For many webmasters, the Google Penguin update really drove home the need to focus on gaining traffic on sources outside of Google search. Just like any business, you want your website’s traffic source to be diversified and not be so fully dependent upon one source.
For websites that rely almost entirely on search engines for traffic, Google can account for more than 80% of visitors, making a rankings drop devastating. This is especially true when that primary source for traffic Google, has their own business agenda, and likely has no regard for how their algorithmic changes affect your business.
There are many major websites where less than 1/3 of their traffic comes from Google. This really should be the goal of all websites. To help webmasters branch out, we provide our list of the top 5 ways to get traffic outside of Google:
#1. Build Your Online Network. Computers used to be thought of as a bastion for socially awkward people. This has really changed in recent years with the rise of social networks and mobile Internet devices. In addition to social networks, meeting people at live events, being active in forum websites and providing quality comments and engagement on commenting on blogs relevant to your website’s niche can be a great way to network, build community and your brand.
#2. Social Media Sites. This ties in closely with building your brand and your network but social networks provide a great platform for disseminating content and having it shared.
In addition to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, webmasters should also focus on social community sites such as Reddit, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, and YouTube. These sites can also send a lot of traffic to a site, especially if you are an established and well-known user putting out high quality content.
#3. Provide a Great Design and User Experience. Traffic to your website is only good if you can convert it in a meaningful way. Having a visually impressive design and functionality can help build your credibility, trust, and keep visitors on your site longer.
#4. Emphasize Email Signup and RSS Subscription. Even if you do not sell them a product or service the first time out, you want to retain visitors and make it easy for them to come back to your site. That is why you want to have a visually interesting email signup form and make it easy for people to sign up your RSS feed. Repeat visitors can help your traffic base, spread the word about your products and services, and also become future customers.
#5. Create Link Worthy and Shareable Content. This is a really key element of online marketing. Your content, whether it is text, images, graphics, video, or a combination of elements needs to stand out and be share worthy. This is also true for your guest posts so your content on other sites makes the maximum impact. Just don’t burn your visitors in the process.
Take the time necessary to create great content. Map out a content strategy and put all the pieces in place before publishing content. By having a great design, a strong social network presence, and a large subscriber list, you can also leverage great content to get more links and create a cycle for success without relying on Google for traffic!
Article by: +Jason Nelson