While SEO is a legitimate strategy to drive traffic (or better an audience) to your content it is neither the only way to do so nor may it always be the best and most efficient way to do so. In the age of content marketing where people understood that without content they are more or less invisible from a marketing perspective, the amount of content on the Internet is growing exponentially. At the same time, while the number of internet users is still increasing it is by far not increasing at the same rate as the amount of content.
That naturally means that the fight for attention for content is getting fiercer. Driving traffic to your content is a must for any marketing success. And while Google and SEO can drive huge amounts of traffic if done right, this traffic source is by far not the only one that can drive tons of traffic and these visitors are often one-time chance visitors, and you need to have a strategy to convert them into a returning and trusting audience.
Do not focus on SEO without looking at other ways to drive traffic, too.
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For the best results with your marketing efforts, you also need to keep in mind that highly targeted traffic will convert much better. In the end, you need less traffic for better results if you get your targeting right. Therefore, the goal is not necessarily only to drive MORE traffic but also to drive TARGETED traffic.
Here are 8 ideas to help you drive MORE TARGETED traffic to your content:
1. Utilize email
Never forget email marketing in your marketing strategy. It is not dying at all, but still, one of the best traffic sources you can get.
You should actively collect subscribers for your email list and email them new pieces of content you publish. Your newsletter subscribers already are your most loyal audience and trusted you with their email address. Now it is up to you to not only cater for your subscribers and nurture these relationships but also to turn them into traffic and eventually customers.
Your email list can easily turn into one of your most important traffic sources. And what’s more, your subscribers are also much more likely to help you spread the word about your content and share it on their social channels than website visitors you may get to your content from other sources.
If you need more subscribers, Jonathan recently wrote an article on how to grow your email list. To turn your subscribers into traffic, simply send them new content in newsletters. And do not forget to ask them to share it!
2. Comment on Blogs
Now, I am not talking about dropping annoying and unhelpful comments like “visit my blog LINK” or “great post, read mine LINK” on any blog post you can find. Most people think like me and regard this kind of comments as spam.
Blog commenting takes some thoughts to get it right.
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First of all, you need to figure out the best places to comment. If you are publishing content about social media, that place is neither food blogs nor news sites.
Blog commenting works best if you comment on blogs from your niche. They have an audience that strongly resembles your own target audience.
Secondly, you need to think about what you say: To really drive traffic it is not enough to comment at all; you need to provide value in your comment, a new perspective or additional information. On blogs from your niche hopefully, you can provide some additional insights into topics they cover.
To find perfect posts to comment on, you can use Google Alerts, which you can use to get an email alert every time someone publishes a new blog post around your keyword.
You can use this to find new posts that cover a topic related to one of your most recent and well-liked posts. This post is a perfect place for you to add value in a comment. Instead of putting your website into the form for the comment, you can put in the link to your related recent post – or mention the post in your comment. Just make sure that you have some information to add – comments that only link to other posts without giving real information are often not well-liked.
3. Guest Post
You can try to drive traffic directly to a related article on your own website, which you link within the guest article. This only works if the topic of the guest posts and the post on your own website are closely related and add value to each other. Plus some hosting blogs are not very fond of links to your own website within the guest post you submit.
However, the guest author bio is a great place to link to your website or a landing page.
One great way of using guest posts is to build your email list. This email list will soon become one of your most valuable traffic sources – see #1. The best way to build your list with guest posts is to have a freebie or content upgrade to offer in your author bio. In exchange for the download of the freebie, you can earn yourself a bunch of new subscribers.
Again the key to your success lies in the targeting. Choose blogs for your guest posting efforts that are closely related to your own niche.
4. Use Interviews
Interviews are one of the best ways to connect, create great content and get people to share it with their audience on their social accounts. Here is how:
Research influencers from your niche that have fairly large and engaged social media accounts and audiences.
- Think of a topic they could provide insights to.
