Increase Website Traffic: The Ultimate Blueprint to More Profitable Web Traffic

Increase Website Traffic: The Ultimate Blueprint to More Profitable Web Traffic

Last updated on

It’s simple.

Every website wants to increase website traffic.

Profitable website traffic would be even better.

The kind of web traffic that likes you, devours your content, consumes your products, tells their friends, and comes back – hungry for more.

You know… the legendary kind. The only kind worth getting.

Let me tell you something: you are at the right place at the right time.

I know one thing and I know it very well: how to increase website traffic  - whatever the niche, the size, or the age.

Where do we start on our quest to increase website traffic?

In this ultimate blueprint to increasing your website traffic, we will:

  • get a good overall picture of the different web traffic sources;
  • figure out which ones work better for your niche/site;
  • pair that with your own comfort zone, existing skills, and knowledge
  • go hunting.

How to Increase Website Traffic: Overview

Visual guide to web traffic

Click here to see the mind map full-size

Download it as a PDF

Increasing your website traffic in both quality and quantity is vital for your online business.

Increasing your targeted website traffic will result in:

  • more clients for your services,
  • more buyers for your product,
  • more profits for you,
  • stronger community around your business and brand.

But before we start generating more web traffic, it pays to

  • identify all potential traffic streams,
  • estimate their short-term and long-term value,
  • zero down on the best starting point for your specific business.

What are our potential website traffic streams?

I narrowed them down to the following (and we’ll talk about them in the order of potential importance):

  • Content leverage
  • Relationship marketing
  • Social marketing
  • SEO
  • Product creation
  • Mobile traffic
  • Paid traffic
  • Offline traffic

Let’s start with content leverage.

Increase Website Traffic through Content Leverage

Priority: High

Traffic potential: both short and long-term

Implementation: takes time initially, but once the system is in place, becomes second nature.

Most online businesses are content-driven in one way or another.

  • We write blog posts,
  • Create videos,
  • Products descriptions,
  • Sales pages,
  • You name it…

Yet most businesses have no idea how to leverage that content to increase website traffic.

The possibilities are endless.

Let’s say you write ONE core piece of content (take a blog post as an example).

Instead of simply publishing it on your blog and moving on to the next one (no leverage, no scale), you can:

  1. PowerPoint Presentation: create an outline, turn it into a PowerPoint presentation, and submit it to Slideshare-type sites.
  2. Video: make an audio to go with the presentation and turn it into a video – syndicate to video sites.
  3. PDF: make a transcript of your video, turn it into a PDF – syndicate to PDF sites.
  4. Article: condense your post into an article – submit it to article directories.
  5. Podcast: turn the audio file into a podcast.
  6. Images: turn key points of your post into images – submit them to sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
  7. Guest posts: use the main concepts of your original post and develop them into a guest post (not duplicating, but complimenting it); link the guest post to your original one.
  8. Free WSO: submit your PDF as a free WSO through WarriorForum.com.
  9. Press release: write a press release.
  10. Webinars: if the topic has depth to it, you can expand your original PowerPoint presentation into a webinar (conduct it for your own readers or, better yet, team up with another blogger to present it to their readers).

Here’s an example of content leverage system in action – this post turned into a mindmap and video (posted above) and a Slideshare presentation (created for me by Mauro D’Andrea):

Additionally, when writing that one core piece of content, think about ways to turn it into a traffic bait to increase your website traffic even more.

Suggestions:

  • Link out to other blogs and let the owners know when the post goes live;
  • Turn the post into a contest/challenge;
  • Offer a giveaway at the end;
  • Create “The Best of…” link roundups in your niche.

Additional benefits of leveraging your existing content to increase website traffic:

  • save time/money by making the same piece of content work for you again and again;
  • build links back to your site = improve your chances to get more search engine traffic;
  • build your brand by “being everywhere”.

Increase Website Traffic through Relationship Marketing

Priority: High

Traffic potential: more long-term

Implementation: takes time; based on your ability to develop relationships.

Building relationships with other online businesses related to your niche is one of the key elements of your future business success.

