Most small businesses spend thousands of dollars on Search Engine Optimization and advertising on Google to get their website ranked higher for keywords, hoping to increase website traffic. What they often forget is that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Co-founder of Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan gave great advice for people who complain about Google’s algorithm updates: “Don’t depend solely on SEO. Especially don’t depend solely on Google.”
You’ll never know what kind of strict rules Google might come up with next to lower the rankings of your website. So, find a few other ways to generate traffic to your website.
Here are a few methods to help you get started.
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Add Your Site to Bing and Yahoo
Google is still the king of search engines with over 64% search market share in the US. But, don’t forget about Bing and Yahoo.
Millions of people around the world are using Bing and Yahoo to search the web. Bing currently has 20% search market share in the US, followed by Yahoo with 12.7%. If ranking your website on Google is too competitive, try to win Bing and Yahoo.
You can start by submitting your website to these search engines through Bing Webmaster Tools. Then optimize your website for popular keywords. Use Bing’s Keyword Research Tool to find what people are searching on Bing and Yahoo.
Run a Bing Ads campaign if you have some extra cash left in your budget.
Use Forums and Groups
Posting on forums and network groups is one the oldest and classic methods of generating traffic. And believe it or not, it still works.
No matter what niche you’re in, there will always be a forum for you to market your website. Follow this guide by marketing expert Brian Dean to learn a few tricks on building traffic through forums.
Also, get started with networking groups on social networks, such as LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, and Google+ communities. Stay active, share relevant information, and promote your website. These communities can be a great resource not only for generating traffic, but also to get direct user feedback on your services.
Invest On Social Media
Next to search engines, social media is the best way to drive traffic to your website for free. According to a report from Shareaholic, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have been responsible for driving 31.24% of overall traffic to websites in December 2014 alone.
Maybe it’s time you start taking your Facebook and Twitter pages more seriously. Create a solid content strategy to build your audience on social media channels. Connect with your users and keep them entertained.
Running a special giveaway contest is a great way to get your followers to talk about your brand.
Start A Blog
If your business website doesn’t have a blog yet, start one right away. Here’s why:
- It will improve your search engine rankings.
- Generate continuous organic traffic.
- It will help establish authority.
- Collect emails.
- Convert visitors into leads.
Launching a blog won’t cost you anything. You can simply use a CMS like WordPress to setup a blog on your website’s hosting account. Find a great free theme and then fill your blog with quality content. Now, sit back and enjoy the free traffic.
Build an Email List
Once you have a business blog filled with awesome content, you can use it to collect emails of your blog readers.
The number of worldwide emails is expected to grow over 5200 million emails by 2018 from 4116 million in 2014. So, it’s safe to say, building an email list will not go to waste.
Offering a free gift can be a great incentive to get your blog visitors to trade their email. Many websites offer a free e-Book or send an email newsletter for subscribing with the blog.
Guest posting on popular blogs, promoting on Reddit, and creating YouTube videos are a few other ways to generate traffic to your website. But, remember not to get carried away. Once you’ve found a working strategy, focus on that traffic stream to improve your chances of growing your website.