That’s the inadvertent catch phrase these days.
Whether you are looking for best of the restaurants, bestselling fiction books, fancy stilettos, or exotic recipes, you just need to Google it.
Unsurprisingly, Google is no more a noun; it’s a verb these days.
And, interestingly, all these Googling has earned the search engine giant the reputation of being the *King of search engines.* Google dominates the search market share with 87.1 market share.
However, here’s the thing:
Google’s unstoppable popularity has prompted every small and big website out there to undertake SEO optimization with an eye toward drawing more traffic from Google.
Which means competition is huge. Every site out there is vying for Google’s attention to get to the top of SERP rankings. The fact is: Getting up there is no less than conquering Everest.
So, is there an alternate way to drive traffic?
Yes. You just need to diversify your traffic generation efforts.
In other words, there are tons of other tools and strategies that could help you draw traffic to your website, apart from Google.
Here I walk you through those 11 incredible tools and strategies which might help you drive relevant traffic to your website without Google’s assistance.
#1. Long-form is the Gold Standard
Agreed, long-form content is old-school.
But then, there’s this constant rant among marketers that content per se has reached a saturation point, much less long-form content; and, that making your posts stand out amongst a tsunami of posts flooding the online landscape is nearly impossible. So, it’s better to switch over to short-form post and things like that.
Here’s the kicker:
Crafting share-worthy, long-form posts on your company blog is an incredibly effective way to drive website traffic, says marketing guru Neil Patel.
I know, what you’re thinking now: Isn’t blogging or writing long-form content related to driving traffic from Google searches?
Technically speaking:Yes. Blogging drives traffic from SERPs. But then, blogging can do something more. More than driving traffic, long-form content attracts more social media shares and greater visibility for your company blog.
Nonetheless, your long form should offer something exceptional and unique that users find worth sharing. Regular stuff such as short tweets, status updates and pictures of your company and employees won’t be of much help.
Users really like sharing high-quality content that’s useful to other readers.
The bottom line: Write quality, long-form posts that offer value. It could somewhere around 1500 to 3000 words in length. Not to mention, your readers should be able to derive solutions to their problems after reading your post.
As per Orbit Media’s survey, longer posts attract stronger results.
Points to bear in mind while crafting longer posts:
● Offer useful and actionable stuff
● Reader-friendly with loads of images
● Add videos and graphics
● Include recent data that resonates with the topic
Here are the 2 case studies on how long-form content attracts more social media shares:
#1. Neil Patel’s analysis of 327 blog posts on QuickSprout showed that posts more than 1500 words averaged 293.5 tweets and 72.7 likes, whereas posts under 1500 words averaged 174.6 tweets and 59.3 likes.
#2. Old Wine in a New Bottle
As you roll-up-your-sleeves and get busy crafting long-form content, don’t forget to refurbish your company blogs as well.
Wondering how to do that? Simple. First, update your old posts. Secondly, upload it on SlideShare.
Yes, the best part about SlideShare is that it allows you to make killer presentations out of your old blogs. Plus, you could even breathe new life into your old e-books by creating new presentations out of them.
Owned by LinkedIn, SlideShare Presentations are akin to your regular Powerpoint presentations. Today the site is brimming over with 18 million slide presentations and infographics in 40 different categories. Needless to say, the site, today, attracts 80 million visitors.
In addition to slide presentations and infographics, SlideShare allows you to store information in PDF formats, in the form of OpenDocument presentations and so on. Additionally, you have the flexibility to make your presentations public or private.
A quick example of SlideShare’s incredible potential to pump new life into older content: Leadership blogger Michael Hyatt garnered 70,000 views with a nine-slide preview of his platform course he uploaded on SlideShare.
Despite SlideShare’s amazing potential to generate traffic via old content, only 19% of the B2B market is using it. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to make the most of it.
Points to bear in mind while uploading content on SlideShare
#1. The headline should be on the title slide.
#2. Subheadings should go in transition slides.
#3. Add more bullet points.
#4. Add website link to your slides.
