When it comes to gaining traction online, there is one key ingredient you need to help everything fall into place: website traffic.

You could be the world’s greatest content creator, and come up with the most valuable products in your niche, but if no one is there to see your work, what’s the point?

But driving website traffic is easier said than done. The internet has millions of websites, all competing for a slice of the traffic pie. It can really feel like you’re yelling into the void with nobody there to hear you. And the process of getting more eyeballs on your website can feel like a black box—it’s easy to hours of your time into tactics that never have a huge impact.

Luckily, there are clear, tangible strategies to help increase your website traffic and start building your audience and customer base. In this post, I’m giving you a tour of all the methods I recommend for driving traffic to your website.

How this guide works

Before you panic at the vast amount of information this guide contains: don’t worry! I’m going to be covering all your best options for driving traffic, but you should treat it like a buffet. You don’t necessarily need to go forward with every single thing I suggest.

In fact, I recommend you don’t try to do every single thing addressed on this list. I’ve ranked each options and given them scores for:

  • Difficulty
  • Traffic potential
  • How long it will take to see results.

Based on this scoring system, choose the strategies that make the most sense for you.

How to drive website traffic with organic social media

Social media is an obvious option when it comes to increasing website traffic because everyone is on social media in some form or another. The key is encouraging people to leave a social media platform and visit your site. Let’s take a look at how to do that.

Twitter

Twitter is a platform that relies on brevity. You have 280 characters to get your point across and convince your audience that you’re worth following. It’s easy to create an account and start posting on Twitter, but you’ll need a lot of followers or clicks on your posts to start seeing a real uptick in website traffic. Twitter also makes it easy to share, so if you get a person or business with a large following to retweet your post, that can help drive a more significant amount of traffic.

 

 

How to get started

Getting started on Twitter is as easy as signing up, following relevant players in your niche, and engaging with your target audience. I recommend signing up using the same username across all of your social media accounts for brand recognition, and devoting the content you share to be relevant to your audience.

For more information on growing your audience and driving traffic via Twitter, check out this blog post.

Criteria Score

Difficulty: ⅕

Traffic Potential: ⅖

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

Facebook pages

Online entrepreneurs often create Facebook pages for themselves where they share updates around their online businesses and articles from other sources that their audience might find helpful.

Pages are a great place for people who are interested in you and your business to follow along.

Like Twitter, Facebook sharing works better if you have a larger following.

 

 

Getting started

Facebook makes setting up your own Facebook page easy. It only takes fifteen minutes and then you can get started publishing.

When you’re creating your Facebook page, be aware of your branding. If you use specific colors or imagery on your main site, try to remain consistent so people recognize the Facebook Page as being yours.

From there, Facebook has a built in scheduler, so you can batch schedule a month’s worth of work all at once.

Criteria score

Difficulty: ⅕

Traffic Potential: ⅖

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

Facebook groups

Facebook groups differ from pages because groups offer more equal opportunity as far as posting goes. While groups do have admins who can delete posts or pin their own posts to the top, everyone in the group is able to post and have their content seen.

Creating your own Facebook group is a good tool for community building, but if your goal is to drive traffic, you should spend your time joining existing Facebook groups in your niche. Share your content to drive traffic back to your site, but be sure to check the group rules. Sometimes self-promotion is frowned upon or not allowed. Don’t get blocked!

 

Getting started

We recommend joining Facebook groups in your niche and engaging with the posts in the group to begin establishing your presence.

Your goal should be to help people and be informative and create a great first impression. Always remember to read the guidelines posted in the group—most have rules that you need to follow. Be respectful of the rules or you may be removed from the group.

To really get the most out of your Facebook groups, be active every day and consistent in posting high quality resources and responses to people’s questions.

If the group has a strict no self promotion rule, you can still drive traffic by being active and helpful. People will become curious and look you up on their own.

With that said, you’re better off joining a group that allows light self-promotion. Whether it be through share threads or allowing you to post a link to further explain something in relation to a question that another group member may have asked.

