10 Proven Ways To To Drive Free Traffic To Your Blog or Website in 2022
You have a small business with a killer idea and you're ready to attract customers or maybe you have a blog with all the valuable information that you have collected over the years. You've written some good posts and now you're waiting for people to check out all of this knowledge you're offering for free. However, day in and day out analytics platforms are telling you that you're getting just 1 or 2 people casually browsing through your content. Well, we need to fix that.
You definitely cannot expect to make any kind of income from your blog or small business if nobody knows that it exists. Google's search engine should be your best friend when it comes to driving people to your website. However, building SEO takes time, and your budget is a bit too stretched for ads. We've put together a list of some of our most used strategies so that you can drive traffic to your website now!
1: SEO - Make Sure Your Website is Optimised for Search Engines
There are a lot of search engines used across the world and the most popular one by far is Google's search engine. SEO stands for search engine optimization and it basically means making small beneficial changes to your website or blog so that it can rank higher in search engine results. Nobody actually knows how Google's search algorithm actually works, but over the years there have been several proven ways you can make sure you are getting visitors to your website. SEO in itself is a complex topic that warrants its own guide, but for starters here's a couple of things you can keep in mind:
- Keyword-rich URL: in each post’s URL, you should have keywords that reflect the content of the post or page
- Make sure your website is performant: Google prefers websites that have a fast load time. In a recent update, they made it clear that speed is a factor in Google search rankings. There are plenty of tools like Google's PageSpeed developer tool that can help you analyze your load speeds as well as suggest small improvements to improve load time
- Create backlinks to your website: Backlinks are connections between websites on the internet. If your blog or website is linked to another website, Google considers this as a verification of sorts because it makes your website appear more legitimate. You can do this by writing guest posts on other websites or by getting featured in bigger publications
- Implement Google's Guidelines: While Google will not spell out their exact algorithm, they offer plenty of helpful advice in their free beginner guide which is a great place to start if you want to familiarise yourself with the world of SEO
2: Capture Email Addresses
Once you have a certain amount of visitors on your website, you will want to capture their email addresses. This is essential because it allows you to notify subscribers via a newsletter of new content, which can drastically improve your traffic and shares.
Generally, if a visitor lands on your website, they will not just give away their e-mail address without having a very strong compelling reason. This is why you need to have a valuable opt-in for your readers. Several bloggers give away free courses and other material to people who sign up for their mailing list, which can be a great way to build your mailing list.
Once you have built a mailing list, you can start sending out blog posts on a fixed schedule so that you don't spam your readers while at the same time building a recognizable brand that your readers trust.
There are several great options like Mailchimp which can help you get up and running in no time.
3: Make Social Sharing Ridiculously Easy
Every blog post you write must have easily accessible social sharing buttons so that your visitors can share your posts across all social media. This is great for social proof and promotes your brand via word of mouth.
There are plenty of extremely straightforward and low-budget ways to get started with this. You can install an external plugin like Social Warfare or AddThis on your website and blog so that visitors may easily be able to share your posts.
4: Collaborate With Other Businesses in Your Niche
Identifying and collaborating with other businesses in your niche that are at similar stages or sizes can be a great way to increase your brand awareness and reach. Even if you're just starting, there are businesses at every level. Collaborating with such businesses can be a great way to get free and targeted traffic to your website. For starters, you can simply email the website owner (usually, you can find contact information quite easily on any website).
Once you've contacted a couple of businesses or blog owners you can try to come with a way to cross-promote on each other's websites such as by guest posting or running a giveaway or contest together.
5: Leverage The Power of Social Media (Pinterest In Particular!)
Say what you may about social media, it is not going away any time soon. Social media is here to stay and the number of users is only growing. In a world so big, everybody wants to stay connected and online. This makes social media the perfect place to market your brand and get a loyal following.
Promoting on Facebook via Pages and Groups
Facebook Groups are a great place to get involved in the community and lend your voice to an ongoing discussion in your niche. You will be able to establish trust and create relationships which will mean that people will be more likely to share your posts.
It is also essential to have a Facebook Page for your business. On your page, you can post directly from your blog and engage in discussions with your audience and answer questions as well as facilitate discussion.
Growing Brand Awareness Through Instagram
Instagram is great if you're building a business or brand in the food, fashion or photography space because it is all about visually compelling images. However, for blogs, we don't necessarily recommend Instagram because the app is designed to keep users on their platform. While it is a great way to promote your business, you can't expect to drive a lot of traffic to your website because there is only one place where you can post a clickable link (in your bio). You can post more links on your stories once you have reached 10k subscribers, which can be quite a lengthy process in itself.
