Tomas Laurinavicius

Staff Writer

The question of how to increase website traffic never gets old.

Blogger, business owner, or seasoned digital marketing pro — you will be always chasing down new untapped traffic sources and trying out new traffic strategies.

Rightfully so since search engines and social media networks constantly change their algorithms.

So how to drive traffic in 2021? What’s working and what’s not? You’ll get answers to the questions and more from this post!

Table of Contents:


1. Content Marketing
2. SEO
3. Advertising
4. Email Marketing
5. Social Media
6. Influencer Marketing
7. Online Communities
8. Best Free Tools
9. FAQs


How To Increase Website Traffic With Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing different types of content to reach a wider audience.

In essence, every marketing tactic that a) has to do something with content (written, visual, audio, or video) or b) isn’t outbound marketing can be characterized as content marketing.

Sounds a bit overwhelming?

Well, let’s break things down into clearer steps.

1. Create Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is a comprehensive planner, covering all your publishing activities across different content distribution channels — your website, blog, social media, and third-party resources.

The goal of an editorial calendar is to provide a single-pane view of all your activities and keep track of progress.

Content calendar by CoSchedule
A sample content calendar by CoSchedule, featuring all social media updates.

2. Establish Content Writing Guidelines

Content writing guidelines help standardize the quality of content you produce. Developed as part of a website style guide, they detail:

  • Content formatting requirements
  • The preferred tone of voice
  • Content lengths
  • Image use
  • Fact-checking and citing requirements
  • Internal and external linking
  • Editorial workflow
  • SEO requirements

Here’s an example of content writing guidelines we use at WebsiteSetup to produce exceptional content:

3. Document and Streamline Process

The goal of an editorial calendar and content writing guidelines is to help you standardize the content creation process. So that each writer you work with understood your expectations and produced new pieces in line with all the requirements.

These two assets set a baseline system for a documented content marketing process — a systemized and repeatable workflow for producing, editing, publishing, and distributing content.

Try these content marketing templates to get organized:

Content marketing workflow
A sample content marketing workflow, created in Asana.

4. Create Educational Content and Tutorials

Once you set a formal system for managing the content flow and quality, it’s time to get to writing. Determine which types of content you’d want to produce based on your target audience preferences, niche, and competition.

Some of the popular types of marketing content include:

  • Blog posts
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Case studies
  • Social media posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Influencer content
  • User-generated content

To increase website traffic, we primarily rely on long-form blog posts, educational guides, and tutorials:

How to start a blog guide
Our how to start a blog tutorial.

5. Gather Data and Publish Reports

Getting traffic to a new website can be hard. Especially, when you don’t yet have a big copywriting content to churn new pieces daily.

So focus on quality over quantity in your early days. Go on a deep Internet dive and collect some interesting industry data, then pack it into a comprehensive report and publish it on your website.

Investing in one data-driven report pays off in many ways:

  • Evergreen content: A detailed report will stay relevant for the long term and drive a consistent stream of traffic over time from different sources.
  • SEO benefits: Search engines prefer authoritative content. By creating a well-researched piece, you send Google a strong signal for rankings.
  • Content repurposing: Long-form content can be repurposed for sharing across different channels — social media, email marketing, guest blogging, etc. And such pieces can be adapted to other formats — audio, video, or visual content.
The state of content marketing report
The State of Content Marketing 2020 Report by Semrush is a great example of data-driven content.

6. Start a Podcast

Last year, over 100 million Americans listened to at least one podcast per month. That’s a lot of ears that can also be converted to website clicks.

Podcast monthly listening statistics
Source: Edison Research.

The growing popularity of podcasting makes it an excellent tool for traffic generation. You can add links to the relevant content you’ve mentioned in the podcast description, plus advertise your website name using voice to increase awareness around it.

7. Start a YouTube Channel

YouTube also grows bigger year over year. In 2020, people watched over one billion video hours daily on the platform.

By starting a YouTube channel, you can tap into that massive viewing habit and direct some of the views to your website.