For more, check out the Facebook section in our how to sell without an audience post.

Criteria score

Difficulty: ⅕

Traffic Potential: ⅖

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

Instagram

Instagram is a visually-based platform where you share images that you think your online audience will be interested in. It’s a great audience growing tool for people who have a visual component to their online brand.

If you create a physical product or if you’re a designer, Instagram may just be your perfect outlet. Even if you don’t fall into either of those categories, if you put a lot of yourself into your brand, Instagram is a great platform where your audience can get a behind the scenes look at your life.

 

 

Getting started

Getting started with Instagram is as simple as creating an account and beginning to post. Keep in mind that with Instagram relying on visuals, the more eye catching your content is, the more successful you’ll be.

Aim to post everyday with content targeted to your ideal audience. While imagery is king, captions ares still important, and you can increase interest and engagement by including clear calls to action within your caption. Ask people to comment, check out a post, or tag a friend to boost engagement.

It’s important to keep in mind that most Instagram users are primed to see beautiful pictures when they open up their feed. Make it your goal to only post well lit and high quality images.

Even if you don’t fancy yourself a photographer, you can take beautiful images by keeping these things in mind:

  1. Lighting. if you can, take your pictures near a window that’s letting in natural light. You’ll get the best result this way. Otherwise, a well-lit room can result in a beautiful picture, though you may need to edit the temperature of the image in Instagram’s editing program to tone down the yellowness that comes from artificial light.
  2. Focus. Taking time to make sure that your subject is crisp and in focus can take a good picture and turn it great. If you’re taking the picture on your cell phone, you can focus by aiming your camera at the subject and then tapping the subject on your screen.
  3. Background. A quick trick for a more visually pleasing Instagram feed is to watch the background of your photos. Keep it uncluttered, and think about how one photo will look next to the others in your feed.
  4. Angle. Overhead photos are cleaner and tend to perform well on Instagram. Side angles work too, but avoid awkward angles that make your subject look distorted.
  5. Editing. Instagram has a photo editing software within the app, I recommend taking advantage of it. You don’t need to go overboard, but brightening up a dark image or adding a bit of contrast can go a long way.

Once you’re consistently posting, you’ll probably notice your follower count is growing.

To actually drive your followers to your website, be sure to include your link in your user bio. Instagram doesn’t make it easy to link to specific pieces of content, but you can use an outside app like Link Tree (see the example above) to link to multiple websites or pieces of content.

On Instagram, your #1 goal should be to create a brand and aesthetic around your product. A powerful brand identity will drive curious visitors to your site.

Criteria score

Difficulty: ⅕

Traffic Potential: ⅖

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

Pinterest

Pinterest is a powerful site that I personally believe every online entrepreneur should devote at least a bit of time to. There is huge virality potential on Pinterest, even with a minimal time investment.

Pinterest is great because it is a search engine in itself, making your content easy to find even when you’re first getting started.

 

Getting started

When you’re getting started with Pinterest, it can feel a bit overwhelming because there are a lot of moving parts. Really though, after you sign up, the most important thing to do is optimize your account:

  • Create a recognizable, searchable username. For example, if I were creating a Pinterest account to promote the writing I do here at Teachable, I might make my username “Morgan Timm | Content at Teachable”, not “crazyplantlady283.” for obvious reasons.

    People can search users via keywords, so make sure your most important keyword is in your username. In my example, that would be “Teachable.”
  • Create boards relevant to your audience. Again, if I were creating my account, I’d create these boards: “Online courses,” “Content marketing,” “Email marketing,” and “Online entrepreneurship.”

    Even though I also have interests in things like fashion, that’s not relevant to the audience who I’m trying to target with my hypothetical Teachable account.
  • Start pinning your content and other people’s content. It might seem counterintuitive, or like you should only be pinning your own content, but your followers want a mix. Pinterest favors accounts that aren’t only pinning from the same website.

    I usually find relevant content using the search function. So if I were pinning to my “Online courses” board, I’d search online courses and pin from the results.