It could become your key to:

  • Mentions on other blogs = get more referral traffic
  • Organic link building = get more search engine traffic
  • More social media shares = build your brand and traffic

Key ways to get noticed:

  • Guest posting
  • Commenting on other blogs
  • Creating your own commenting/mastermind tribe
  • Linking out to related posts on other blogs
  • Featuring other bloggers/sites in your posts
  • Accepting guest posts
  • Personal emails
  • Product co-creation
  • Ad swapping
  • Newsletter co-registration
  • Offering your freebie as a bonus to their products
  • Special discounts for their readers
  • Free webinars for their audience

Increase Website Traffic through Social Marketing

Priority: High, goes hand-in-hand with Relationship Marketing

Traffic potential: short-term and long-term

Implementation: easy quick traffic source; long-term relationship building

Social marketing includes many forms of relationship building using third-party platforms:

  • social media
  • forums
  • social networking communities

Social Media Website Traffic

Social media takes

  • time
  • effort
  • constant attention and upkeep

So why bother? Here’s why:

  1. Best place to find your target audience;
  2. Quickest way to  build awareness about your brand;
  3. Great place to start building relationships;
  4. Important for SEO; Social SEO is a must!

How do you choose the right social media platform to increase YOUR website traffic?

Should it be:

  • Facebook?
  • Twitter?
  • Google+?
  • Pinterest?

Don’t choose one “just because everyone else says you should”.

  • research
  • observe
  • track

Quick Tip:

Hands-down best way to figure out where to start with your website traffic generation is to see which platform your competitors drive the most traffic from.

Go to Alexa.com, enter the URL of your competitor in the search box, click on “Get Details” about them, and navigate to “Clickstream”.

Their clickstream will show you which top sites their visitors came from. Bingo!

To learn more about this strategy, get my free traffic report.

In most cases, I’d suggest starting with Facebook.

Forum Website Traffic

Why forums?

For the longest time, I thought that forums were a waste of resources and half-houses for spam.

Yet, I’ve seen many website traffic stats that proved me wrong again and again.

Forums are great to:

  1. Position yourself as an authority on the subject;
  2. Bring web traffic back to your site from more information;
  3. Build relationships;
  4. Build links.

The key to making the most of forum traffic is to find the right forum for YOUR niche.

Your ideal forum should be

  • active
  • tightly moderated to prevent spam
  • an established authority

Social Networking Communities

These are social networking communities geared towards a particular target market.

Examples:

  • BizSugar.com – small business community
  • BlogEngage.com and Blokube.com – blogging communities
  • BetterNetworker.com – network marketing community
  • CafeMom.com – mom community

Increase Website Traffic through SEO

Priority: Medium to low

Traffic potential: long-term only

Implementation: takes time to implement, best to put into motion from start

First things first: what is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of showing up on the first page of Google for your best money keywords.

Or for anything at all, as of late.

Search engine traffic makes a great icing on the cake, but please, under no circumstances, rely on it as your main website traffic source.

When developing your SEO strategy, you have to pay attention to the following two types of optimization:

  1. On-page SEO
  2. Off-page SEO

On-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO

SEO Resource Section

Best backlinking course (post-Penquin):

Increase Website Traffic through Product Creation

Priority: Medium to low

Traffic potential: short-term mostly, some long-term potential

Implementation: great for a quick boost of web traffic; can be done at any stage of your business

What does product creation have to do with increasing your website traffic?

When you have a product, you can use it to:

  • Drive traffic through affiliate programs (get other people to promote your product and send you traffic as a result);
  • Offer your product as a bonus to other people’s products;
  • Sell it as WSO;
  • Offer it (or a modified version of it) as a free WSO.

Increase Website Traffic through Mobile

Priority: Medium

Traffic potential: long-term and short-term

Implementation: goes hand-in-hand with your overall web traffic growth

More and more of your web traffic will be looking for you and reading your content on their mobile devices.

…Or not, if your site is not modified for mobile users.

  • Install a plugin that will convert your blog into a mobile-friendly version;
  • Mobile site app.