#3. Post Content on Quora Every Single Day
Are you busy crafting long-form content for your blog? Cool. And, without fail, have you started promoting your posts on SlideShare as well. Cooler. Now, think of parallelly promoting your content on Quora as well.
With over 190 million monthly users, the Q & A platform is becoming a big deal these days.
You will find Ashton Kutcher, MIT professors and even Barack Obama answering questions on Quora.
The website deals in hundreds of thousands of topics for people to post questions and write answers. So, be assured, you are sure to find questions pertaining to your industry, too.
However, it’s recommended by Quora experts to nail down at least ten topics, given that it will give you wider options in terms of posting questions and answers.
While posting your answers regarding your industry, make sure to include your website URL or the relevant blog post URL in the copy. This would help you drive referral traffic from another site.
The more referral sources you attract to your site, in this manner, the steadier stream of traffic you’d be able to draw to your website.
These are the visitors who specifically visit your site because they wish to know more about what you say and sell. Be assured, that’s the best kind of traffic that you could generate.
Points to bear in mind while participating in Q&A’s in Quora
#1. Tell Stories. Tragic stories and stories of personal perseverance do really well on Quora.
#2. Use visuals. It will make your answers stand out.
#3. No 200-300 words thingy. Long and thoughtful posts with a dash of personalization could draw traction to your site.
#4. If you are from North America, post early in the day or late in the night. Why? It’s because Quora is primarily populated by users living in India.
#6. Pick trending topics. Simply put hot topics that have already got people’s attention.
#7. Go against the wind. If possible, say something that’s controversial at least in the introduction to draw people’s attention.
#8. Write every single day.
#4. Build Authority for your Site and yourself with Guest Blogging
Writing for your website is one thing, and writing for a high-authority site is another.
Publishing posts on popular blogs or websites tend to make people look up to you as an authority in your field, and more important, they would take interest in promoting your posts in various social media networks.
So, ensure that that you write quality stuff only, something that’s detailed, actionable and engaging; something that inspires them to click on your website link and show interest in your website offerings.
So, don’t take guest blogging for granted, any which ways. No low-quality posts. No shallow research. Editors can smell a bad post from 30 feet away.
And, also remember to establish a connection with high authority sites only, given that your website authority and reputation is at stake. The volume of guest posts should never be your agenda. It’s quality that should be accounted for, at any given point in time.
Points to bear in mind while guest posting
● Figure out the best sites in your niche
● Focus on trending and evergreen topics
● Write legendary stuff that provides immense value to the readers
#5. Popularize the “Write for Us” Feature of your Site
Undeniably, the ultimate goal of guest posting should be to draw quality traffic to your site. But then, you will have to agree with me, soliciting guest posts is a tedious and time-consuming process. You will have to spend a good many hours, preparing, pitching and presenting your topic ideas for guest posting opportunities.
Enter Guest Post Swapping.
For this, you need to seek out influencers in your niche, who are high-quality bloggers, to write for your site and also promote your “Write for us” page on social media sites to increase its visibility. In fact, in your guest posting guidelines, you could make it plain and clear that you are inviting high-quality bloggers only and you’d interested in swapping content with them only. That ways you will be behind the wheel.
Sure enough, this is going to take some time because a general shout-out to random bloggers on your website will be easy compared to identifying the best of the bloggers to swap content with.
To make things a little easier for you, you could take the help of content aggregator sites such as Alltop to find top bloggers in your niche. You could also use analytics tool such as Klout to find a specific guest blogger’s social media reach.
In case, if the guest bloggers are hesitant to write for your site, bring plan B to action. Request their collaboration for writing your own blogs.
Michael Pozdnev collaborated with 63 industry leaders and wrote this magnum opus post. The post has so far obtained more than 2,000 social media shares and comments till date.
#6. Get Influencers to do the Talking for you on their Social Networks
Agreed, requesting influencers to write for your blog could get shot down right away. But then, you could always request them to put in a positive word about your brand amongst their fan followers in their personal social media networks.
