“if you build it, they will come.” Building site traffic is both hard and takes time. You may have the world’s best (and fully optimized) website, but what happens if people aren’t visiting it? To help solve that problem, we’ve put together a list of five surefire ways to boost site traffic.

1. Guest Blog

Guest blogging is one of the best ways to gain visibility and traffic for your website. When done right, it not only helps promote your site and increase visitors, it also helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to boost your site’s visibility in unpaid search.

Finding Contributors

The first step to guest blogging is finding blogs you’d like to contribute to. Whether through a Google search or social media, this has gotten a lot easier:

  1. In Google, you can search your industry + the term “popular blogs.”
  2. Using Twitter, you can monitor hashtags or search Twitter lists to identify some of the more active participants in your space, and then see if they have blogs.

Or you can identify influencers in your industry through tools like Topsy and Buzzsumo, and then research where they’re currently posting their blog content.

Perfecting Your Pitch

Now that you’ve got a targeted list of blogs, it’s time to make contact. You’ll want to look through their site to see if they have any information about guest posting. You may find a pitch form online or you may find nothing.

If there’s nothing on their site about guest submissions, email them a pitch letter. Your pitch letter should be no more than two paragraphs and should include:

A Greeting: I’m a fan of your blog and this is why.

A Request: I would love the opportunity to contribute a guest post to your blog.

Reasons to Consider Me: Here is why you should say yes.

Be honest and use your own words, although if you’re tapped out of ideas.Once you send your query email, give it a week, and if you don’t hear back, reach out again. Putting yourself out there’s hard and nobody likes rejection, but it’s better than never trying.

 

2. Engage on Social Media

With nearly 1.7 billion people active in a social network, there’s no doubt that social media is an incredible way to drive traffic and promote your site.

Define Your Strategy

The first step is to create a strong social media strategy. Your strategy should define your goals, the social media platforms that are best aligned to help you achieve those goals, and the types of content you’ll need for each social media platform.

With your strategy, you’ll want to develop an editorial calendar — that’ll help you with consistency and accountability — as well as a process for reporting and optimizations.

Participate in Conversations

The world is ever-changing and so are popular, trending conversations on social media. Stay current on what’s relevant and participate when you can add value to the conversation.

One way of doing this is through trendjacking. Trendjacking is when you connect your brand to a hot or trending topic in order to make it more relevant to the marketplace. When done well, you can create attention for your brand and drive increased traffic to your website.

However, make sure you’re adding value and using good timing. When done inappropriately, trendjacking can really hurt your brand. Consider the social-media fallout of the Epicurious tweets after the Boston Marathon bombings.

With consistent participation and an acknowledgement of what’s going on, trendjacking can be a fun way to stay current and participate in social conversations.

Engage Socially

Just as with blogs, you’ll want to also identify and engage with relevant social media influencers. When you find your influencers—through hashtag monitoring, twitter lists, or tools like BuzzSumo — aim to connect regularly. You can do this by mentioning them, commenting on their posts, or retweeting.

Do the same for your engaged followers. Make sure you’re responding to mentions and comments across your social media channels.

By putting yourself out there you’re making more people aware of your existence, which is exactly what you need if you want to drive traffic to your website.

3. Cross-Promote Your Offerings

Cross-promotion is a form of marketing whereby customers of one product or service are targeted with a promotion for a related product or service. In other words, marketing your t-shirts to a customer who has already bought your pants. And it’s extremely effective for driving web traffic and increasing conversions.

One of the most effective tools for cross-promotion is a newsletter. Newsletters allow you to market classic products, new product lines and any discounts or promotions to individuals you know are interested in your brand. You’ve probably been on the receiving end of a similar newsletter. Ever buy something from J. Crew or Macy’s? It’s not by accident that you start receiving targeted emails advertising their new fall line or discounts on kitchen utensils.

 

 

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