Since Youtube is a search engine, the interview that you do today can circulate for years and years: bringing traffic to your website.
27. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways for acquiring new customers, but it’s not usually the first step in the funnel. First, you’d attract a person that doesn’t know you from SEO, ads, social media, or a collaboration, then you’d offer more valuable information in exchange for an email address, and with email marketing, you can build trust, overcome objections, continue to send newly published content, and potentially make sales down the line.
28. Affiliate Marketing or Referral Marketing
Once you have a product or service, you can have customers who are excited about what you’re doing, share their results in exchange for a commission. You can also recruit affiliate marketers to help promote and sell your products.
Just be mindful that seasoned affiliate marketers want to work with companies with a proven concept, a proven sales funnel, and a good customer satisfaction rating. Partnering with companies without unproven results is risky and can damage anyone’s reputation, so get results, then find others who will share what you’re doing.
29. Community Involvement
Whether you’re involved with a church, a gym, the PTA at your kids’ school, a recreation center, or some other place in your community, it’s an opportunity to network and get to know other people. I’ve gone places like my church with no intention to sell or do business, but just from innocent interaction, someone else will say, “Have you met …….?”, and they’ll connect me to someone relevant.
It could be a great collaboration they connect me to, or someone who is struggling with a problem that’s inline with the solution I offer. I highly recommend getting involved online and in your local community.
As a part of community involvement, you can volunteer. There are places where people may not be able to afford what you offer, where charities try to help people with something that you offer, and other opportunities to do things that aren’t directly for profit.
When people see that you love what you do enough to serve for profit and without, it has a different meaning. It shows you have a virtuous character, and it gives a long-lasting impression about your ethics. Volunteering can help you make collaborative relationships, or it can help you to serve someone who may be a valuable customer one day. You never know.
The Digital Marketing Trifecta
Ultimately, the most reliable way to have consistent traffic is to have a trifecta approach. In the beginning, it’s important to focus and build one traffic source, but you don’t want one traffic source for long because it’s risky.
A platform can update an algorithm or go out of business and your business could collapse overnight.
Instead, you want to have a mix–some organic traffic, some paid traffic, and some earned traffic–this is called the “digital marketing trifecta”. This means that you’re using organic methods like collaborations, SEO, and social mixed in with paid methods like social ads, search ads, paid directories or paid groups, and earned methods like social shares and affiliate marketing.
This isn’t something you build overnight, but once you’ve ramped up enough to have a bit of everything, it can be very powerful!
Commit to 1-2 Traffic Sources when Starting Out
There are nuances to each platform. They have things like:
- Different image sizes
- Different quality standards
- and Different audiences
So, it’s best to focus on one or two starting out, so you can learn how each platform works, and get results. Once things are shaping up with one platform, then you can scale up. It’s probably even best to implement a bit of automation, scheduling, and even hire before adding more than 2 traffic channels because the requirements to make each work exceptionally well is difficult to master.
Make sure to prioritize the main one or two.
Stick with it for 12 Weeks to 1 Year (Or Longer) — Consistency is King
I’m sure you’ve seen posts that say “how I was able to drive millions of website visitors overnight”, right? Those can be very decieving because for most people website traffic isn’t something you can do a tactic once a get results from for long periods of time.
There are opportunities like getting booked on television that could drive millions of website visitors quickly, however, you get the best results on any platform (including television) if you’re consistent.
Some of the platforms require quite a bit of consistency before you see results–that’s why I recommend if you’re going to a new platform, commit to it for 12 weeks or longer, assess your results, and make a game plan to improve.
The Most Important thing to Remember when Getting Traffic – Empathy
When we say things like “traffic” or when we’re focused too much on analytics, and numbers, we can forget these are “people” we’re talking about. In order for you to sustain traffic, you have to be able to put yourself in the shoes of those you want to attract, understand them, peak their attention, and solve their problems.
Consistent, highly targeted traffic is going to come from deep relationships and trust. The most valuable companies have millions of people who know if they purchase something with their names on it, they’ll be satisfied because they’ve demonstrated positive results repeatedly.
I know you heard me mention several times about “giving value”. The reason is because generosity builds trust.
Getting attention is paramount to getting website traffic– this grows in difficulty in crowded places. You have to be creative and lead with empathy and generosity. Remember people are behind the numbers and traffic. Peak interest using any of these 30 platforms (or a mix), solve a problem, and repeat the cycle, and you’ll get traffic and keep it.
Want to Learn More About How to Get More Traffic? My Recommendations...
Their Online Entrepreneur Certification will teach you the ins and outs of how to get organic traffic and paid traffic to your website. Plus you get coaching with me (and you can try for FREE)!
GetResponse is most known as an email marketing company, but they have a great training course on digital marketing. It explains how to do organic methods of traffic and paid ones.
Human Proof Designs
Human Proof Designs also has a very good course on traffic generation. They've created and sold thousands of niche sites, and they've proven their method works.