This is critical, because social media personalities influence consumer purchase decisions in a big way, especially the Gen Zers, a demographic group that’s too much into social media these days.
And going by social media’s influence on our day to day lives — globally, over 2 billion people are active on social media, of which, Facebook alone has 1.44 billion visitors — a word from your influencers, in their personal networks, is sure to give your brand a considerable leg-up.
The best part? With all these users accessing social media via mobile devices, it would be really easier for your influencers to touch base with your website audience, any time, during the day or night.
Points to bear in mind while designing your influencer strategy
#1. Find influencers who are contextual fits for your brand
#2. Figure out the influencer reach
#3. Influencer’s ability to cause action in the audience
#4. Most of the influencers run a blog as well. So as mentioned before, undertake blogger outreach programs.
#5.Target micro-influencers, if attracting influencers is becoming too much of a trouble for you.
#7. Leverage LinkedIn Publishing to Garner More Eyeballs
In addition to your own blog, and other high-authority blogs, you could even try posting content on Linkedin Publishing.
As it turns out, everybody is on Linkedin these days: the employers, the employees, more importantly, the HR folks. Yes, Linkedin is a great networking tool for professionals. But then, Linkedin’s publishing tool is equally good to drive more traffic to your website.
In fact, every influencer out there is making the most of this tool by coming with powerful posts on Linkedin feed. So, you could take a leaf out of their book and publish long-form posts on Linkedin too, to garner more eyeballs for your website.
But again, like elsewhere, there’s flood of content on Linkedin, too. And it would be really hard to get people to notice your content. So, once again you need to apply the same old-school logic of coming up with long-form, actionable content that makes an impact amongst the sea of content.
According to Paul Shapiro’s post on Okdork: 10 LinkedIn Publishing Tips: We Analyzed 3000 LinkedIn Blog Posts, posts between 1900 and 2000 words gain the most LinkedIn Views, LinkedIn likes, LinkedIn comments, and LinkedIn Shares.
The bottom line: If people like what they read, they are sure to come back to you for more. This will drive traffic to your website.
And, more than anything, publishing on LinkedIn is pretty intuitive and direct. Right at the top of your feed, you could post something to your newsfeed or, you could choose to write an article.
Points to bear in mind while crafting longer posts for LinkedIn Publishing tool:
● Craft long-form content – 1900 to 2000 words
● The post titles should be 40 and 49 characters long
● Add at least 1 image. 8 images if you are looking for more shares, likes, comments, and views
● Avoid videos and other multimedia assets
● Use how to and list-style headlines
● Avoid question posts
● Keep your copy tone neutral. Use AlchemyAPI to check the tone of your copy.
● Keep the copy simple. An 11-year-old should be able to read your content.
● Add a call to action requesting people to click the thumbs up and like the post. It will gain you more views and shares.
● Publish every Thursday
#8. Post on Facebook Once or Twice a day
Surrounded by controversies and with its organic reach going for a toss, Facebook is trying to save its face these days. But the fact is, Facebook still has 1.8 billion monthly users in its pocket, in addition to 1.2 billion on Messenger, and 700 million on Instagram.
That’s some number. Isn’t it?
So, it goes without saying, no matter what, your business should be on Facebook. You could promote your blog, e-book, product pages and so on, with a link to your website. So, whenever anyone clicks on the link, he or she gets directed to your site.
However, avoid posting often on Facebook. Users are already sharing 1 million links on Facebook every 20 minutes. So, your link might just add to the clutter.
So, what is the ideal rate to post on Facebook?
Buffer tested its Facebook Posting Strategy by posting 25-40 posts every week.
Their logic: One post may account for nothing in terms of organic reach; however, posting more and more might increase the total reach.
However, things did work in their favor. In July and August 2016, when they were sharing 4 posts every single day, their organic reach took a severe beating.
The result: Their reach dramatically increased from 44,000 people in 2016 to over 150,000 people recently. Engagement rates also started skyrocketing. For more info on Facebook posting strategies and other traffic-driving tips and tricks, you could get in touch with top digital marketing companies, globally.
