As marketers, we secretly hope that with each piece of content we put out, our writing will inspire readers to check out our site in large numbers. However, years of experience tells us this isn’t always the case.

Increasing brand awareness and generating traffic is the foundation of a content marketing strategy. Since I have been doing this for over 10 years I’ve developed an affinity for startups with small budgets and have learned a lot. There are tangible ways to leverage content to increase website traffic without breaking the bank.

Let’s explore 12 strategies that you can implement immediately and see an increase in the traffic to your website while sticking to a small budget. Using Google Analytics is about to be way more fun than ever before so let’s dive in!

Contracting Freelancers Versus Full-Time Help

Many organizations have different structures and capabilities. Implementing new strategies to increase website traffic is crucial but will also require dedication.

If your plate is already full, consider hiring help. Help doesn’t have to be as big of a budget drain as many people think it is. You don’t need a new full time employee and all the costs associated with it. Sites like Fiverr and UpWork make it easy to find contractors/freelancers at an affordable rate.

Some things to consider when trying to freelance out affordably include:

  • Content creation
  • Graphic design
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer recruitment

Spend a Ton of Time on LinkedIn

LinkedIn used to be focused on connecting employers with employees but has morphed into a full fledged community where brands have a plethora of ways to generate new leads. The best part is that there are a lot of strategies you can implement via LinkedIn that don’t cost anything, just your time.

Increase your number of connections: More connections mean you have more people to message and more people to see your LinkedIn updates. Searching for new professional connections on LinkedIn is super easy and there are a ton of people on there just waiting to connect with you. I do recommend vetting people before you invite them to connect. You want to make sure they fit within your industry and are a relevant connection. LinkedIn is about quality connections–not quantity.

Join groups: There are a bunch of LinkedIn groups for any industry. The beauty of being part of these groups is that you can instantly connect with like-minded professionals. Be mindful of creating meaningful posts and interactions within these groups. Don’t just spam the group with your latest content. Weigh in on other posts and brainstorm with other professionals.
Be smart about organic posts: As you build up your LinkedIn presence, post a few times per week. Posts should be a smart mix of content you’ve created, industry news, third party research reports, thoughtful questions, etc.
Send direct messages: LinkedIn InMail is a great way to engage with prospects for free. Be mindful about sending a message that doesn’t sound like a sales pitch, rather an open dialogue. Introduce yourself, ask questions, share resources, see how you can help them, come up with creative ways to create an actual relationship not just a new potential sale.
Sponsored posts: I love sponsored posts on LinkedIn because you can set your budget (even if it’s tiny) and get really specific about the type of professionals who will see your sponsored post. I usually only do LinkedIn sponsored posts to promote downloadable content to maximize what I spend on the platform.

Build New Landing Pages

Landing pages are great assets to link to in your social media strategy and your email marketing program. Instead of sending someone a wall of text, send them a link to a landing page where all of the information is easy to digest.

Landing pages are often created for the following scenarios:

  • Highlight a solution to a common pain point your buyer personas face
  • Outline different industries your brand is active in
  • Focus on a new product or service
  • Utilize a hot trend and explain how your business aligns with that trend
  • List case studies and testimonials in one place
  • Emphasize a downloadable piece of content or event

Landing pages can be used across your company and your marketing strategy. I have hired designers to set up my landing pages so that they look professional and I always do the copy. Using Fiverr, I have found quality designers to create landing pages for me for less than $100 so they are super affordable.

As an example, I’m working with a brand Robots & Pencils, and I am hosting a 6 week webinar series and created this landing page to promote it. The landing page has come in handy because I can link to it in emails and on social channels without having to go into a long-winded explanation of what I am trying to promote.

Incorporate Industry Thought Leaders

Utilizing thought leaders in your industry is a great way to increase website traffic. The biggest benefit to incorporating thought leaders into your content program is that they usually promote the content on their end, getting it new eyeballs.

There are a couple of ways to work with them and here are a few examples:

  • Invite them to contribute quotes or industry tips that you include in a blog post
  • Interview style blog posts
  • Crowdsource thought leaders to be part of a piece of a blog post or eBook and highlight them as experts
  • Ask them to contribute a guest post
  • Have them take over your social media channels
  • Incorporate thought leaders and have them as guests on a webinar or podcast

An example of crowdsourcing thought leaders to lift content is this post I wrote last year about marketers to follow. The post got 20X the views that my average posts get because the marketers I highlighted in the post shared it on their channels.

Focus on Mid-Level Influencers

Influencer marketing is a great way for brands to earn authentic product or service recommendations. They’re trusted by their followers and can do big things for brands.

I won’t lie, influencers can be expensive. And while they’re worth the budget spend, some brands just don’t have the cash. And that’s okay! I have found that working with a few mid-level influencers can bring in brand awareness and sales.
A mid-level influencer has between 10,000 and 50,000 followers on any given channel or on their blog. Their posts move the needle and they’re not too expensive.

