Building website traffic isn’t easy.
Making your site competitive takes hard work, dedication, and learning many new skills. But if you stick with it, you’ll build a revenue machine driving explosive business growth.
This article is a step-by-step guide on how to get traffic to your website. You’ll learn fundamentals, advanced strategies, and the best tools to help along the way.
Step 1 to Get Website Traffic Fast: Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization involves making your site more visible when people search for search terms (AKA “keywords”) related to it. The more keywords you rank for, the more targeted traffic you’ll get.
Most sites’ inbound strategy revolves around SEO since search engines account for most website traffic. And since Google gets 85% of search traffic, most SEO focuses on it specifically.
It takes time to see tangible results, but working on SEO from the start will save you from fixing costly mistakes later.
Monitor Index Status
For any page to appear on Google, its “crawlers” (robots that scan pages) must analyze its content and approve it. This process is called indexing.
There are two main ways to see if your site is indexed on Google:
- Searching for it on Google
- Using Google Search Console
Improve Page Speed
“Page speed” refers to how long it takes for pages on your site to become usable to visitors.
Since it directly affects user experience (slow speeds frustrate people), Google made it a ranking factor in 2015. So if your pages are slow to load (over 3-4 seconds), your rankings will suffer.
Here are a few quick fixes to speed up your loading times:
- Reduce bloated code (especially Java Script)
- Optimize image sizes
- Use a fast hosting service
- Cache site data
- Use a content distribution network (CDN)
- Minimize display ads
Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research is finding and analyzing the terms people enter in search engines. You use this information to guide your content strategy.
Imagine you’re a hockey store trying to sell pucks. You see the term “air hockey pucks” has 140k monthly searches, and you want to rank for that term.
So to do that, you create a page targeting that term. This could be a blog post, product page, or any other content best matching searcher intent.
Refresh Old Content
Maintaining your current content library is as important as expanding it. If you don’t, your pages will drop in rankings as competitors produce more useful and up-to-date material.
The frequency with which you need to update your content depends on keyword difficulty (the level of competition for the keyword it ranks for).
If a page ranks for an ultra-competitive term like “SEO tools,” you’ll need to update it monthly. But updates every 6-12 months will serve for easy keywords like “list building tools.”
Each link to your site acts as a vote of confidence in the eyes of search engines.
If Google sees quality sites linking to you, they assume your content is important. This directly translates to higher rankings.
There are many ways to build links, such as:
- Guest posting. Write articles for other sites and link your pages to your other content.
- Mention recovery. When someone mentions your brand on their site without linking, ask them to do so.
- Broken link fixing. Contact sites with broken links, and ask them to replace one with your page.
- Direct request. Ask sites to link to your content where their readers will find it helpful.
But the most efficient way of building quality links is creating quality content. As your pages rank on Google, other sites will find it useful and link to it naturally.
Reduce Index Bloat
“Index bloat” is when your site has too many low-value pages listed on Google. This passively punishes your rankings in two ways:
- Many pages compete for the same keyword, sinking all their rankings
- The volume of low-quality pages lowers your credibility in Google’s eyes
There are two solutions to this problem:
- Renovating mediocre pages into quality ones
- Deleting the low-quality pages (use a 301 redirect, so no backlinks break)
Both will create an immediate rankings boost depending on how bloated your site is.
Step 2: Perform Content Marketing
In essence, content marketing is creating content to attract new customers. You see content marketing everywhere:
- Posts on LinkedIn
- Videos on YouTube
- Blog posts appearing in search results
- Stories on Instagram
When you create content to convert an audience into customers, you’re doing content marketing.
Blogging to Help You Get Website Traffic
Since search engines dominate internet activity, blogging is the most popular form of content marketing.
Most top sites have blogs no matter their niche. They don’t write blogs just to keep fans in the loop but to generate organic leads with high-quality content.
For example, Shopify generates tons of organic traffic with its blog. This translates into millions of leads, free trials, and customers.
Their blog also establishes their presence as a thought leader in the ecommerce industry. This builds tons of leads in the dark funnel—the untrackable stages of lead conversion (ex. in-person discussion, blog readers returning years later due to what they read, etc.).
Not all blogging has to happen on your site. Guest posting—contributing content to other blogs—is an effective content marketing strategy by itself.
It has two main benefits:
- Authority building. Writing about a topic on authoritative sites gives you credibility in that field.
- Link building. Almost all guest blogs are unpaid, so sites will accept a do-follow link in the content and in your author bio.
Links in content have two main benefits as well:
- Increased domain strength. Do-follow (DF) links from reputable sources boost your domain authority.
- Direct traffic. Some of the traffic generated by a guest post will pass on to your site via link clicks.
Put your links somewhere that’s genuinely helpful to the reader, like in a further reading section. This will increase website traffic versus an author bio link or unhelpful placement.
