(That Don’t Cost a Thing)

Building an online audience is one of the most rewarding but misunderstood aspects of digital marketing in 2018. It’s rewarding because the return on investment is vivid – having a massive volume of website traffic is a massive way to improve brand awareness and increase sales. Although, widely referred to as a challenge, the importance of gaining website traffic is often underestimated. Unfortunately, this isn’t Field of Dreams. When it comes to building a website, “build it, and they will come,” does not apply. You need to put in the work to get your website in front of your market.

The good news is that it’s possible to do it successfully – there is a plethora of different sources and channels, like online publications, banner ads, social media and organic search, for you to use to drive traffic to your company’s website. Diversity in web traffic is valuable in enhancing brand awareness, increasing the size of your audience and improving search rankings.

Don’t know where to start? Here are 3 sure-fire ways to boost your website traffic.

  • Encourage a Sense of Community

People like to speak their minds and weigh in on what they feel passionately about, so building a sense of community is a great way to get people onto your site and starting a conversation with you and other site visitors. Ensure you have a well-oiled commenting structure implemented (we recommend looking to a third-party system like Disqus for this). Or consider creating a dedicated Forum that users can engage in conversation online – keep the topics moderated and ask open-ended questions that encourage engagement and conversation. After a while, you can start linking people engaging in the forum to learn more about certain topics on your blog.

In addition to drawing more eyes onto your site, you’re also making your content more substantial, improving the chances of it being shared, increasing the number of eyes on it and thereby boosting your website traffic.

  • Give and Receive

Writing for different websites as a guest blogger is a sure-fire way to get your name and work in front of a new audience and boost your own traffic. If you write about niche topics or industry-specific themes, chances are that if you contribute to a blog that aligns with you (try SimilarSites), the website traffic you’ll gain as a result will be your exact target audience.

Our top tip is to keep the links to your website and mentions of your company to a minimum; no one likes an overload of self-promotion. Instead; contribute to an acclaimed website, write about what people want to read (UberSuggest is great for this) and write well. Then, a link to your website at the end of your article will be happily followed.

If you’re a beginner to guest posting, here’s what we suggest:

  • To begin, it’s as simple as a quick Google search. Type in “(your keyword) + guest post,” “submit post,” or “become a contributor.”
  • Often Twitter’s results are fresher than Google’s. Try the same searches on Twitter for a set of completely different results and discover websites that are actively looking for guest post contributors.
  • What is vital here is to check that the website is not only accepting guest posts and is in your industry or niche, but that is has an adequate DA. This is the website’s Domain Authority and shows you if that site is deemed authoritative for SEO purposes. As a rough guideline, we recommend reaching out to websites with a DA of 50 or above (check out the Moz extension for DA measurement).
  • Read through the blog first to get a feel for the content they publish, avoid sending a generic pitch to the editor of the website or publication. Rather read through the contributor and style guidelines and edit your content accordingly – they are there for a reason and every site is different.

Finally, giving and receiving come hand-in-hand; allow guest posters on your blog too. You can put together a Blogging Guidelines document you send to all prospective guest bloggers that explains what your focus is: how you want posts structured, themes you want to stick to, word counts, rules for backlinks and submissions deadlines. By accepting guest posts of a high quality, you become the trusted source that people can come to for a wealth of information from a variety of different people.

  • Be January-esque

… And hit refresh.

Repurposing old content can extend the reach of it and provide plenty more link-building and lead-generating opportunities. Here are some ideas on how to achieve this:

  • Republish:

    For starters, you can go straight to republishing on sites like Medium and Reddit. They’re free and easy to sign up and puts your work in front of a much wider audience.

  • Convert to PDF:

    People like reading blog posts, but they love being able to download and save useful information to refer to later. Consider hiring a graphic designer to help you create a PDF that has great content, practical tips and looks great – the perfect cocktail for increasing downloads.

  • SlideShare:

    Create a slideshow on SlideShare with each main point of your article on a separate slide. Use a similar heading and add the appropriate tags.

  • Infographic:

    If your article is data-rich, consider converting the text into an infographic. Infographics can do a better job at communicating with audiences especially if the piece is long or heavy on statistics. They’re also more likely to be shared – with a link back to your website, it’s a certain way to increase traffic.

  • Turn it into a video:

    video marketing is massive right now; 70% of consumers view brands more positively after viewing compelling video content. YouTube reports that mobile video consumption increases by 100% annually, so the video trend is on the rise. This is especially perfect for B2C brands that are big on social media or would like to be: Facebook and Instagram users are up to 5x more likely to engage with videos than with photos. When we bring live video into the equation, engagement rates go through the roof (more on this later – keep your eyes on the Meltwater blog).

Whether it’s creating a sense of community and encouraging engagement, becoming a guest contributor or refreshing older content – it’s certainly possible to boost your website traffic in creative (and free) ways. To chat more about how you can use online media and marketing to boost your website traffic, contact the Meltwater Africa team.