Backlinko YouTube channel

For example, Brian Dean from Backlinko runs a popular blog and a complimentary YouTube channel that he uses to promote his content offerings (guides, online courses, and other website assets).

8. Repurpose Content

Great blog posts have a long shelf-life. A data-backed post, published on your website can be later repurposed into:

  • A series of social media posts
  • Downloadable charts, graphics, PDFs
  • The audio version shared on third-party platforms
  • Narrated or screencast video
  • Email marketing sequence
  • Syndicated content for guest posting

9. Write Guest Posts and Press Releases

To reach a wider audience and drive referral traffic back to your website, you should also do blogging on other websites.

The easiest way to find guest posting opportunities is to use in-url:writer-for-us + [niche] or inurl:/guest-post/ + [niche] query on Google.

Both can help you find websites that accept guest submissions. Or look at some popular media publishers in your niche and see if they are expecting pitches/opinion pieces from authors.

HARO

Alternatively, you can go after media opportunities using HARO — a free service connecting journalists with sources. Join HARO to pitch your press releases or story quotes to the media people, working on a story around your niche.

10. Create a Linkable Asset

A linkable asset is an in-depth piece of content, strategically optimized to drive backlinks. For example:

  • An industry report or outlook
  • Statistics round-up
  • In-depth case study or tutorial
  • Original research
  • Storytelling based around unique data
  • Interview series
  • Free online tools

In essence, a linkable asset is any unique piece of content that shares a bunch of valuable insights others may want to reference in their writing.

HubSpot free website grader tool

HubSpot, for instance, offers a free website grader tool that anyone can use. Since it’s pretty awesome, a lot of people naturally link back to it from their blogs and promote it on social media.

How To Increase Website Traffic Using SEO

If you are wondering how to increase website traffic organically, SEO (search engine optimization) is your best bet.

Here’s how to get started with SEO in 2021.

1. Perform Technical Audit

A technical audit is the first step to creating an on-page SEO strategy for your website. The purpose of your audit is to find gaps in your website’s performance and structure.

Semrush site audit tool

Helpful tools for technical SEO audits:

2. Technical Improvements

SEO audit tools help you locate areas of improvement for your website in terms of page loading speed, website usability, navigation, and coding.

Page speed insights test
Improvements suggestions and helpful resources, provided by PageSpeed Insights tool.

Make all the recommended fixes to win some bonus points from Google.

3. Use Keyword Research

Keyword research helps you determine which search terms your audience uses to find information and develop content around them.

When analyzing keywords, pay attention to monthly search volumes and competition numbers. You need to find low competition/high search volume keywords and incorporate them into your content. Doing so is the best way to rank a new website.

Useful keyword research tools:

Ahrefs keyword research tool
This is a super hard keyword, according to Ahrefs. Not worth going after for a new website.

4. Align Content to Match the Search Intent

People hit up the web with a specific purpose in mind: to find informational, commercial, transactional, or navigational content.

  • Informational search intent: “how to get something done”
  • Commercial search intent: “product type X”
  • Transactional search intent: “flights from X to Y”
  • Navigational search intent: “access website X”

To rank well, your content has to match the user’s intent and help them act on their objective.

Google search results for Walmart support number
When using this query, the person clearly wants to get the phone number, not purchase goods from Walmart.

5. Use Internal Links

Internal links serve several purposes:

  • Improve on-site navigation and content discoverability
  • Boost time one site and pages per visit metrics
  • Indicate semantic connection between topics
WebsiteSetup internal links
Here’s how we organize helpful links in one of our blog posts.

Thus adding internal hyperlinks to other relevant content of your website is an SEO must-do for more organic traffic.

6. Use Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords better describe user intent. When using such multi-word queries users have a clear agenda in mind. Once they find a good resource that provides the answer, they are likely to stick for longer.

One blog post can rank for a range of low volume, less competitive long-tail keywords, that together bring more search traffic than a top-3 ranking for a more competitive keyword.

You can find long-tail keywords with LSI Graph for free:

LSI Graph

7. Optimize for Rich Snippets

Google Rich Snippets sit atop all other searches and attract a ton of clicks.