When working with influencers, be sure to give them support so they can accurately represent your brand and offer creative post themes to ensure that your earned media is engaging. To learn more about working with influencers.

Ramp Up Your SEO Strategy

There are plenty of SEO strategies that you can implement yourself and not worry about hiring someone to do it for you. With just a little bit of keyword research and a streamlined checklist, your SEO game can quickly improve, especially when it comes to your blog posts. I wrote a post on this topic .
When it comes to implementing SEO strategies when publishing a new blog post, consider this short checklist.

  • Keyword research to determine which words and phrases to use in your headlines, meta-data and throughout your posts
  • Give your images an alt text
  • Link internally to third party content
  • Be smart about meta-descriptions
  • Ensure your posts look good on mobile

SEO worthy blog posts are that easy and won’t take up too much of your time. The best part is that these suggestions are all stuff you can do yourself in a couple of minutes each time you write a new blog post.

Create Linkable Content

The more links to your brand, the more potential traffic you’ll get and you’ll also notice an SEO boost which in itself can get a lot of new traffic as well.

Instead of reaching out to publications for links, be smart about the content you create and publish content that craves to be linked to. Common linkable content is research reports, eBooks, infographics and cutting edge blog posts.

You can reach out to publications about linking to your content–I just don’t recommend reaching out to publications for links with no merit.

Be a Guest

Identify a few publications such as blogs in your industry that get a lot of traffic and align with your brand. Reach out to them about different guest opportunities. This is beneficial because the mention of you on their channels will put you and/or your brand in front of a large new audience in a really authentic way. Consider the following common guest scenarios:

Podcast personality: Identify podcasts that you think your target consumers would tune into and reach out to the podcast hosts and pitch them a topic that you could speak about. Some podcasts will charge while others just want thought leadership. I’ve found plenty of free podcast opportunities so I suggest playing the numbers game.

Guest posting: Reach out to like-minded blogs and ask them if they accept guest posts. Be sure to give them samples of your writing and outline your post idea. One strategy is to do a guest post swap where they publish on your blog and you publish on theirs.

Contribute quotes:
Contributing quotes to other publications is efficient while highlighting you and your brand as an expert. I find a lot of my quote opportunities on HARO.

Join webinars: Find webinars that line up with your marketing goals and reach out to them with your great ideas on how you can contribute to one of their webinars. Keep in mind that being a guest on a webinar is about thought leadership and not a sales pitch. The goal is to appeal to attendees with your knowledge and that will entice them to check out your brand.

Implement a Dynamic Content Marketing Strategy

Different people digest content in a variety of ways. Some prefer a quick video while others want a long-form research report chalked full of data.

Studies show that content marketing brings in 3 times as many leads per dollar than paid search so a smart content strategy can go a long way without requiring much budget.

A dynamic content marketing strategy will ensure that you are reaching consumers where they want to be met when they want to be met. Incorporating a variety of topics and mediums, content variety will bring a lot of traffic to your site. If you really want to dive into a dynamic content strategy, check out this post.

Write Amazing Headlines

Did you know that the writers at BuzzFeed write approximately 20 headlines per article before choosing one? They’re clearly doing something right so let’s take a page out of their book!

Jot down a few headlines for each of your posts and have your colleagues and other professional connections weigh in on which one is more engaging.

People have the attention span of a gnat these days and you can write a life changing blog post, but, without an amazing headline, your post won’t get noticed. No pressure or anything…

Be sure that your content is as amazing as your headline. Many brands make the mistake of baiting in readers with a headline and then drop the ball with the content that follows. This turns off readers from ever taking your brand seriously so don’t make that mistake!

Be Smart About Email Marketing

Email marketing, when done right, can bring in a lot of traffic to your site while establishing brand awareness. Afterall, 59% of marketers say that email marketing brings in more revenue than any other strategy.

But what exactly is involved with smart email marketing? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Segment your audience and tailor your communication
  • 4 out of 5 emails should be thought leadership and 1 out of 5 emails can talk about your brand
  • Craft engaging subject lines
  • Don’t send out more than 2 emails per week
  • Come up with solid CTAs

If I’ve sold you on ramping up your email marketing strategy, check out this definitive guide on “fixing a sucky email marketing strategy.”

Pay Attention to Your Google Analytics

You’ll want to set KPIs to monitor the performance of your new strategies. The best place to pull numbers for your KPIs is Google Analytics and there is a lot of information in there to glean.

One thing I love about analyzing my strategy is that I can use actual data to make changes. I can view posts that performed the best, influencers who brought in the most traffic and much more! This allows me to continually refine my strategy and build off of what works the best. So, I encourage you to spend a lot of time in your Google Analytics.

Are there any strategies that you’ve implemented that increase traffic to your website? I’d love to hear all about your experience in the comments below!

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