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27 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Jan. 11, 2019

27 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

In this post I’m going to show you how to drive more traffic to your website.

You’ll also see how I used these strategies to take my site from zero to 300k+ unique visitors per month:

Backlinko monthly visitors

It gets better:

All of these strategies are working GREAT right now.

With that, here are 27 ways to drive traffic to your website:

1. The “Upside Down” Guest Post

Here’s the deal:

When most people read your guest post, they usually skip the author bio section.

I can’t blame them…

Most author bio boxes are BURIED at the bottom of the page, like this:

author bio

This is a huge problem.

If people don’t see your link in your author bio, they’re not going to visit your site.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem: The “Upside Down” Guest Post.

Here’s the step-by-step process:

1. First, write a guest post just like you normally would.

2. Next, include “helpful resource” sections throughout your guest post.

These sections link to 2-3 helpful resources on the topic you just covered.

Here’s an example:

additional resources

3. Finally, include YOUR content as one of the “helpful resources”.

For example, here’s a guest post I published a while back:

Brian Dean guest post

And I strategically linked to my content as one of the “resources to check out”:

contextual link

And that link brought in 78% more traffic than my author bio link.

Traffic from resources

Pretty cool 🙂

Which leads us to strategy #2…

2. Overhaul & Upgrade Old Blog Posts

This simple strategy landed me 50.95% more traffic in 7 days:

increase in traffic

Here’s exactly how I did it:

1. First, I found a post on my site that was out of date.

As it turned out, my guide to YouTube SEO was insanely outdated:

old guide

2. Next, I updated and improved the post.

Specifically, I added new screenshots:

new screenshot

Sprinkled in new strategies and techniques:

new strategy

And eliminated old strategies that didn’t work anymore:

Removing content

3. Finally, I updated the new post to make the changes live.

update in wordpress

And just like that, traffic to that page shot up like a rocket ship.

(Because this was an old post, as you can see here in my Google Analytics, most of that traffic increase was organic traffic)

organic traffic increase

This entire process took about an hour.

And I got WAY more SEO traffic than I would from publishing a new post.

With that, it’s time for our third strategy…

3. Use “Click to Tweet” Links

This is one of the BEST ways to get more shares from your content.

In fact, Click To Tweet Links are one of the main reasons that this post from my blog has over 6k social media shares:

social share count

With that, let me show you how Click To Tweet links work:

1. Find something “tweetable” in your content.

This can be a bite-sized tip, strategy, quote or statistic.

For example, my post listed a bunch of list building strategies.

So I considered each strategy on my list “tweetable”.

Tweetable content

2. Create a Click To Tweet link.

Head over to ClickToTweet.com and write your tweet:

Click to tweet – Website

And the tool will generate a special link for you:

Click to tweet – Link

3. Finally, include that link in your content.

Whenever someone clicks on the link…

Click to tweet – Link in post

…they get a pre-written tweet for easy sharing:

It’s that easy.

4. Optimize Your Content With LSI Keywords

It’s no secret that SEO is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website.

That said, most old school SEO strategies simple don’t work anymore.

And that’s largely because Google’s Hummingbird algorithm changed EVERYTHING about SEO:

google hummingbird

Instead of ONLY looking at keywords, Google now understands topics.

(How big of a change was this update? Google said that: “Hummingbird affects 90% of all searches…”. Wow).

The question is:

How do you make sure that Google understands your content’s topic?

LSI Keywords.

LSI keywords are words and phrases related to your target keyword.

For example, let’s say you just wrote a post about social media.

LSI keywords would be words and phrases like:

  • Facebook page
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Viral content
  • Pinterest

And when Google sees these LSI keywords in your content, they say: “Great. This content is definitely about social media”.

So: how do you find these LSI keywords?

A great free tool called LSI Graph.

This tool spits out dozens of LSI keywords related to your topic:

lsi keyword result

Then, just sprinkle these LSI keywords into your post…

…and you’re set.