Featured snippet example

To rank for them, you look into question-styled queries and provide a good answer to them.

8. Answer Questions People Also Ask

Apart from using tools for keyword research, you should also analyze SERPs for different queries. In particular, look at the “People Also Ask” box to find more long-tail keywords and shape your content strategy around them.

Google people also ask
Plenty of good questions you could answer on your blog to increase your traffic.

How To Increase Website Traffic Through Advertising

Here’s how to increase website traffic fast: buy ads.

When configured properly, pay-per-click (PPC) ads bring in a stream of relevant traffic for a low cost.

1. Facebook Ads

Register a business account on Facebook Ad manager to promote your website to the platform’s audiences. You can start with just $5/day and run different types of ads such as:

  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Retargeting ads
  • Lead Generation Ads
  • and more!

2. Instagrams Ads

Instagram lets you run ads in Stories, in the users’ newsfeed, and on the Explore page. Amazing visuals are the key to a winning Instagram ad.

Instagram ad platform

So use them to promote your products, rather than just content.

3. Pinterest Ads

Pinterest is a great place to promote both your products and platform. If your target audience is primarily women, you can’t find a better place to advertise.

The supported ad formats include:

  • Sponsored image and video pins
  • Carousel pins and ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Collection pins and ads
  • Sponsored story pins

Pinterest for business

4. Google Ads

For those wondering how to increase website traffic and sales, Google Ads are the universal answer.

The platform has the most comprehensive range of ad tools, targeting, and analytics capabilities. Plus, Google lets you run a range of cross-channel ad campaigns from a single interface:

  • Search campaigns
  • Video campaigns
  • Shopping campaigns
  • Display campaigns
  • App promo campaigns

5. Twitter Ads

Twitter ads are a cost-effective way to promote your latest posts to more people. You can purchase sponsored tweets, videos, or conversation cards to distribute your content to a specified audience and monitor all clicks/interactions.

Twitter video ad example

6. Reddit Ads

Reddit is dubbed as the front-page of the Internet since this community gave a head-start to a lot of popular memes, pop culture trends, and even companies.

Reddit advertising

But the local crowd has a low tolerance for blatant self-promotion. Reddit ads are a good alternative to building a presence on this platform.

How To Increase Website Traffic With Email Marketing

Email is a channel where you can have a private conversation with your website visitors. Unlike public channels, with email, you have full control over the reader’s attention. And this makes email super valuable ROI-wise.

1. Start a Newsletter

A website newsletter is the first step to building and growing your website list.

The New York Times newsletters
The New York Times curates different newsletters for their readers.

Add an on-site email form on your website, collect emails from your readers, and send them updates whenever you are publishing new content (or less frequently).

2. Create a Welcome Sequence

A newsletter welcome sequence is a quick way of introducing your readers to your brand, plus showcasing some of the best content on your website.

A typical welcome sequence includes:

  • Subscription confirmation email
  • Introductory email
  • Personalized follow-ups
KonMari newsletter confirmation email
KonMari newsletter confirmation email encourages the reader to explore more content.

3. Design Content Upgrades

Content upgrades are complementary ‘add-ons’ to your on-site content that you give away in exchange for a user’s email. It’s a highly effective way to grow your email list.

HubSpot ultimate guide to creating a sales plan
HubSpot pitches a free sales plan template in their blog post about sales plan creation.

4. Create an Email Referral Program

Reward your readers for spreading the good word on your behalf.  With an email referral program, you can tap into the collective promotional power of your audience to increase newsletter sign-ups, and then — website traffic.

Morning Brew referral program
Morning Brew used a referral program to build a 1.5 million subscriber base.

5. Personalize and Automate

Effective email marketing is all about personalization. You need to strategically segment your audiences and create automated email sequences for them around their interests/needs if you want to maintain a steady stream of traffic.

The following email marketing platforms can help do that:

ConvertKit email personalization

How To Increase Website Traffic Through Social Media Marketing

You can run ads on social media platforms or you can promote your high-quality content for free to an organic follower base you’ve built.

