There are more than 1.6 billion registered websites on the internet. That makes it more difficult than ever to gain traction organically. To compete for customers and visitors, we’re spending more money than ever on online advertising, through platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads. In fact, in 2019, eMarketer.com estimates that total online ad-spend will pass $330 billion USD, making up more than 50% of total media ad spending, and the same report estimates a total online ad spend of more than $515 billion USD by 2023. That raises the question: Can we still drive traffic without spending hundreds of dollars on ads?
The answer is yes. Definitely. Many businesses are using website building platforms such as Wix.com, which provides highly limited resources to help gain organic traffic. They all talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and suggest the same tools and tactics used by pretty much every average quality website out there. Those are, for example, including search terms in the headings, metadata, and URL, as well as offering a website map for search engines. Sure, you need to do those things too, but they’re not very effective.
Here are some suggestions on how you can drive organic traffic to your website:
Search Engine Optimization
- Use Google Search Console to monitor your Google traffic.
- Start a blog on a separate platform and write articles that link to your website.
- Ask friends, family, and acquaintances that have a blog to write an article linking to your website.
- Become a contributor on news media platforms, and link to your website.
- Instead of having your website contain solely marketing content, make sure to include content that users might be searching for, that is relevant to your website, product, or service.
- User experience is important. Make it easy to navigate between pages.
- Make sure your website is responsive, optimized for all screen sizes (incl. mobile).
- Avoid dead links!
Note that links from other websites are crucial because they indicate that your website’s content is relevant to a large volume of users.
- Set up your social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Make sure to include links to your website.
- Post photos with a link to your website in the post’s description and on the photo itself. Make sure to use a small font size in the photo. Facebook and Instagram doesn’t prioritize photos that consist mostly of text.
- Make other pages/profiles link to yours, and to your website.
- Consider partnering with other businesses and ‘advertise’ each other.
- If you’re running a local business, make sure to include your address and opening hours on your profile.
- Claim your Google and Yelp business pages and manage their content. Make sure to include your website’s URL.
- Share specific posts or pages from your website that might be interesting to your user/customer base.
Marketing materials and documents
- Include your website’s address on business cards, banners, signs, and in brochures.
- Add your website’s address to your company’s letterhead.
- Include your website in your email signature.
- Share coupons that can be accessed or redeemed on your website.
- Attend events where you talk about your website or business and share your business card.
- Set up email newsletters that link to your website and its articles.
- Write your 8-second elevator pitch and tell people you meet about your website.
- Attend conferences and fairs.
As you can see, there are many tactics that you can include in your marketing strategy. Reality is that while most of these aren’t that difficult, many businesses out there just find it easier to pay for their traffic. The thing is, however, that when you gain organic traffic, that’s when your website will truly stand out in search engines and elsewhere. Good luck!