Mobile Traffic Resource Section

Increase Website Traffic through Paid Means

Priority: High if you know what you are doing and have the budget, low if neither one of those factors apply

Traffic potential: short-term only

Implementation: great for quick boosts of traffic; completely depends on the depth of your pockets

Pay Per Click Ads

Google Adwords:

  • Requires financial investment
  • Requires in-depth knowledge
  • Has no leverage (no money = no traffic)

Facebook Ads:

  • Easier to master than Google Adwords
  • Easier to set up
  • Less competition
  • Good targeting
  • Requires financial investment
  • Has no leverage (no money = no traffic)

Banner Ads

  • Ads on other blogs/niche websites

Solo Ads

  • Email newsletters
  • Ezines

Paying for traffic

Otherwise paying for traffic (highly unproductive, and unadvisable):

  •  paying with money or time;
  • traffic exchanges (a waste of time);
  • buying traffic/impressions (a waste of money).

Increase Website Traffic through Offline Means

Priority: Medium to low

Traffic potential: both short and long-term

Implementation: takes time to implement, depends on how often you come in physical contact with your potential target market.

More traditional ways to increase website traffic; best suitable if:

  • your business is heavily localized;
  • you attend business conferences, trade shows, etc.
  • you do something news-worthy and catch attention of the local press.

Ways to increase offline traffic:

  • business cards;
  • flyers;
  • brochures;
  • free samples.

[/wpsharely]

Increase Website Traffic: Marketing Takeaway

By now, you should have a very good overall idea of where website traffic comes from, and hopefully, even know which traffic types would work best for your business.

If not, it’s OK too.

Here’s the plan of action:

Step 1.

Study the information above:

  • Download the Website Traffic mind map (no opt-in).
  • Watch the video above as I walk you through every aspect of increasing website traffic.
  • Take a look at any additional resource I provided under each traffic source (more to come).

Step 2.

Zero down on the aspects you currently have the most knowledge on.

This will save you time and money, and will most likely result in more traffic a lot sooner.

I’d also strongly recommend mastering one traffic strategy at a time.

Don’t let yourself be distracted by the abundance of possibilities.

  • identify one strategy to focus on;
  • learn everything you can about it;
  • start driving traffic with it;
  • find ways to put it on autopilot;
  • move on to the next one.

Step 3.

Keep up with it.

Chances are as soon as you get comfortable with any one traffic strategy, the rules will change the very next day.

If you need my help to stay informed on the latest marketing and traffic generation trends, make sure to request my free website traffic report plus Bite-Size Traffic Hacks email series.

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be publishing more detailed posts on using each specific strategy – you’ll find the new links under “Resource Section” of each traffic stream.

If you know of any epic posts on any of these topics published on other blogs, let me know; would love to take a look at them.

 

Until next time,

increase web traffic traffic generation cafe

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

134 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Ana thank you for this information. It was a real eye opener and this is what I needed. Thanks again for this information. I started trying some of your tips. Can’t wait to see what happens. : )

    Few questions maybe some of your other viewers would like to know.

    How many websites do you run?
    How much traffic does this current website get you?

    Thanks again!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Glad to help, David.

      TGC is my only blog that I run part-time and my traffic has really been affected by Google in the last month; it’s down to about 25,000 visitors/month.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Any friend of sharing Traffic Generation Café posts is a friend of mine. (well, that didn’t sound right, but you get my point. lol)

      Thanks, Robert, and just to let you know – great job on your home page design; I spent some time staring at it and loved it.

      • Ah, it sounded ok to me hehe.. And, cheers for spending some time on the homepage and the feedback..It’s only a new site so any and all feedback is good at this stage..

  2. Hi Ana,
    I am new to your blog and have been reading page after page. The epic level of USEFUL information is mind boggling! My head is ready to explode (in a good way). I need to devote a few hours at a time to process at least some of your tips and suggestions.
    Thank you so much for delving so deeply into your topics.

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are so very welcome, Sylvia; I am flattered you’ve given Traffic Generation Café so much of your time.

  3. Hi Ana,

    This is a great post!! Really informative, but, then your posts are always informative.

    Would you suggest one method of traffic generation over another? I do forum posting and blog posting, social media, content syndication and such.

    • Ana Hoffman

      It’s different for every blog, Geri, but I’d say determine the one that’s bringing in the most traffic for you at the moment, and focus on developing that one.

      When I first started Traffic Generation Café, I focused on Twitter and it brought me thousands of visitors per month.

      • Hi Ana,

        That is pretty much what I am doing. At least, I know I’m moving in the right direction.

        Thanks for all the work you do for us. I really do appreciate it!