Step 3: Create Effective Advertisements to Get Website Traffic Faster
You can get website traffic from advertising, but only if you know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you can quickly burn money with little or no return.
Here’s how to use paid media effectively.
Set a Clear Goal
Each ad you create needs to have a clear, measurable objective relative to your brand’s broader goal.
For example, say you’re selling soccer balls, with an overall goal to sell 1,000 this year. You could create a bulk discount campaign targeting the keyword “soccer balls in bulk.”
If you create an ad with a clear goal, you’ll receive more clicks and traffic because of it.
Write Compelling Ad Copy
Ad copy is the text accompanying your advertisements. This includes the headline, description, and call to action.
If it fails to capture reader attention, your ad won’t get clicks—wasting your budget. Here’s how to write effective copy:
- Focus on benefits. Explain why your product improves users’ lives.
- Use FOMO. Emphasize scarcity in your copy, ex. “Only until Friday!”
- A/B test. Test two different versions of your copy at a time to see which is most effective
3. Optimize Landing Pages
A landing page is the place users go when they click an ad. They’re meant to push visitors to one goal without friction.
A bland and directionless landing page will drive users away from your site and waste your money. Make sure yours:
- Loads fast. Users generally abandon sites taking more than three seconds to load.
- Remove navigation. A navigation menu can cause users to lose focus and leave your landing page.
- Match page headline to CTA. This assures users they’re in the right place and your ad copy isn’t misleading.
- Use social proof. Featuring reviews, notable brand mentions (Today Show, Forbes, etc.) and testimonials creates trust in your business.
Build Ads Around Individual Keywords
New advertisers often suffer the mistake of targeting many keywords with a single ad. It makes your ads too broad to appeal for searchers of targeted terms.
For example, a generic golf club ad won’t appeal to those searching “left-handed clubs,” “women’s clubs,” and other specific terms related to golf clubs. Targeting one term and tailoring each ad to it would be much more effective.
Case in point, an AdSpresso study confirmed relevant ads greatly reduce cost-per-click (CPC) and increase click-through rate (CTR).
Use Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are search terms you don’t want ads to appear for.
For instance, say you were running ads for almond milk. You’d want negative keywords referring to dairy products, oat milk, and any other searches from people uninterested in almond milk.
Target Long-Tail Keywords
Longtail keywords are more specific keywords with focused intent. To illustrate:
- Standard: Sun dresses
- Longtail: Sun dresses for delivery in New York City
Because longtails have lower search volumes and higher purchase intent, they offer much greater value than standard keywords.
A search for “cleats” is probably someone window shopping or wondering what they are. But a search for “astroturf cleats size 11″ is most likely to result in a purchase.
Step 4: Expand Social Media Reach
While most brands grasp social media’s power to get website traffic, they don’t know how to make it happen. They’ll often create accounts on every platform, recycle generic content across each, and get frustrated at the lack of results.
In reality, success comes from targeting specific platforms with high-quality content. Build a meaningful presence on one or two platforms instead of trying to be everywhere.
And no matter where you post, three kinds of content are always successful:
- “This entertains me.”
- “This teaches me.”
- “This makes me think about my life.”
You’ll quickly build loyal fans by providing value to your readers. And as you do, you can direct them to your site by plugging your links into your content.
Here’s how to build a presence on each platform:
LinkedIn is the most underrated social network despite its enormous reach. Formerly a resume-sharing site, it’s now a knowledge hub where brands build leads like nobody’s business.
It’s a place where anyone can succeed. Since starting 2k followers in 2018, influencer Justin Welsh built a seven-figure brand with his presence on the platform.
LinkedIn success comes down to a few key principles:
- Consistency. Post at least once every weekday.
- Quality control. Ensure all your posts provide unique, actionable info to readers.
- Engagement. Respond to all comments on your posts with meaningful answers.
With Twitter’s sharing-focused platform, you can boost your brand’s visibility quickly. Here’s how to make the most of it:
- Make your branding clear. Use your brand name as your handle and your logo as your avatar.
- Provide value. Don’t just tweet out promotional content—provide value to readers with content that improves their lives.
- Use humor. Twitter’s a lighthearted platform. Having genuinely funny content will earn you lots of retweets.
- Post often. 1-2 tweets a day keeps your brand relevant while not overwhelming your audience.
More than just a social network, Pinterest is a visual search engine. Here’s how to use rich visual content to build a presence on the platform:
- Use vertical format. Most Pinterest users are on mobile, so horizontal formats can cause awkward cropping.
- Use videos. Short, looped videos can help your visuals stand out to viewers.
- Include keywords. Add keywords in your Pin’s titles, descriptions, and hashtags to increase their search visibility.
- Make carousel guides. Create step-by-step guides with the carousel format to create ultra-shareable content with actionable value.
