38 Effective ways to drive traffic to your website

You built a new website and added a lot of content. Now how do you attract a lot of people to your website? We at ListGist are in the same boat. So, we did the research and came up with this long list of highly recommended, fast, easy, cheap, and effective ways to drive massive traffic to your website, some of which are free. If you find something missing, feel free to add it to the list, after all, this is a community-driven site.

1 Paid search

A form of paid advertising, this involves paying Google, Bing, or some other (if there is any) search engine everytime someone clicks on your ad. These ads are presented in the context of a specific search query, so you can be assured that the people clicking on your advertisements are indeed those who are interested in that kind of material. Paid advertising can cost anywhere between few cents a click to over hundred dollars a click for extremely competitive niches with limited search volumes.

2 Display advertising

In this form of advertising, your website-related ad is presented on websites of other publishers. You pay Google (and the publisher, indirectly) everytime someone clicks on the ad. Although Google takes utmost care is showing your ads on contextually relevant pages, the publishers might mislead users to click on yours ads for increasing their own revenues, and you may not get the traffic that you actually want to visit your website.

3 Facebook advertising

Facebook can be a great platform for advertising your website through a social graph. You can expect to pay Facebook about $5 for about 1000 impressions of your page, or a fixed amount per click. Facebook optimizes each form of sponsored content separately, so if you want people to actually visit you, make sure you pay by the click. If you just want to popularize your brand but do not care about clicks, pay by the impressions.

4 Promoted tweets and trends

Similar to Facebook advertising, promoted tweets are sponsored content on Twitter. You can target users by interest, age, gender, and geography. Twitter will try to optimize the tweets to users most likely to follow the tweet. You can expect to pay about $2.5 to $4 per new follower. Promoted trends on Twitter will showcase your hashtag on the twitter trends page for a whole day, but that costs a cool $200,000 per day!

5 Link from social media profiles

If all the people involved with a website updated their social media profiles (twitter, facebook, linkedin, youtube, pinterest ...) to the website you wish to promote, that is a hell lot of backlinks. Not only can lead your friends and followers to your website, you can also possibly rank higher in search results.

6 Share on social media

Spend more time sharing, distributing, and promoting your content on social media, than you actually spend time developing it!

7 Social media contests

Users on social platforms are suckers for contests, and they will arrive in droves to get a chance at beating other contestants on your website. Put some cash, or exciting products at stake to garner huge interest.

8 Use calls-to-action

Entice users with new products, reviews, takeaways about your website and intrigue them enough that they are driven to your website.

9 Work with influencers

Influencer marketing is a strategy to work with key influencers or opinion leaders in your niche to promote your website or products to their followers on a variety of social media platforms. Identify some big, influential, and even emerging stars in your niche, and offer them something to talk about your website. But note that influential contents wont put their name at stake unless your content is shareworthy.

10 Create catchy infographics

One way of attracting influencers, and consequently their followers, is to create catchy infographics that re-affirm the messages that the influencers are trying to propagate. Once you find some influential bloggers, try to gauge the problems that they care about the most, and then try to generate content that confirms their message.

11 Invest in social currency

As Brian Dean at Backlinko recommends, one of the key ideas for generating viral content is by creating share triggers. In his words "Social currency is the idea that we share things that make us look good". Get influencers to widely distribute your content by providing engaging facts that confirm what they have to say. This has also been discovered by Prof. Jure Leskovec and others in their research paper titled The dynamics of viral marketing.

12 Engage on slack

You can join slack communities based on your niche, and engage with like-minded people who can guide you as well as promote your content through their network.

13 Offer discounts

Everyone loves discounts, and if you are a recently launched product company, what better way to attract people than to offer steep discounts initially?

14 Optimize headlines

Create catchy, short, shareworthy headlines that get passed around fast on the social platforms. You want to go viral with every post you write!

15 Optimize site speed

What's the point of getting discovered just to be ditched before the page loads? If your page takes more than 5 seconds to load on any platform, users will abandon your website for good. Find optimization bottlenecks using tools such as Pingdom and get speedy.

16 Form a community

Form a community of customers, fanboys, and enthusiasts for your website. You can do that via existing social platforms such as Facebook, or form a forum on your own website.