Using Pinterest as a Search Engine
Unlike other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook which are optimized to keep the user on their platform as long as possible, Pinterest is a little bit different because it is treated more like a visual search engine. It is by far the best social media platform to use if you want to drive traffic to your website because you can link to your blog post or website directly from your pins. Mastering Pinterest takes a bit of time and you can't expect it to work just off the bat (like any social media), but if and when you start getting traction the payoff can be huge.
With Pinterest, you need to make sure that your pins are visually compelling and can attract users. Luckily, apps like Canva make this task extremely straightforward even if you don't have any design skills! We've designed some great templates, all free of cost, for you to leverage the power of Pinterest and Canva to drive more traffic and visitors.
Related: Pinterest best practices to create viral content
6: Using a Question and Answer Website Like Quora
Quora is the biggest question and answer website on the internet. People come to Quora with all kinds of questions and turn to the community for answers. Quora is a great platform to drive traffic to your website for several reasons. First and foremost, Quora users ask extremely targeted questions. If you have a blog or website that answers the exact question being asked, you can post your answer and cite your website as a source so that the asker can be redirected to your website.
By answering relevant questions, you can start getting traffic to your website from day one, and get your brand in front of exactly the right audience!
7: Publish Your Blog Posts on Medium
Ever heard of Medium? Medium is a blogging platform that was started in 2012. On Medium, anyone can start a publication and post content in the form of long-form blog posts. Medium is growing day by day and has a huge audience of readers. There are a couple of strategies you can opt-in order to drive traffic from Medium to your own self-hosted website.
- Republish your blog posts on Medium: You've already done the leg work and written your blog posts. All you have to do is take these posts and publish them on Medium's platform. Be sure to link to your own website at the start of the blog so that your viewers can be directed to your website
- Post the content to Medium Publications: Medium has native "publications". There are groups of posts on a particular topic that are curated by medium readers and publishers like you and me. Some of these publications have over 500,000 followers. It is quite straightforward to submit to a Medium publication, and you should expect to hear back really quickly if your content is quality enough!
8: Participate in Reddit Discussions
Reddit calls itself "the front page of the internet" and for good reason. It was founded in 2005, and virtually anyone and everyone who uses the internet has probably heard of Reddit. As of 2020, there are over 400 million users on Reddit.
Reddit is made up of "subreddits" which are communities of people interested in the same topic. Think of the weirdest thing under the sun and there's probably a subreddit for it.
Driving traffic from Reddit to your website means being engaged in communities that cater to and are similar to your business or blog. You can post links, images, posts, anything you want on Reddit. However, Reddit users hate spam, so make sure you're actually answering questions and participating in discussions to provide value, and not just posting links to your website everywhere. That can come across as disingenuous and spammy, which is definitely not what you want for your brand!
9: Research Keywords To Find The Best Topics To Blog About
You can put in all your energy in creating a beautifully written, informative and well-researched post, but that will all be useless if nobody is interested in reading about the topic you wish to cover. This is why it is extremely important to research your topic before you sit down to write about it in detail.
Even if you do end up writing about a topic that people are interested in, if you don't use the right keywords that people actually search for, you will not be able to get visitors to your website. This is why it is important to find the right keywords and include them in your title, URL as well as metadata.
You can use Google Trends to visualize how certain keywords are trending over time and alternative keywords that people might be searching for.
Moz's Keyword Explorer and Ahref's Keyword Generator are also great tools that can help with keyword research and planning.
10: Comment on Other Blogs in Your Niche
Good relationships are the key to growth in any field, and blogging is not far behind. If you want to have your voice be heard, you will need to be active in various communities in your niche and comment on the posts of your competitors (or collaborators, depends on how you view it). This holds for engaging with other bloggers in the Social Media space like commenting on their posts on Instagram and retweeting or tagging them in your own tweet.
If you make it know that you're linking to someone else's blog in your own post, they might just return the favor, which can be really great for SEO because it will increase the number of backlinks between your website and others.
If you're just starting out or even if your website or blog has been online for quite some time, it helps to have a strategy in place when it comes to growing the traffic on your website. Hopefully, these tips will help you make little tweaks to your own strategy and website and drive huge amounts of traffic to your website, whatever it may be!