A lot of people find my site based on how I use instagram to get traffic. However, it is not the only technique I use. Before I venture off into paid advertising techniques, I wanted to master free advertising. There are two reasons why.
- When people are starting an online business, often times they have no money to begin with. Inviting someone into an “easy” business and then springing fees on them is unethical and part of the reason 90% of internet markups fail within the first 120 days.
- I believe if I spend 3 – 6 months using free advertising techniques, all of my paid advertising will be leveraged by work I’d already done – giving me a bang for my buck. Also, the amount you learn about traffic when you are working to get it for free will help when it comes to dealing with Google Adwords down the line.
I use instagram to get traffic to my site because the audience is highly targeted and very engaged. When I say they are engaged, it is interesting though, because it isn’t like my Instagram account is full of people commenting. Also, it’s not like I can go to my Google Analytics and see that some of the 40 ‘likes’ on my Instagram picture clicked through to my website. They are engaged in the sense they follow the hashtags they use.
The challenge I am currently having is engagement, but seeing how people interact with Instagram lets me know I can break through. In the meantime, though, I just make it my business to keep using the hashtags specific to my niche. I’ll tell you why this will mean something further down the line by explaining the concept behind something else very challenging to me. Email Marketing.
There are a lot of different views surrounding the importance of Email Marketing or building your Email list. Some internet marketers will say that you do not need to build a list, while others believe you are not a true internet marketer without one. In my opinion, because the most successful internet marketers in the world have an email list, I will go with the traditional approach that building your list is the most valuable thing you can do in your online business.
The idea is, when people subscribe to your email list you increase your chance of conversion by over 30%. Do not quote me on the “30%”. A search query about the importance of an email list will give you a statistic. The reason for this is because people need to see you at least 7x before buying. Again, do not quote me on the ‘7’. The point is, people need to see you more than 2x before they even think about dealing with you. This is why I am not too concerned about not being able to drive engagement on Instagram. So long as I stay consistent, once I get into paid advertising techniques, the likelihood that someone from Instagram will pop into an advertisement for my site somewhere else on the web increases and the likelihood that they will click through increases exponentially.
This video will tell you step-by-step how to quickly promote a website, affiliate link, or blog post on instagram.
How To Use Instagram To Get Traffic
Other Techniques I Use To Generate Traffic
Using Instagram to get traffic, though, is less than half of my efforts. It is the quickest and most responsive way to get a targeted audience to your site before you start gaining organic traffic from Search Engine Optimization efforts. Here is a list of the other techniques I use to get traffic to my site.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO, as it is called, is the process of ranking your website for a search query. In other words, what are you doing on your website to ensure that when someone is searching Google for your niche that you come up on the first page? Any answers to that question probably in one way, shape, or form, optimizes your site for the Google Search Engine.
There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into SEO. Half of it is foreign to beginners, like submitting your websites site map or adding tags to the Header or customizing your Meta. Those are things that are actually still foreign to me … foreign is an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. There are a lot of services that will help you with the “administrative” SEO tasks, but there are things that we must do to our blog posts, websites, and links that complete the SEO circle of stuff that has to be done.
There is a lot more information on the web about SEO and On-Page SEO. There is a certain formula that every post or page has in order to rank for a keyword and a google search query will get you that information. I am no expert. As a matter of fact, I use a WordPress plugin called Squirrly, the same plugin that expert traffic generator Neil Patel uses that helps me make sure I have addressed everything I can on-page. I know to put a keyword in a title, in a heading, in the URL, and in bold. I know to put my keyword or keywords in the introduction and about 3 more times in 300 words. I know to upload a picture and add text including the keyword into the alt text. The Squirrly plugin works as I am writing my blog telling me when I need to do something and when something is done right I get a banner notification for that too. It has been so helpful, in less than 3 weeks, I am already at rank 77 for a keyword I targeted.
This is not a departure from SEO. As a matter of fact, thanks to the Google algorithm of ranking sites and pages, pretty much everything you do in the traffic generation department is going to tie back into Search Engine Optimization. Since the latest Google algorithm update, link building and social sharing have and will continue to become and increasingly important factor for how your site is ranked. The amount of shares you get on your links sends an almost alarming signal to Google, so it is important to make sure your content is getting across all social networks and mediums.
Obviously, you want to make sure you are sharing on Facebook and asking your friends to share as well. Google+ is still elusive to me, but I make sure to share my content on my profile as well as in relevant communities, which I think is the best bet. You must share on Twitter and Pintrest is gaining momentum in the industry as well for a source of traffic.
Whenever you can, though, make sure you are dominating a lesser known social site like Tagged for example. Sometimes I think about sharing my work on dating sites because I know there are a lot of bored people on dating sites that are already trained to click and swipe.
Link building is very challenging if you ask me. I am at the very beginning stages of link building and still very far away from the meat of it. There are two parts to link building from how I am understanding it so far, so after this, be sure to do your own research and be sure to update me if I have said anything wrong or if you have a clearer understanding.
