I guess you could say I’m a hacker. I can hack golf, life, [music getting louder] and traffic. But I’m guessing what you’re interested in most is traffic. So in this video, I’m going to show you how to get traffic to your website backed with 7 real-life examples, stats, and everything in between.
Stay tuned. [music] What’s up marketers? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. Now, if you’re new to digital marketing and struggling to drive traffic to your website, then you’re in the right place.
Over the past 10 years, I have personally run countless experiments with both free and paid traffic techniques. But that’s just me. Combine that with some of the smart marketers here at Ahrefs, and we have decades of experience to share with you today.
Now, if you’re like me and you’re tired of hearing advice like “use hashtags,” then make sure to watch until the end of this video because I am confident that there’s something valuable in here for everyone.
Let’s get to it. Quick sidenote: this video isn’t meant to encourage you to look for hacky ways to get more website traffic. It’s meant to encourage you to experiment and implement new tactics into your broader marketing strategies and processes.
Alright, the first strategy is to use forums like Quora. So, Quora is a popular question and answer forum where people ask questions, and anyone can answer them and link back to their site. But Quora in itself isn’t some magical traffic vault.
In my experiment, I wanted to see how much traffic you could get to a brand new website from just Quora. And not just any traffic, but qualified traffic. Meaning visitors will turn into leads and/or sales.
So I bought a new domain on October 27, 2016, threw up one answer that was linking to my new domain and here are the results. Around 48,000 users and 15,700 subscribers for a wholesale clothing line that didn’t exist at the time.
Alright, so conventional wisdom will tell you to search for a popular topic on Quora, write a “great” answer and link back to your site. But the biggest gap in this strategy is you have no way of knowing which pages on Quora are actually generating traffic today.
But we do know that Quora gets a ton of traffic from Google – over 100 million monthly search visitors according to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. So what I did and what you can do is search for relevant keywords that Quora ranks for.
And once you find a page that’s getting a good amount of consistent traffic from Google, you can post your answer there and get some free exposure for your website. Here’s how it’s done. I’ll go to Site Explorer and search for quora.
com. Then I’ll go to the Top pages report, which ranks the pages by the ones that get the most search traffic from Google. Now, let’s say that I have a blog on fashion and style. I would just type in a general keyword in the Include search box to find relevant pages.
And the first two results look pretty legit. One on colors that go with purple and the other about types of fashion styles. Now, there are three very important things that I learned throughout my experiment.
#1. Context is king. So in my answer, I had four links in total. The first one was a link back to my personal blog on a business-related topic, the second and third links were to other well-known wholesale sites, and the fourth link was to my experimental landing page.
While I can’t tell you how much traffic went to the second and third links, the fourth and most relevant link had around 39x the traffic from Quora than the first link. #2. The second thing I’ve learned is that a page’s ranking position in Google can change quite randomly and frequently.
So you want to find pages that have had steady traffic or are currently growing. You can do this by clicking on the caret beside the URL you want to answer, and then go to the Overview page. Then look at the Organic search tab, where you can see the history of that page’s traffic.
And this one looks pretty steady so I’d say that it’s worth posting on. And the last tip is to look at view velocity of the top answer. If you’re logged into Quora, then you can see the number of views each answer has earned.
So just take the total view count and divide it by the number of months from the time it was answered, and you have a general idea of what you can expect if you were to rank high for that answer. Alright, the second strategy is to tap into untapped paid advertising platforms.
I get it. You might not have a huge budget for things like PPC advertising. But I’m not talking about the more popular advertising platforms like Google Ads or Facebook. Both are great, but in my experiment, I wanted to test out some of the “less popular” ad platforms like Pinterest, Yahoo Gemini, Outbrain, Taboola, and Reddit.
The two that worked particularly well for me were Pinterest and Outbrain. Let me expand on my favorite ad platform – Pinterest. The goal of my experiment was to see if I could pull off some good old affiliate arbitrage, which meant to make more in affiliate commissions than I spend on ads.
Here are my results from Pinterest. I spent around $17,000 and have earned around 2.5x that without doing much more than creating an image, choosing some keywords, and paying my monthly dues. Best of all, my total Pinterest spend hasn’t been on just this affiliate site.
I’ve bought about 10,000 clicks to another site on a completely unrelated topic. Now, I know that I haven’t exactly spent millions of dollars, but I’ve played with Pinterest enough to learn a few things: #1.
Traffic is cheap. So with an average CPC of around $0.26 across all of my campaigns, it was a no-brainer for me to push as much money in as the impressions would allow. #2. Pinterest sends super qualified traffic from my experience.
The majority of their users are in the US and if you think about what people do on this platform…they “pin” pictures of things that they want to make or buy. In fact, Pinterest ads have converted better for me than Google Adwords, Facebook, and Bing ads.
..combined. Now, before you start advertising blindly, you should consider Pinterest’s audience. For example, a website that sells bags will likely do much better than a steel mill looking for investors.