For more on finding success via Pinterest, check out this blog post.

Criteria score

Difficulty: ⅕

Traffic Potential: 4/5

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

How to drive website traffic with email

Whether you already have an email list, or you're just sending a lot of email every day, believe it or not, you can start driving more traffic via email.

Email signature

You’re likely sending and receiving emails every single day–don’t let that exposure go to waste. If you’re looking to increase your traffic, you should add a link to your website in your email signature.

Even if it’s not driving massive traffic, the traffic your email signature does drive will be passive and require no extra work.

Getting started

Setting up a custom email signature is easy. Figuring out what to say, on the other hand, is a little trickier.

Depending on your goals, you’ll have a different CTA.

For example, if you’re hoping to drive traffic to a lead magnet, your email signature might look like this:

Morgan Timm

Content Team @ Teachable

Learn how to Teach Online in 2017 for free

On the other hand, if you’re simply trying to get a boost in following, your link might be to your website, and you’ll include social media icons in your signature.

Criteria score

Difficulty: ⅕

Traffic Potential: 1/5

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary depending on how many emails you send

Newsletters

Newsletters are great because they end up directly in your audience's’ email inbox, making them much harder to miss than a tweet or share on Facebook.

People create newsletters to share updates about their online businesses, keep their leads warm, and maintain an active presence in their audience’s digital lives.

If you’re looking to drive new leads, though, newsletters aren’t an effective strategy—the people on your email list already follow you to begin with.

Instead, sending newsletters is the easiest way to mobilize your existing audience and send them to your site.

 

Getting started

To get started sending regular newsletters, you’ll need an email provider. My favorites are ConvertKit and MailChimp. Both provide you with templates so you can create beautiful newsletters without a lot of tech know-how.

Email is an incredible sales tool, but if you want to drive consistent traffic to your site, the best method is to regularly notify your audience about content on your site.

With that said, you may want to run your own experiments to see what your audience responds best to. Do they like list posts? Do they like a simple email describing your blog post and linking to it?

Here is an in-depth guide on getting started creating a newsletter.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 3

Traffic Potential: 3/5

Time to start seeing results: Immediately upon your first send

Welcome emails

You only get one chance to make a first impression, or so they say, so it’s imperative to do it right. When someone signs up for your mailing list, you want to be able to show them your very best work.

And that’s where a welcome email comes into play. A newsletter can drive traffic to your site consistently, but a welcome email is a great opportunity to get new followers interested in your site and headed back again and again.

Your welcome email should highlight your greatest blog posts, the products you sell, and where else your audience can find you.

Getting started

First, you’ll need to create the copy. Here I’d recommend introducing yourself, what you can offer your audience, and the highlights of your online business.

Choose 3-5 resources that you’re incredibly proud of and that will be beneficial to your target audience. I recommend they all be free except one, which should be your most popular paid product.

Once you have the copy, you’ll need to set up a workflow to automate the email to new subscribers.

Luckily, as complicated as that sounds, there are easy guide walking you through. Here’s how to automate your email on MailChimp, and here’s how to automate a welcome email with ConvertKit.

If your main goal with this welcome email is to drive traffic to your site, make sure that it’s easy for readers to click links back to your site, and make sure you set up those links in a compelling way.

Criteria score

Difficulty: ⅕

Traffic Potential: ⅖

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

How to drive website traffic with partnerships

Guest blogging

Guest blogging is a great way to get your content and ideas in front of a brand new audience.

To use guest blogging to drive traffic, you’ll write blog posts for sites in your niche with a lot of traffic. You’ll send those visitors to your site with links in the post and in your author bio. Here’s how it works.

 

Getting started

First, you’ll need to create a list of potential sites you can post on. I’d recommend starting by looking at the websites you already frequent, the bloggers you’re already connected with, and the most popular sites in your niche. It’s important that the people reading this site would also be interested in yours.

Once you have a shortlist of top choices, you can start reaching out.

