Writing great content is only part of the equation. You’ve also got to get people to read it. As content marketing has become more popular in all industries it’s become much harder to get your content noticed. You need to be actively driving traffic to your content.
To drive traffic to your website, you need to employ a few different tactics and strategies.
Even if one channel is working really well, you don’t want to become overly reliant on it.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to diversify your traffic sources, these unique strategies can help drive traffic to your content regardless of industry.
1. Content marketing survey
Unlike many other types of surveys, a content marketing survey can be used to drive inbound leads. You can survey people in your target audience and collect their contact information too (name, email, company name), so that while you get responses you also capture leads.
Check out this example of a survey report from Freshbooks. They surveyed 4,000 American workers about their likelihood to become self-employed in the future.
Even a survey of a few hundred people within your target audience can be valuable and informative.
A content marketing survey drives traffic to your website in numerous ways:
- Drive survey respondents to engage with you after completion
- Collect leads and traffic from people reading the report
- Get press traction by releasing your own research
Furthermore, generating your own statistics and data is a really powerful way to get your content shared further. Think about how often you include stats in your own content.
Not only does doing your own research help to build your company’s knowledge base and position you well in the market, but it helps to build links. Valuable links to you core pieces of content.
2. Live webinar
Live webinars are one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website because they typically offer very valuable content for free. Webinars are also very affordable to host, especially when you compare them to in-person events.
Some great ideas for webinar content include tutorials, how tos, and expert panels. You can promote your webinar using organic social media posts, your email newsletter, marketing partnerships, influencer marketing, and paid advertising. Set a goal for the number of registrants and use two to three channels to meet that goal.
Try co-hosting webinars with other people in your industry to boost your reach even further. Opportunities like co-hosting enable you both to benefit from the sharing of each other’s audience.
3. Pre-recorded video trainings
Some marketers and small business owners shy away from live webinars. Nerves, concern about attendance, finding the time, and other worries keep people from hosting them. The good news is that there are alternatives.
Pre-recorded trainings that are five to thirty minutes long are a great way to drive traffic to your website. They should solve a big problem for your target audience. You can either require an email address to view them or embed them straight into a blog post. Make sure to write killer copy for the title and description to inspire sharing.
4. Email newsletter
Your email newsletter is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website. In our weekly newsletter, we promote our recent blog posts.
You can also use your email newsletter to announce promotions, events, new features etc. You can encourage people to fill out your contact form, or to view a new product. Your newsletter is a really great way to stay in the mind of your audience and provide intelligently tailored recommendations.
5. Email automation
Your email newsletter is typically sent to all active subscribers, but smart automated email campaigns can be sent to leads or customers who meet certain criteria.
Here are some examples of how you could drive traffic back to your site:
- Send out a tailored, personalised selection of blog content based on your customer’s recent activity
- Send a check-in email to a customer who hasn’t logged into your software product in over 12 days
- Send a special offer to a lead who visited your website in the past 3 days but didn’t become a customer yet.
6. Viral Facebook video
While there are no guarantees that your video will go viral, there are definitely things you can do to increase your chances of getting thousands and thousands of views.
Viral video marketing expert Katya Varbanova actually has a documented formula for getting hundreds of thousands of views on her Facebook videos, regardless of the subject matter or industry. Spoiler alert: it’s all about triggering emotions.
Make sure your video is useful and a good representation of your brand and company ethos. Think outside the box, you might not want to talk directly about your product in the video but perhaps tell the story of how you got your company started, how you achieved something (like sending 150 weekly newsletters) or about the culture you’ve created.
You can use Facebook ads to launch your video, and then watch as organic sharing brings you free traffic. Just make sure to include a link to your site in the description text and at the end of the video.
7. Facebook Live
Everyone knows that organic Facebook reach for business pages is at all time lows. However, just like you can still gain traction with Facebook videos, you can also get more reach with Facebook Live, even from a business page.
While Facebook posts on your business page will be seen by a tiny percentage of your followers, a Facebook Live video can be seen by 10 – 50% of your audience.
Facebook lives don’t have to be hour-long presentations. You can go live for just a few minutes and share high value trips and tricks with your audience. At the end, invite people to visit your website or landing page.
Perhaps think about using these spontaneous moments to share your company spirit and personality.
8. Facebook ads
Paid advertising very rarely works well to drive traffic directly to the homepage of your website. In B2B, most companies need to drive paid ads to a webinar, survey, or other lead magnet to get results. It’s a slower process for B2B, there’s far less impulse shopping and far more relationship building. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just different.
For ecommerce products or low cost apps it’s not the same. You’re more likely to get ROI from sending paid Facebook traffic to sales pages and product pages where you can reduce the number of steps between seeing the ad and completing the purchase. Check out this guide to help you avoid common pitfalls.
9. LinkedIn posts
For B2B companies, LinkedIn is typically the top source of traffic from social media. To increase your chances of winning with LinkedIn, don’t just post from your company page. Make use of your personal profile, and encourage employees to post from their personal accounts too.
At the end of the day, people buy from people, and it’s far more interesting to engage with a person than a brand.
In order to keep people on their platform, LinkedIn doesn’t give as much reach to posts that have links in the main text. If this is the aim of your post consider putting the link in a comment instead.
10. LinkedIn ads
LinkedIn ads can be used to drive traffic to landing pages for contact forms, free trial signups, or freemium signups. They can also drive traffic to optin forms for downloadable guides, ebooks, and trainings.
Make sure to have an optimised funnel in place and continually test your targeting and ad creative. Email sequences are a great way to make sure anyone in your new audience doesn’t forget about your offering.