        Geri

  4. Wow – that’s what I call a blog post on how to get more traffic. I absolutely love your traffic strategies mindmap. I just have to be careful not to jump on too many strategies at once – it’s really tempting. Will do my best to follow your advice of focusing only at 1 strategy at a time.

  5. Sam Bussey

    Ana,

    Have you reviewed Mark Ling’s Affilorama? It seems very comprehensive, but does it deliver?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I haven’t given it a deep look, Sam, but I am planning on it. So far, I’ve used Traffic Travis and found it terrific, but it’s been a while, so I don’t know how it’s changed.

  6. Love the mind map, I certainly could do with some traffic I think I’ve been hit by one of the updates and instead of ranking well with one of my keywords I no longer do and a site with a lot of unrelated content is getting the traffic :-(

  7. Great post and very timely for me. It was great to see all the different ideas spelled out so I can choose from the buffet of traffic generation strategies. I especially liked the reminder at the end to pick one to start with and master it before moving to the next. Thanks heaps :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Simple? That wouldn’t be my word of choice for traffic generation, Sandra. LOL

  8. This is a very good manual in blog format. Truthfully, for conversion sake, I would have broken this into a series.

    I like the content leveraging , but not so much guest posting. This is being abused badly these days and just is coming to bite people in the bum with these Penguin updates. I am more agreeable to writing an article and referring to other articles written by other bloggers before I even accept a guest post. That and I never allow companies to post on my site… only reputable individual bloggers that can prove they built a blog or website that is successful.

    I am web hosting B3 that Kim Castleberry runs and I participate in a comment tribe. I use to run a different type of comment tribe that was built on a script that did random assigning to members during the week….this was back in 2006 and 2007. However, the comment tribes today that are encouraging engagement are far better than what was then and I do recommend them.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Guest blogging has certainly attracted a lot of bad press as of late and for a good reason – companies use it to push low-quality content to build links, and bloggers accept these low-quality posts because they are too lazy to write quality content. In the end, everyone looses.

      The kind of guest blogging I am referring to is the way you and I understand it, Nile: in-depth, quality research that provides true value to the community.

      Thanks for coming by!

  9. You make a great point Christopher.

    It reminds me of what my grandfather used to say, “just jog along”

    Which basically means keep at it.

    Also, you mentioned about having a few traffic sources. This makes perfect sense. It’s like diversifying your portfolio with your money.

    It only makes sense that you would need to do the same thing with your website.

    Wow Ana.

    This post is amazing. I will have to go through it a couple times just to absorb all the amazing information in it.

    high five 0/

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Iain.

      And to comment on your comparison with an investment portfolio, it’s actually quite the opposite idea of what I am trying to say here: with a portfolio, you want to diversify as much as possible to give yourself the best chance, but with traffic, you want to diversify, yes, but one traffic source at a time.

      • When it comes to traffic sources it’s best to focus on adding one at a time as opposed to all at the same (like with money).

        My main message was just not to rely solely on one traffic source.

        Thanks for clarifying Ana

  10. and what about the average loading time of the website when you have suggested the proper usage and insertion of the PDF, presentation and other bulky material to be embedded along with the article?

        • Ana Hoffman

          I never said that. I think there might be some language problems we are encountering here; I see the same trend in other comments of yours, Yogesh. It’s like we are speaking different languages… or wait, we are! :) I wish I could help more.

  11. hi Ana,
    you have made and pointed out the importance of the presence in social media and the relationship building. These are the agreeable points of the article. But, you had stated that SEO has a priority order of low to average value?
    Can you please justify the point more clearly?

    • Ana Hoffman

      SEO doesn’t bring immediate traffic. This post was written with “how quickly you can generate traffic” in mind.

  12. Israel García

    Very good Ana, very complete guide.
    I use paid traffic, especially to know that google adwords keywords convert better at that point in time.

    Congratulations.

    Greetings from Spain.

  13. Remarkable post, Ana. I appreciate you mentioning about SEO. I’m glad because it gives good information about SEO especially the right strategy to get traffic.

  14. Ana you have nicely describe whole process. Most of blogger only gives hint but don’t write elaborately. If anyone follows this idea definitely they will get success. I would like suggest you a list for Content Leverage Resource Section. List of high quality blogs who take guest post bit.ly/Z0Ql8v

  15. It was always a conundrum for me on whether to invest in Paid Traffic and its real worth. I think what you said made sense, “if you know what you are doing” seems to be the keyword my mind was looking for.

