Do you want to know how to drive traffic to your website?
Then you’re in the right place.
“How can I drive traffic to my website?” is a question we get asked on a day to day basis at Canny.
Afterall, there’s no point in having a great website, if nobody’s visiting it.
You need traffic to generate leads or sales, in turn, making money.
And whilst traffic is not the be all and all, it does play a huge role in the success of your company’s website.
If you can manage to tap into even one or two reliable streams of traffic, then you unlock a boatload of possibilities.
So, let’s dive in, and find out exactly how to drive more traffic to your website.
The 4 Main Ways to Drive Website Traffic
There are four main ways (plus one bonus) that you can use to drive traffic to your website.
Helpfully, they’re all categorised and listed out as separate sources in Google Analytics too. This means you can easily see where your website traffic has come from.
Let’s have a look at what each of these things mean.
Organic traffic is the type of traffic that most people want when they ask “how can I get more website traffic?”
This type of traffic is the people who’ve been searching online for a solution to their problem, and ended up landing on your website.
It’s people finding you through search engines.
But it’s earned traffic, not paid traffic.
Usually, organic traffic comes into your site through well written blog posts, or pages that contain a lot of high quality, relevant information.
The direct traffic portion of your Google Analytics segment simply means “people that typed in your website address.”
That’s direct traffic in a nutshell.
So every time you go to Facebook.com or Google.com by typing in their address in the browser, you’re counting towards their direct traffic statistics.
Referral traffic is pretty simple too.
If somebody has clicked on a link to your website, that’s a referral. This obviously excludes Google search, which counts towards your organic traffic.
See below from referrals from social media.
So if you’re on canny-creative.com and you click on a link within a blog post, which takes you over to ahrefs.com – that’ll count as referral traffic.
Referral traffic can also be driven from your email newsletter campaigns.
Social traffic is coming to your website through social media.
Not exactly a shock!
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or something else. Social traffic doesn’t count as a referral.
If you click a link on Facebook, to our website, that’s one visitor in the Social Traffic bucket, rather than than the Referral Traffic bucket.
If you’re utilising paid advertising, it still also counts as social traffic.
Admittedly, Google’s social traffic bucketing is quite broken and a little bit old school.
Marketing Land have a great article that aims to help you get that right.
Paid Traffic (Bonus)
Paid traffic is exactly what it says on the tin. But for Google Adverts only.
Again, social media adverts don’t count towards this bucket. You should track those using a UTM as explained in the above and below linked posts.
Paid traffic is simply your Google Pay Per Click adverts.
If you want a deeper dive on how Google sorts it’s acquisitions, this post from Social Media Examiner is for you.
Otherwise, let’s dive in to actually driving more traffic to your website.
You might be wondering “how do I get organic traffic to my website?”
We actually have a completely different post about increasing your organic traffic.
But let’s take a quick refresher:
Good Quality Content
Everyone is always looking for a “quick fix” or “magic bullet” to drive traffic to their website.
The only quick solution for traffic, is to pay for it. Which isn’t the solution for driving organic traffic.
The only way to get good quality, reliable traffic, is to produce valuable, high quality content.
We consume content in three different ways:
Which is ideal, because it means there are only three types of content we need to create.
Let’s explore each of them:
Blogging has been our bread and butter at Canny.
We’ve tried a variety of methods and blogging strategies, but we’ve found creating regular, consistent posts, twice a week, works for us.
Google loves good quality, well written content.
By writing high quality posts about your topic, and other areas surrounding your business, you will start to rank organically in Google.
Over time, you’ll find good posts rise to the top, especially if you’re in a space with low quality content and competition.
If you’re in the financial sector, you’re going to need to pull a rabbit out of a hat, because big sites like Money Supermarket and Money Saving Expert have things sewn up. And going to head to head with the big boys isn’t easy.
For businesses in sectors with less competition, creating high quality blog posts on a consistent schedule is sure fire way to start driving organic traffic to your website.
Videos offer a different feel to blogs.
They allow you to show more personality and behind the scenes action of your business.
We’ve experimented with video at Canny. And it worked a charm, winning us one of our biggest clients!
Try and think of your company like a media company.
