Traffic equals success.
For marketers, getting more website visitors has always been a pain and a measure of achievement at the same time.
Sounds like how money works in our society, right?
That’s because the currency of online businesses is website traffic.
Before You Get More Traffic
Aiming to get more traffic to your website without creating more content implies that you’ve used a sound content strategy from the start, have a content-rich website and a site that won’t crash.
If you aren’t sure of these fundamentals, that’s where you need to start.
Have you used a sound content strategy?
If you don’t have a sound content strategy, then generating traffic for your website will either remain elusive or you’ll be inviting the wrong crowd. A comprehensive content strategy takes into account your content:
- Delivery, and
The best content strategies undergo several iterations to arrive at their best form. For example, ConversionXL achieved a 79.3% improvement in conversions by testing and documenting different components of their content.
Your content strategy should help you identify what content your competitors have already created, gaps that your competitors’ content aren’t filling already and how your content can fill those gaps. More than anything else, you need to know why it’s essential to fill those content gaps.
HubSpot has a handy seven-step process for creating and putting your content strategy to work. Here’s a quick highlight:
- Decide on your goals
- Research on and develop a reader persona
- Audit your content marketing efforts
- Decide what CMS to use
- Brainstorm relevant content ideas
- Decide on the types of content you’ll create
- Publish and manage the content you create
If you’ve published and managed your content well, then you might be wondering how to get more traffic to your website without churning out new content all the time. If this is your situation, then I’ve created this guide just for you.
But before you start hunting for traffic…
Is your site content-rich?
You should never stop publishing content completely. Make sure to publish fresh content at least semi-regularly, and refresh old content.
A content-rich site keeps your visitors glued to it.
Your site is content-rich if it:
- Updates old posts
- Has the most thorough articles in your niche
- Is highly relevant to your target audience
Your goal is to deliver the best content in your niche. Stick to in-depth, long-form content—which Google loves. The average first-page article on Google’s SERP is over 1,800 words.
Visitors love long-form posts, too—in fact, long-form content gets 9x more leads than short-form content.
And don’t forget to update your old posts. Orbit Media says that making improvements to old articles may boost your site’s results by 74%.
Looking good! You’ve developed a robust strategy and built the best-in-class, content-rich website for your visitors. The last thing to do before you go after those visitors is to make room for them.
Is your site technically healthy and capable of a traffic boom?
You want to be sure your site has the technical strength to handle traffic growth. You don’t want to burst from the boom.
To keep business booming, make sure your site has no loose ends.
Your site should load fast no matter your traffic growth rate, and an influx of traffic shouldn’t result in a site crash. To keep your site fast and crash-proof, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to find and fix any issues on your pages.
Apart from following the recommendations given by these two tools, paying close attention to your site’s hosting and content distribution can also help lower its load time and prevent a site crash. Let’s explore the best options.
1. Host your website on Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
If you take web traffic seriously, then a VPS is the way to go! VPS hosting boosts your page load speed by 62%.
In another study by Search Engine Journal, pages from shared hosting plans loaded in about eight seconds compared to pages from VPS servers, which loaded in just over two seconds.
Page speed can directly impact your earnings. Google’s DoubleClick reported that mobile sites that load in five seconds earned 2x more mobile ad revenue compared to those with the average load time of 19 seconds.
Shared hosting will hurt your traffic and revenue goals. The hidden cost of using “unlimited bandwidth” shared hosting is that it makes your site slow and vulnerable to a crash. So, use a VPS or another dedicated hosting plan.
2. Use Content Distribution Networks (CDN) to deliver content
CDNs can improve your site speed and lower your risk of a crash due to traffic.
How to Get More Traffic to Your Website Without More Content
You’ve built a content-rich site using a sound content strategy and have prepared your site for a traffic boom. Now, let’s find out how to get more traffic to your website.
1. Use Your Competitors’ Traffic Sources
The first step is to deep dive into competitor traffic analysis to find and exploit their most valuable traffic sources.
Use Monitor Backlinks to explore the backlinks powering your competitors’ SEO. This tool tracks your competitors’ link building efforts and shows you all the backlinks they’ve gained and lost, making it incredibly easy to analyze and document your top competitors’ backlink sources.
Just hit the “Competitors” tab, and either add the competitors you want to track if you haven’t already done so, or select “View Links” for the competitor you want to take a closer look at.
You’ll be shown their entire backlink profile, ordered by most recent.
You want to focus on their most valuable backlinks. Look at the following criteria:
You can use the filters to quickly find competitor backlinks that match these criteria.
And you can export your competitor’s backlink profile to a CSV file for closer analysis.
With your competitor link profiles, you can then launch a link building outreach strategy to systematically gain backlinks from your competitors’ backlink sources. And, well, steal their traffic too!
If you want to dive deeper into your competitors’ traffic sources based on a wide range of categories, you can use a tool like SimilarWeb. This tool provides you with a breakdown of your competitors’ traffic sources based on six categories: direct, referrals, search, social, mail and display traffic.
