5 Ways to Drive Traffic Without SEO
With all the changes that are happening in the world of search engine optimization I thought it’d be a great time to look at some different ways of being discovered. The following techniques are great ways of getting targeted traffic to your site and don’t involve Google in any way shape or form!
I’m not saying SEO isn’t important as it can be a huge source of traffic but I’m saying it’s less risky to diversify your traffic sources. The following methods could be used to drive traffic to niche sites but some of them are long term strategies so they are better used on bigger projects!
Before I get started with the methods I’ll mention an important point that’s applicable to all of them. It’s about direct the traffic. With all these methods, you can send the traffic to anywhere on your site and you could even create a landing page so the visitors gets more of a personal experience.
Sending traffic to a relevant piece of content on your site could be more effective than sending people to your home page.
This is one of the most popular methods used to get discovered but there aren’t many people doing it well. When you comment on blogs or websites, you can usually leave a URL that people are directed to when they click your name on the comment.
This is a perfect example of a place you shouldn’t use the home page URL. Like most people, I tend to leave the home page URL but from now on I’ll make sure I send the traffic to a useful piece of content instead. Here are some tips on making the most of blog comments:
- Find a site that’s relevant to your niche and already gets plenty of traffic.
- Get in there early, the first few comments get the most clicks.
- Leave a great comment. Something like “thanks for the post” will get ignored. Make sure you read and understand the article you’re commenting on and add to the conversation. If you can’t think of anything relevant to write about then you shouldn’t leave a comment.
- Don’t put your website name or any sort of keyword in the “Name” field. Just put your real name. It looks much less spammy and it will show people that you’re a genuine contributor and you’re not just looking to get traffic.
- Don’t leave any links in the comment itself. That just screams “self promotion!”
- Put a link to a relevant article in the “Website” or “URL” field instead of your websites home page. This means that when people land on your site they’ll instantly be greeted with a great article instead of a confusing home page. Linking to your “About” page might also be worth trying.
Social bookmarking sites are basically sites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon where users can publicly bookmark webpages. These sites get loads of traffic so if your bookmarked link is well received you could see a big spike in traffic
For this strategy to work, it needs to be long term. I have had a couple of spikes of traffic from these sites but not when I submitted a link myself. That’s why your social bookmarking strategy has to long term unless you’re already an active book marker.
If you just sign up and start submitting links from your own site you’ll be seen as a self promoter and won’t get much traffic.
For this to work you need to be a frequent user of the site who submits great links from other sites in your niche. You can then slip in a few links of your own once you build trust from other social users.
If you plan to be in it for the long run with your site then social bookmarking is definitely something you should be investing some time in.
One thing I will say about traffic from these sites is that the visitors don’t tend to hand around for long. They’re generally the type of people who bounce from site to site so don’t be surprised if you see a high bounce rate from social bookmarking traffic.
It is a free way to get traffic though and it doesn’t involve any SEO so it makes it on my list
This section is going to be very brief as there’s way to much to cover in a fifth of an article. We already know that building audiences on sites like Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest can be a great way to get traffic but it’s not easy to do successfully. It involves a good strategy, time and effort. Getting the initial following is the hardest part.
Different networks should be treated differently but it’s worth investing time in social media as it can become a great source of repeat traffic that doesn’t involve any SEO.
The number one rule that applies to a successful social media strategy is to build relationships first, then promote your content later. [Tweet this line!]
This is my favorite source of traffic as the visitors I get from my YouTube videos are 54% less likely to bounce and stick around on the site for longer too. I’m guessing it’s because they’ve already seen some content from me and know what to expect when they visit the site.
Making YouTube videos does take some time and effort but it can pay off. One video I uploaded for one of my niche sites has over 1000 views and it only took me about 15 minuets to film and involved no promotion after uploading.
Do a bit of keyword research to find what people are searching for in your niche and make a short video to cover the topic. Sometimes videos don’t get many views but when they do it’s worth it.
Although this article isn’t about search traffic, having videos on your site will help with this department too (specially if the title of the video matches the title of the article on your site!)
To get any significant traffic from a guest post it needs to be on a medium to big site in your niche. This is why I personally think it’s only worth doing for bigger projects. Targeting a site you already follow is a great idea but if it’s one you’re not familiar with then it’s worth getting to know it so you can tailor your content to suit its readers.
The better the content, the more likely people will want to visit your site and find out more about you. The great thing about guest posting is that if your article doesn’t get accepted, you could always use it elsewhere.
Creating a specific landing page for people who click through to your site from a guest post is a great idea. As you know where the traffic’s coming from you could provide a personalized experience. For example you could send them to a welcome page saying something like “Hey there Blog X readers! Thanks for stopping by. Here are some articles that I know you’ll love!”
I’ve seen other bloggers use this tactic and I really appreciated the experience
Bonus – Solo Ads
This is something I haven’t actually tried yet but I know many other marketers have seen great results from it. Solo ads are basically promotions for your content that go out on other peoples email news letters. They can either be paid for or done on an exchange basis. I promote your content on my email list and you promote mine on yours.
This tactic should only be used on bigger projects and the traffic should be sent to some sort of opt-in page. The traffic you get from a solo ad is made up of people who already sign up to email lists so they’re more likely to opt-in to your email list if they like what they see!
Obviously if you decide to use a solo ad it needs to be on an email newsletter that’s relevant to your niche. The promotional message you send out should always be in the authors narrative. This is because the readers of that newsletter are used to hearing from the list owner so they would respond better to a recommendation from them than from you.
You should also ask the list owner how they build their email list to ensure it’s legit before you splash out on the solo ad. As I said, Im yet to use a solo ad but it’s something I’m researching as I plan to try one out soon. It would be amazing if you could let me know about any experiences you’ve had with solo ads!
So that wraps it up! I hope this reminds you that there isn’t only one way of being found online. I’m seeing some great opportunities in the world of online marketing so it’s time to adapt and grow!