    I feel paid traffic is good to micro-niche sites that an affiliate can use or to a landing page on a blog. Thanks for this super-detailed post. :)

    Love,
    V

    • Ana Hoffman

      I haven’t quite figured out how to take advantage of paid traffic, but I know many marketers who do. Thanks for coming by, Vivek!

  16. This information has been very insightful and productive. Google for the most part, has finally put marketers in a position where they are forced to provide exceptional content to promote themselves and drive the right traffic and audiences to their sites. Appreciate your breakdown and straightforward style of conveying your points. Keep it up!

  17. Thanks Ana for such a brilliant piece, this piece helped me a lot on understanding the generation of traffic. Though SEO might not be relied upon for traffic sources for blogs, it is a must tool for business oriented websites for their desired traffic amount.

  18. Great post here. I’m just on the verge of starting up my own blog and review site, so I thought I’d check in and get some traffic tips. Many thanks. Love the no opt-in download of the mind map!

  19. Hey Ana,
    Just when I thought I had read everything on traffic generation, you gave this great tip on offering a free WSO. That was a gem! As usual you have written a totally content rich piece. Looking forward to more in 2013.
    Lisa

  20. Ana,

    So glad I ‘stumbled’ across your site. We have just changed our site from being on the national corporate site to a stand alone (local) site and are looking on how to build a traffic flow that is well rounded and appropriate for our market niche. Your professional and generous guidance has helped to answer many questions and things to look at going forward.

    Thank you, Pete

    :-)

  21. Hey Ana,

    A belated thanks for the mention.

    So much good advice in one post, I particularly liked:
    “Don’t let yourself be distracted by the abundance of possibilities”

    Some many people think they have to follow every traffic strategy there is, but the reality is it’s better to focus on a couple of methods at a time. If Twitter works for you but Pinterest doesn’t, keep Twittering but stop Pinning. Better to spend time on stuff that works than spend time on things because you think you have to.

    • Ana Hoffman

      There’s a lot of peer pressure to drive traffic from everywhere your competitors do, Caimin. It only results in spreading ourselves too thin too quickly.

      And you are welcome!

  22. Ana,

    Wow .. Just Wow. Some Amazing Information in this post

    I am a Full Time Network marketer and have team of several thousand people

    I am going to recommend your blog as a resource for my team to learn about traffic

    keep up the great work

    Jack Bastide

  23. Wow, awesome resource of a post here, Ana. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Definitely one worth bookmarking and continuing to reference.

    -Rick

  24. Ana, you put a lot of time into this one. It’s definitely a top notch post and I will be referring back to it often.

    I really like the traffic mind map. It provides an excellent visual representation of all the traffic sources that I’m currently not, but should be taking advantage of. I may end up printing it out and hanging it on my office wall as a reminder :)

    Keep up the great work. I really look forward to reading your posts.

  25. Hi Ana,
    A full-time employment to carry out everything on your list, lots of good suggestions (as usual) that I will try. I thought I could mostly about SEO, had missed a total of adding links to government websites.

  26. WOW great post Ana … I’ve bookmarked it for later!

    I’m just getting back into SEO after my sites got hit by the Google updates.

    I don’t want to get hit again so is there anything that I “should not” do SEO wise in 2013?

    Thanks,
    Ben

    • Ana Hoffman

      Just don’t do SEO, Ben. lol

      I am still figuring it out for myself, quite honestly; “go natural” is the only solid advice I can give at the moment.

  27. Hi Ana,

    Another great post!

    I love coming to your site and reading your posts, but it always takes me forever because I get lost in time going from one post to the next. :-)

    You definitely hit every form of traffic generation that I could think of. You did an outstanding job of laying everything out for people to see. I saw in another post’s comments where you normally spend 8-10 hours putting your posts together. This one must’ve taken a week! Whatever time it took, it was definitely time well spent!

    Thanks again for sharing. This is going to be a resource piece for me for a long time to come!

    I hope you have a truly outstanding week!

    ~Barry

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Barry – it would make my life a lot easier if I could slap together quick posts, but then again, you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog if I did write like that. lol

  28. Wow, Ana. This is surely the most comprehensive article I’ve seen on traffic generation. I’ll be coming back to this time and time again to read the extra links and to refer to it.