5. Get More Traffic From Your Blog Posts With “Content Transformation”

Content Transformation is simple:

You simply convert one of your blog posts into another format (like an ebook, video, infographic or podcast).

For example, I published this case study on my blog a while back:

SEO Case Study – Post

As you can see, this post generated lots of social shares…

SEO Checklist – Shares

…and comments.

SEO Checklist – Comments

But I knew that I could squeeze even more value out of this content.

So I turned that post into a YouTube Video:

Brian turned the post into a YouTube video

That single video has generated over 250k views… and hundreds of website visitors.

(All from a piece of content that I published YEARS ago)

That’s the power of Content Transformation.

6. Go On Podcasts

Podcasts are EXPLODING.

(In fact, one survey found that 26% of Americans regularly listen to podcasts)

Does that mean that you should grab the nearest microphone and start a podcast?

No.

Instead, I recommend going on other people’s podcasts as a guest.

This strategy works so well that I try to go on 2-3 podcasts per month.

In fact, I’ve appeared on over 100 podcast episodes:

Go on podcasts

And these episodes have brought me tens of thousands of visitors.

For example, I once got 984 visitors in 60 days from a single podcast episode:

As a bonus, you usually get at least one backlink in the show notes, which can help your search engine rankings:

links from a podcast

And now it’s time for…

7. Promote Your Site With Blogger Outreach

So you just published an awesome piece of content.

Now what?

It’s time to promote it with blogger outreach.

In fact, one of my latest blog post got a nice spike in traffic largely due to a single tweet from an influential blogger:

traffic spike 2

The question is…

How?

All you need to do is find bloggers that share content on your topic…

…and send them a non-pushy email.

Here’s a real life example of this process in action:

First, I sent a personalized email to a blogger that already shared content on my topic:

Blogger outreach email

(That way, I knew she’d actually want to read my post… before I hit “send”)

When she got back to me, I sent her a link to my content:

Email chain

(Pro Tip: Don’t ask the person to share your post. If they think your content is good, they’ll share it)

Because I wasn’t a pushy jerkface, this blogger was happy to spread the word:

outreach reply

That’s all there is to it.

8. The Content Relaunch Strategy

This is similar to technique #2 from this guide…

…with an important twist.

Instead of just improving your content, you completely relaunch it.

In other words:

Treat your new-and-improved content like a brand new post.

For example:

I recently revamped and relaunched this list of SEO copywriting tactics:

relaunched article

So I shared the post on social media:

SEO Copywriting – Social share

And sent out an announcement to my newsletter subscribers:

newsletter email

Which led to a significant boost in traffic (including almost 5k visitors in one day):

boost in traffic

9. Create Content That Appeals to Influencers

Here’s the truth:

If you want influential people to share your content, you need to write stuff that appeals directly to that group.

Example:

A few years ago I created an infographic for a client in the investing niche.

Even though that niche is far from “interesting”, our infographic went viral. We’re talking thousands of targeted visits in the first two days.

Here’s the infographic:

client infographic

Now there are dozens of reasons this infographic did so well… from the design to the content promotion campaign.

But a good chunk of its success was due to one simple thing:

It appealed to the influencers in the personal finance space.

I’ll explain.

I noticed that, at the time, a lot of high-powered financial bloggers were up in arms about inflation:

inflation article

So I decided to create an infographic that highlighted the problem they cared about.

And this led to shares and mentions on several authority sites…

mention on authority site

…and a boatload of traffic.

10. Share Videos On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is growing FAST.

In fact, a recent study found that the number of people sharing stuff on LinkedIn has increased significantly since last year:

linkedin share stats

That’s great and all. But how do you use LinkedIn to increase traffic to your website?

Post video content.

For example, here’s a video I recently posted on LinkedIn:

linkedin post 3

In about 2 weeks, my video got:

  • 634 likes
  • 106 comments
  • 31 THOUSAND views

Try getting that kind of engagement on Facebook 🙂

And now it’s time for me to show you another cool way to get people to visit your site…

11. Host a Giveaway Contest

People love free stuff.

(No surprise there)

But what might surprise you is: you can use free stuff to get more traffic.

