60+ ways to increase website traffic for free (or very cheap)
Here are top 60+ ways to increase traffic to your website for free (or very cheap)
There is a famous 80/20 rule, which you can apply to anything. In the blogging world, a lot of people interpret this rule like this: spend 20% of your effort on creating content and 80% on amplifying it.
Don’t get me wrong – content is still king. But, if you just publish your blogs and do nothing about them on a site with low domain authority – nothing will happen. Also, there is a difference between amplification and outreach.
As I understand it – amplification means bringing immediate traffic to your site, while outreach is done to build backlinks and get more evergreen traffic at a later stage. I will go in detail about outreach techniques in my other blog. But, for now let’s focus, how to get some visitors on your site…
You can get this content as a free e-book as well.
Let’s start with most obvious ones…
Sharing on social media is the first thing most people do after publishing a blog. It’s easy and sometimes quite effective. But, if you don’t have large following, it won’t give your site a lot of traffic right away.
1. Post your blog post on Facebook
2. Post blog on twitter
3. Post blog on Linkedin
4. Post blog on Google +
5. Share on Pinterest
6. Create an instagram post, with #linkinbio
7. Create a youtube video overview of your blog with #linkindescription
8. Create a Snapchat story (with a link)
9. Create an Instagram story (with a link)
10. Share your blog in a relevant subreddit
11. Share on Mix.com (former Stumbleupon)
12. Share long form excerpt on Facebook or Linkedin (with link in comments)
Algorithms of social media networks are changing – they don’t want to let users of their platforms. Therefore, in a lot of cases you should focus on engagement first, instead of bringing traffic to your site. If you post only links to your blogs, your engagement rate (on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter) will go down really fast and therefore your posts will appear less frequently in the feed.
Schedule your content Instead of posting your blog on social only one time, you should reshare it many times. Especially, you should do it with your best performing blogs. You can do that in Hootsuite, Buffer, dlvr.it and many other tools.
13. Reshare your content
- Schedule post in Facebook
- Schedule post in Twitter
- Schedule in Linkedin
- Reshare in Instagram
- Smartloop in Pinterest
Social Media Groups
14. Post to social media groups
- Post to facebook groups
- Post to Linkedin groups
- Post to Google + groups
You can share e.g. to Facebook: 10 groups, Linkedin: 5 groups, Google+: 10 groups.
15. Share pins to pinterest group boards
16. Share pins to tribes (using Tailwind)
17. Create your own groups
Facebook, Linkedin (maybe some other groups) – are a perfect place to communicate with your audience, share some knowledge and get traffic to your site. For other site, I created this travel online marketing group and without any promotion it quite quickly acquired more than 70 members. Not bad!
Social media stories
18. Post paraphrased blog on Linkedin Pulse
19. Shorter version of blog on Medium
Other social media
20. Share on less known social media
21. Share to content curation sites.
22. Create a slideshow based on your blog and share on relevant sites
23. Create a related infographic and share on infographic sites
24. Send an email to your subscribers
Easiest option to start is Mailchimp – it’s free until you reach 2000 subscribers.
25. Send a push notification (using PushCrew or PushEngage)
Push notifications can be an amazing source of returning traffic to your site.
Influencer marketing is on fire right now, don’t miss this opportunity. Find top influencers in your niche and try to establish long-lasting relationships. You can use Buzzsumo, Buzzstream and other tools to identify top influencers. Influencers can be: personal bloggers, bigger publishers, magazines, sites, even other companies, etc.
26. Tweet top influencers and ask them to check out your blog.
27. Tag top influencers in Facebook post.
28. Tag influencers in Linkedin post.
29. Tag on Instagram
30. DM influencers on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc
31. Reach out not only to groups, but pages – on Facebook, Linkedin, etc.
32. Call them – with cooperation proposal.
Questions, Forums, Comments
33. Answer relevant questions on Quora.com
Always remember to provide some value first, before including a link to your blog. In Quora, try to put at least 2-3 paragraphs of a detailed answer and link to your article only after that. Link spamming doesn’t work anymore on Quora.
34. Answer relevant questions on other sites:
Search in Google: *topic* q&a or *topic* answers, etc.
35. Post on relevant forums in your niche (also reddit)
Forums with similar topics, search in Google: *topic* forums.