    Thanks for all the work you do.
    PS I don’t know what’s wrong with my avatar. I’m still signed in. I don’t get your new blog updates in my inbox any more either. Although, I do get your emails and letters. Something is definitely cooking.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Avatar is attached to your email; are you using a different one? Not sure why it wouldn’t be coming by…

      And thanks for coming by!

  29. Hey Ana,

    I have been following your blog for about three weeks. You have once again outdone yourself with this post. It truly is epic information, and hopefully one day I’ll get to your level. Until then keep it up because I have learned a great deal from you!

  30. I know some people say forums are full of spam, but it’s everywhere now. They usually get more of it because most of the threads and comments do not have to be approved first like you find with blogs.

    They aren’t totally just for link building. There are a lot of good helpful forum sites that don’t allow links or signatures. I used to participate at a couple of forum sites. The ones that did allow signatures would send some traffic. Not huge amounts but some. You really never know what kind of site might lead to something more, whether it’s a forum or any other site.

  31. Hi Ana,

    Was just curious if this is a Do Follow Blog?

    My SEO Quake is showing that’s it’s not

    You have some great info here and I’ll come back anyway but I was just curious

    Jack Bastide

    P.S. I’m a fellow Warrior :)

    P.P.S. Is there a way to follow this thread so I know if you replied?

    • Ana Hoffman

      It isn’t any longer, Jack; too many loopholes for potential spammers.

      You’ll get notified about my reply automatically.

      • Interesting .. I am relatively new to blogging and made my Blog Do Follow .. we’ll see how it goes

        I am using a Captcha that requires the commenter to solve a Math equation … So far so good

        I guess spammers aren’t good at Math :)

        Jack

  32. Ana Hoffman

    I’ve been working on developing my content leverage system as well, Philip – this post is the first fruit of my labor.

    I wrote the outline, turned it into a mind map, then turned the outline into a slideshow and recorded an audio to go with it.

    Next on the list: submitting the mind map, video, slideshow, and audio to various syndication channels, writing articles/guest posts, etc.

    I’ll be posting more on HOW to do this next week; make sure to come back then.

  33. Shelley

    Once again, Ana bats it out of the park…She definitely practices what she preaches and it shows…Thanks again, Ana for imparting your wonderful words of wisdom about generating massive traffic to websites…When I grow up (figuratively), I want to be just like you, Ana…

    WAHM Shelley… :)

  34. As an event blogger I am having a hard time looking for communities related to my chosen niche but as time goes by, little by little I discover small gems that gave small traffic that I guess will eventually help with the growth of my chosen niche. Everyday is a learning process and I am really thankful that I learn new things each time I visit TGC. Thank you for sharing your ideas, looking forward for more tips this coming days.

    • Ana Hoffman

      What about finding communities that particular events would serve?

      If it’s a birthday party for kids, then you go to mommy communities, etc?

      A lot of legwork, but if you focus on one specific sub-niche at a time, it might work.

  35. I have learned a lot reading this one blog, so much so I want to read even more. I was on the verge of throwing in the towel but now I will give it a bit more time.

    • Ana Hoffman

      There’s nothing wrong with trying and deciding it’s not for you, Patrick, but throwing in the towel before truly doing your best to make it work is a different story.

  36. Hey Ana,

    Interesting to see you’re adding more video into the mix in your posts. I heard a long time ago from the guys at Internet Business Mastery an interesting process where they record their content once and ‘syndicate’ it in this kind of way, I know Pete Williams takes that to the extreme too spinning out content all over the place and in lots of different formats when all he did in the first place was record 20-25 minutes of audio and have VAs etc do the rest.

    Video is a shift that’s happening in a very real sense and probably everyone with any kind of business online needs to bear that in mind – mobile too.

    Honestly, I can’t keep up. I do like the idea of leverage but not everything always – just where it makes sense and if that means I fall behind a little (or a lot which is much more likely in my case), so be it.

    Interesting stuff all the same (as always when you write a post),

    take care & best wishes,
    Alan

    • Ana Hoffman

      I know exactly what you mean, Alan – most of us who don’t have a multitude of VAs supporting our business do.

      That’s why I am testing it out.

