July 20

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Drive Online Traffic To Your Website Or eCommerce Store: 18 Free And Paid Surefire Strategies

By Hanson Cheng

July 20, 2021


Traffic is the lifeblood of a thriving online business.

Without traffic, your business will stagnate and eventually die.

That’s why driving traffic is the top goal of all online marketers worldwide. In today's marketing world, there are many ways to achieve this goal. Your niche, time, and resources dictate which methods work for you. This article reveals 18 proven traffic-generation strategies. 

I will cover both free and paid tactics.

Free Methods For Driving Traffic To Your Website

Why pay for traffic through paid search when you can get it for free?

Here are surefire ways to drive traffic to your online business.

1. Guest Post Writing

Creating a blog post for another site or guest blogging sounds counterintuitive, but it works.

Guest posting has awesome benefits like building trust, credibility, and authority in your niche.

You can write a guest post for top blogs in your industry. Before writing a guest post, make sure you target influential (or big fish) bloggers within your niche or industry. This handy graphic from Ahrefs can help you choose the right Domain Rating (DR) range for your guest posts.

Obviously, the higher the DR of the sites for your guest posts the more traffic you'll drive to your website.

Free or paid, guest blogging is one of the best and most effective ways for driving traffic to a blog or website in 2021.

To get targeted traffic, create content:

  • On relevant popular sites.
  • Includes eye-catching visuals.
  • Informs, engages, and entertains readers.
  • Includes a link to your site in the bio.

Such guest posts will generate a decent amount of traffic.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media promotion has proven to have an enormous impact on traffic generation in recent years. Most marketers are using social networks as an integral part of their online marketing strategy.

There are many strategies to grow your social media traffic, including:

  • Engaging followers with a consistent stream of new content (videos, images, blog posts) on your social profiles.
  • Interacting with followers via direct messages or comments.
  • Ask and answer questions (enter your keyword in Quora to find questions to answer)
  • Use hashtags on social media platforms for more brand awareness.

The above list is just a small sample of how you can effectively use Social Media for increasing site visits.

3. Write And Post Content On Your Blog

This one's pretty obvious, right? But many miss this simple strategy of using content marketing to attract their target audience. 

Essentially, what you do is create helpful quality content that solves problems/tackles issues and that your audience will find valuable. You also need to distribute this information through social media for maximum exposure and traffic generation.

Your ultimate goal is to get people to come to your website–where they can hopefully turn into paying customers.

Your company blog isn’t for decoration. It’s meant to generate traffic for your business. 

Create your first (or next) blog post today to get the traffic wheels turning. To enhance your chances of success, anchor your content marketing strategy on long-form content. Studies show it ranks higher than short content.

Source: WordStream

Bonus tip: in your content marketing approach, target long-tail keywords with low competition but high search volume potential. If you consistently produce quality evergreen content, you will dominate google search results and attract organic traffic. 

4. Optimize Your Website For SEO

Google, Bing, and Yahoo account for over 90% of organic search traffic. Simply publishing evergreen content in and of itself won’t help you.

You need to optimize your website for SEO for your content to appear in search results.

There are some free tools like Yoast and All in One SEO that you can use to analyze the SEO of your blog.

For search traffic, you could use the free Google Keyword Planner tool to brainstorm new keywords for SEO. I recommend you get a premium WordPress plugin like Yoast or All in One SEO for more accurate SEO optimization of your posts or website pages.

To produce top-quality content that appears on search engine results, follow these tips:

  • Use Google's Keyword Planner to generate new keywords (combined with the Google Keyword Tool).
  • Use long-tail keywords (3+ words) as tags and titles.
  • Include all of your target keywords in your page's URL.
  • Create a sitemap for your website or blog (this is a must!) 
  • Include internal links pointing to your best articles.
  • Write compelling meta descriptions for all pages on your website.

Doing so will help you get more visitors from search engines. 

Then you should do these two key things:

  • In Yoast, check the box that allows search engines to crawl your post(s).
  • Create a custom permalink structure using something like this: /%postname%/.

5. Get Listed On Online Directories

You should start looking for online directories where you can submit your site. 

The traffic drives you'll get from these will depend on how popular the directory is and how many links are pointing to the page that lists your website or blog.

It's not a good idea to spam this type of content, but there's no harm in submitting your website to 10-15 directories.

6. Get Active On Niche Forums And Groups

There are some popular forums and groups that focus on your niche. Getting active in these will give you a lot of traffic–if you do it right!

The goal is to provide value-added information to other users and then point them back to your site. In the process, you will get more exposure for yourself and what you have to say. Be sure to do these things.

First, post new topics in the appropriate forums or groups. Make your posts long, in-depth, and even a bit controversial (not always!). This will ensure that you get more traffic than if you just posted short, bland content. Also, comment on other people’s threads and posts.

Whenever possible, back up what you say with evidence. Showing that you know your stuff will make people trust you. This will also help your posts get more traffic and engagement from other users on the forum or social media group.

Avoid overusing keywords in titles of topics or comments. While this might help you get more traffic initially, it also comes off as spammy and has the potential to get your posts downvoted (which is bad).