Write personalized emails letting the blogger know what you admire about their site and what new ideas you could bring them. Keep it short and simple, but do include the personal touch that keeps it from feeling like a mass email blast.

Don’t be discouraged if you get a lot of “no.” A lot of bloggers simply don’t accept guest posters and that’s OK.

Once you get that yes, though, it’s time to create a great piece of content. This will be your first time in front of a brand new audience, so you want to wow them. Your goal is to create a post so great that people can’t help but click over to your site and see what other type of content you’ve created.

Most sites will limit the amount of times you’re allowed to link back to your own properties, so make sure you make the most of backlinks by linking to specific pages that have higher conversion rates or valuable content rather than just your homepage. When you link to your site, give readers a compelling reason to click through, like a freebie or more information that’s not in the guest post.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 4/5

Traffic Potential: 5

Time to start seeing results: Immediately upon publishing

Webinars

Video content is powerful—in my opinion, there isn’t a better way to connect with your audience. What’s even more powerful? Hosting video content (i.e. webinars) in front of somebody else’s audience.

When two online entrepreneurs in similar or related niches team up to present on a topic, it’s called a joint venture or partners webinar.

Like guest posts, JV webinars allow you to tap into someone else’s large audience and send them to your site.

 

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the Teachable Webinar Room!

Getting started

Webinars require a lot of work up front as you script your presentation, create your slides, figure out your tech, and maybe run a practice round or two.

Let’s break it down into steps:

Step one: Create your script around a transformation. Your audience is giving you an hour of their lives, in return you should be providing them a clear transformation. After taking your online course they should know how to do something they didn’t before.

With that transformation in mind, create your script.

Step two: Create accompanying slides. Your slideshow isn’t necessary, but it does help keep your audience engaged and drives your points home. It’s easy to get distracted if you’re just watching somebody talk, but if they’ve got slides accompanying their speech staying focused is a bit easier.

Step three: Figure out the tech. There are a ton of option for hosting your own webinar. You’ve got the foolproof method which is investing in a webinar tool like Easy Webinars. Or, you can be more scrappy and set up a YouTube Live on your existing website.

If you have a Teachable school, we make hosting your webinars via YouTube easy. Here’s how you can set up a webinar or live stream within your school.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 5/5

Traffic Potential: 5/5

Time to start seeing results: Immediately upon hosting

YouTube

Like I mentioned, video is one of my preferred methods for driving traffic and building engagement in general. There’s something about being able to make “eye-contact” and hear you actually speak that causes your audience to warm up to you faster than they otherwise would.

YouTube is the platform when it comes to hosting video content, and it actually also works as one of the largest search engines in the world.

To drive traffic with YouTube, your main goal will be to get viewers to click pop-up links in your video, links below your video in the show notes, or short links you display in your videos, like bit.ly/traffic.

 

Getting started

Getting started on YouTube is as easy as sitting down in front of your camera (or cellphone or webcam) and recording a video that you think might be interesting to your target audience.

While content is king, you do want to make sure the quality is there in your recordings as well. You can increase video quality by:

  • Sit somewhere facing a window or natural light source. This will prevent weird shadows or lighting issues that can distract from your content.
  • Use an external microphone to get crisper sound. If you don’t have a microphone, just make sure you’re speaking loudly and clearly and in a room without a ton of echo.
  • Edit your videos. You can use a free program like iMovie to cut out awkward pauses or places where you messed up. Keeping them in might make your video look a bit amateurish and take away from your goals.
  • Include a CTA in the end. Close your video by asking your audience to subscribe and check out your website. People are more likely to take action if you directly ask them to take action.

YouTube also acts like a search engine, so you want to optimize the content you’re creating. Be clear in what your video is about in the title. As easy as it is to use a cute or punny video title, you want to make it extra searchable and clickable by saying exactly what your video contains.

how to get better at math.pngHere's an example of a straightforward video title by Thomas Frank.