      I want to figure out the time involved, the cost, and the benefit.

      Will let you know how it goes.

  37. John Gaddis

    Anna you did it again. Thanks for the actionable guide. So much information but I will just pick one and go from there. I hear banner ads do not convert like they use to. What is your take on this. Is it still a viable advertising source. I also like that you mentioned ezine ads. Even if you don’t have your own website you can advertise in ezines. Thanks again I look forward to your next email.

    • Ana Hoffman

      From personal experience, banner ads haven’t worked too well at TGC.

      It does depend on the niche though; some sites are still raking the ad revenue.

  38. This is quite an exhaustive resource with a ton of valuable information. In regards to paid traffic, does it really work for anyone? I can’t ever remember clicking on the “sponsored” ads on any search engine so it begs a question – is this common behavior?

    • Google recently released their earnings for last year, approximately 50 billion! My understanding is that 97% of their income is from Adwords, so it’s a safe bet that people are clicking on ads! :)

      There’s been several studies about just how many clicks on a SERP goes to organic vs. paid, and it varies greatly depending on many factors, industry, verticals, search intent etc.

      I think the general consensus, is that OVERALL, about 94% goes to organic, and 6% to ads. But, a recent study showed that as much as 64% of clicks went to ads, where the search had ‘high commercial intent’ (which is a term Google uses for a search that triggers product listings).

      I run ad’s for my business from time to time , and for my clients. It definitely has it’s place, and should be used with SEO, and other marketing efforts. The problem with a PPC campaign is rarely not getting enough clicks, it’s having the budget to pay for them!

      One more thing, you may have noticed, but Google is providing a lot of different types of ads recently, and taking up more space on the SERPs to display them. Some folks don’t realize it’s an ad, if it’s not in the right hand column of the page.

      • Ana Hoffman

        I agree, Tom; Adwords definitely work. Might not be for all the niches, but that’s what testing is all about.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am not good with paid traffic, Suzanne, so can’t really give you an educated answer.

      Food for thought: if people are still willing to pay for it, then it must be working – even though you and I would never click on any ads we see around.

  39. This is a post to come back and read several times. Thanks, Ana.
    The Content Leverage part helped me with an immediate takeaway; I’m off to pitch a guest post that COMPLIMENTS one I’ve been working on for my blog.

  40. Got traffic? LOL

    If you don’t you sure can get some now!

    Personally I like a mix of content leverage with social media and paid advertising. Relationships spawn quickly from there and you can benefit from accidental SEO (the best kind).

    Wrap this up and sell this content, I’m telling you! It’s better than most info products out there :)

    Thanks a bunch,
    -Gabe

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am horrible with paid traffic – never took my time to learn how it works.

      Good to see you here, Gabe!

  41. THIS POST IS A GOLDEN NUGGET! There’s so much useful information here! I’ve been spending too much of my time to keep creating new content and never thought about leveraging them, you’ve just saved me a hell lot of time Ana! Thank you :)

  42. Great post as always Ana! Great depth and detail on traffic generation. I guess I’m going to have to look at forums. I have the same reaction that you did. Never been tempted to check them out despite the number of times that they’ve been recommended. Also like your inclusion of pay per click. It is too often automatically disregarded, but can be effective. Great caveat – only if you know what you are doing and have the budget. It is so easy to set up, but very difficult to do right! Have a great weekend!

    • I just want to chime in one of the last statements in your comment…”It’s so easy to set up, but very difficult to do it right!”

      This is not just true of Adwords, it is so true of so much of marketing on the Internet. Things like your Facebook business page, LinkedIn profile, G+, etc. I see this so much with dealing heavily with local, where it’s so important to have optimized listings and profiles in major directories. Sure, it’s easy to claim your listing, getting it right is a different story!

  43. Darin McCall

    Very informative and I have a few take aways from the info. Thank you for putting this together!

  44. Thats a very thorough guide to web traffic. Really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the free takeaway about website traffic overview.

  45. i completely agree with you that we should prefer publishing our post at that time in which we get more traffic…………..
    and yes SEO is the sole of every site. if its is well then our website is good but if it is not then .. :(

  46. Hi Ana,
    This is my first visit to your blog this year and i just remembered I’ve not wished you a happy and productive new year, so here is to your success in 2013.