Ask questions in threads. This will help you get more feedback from other users on a forum or social media group. If you've already created good content, then there's no reason you shouldn't do this. It's the fastest way to drive traffic and gain exposure in your niche.

7. Appear On Popular Podcasts

The best way to do this is to get involved in podcasts that are related to your niche. An example of the type of podcast you want will be the Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn (who blogs at smartpassiveincome.com).

You might not know it, but there is a lot of traffic sent from these types of podcasts. This is because a lot of people listen to podcasts while driving. They can also be listened to during exercise routines and other activities, such as cleaning the house.

The key here is to appear often, but make sure you are adding value wherever possible. Your podcast appearances will boost visits.

8. Rank Videos On YouTube To Generate Organic Traffic

Another quick and easy way to attract referral traffic is through YouTube. BTW YouTube is the second largest site after Google.

Source: Alexa

Imagine how many people who fit your audience profile are on YouTube?

Video content is also a great opportunity for you to build authority in your niche, showcase your personality, and build rapport with potential customers. 

Create a YouTube channel that focuses on search engine optimization. Get into the habit of creating videos related to your niche. You can easily avoid keyword stuffing by making it about you. People love hearing from experts in their industry, so don't be afraid to talk about yourself!

You just need to make sure that the videos are optimized for search. 

  • Titles of YouTube videos: Make sure your title is search engine optimized and that it contains relevant keywords, but make sure you keep it short. You also want to include a link back to your site in the video description. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn't allow you to edit descriptions once we've uploaded a video... so just be aware of this).
  • Tags: Tag your video with relevant keywords that you think people will search for. This is one of the best ways to get found in YouTube searches.
  • Video Description: Make sure you include a link back to your website, along with relevant keyword stuffing (i.e., don't overdo it). Add descriptions about yourself and what you do.
  • Video Thumbnail: Make sure this is relevant and clickable to draw people's attention.

Once you've created your YouTube video, don't forget to promote it on social media and relevant blogs in your niche.

9. Write Product Reviews And Articles

Creating review articles about your products or services is a great way to drive traffic to a website.

Here are quick tips on writing product reviews:

  • Write reviews on your most popular products.
  • Look for sites that are reviewing similar content (then make sure you do your research before submitting your article)
  • Write about the product as if it was yours and include your unique insight, then submit it to the target site.
  • Finally, reference your article on social platforms.
  • If you can get one of these articles or reviews published on a popular affiliate site with an engaged user base, you'll be able to leverage the traffic and create backlinks (when other sites pick up on your article).

Paid Ways To Drive Online Traffic To Your Site

Free traffic can only get you so far. Besides, it can take a while to gather steam.

Enter paid advertising.

Social media adverts are a proven way of attracting relevant traffic to your site, and you can easily promote your latest blog posts or build links to online stores.

10. Facebook Ads

FB promotions are great for increasing traffic to a page (or an eCommerce store). You simply need to set up a campaign with the following; budget per day, target market, ad type, placement, images/video, and call-to-action. You can also track the effectiveness of each campaign using Facebook's analytics.

PROS

  • Ability to set budgets for promotions.
  • You can also have a mixture of types of adverts on one campaign.
  • Facebook's smart targeting means that your adverts will only show up to relevant people in terms of gender, interests, country, area, and age.

CONS

  • Targeting can sometimes be too specific, so it might end up costing more than expected and may take longer to build an audience.

- Some ad types are not available in all countries. Do your research before setting up a campaign;

11. Drive Traffic Using Google Ads

Google commercials are very similar to Facebook ads in the sense that you can narrow them down by country, gender, etc. But they're a lot more in-depth than just simply offering website traffic or email leads like Facebook.

Instead, Google allows you to choose between three different types of adverts:

  • Search network (where your ads will show up on websites that Google thinks are relevant to your campaign).
  • Display network (where the ad will show up on websites, blogs, etc. that aren't managed by Google but you still get charged for clicks and impressions).
  • Mobile ads (where the ad will only show up in certain apps).

PROS

  • Can easily be used as part of your business’s overall SEO strategy.
  • Ability to set budgets.
  • Great targeting (you're able to narrow down by geographic location, age, gender, etc.)
  • Video promos are available on YouTube and Google Display Network;

CONS

  • The cost of Google ads is often higher than other forms of advertising

12. Instagram Ads

Source: Instagram

Instagram adverts are a relatively recent addition to the social network world. They allow you to narrow down your audience by targeting specific hashtags. This can be great for promoting your latest blog posts or driving website traffic to an eCommerce store.

PROS

  • Ability to set budgets.
  • Great targeting (you're able to narrow down by geographic location, age, gender, etc.)
  • Ability to link directly to your website or eCommerce store;

CONS

  • Instagram commercial prices can often be more than other social networks, but they could still be worth it.

