Website traffic, or lack of it, is one of the biggest hurdles faced by new bloggers and website owners.
How do you get your blog on people’s radar? How do you get site visitors in the door? How do you get people reading all of the good stuff you are writing about?
This ‘think outside of the box’ post is intended to provide you with some traffic generation strategies that can make a huge difference in a short space of time. It is the result of an extensive web search, looking for some tried and true gems that are not necessarily discussed everywhere.
In other words, you can go to many posts on traffic generation and find the same old, flogged messages. I wanted to find some real gems, some relatively unique, if not new, ideas that are being used successfully by online entrepreneurs.
And here is what I found.
How to Increase Website Traffic
If you are just starting out, then you are probably already ‘pulling your hair out’ trying to find ways to get traffic to your site. You have spent considerable time doing research with your favourite keyword tool , followed by hours and hours of content writing only to be confronted by the frustration of next to no traffic.
If you are further along the track, on your entrepreneurial journey, then you have either mastered a few traffic generation techniques by now or you are still seeing just a trickle of traffic.
BUT, either way, I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t welcome more website traffic than they are currently getting.
1. How to Get Targeted Website Traffic with BizSugar
BizSugar is a small business news site that allows you to share your content and to vote on other contributed content. This means that others can likewise read your content and vote accordingly.
BizSugar is also described as a “social sharing, bookmarking and networking site” for online entrepreneurs.
I first read of this idea on Ti Robert’s blog.
Thanks Ti for highlighting a strategy that is not talked about on every other blog post that discusses generating website traffic.
At first I thought it was just another article directory but I was wrong. This site links out to your original article. Great!
In fact the easiest way to see how it works is if we look at one of Ti’s articles featured on the site:
As you can see, each listing includes the title, a summary, author information, a screenshot of your website, social icons, comments, a voting button and how many sugars (votes) it has received.
So the beauty of BizSugar is that it brings people back to your blog if your content entices them to read further. And as you’ve already seen from the screenshot, epic content is rewarded with votes called sugars.
While checking out the site, look around at some of the topic categories and the post summaries that have been submitted. There is a wealth of information there. If you decide to try this idea, the Content Submission Guidelines are very clear. In my case, they answered all of my questions.
2. Reach Out to Influential Bloggers
Writing Epic Content
We have heard over and over again “write epic content” so that you content will act as a traffic magnet.
This is, of course, excellent advice but if no-one knows that your blog exists it can still be very, very difficult for your epic post to magnetize traffic.
So how can you flag attention to your posts?
Getting Your Posts Noticed
Much of your blog content will most likely be the outcome of research into what others have found and used successfully. You will be scanning articles and posts looking for that gem that can answer your web building needs, just as I have done with this post.
In so doing, you will start to notice people who really have something valuable to say. It might be in the form of tutorials or it might be case studies documenting techniques that they have tried or it could be really well-done infographics or well written blog posts.
When you find a blogger or author who impresses you with his/her knowledge you can pass it on to your readers and interact with your newly found thought leaders at the same time.
The Reaching Out Strategy
I have come across a number of influential people who recommend this strategy. One notable and well-known example is Neil Patel from Quick Sprout.
Neil is always providing so much value in his blog posts as well as his free guides on topics such as content marketing, SEO and link building; I can highly recommend his site and publications. I really like the practical value of all of Neil’s guides. He doesn’t just talk about his ideas; he provides great screenshots and graphics that make his guides really clear and inviting.
Each of Neil’s definitive guides equates to a full blown how-to course in its respective topic area.
In these courses and in his blog posts, Neil often recommends reaching out to influencers in your niche:
- Neil advises that you create a list of both influential bloggers and inferential tweeters in your niche. Your list should also include people who have already commented on your content.
- He also goes into how to find influential bloggers in your niche. For example, he gives you a step-by-step guide on how to use Technorati for this purpose and then how to find and use social media profiles.
- And, even better, he shows you how to set up a spreadsheet to record all of these details. I like the record keeping that he advises and shows by example. I also like the way that Neil suggests you rank your list of influential bloggers and tweeters.
- Now that you have your list of influencers you can refer to their ideas and credit them for great tips that they have provided.
- And of course, once you have highlighted a thought leader’s ideas in your post, let them know. They can then choose if they would like to ‘advertise’ the fact that they have been featured in your post and of course, in doing so, link to your site.
Neil recently contributed to an interesting post on Kristi Hines’ blog, Kikolani. It is a post that includes input from 32 experts with their best promotion tips. Neil’s tip was about this very same technique. He writes :
“My single most successful strategy in promoting a blog post is to link out to other sites.”
Neil’s Advanced Guide to Content Marketing even provides you with sample emails to use as templates when you are reaching out to influential people you have mentioned in your blog posts.
As Ramsay expresses it,
“When the article goes live you shoot them a message letting them know that you mentioned them and nine times out of ten they will share your content.”
3. Trial a Traffic Strategy & Post the Results
The idea is to take a strategy that a blogger has spoken about, put it into practice and then write a comprehensive post about your results, including screenshots and graphs etc.
Then, once you have published your post, you should email the blogger or bloggers to let them know about that they have been featured on your site. Advise that you have implemented their recommended strategy and that you have published the results.
This strategy is a win-win idea because:
- You are providing invaluable content to your readers.
- The featured blogger may very likely link to your post.
- The featured blogger may even share your post on Twitter and other social media.