Points to bear in mind while posting content on Facebook
#1. Post 1-2 posts every day. And see that only the best of the post gets published
#2. Leverage News Feed Targeting to narrow down your target audience.
#3. Use remarketing to drive traffic.
#4. Marry Facebook Ads with Emails to attract repeat visitors.
#9. Posts Relevant Stuff on Reddit
If anything, posting content on Facebook and Instagram is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site, but then, it should not be done at the expense of Reddit.
Though this social network may seem intimidating and all, the fact is, Reddit is the #4 most visited site in the U.S. and #6 in the world.
Further, Reddit attracts about 542 million visitors every month. So, if you are serious about your online business, you need to seriously focus on Reddit.
To get started, first identify a relevant niche or subreddit with a decent number of subscribers (thousands) and traffic. Let’s say, you are running a beauty blog, then *Makeup* subreddit could be the right place to post your content. Likewise, Sports brands can look for Subreddits such as GYM wear and businesses can target *Business* Subreddits and so on and so forth. Got the drift?
Use the search bar on the right-hand corner of Reddit’s site to find topics relevant to your niche.
The next thing, you need to do is to create useful content that’s in sync with the Subreddit. This will ensure that at least a small percentage of Reddit users reads your content, and follows the link to your site, and plus focuses on buying products and services from your site.
To find out how many people are currently active on a subreddit, check the right-hand side of the Reddit browser.
Points to bear in mind while posting on Reddit
● Find relevant subreddits before posting relevant content.
● Post several times to increase your score.
● Low-quality posts are downvoted, which could affect your scores.
● Offer advice columns, not advertisements.
● Posts should be in sync with the trending topics.
● Community participation is a given, so leave comments.
● Links to your site is allowed, but don’t overdo it.
#10. Tap into Twitter Chats to Step up Traffic
Even chats could prove to a source of traffic generators for your site. Just Google “Twitter chats” and you will come across several relevant chats. Find those Twitter chats that fit your bill and participate in them.
The chat #ContentChat meets on Mondays at 3pm EST.
Our #contentstrategy deep-dive #ContentChat sessions continue next week with @SuperDeluxeMo joining us for How to Research + Document Personas.
See you there!— #ContentChat
Generally, users ask questions one at a time on Twitter chats. And, visitors usually end up answering each and every question.
Of course, you could add your 2 cents as well to these chats, aside from picking up relevant tips. However, to add your own tweets, you need to use free tools such as TweetChat and Twubs. These Twitter tools help organize chats by slowing down the feed, and more importantly, add hashtags to your reply, which users often tend to miss out on when they are in the heat of things. Those ways inclusion of hashtags in your tweets will ensure that your tweets stay and users could find it in their chat stream.
That ways if people find your Tweet interesting, they are sure to check out your profile and website. So, without fail, add the website URL in the profile, so that users could easily navigate to your site.
#11. Take advantage of Personalized Emails
It’s almost a cliche now. That for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return-on-investment is $40.56. However, to make your emails count, businesses need to ensure they are not sending any random, mundane emails, but personalized ones. For the uninitiated, personalized emails propel click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.
The other important thing to remember here is that your personalized emails should be actionable enough. Which means it should lead visitors to a specific landing page of your website, or you could invite them to take a look at some offers on your site.
Points to bear in mind while sending personalized emails:
#1. Think of creating special landing pages for special email campaigns
#2. Only send emails to your subscribers
#3. Organize your email contacts based on user interest level. This will help speed up your email campaign process.
#4. Increase the reach of your emails through Social Media
All of these actions will help build traffic to your site. Sure, Google has got the best traffic driving mechanisms in place. However, with Google changing its algorithm time and again, one cannot simply focus on ad words.
Diversifying traffic generation efforts is the best alternative available. However, working on it for a couple of months won’t give you the desired results. You need to keep going at it for months together, or sometimes years, for the difference in traffic to show.
Do you know of any other way(s) to generate traffic without Google’s assistance?