What shows could you put out on a regular basis?
- A short, two to three minutes, tips and tricks video
- A longer form thought piece, maybe a review show or similar
- Something that shows the day to day running of your business
For inspiration, check out our favourite YouTube business channels.
Some people aren’t comfortable in front of a camera, but want to give a voice to their brand.
If that’s you, then try podcasting!
I find it’s easier to get time to listen to a podcast than watch a video show. Namely, because I can listen to them in the car.
Podcasting is on the rise. And the busier people get, the more popular podcasting will become.
Business marketing experts are now stating that podcast is going to become the biggest way people consume media over the next several years.
We’re in the process of setting up our own podcast, and can’t wait to share it with you all!
How Does Content Drive Organic Traffic?
It’s quite easy to understand how blogging drives people to your website.
You write the content, Google ranks you for certain keywords, people search for those words, and your website comes up. Easy peasy.
But what about videos and blogs?
Well, the first thing you should do is transcribe them, using a service like Rev.
Then, you can them to your website in the same way as you would a blog post, reaping the same benefits.
Also, videos and podcasts are great for brand awareness. If you mention your business at the start and end of each episode, you can bet people are searching for your brand name.
Also, with YouTube being the second biggest search engine in the world, if people are finding you there, you can imagine the effect that could have on your traffic.
The Gary Vee Content Model
So, you’ve created all of that great content, what now?
If you’re not familiar with Gary Vee, he’s probably the world’s first celebrity entrepreneur. He’s brash, driven, and full of attitude.
But he’s great. And I love his content.
What he does, is create long form content based on one of the three ideas above. So either a blog, video, or podcast.
Then, he breaks it down into smaller chunks of content, which are then distributed across social media.
Doing this will help maximise your reach, and double down on the effort you put into creating great content.
And again, the more quality content that goes out, the more aware people become, and the more traffic you manage to drive to your website!
Direct traffic can be quite tricky to grow.
Afterall, how often is it you type a web address directly into the browser?
You only do it with the brands you know. So, growing your direct traffic, needs to be more about growing awareness of your business and brand.
How do you do that?
Well, there are a few options that could help get you there.
A lot of people think traditional media is dead, but getting yourself into a highly relevant trade publication or magazine can do a few things for your business.
- It builds awareness of your brand within your space
- It positions you as leaders and experts
- It intrigues people and can often lead to people reaching out
After we’d been featured across the North East press for our export trip to Canada, we had several interesting opportunities drop into our email inbox.
More importantly though, if you can get your domain name into the press, you’re going to get people visiting directly.
Afterall, it’s easier to type in canny-creative.com than search “Canny” and end up with several undesired results!
Print advertising and other offline campaigns, can again help build direct traffic to your website.
Television, radio, and press campaigns, are an ideal way of doing this.
You can utilise clever print design to encourage people to visit your website directly.
And, with a catchy audio jingle (sonic branding) – you can drive people to your site.
Think of the website CheckATrade – and you’ll instantly hear their domain name jingle:
“Checkatraddddeeee…… check a trade.com”
Offline advertising can work to grow your direct traffic, you just have to be clever with how you do it, and be very aware of your goals from the start.
Remember when QR codes were all the rage? It’s because they can land people directly onto your website.
Some people love them, others hate them, but they can help drive direct traffic.
If you have a QR code on your promotional and marketing material, or even on your stationery design, you’re making it exceptionally easy for people to land directly on your website.
Building Return Visitors
A lot of direct traffic is made up of return website visitors.
At Canny, around 25% of our website traffic is people that have been on our site before.
And when that’s the case, they usually come direct.
If they’ve seen an interesting blog post, or article, they could’ve saved it to their favourites, and returned to read it later. This, again, relies on creating great quality content.
Return visitors make up a large portion of direct traffic, so if that’s an area you’re looking to grow, try to hook people into your website and keep them coming back for more.
Direct traffic is possibly the hardest area to grow, but often, people coming directly either need your services right now, or have loyalty towards your brand, and are really interested in what you’re offering.
Referral traffic relies on getting other people to link out to your website.
And not many people are going to do that just because you asked. (And especially not if you’ve copied an email template to help you acquire backlinks!)