- You have gained a lot from implementing the traffic strategy in question and this alone is a worthwhile exercise.
4. How to Get Traffic to Your Website With CommentLuv
CommentLuv is a WordPress plugin created by Andy Bailey. It is a free plugin but can be upgraded to the premium version if you wish to take advantage of all of the extras.
Whilst this is an idea that is frequently discussed on blogs, and certainly not new, I feel it is a technique that deserves to be included in this post. Why? The most compelling reason would be because I have already seen the results of using this strategy myself.
CommentLuv appends a link to your latest blog post beneath the comment that you have just left.
I love CommentLuv, both from the point of view of being able to showcase my latest blog posts, as well as from the point of view of scanning what other commenters have written to see if I would like to branch out and read their posts.
It allows me to combine my intentions. In other words, if I am researching ‘Twitter for Businesses’, then I like to find CommentLuv enabled blogs that can inform me on the topic, plus allow me to leave a comment that links to my latest published post.
This is a bonus for me. Why? Because I am finding blogs where I want to leave a comment but the content that I need to read in order to leave a meaningful comment, is the very content that I am currently researching anyway. And then the added bonus on top of that is that a link is automatically provided to one of my recent blog posts.
When I am commenting on other people’s blogs, I try to leave meaningful comments I therefore read the posts and read or scan the comments. As a result, I often end up bookmarking a site that I want to come back to because of the valuable content that they publish. I have always found that if I notice someone leaving impressive comments or including an interesting title in their appended blog post link, then I will nearly always branch out to their site to read some more. The same can happen with your posts that are linked to from your comment.
A great tool for finding CommentLuv-enabled blogs is Drop My Link:
You are provided with a drop down list that allows you to filter the type of blogs that you are looking for. And then of course you simply add your keyword phrase in the textbox.
Or, alternatively you can simple type the appropriate search terms into Google such as:
keyword + “this blog uses premium commentluv”
or more specifically, as an example:
“how to increase website traffic” + “this blog uses premium commentluv”
“how to get more traffic to your website” + “commentluv is enabled”
It is a useful list ranked by PR and notated by characters that indicate if it is a follow or a no-follow blog or if it is a premium plugin etc.
While you are there, have a browse around Ana’s site. You will find immense value in all of her content.
A Case Study – How to Generate Traffic with CommentLuv
There is a very informative case study published by Silviu Constantinescu of Net Market Success. In fact Silviu has published 2 case studies that show the results that he achieved by commenting on CommentLuv blogs.
The graphs that he includes, and the tables that summarize his data, really add to the write up of his study.
I REALLY enjoyed reading his first case study about the results that he achieved in May and April of this year.
It wasn’t until I returned to his blog, while writing this post, that I noticed he now has a second case study, which includes his blog commenting results from June. And you can now see a comparison, or the growth trend, over 3 months.
These are great case studies because they target 1 strategy in particular but make a traffic comparison of all incoming website traffic sources.
To quote Silviu:
“CommentLuv might be one of the most powerful traffic and engagement tools available on the internet.”
It’s a good idea, a very good idea, to include your image along with your comment. To get this happening you simply sign up with Gravatar and upload your image. From then on, your photo is automatically added to each of your blog comments provided you use the same email address that you used with Gravatar.
People have a tendency to trust a comment or a post that is ‘authenticated’ by the person’s image.
Update: 2nd March 2015:
And while we are on the topic of photos, Google search engine results used to display an author’s photo alongside the post’s title if the author had set up their Google authorship correctly. This used to be quite effective for making your blog posts stand out in the SERPs. However, this option is no longer available for authors. (Thanks to a valued reader for reminding me of the need to point this out.)
Use CommentLuv On Your Own Site to Attract Comments & Increase Site Traffic
There are many posts that you will come across which list both pros and cons of installing this plugin on your own site. However, by and large there are generally more pros listed than cons.
An example of a listed con would be that the plugin can attract comment spam. From my experience, comment spam will flood your site no matter what, unless you take the necessary steps to prevent it such as:
- Activating the Akismet plugin.
- Blacklisting phrases in your WordPress settings screen.
I know that there are many, many sites that I would never have discovered if it had not been for the fact that they have installed the CommentLuv plugin.
It can attract people to your site, once they discover that you have installed the plugin. Thus, it can encourage more involvement with your site and, in particular, more return traffic because people are interested to read comments that follow their own.
After Thinking Outside of the Box about Website Traffic Strategies
Each of the ideas listed above provide strategies on how to increase website traffic for free. More specifically they provide ways to get the word out about your content, to publicize your latest posts.
If you create content that is impressive, and then let people know about it, a percentage of them will want to link to it. This is the ideal roll out of natural link building. And when someone else links to your posts, you are going to see a wide range of anchor text usage as a matter of course.
As an aside, if you want to check website traffic, and I strongly recommend that you do so on a regular basis, then 2 free options that I use are Google Analytics and StatCounter. In each case, you can access a comprehensive website traffic report. I actually use both, finding variations that I want in my website traffic stats.
Let me know, via the comments below, what you have been doing to get more traffic to your website. This is what Matt did when he drew my attention to his post titled How to Promote Your Blog & Open the Floodgates of Traffic.
Have you used any of the ideas above?
Do you have some other, less well known tips that you can share?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions.
Teaser image courtesy of Master isolated images/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Magnet image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Graph image courtesy of pakorn/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net