What’s especially useful here is the referral traffic sources. Let’s take a look.
You can see the specific websites that send traffic to this competitor site, and the percentage of referral traffic that comes from them.
This referral traffic breakdown is powerful because you can now match those sites from your Monitor Backlinks competitor backlink profiles with the sites that drive the most referral traffic to your competitors.
This match of referral data with backlink profiles informs your traffic building strategy. You’ll know the most profitable backlink sources to target—the sources that deliver human traffic, not just search engine rewards!
Now you know your competitors’ traffic sources—it’s time to turn their traffic into yours.
Remember to prioritize your attention, and start your campaign with the sites that drive the most traffic to your competitors. You can win your competitors’ backlinks and traffic in two ways:
a. Take broken backlinks
If you’re looking for easy traffic, this is one tactic you want to try. The goal is to find broken links on websites you want to gain backlinks from, and provide them with a replacement for their broken link.
First, use Monitor Backlinks to identify strong websites that link to your competitors, that you want to get a backlink from.
Then use a tool like Broken Link Checker or the Chrome extension Broken Link Checker to find broken backlinks on their sites, and the pages or resources on your own site that would be the best replacement.
Time to go in for the kill: Fix these dud backlinks in your favor.
Send the site owner a friendly email to let them know about the broken link, and offer your link as a relevant and valuable replacement.
You could use a script like:
Thanks for your article on [topic]. I found it valuable and useful and have even shared it on social media with my followers.
Your point on [specific part of the article] resonated so well with me. I clicked on the resource you linked to, but then, oops! Found it’s a broken link.
I actually created an article that’s a great fit for that broken link, and I thought you might like to link to it instead.
Here’s the article: [URL]
I’ll be glad to get your feedback and to know if you found the article a fit.
This strategy alone can earn you tons of backlinks and traffic.
The success rate is high because you’re providing an immediate benefit to the site owner, which makes them more likely to send you their link juice and traffic.
Broken links are bad for SEO and user experience, so they’ll want to fix it quickly—ideally, with your replacement link!
b. Be a better resource
You can also steal your competitors’ backlinks and traffic simply by offering something better.
Look for pages that meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The content is outdated and lacks new research
- The content is shallow and not resourceful enough
- You spotted false claims, facts and stats in the content
- The page has obvious SEO issues
- The page provides a poor user experience
- The page is laden with ads, and the content is obscured
Then, target the backlinks to those pages.
Make sure you provide a resource that’s more in-depth and has a better user experience. Then, pitch your competitors’ backlink sources to link to your site based on that.
Remind them that Google rewards linking out to higher-quality content—you’re creating a win-win situation for everyone.
2. Leverage Medium and LinkedIn
Your goal is to give readers an incentive to visit your site or sign up for your newsletter at the end of your post, or at strategic points during the post. You can even link out to downloadable resources that require an email opt-in on your site.
Why these two platforms?
LinkedIn is on fire! Content engagement on the platform grew by 400% in 2016 through 2018, and engagement (shares, comments and likes) on LinkedIn is increasing at a staggering 60% year on year!
So how do you turn these juicy platforms into traffic to your site?
a. Sign up
LinkedIn and Medium are both free platforms. If you don’t already have an account on both, that’s where you should start.
b. Build your audience
You want to reach as many people as possible.
Take a look at Benjamin Hardy, a top publisher on Medium whose posts regularly get shares, likes and claps in their thousands and tens of thousands, thanks to his large audience following.
He has 192,000 followers. That’s like having a mailing list of 192k people that you can send stuff to without the cost of keeping a mailing list!
Here are some tips to help you grow your audience:
- Post often. Keep it regular, but don’t overdo it. 3-4 times a week is ideal for audience building.
- Use paid advertising. You’ll reach a lot more people, a lot faster.
- Follow readers who like your posts. People will be happier to engage with you if you follow them back.
- Write for Medium publications. You’ll gain exposure beyond your immediate followers. For example, I’m a contributor at Thrive Global.
c. Engage your audience
In your feeds, you’d have seen posts that have been shared and liked hundreds, even thousands, of times. This engagement is what turns into traffic to your site.
You’ll notice too that video and image posts generally perform better than text posts. Just take a look at these examples:
Your goal is to get people to stop scrolling and look at what you’ve posted, so use eye-catching visuals to draw their attention and their appreciation.
3. Lower Bounce Rate
But you can reduce your bounce rate to the point of irrelevance. Let’s examine three ways to make your visitors stick around longer on your site.
a. Place your content above the fold
Google likes content that’s immediately visible to users, because that’s how users like it. We don’t like to have to scroll past huge header images to get to the content.
So, if your content sits beneath the fold like in the example below, you may want to improve on your site design or change your theme.
Don’t put big images or ads at the top of your pages that obscure your content and push it out of sight. You want your visitors to be able to see your first paragraph right off the bat.
b. Use short sentences and paragraphs
Pages with a massive wall of text put your visitors off.