36. Submit comments to relevant blogs, include link to your blog
With comments and forums it is similar to Quora – link spamming doesn’t work anymore. You need to provide at least some value. In comments, try to relate to context.
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Voice is becoming more and more important. So why not create a podcast version of your blog?
37. Create a podcast of your blog
Just read your blog for a start – and share recording on relevant networks, maybe with a link.
Messengers & texts
Messaging bots are slowly taking off, so it’s a great opportunity to grow your following there.
38. Send Facebook Messenger updates
Collect facebook messenger subscribers and send blog updates (Chatbot).
39. Create a WhatsApp group
Create a WhatsApp and send blog updates. Here is a great guide by Sumo.
40. Create a Telegram group
And send blog updates.
41. Create a Viber group
And send updates.
42. Collect phone numbers and send texts
Gary Vaynerchuk does it with One37pm There are many other messenger apps with hundreds if millions of users, which you can try. They are different in each market.
43. Join guest groups
Of course, apart from collecting your own subscribers and creating own messenger groups, you can join dozens of guest groups and promote your blog there. Join any relevant Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack groups, participate in discussions, create connections and promote your blog as well.
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Maybe, SEO won’t bring you immediate traffic – like social media does. But, unlike social media, Google traffic is evergreen. It should be a key element of your blogging strategy. Search engine optimization is a massive separate topic, I’ve covered some main things in this SEO guide. To make it simple, three main elements of your SEO strategy should be – backlinks, content and tech SEO setup. If SEO is done correctly, Google can be the biggest source of traffic to your blog.
SEO outreach is one of the most valuable amplification techniques and what most people don’t do. It may not bring a lot of immediate traffic, but if you build high quality backlinks, your increasing Google traffic will being you thousands of sessions in long term.
44. Find top relevant sites in Google
Get a list of websites for specific query in Google. There are some tools which will help you with harvesting (Scrapebox), get their emails (Hunter.io, Buzzstream) and make an outreach campaign. You can create simple email like: Hey, I stumbled your great blog about … Great job! Recently, I created something similar: link to blog Would you mind checking it out and maybe, linking in your blog or sharing on social? Thanks! Your Name. Here is what I sent and what worked pretty well.
45. Get in touch relevant bloggers, publishers and influencers
In order to get a backlink and traffic from their site.
Find relevant influencers per blog post (Buzzstream, Buzzsumo) Reach out to them via email or social media, ask for mention or guest post opportunity.
Send them a message/tweet/email with offer to check out your blog, link exchange, etc. Remember to bring some value first. “We wrote this article after getting inspired by your work. We thought you had some great thoughts on it and we basically wrote the post after seeing it (link). Here’s a link to our post! Would you mind tweeting or even dropping a link on your blog?
With our exchanges – build relationships to the bloggers in our network.
Remember to build a spreadsheet with all relevant bloggers, influencers, etc. -First/last name, email, twitter handle, link to their website, personal blog
Content is king 🤴 But, you need to optimize it in certain way, so it’s more discoverable by Search engines.
46. Research topic ideas
Before writing any blog, first thing you should do – is a deep topic research. It’s a crucial thing for SEO, and most bloggers don’t do it. You should organize your content around specific topic clusters, which should be based on keyword phrases, buyer personas, share-ability in social media, etc. Don’t try to guess. Of course, you should test any topic ideas, but it’s better to check your gut feelings with SEO data – this way you will get more traffic to your blog. You can use some SEO tools for your research – e.g. Keywordtool.io, Ahrefs or Google Keyword Planner (free). For example, in Keywordtool, you can see top keywords/phrases around specific topic. In example below, I added seed phrase “search engine optimization” in Keywordtool.io.
47. Steal topic ideas from your competitors
In Ahrefs you can get topic ideas from your competitors, sort their content by shares or by search. It’s one of the most efficient ways to get great topic ideas. In image below, I got top shared blogs from Neilpatel.com.
48. Long form content
After you have an idea, what you want to write about – create long-form content. There are different independent studies, which prove, that longer content ranks better in Google. Here is an overview, how lengthy your content should be.
