If you want more customers, readers, conversions, or clients in 2021, then you need to learn how to build traffic to your website. While there are people (marketer) who build a business out of driving traffic to websites, there are several proven strategies you can start implementing on your own.
Today’s post is going to cover mostly free options, plus one proven idea that boosted traffic to my blog so much that my income quadrupled in one month.
How to build traffic to your website in 2021: 13 Proven Ways
1. Share your content on social media
Social media offers countless opportunities to promote your content and build web traffic. Use it to share new blog posts, promote sales, share updates, etc.
You don’t need to be active on every single social media platform, and there are differences between each platform that can make one better suited for your business than another.
B2C businesses and bloggers can get a lot of traction using Pinterest to drive traffic, whereas Twitter is better for B2B content. Facebook and Instagram work for lots of different types of websites and online entrepreneurs.
2. Run Facebook ads
Running Facebook ads is exactly how I increased my blog traffic. It’s a paid strategy, but it’s one of the most effective ways to build traffic to your website.
I started spending around $1/day on Facebook and was bringing 1,500+ people to my site each month. I realized what spending more would do to my income from affiliates and display ads, so I started spending $150/month on Facebook ads, and my income shot up.
My display ad income alone went from around $500/month to $2,000/month in a single month, and four months later it doubled again!
Running Facebook ads to your blog or website is such an effective strategy because you can create highly targeted ads that reach the kind of people who are already interested in your kind of business.
There’s not enough space in this article to explain everything, so I’m going to defer to a few articles that will help you get started:
- Tips for Advertising on Facebook: 8 Strategies for Amazing Ads
- How to Build an Audience on Facebook
- 7 Tips for Facebook Website Conversion Ads That Work
3. Keywords, keywords, keywords!
Keywords are how people search and find your website. In terms of increasing web traffic, using keywords is part of your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy.
Keywords boil down the content on your page to a simple phrase or words. For example, the content in this article is focused around the keyword “how to build traffic to your website.” Which makes sense for this site because we have a lot of content about building online businesses.
The keyword for this article is a long-tail keyword. It’s much more specific than “traffic” or “website” which give very little information about what this article is about. We’re much more likely to get traffic from the long-tail keyword than those single ones.
Let’s take another example: say you run an organic dog bakery and want to build traffic to your online store. A keyword like “dog” or “organic” alone doesn’t work. But, long tail keywords like these can help you show up in search results:
- Best organic dog treats
- Organic dog bakery in [enter the name of your city]
- Buy organic dog treats online
If you want help finding keywords related to your website, sites like Wordstream and Moz have free keyword research tools. Google’s Keyword Planner is another good free option. We use Ahrefs for this site and really like it, but it’s not free.
4. Use all on-page SEO opportunities
On-page SEO is more than optimizing your content with keywords. There are other on-page opportunities you can take advantage of if you want to increase traffic to your website.
You can optimize your header tags, internal links, title tags, met tags, anchor text, and alt text in your images. You’ll need to go in and make changes to the code for each of those things. There are also more cosmetic changes you can make that improve the readability of your web page, including:
- Text size and color: Google likes a text font of 16-point and above because readers won’t need to “pinch and zoom.” There should be a major contrast between font color and background color.
- Headings: Break up the content on your web pages with headings. They help readers navigate your page and make pages with lots of content more readable.
- Bullet points: We’re using bullet points here for a good reason — they help readers skim content and quickly find useful lists of information.
- Paragraph breaks: Users often leave websites with huge walls of text, and that bounce rate hurts your page ranking. An easy way to prevent that is by breaking up your text with more frequent paragraph breaks.
- Use bold and italics: Emphasize and make important things stand out by bolding or italicizing them. Don’t use it all of the time or it loses the dramatic effect.
- Add photos, videos, graphs, etc: Adding media can help communicate ideas to users, so consider what would compliment your text.
Pro tip: I highly recommend the SEO for Bloggers Course from Money Lab if you want to learn more about on-page SEO.
5. Use internal links
Getting backlinks (links to your website from other sites, especially authority news sites and blogs) to your website can be a big deal if building traffic to your website, but it’s not easy.
Fortunately, backlinks aren’t the only important kind of links you should focus on. Internal linking is linking back to other pages on your website. It’s not only helpful to users who are trying to navigate your site, it’s also good for SEO.
Look for natural opportunities to create internal links — think helpful, not overwhelming!
6. Write headlines that shine
Headlines that are boring, confusing, or too wordy are a huge turnoff to readers. Don’t let all of the work you put into a blog post go to waste because of your headline!
A compelling headline can make all the difference in the world, and you don’t have to be a master copywriter to write click-worthy headlines. Here are six tips for headlines that shine:
- Be clear: Readers don’t want to guess, they want easy. Make sure your headline is clear and not confusing.
- Be concise: A wordy headline starts to confuse potential readers, so get to the point quickly.
- Make it relevant: Your headline should directly relate to what the rest of your article is about.
- Keep it exciting: You can make your headline stand out with something clever, funny, or amusing, as long as it’s not confusing.