Use short sentences and keep your paragraphs to a maximum of three sentences.
Short paragraphs make your content easier to scan and read, and visitors accessing your website on mobile devices will find short paragraphs easier to follow.
That goes for the introduction, too.
Shorter intros lower bounce rates and increase time on page, because visitors aren’t interested in a long introduction—they want to get to the meat of the post. So get to the point ASAP.
Keep your intro to 150 words or less, and then go straight into your content body.
c. Boost CTR
Improving your click-through rate (CTR) will also help improve your bounce rate. Try these methods:
- Put your keyword in your URL
- Make your meta description pack a punch
- Use powerful titles that incite emotion
- Add a number to your title. List-type posts are popular and highly shareable.
- A/B test your titles to see which one gets the most clicks
Stop the bounce and get them clicking!
4. Use Remarketing
If someone visited your site and didn’t purchase anything or make an enquiry, remarketing keeps them reminded of you and brings them back.
You can use retargeted traffic to lower your cost of advertising, because remarketing conversion rates increase with time.
Facebook Business remarketing uses a lookalike feature to reach people outside of your network who are 99% like those already connecting with your brand. This lookalike feature makes Facebook’s ad remarketing very powerful.
Savvy marketers use a combination of Facebook Ads and Google AdWords to drive retargeted traffic back to their website. Between Google reaching about 90% of internet users, and Facebook’s 2.2 billion monthly active users, that’s a lot of traffic potential.
Remarketing works. In fact, Wordstream has found this traffic generation strategy so useful that they spent half a million dollars on it in 2017.
5. Turn Content into Slideshows
SlideShare is probably the best platform for generating B2B leads.
SlideShare works very well for any business, and there are many inspiring and actionable stories of using the platform to generate traffic.
If you’re great at creating presentations, then do it yourself. You don’t need a ton of pages to make your slides sell—on the average, 19 slides will do.
Or, outsource it to someone who knows the art and science of SlideShare presentations.
Remember that you’ll still need to optimize your presentation by targeting a specific keyword and linking back to your original content. Use the advice in this post to help you create a SlideShare presentation that generates traffic.
6. Reach Out to Bloggers and Influencers
Social media currently accounts for over 31% of all web referral traffic, and you can leverage influencers and bloggers with established social media followings to reach more of this market, faster.
Focus on people who are already sharing your competitors’ content, since they’re more likely to share yours. Then, use your competitors’ social media sources to get more traffic to your website.
The process is pretty simple:
1. Find your competitor’s most shared articles
2. Find the social influencers who shared those viral articles (a huge social following is excellent but not a must)
3. Pitch them to share your articles
You can find your competitors’ most shared posts and the people sharing those posts with BuzzSumo.
Under the “Influencers” tab, select “Search Content Shared.” You can dig in for specifics using the filters.
You can also use the “Content Research” tab to search for sharers of a particular post. Just type in the URL:
And then click on the “View Sharer” feature of the report:
You’ll see something like this:
You can easily find the most viral content of your competitors and who’s sharing that content. Then reach out to the sharer to share yours, too!
Keep in mind that you may have to apply unique strategies for different influencer types, depending on their level of authority in their niche.
7. Turn Written Content into Video
For example, I created a piece of content for a client on the best places to get free e-books and audiobooks online. That client then converted the content to a video, using my text as the script.
That video has generated over 200 views so far!
Then, use your video to drive YouTube traffic to your website. You can do that by:
- Telling your viewers to visit your website (give them a compelling reason)
- Putting a call to action in the video description box
- Using a call to action overlay on your video
8. Turn Visitors into Evangelists
So, help them do it easily.
a. Encourage social sharing
The median shares for a post on social platforms has dropped from eight in 2015, to just four in 2017. People don’t share things as easily as they used to—you need to innovate to stay relevant.
The Click to Tweet button is a great feature that makes it super-easy for people to share your content with their followers. Here’s how to apply it:
1. Go through your existing content (especially the content that’s performed well)
2. Find a snappy quote in the content that your audience would want to tweet
3. Create a link for the quote in ClickToTweet
4. Add the link generated to your content
Then, when visitors like a piece of your content, they can share it with their friends on social media immediately.
b. Turn your Thank You pages into referral pages
Your Thank You pages are valuable real estate on your site.
Everyone who fills out a form or makes a purchase on your website sees a Thank You or confirmation page. These leads or customers are usually open to accepting more offers from you. Convert your Thank You pages to referral pages to drive more traffic.
But unless you have plenty of time and advanced programming skills, setting up a referral program can suck up a ton of resources—so you might want to look at solutions like InviteBox and Friendbuy to help you automate your referral programs.
And that’s it! Now you know how to get more traffic to your website without creating more content.
You can take these ideas one at a time until you’ve created a tsunami of traffic to your website.
What are you waiting for?