Optimizing your website and your content for maximum search engine visibility is an important strategy for driving traffic to your website and getting eyes on your brand, products, or services. But it isn’t the only game in town, and while SEO should always be a part of your overall marketing strategy, you would be remiss not to take advantage of the other wonderful strategies and platforms at your disposal for driving traffic to your website, building your brand, and growing your business, such as:
- Email marketing, such as newsletters
- Blogging, podcasts, and RSS feeds
- Online communities
- Offline networking and traditional media outlets
Let’s take a look at these strategies and learn how to increase your website traffic without SEO!
When SEO Isn’t Enough – Why Diversifying Digital Marketing Strategies Matter
SEO gets a lot of attention as a powerful tool for driving traffic compared to other methods. But while SEO is incredibly effective at increasing organic visibility, driving targeted traffic based on relevant keywords and key phrases in your industry, and delivering long-term results without continuous investment (unlike paid advertising), SEO has its weaknesses as well, which is why it should never be treated like a “silver bullet” for driving website traffic.
SEO is a time-intensive, long-term strategy. Keyword research, content optimization, link building, and technical improvements alone can be time- and labor-intensive, and significant improvement in your rankings may take months.
SEO is also an extremely widely adopted strategy – everybody does it, so for better or for worse, there’s intense competition for placement in search engine results. Ranking well next to competitors with bigger budgets and more resources can be especially challenging.
Last but not least, there’s the matter of algorithm updates—a phrase that leaves SEO experts waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. Search engines constantly update their algorithms to improve search results and fight spam, and while these algorithm updates are almost universally good for the browser, they can also set back your hard-earned SEO gains and prompt necessary strategy pivots to regain lost ground.
While SEO is highly effective at driving traffic, if too much of your marketing resources go into SEO and you neglect other strategies for driving website traffic, you won’t be as well-equipped to shore up the weaknesses inherent in your SEO strategies.
Imagine your overall digital marketing efforts as a roof over your business and your traffic-driving strategies as walls. You wouldn’t hold up your roof very well with just one wall, would you? That’s why a broad, diverse, well-rounded approach to increasing your website’s traffic involves making appropriate use of more than just SEO.
So, now that you know why, let’s look at how to increase your website traffic without SEO. Here are just a few of the many digital marketing tactics and strategies you can take advantage of to significantly boost your online presence and attract a steady stream of engaged users outside the search engine ecosystem.
Newsletters and Other Email Campaigns
Email is everywhere—everyone’s got an email address, everyone receives about, oh, forty or so emails a day on average, and if you create good emails to promote your content and your website and send them to the right people, you can raise your chances of those emails actually getting eyes on them above industry standard open/click-through rates.
Email campaigns such as email newsletters are powerful traffic-driving engines for your website. A periodic email newsletter or other campaigns will keep your audience on top of new content you put out – announcements about your business, products, or services – as well as continue to support your position as a thought leader. By promoting new website content, you give your subscribers opportunities to visit your website, find your content and share it.
Keep in mind these simple guidelines for building successful email campaigns that will drive website traffic:
- Use plain, descriptive language for your email campaigns to avoid confusing your audience—let’s not beat around the bush and call a spade a spade and a newsletter a newsletter.
- Segment your email lists based on user preferences and behavior to make your campaigns more personalized, more relevant, and more likely to achieve higher click-through rates and drive traffic.
- Design your email campaigns, especially newsletters, for visual appeal and mobile-friendliness.
- Shoot for a frequency of no fewer than one or two emails per month and no more than one email per week to avoid giving your subscribers email fatigue.
- Include compelling calls-to-action to subscribe to your newsletter in various touchpoints, such as on your website and in email signatures.
- Consider scheduling “drops” of old newsletters to get new subscribers up-to-speed or create an archive on your site for old newsletters.
Today, one of the most vital parts of any email marketing strategy is building an opt-in list of email contacts who are engaged, want to hear from you, and trust you to respect their privacy and data. To learn more, we recommend one of our recent blogs, where we walk you through building an email empire that will drive traffic to your website using best practices for email capture.
Webinars make for great content to engage with prospects and drive them to your website with an increased chance of conversion. When you host a free webinar, you give potential customers a chance to learn about your brand and the solutions you can provide to their problems in a low-risk setting while also gaining a chance to get feedback from them and answer their questions. Paid webinars are also a viable option for some—not all—markets.
Much of the value of webinars is in real-time interaction with prospects, but you can also use them to create video content on your YouTube channel, which can also drive traffic to your website. Video-on-demand has a different content niche than live webinars, but it’s still useful in its own ways—and when it comes to content, it always helps to reuse and recycle!
