Ethical Growth Hacking Strategies to Increase Your Website Traffic for Startups and Small Businesses
Do you know why Google cannot simply create its own version of Instagram – or any other new innovation for that matter – and then launch it for the whole world to see? Because beyond a great product should be a clear strategy on how to move users to switch to a new platform.
In the same sense, it is useless to build a huge thousand-dollar or even million-dollar website complete with awesome functionalities when it does not even get the traffic that it deserves.
And that is where the role of a growth hacker comes in.
Exactly what is it? The term growth hacking was coined from Sean Ellis in 2010 which he defined as the “people whose true north is growth”. Simply put, their job is to use all their knowledge of product and distribution channels in order to find ingenious ways to grow their user base or audience.
Ethical Growth Hacking Strategies for Website Traffic
In the early stages of your start-up, you will probably already have created a prototype and created a landing page for your product in order to get leads, sign-ups and even sales. The conversion funnel involves acquisition, activation, retention, referral and revenue – but if you cannot quite get people into your website, which is right at the top of the process, then you will have a hard time getting through the rest of them.
Whatever your product or company might be involved in, here are some ethical growth hacking strategies that you might want to apply in order to get that much needed traffic into your landing page.
SEO tactics may have been effective in increasing website traffic over the years but remember that it is not the be-all and end-all of your strategy. Many top digital marketers do swear by the following fail-proof SEO techniques and it would not hurt to try a few, if not all, of them.
- Keyword Research
Keyword research is very important: you want to make sure that you rank well in the words that people are searching for. However, becoming popular for specific keywords can be very difficult especially if you are just starting out your site.
Exactly how effective is the use of long-tail keywords in your content marketing plan? Neil Patel shows how he was able to generate more than 20,000 monthly visitors because of it.
- Images and Infographics
What is with images and infographics that make them huge drivers of traffic? Visual content should not be considered as a separate piece of content but as an access to more valuable information.
One of the main advantages of using images is that they can be used across various social media. Don’t you want to click through a link when it has better images compared to when they are just plain text?
Infographics, although traditionally filled with lots of data and statistics, have been modified to look more attractive and creative. Among the best performing visual marketing strategies find their infographics shared over and over by other people. This leads to more click through to their links and thus, free marketing for the site.
- Inbound and Outbound Links
Links are a complicated thing is for sure: both inbound and outbound links can help in increasing your site’s Google search rankings and traffic.
Basically, inbound links would tell search engines that your site contains highly valuable information that other sites, especially bigger ones, trust enough to share to their readers. It also provides more referral links so that people would click through and read when they would have otherwise not visited it in the first place.
On the other hand, outbound links can also be used to your advantage even if it means driving traffic away from your site. Linking to high authority sites provides search engines with a clear idea on what your blog is all about. Additionally, it also helps build relationships with the top bloggers in your niche.
- High Quality Long Form Content
Coschedule’s Garrett Moon had a lengthy discussion about using long form content for your blog posts. He did found out that posts that are beyond 1,700 words rank higher although not necessarily first. And while there is no clear correlation between back links and the length of the content, it is quite clear that a 500-word post simply is not enough to get the point across.
One thing to be learned about the study is that the biggest aim should not be about creating long posts but instead creating high quality content that readers will want to read through over and over again. It is okay to go past the 700-word mark but it is also pointless to endlessly blab and put on filler words just so you could reach the word count.
Long-form content also means more time for your readers on your blog and with such a comprehensive and well-organized post, it would not take long until you position yourself into becoming an authority in your niche.
Churning out 2000 word blog posts can be exhausting but the trick is to stay consistent and to publish on a regular basis. Google loves sites that are regularly updated: a high-quality long form post at least once a week can do wonders in increasing traffic to your website.
User Experience, Mobile Optimization and Site Speed
Is it possible for your Google search rankings to improve based on user experience alone?
The answer is that it is highly possible – through a behavior called pogosticking.
Pogosticking is when users go to the Google search engine to look for answers then click on a result from the list. The user usually goes back and forth between the search results and the different websites presented until they are satisfied with the answer.
In his book, In the Plex, Stephen Levy says that there is a high likelihood that Google measures user satisfaction as they click on the search results. And, the best sign to a satisfied user is through long clicks – when they would go into a search result, usually those in the top, and did not return to look for more answers.