The video description also needs to be optimized. Here you can go more in-depth about what your video is about and make sure to include keywords and phrases that people might be searching.

better at math.png

Finally, YouTube allows you to add tags to your video. Here is where you’re going to include every single relevant keyword you can think that relates to your video. Now, it might be tempting to put irrelevant but popular tags to get more views, but YouTube actually penalizes you for doing this.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 4/5

Traffic Potential: 5/5

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

How to drive website traffic with forums

Online question and answer forums might seem a little dated, but believe it or not, they're not only still popular, but they're great for driving traffic.

Quora

Quora is another platform that I believe all online entrepreneurs should devote at least a small bit of time to. It’s basically a question and answer forum where people can go and ask or answer on any given topic.

Quora covers just about every niche imaginable—from parenting to content marketing to sports to dating, it’s all there.

And Quora tends to rank well on Google, too. So, Quora gives you more bang for your buck when it comes to time spent on increasing traffic. To use Quora to increase traffic, all you need to do is answer questions in a strategic way. 

 

Getting started

Quora is so straightforward, it’s beautiful. You simply need to sign up for an account and start engaging with topics that interest you. It’s so easy it feels like a trap.

If you want more nitty-gritty advice, though, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you’re really focusing on using Quora to drive traffic, rather than engaging in everything that interests you, focus on engaging on posts that interest you AND are relevant to your website.
  • Make your goal to have every single answer you post the best answer on the question. Quora works on an upvote system, so the more helpful you are, the more upvotes you’ll get, and the higher your answer will rank on each question. This also helps your answers show up on Google.
  • Include links to your website in every answer you post. Here you have to be careful not to get spammy, but if you’re answering questions related to what your website is about, you can easily add in a sentence that says, “If you’re interested in a more in-depth answer, you can check out my post on __________ here.”
  • Add an image to your answer. This will help your answer be more eye-catching and, again, help it rank better.

For a complete guide on getting started and succeeding with Quora, check out this post.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 2/5

How to make a living onlineTraffic Potential: 4/5

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

Reddit

I always recommend that people approach Reddit with caution. It’s one of those platforms that is hard to get a standing on, and you have to be careful because Reddit users tend to despise self-promotion.

With that said, there are certain “sub-reddits” (or forums within Reddit) that are more accepting of posts linking back to your site than others.

Getting started

There are two approaches you can take when getting started with Reddit:

  1. Being upfront with who you are and what you do
  2. Creating an anonymous account not connected to your real identity at all

Now, most sites I’d recommend going with the first option, but most Reddit users tend to err on the side of anonymity and separate their Reddit accounts from their real lives completely.

The motivation for doing so varies from person to person, but for you it would act in your favor, as you wouldn’t get called out for self-promo.

Creating an account is easy, you just need to come up with a username and submit your email. From there, you can start searching for subreddits that interest you. Reddit has a subreddit for just about anything you can imagine (some are sketchy, approach with caution) but chances are you’ll have Reddit forums that are completely dedicated to your niche.

To find subreddits, usually I just use Google. For example, I frequent the skincare addiction subreddit, and I found it by googling, “best moisturizer dry skin reddit.” and found about a dozen different skincare subreddits.

Subreddits are self-moderated by other Reddit users and each comes with its own set of rules. Read the rules before you post, and then start diving in. To keep from looking too self-promoy, don’t share any links for your first five or six posts or comments while you build up your account. Once you do start sharing links, make sure you’re diversifying and not just sharing links to your own website.

It might seem dramatic, but Reddit users really don’t tolerate self-promo so just proceed with caution.

Like Quora, though, Reddit works on an upvote system, so you want to create the best answers to people’s questions. The more thorough and helpful you are, the higher your answer will rank. And like Quora, Reddit tends to show up on the front page of Google Search results, so if you can rank highly you might be getting hundreds or thousands of eyes on your answers each day.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 2/5

Traffic Potential: ⅗ (Reddit is very hit or miss!)