    You’ve written an amazing post again as always and i must confess that i really enjoyed it. and i will start implementing all you’ve said right away.

    More greeze to your elbows in 2013.

  47. This is an epic post, Ana. I have been ignorant of paid traffic & PPC. So thanks for sharing all these strategies at one place.

    BDW, I would love to see Blokube.com included in the list of social networking communities.

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic piece of content, Ana. Have a great weekend.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Such a pleasure to see you back, Dev; it’s been a while. I was wondering what you’ve been up to and haven’t included Blokube only because I wasn’t sure if you were still actively running it.

      I’ll add it to the list right now.

  48. Love your chart Ana. It amazes me how much has changed in just 3 years in getting traffic to a website. You really can’t take a week off without missing out on some changes either in SEO, social or content marketing. “Research, observe and track” are so important now to the success of one’s blog or website. Great points Ana.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I know what you mean, Lisa – things changed constantly, but here’s the good part: the basics stay constant.

      If we focus on a couple of core strategy that we found work for our businesses, then keeping up with the trends in those specific areas becomes much easier.

  49. Excellent bookmark-worthy post :)

    I’m both intrigued and ignorant about the product creation as a piece of a traffic generation strategy and wanted to nominate that as a future post if you have some thoughts to share! I’ve been considering product creation as an email sign up enticement but hadn’t realized that it could have traffic generation potential as well? Do tell!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I can definitely see the potential for future discussion, Alexis.

      My personal resolution is to forget about creating products from scratch – too much pressure and not enough time.

      However, I’ve been exploring several possibilities of creating products with existing content; I’ll definitely talk about that.

      I might also look into finding someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes down to product creation; I have a lot to learn on the topic myself.

      I’ve been meaning to email you, by the way, so might as well ask here:

      -which forums/mommy blogger communities would you recommend as the most active and worth looking into? Thanks!

      • I’m the worst person to ask because I’ve generally found the mommy blogger communities to be too big and noisy so I haven’t invested much time in them. Also I don’t really fit into that world (am more of a parenting blogger which doesn’t seem to have a forum – hey maybe that’s a business opportunity!!!). So I get a nice amount of traffic from non-blogger parents who link to me in parent forums on Babycenter and The Bump.

        That being said there are HUGE mommy blogger communities all over the place. I believe (?) that the biggest are:
        - Blogher
        - CafeMom/thestir
        - Circle of Moms

        • Ana Hoffman

          Sounds like any social media site :) – confusing, consuming, and overwhelming.

          I am going to give one of these a stab just to see if I can come up with a “magic formula”.

  50. Ridiculously EPIC post, Ana!

    This is definitely a thorough traffic guide to follow and the mind map makes it much easier to see how it all fits together.

    My issue when I first started trying to generate traffic was that I was all over the place. I didn’t understand the concept of mastering the ONE thing that will bring me the most results. I’m glad that you mentioned that here as well.

    It’s also important that whatever method you decided to focus on is one that you actually enjoy doing – not just one that you think will be the fastest. The results you generate will be much better if it is.

    Thanks for providing such a stellar traffic resource! :)

    Ti

    • Ana Hoffman

      Very good point to reiterate, Ti: start with one stream that you enjoy and know the most about, and forget about the rest. That’s one mistake that so many newbies make.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve seen many blogs that don’t get any SEO traffic, yet are flooded with traffic, Mohit.

      It’s certainly very possible to do it without SEO.

      • Mohit Rajwani

        Yes,we all know Possibilities are every where but there will be only a small percent of blogs which are having these type of traffic.

  51. Wow, nice share. As a newbie I’m totally overwhelmed by the number of way we can drive traffic to our websites. I now have that mind map set as desktop background.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I know what you mean, Wajahat; that’s why choosing and focusing on one stream at a time is so extremely important.

  52. nice post,
    you have not missed a single thing but i like the free traffic or SEO traffic as it is pure. paid traffic is also good but it may be harmful. when people start clicking on your ads with wrong intensions

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am with you, Prabhat – I am definitely a fan of free traffic, but I do intent to learn more about certain paid traffic streams; I think they are worth looking into.

  53. Great to traffic generation ways altogether. Nicely shared n hope this would help all the online business people to drive genuine traffic to their website/blog. Thanks for sharing the information.