- Get in touch. Ask them if they would be willing to answer a couple of questions on your chosen topic for your audience. Some of them will be happy to do so.
- Send questions, wait for the answers.
- Publish the interview on your blog.
- Share the interview in your social channels.
- Let the influencer know that you published the interview. You can tweet mention them or write an email (or both). Most of them will be happy to share your interview with their audience, simply because being interviewed is still an honor for most and shows their influence.
Interviews also work the other way round: Being interviewed is a great way to build your brand and reputation.
If you need some help to find interview partners or interview opportunities, check out “help a reporter out” (HARO).
HARO connects journalists and bloggers with sources. You can sign up for a daily digest of interview requests. Depending on your niche you may have to wait a while for a good question.
5. Use Forums
Forums are a fickle marketing strategy. You have to be very careful to read the guidelines and watch out how people react to marketing posts. But if you are already active in a forum from your niche and provide value with your comments, chances are good that fellow forum members will be interested in your content on related topics. If your content can add information to a discussion or even solve some problems forum members have voiced, you may be able to drive tons of traffic from a simple forum post.
Just as with blog comments, keep in mind that people can easily detect if you are ONLY looking for places to spam your links. The foundation of success with forums is that you add value or inspire a discussion which will keep your update active and visible within the forum.
6. Re-share older posts on Social Media
I am still surprised how many people are missing out on this opportunity in social media and only share their content once. Most of the time that means that only a fraction of their audience actually sees their updates. By simply re-posting you can tremendously increase the traffic you drive to one post from social media.
However, the different social networks work in different ways. That greatly influences how quickly and how often you can and should re-post your old posts. Buffer came up with a rough guide and schedule for reposting your new posts.
This should only serve as a first guideline. In the end, you have to measure carefully how your audience reacts to your reposting efforts. You are doing it for them so you should listen to them and their preferences.
How often you can re-post also depends on the content you publish. If you are mainly publishing news, reposting it for months may not be the best idea. If you have a ton of evergreen blog posts, you may want to go for Jeff Bullas’ strategy and set up recurring queues of your blog posts for Twitter.
If you do not have a ton of different content pieces and still want to re-post your content but do not want to sound like your own echo, simply come up with different post-texts and create a new image for Facebook or add some questions to the post.
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7. Repurpose Content
There are some places where you can easily publish business-related content. The restrictive factor to publish more post in different places most of the time is to come up with great content ideas. To save time on content creation, you can easily turn some of your older posts into new posts, publish them on sites like LinkedIn, Medium or other niche sites that let you publish content and link to your related posts on your own site.
Here are some ideas to repurpose your best articles:
Collect your best tips on one topic, maybe even from more than one post on your own site. Make a list post out of the tips and link to your old posts for further information. Publish this new content on LinkedIn or Medium.
Choose your best running blog post and rewrite it as a guest post. Make sure you really create a new post only on the same topic. Many famous guest bloggers and marketers follow this strategy to come up with a bunch of articles without running out of topics to post about.
8. Offer yourself as a testimonial or case study
You probably have seen the testimonials and case studies on many websites. Hopefully, you have some on your own site as well. Often these testimonials link to the customer giving the statement. Case studies are very valuable for the owner of a website as they help them build trust and credibility.
If you are using some tools and services, write a story on how you are using the tool, how the tool helps you become better at your business, how it helped you save time and money or convert more customers.
You can either send the owner of the tool an email with your story on how you use their tool. Ask them if they would be interested in a testimonial or offer yourself as a case study. You can also post the story on your own website and email them with a link to your post and thank them for their great service.
Whatever you do, only use these methods for tools and services you really like and would recommend to your best friend. It can seriously hurt your reputation if you recommend bad tools.
There are endless ways of driving targeted traffic to your blog or website. Concentrating too much on just one traffic source is risky and most of the time you will be missing out on a ton of opportunities. Traffic generation is so much more than SEO, do not get “SEO blind!”
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