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

Driving traffic with paid ads

The surest way to see a lot of traffic quickly is by investing in ads. Putting money behind your campaigns can accelerate your success with very little time or effort on your part.

With that said, ads are very much a pay to play game, so if you don’t have a large budget, you might not get the results that you were hoping for.

Paid search

Paid search is fairly fool-proof in theory. The idea is, you use paid ads to drive traffic to your website. When people Google terms that are relevant to your business, paid search can get your ads to show up on the top of the results page.

The part that takes some finessing, though, is driving the right traffic.

Done correctly, paid search can bring you hundreds if not thousands of new leads, and expose your brand to a massive audience. With that said, there is a lot of trial and error that goes into perfecting your paid search strategy.

 

Getting started

To get started with Paid Search, you’ll first need to decide if you want to DIY your ads, or pay an outside expert to run ads for you.

If you decide to go with the expert, you’ll of course end up paying more, but your results are more guaranteed.

On the other hand, going the DIY route can still yield incredible results and save you loads of money. To get started running search ads yourself, first you’ll need to sign up for a Google AdWords account if you don’t have one already.

When it comes to creating your ad, there are three easy steps you’ll follow:

  1. Create the ad itself. Here is where you perfect the copy and aesthetic of your ad.
  2. Target your audience. Use keywords and audience research to make sure your ad is being shown to your target audience.
  3. Set your budget. If you’re just getting started with trial and error, I recommend starting with a smaller budget until you perfect your ad and audience targeting.

Luckily, Google understands that most people don’t have much experience running ads, and they’ll walk you through the process.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 3/5

Traffic Potential: 5/5

Time to start seeing results: Immediately upon ad approval

Paid social

In addition to organic reach on social media, you can pay to boost your posts or run ads. Nearly every platform I can think of allows you to do so, but I find ads are most common on Facebook and Instagram.

Ads are great, because they’ll show up in the middle of your target audience’s feed and can even look a lot like organic posts short of the small “sponsored” text that will appear on the top.

Getting started

I recommend creating an ad rather than boosting an existing post if you’re using Facebook or Instagram. A lot of my peers have talked about having more luck with ads than boosted posts. When it comes to actually getting started and executing, you’ll need to get started with Facebook Ads Manager.

From there, they more or less walk you through the process of creating your ad, you just need to create the image and copy for the ad itself and target your audience.

Through Facebook ad manager, you can also publish ads to Instagram as they’re owned together. Facebook Ads Manager lets you set clear objectives and goals for your ads, taking a lot of the guess work out of it for you.

 

From there, things get more in-depth and you have to have at least a little bit of know how to continue. The page looks technical and overwhelming, but if you take it one category at a time it’s a lot easier to manage.

Audience targeting is incredibly important, and something I recommend researching before spending any money on your ads.

Once you’ve gone through all of the ad creation steps, there is a waiting period while Facebook either approves or denies your ad.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 3/5

Traffic Potential: 5/5 (varies based on your budget)

Time to start seeing results: Immediately upon ad approval

How to drive website traffic with SEO

If you’re willing to play the long game, SEO, or search engine optimization, is a great way to drive traffic.

Search engine optimization is essentially creating content in a way that signals to Google that your content is high-quality and helpful.

On-page optimization

Search engine optimization is as much of an art as it is a science. What search engine crawlers look for is always changing, but there are the fundamentals that always remain the same.

Optimizing your webpages for search engines is smart, and something you should be doing every time you publish something new to the web.

But here’s the thing—on-page SEO tactics alone aren’t likely to get you much traction. They make it easier for people to find your site, but they don’t directly drive traffic. Instead, you should get your on-page SEO ducks in a row to make all your other tactics work better.

Getting started

Search engine optimization takes time and it can be incredibly discouraging when you don’t see results right away. It’s also a massive topic that I could spend 30,000 words going on about.

With that said, I’ll take you through the basics and then link to a few of my favorite resources in case you want to look further into SEO.