11. SEO your site
72% of marketers say that relevancy is the single biggest factor for SEO. Relevancy means that you’re writing your content specifically for the keyphrase you’re targeting, instead of just including it in the title or the post.
Whilst the Google algorithms might be a mystery to all but a select few we do know that your keyphrase should inform what you write, not be an afterthought.
Here are some things you can do to increase your chances of ranking a certain web page or blog post for a target keyphrase:
- Research your keyphrase and complete customer research before you even start typing
- Include it in the title, URL, and meta description
- Include keyphrase variations and related keyphrases
- Outline the content in a way that fits the keyphrase (i.e. “how to” versus listicle)
12. Google search ads
The great thing about Google search ads is that potential customers are actively searching for a company like yours, or are researching an issue that they have. With social media ads, users are not actively looking for a solution to their problems. They’re taking a break, engaging with friends, or, most likely, they’re procrastinating.
With Google search ads however, you can run ads to keyphrases that match your product or service, or are highly relevant to your company.
13. Retargeting ads
On Google and Facebook, you can run retargeting ads which are only shown to people who have viewed a certain webpage. You can use this strategy to drive traffic back to an important webpage, such as a landing page, a product page, or a pricing page.
These ads tend to have a much lower cost per conversion because you’re only spending money to acquire traffic that’s already aware of your company.
14. Cold email outreach
Did you know that 79% of B2B marketers say that email is the most effective channel for lead generation?
While cold email is typically used to book sales calls and demos, it can also be used to drive traffic to your site. You can send cold email to promote valuable blog posts, tutorial videos, and case studies with notable clients and customers.
Don’t forget that you still need to be targeted and personal. It’s not ok to send out mass amounts of cold email and expect good results. Instead, categorise your audience and only send out relevant and helpful content.
15. Targeted direct mail
Direct mail absolutely can be used to drive traffic to your website in specific cases. For example, food subscription company HelloFresh often sends direct mail that encourages people to navigate to their main website to sign up and redeem a $50 off coupon or some other offer.
Think about the appropriateness of this method to your business. Ecommerce or a subscription box might find this a useful form of advertising, but for a lot of online businesses direct mail won’t make sense.
If you want to send traffic to a landing page, make sure the URL is very simple, such as yourdomain.com/go or yourdomain.com/try.
Remember that this is never going to be as targeted as email marketing can be – you just don’t have the same intelligence available for personalisation. Factor this in to your decision.
16. Podcast tours
33% of Americans, 18% of Brits, 33% of Australians, 28% of Canadians, and 22% of Germans have all listened to a podcast in the past month. There are dozens or hundreds of podcasts in every industry – including our own podcast!
When small business owners think about podcasts, they wrongly assume that they need to create one in order to jump on the trend. Not so! Guesting on a number of podcasts like a sort of Podcast Tour is a great way to gain brand awareness and get traffic to your site.
Here are some pitch templates you can use when asking podcast hosts to interview you. If you don’t have much press coverage to showcase yet, start with smaller podcasts and work your way up to the top ones in your industry.
As for traffic? Nearly every podcast host puts a link to your website in the show notes and allows you to tell listeners your website URL at the end of the show.
17. Guest posting
As with podcast tours, guest posting allows you to access new audiences within your industry. You can use these guest post pitch templates when emailing bloggers and content marketers at companies you admire.
Typically, an unpaid guest post is done in exchange for one backlink to your website. This will help you gain traffic. Also, the post will usually be promoted on the company’s social media networks and email newsletter, which will gain more brand awareness and could result in a temporary uptick of direct traffic.
18. Expert advice roundup
Blog posts that feature advice from multiple experts are a smart way to get more traffic to a blog post than you normally would. Simply come up with a topic and reach out to experts on social media or via email to ask for their input.
In this post about common conversion issues, we asked ecommerce store owners and marketers about common conversion issues.
When the post is live, make sure to email everyone you featured and ask them to share it with their network. Depending on how many people you’ve included you could have 10x to 100x more shares than normal on the post.
19. Infographics with statistics
Infographics that include statistics are commonly shared on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. To gain more traffic for your blog posts, you can repurpose statistics from the blog post into an infographic.
Make them graphic, colourful, and well designed. Statistics don’t have to be boring!
You can use this technique for proprietary statistics gained from your own surveys or platform, or you can make an infographic of relevant statistics you find on the web (cite your sources).
20. Swap shares and promotion
Never underestimate the power of marketing partnerships. You can create your own network of promotion partners to gain access to new audiences. Make friends with business owners and marketers of companies that aren’t direct competitors but that serve the same target audience that you do.
Then swap social media shares weekly and email newsletter features quarterly, or whatever you decide. You can even setup a Slack workspace with your industry partners, so that everyone can collaborate on mutually beneficial content curation.
Nearly every business shares links and content from other businesses online. You might as well do it as a trade!
21. Influencer marketing
With influencer marketing, you can have social media users post about your product in exchange for payment or free products. Depending on how many followers they have and how engaged they are, every influencer will have a different pricing structure.
Sometimes, businesses have better results paying more influencers a lower fee, than splurging on one mega popular influencer, however you’ll need to test that.
In order to drive website traffic, you can give the influencer a very short, memorable URL to post in the text of the post or in their profile link (you’ll likely have to pay extra for temporary takeover of their profile link).
How do you drive traffic to your website?
The reality is there’s no one answer. There are so many ways to do it, and what works for one business might not work for another.
One thing is certain though: you need to have multiple strategies and not rely on just one. That way your business isn’t vulnerable to algorithm changes.
Once you figure out what’s working, double down on it, and then try something new.