Today, it’s hard to find a phone without Instagram installed. Because of its immense reach, almost every brand has tried its hand at it—with most failing miserably.
But Instagram success is far from impossible. With the right methods, it can become a traffic machine:
- Create quality images. Use compelling, high-quality images that elicit emotion in viewers. Starbucks wows its followers with stunning imagery.
- Write interesting captions. Your caption provides context to your image. Engage your readers by telling a story, asking questions, or moving them to action.
- Engage with your audience. Respond to comments, like photos you’re mentioned in, and answer questions in Reels.
- Optimize your profile. This is the first place users come to learn more about you. Use a quality avatar, write a bio explaining your purpose, and link to your site.
Step 5 to Get Website Traffic Now: Use Outreach Marketing
Outreach marketing is building relationships with professionals interested in your product (influencers, bloggers, retailers, etc.) to expand your brand’s influence. It’s useful for building brand authority, creating awareness, and boosting search rankings.
Effective outreach marketing starts with cold contact via the right channels. Thanks to RAIN’s in-depth study of prospects’ preferred contact methods, we know exactly what those are.
But outreach marketing across all channels comes down to four steps:
- Establish your goal. Decide what you want from your outreach campaign. Create partnerships? Have your content featured? Build links?
- Find the right contact. To contact a brand, you must identify the best person to handle your message. For instance, it might be best to discuss guest posting on a blog with its content manager.
- Get their contact info. Use outreach software like Hunter and Seamless to find prospects’ numbers, emails, and social profiles.
- Create a value proposition. Explain why your prospect benefits from collaborating with you (mutual promotion, payment, etc.).
Here’s how to translate those steps across the most effective outreach channels:
Cold emailing has two main strategies:
- Sniper. Precise, highly personalized emails targeted at a few people. This is the quality over quantity approach.
- Shotgun. Boilerplate emails are sent to many contacts with little or no personalization. It’s quantity over quality.
Because of their personalization and higher quality, “sniper” emails receive more replies than “shotgun” emails. They also present your brand better than spammy, low-effort messages.
Cold calling is still an effective way of building relationships with prospects, despite claims to the contrary. Instead of annoying prospects, calls create a personal connection.
But cold calling demands careful preparation.
Unlike emails, it doesn’t allow you to make a good impression at your own pace. Once the caller picks up, you have one chance to get your message across effectively.
- Research. Get to know your client and what their struggles are. Then, tailor your pitch to their needs.
- Write a script. Whatever your experience, a script keeps your call organized.
- Pick the best time. Make to check time zones and other contextual variables before you call.
- Handle doubts. Rarely will your contexts readily accept your pitch. Move your prospect along by easing their concerns, questions, and rejections.
- Involve the prospect. Your calls shouldn’t be a monologue—ask prospects if they have any questions or concerns.
Linkedin has invested extensive resources in making its platform a top prospecting tool. It allows you to find, research, and contact prospects without leaving the site.
Once you’re ready to reach out, you can approach people one of two ways:
- Connecting with and messaging them
- Using InMail—a premium feature letting you message people you’re not connected to
Like with email, brief and personalized messages get the most responses.
Other Social Networks to Help You Get Website Traffic
Most social networks will allow direct messaging (DMs) to users’ profiles. If you can’t reach someone on other channels, DMs can serve as a last resort.
Bonus: Best Web Traffic-Building Tools
Certain tools make your traffic-building efforts much easier. Below, you’ll find the best resources and why they’re useful.
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolkit with five main functions:
- Site Explorer. Full look at any site’s search traffic, rankings, and backlinks.
- Site Audit. Understand issues with your site and how to solve them.
- Keyword Explorer. Learn volume, difficulty, and more for any keyword.
- Rank Tracker. Track your site’s rankings and how it stacks up to competitors.
- Content Explorer. Use Ahref’s index to find link prospects and content ideas.
Some platforms like Instagram allow a single link in profile bios, frustrating brands wanting to promote multiple pages.
Linktree solves this by creating a landing page you can link to from your bio. There, you can include all the hyperlinks you need.
Seamless lets you quickly find contact information for B2B prospects on the web. Use it to find guest post leads, influencer contacts, and anyone else you need to build traffic.
SEMRush is a full-featured toolkit for:
- SEO (local and global)
- Social media management
- Content marketing research
- Trend exploration
- Agency solutions
- And more
If it’s marketing, SEMRush can probably do it.
Get Website Traffic Faster With a Valuable Site
Getting website traffic comes down to one thing: value.
Brands creating value for others (improves their lives, entertains them, or makes them think), will always find true fans. Over months and years, this translates into an ever-growing stream of traffic to their sites.
If you need help creating valuable, traffic-building content for your site, we’re here to help. Get in touch today and find out what we can do for you.