Content may rule the internet, but it’s by no means the only traffic driver out there. Let’s take a break from the “king,” get back to the basics and dig into tried-and-true ways to bump up your website’s visitor count.

The classic: search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) drives organic traffic to your site and makes every other traffic-boosting tactic in your arsenal more effective.

Use an SEO analysis tool to check for issues that hinder a search engine’s ability to understand your site. There are lots of options out there, from the Yoast SEO plugin to QuickSprout to the endless array of tools offered by Moz.

Bulk up incoming links. Content marketing helps here, but networking is also a factor. Develop relationships with influencers and noncompetitive businesses in your niche, fellow entrepreneurs and your clients, encouraging them to link to your site.

The go-to: pay-per-click ads

Search engine pay-per-click ads target people typing the broad and longtail keywords you select for your campaign into their search bars.

Don’t stick to one search engine. Google AdWords and Bing Ads are similar, but one doesn’t replace the other. Operating only on Google AdWords cuts out all Bing users, and vice versa. While Google is still the biggest search engine, Bing is used by 20% of U.S. desktop searchers and 7% of all searchers; and, Bing Ads also display in Yahoo and AOL searches.

Focus on longtail keywords. Broad keywords not only cost you more, but people searching for longtail keywords tend to be more decisive, and closer to making a purchase decision, than those searching for generic terms. So, instead of spending loads of money on an ad targeting people searching for “bracelets,” spend significantly less per click, and get more traction, with a longtail keyword such as “rose gold bangle.”

The oft-overlooked: paid display ads

Display ads may not have the impact of search engine ads, but they are fantastic at bumping up brand awareness all while providing moderate increases in site traffic. Google’s Display Network, the Bing Network and ad brokerage sites streamline the process and give you the opportunity to place ads on high-traffic, popular websites.

Focus on mobile display ads rather than desktop. People are more likely to notice an ad on a small screen, and adblockers are less used and less available on mobile devices than they are in classic browsers.

Don’t overlook contacting site owners directly. Smaller businesses often benefit from personally reaching out to bloggers and influencers when starting with display ads instead of going through a network or broker. Bloggers and influencers hold ad sales a few times per year, lowering costs, and you’re often able to negotiate placement, size and price.

The workhorse: email marketing

A robust email marketing plan includes content marketing, but don’t forget to send out special offers, keep in touch with customers regarding new launches and target visitors based on their activity on your site.

Use an email marketing platform, like MailChimp or Constant Contact, to draw people to your site with automatic campaigns that send emails when a visitor: signs up for your email list, abandons their cart, hasn’t made a purchase in a while or has a birthday coming up.

Watch your email frequency. The subject line of every email, body message and offer you include (if applicable) all factor heavily into the success of your campaign. But, how frequently you email the people on your list is also important—too many emails could convince even your most loyal customer to click the unsubscribe link.

The quick change: business directories

Simple and painless, getting listed on directories and review sites improves SEO and creates a cohesive online presence.

Stick to big-name directories, like those created by search engines to show local results, and review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List and similar sites. Services like Site Booster make getting listed on all of the reputable directories and review sites a breeze.

Regularly conduct backlink audits to make sure that a spam directory hasn’t snagged your information and posted it to their site. Bad backlinks hurt your reputation and your standing with search engines.

The bonus: check out these exclusive posts

Are you ready to see short- and long-term increases in website traffic? Use the above tips in conjunction with content marketing and social media advertising all while keeping your website fresh and optimized for conversion.

Social media advertising

Marketing and selling on the world’s largest social media platform

Dive into the conversation: a guide to marketing, networking and cultivating relationships on Twitter

The ultimate guide to selling and marketing to 70 million Pinterest users

A comprehensive guide to marketing and selling on Instagram

Content marketing

The basics: developing a content marketing strategy

7 simple tips for increasing blog traffic

The ultimate guide to promoting your best content

Recycle, repurpose, repromote: getting the most out of your existing content

Video is taking marketing by storm—here’s how to get started

Go viral with StumbleUpon

Website maintenance and optimization

First impressions matter: refreshing and maintaining your website

Conversion rates, goals and testing: making your website work for you


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