So how can you set up Pinterest ads? It’s literally just a matter of choosing an interest-based audience or entering a list of keywords. That’s up to you to experiment with. I won’t go deeper into the affiliate strategy since that’s outside of the scope of getting traffic to your site.
But if you do want to see more about this topic, leave a comment and we’ll go from there. The next strategy is to update “out of date” content. At Ahrefs, we have a ton of data on keywords and backlinks.
So we created this cool post showing the top Google searches. A few months after publishing our post, we got thousands of free visitors from Google search. But since people are searching for different things every month, the article went out of date and rankings dropped.
So we decided to update the post in April 2018 and almost had a near instant spike in traffic. And we updated it again in May, June, September, October, and now December for continual growth. Here is how you can identify pages that could benefit from an update.
First, if your content is about a topic that requires “freshness” in the real world, then it might be worth updating. For example, a topic on the “best headphones in 2019” would likely need to be updated the following year because manufacturers will continue to release new models and there might be new brands that come to market.
And second, if you’re starting to see your rankings fall, then it might be worth updating. But don’t be rash and jump to conclusions. Just like in our “Top Google searches” post, you could see that we were losing rankings and traffic.
So we figured that we had to keep it fresh to a certain extent. The next traffic hack is to repurpose your content to different media types. If you’re going to put time into creating great content, then why not get the most mileage out of it? Repurposing content can easily double your reach and traffic.
Here are a couple of things we regularly do at Ahrefs. On social media, we’ll take some of our more successful list posts and repurpose them into bite-sized tips on Twitter. Now, this tweet has 23 retweets.
If we were to average half that number for all 75 tips, then that would equal 862 retweets. We also take interesting points from our blog posts and share them on social media without a link. This has resulted in way higher share rates for us and naturally, new people who have never heard of our brand will look us up.
Another way that we repurpose content is to turn our blog posts into videos and our videos into blog posts. Confused? Let me explain. Some people choose to literally turn a blog post into a video verbatim.
And that works to a certain extent because some prefer video over text and vice versa. So at Ahrefs, we sometimes use the same topic on our blog and YouTube channel, but each content format will have slightly different tips.
For example, our video on SEO tips was inspired by our massive post from our blog. But you’ll find that about 60% of the tips in the video are different from the blog post. And our video series on WordPress SEO was actually repurposed to a blog post.
And both the video and blog post have performed well. So how do you choose which content to repurpose and which ones to leave alone? Two things. First is to research keyword popularity on the platforms.
And second is a pretty self-explanatory rule called “does it make sense?” So popularity of a keyword can easily be found using Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Just select your search engine and enter in a keyword you want to target.
And you’ll see that on YouTube, there are around 1,100 monthly searches for WordPress SEO in the US and 7,000 worldwide. Now, let’s switch the search engine to Google. And you’ll see a good amount of searches each month around the world here too.
Now, does this strategy actually work for us? Well, our blog gets around 220,000 monthly visitors from Google search alone. And our YouTube channel got over 100,000 views in the last 28 days. So yes..
.yes it does. The next tip is to improve CTR on all platforms. CTR stands for click-through rate. It’s the ratio of users who click on a specific link compared to the number of times the link or advert is shown, which are called impressions.
Now, I want you to think about this for a second. Let’s say your page appears in 1,000 Google searches and 5% of people click on your result. Then you get 50 visitors. But let’s say you could double your clickthrough rate to 10%.
Then you’ll double your traffic too. There are three basic parts that are responsible for enticing a click. These are the title, the description, and the image. And these are pretty straightforward.
You want to write something that sounds enticing, solves a problem or evokes curiosity. And your image should support your main topic. A great way to know which headlines to improve is to dig into your analytics.
No matter which platform you’re using to get traffic, whether that be Google, YouTube, Facebook or whatever, they should show you your click-through rates. For example, if you’re trying to get traffic from Google, you can use Google Search Console to see the different queries people are searching for, how many times your web pages appeared for the search query, and the percentage of clicks that your page got.
If you find that you’re ranking high, let’s say top three, yet your click-through rate is abysmal, then it might be a sign to update your title to something more click-worthy. We have a full video on optimizing title tags and headlines to maximize your click-through rate, so I highly recommend watching that video.
But for now, we’re going to move on to the last and in our opinion, the best way to get free, consistent and passive traffic to your website or blog. And that’s SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of optimizing your pages to rank higher in Google.
Just like I showed you before, we get over 220,000 search visitors to our blog alone and nearly half a million Google search visitors each month to our website as a whole. The thing with other traffic acquisition tactics is that some only work for as long as you’re willing to pay and others might have a short period of “virality,” but eventually, it’ll die down.
This is what Rand Fishkin refers to as “the spike of hope” and it looks something like this. You’ll see hope and quickly be disappointed by the flatline of “nope.” Now, when you use SEO as a marketing strategy, the opposite tends to happen.
Your traffic should steadily grow. SEO has a lot of moving pieces. From keyword research to link building to on-page SEO and the list goes on. So if this is something that you want to benefit from or improve, I highly recommend watching one of our many SEO tutorials.