How to Drive Website Traffic Without Paying Google or Facebook a Cent

In this webinar, Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara discusses how to use the power of social, content, and digital technologies to transform your business with Jeff Bullas, owner of jeffbullas.com, top marketing influencer, and esteemed business blogger. Jeff loves to inspire and educate entrepreneurs about how to grow their business in a forever-changing digital world.

With 2.2 billion Facebook users, 336 million Twitter users, and mobile phone usage continues to rise, the digital landscape can be very overwhelming and crowded. With all this noise, how do you drive traffic to your site?

Many people think you simply post content and the world will show up. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You have to learn how to attract people, and that requires persistence and discipline every day. When you don’t have a lot of time or the big budgets to spend on advertising on social media, creating content and getting traffic can be challenging. If you establish a routine and commit time every day to research and content creation, it will make a big difference for your business very quickly.

How to Attract an Audience

Paid traffic

Traffic from paid sources such as Facebook ads and Google AdWords are expensive; you have to be very diligent to ensure you don’t waste money and pay too much for traffic. If you aren’t careful with paid traffic, you can quickly lose a lot of revenue.

Earned traffic

Growing Twitter followers is very efficient and easy to automate. You can build followers on Twitter by following people who are interested in the same topics as you or by engaging with the followers of thought leaders in your industry. When you follow someone, they will typically feel obligated to follow you back.

Organic search

Organic search is by far the largest source of traffic from search engines. Over 70% of traffic now comes from Google search. You attract organic search traffic simply by creating content. Every piece of content you publish gives you an opportunity to spread it through social media (such as Twitter or LinkedIn) and helps to drive more traffic back to your site, making your content more visible.

Owned traffic

The aim of paid and earned traffic is to turn it into owned traffic, which is traffic acquired through your own social media channels. Build authority to develop your own email lists and grow your Facebook Messenger subscribers. By gaining control over your own traffic and distribution, you’ll be able to reach your target audience instead of relying on the algorithms of Google or Facebook.

How to Share Your Content

Social Media

Since the Facebook algorithm continues to change, you can no longer just put up a blog post up and hope that it reaches a lot of people.

Dennis Yu’s Four Phase Boost Sequence strategy analyzes organic traffic to find what people respond to, and seeds that content across the web. When you see what works well, his “Dollar a Day strategy” amplifies the content by spending just a dollar a day.

Statistics show that five times as many people read the headline as opposed to the actual body of a post. This is why writing good headlines makes all the difference. The goal is to get people’s attention quickly. Learn how to write, test, and try effective headlines; the difference between a good headline and a bad headline can be a thousand percent in traffic.

drive website traffic

Hashtags

Hashtags are a bit of an art and a science. There are hashtag tools out there to help you optimize your hashtagging strategy within your vertical. Data shows that tweets which include hashtags received nearly 55% more engagement than those without one.

Reciprocation

Use the law of reciprocation to gain followers. Following your competitors’ fan base on Twitter will help you build a qualified list; these followers are probably working within the same industry and interested in the same topics as you. Find competitors that already have a list and follow their followers and you’ll build a pretty qualified list to get you started.

Automation

It’s unrealistic to think you can spend all of your time on Twitter; you can’t scale your social media optimization efforts without automation. Using a platform like Agorapulse can help you automate the process and send out tweets for you on a regular basis. Visual tweets will give you better results; test different types of visuals and headlines to identify which ones drive the most engagement.

Studies show that people only spend about 30 minutes a day on Twitter. Tests we’ve run in the past indicated that traffic increased 31% and engagement increased by 89% if we tweet every 15 minutes. If you’re not tweeting regularly, your audience may miss you.

drive website traffic

Keep in mind that this isn’t the case for other social platforms; posting every 15 minutes is too frequent for Facebook or LinkedIn. Try to at least post once a day on these platforms.

Search Engine Optimization

The digital landscape has become more complicated. Search engine optimization requires not only great content but an understanding of how search engines pick up and prioritize content. Optimizing your SEO strategy is a never-ending journey because the algorithms keep changing.

If you want to improve your search engine traffic, you may need to keep a specialist on retainer to help you. In addition, tools like WordPress SEO by Yoast can help you with keyword optimization. Keep in mind that search engine traffic won’t happen overnight; you’re competing against people who have been creating optimized content for years.

Regularly create relevant, SEO optimized content and continue to tweak what you’re doing until you find what resonates with your audience. SEO has the potential to become your number one driver of traffic as you build authority.

drive website traffic

Email

Building an email list takes time and analysis. However, the upside is you will always own it and it’s not dependent on the algorithms of Facebook and Google. Turn paid and earned traffic into owned traffic to build your email lists.

Pop-ups

Pop-ups are one of the best tools for converting traffic and growing your email list.

Welcome Mat by Sumo is a great tool that can turn your website page into a full-screen call to action. ManyChat is another tool that allows you to give away something for free by creating a Facebook Messenger bot. Jeff Bullas’ team used it to create a pop-up within a blog post and achieved over 3,600 active subscribers.

Repurpose Your Content

Repurpose your existing content and post it on different social platforms to drive even more traffic without reinventing the wheel.

Flipboard is a great site where you can post your content in your own magazine you create and share. It’s one of Jeff’s top five traffic sources because it drove 20,000 views to his site in a day.

Another site to check out is Quora, a question and answer site where you can use your blog content to answer questions and link back to your original article.

Mobile

Mobile usage continues to increase. Create a responsive website or blog to make it easy for people to share from their mobile device and subscribe to your email list. When Jeff optimized my website for mobile, his traffic increased by over 300 percent.

How to Create and Market Content

Creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content will help you build trust, credibility, and traffic. Make sure your content is topical. Look for a trend in your industry you can start writing about and be sure to make it easy for people to share.

Share your personal (as well as your business) passions to maintain and strengthen business relationships. If you’re willing to show your vulnerability, people will connect with that and be more willing to trust you and your brand.

Think of yourself as a publisher. Keep experimenting, remeasuring, and growing your distribution. Small incremental changes can make a big difference. Creating and sharing content is not enough; if all you’re doing is driving people to your website, you won’t grow your business. You must engage with them and turn those conversations into relationships.