49. On-page SEO
Of course, you content should be original, detailed and interesting to your readers. Also, you need to organize it in a way, that’s easily recognizable by search engines. Or do on-page SEO. You should include keywords in: Post title Urls First paragraph of the copy H1, H2 tags Meta description tags Image tags Anchor text
Note: Google has become smart enough, so it’s ok to use synonyms, paraphrase your keywords, use related terms, etc. Don’t overstuff your keywords. Proper on-page SEO will significantly increase your traffic in middle-long term.
50. Tech SEO setup
In order to have high SEO results and increase your Google traffic, you need a proper tech setup. Focus on next things: Website navigation Loading speed Mobile experience Sitemaps Robots.txt Simple urls Redirects etc… For more detailed info on this, check my SEO guide.
There are certain content areas/topics, which can bring A LOT of traffic to your site and get thousands of shares.
51. Create a blog post (list) of top bloggers in your niche
For example, this topic: “Top viral travel blog posts or bloggers of 2018”. Then you do outreach to them, mention them on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. and get some attention. Something like: Hey, @influencer, you made it to our list of top travel bloggers! Congrats! Feel free to share or mention in your blog. This way, before asking for something (share or link), you provide some value to influencer. Therefore, success rate is much higher.
52. Create a list of top publishers, magazines, relevant to your niche
Do same as above.
53. Create a list of top companies in your niche
Do same as above.
54. Create your award
For all these blogs you can create an award – e.g. Top 50 travel bloggers – and then send this award to people/companies on the list. There is a nice chance that they will share it.
55. Powerful headlines
Making the right headline of your blog – seems easy – can be the whole separate 5000 word blog. You should think about it from SEO (include relevant keywords) and Social (make it shareable) angles. Here is a great Headline Analyzer by Co-schedule. And Buzzsumo analyzed 100 million headlines. In short: headlines should contain certain powerful, emotional words and phrases. Classic example is Buzzfeed headlines:
56. Viral blogs
Don’t just put some sh*t on the wall and hope it will get traction. Do your research before creating content. If you want to focus on SEO – find right keywords and phrases, on Social – research viral content type – Quizzes, Infographics, Lists, Guides, etc. Then, combine all this knowledge into one mega-powerful blog post. ————————————————
Well, you will say, obviously, you can buy paid traffic. Sometimes it can be quite expensive. Based on Ahrefs analytics, average price for 1 click from Google ads would be ~0.7$. So, for 100K visits per month, you will need to pay $70K in Google ads monthly – of course it varies based on the keyword difficulty. But, with settings you can get Facebook traffic as cheap as 0,06 per click. Here is a handy guide from Buffer.
57. Boost your best performing blogs on Facebook
58. Display ads, retargeting from Google (also can be cheaper with right configuration)
59. Get millions of clicks from Google ads by creating “pay for conversion ads”.
This one is more of a growth hack, put it simple, just create pay for conversion campaign in Google ads and then create really bad landing page, which doesn’t bring any conversions. You will receive a lot of hits to your site, which later you can retarget.
60. Buy upvotes for your reddit posts
If your post was accepted to a top subreddit with thousands of subscribers – you can “boost it a bit”. For $5 you can buy reddit upvotes on fiverr and get thousands of clicks to your blog. NOTE: you should try it on your own risk, as your reddit account can be banned.
61. Buy likes, comments for facebook posts
Also, for a very cheap price you can boost your engagement on facebook and get more traffic.
To sum it up
There are probably dozens and hundreds of other growth hacks and ways to increase your website traffic. But, in my experience, you need to focus. It’s ok to try 200 different traffic sources, but if you are a small blogger or company, it will be quite hard to keep it up. So, it’s just more rational to 1. test everything 2. figure what works for you 3. double down on that It’s much better to focus on 2-3 particular traffic sources/mediums/content types (where you are good at), than constantly switching between dozens of tactics. Some bloggers like SEO, others prefer Pinterest or Instagram, etc. Some people are better at text, others – at images or videos and some like podcasts.
Download this guide as a free ebook.
Here are top guides on how to boost traffic to your site:
- Top 30+ SEO metrics
- 20+ ways to build backlinks
- Top SEO mistakes
Back to you
Did I miss something? Feel free to put your suggestions, recommendations in comments below. What works best for you? I will constantly update this article.