You already know that more traffic equals more exposure, more customers and (most importantly) more cash.
But you also know…
SEO is a risky nightmare.
Adwords CPCs are skyrocketing.
And it’s almost impossible to get a word in edgewise with the deafening social media conversation.
Fortunately for you and your marketing budget, there are a few little known hacks to drive more targeted traffic to your site…without breaking the bank.
Strategy #1: Forum Marketing
Fun fact: forums are the most underutilized traffic source online.
Forums are a digital watering hole of potential customers.
Even better: the people on the forum are begging for your help and expertise. It’s the perfect place to show off your knowledge to a new audience.
And unlike SEO, you don’t have to wait months to see results…
…forum marketing is traffic on tap.
To illustrate how easy and powerful forum marketing can be, I recently re-posted a condensed version of my post “17 Untapped Backlink Sources” to the popular internet marketing forum, The Warrior Forum:
And here’s the traffic I got from that one post in the week after publishing it there (and on another forum):
Sure, 167 visitors isn’t anything to get too excited about.
But keep in mind that I just copied and pasted content that I already published on my site. The entire process took less than 5 minutes. I’ll trade 5 minutes for 167 targeted visitors all day, every day.
And I still get a trickle of traffic from the forum post almost daily. That’s something that can’t be said for guest posts…which take a lot more time and effort.
And because these people were sold on my knowledge before they visited my site, they devoured my content.
Good luck getting that level of engagement from a paid click!
Key Takeaway: Find popular forums and your niche and join the conversation. Even if you don’t feel like helping newbies with their boring problems, you can post your best content to the forum. You’ll get a flood of targeted visitors almost instantly. And if you build a reputation as one of the forum’s leader, you can funnel traffic from the forum at will.
Strategy #2: Traffic-Focused Guest Posting
It’s time to get smart about guest posting.
A link from an authority site is nice…but it’s only a matter of time before Google devalues guest post backlinks.
That’s why it’s crucial that you stop looking at guest posting as a link building strategy.
Instead, look at it as a way to drive traffic…that also happens to have a decent SEO bonus.
The best way to squeeze the most traffic from every guest post is to properly evaluate a site’s potential for sending targeted, hungry referral traffic.
Comments are one of the best barometers of your guest post target’s traffic potential.
In my experience, guest posts published on sites with lots of comments generate significantly more traffic than those that don’t.
As an example, check out the popular SearchEngineJournal.com:
That’s not many comments for such a leader in the industry.
I recently published a guest post on this site, and even though it got more than 350 tweets…
…I found myself with a trickle of traffic and a handful of new subscribers.
The week before, I published a guest post on a much-less popular SiteProNews.com.
But because the community at the site is so active (the post received twice the number of comments than my SEJ post)…
…I got significantly more traffic and subscribers from that post.
Social Share History
Another way to find out how much traffic potential a site has is the amount of social shares posts tend to get (although as you saw in the example above, this metric is far from perfect).
In general, more social shares mean more engagement and more potential traffic from those social shares.
The best way to get a bird’s eye view of the site’s social media potential is to use the Blog Social Analyzer tool.
Just enter your target site’s RSS feed into the tool:
And you’ll see at-a-glance metrics for the site’s recently published posts:
SimilarWeb.com is an Alexa clone. What I like about this tool vs. Alexa is that it gives you a breakdown of where a site’s traffic comes from:
In general you want to see a lot of direct and search traffic. Direct traffic signifies that people regularly visit the site to get new information and advice. This is the type of hungry traffic that clicks through and converts.
Search traffic is also important. Lots of search traffic means that the site has enough juice to rank your guest post, meaning more long-term traffic from your post.
Key Takeaway:Spend a few extra minutes evaluating a site’s traffic potential before sending over a post. Doing so can get you a much better guest blogging ROI.
Strategy #3: “Go Where They Ain’t” With Slideshare
This old business adage speaks volumes to today’s tired traffic generation tactics. Most people are busy seeing who can shout the loudest on crowded platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
But savvy shoestring marketers are going to where their customers are….but their competition isn’t.
Slideshare is an underutilized platform for driving small business and marketing-related traffic.
In fact, this “quiet giant” boasts a sub-200 Alexa:
Unlike Pinterest, which is mostly bored (and broke) housewives, Slideshare is teeming with small business owners and corporate decision makers:
The best part?
You don’t need to re-invent the wheel to get exposure. Just turn some of your best content into a slideshow, upload with unique content, and watch the traffic roll in.
And according to a case study published by Gregory Ciotti at SmartPassiveIncome.com, a single presentation brought in 2,000 new visitors in just a few days.
To this day his 11-slide presentation has received over 40,000 views:
Good luck getting that with a Tweet!
Key Takeaway: Slideshare is the sleeping giant of traffic generation. If you’re in the business or marketing niches you need to start re-purposing your content onto Slideshare.
Strategy #4: Discover Keywords Your Competitors Don’t Know About
If you’ve been in SEO for a while you already know how amazing it is when you come across a high volume keyword with almost no competition: it’s like a hot knife through butter!
Toss up some decent content, hit it with some links and watch it rise to the top of Google.
Sadly, with the proliferation of keyword tools like Market Samurai, finding these hidden gems is harder than ever. Which means a pricey dog fight for the top spot in Google.
Fortunately, there are two sites that you can use to find zero-competition keywords. Because they don’t draw from the Google Keyword Tool, they show you keywords that usually fly under the radar.
UberSuggest scrapes the keywords that you get from Google Suggest.
And because this data doesn’t come from the Google Keyword Tool, you can find keywords that you’d otherwise never find.
Just head over to UberSuggest.org and enter a root keyword:
You’ll see a list of keywords that come from Google Suggest for the root keyword…and every letter in the alphabet!
This site is an absolute gold mine of long tail keywords that’s 100% free to use.
SEMRush shows you which keywords your competitors are already ranking for. In my experience this is an awesome tool to find brand name keywords…which get a ton of searches but don’t usually show up in Google’s Keyword Tool.
Just make an account and put in one of your competitor’s sites.
And you’ll get a list of the keywords that they’re ranking for.
Well…I told you that you’d find some interesting keywords!
Key Takeaway: While Google’s Tool is useful, it’s not the only way to find new keywords. These two tools can often take you in directions the official tool can’t.
Ballin’ on a Budget
Traffic generation doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence.
By thinking (and marketing) outside the box, you can drive traffic without having to stand toe-to-toe with Fortune 500s.
I know that I don’t know everything (unless it’s about the Red Sox).
What little-know traffic strategies work for you? The weirder the better!