  • Use your titles and headings. If you look at this page, you’ll see that terms like “Getting Started” and “Criteria Score” are written larger than the paragraph text. These are headings and they tell Google that the page is well organized and easy to read.
  • Post quality content. You might be thinking, “Well, duh…” but Google defines quality a bit different than you or I may. Google loves longform content. So a post that’s 2,000 words will do better than one that’s only 400 words. Google also smiles upon mixed media, so including images and video within your website can help you rank better.
  • Use your keywords. If you’re writing about cake decorating, the phrase cake decorating should appear in a few of your headings, your URL, the alt-text in your images, and throughout the copy of your webpage.

For more on on-page optimization, check out this blog post by Moz.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 4/5

Traffic Potential: 3/5

Time to start seeing results: A few weeks to a few months

Internal linking

Internal linking simply means linking to your own content within your own website.

Someone once described their website to me as a spider web. Their plan was to make it as easy as possible to get from one layer of the web to the next by creating as many natural segways as possible.

They did this by internally linking to their own content whenever they created new content. This not only helps make navigating your site easier for your audience and gives them ample opportunities to visit more pages on your site—it also improves your ranking with Google.

Getting started

This is, of course, easiest to do if you’ve already got content live on your website. If that’s the case, the first thing you should do is go back and link relevant articles to each other within the body of each page or post.

Once you’ve accomplished that, you’ve already begun building the base of your web.

Now, whenever you’re creating new content, link to old content or other pages on your site where you see fit. A few opportunities to do so are:

  • Including a “related post” section at the bottom of each blog post. That’s something we do here at Teachable.
  • Link to related posts within your new content. You may have noticed that for a lot for these options I’m saying, “For more information, check out _______.” because if we’ve already created content it makes more sense to link to a relevant article then explain the same thing over and over again.
  • Create “cornerstone” pieces of content. These are incredibly long, valuable, and relevant to your niche as a whole. And chances are, you’ve got a lot of content to link to while writing that post, but there’ll also be a lot of opportunity to link to that post in the future while writing new content.
  • Link to your homepage on every page. On my personal blog, my logo appears at the top of every page and post. By clicking my logo, my audience is taken to my homepage. This is a little thing, but it’s passive once you set it up and counts as an on-page link.
  • Utilize anchor text. If you’re linking to a page on creating fondant flowers, link the sentence, “Learn how to create fondant flowers here.” rather than just linking the word “here.” By linking your entire sentence you’re helping Google understand that you’re taking your audience somewhere relevant.

For more on internal linking, check out this blog post by Yoast.

Criteria score

Difficulty: ⅕

Traffic Potential: 3/5

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

Link building

Link building is another strategy to help your content rank better on Google. Link building is essentially the idea of getting as many people as possible to link to your website in relevant posts on their sites.

This can be done through outreach, guest posting, or even paid agencies.

Getting started

Link building requires a lot of time investment. Whether it’s through writing guest posts or emailing people asking them to link back to a relevant article on your site.

We’ve already covered guest blogging—it’s valuable because you’re showing off your great content and getting links back to your own site.

Here’s how to link build by asking people to link to your content:

  • Email your online friends, first. The easiest way to get people to say “yes” to adding links to their site is by asking your friends first. Saying, “Hey, I saw you wrote an article about the Instagram update, it was great so I linked it in my article about how to gain Instagram followers. Would you mind linking my post in yours?” is an easy way to get your first few backlinks.
  • Sign up for HARO. HARO is a website where reporters can submit requests for experiences and anecdotes related to whatever project they’re working on and people online answer with their stories.

    Some reporters want anonymous answers, ignore those queries, answer questions where they ask for your name and a link to your website. If you get published in the reporter’s article, you’ll earn a backlink.

    There is plenty of opportunity to be published, too, because HARO emails every single day.
  • Email owners of high-performing blog posts a link to your site. A polite introduction and request to include a link to your high-value page can go a long way. With that said, some website owners are fielding dozens of these requests weekly, so you might get more people saying no than saying yes. That’s OK! Keep reaching out and trying to secure links.
  • Comment on other people’s content. These links are the least valuable in the long-run, but they do have an impact. Most comment forms allow you to create a link back to your website within your comment.
  • Create a round-up post linking to dozens of related articles. Email everyone you featured and ask them to link back to your website somewhere within their website.