How?

Host a giveaway contest.

Here’s an example of a contest my friend Noah Kagan recently put together:

giveaway example

See how that works?

To enter the contest, people need to enter their email address (which you then add to your email list).

It gets better:

You can incentivize people to share your contest with their friends:

more entries

(And those shares will drive more traffic to your website and grow your email list)

Now:

This contest was done with KingSumo. But if you have the technical know-how, you can set this up yourself.

12. Add “Share Triggers” To Your Content

In my experience, content largely succeeds or fails based on one factor:

Whether or not the content has Share Triggers.

What are Share Triggers?

They’re things you include in your content that push people to share it.

A lot of these principles were first discovered by behavioral scientists like Dr. Jonah Berger, Dr. Katherine Milkman and Jure Leskovec.

viral marketing research study

And they’ve proven in the lab what I discovered through trial-and-error:

When you include Share Triggers in your content, people are significantly more likely share and link to it.

For example:

One of the most powerful Share Triggers is Social Currency.

Social Currency is the idea that we share things that make us look good. And this Share Trigger is a large part of the reason that The Shrinking Dollar infographic I mentioned earlier did so well.

Specifically, this infographic confirmed what influencers were already saying: inflation is a big problem.

And my content backed up their rants with meaty data:

infographic data

Every time an influencer shared my infographic with their audience, it boosted their Social Currency.

So they shared it… again and again.

It even got included in Google News thanks to a feature in The Christian Post.

Google News

All because I strategically added the “Social Currency” Share Trigger into my content.

Very cool.

13. Retarget Visitors With Facebook Ads

Let’s face it:

Facebook ads are getting EXPENSIVE.

Fortunately, I found a little “loophole” that’s helped me get laser-targeted visitors for pennies:

Retargeting.

Here’s how it works:

First, create a Facebook ad that sends people to a blog post.

Here’s a real-life example:

facebook ad

Next, target people that have visited your site in the last month or two:

facebook audience

Finally, run the ad.

And you’ll probably find that your CPC is dirt cheap vs. most other types of advertising (like Google Adwords).

CPC for a facebook ad

Nice.

14. Reduce Your Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate damages your site’s pageviews, conversions… and it can even hurt your SEO.

(In fact, thanks to Google’s RankBrain algorithm, bounce rate is now a super important ranking signal).

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that improving your bounce rate is insanely easy.

I walk you through the entire process in this short video:

15. Publish Long-Form Content

A while back BuzzSumo analyzed a million articles.

Why?

They wanted to see which TYPES of content worked best.

And they found that long-form content gets more shares and backlinks than short posts (<1,000 words):

Analyzing the impact of content length

In fact, as you can see in the chart above, long content (>3k words) gets an average of 208% more shares than short articles.

I’ve noticed the same thing myself.

For example, here’s a long-form blog post from my blog (a giant list of SEO techniques):

SEO Techniques – Post

This guide is a staggering 6,558 words.

And the simple fact that my post is insanely long is a big reason why it’s been shared 12,909 times:

SEO Techniques – Shares

(And those shares have sent over 50,000 visitors to my website)

16. Optimize for Google’s Mobile-First Index

As you might have heard, Google recently rolled out their “Mobile-First Index”:

mobile first index

This update means that Google now counts the mobile version of your site FIRST.

(It also means that Google largely ignores the desktop version of your site)

So:

How do you know if your site is mobile optimized?

Well, Google created a free tool for doing just that: The Mobile-Friendly Test.

This nifty tool tells you if your site is optimized properly for mobile devices…

mobile friendly results

… and gives you specific recommendations to make your site better:

mobile recommendations

I also recommend checking out my guide to mobile optimization.

17. Create an Active YouTube Channel

If you want to drive more traffic to your website, YouTube HAS to be on your radar screen.

Why?

YouTube recently passed Facebook as the 2nd most popular website on the planet (only behind Google):

most popular sites

In fact, YouTube is one of my top 5 traffic sources (along with Google, Facebook and referral traffic from blogs).

That said:

Getting views on your YouTube videos is HARD.

But it doesn’t have to be.

That’s why I’m going to point you to two resources that will help you get more views on your videos.

Resource #1: Video SEO: The Definitive Guide

video seo guide

This guide shows you EVERYTHING you need to know about ranking your videos in YouTube and Google.

It covers keyword research, video tags and more.

Resource #2: YouTube SEO: 9 Actionable Tips for Ranking Videos

This video will show you 9 tips that helped me rank #1 in YouTube for competitive keywords (like “SEO tutorial”):

18. Publish Viral Content

Is there a formula for creating content that goes viral?

Nope! Or else everyone would do it 🙂

That said, there ARE 3 things you can do to increase the odds that your content spreads like wildfire.

1. First, viral content tends to contain lots of visuals.

These visuals can be a bunch of images. Or an infographic. Or a video.

The type of image doesn’t matter all that much. The important thing is that you use images in your content.

Why?

Industry studies show that image-rich content gets 90%+ more social shares vs. content that’s all text:

social shares and images

2. Second, viral content tends to have a high “Utility”.

This simply means that your content is super useful in some way.

Maybe you show people how to steam broccoli.

Or you teach them to nail their job interview.

Either way, research shows that extremely practical content has a very high chance of going viral.

3. Lastly, viral content needs an initial “push” to get going.

For example, Chris Gimmer got over 17k visitors to his site in one day (thanks to a blog post that went viral):

Analytics

And it wouldn’t have happened if Chris didn’t promote his content on sites like Reddit… which led to hundreds of visitors within hours.

Reddit thread

19. Promote Blog Posts and Videos on Quuu

Quuu is a dead-simple way to get people to promote your content on social media.

All you need to do is submit your best content…

…and they’ll ask influencers to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

I recently promoted one of my posts on Quuu. And got a handful of shares from influential people in the digital marketing space:

social share

Not bad.

20. Republish Old Articles on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an awesome place to syndicate your content.

For example, I published this study of YouTube ranking factors on my blog about a year ago:

youtube ranking factors study

This post did well. Lots of people read my post and shared it on social media.

But I KNEW that there were thousands of people that could benefit from my content… but hadn’t seen it yet.

So I republished my content as a LinkedIn article:

linkedin article

Which (along with my other LinkedIn posts) led to a decent chunk of targeted traffic:

linkedin traffic

21. Use a “Question Analyzer” To Create Insanely Useful Content

This strategy is an AWESOME way to make your content better.

(As you know, the better content = more traffic)

All you need to do is:

  1. Find questions that your target audience asks online.
  2. Answer those questions in your content.

Here’s how to do it…

First, use a tool like Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer or Answer the Public to find questions that people ask:

answer example

Then, either create entire posts to answer these questions…

blog post answering a question

…or incorporate the answers into your content.

answering a question in a post

Simple.

22. Add Enticing Content To Social Media Posts

Here’s a mistake a lot of people make:

They share their content on social media… without giving people ANY reason to click.

Here’s an example:

Social share – Link and text only

I’m not judging. I used to do the same thing:

Brian tweet with no good reasons to visit

But I recently discovered that something:

Adding content to your posts can dramatically increase your CTR.

For example, when I tweet out a new post, I now include a bulleted list of features:

Brian tweet with good reasons to visit

As you can see, that extra content leads to a ton of engagement:

Brian tweet engagement

(And clicks)

Sweet!

23. Improve Your Organic Click-Through-Rate

I have some good news:

If you want more traffic from Google, you DON’T need higher rankings.

(Seriously)

Instead, you can focus on improving your click-through-rate (CTR).

For example, let’s say you rank #3 for your target keyword. And your CTR is 4%.

SERP CTR 4

And let’s say that you double that CTR to 8%.

SERP CTR 8

Well, you just doubled your organic traffic… without improving your rankings.

But wait, there’s more…

CTR is now an important ranking signal in Google’s algorithm.

So when you get a higher CTR, you’ll ALSO improve your search engine rankings.