However, it is important to take not that the use of mobile devices has clearly overtaken Internet usage versus desktop. If your site is not properly configured for smartphones and tablets, it will likely lower your Google search results for mobile queries. Having a mobile responsive site will help increase user satisfaction, increase rankings and thus, traffic to your website.
Additionally, improving site speed also helps in improving user satisfaction and Google has confirmed that, indeed, site speed helps in increasing your site’s rankings. Keeping this in mind, make sure that both desktop and mobile sites will easily load in order to keep your visitors from leaving.
Social Media Marketing
Social media may be annoying and can be such a waste of time but, let’s face it: it provides a lot of potential for any small business to grow.
Most consumers make use social media to connect with their favorite brands but they also use it to look for product and service recommendations based on what their family, friends or co-workers are saying. The reason why influencer marketing is extremely effective is that they provide the best quality reach to a targeted audience.
Social media marketing is here to stay and the pros continue to unfold ingenious ways to use it to their advantage. In addition, paying for advertisements through social media is much cheaper and also much more effective compared to traditional media.
Email List Building
However, the biggest downside to using social media to market goods and services is that their algorithms continue to change every single day.
Facebook has focused so much on getting money to pay advertisements so that a post from a Facebook page that has thousands – or even millions – of fans will only be seen by a tiny fraction, oftentimes barely 10 percent of its followers.
The reason why building an email list is a more effective marketing strategy is that they are usually targeted: these people trust you enough to provide something as private as an email address because they are genuinely interested in what you have to offer to them. Plus, an email list can be reached out to anytime whereas your social media followers can’t be.
With the emergence of visual marketing, the use of videos in lieu of, or as an alternative to, articles have become a trend. People have become busier than ever and only really have a few seconds to spare.
Syed Balkhi of List25 and WPBeginner has been changing content formats for his sites and has been using multiple platforms, such as YouTube, to do so. By turning his articles into videos, List25’s YouTube channel has grown to 1.3 million subscribers and has gotten more than 200 million views. Using the same strategy for WPBeginner, he was able to increase the subscribers, now at 8000, as well as increase sales in his WordPress plugins.
Webinars and Alternative Products
Everyone loves freebies – who doesn’t? So, if you know something really valuable, why not create a document, an e-book, an exclusive video or even an app that your readers can freely download or view once they sign up on your site.
This strategy basically works in two ways: you build your email list and you also increase your reach especially when viewers start sharing about it to their respective followers. Simply getting the word out about your awesome offer is enough to get the ball rolling and you can use the domino effect to your advantage.
Co-schedule does a great job at increasing their traffic and followers by constantly providing high-quality posts – and adding content upgrades or those bonus contents that can be accessed in exchange for an email address.
Webinars work pretty much the same way as content upgrades but readers have the chance to interact more through a short question and answer portion at the end of the talk.
Whichever type of alternative product you decide to offer to readers, the most important thing to remember is to always provide value in order to attract and thus increase traffic to your site. Webinars and bonus contents require a lot of planning and design (remember that the title is the first thing readers see!) and should be well-thought of, keeping the audience’s satisfaction always in mind.
For small businesses and startups, the Internet is no longer just about promotion. People are no longer easily fooled and are, in fact, easily turned off when there are advertisement and promotions right in their face.
If traffic is what you are aiming for, answering questions that the community is look for is very important. Organic traffic, which is the traffic that comes from unpaid sources such as search engines, is very important if you want your business to succeed.
However, if you want to rank high in the search results, you need to make sure that you create high-quality content that is also valuable and useful to your readers. Create a community, have them ask you questions, provide them quality answers – and more – and become an authority in your niche. You do not only create a loyal community of followers but you also help your website rank well.
The Internet constantly creates a million ways to for the digital marketing professionals to come up with growth hacking strategies that can help increase traffic to a small business or a start-up’s website.
Growth hacking requires a lot of studying and analyzing charts and statistics as well as a lot of thinking outside the box. Do not be scared to try out new things and document the entire process, whether they work or not. And, of course, learning from the experts and from those who have been there does not hurt as well. Use their strategies, tweak it and improve it to fit your website’s goals.