Here is more on link-building by Moz.

Criteria score

Difficulty: 3/5

Traffic Potential: 5/5

Time to start seeing results: Results will vary

How to track traffic sources

Once you start investing a lot of time and energy into growing your traffic sources, you’ll want to track where they’re coming from so you can best understand which strategies are optimally performing for you.

The easiest way to track your traffic sources is by creating UTM parameters on your links. Sounds complicated, but it’s not. Google actually has it’s own URL builder where you can tack on your UTM parameter automatically.

 

 

When you’re filling out the parameters for any links you’re pointing back to your own website, start with your base link (aka where you’re driving traffic), then your source will be the site driving traffic. If you’re linking from Quora, for example, but Quora. If you’re writing a guest post, write guest post.

You can get more specific with the Campaign Name. If it’s a guest post, but the name of the website you’re writing for.

Checking parameters in Google Analytics

First, if you’re not already connected to Google Analytics, you can learn how to connect your Teachable school here, or read our in-depth guide on Google Analytics to learn how to connect a blog or outside website.

To view the UTM campaigns you’ve created in Google Analytics, go to your home page then click “acquisition” in the sidebar. A dropdown will appear, from there click “campaigns” then “all campaigns.”

Viewing organic traffic

Organic traffic can’t be tracked with UTM parameters, so you’ll need to go into Google Analytics and examine your organic traffic from there.

 

 

Teachable’s preferred traffic tactics for online courses

Getting your content in front of fresh eyes without an email list is easier said than done. The trick is to invest your time into high-return platforms, or platforms that give you the most traffic for the least amount of effort.

This looks different for people who are just starting out and don’t have a following yet and people who already have an email list.

If you don’t have a list

YouTube or Quora. Both platforms are great for driving traffic and gaining notoriety relatively quickly, and depending on your personality one may work better for you than the other.

For example, if you’re not comfortable on camera, YouTube probably isn’t for you, but you can express the same ideas you would on video via a Quora blog or in Quora answers.

Both platforms also function as search engines, making it easier for people to find your content.

Guest blogging. Another way to get eyes on your content is through guest blogging. Chances are you have a unique perspective, expertise, and voice that somebody else's followers would be incredibly interested in. You just need to pitch the owner of the blog you're interested in posting on and asked if you could write a guest post for them.

Guest posting also serves the dual purpose of getting backlinks and increasing your search engine ranking.

If you do have a list

Email marketing. Like I mentioned earlier, your email list is your greatest tool as an online entrepreneur because these are the people who have opted in already to hear from you and you can end up directly in their inboxes, the one place they likely check more than anywhere else.

JV Webinars. Webinars require more planning and time than sending a simple email, but their return makes it all worth it. You might spend a few weeks prepping, but webinars have high engagement rates and if you have an upsell at the end of your webinar, you can guarantee driving high amounts of traffic to your sales page.

Increase your trafficwhere it counts

No matter how much traffic you've got coming to your online business, it doesn't mean much if you're not capturing those leads or making money from your visitors. If you feel confident in increasing traffic but still a bit fuzzy on how to make money, check out this resource:

How to make a living online

Start boosting your traffic!

Like I said, there’s a lot that goes into growing traffic to your website and it can feel very overwhelming. That’s why you shouldn’t try to do every single thing I suggested. Depending on the skillset you already have, your interests, and the nature of your business you might find that some of these methods already sound more appealing than others. Start with those and experiment to decide which are optimal for your business.

Any questions on how you can grow your website traffic? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Morgan Timm

Written by Morgan Timm

Morgan Timm is a content marketer at Teachable with a background in blogging and social media. She runs Mostly Morgan, a life and style blog that reaches an audience of 40,000 people monthly.