Google cares about who you are linking out to and they care about who is linking to you. If I do a post on something informative and I link to a page that has no authority for the keyword my content is about, then is my content credible or relevant? How about if I link to a page that is an authority in the niche or for the keyword, then Google can assume that I am giving out the right information.
If someone is trying to rank for a keyword and they link to content I have pertaining to that niche, then Google can assume that the page must have good information. The more people linking to that page, the more the page looks like it knows what it is talking about.
A good link building strategy is all about building relationships. It starts with relevant and niche related blog commenting. It involves content syndication and guest posting. It involves actual outreach and collaborations. I always tell people who are just starting out, because this is what I do: start answering relevant questions in your niche and use your content as your information as your plug.
I go to sites like Quora, Scoop.It, Warrior Forum, and Reddit, and I answer questions that my blog posts answer and when I answer the question I include a link to my blog. I still have to work really hard on creating killer headlines, but as soon as I get that down-packed, I will get more people clicking through to my site based on an answer I gave. I also follow small blogs and I do whatever I can to support them. I show readership and that I am engaged and I make sure people know that I am an active person on their blog. This is something that will help me down the line when I start reaching out to people to ask that they share my work or for an actual guest blogging opportunity which is the best method of link building.
There are sites like Huffington Post that accept guest posts. I also write articles for Ezine which is nice because those articles get shared. These are necessary for link building strategies.
Free Traffic Generators
I am not going to say much on this because I do not really care for this method. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to get an extra 300 views to my page in 2 days, but when you look at the statistics, it wasn’t worth it to me. My bounce rate shot all the way up and the amount of time spent on each page went all the way down. I am not interested in that type of traffic. Without a traffic generator, I get a little bit of traffic per day – not more than 50 people. However, more than 83% of 50 people will look at my entire site. I would rather that.
But, I am not going to count them out. Five years ago, when I first started learning how to make money using the internet, I demolished free traffic generators. I also didn’t understand anything of what I was doing. I belonged to affiliate programs and it was a great place to share my link. People would actually click through. But then I noticed, I used to click through too.
This got me to wondering who was really using Free Traffic Generators? Impulsive people use them. This is why when I used to use them, I always caught myself signing up for a new opportunity and this is why people would click through my opportunities as well. The people using free traffic generators are still up for grabs. If your opportunity looks better or as good as theirs, they are clicking through. I had to buckle down and stop signing up for other opportunities, but then I realized the most successful people aren’t using them at all. I have never seen Neil Patel’s products on free traffic generators nor have I ever heard of him promoting them.
If they were good for anything I would say they are good for B2B opportunities. If you have a product that you are selling that will make an internet marketer’s job easier than yes you should put a little effort into traffic generators, but you should get a paid package and just keep your product links on rotation. If I ever found a product that helps me and I know it would help other internet marketers, then yes, I would use a traffic generator, but I would pay for the credits I needed to have in order for my product link to be seen.
There is a formula for creating killer headlines and this is what I am leaving you with. If I had to do everything over again, I would have spent more time researching Headlines and how to create them. If you cannot get someone to click on your headline, does it even matter what you wrote? I have yet to come across an article that separates Headlines as its own traffic generating technique, but it deserves to be in a class of its own.
If you have a good headline, you are going to click through. If you search for something, most people are going to go for the catchiest headline on the first page, the headline that is the most compelling. For that reason, spending a decent amount of time focusing on your headline will be very valuable. If the headline is great, the person is clicking through. If your content sucks, they will leave immediately, but you can always work on content and whatever damage you did by having a killer headline and shabby content can be reversed. The momentum a post can get for a killer headline is enough to keep you going without being discouraged and for that I would rather do damage control later on down the line by allowing people to see me grow and refine myself into my business.
The rule of thumb is you spend 20% creating and 80% promoting what you have created. When your business is online, you have billions of people that have not seen your work so it makes sense to spend more time promoting than you would creating. This does not mean throw a blog together. It means don’t say a blog post took you 2 hours because that would mean you spent 24 minutes writing your post and 96 minutes promoting it. How about a blog post took you 10 hours, where you spent 2 hours writing and 8 hours promoting it.
When you are just starting out, link building may seem like a lot. If you save the outreach part of it for later down the line and just stick to blog commenting, it will be way easier for you than it has been for others.
I am extremely passionate about showing people what it takes to run an online business. If you read, What Starting A Blog Has Taught Me, you will have a better understanding as to what you are leaving behind when you do not have a blog. If you want to get to know more about my agenda and dreams, then definitely check out my About page. It is extremely insightful and proves I am a visionary.
As always, I’d love to know what you think – I mean, no one ever comments, but I still have to say it because one day, I know someone will. Have you used any of these methods or even better, do you use a method that isn’t listed here? How do you get traffic to your site?