1. How To Increase Website Traffic Through Facebook

The best way to increase website traffic with Facebook is to start a Facebook community in your niche and curate relevant content from your blog.

Also, you can:

  • Post updates on your Facebook business page
  • Share links in Stories
  • Publish announcements on your personal profile

2. How To Increase Website Traffic Through Twitter

Twitter threads offer the best opportunities to generate traffic. Break your big post into tweetable advice and share it on your profile with a link in the last tweet:

Twitter thread example
Kaleigh Moore teases a quick post summary before dropping the link to her blog.

3. How To Increase Website Traffic Using Pinterest

To use Pinterest for traffic, great visuals are key. Make sure that every blog post you publish comes with a high-quality Pinterest image.

Pinch of yum chocolate cookie recipe
Pinch of Yum includes a CTA to blog image headers for encouraging pins.

Then pin it to your personal boards and re-share it to relevant group boards.

4. How To Increase Website Traffic Through Instagram

Instagram doesn’t offer many linking opportunities. So you need to be strategic:

  • On your profile: Use a social media reference landing page builder to include a collection of links.
  • On stories: You can share swipe-up links to your website once you reach 10K followers or convert to an Instagram Business account.

Linktree

5. How To Increase Website Traffic Through LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to be for promoting B2B content. To connect with other professionals you can:

  • Publish status updates (with links, tests, and videos)
  • Share relevant content in LinkedIn groups
  • Publish thought leadership articles

All of the above help you build your brand, plus drive traffic back to your website.

Neil Patel activity on LinkedIn

6. How To Increase Website Traffic Through Reddit

To get a shot at earning traffic from Reddit, you first need to build your account karma by contributing to community discussions.

Entrepreneur subreddit
The sidebar on the left explains requirements for sharing content on /r/Entrepreneur.

Follow Redditiquette correctly and do not try to sneak in promo content unless it’s allowed by the subreddit rules.

7. Organize Contests and Giveaways

Everyone loves a freebie, especially on social media. To grow your following and drive brand awareness host a simple content or giveaway for your audience.

For example, you can:

  • Ask to tag X friends
  • Request to re-share post X times
  • Prompt to use your branded hashtag
  • Create & publish submissions and @you

Glow recipe giveaway

How To Increase Website Traffic With Influencer Marketing

By 2022, over $15 billion will be allocated towards influencer marketing. Why? Because influencer marketing campaigns have proven to driven significant ROI both in terms of brand awareness, traffic, and sales.

If you want to jump on this bandwagon, here’s where to begin:

1. Send Free Samples To Influencers

In influencer marketing, the standard rules of PR apply.

If you want to get some buzz, create a mailing list of influencers and share free product samples or free access to services with them. Most will likely share their experience with their followers for free.

PewDiePie Instagram post
A sponsored post on PewDiePie Instagram account with ad disclosure.

Alternatively, you can pay for a sponsored product placement or mention. But this will require a bit more courting.

2. Reach Out To Bloggers and Press (Outreach)

If you don’t want to give away products or broker advertising deals, you can try organic outreach.

Create a database of people who regularly write about your niche (journalists, bloggers, other businesses) and start building a relationship with them.

Twitter thread
A great opportunity for email marketing experts to pitch in their thoughts and get some free publicity.

Twitter is a particularly great network to pitch ideas to publishers or discover quote requests.

3. Write a Blog Post Featuring Influencers and Their Advice (Expert Roundups)

Once you have nurtured a couple of good connections, ask them to contribute to your blog. Set a theme, pose a question, and collect answers from your expert panel. Then format all the replies into an expert round-up post.

Ask all the participants to share it on social networks:

Niche hacks affiliate marketing expert round up
An expert round-up post by Niche Hacks that generated over 40K views.

How To Increase Website Traffic Using Online Communities

Communities foster a “network effect”. A post gets shared in one place, then picked up and re-read by others, reaching more and more eyeballs with each new vote or share.