Blogs, Podcasts, and RSS Feeds
With a consistently updated blog on the same domain on your website, you give potential customers and highly interested prospects excuses to keep coming back to your website and interacting with your brand, building your domain authority and increasing your reach.
Podcasts give your audience a more passive listening experience—something they can consume on their morning or evening commute, their exercise routine, or anywhere else at their leisure, compared to the active experience of reading. Podcasts are excellent tools to promote people connected to your brand, such as executives and subject matter experts, as thought leaders and cross-promote your brand with other industry thought leaders.
Crafting Compelling Content
It’s often been said that in marketing, content is king, and we at Intuitive Websites are firm believers in that. Furthermore, it’s not enough to simply have content—it has to be great. We live in a world where information is abundant, and attention is hard to come by, so creating high-quality and valuable content makes all the difference in building an audience.
Creating insightful, relevant, and well-crafted content establishes your authority in your industry and forms a solid foundation for your website traffic-building strategies—SEO and non-SEO alike.
Building Your Backlinks
Technically, building up backlinks for your content is an SEO strategy, but it ties into your non-SEO traffic-driving strategies as well. Backlinking, or inbound linking, is the practice of getting other websites to link to content on your websites, and it is a great source for referral traffic—traffic from targeted visitors on other websites to yours.
Backlinking is a crucial but sometimes overlooked strategy for getting your content found, driving traffic to your website, and even improving your search engine rankings. Essentially, a backlink is a “vote of confidence” for your website when it comes from another credible, authoritative website.
Not only will that website’s visitors find your website through your links, but search engines will also see that website’s authority and credibility rub off on you, encouraging them to rank you higher.
Backlinking sometimes involves other websites finding your content all on their own and choosing to link to it because they like it so much, and while these natural editorial links provide valuable link-juice and give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, the vast majority of backlinking is something you have to put some legwork into.
The vast majority of backlinking involves manual outreach—building relationships with other website owners, bloggers, and influencers, providing valuable content, and convincing them that linking to your site will benefit them and their audience.
Using RSS For Your Blog and Podcast Content
When creating content, a powerful tool to take advantage of is the RSS feed. RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, lets users build an easily accessible list of content from the creators they’re interested in. A user’s RSS feed is constantly updated in real-time with new content from their favorite creators, ensuring that fans of your blog or podcast will never miss an update!
RSS feeds used to be ubiquitous in the pre-social media days of the internet, and though its usage declined with the fall of platforms such as Google Reader and Digg, RSS is not dead and is still widely used to this day. RSS feeds are great for users looking to keep in touch with their favorite content creators and thought leaders, especially users who have become disillusioned or frustrated with social media as a content delivery platform.
Creating an RSS feed for your blog and/or podcast is easy and can help your blogs and podcasts get found—and stay found—by high-value leads and prospects, who might even decide to share them and spread them through word-of-mouth!
Online and Offline Communities and Media
Communities, both online and offline, can be powerful drivers of traffic to your website. While algorithmic social media has replaced many older-school forms of online communities, well-established platforms like Reddit, LinkedIn, or Facebook groups still offer thriving communities of like-minded individuals segmented by just about any topic or industry imaginable where your content can take root among its target audience, spread by word-of-mouth, and bring new visitors to your website.
Some of the social media newcomers recently making waves on the scene, like Mastodon, might fill a similar niche for establishing yourself as an industry thought leader and connecting with other subject matter experts and thought leaders as well.
Don’t discount the potential boost offline communities can give to your website, either—meatspace can be as effective a driver of website traffic as cyberspace! From traditional media outlets to in-person trade shows, conferences, and industry events, you have the power to distribute your online content offline and encourage people to visit your website and get to know your brand better.
Everything you do to promote your business offline should tie into promoting your business online as well. Handing out business cards, brochures, branded swag, and other promotional material at an industry event? Make sure they have your website’s URL on them. Business cards especially—many businesses overlook these and assume it’s enough to have the salesperson’s contact information when they’re actually leaving a potential avenue for website traffic unexplored. Likewise, anything you get published in a print publication should link back to your website as well.
Putting Your Non-SEO Traffic-Driving Strategies Into Action
Now that you know how to increase your website traffic without SEO or pay-per-click programs with other content marketing strategies, it’s time to start making them a part of your marketing strategies.
As we say, strategy is the most important part of any marketing campaign—make sure to develop a comprehensive plan to implement these website traffic-driving strategies and make them an ongoing part of your marketing efforts. Even just devoting at least an hour a week of marketing time to studying the web landscape for your industry can yield dividends and provide valuable insights into getting the word out about your expertise.
To get a little more perspective on how to increase your website traffic without SEO from our founder and resident thought leader Tom Young, check out our two-part podcast serie, originally broadcasted July 10, 2012. Over a decade later, the same rules still apply: