website traffic

Five Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website Without Paying for Ads

Your website is looking great. It’s stocked full of clever content and a portfolio loaded with impressive examples of your work.

But nobody seems to be visiting. You’ve had a few people visit your home page, but nowhere near as many as you imagined.

It’s been so long since you got an email inquiry, you’re wondering if the contact form is broken. So you test it… again.

What are you doing wrong? And how can you fix this and drive more traffic to your website?

Honestly, ads are the quickest way to drive traffic. Show a relevant ad to someone looking for what you have to offer… click. Instant opportunity – that is if your website is as relevant as the ad. Pay per click ads can be expensive if not optimized. It takes a while to get enough data to optimize them to be efficient, so you could be spending your ad spend a bit aimlessly for the first few weeks.

Another route to drive traffic to your site is organically. This can be a long-lasting, sustainable solution to your traffic woes – but it is a long game.

Your website is a valuable piece of real estate and the focal point of your marketing efforts. It’s not just an online brochure that sits there looking pretty. It’s your digital headquarters and you can make it work for you.

Your website can become a lead-generating-machine if you fine-tune it properly.

Here are 5 ways you can drive traffic to your website without paying for ads.

1) Improve your local SEO

Local SEO (search engine optimization) improves your rank on search engines for users in and around your city. It actively promotes your website to people searching for your services on Google in your geographical area.

If you currently rely on local customers (or want to take more of the local market from your competitors), local SEO is the way to get them on your website.

Working on local SEO involves a wide range of SEO techniques and tactics that all add up to make your website play well with Google. SEO is a long game, and it may take time to see results, but there are a few ways you can help your local ranking today:

  • If you haven’t already, set up a Google My Business (GMB) listing for your business. Continually update it and add fresh, new content. If your company has multiple locations, you’ll want to set up a separate listing for each one.
  • Ensure that your company’s information (citations) is correct and consistent everywhere: your website, Google My Business listings, online review sites, and social media profiles. This includes your company name, company address(es), contact info, service/product lists, and brand assets. You can speed this up by running citation campaigns to update your information in bulk.
  • Collect positive customer reviews on your GMB profile, sites like Yelp, and any specific websites within your niche.
  • Submit your sitemap.xml to Google Search Console

2) Increase your Domain Authority by getting more backlinks

Backlinks are other sites pointing to your site. Not just any site though, it has to be relevant, has a good domain authority, and not be a common link (association listings, Yellow Pages…). This is a long game but when Google sees that other sites find your information valuable, they will pay attention. Google's goal is to deliver the best solutions for a user's search.

3) Optimize your social media profiles

Social media plays an essential role in bringing traffic to your website. One of the first places potential clients go to search for you will be Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram. Having a regularly updated social media presence can help drive a decent amount of traffic to your website. Inconsistencies can send an unintended, confusing message to prospects.

Optimizing your social media profiles helps promote a professional, cohesive online brand experience.

But how do you get traffic from social media to your website? Link all of your accounts (and posts) to your site. Every relevant update you post should have a link to your website, and your bios should have a link too.

You can attract more people to your website from social media by:

  • Including relevant keywords in your profile ‘about’ section. This will help your profile come up during specific searches for companies in your niche – this hugely helpful on LinkedIn.
  • Post regularly so you’re engaging and entertaining your audience. This will keep them aware of your business and your offerings. When they need services like yours, you’ll be the first company on their mind.
  • Use high-quality photos, images, and video. You don’t want to look like you’ve half-assed your marketing efforts – it’ll reflect badly on the services you provide. If your social feed makes you look like a dude in a truck, people won’t even bother visiting your website.

4) Publish must-read content

Think about it – if you haven’t updated your website with fresh content in the last year, why would anyone visit it?

Not only will visitors be unimpressed, but Google will also start to push you further down their search results if you don’t update your site. What does that mean? Less traffic and fewer leads.

The simplest way of publishing must-read content is by blogging on your own website.

Do your research. Know what your audience wants to read about. See what content is getting shared on social media in your niche.

Write unique content that reflects your company’s personality online and speaks to your audience’s interests.

To improve your Google ranking, you’ll want to aim for a blog at least once every two weeks.

Guest blogging

Guest blogging is a great way to showcase your expertise – and bring traffic to your site.

Becoming known as the go-to thought leader in your niche helps attract leads, but by getting published on a reputable industry-relevant site, you can increase your traffic with warm leads.

Invite (the right) people to guest blog on your site

Guest blogging can work both ways. You can guest blog for other companies, but you can also invite people in your niche to blog on your own website.

Letting people guest blog on your blog is a great opportunity as they’re more than likely going to share the link to their guest blog, which will bring readers to your website.

Just make sure that their post is high-quality, original, and doesn’t contain any spam links, or you might get penalized for it by Google.

5) Appear on podcasts

Podcasts are a great way of getting your company in the limelight.

Taking advantage of these facts can help you get in front of a new section of your target audience. Do some research and figure out what podcasts are popular with your client base – then approach them for a guest spot.

If you’re not sure how to figure out which podcasts to appear on, Google is your friend.

Simply type in “top *your niche* podcasts” and see what comes up. Listen to a couple of them and send a message to their producers to see if you can get a shot on one of them.

As part of appearing on their podcast, the creators will usually create a bio for you on their podcast description – complete with a backlink to your website for listeners to visit.

Here at Branding & Beyond, we want to help you get the most out of your website, and that includes increasing your traffic. If you want to attract more customers to your business, we’re here to help you create and implement a solid brand foundation as well as a brilliant marketing plan that will deliver for years to come.

Start building your brand today and get in touch.

Tracy O’Shaughnessy Founder / Lead Brand Strategist of Branding & Beyond

Tracy and her team help firms in and around the B2B building trades look and sound credible online and off.

She has been in the industry since the early '90s and is tired of seeing fantastic firms struggle, blend in, and get bypassed by prospects who judge them solely on the outdated information found online.

Branding & Beyond's mission is to solve real business problems and build the brand foundation clients need to get noticed and hired.

You can find Tracy on Linkedin and here on this blog.