Thanks to the world wide web, you can reach millions of people all around the globe as soon as your website goes live.
Unfortunately, that rarely happens.
Because the Internet is becoming a very competitive place, it’s also becoming more challenging to stand out every single day. It can take buckets of blood, sweat, and tears to build up enough domain authority (DA), but it doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s why we’ve compiled a number of unconventional traffic generating tactics using growth hacking.
Leverage other sites
Most companies can eventually benefit from SEO, but early on, your website simply doesn’t have the domain authority to rank highly for most searches. According to Moz, domain authority is determined by various factors such as linking root domains and the number of total links.
In other words, in the early stages, Google is not yet your friend. Luckily, there are a couple of ways you could generate traffic without Google.
One old-school tactic is guest blogging. If you have zero readers on your site, why write for yourself? Instead, your website will benefit much more if you go write a 3,000-word article for someone else.
But you already knew that, right?
However, here’s the trick: Every time you write an article, keep track of every outbound link you include. As soon as your guest post goes live, use it as an opportunity to start a professional relationship with the author of the article or product you link to.
Don’t overdo it, though, your main focus should be on the reader, and not the potential authors you could reach. Every outbound link should provide value to the audience.
Keep this trick in mind next time you’re looking for a source to use. Reach out to the authors of these sources and pick those most likely to engage in a reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationship.
Congratulations! Not only do you now have a backlink to your site from the guest post, but you are also on the radar of other authors, who will feel inclined to return the favor and link to you in their future articles.
Guest posting requires quite some effort, but the return compounds over time. If you guest post consistently, over time, you’ll be able to publish articles on bigger sites and eventually become an authority within your space. So start pitching guest posts as early as possible.
Apart from guest posting, you can also leverage authoritative sites such as Quora, Medium or Reddit. Simply create a post or reply to questions relevant to the keyword you want to rank for.
Being present on those keywords searches is a good start, but going to extra mile to create a more thorough, higher quality post than the competition will get you better results.
Tip: This guide on customer acquisition channels goes more in-depth on how to achieve success with this tactic.
Create highly shareable, interactive content
One of the best ways to attract traffic is by creating content – ideally, not the average run-of-the-mill content, but shareable, quality content. Unfortunately, creating such content is easier said than done.
But contrary to what some people think, producing amazing content, the kind that readers will eagerly share, is not guesswork, and it’s certainly not luck. It’s a combination of great storytelling, self-interest (theirs, not yours), and consistency.
Instead of writing another blog post, consider creating a piece of interactive content. You could even repurpose previous posts.
Here are some of the benefits of using interactive content:
- Highly shareable as it stands out from the competition
- More captivating than static content
- Better conversion than static conversion pages
One particular type that has been proven to be effective are quizzes.
Creating a quiz in this day and age isn’t as hard as it used to be. You don’t need any coding or tech skills to create an engaging quiz. Most survey makers also provide quiz capabilities as well as ready-to-use quiz templates.
Just look at what Jaiya did with their Erotic Blueprint.
Jaiya is an internationally recognized sexologist who worked out a framework of erotic blueprints that helps people discover and talk about sex and their sexuality.
Her business created the Erotic Blueprint Quiz to build their email subscriber list with an ongoing lead generator and provide immediate gratification by automatically emailing prospects highly personalized content around their sexuality and erotic blueprint.
Because of the sexual nature of Jaiya’s content, options such as Facebook ads or Google Adwords weren’t possible. Instead, the quiz was shared through affiliates, podcasts, and mentions in blog posts.
The quiz has been up and running for less than a year and brings in, on average, 5,000 new leads each month with peaks that go as high as 20,000 leads.
By incorporating more advanced calculations in the backend of the quiz, Jaiya could build more accurate profiles and optimize personalization. Which allows the business to send more targeted content in their follow-up communication.
That’s what interactive marketing is all about: it generates interaction and two-way communication with your audience. A normal article, on the other hand, is considered “static content” or one-way communication.
Build a glossary or knowledge base
Every business or niche has its own jargon and abbreviations. You could assume your target audience has a firm grasp of your jargon or you could create a glossary or documentation page.
I recommend the latter.
Ideally, you could set up a separate page to explain every popular term within your niche. Make a list of as many terms as you can think of and start writing a piece of content with around 300 words per term.
Give them some time to gain traction. Check back 4 weeks later and make a dedicated blog post (1,000+ words) about the most popular terms to attract even more traffic.
Tip: Don’t forget to 301-redirect the old glossary pages to the new ones to prevent two of your pages competing for the same keyword.
We tried this tactic ourselves with great success. We never expected to get 2,500 visits per month from people looking for “closed-ended questions.” A total of 8,300 monthly visits isn’t bad either.
Don’t be afraid of low search volume keywords
When you first start out, you won’t have the domain authority to rank for the big, high volume keywords in your space. Instead, focus on keywords that are close to your USP or combine one of the big keywords with something that makes you unique.
These keywords won’t have the largest search volume, but they will rank a lot easier and secure traffic from long tail variations.
For each keyword candidate, make sure to check that there are a sufficient number of closely related keywords with some search volume. To look up these long tail keyword variations, you can use the same tools and methods as you do for regular keyword research.
We’ve put this to the test. In one of our best performing blog articles (in terms of organic traffic), the keywords do not have the largest search volume, but they have loads of long tail variations (1,000+).
The thought behind this approach is that long tail keywords are simpler to rank for. Furthermore, on the off chance that you combine the volume of those long tail keywords together, they break even with the pursuit volume of a solitary high-volume term.
Translate your (best) content
As mentioned before, the internet is a competitive place. Especially when you focus on an English audience. However, when you move away to other languages, preferably languages spoken by your target audience, you open up a whole new can of opportunities.
This is where international SEO comes in.
We translated one of our top blog posts (in terms of organic traffic) from English into five different languages. The Spanish version proved most successful because it has the largest population.
When you combine all five languages, these translations generate an additional 60 percent in monthly traffic.
Beware! There are some pitfalls concerning international SEO. For example, make sure to optimize your keywords for each language, just because a keyword performs well in English, doesn’t mean its (literal) translation will too.
Now it’s up to you!
I hope these tactics will provide you with some inspiration or guidance on how to hack your way to some extra website traffic. Don’t forget it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Are there any other tactics that have worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!
About the author: Stefan Debois is the founder and CEO of Survey Anyplace, a tool that enables you to make fun surveys, quizzes, and assessments. By providing respondents with a better experience, you’ll get more and better data in return. Next to kitesurfing, Stefan is passionate about the potential of technology to build professional relationships via online channels and on an international scale.