13. Pinterest Ads

Pinterest promos are a great way to drive traffic to a particular URL on your website or an eCommerce store. The layout is very similar to other social advert types, but you can choose if the audience will see your ad based on their gender, age, etc. In terms of what you can advertise, there are three types available:

  • Promote Pins (pinners will see your pin automatically in their feed and can simply click to go to the website).
  • Promoted Boards (similar to Promoted Pins where people can click to go straight to your board) and
  • Promoted Pins (people will still need to take action by clicking on the advert before being taken to your site.

PROS

  • Great way to build traffic to a website or eCommerce store; can easily be used as part of an overall SEO strategy.
  • Ability to set budgets and monitor the effectiveness of your ads using Google Analytics (if you're using Pinterest Adverts through them).
  • Great targeting (you're able to narrow down by geographic location, age, gender, etc.).

CONS

  • The cost of Pinterest promotions can often be higher than other forms of social media advertising.

14. Increase Traffic Through LinkedIn Ads

Source: LinkedIn

LinkedIn commercials are a great way to drive visitors to an eCommerce store or site, and offer many options for people searching for information on your particular niche. You can choose if you want to target specific jobs or job descriptions (as well as relevant skills) which makes it even easier to get the right people looking at your content.

PROS

  • A good way to get in front of people with specific job titles or skills.
  • Can be used as part of an overall SEO strategy.
  • You'll be able to measure the effectiveness using Google Analytics if you're using LinkedIn promotions through them.

CONS

  • It's important to note that LinkedIn adverts are a pay-per-click network; so you'll need to be prepared to keep running promos if you want them to bring visitors to your site or eCommerce store.

15. Boost Visitors To Your Site With Twitter Ads

Source: Twitter

Twitter Adverts can be a great way to drive site visits and get in front of people that are actively looking for content similar to what you're creating.

How To Get Started With Twitter Adverts:

  • Create an account (you can use your existing Twitter account if you want).
  • Decide whether you want to Promote a Tweet or your website and choose a goal (Tweet engagement, Click to Website, App installs).
  • Target people that are likely to be interested in your content.

PROS

  • Great way to get in front of people that are actively searching for content similar to what you're creating;

CONS

  • You'll need to pay per click on Twitter ads; so if your site isn't a good fit with the traffic that's available, it can be a waste of time and money.

16. Influencer Marketing

You can also increase website traffic through influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is a great way to reach out to people that are similar to your target audience, and get them to help drive traffic to your site or eCommerce store.

How to get started with influencer marketing:

  • Find influencers in your industry; social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be useful but keep an eye on niche forums and communities for people that have a lot of followers.
  • Check out the influencer’s work (blog, podcast, or videos) before contacting them to see if they might be a good fit.
  • If you're interested in using their services, reach out to the influencer and let them know how your content will be a good fit.

When reaching out to the influencer, also offer them something in return for their help. Let them know how you can promote some of their recent work or social media profiles on your website.

The biggest drawback of influencer marketing is that it’s expensive.

17. Email Marketing

Email marketing is an excellent way to build and nurture a relationship with your readers and turn them into buyers.

Source: Neil Patel

Email marketing has an astounding $40 return per $1 spent.

But what I want to focus on here is driving traffic through email.

If you have an eCommerce store or blog, this can be as simple as sharing links to new content that's been published with your email list. You can also get direct sales by including a short ad promoting whatever you want people to purchase (and make sure the email subject line is compelling).

PROS

  • Can be a very effective way to reach out to potential customers, and the emails that you send will have higher engagement rates because they're personalized.
  • If you're doing a good job and providing useful information to your readers, they'll be more likely to recommend the site or product that you're promoting (which can help with link building).

CONS

  • You need to have a solid email list for this strategy to work; so if you haven't started building an email list, this isn't the best place to start.
  • It can be hard to stay in touch with your audience regularly and find the time to do it.

18. Press Releases & Media Coverage

Writing a press release and getting it published on sites with large audiences is one way to drive traffic to your site. But I want to focus on creating content for major publications that will bring you traffic.

There are two ways to get started with press releases:

First, write about something unique or controversial then pitch this idea (you have two options here. The first is to create a press release and distribute it through PRWeb or send it directly to news anchors. 

The second way is to find sites that will let you submit content that they'll publish.

Once your content has been published on a major publication, share the link on social media; then promote the traffic back to your site.

PROS

  • Great way to reach a large audience, especially for sites that are focused on a niche market.
  • Generate backlinks from high domain authority sites and rank for more competitive keywords.

CONS

  • Creating press releases and trying to get them published in major publications is time-consuming and tough.
  • You might not have much control over the content of your article (the journalist who is assigned to write about your press release will typically follow the story they've been assigned).

Boost Site Visits To Grow Your Business

That’s it.

My best 18 strategies to drive traffic to your website for maximum profits. In digital marketing, traffic guarantees you a steady flow of visitors, leads, and sales. With a smart mix of free and paid methods, you can hit the jackpot.

Master traffic generation and get your cash register to ring nonstop.

Last Updated on September 14, 2021 by Hanson Cheng

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Hanson Cheng

About the author

Living in Bali with my Fiancee and puppy, (Alina and Pickles). Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter. Always happy to hear from you, so find me on Instagram if you want to say hi!

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