SERP CTR rankings

So… how do you actually improve your CTR?

Here are a few tips that work great:

  • Add a number to your title (like “21” or “98%”)
  • Write a compelling meta description
  • Test different titles and see which one gets the best CTR
  • Use titles that are highly emotional
  • Include your keyword in your URL

Let’s dive right into our next tip…

24. Publish More List Posts

There’s no way around it:

When it comes to driving traffic to your website, list posts work GREAT.

And there’s evidence to back this up.

(Besides the fact that you’re reading a list post right now 😀 )

Like I mentioned way back in strategy #15, BuzzSumo recently analyzed a million articles.

Well, in that same study they found that list posts CRUSHED all other content formats:

list post performance

As you can see in the chart, list posts got 6x more shares than how-to posts (and 40x more shares than infographics).

And when I look at my own content, I notice the same thing.

For example, this mega list of SEO tools is one of my most shared pieces of content I’ve ever written.

SEO Tools

It’s got 18.4k shares and almost 900 comments:

Comments & Shares

25. Steal Your Competitors’ Traffic Sources

Imagine that you could see the EXACT places that send your competitors traffic.

That would be a goldmine, right?

Well, your competitors aren’t about to send you their Google Analytics password.

Fortunately, you don’t need it.

Why?

You can see all of their top traffic sources for free with SimilarWeb.

SimilarWeb not only shows you a sweet overview of a site’s traffic…

traffic overview

…but exactly where they get that traffic from.

referring sites

Goldmine.

26. Drive Traffic To Your Website From Forums

Forums are a VERY underrated traffic source.

When you become an active, respected member of a forum, you’ve built a funnel…

…a funnel that brings people back to your site.

Let me walk you through an example:

When I first got started with my blog, I was starting from scratch.

I had ZERO followers, ZERO visitors and ZERO email subscribers.

And I knew that SEO and social media are both great ways to get traffic… but they take time to kick in.

So to give my traffic a head start, I became an active member of a marketing forum.

I answered people’s questions…

forum reply

…and even posted some original content:

Forum post

And this led to a sold influx of visitors to my brand new blog.

traffic spike

And now it’s time for our last strategy…

27. Syndicate Your Content on Medium

Medium.com is one of the BEST places to syndicate your best stuff.

In fact, I recently got 310 targeted visitors in a week from ONE Medium post:

traffic from medium 2

310 visitors isn’t going to change my life or anything.

But they’re 310 visitors that took about 3 minutes to get.

All you need to do is repost your content (word-for-word) on Medium.

Here’s an example of one of my Medium reposts:

Medium post

Then, once your post is live, share it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

(This will give the post some juice)

And when Medium sees that people are engaging with your post, they’ll start to promote it within their platform.

Promotion

Bonus Strategy #1: Post On Social Media at Strategic Times

So CoSchedule recently analyzed the best times to post on social media networks (including Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and more).

Here’s what they found:

best time to post on social media infographic

As you can see, they discovered that the best times to post on each network are:

Facebook: 9am, 1pm, 3pm

Pinterest: 2pm, 9pm, 2am

Instagram: 9am, 5pm, 2am

Bonus Strategy #2: Find More Keywords With “Keywords Everywhere”

Keyword research is THE most important part of SEO.

Question is:

How do you find untapped keywords that everyone and their mom doesn’t already know about?

Keywords Everywhere.

keywords everywhere homepage

Keywords Everywhere is a Chrome extension that gives you keyword ideas, well…everywhere.

Once you install the extension, the next time you do a Google search, you’ll see search volume and CPC data on that keyword:

keyword data

Or the next time you’re shopping for a toothbrush on Amazon — BOOM — you see keyword data on the terms that Amazon suggests:

amazon search

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope this post showed you how to increase website traffic using some cool, untapped strategies.

Now I’d like to what you have to say.

Which technique from this post are you ready to try first?

Are you going to start syndicating your content on Medium?

Or

Maybe you want to publish an awesome list post.

Either way, let me know in the comments section below.

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