So if you want to create viral content, you need to become active in different online communities:

Growth hackers

List of Online Communities You Can Use for Promotion

Apart from Facebook & LinkedIn groups, and sub-Reddits, you can also promote your content in these niche communities:

  1. Discord
  2. Hacker News
  3. StackExchange
  4. Quora
  5. Public Slack groups
  6. Growth Hackers
  7. Zest.is marketing community
  8. Moz community
  9. Marketing Profs community
  10. Designer News

6 Best Free Tools To Increase Website Traffic

As you’ve read so far, there’s a lot of different methods for driving traffic. But to see those numbers growing month-over-month, consistency is the key.

The following free tools can help you refine your website promotion strategy, identity new marketing targets, and monitor the results.

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo helps you discover the most-shared and high-performing content around different subjects.

Use it to:

  • Discover trending blog post ideas
  • Determine click-inducing headline and content formulas
  • Measure social media shares of your posts (and those of your competition)
  • Find influencers in your niche to collaborate with

2. Alexa

Alexa

Alexa offers a set of paid and free tools for analyzing website performance and growth opportunities.

Use the free website statistics tool to analyze competing websites:

  • Find new keywords
  • Discover websites with similar audiences
  • Review popular articles and average engagement per post

You can also use this tool to analyze your website performance and locate keyword gaps and missed ranking opportunities.

3. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb

Online marketers use SimilarWeb to analyze the web traffic statistics of other websites. So that they could determine if it’s a good platform for guest blogging.

You can also analyze the competitors’:

  • Website referral and organic traffic sources
  • Best performing web pages
  • Demographics distribution by location/interests

4. GTmetrix

GTmetrix

GTmetrix analyzes your website speed and other technical characteristics that influence on-site user experience, and subsequently rankings in search results.

Use it to identify:

  • Slow-loading website pages
  • Bloated code
  • Redundant plugins
  • Other tech issues affecting your website

5. Google Trends

Google Trends

Using Google Trends you can discover trending subjects across regions, drill down to highly specific keywords, and use them to inform your content strategy.

It’s a great tool for:

  • Finding untapped long-tail keyword ideas
  • Developing timely and trending content for outreach
  • Exploring changes in consumer behaviors

6. Screaming FrogScreaming Frog SEO

Screaming Frog is the best software for SEO crawls. The tool analyzes your website from the perspective of a search engine crawler and draws your attention to on-page issues such as:

  • Broken internal and external links
  • Missing page titles and meta descriptions
  • Duplicate content
  • Improper redirects
  • Issues with JavaScript code
  • and more!

Frequently Asked Questions About Increasing Website Traffic

How can direct traffic be increased?

To increase direct traffic, you need to boost brand awareness. Focus on improving brand your business name and domain name recall and top-of-mind awareness using paid advertising campaign and sponsorships. Once people get to know your brand name, they’ll head straight to your website and your direct traffic will increase.

Which types of websites get more traffic?

The short answer — SEO-friendly websites get the most traffic. Such website types are characterized by fast page loading speed, effective navigation, clean codebase, proper URL structure, unique & engaging content among other things.

How do I promote my new website?

You have plenty of ways to promote a new website — content marketing, guest blogging, SEO, social media marketing, influencer marketing, pay-per-click ads, sponsored content placements, and more! Focus on 2-3 promotional channels to get the best results.

How do I check traffic to a website?

To check traffic to your website, go to your Google Analytics account (or set up one if you don’t have it). To find how much traffic other websites are getting, use tools for competition analysis such as Ahrefs, Alexa, or SimilarWeb.

How can I increase my website traffic without SEO?

While SEO is a key to generating long-lasting traffic, you can focus instead on growing your referral traffic from social networks, online communities, email campaigns, guest blogging, or advertising campaigns.

How long does it take for a new website to get traffic?

It depends on the type of traffic. You can get the first visitors in one day from social media or other referral channels. Direct and organic website traffic will take longer to build up. If you invest in SEO, expect to see significant traffic bumps in 3-6 months after the campaign started.

What is the average traffic for a website?

This depends on the website type and niche. For example, over 50% of local small business websites receive less than 500 visitors per month. On the other hand, large-scale eCommerce websites such as Amazon, Walmart, or Rakuten receive over 100-200 million unique monthly visitors.