Most of the things you can do to attract more visitors to your site take considerable time and effort. Most of what we talk about here are indirect ways to build traffic over the long-term.
What about the short term?
Building a solid foundation, creating a unique selling proposition, planning a launch, developing social proof, are all utterly important, but what if you want to get more visitors to your site in the next 24 hours?
Sometimes you need visitors right away. Sometimes you’re just tired of working on long-term strategies and want some immediate results. In any case, I’ve compiled 16 things you can do to get more visitors to your website today.
Some of these are guaranteed ways to get traffic, and others are gambles. Try a few and let me know how they work out for you. Here they are for your instant gratification, ways to beg, borrow, steal or pay for traffic today:
- Email your latest blog post to people who might be interested. Ask them for feedback on the post or to help you spread the word. Make sure you explain why it’s a relevant and/or special post.
- Share some older popular content again. You know that content you published last month that was so popular? Well, it probably has some life left. Share it again through your favorite channels. Just say “in case you missed it” or “an oldie but a goodie” for anyone that might have seen it before.
- Ask your readers to share your latest content. Get on email, Twitter, Facebook, your own site or wherever else you talk to your readers and ask them to Digg, Stumble, Tweet or share your post in some other way.
Borrowing visitors from other high-traffic sites is a proven technique. You don’t necessarily have to get permission from the site owner, either.
- Take advantage of trackbacks. Write a new blog post with a link to a recent or popular post from a big blog that has trackbacks enabled (look ‘em up if you aren’t familiar with the concept). Since trackbacks are often displayed before comments, they can receive a decent number of clicks if your post is relevant to the post you’re linking to. Try to further the conversation that’s already going.
- Leave comments, but be selective. I know, leaving comments on other blogs to get traffic is an old technique that isn’t always that effective. Try leaving comments, but be very selective. To get traffic, try commenting on big blogs that are very relevant to your site. Make sure you’re one of the first to comment on a new post, because those first comments are the ones that receive most of the traffic. Also, leave something of genuine value that will make readers want to find out more about you.
- Submit your best stuff to more social networks. There are hundreds of social networks and sharing sites out there with enormous traffic. Take your best content and share it on a bunch of sites you haven’t tried before. Something just might stick. Here are some to try (some are topic specific): Tipd, Propeller, Reddit, Blog Engage, Sphinn and Mixx.
- Use article marketing. Create articles for article directories or build a squidoo lens. Write something useful and get it out there. Articles on those directories can get some direct traffic themselves if you write something useful.
- Share your expertise. Find forums on a topic related to your expertise or your site, or find questions on big Q&A sites and provide some answers. Help people out and make sure your site is listed in your profile or signature. Popular questions or forum entries can drive traffic.
- Write a Craigslist ad. Craigslist is the 32nd most popular site in the world. It’s free and takes only a couple of minutes to post an advertisement. If you have a service to offer, try posting an ad to attract extra visitors.
Can you really steal traffic? To be honest, I couldn’t think of a way to do it ethically. For some reason I just really wanted to run with the “beg, borrow, steal” theme. Let me know in the comments if you have some ways to “steal” traffic.
Wait, here’s one:
- Write about current news. Google has a fondness for placing sites with breaking news at the top of it’s results. Just Google “iPhone” and you’ll see what I mean. There’s a special section that says “News results for…” If you write on a current news story, there’s a chance you’ll get ranked up there too, and effectively “steal” traffic from the normal results.
When all else fails, cold, hard cash will do the trick. Here are some (legit) ways you can pay for more visitors.
- Pay for advertising on StumbleUpon. This one is really easy. You don’t even have to write an ad. Just submit one of your best pages of content and choose a couple of applicable topics and demographics. The cost is 5 cents per visitor as I write this.
- Use good ol’ Google Adwords. With AdWords, you’ll have to write an ad and make sure it’s well targeted to search visitors. If you do a good job with the ad and your site is relevant, the cost per visitor can be very reasonable.
- Try advertising on Facebook. Over 400 million people use Facebook, so there are plenty of potential visitors for your site on the network. If you can’t get them for free through your fan page, you can always try Facebook’s advertising platform. If you do use Facebook, keep in mind that images are a critical part of getting clicks on your ad.
- Submit a press release. Online press releases can get syndicated across tens or hundreds of sites. Read up on best practices before you decide to drop the $80+ bucks though.
Get back to basics
- Write another blog post, even if you don’t normally post today. New posts always bring in more traffic. You’ve probably noticed that you get a little traffic spike every time you publish. If you want more visitors, publish an extra post today, just keep the quality level high.
- Write your best blog post. Don’t hold back. Don’t wait for the right day or for the stars to align. Take the best idea you have for a post and get it out there. A great post can easily bring 5 or 10 times as much traffic as a normal post.
If you want something, why not ask for it? You might be surprised how willing people are to help out.
What other techniques do you have for getting more visitors today? Please share in the comments!
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photo by tricky ™