17 Contribute guest posts

In the early day, get featured to write guest posts on widely followed websites and get noticed.

18 Become a regular contributor

With regular posts and engagement on some popular venues, you could become a well-known figure in your niche. Well-known enough for people to start paying attention to you.

19 Generate viral content

Create something funny, positive, surprising, engaging, useful, visually appealing, and emotionally arousing. Neil Patel has written extensively about generating viral content. A research study conducted by Liz Rees-Jones, Katherine L. Milkman, and Jonah Berger identified that if you wish to generate viral content, it should trigger emotions - anger, anxiety, awe, or suprise. And because people do not like to share negativity, create something positive. The research study also claimed that this is an even better strategy than influencer marketing.

20 Post content to linkedin

LinkedIn, the largest professsional network can propel your posts to like-minded people instantly. Moreover, if you are consistently generating shareworthy content, you might as well land a new job.

21 Email marketing

Don't let visitors to your website leave without giving up their email address. Use these sign-ups to entice them to visit back to your website everytime you publish a new post. Offering freebies such as informative ebooks is a time-tested way to getting users to sign up on your website.

22 Reddit

If your content or product is truly useful, share it on reddit on appropriate subs. Unless you want bad publicity or the title of a spammer, ensure that the content is actually relevant and that it wont be deemed as spam on reddit. Note that Reddit discourages self-promotion, so you need to get other people to submit it for you, possibly paying for a gig on Fiverr.

23 Competitor analysis

Use tools such as BuzzSumo to identify your competitors and what they are up to, and generate related content to divert a fraction of their traffic.

24 Teach

Organizing free webinars on your site is a great way to get people to register and then to keep them coming for more relevant content. People love to learn, and any site that offers practically useful training sessions for free gets brownie points.

25 Publish your content during peak hours

Buzzsumo's research reports that most content is shared on Mondays and Tuesdays. Morevoer, kissmetrics identified that 11 a.m. Eastern time is the peak traffic time for blog visits. So, plan your release around these times for optimal attention.

26 Youtube

Google search results prominently display videos from YouTube, so your YouTube channel can work as an additional way to attract traffic to your website.

27 Generate visual content

2 out of 3 people are visual learners, and it has been observed that the brain processes visual data much faster than other form of information. Imagine, are you more likely to read a wall of text, or watch videos, images and infographics to quickly get the gist?

28 Stumbleupon

Stumbleupon is a content discovery engine that can propel your website to its large user base. You can submit your articles for free, or also promote using ads.

29 Alltop

AllTop features top shareworthy topics, so getting featured there is a sureshot way of getting a huge traffic.

30 Quora

Answering questions comprehensively on Q&A websites such as Quora can actually make you a popular expert on a subject and thus drive traffic to your website for any subsequent articles.

31 Response posts

Find out what's trending, and write response articles to the most popular articles in recent times. There is a high possibility that your content will catch on.

32 Present at important venues

Getting an opportunity to speak at an appropriate venue can highlight the work that you do to the attendees, and also present you as an expert on the subject.

33 Submit fresh content regularly

Google wants to deliver fresh relevant content to their users, and if they notice a continuously updated website that users like to visit, chances are you will be propelled higher in search rankings.

34 E-books

Publishing and circulating an e-book is yet another way to cementing your expertise in an area and people like to follow what experts have to say.

35 Hacker news

If your website caters to hackers, tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, startup enthusiasts, and geeks, then by all means share your interesting and relevant content on Hacker News, the cleanest, simple, and most straightforward news aggregation website run by YCombinator. Note that the users here are tech-savvy and you do not want to be blacklisted for spamming.

36 Voat

Voat is a copy-cat of Reddit!, just that sub-reddits are called subverses and /r/blah becomes /v/blah. At this they seem to be less stringent than reddit though.

37 4chan

4Chan is an imageboard where people interesing stuff they come across. Interestingly, you can post anything, even anonymously, even NSFW content, if that's what you wish to share.

38 Product hunt

Product Hunt lets people create their own lists of favorite and interesting products and share those lists. This is great for websites that are trying to popularize any products, apps, games, and many more digital products.

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