- Use numbers: Numbers tell people they’re going to get a list, and people love lists. Think of how well Buzzfeed did with listicles back in the day.
- Ask a question: Finding out the answer to a question makes people curious.
Honestly, one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself is to start writing more headlines. Don’t immediately go with the first one. Brainstorm a dozen for every article you write.
7. Start guest blogging
Guest blogging is when you write an article for another blog in your niche, and that bloggers readers will be introduced to you and interested in visiting your website. It’s a sure-fire way to get some new visitors to your site, and it will help build your brand at the same time.
Guest content needs to be just as high-quality as what you would publish on your site and never spammy. Readers can tell when you’re pushing too hard and only doing it to build traffic to your website.
Guest blogging can work both ways, and it can bring more readers and more shares if you invite others to guest post on your site.
8. Interview experts, leaders, and others in your industry
Interviews are a fun way to freshen up your website content and bring some name recognition and credibility to your website.
All it takes is a simple email requesting an interview. Tell them who you are and why you want to interview them (something like “it will be really helpful to my readers to hear from an expert”).
Once they agree, you can schedule an interview over the phone or Zoom. Personally, I prefer sending questionnaires via email. It lets people answer in their own time, and you don’t have to worry about transcribing anything.
9. Up your email marketing game
Every website owner needs an email list. Bloggers, coaches, ecommerce site owners, freelancers, online instructors, etc. — you all need an email list!
Email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool, but it’s one that lots of people overlook because they’re so focused on getting new people to their website.
But here’s the thing: the people on your email list are significantly more likely to spend money on your site than a stranger that clicks on your page from Google. The ROI for email marketing can be as high as 440%! Which means that for every $1 you spend on your email list you’ll receive $44 in return.
A good email blast can get people clicking over to your site and boost your traffic. It’s something I’ve been working on recently, and I can verify the efficacy.
I recommend sending out emails when you’re launching a new product or service, if you have a sale going on, or if you have something interesting to share with your audience. Don’t bombard your list, but don’t neglect it either!
10. Create an online community
Online communities are an excellent way to foster community around your blog or online business. I’m a huge fan of using Facebook because it’s really easy to create online groups, and it’s an app that most people already use.
Your online community is a place where people should feel comfortable asking questions, sharing relevant content, etc. Set boundaries and enforce them so your online communitie are always places where people feel comfortable sharing.
11. Don’t let your site speed slow you down
Site speed is a huge factor in whether or not people will stick around and actually look at what’s on your website. It’s also part of Google’s ranking algorithm.
The ideal load time for a mobile web page is 1-2 seconds. You can work on decreasing your load time by making sure your pages are as technically optimized as possible. That means your page structure is on point, your image file sizes are good, and third-party plug-ins are as functional as possible.
12. Make sure your website is responsive
A responsive website is one that opens and displays well across all devices. The trend is that more people are searching, buying, and reading on their phones, so your website needs to be set up for that kind of usage.
I’ve sure you’ve had to pinch and zoom on a site before. It’s annoying, isn’t it?
Don’t do that to your readers. They’re going to click off your site, and that’s no good for your traffic.
Fortunately, most platforms make it easy to create responsive websites. You can even view your site before it goes live to make sure it looks good across a range of devices.
13. Host a webinar
Webinars are a great way to promote your online courses or ebooks, but they can also be a really good way to build traffic to your website. Offering to impart your wisdom pulls on people’s desire to learn, and a surprisingly diverse set of online entrepreneurs can use them to drive traffic.
Here are a few example of creative webinar ideas:
- Host a case study to show how clients or customers are using your products or services. It can include tips for use, what got them started, and more.
- Create a how-to series that addresses a problem area. It could be “How to cut your meal prep time in half,” “How to write email headlines that sell,” or “How to mix watercolors for a custom palette.”
- Invite others in your industry to discuss a topic that your industry is facing, a sort of insider knowledge.
- Doing a monthly Q&A session having users submit questions in advance so you can prepare your answers.
- Host an online training, especially good if you’re about to launch an online course because it shows prospective students what they can expect from you.
Once you have an idea for your webinar, promote it on social media and send out an email blast. Give people a place to sign-up on your website (how you’ll build traffic to your website), and don’t forget to send out a reminder email for a week in advance and a day before.
I also recommend archiving your webinars because they can produce great content later on.
The final word on increasing your website traffic
As someone who’s built their business and livelihood online, I think about traffic every day. My current focus is growing my organic search results, and I’m really happy with the growth I’ve seen so far.
But, I can honestly say learning about the new and best ways to increase web traffic will always be on my mind. Web traffic is $$$ for me, just like it is for you.
It’s pretty clear from this list that there are a lot of things you can do to bring more people to your website. Some of these ideas, like writing better headlines, are things you can start on now, for free. Other ones, like implementing an on-page SEO strategy, will take a little more work but still well worth the investment.
If you’re ready to make a financial investment in your site, I highly recommend Facebook ads. That’s when things really started taking off for me..