You need to be providing something of value.
Let’s take a look at some ideas:
Guest posting on other websites is a great way to drive referral traffic back to your own site.
Sure, it requires a bit of time and effort to secure guest posting slots, and to write the post itself, but it can pay huge dividends in the long run.
You want to make sure you write a high quality post on the guest site, to make sure they get the maximum benefit.
Then, link out to one or two of your own posts, and again in your author block, and you should see a steady stream of referral traffic heading your way.
By producing quality content for guest sites, you maximise the chance of them having you back. And if it’s really great, they’ll share it out on social too!
Another bonus is that it scores you a highly coveted backlink to your own site too. So double points for guest posting!
Check out this guide from AHREFs about getting started with guest posting to build backlinks, in turn, building referral traffic.
Another great way to get referral traffic through to your website, is by producing a high quality email newsletter.
Again, this is another form of content creation.
One of our clients, Robbie Thompson, produces a great weekly newsletter that drives an insane amount of traffic to his website.
Every week, he shares tips, tricks, advice, and his best performing social posts, with his audience.
As a result, people click through to his site from the link in his footer, and check out what he’s been up to.
We’ve use a range of products at Canny to create our email newsletters, including:
- Active Campaign
All with a varying degree of success.
So, if you’re considering getting started with email newsletters, check out the options above, and see which is the best fit for your business.
Guest posting is one thing, but have you considered creating an infographic that you can then post on other websites?
This technique, pioneered by Brian Dene, is called using guestographics.
They infographics, that are also guest posts.
People love infographics, and having one to share on another website, can help you get a foot in the door.
Check out Brian’s post on Backlinko to help you get started.
Social media is great. People are consumed by it. Such is life.
But the trick is getting people off your social channels, and onto your website. It’s no good if people won’t budge.
So, how exactly do you get people off their social network of choice, and onto your site?
High Quality Posts with a Call to Action
Remember the Gary Vee Content Model from earlier? That’s where this comes up shining.
You take your long form content, and split it down into bitesize, information, social media posts.
These high quality posts should be reinforced with a call to action, to drive people back to your website.
Afterall, it’s difficult to make a sale on social media, so you need to direct traffic back to your site.
Offers and Promotions
One great way of getting people to take action, is to run an offer or promotion.
Our client, The Shire Bakery, is great at this. During episodes of The Great British Bakeoff, they’ll run a flash sale, getting 10% off products at that time.
Clever promotions like this, that tie in with your user base are a perfect way to drive traffic from social media and onto your website.
Hit Them at the Right Time
If you run something like a restaurant, you might consider running adverts or posting around the time people are on their way home from work.
That way, you can drive more traffic to your restaurant website when people already have their evening meal on their mind.
Being clever with timing your posts can help drive traffic.
The best time to post on social media is always up for debate, but Neil Patel shares some interesting results in this post.
You can measure your social traffic easily through Google Analytics.
It’ll highlight each channel, and show you where you’re getting most of your traffic from.
If you want to drive even more traffic from social media, then read on.
Paid traffic is relatively easy to grow, whether that’s through Google Adwords, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn advertising.
With Google Adwords for example:
You choose more keywords, set your bids, and invest more money.
Or on Facebook:
Refine your audience, create more relevant ads, and ramp up the investment.
Sounds simple, but how do you make the most of paid traffic when you have it?
Afterall, you don’t want your digital marketing spend going to waste.
Optimise Your Adverts
It’s no good just creating an advert, then forgetting about it.
The best adverts don’t look like adverts. Think about Instagram adverts. They slot right into your feed, and look interesting!
You should try and get your Google Adwords and Facebook ads to look natural too.
Once they’re set up, test them, test them, and test them again.
You can really squeeze your images, copy, and calls to action, to within an inch of their life, to drive you the best possible results.
And, then make sure you’re directing people to something relevant!
Don’t advertise “wooly socks” and drop them on a page that sells “wellington boots.” And definitely don’t send paid traffic to your homepage!
If you’re advertising on the words “wooly socks” make sure when they land on your page, they’re going to get a highly customised wooly sock shopping experience.
And just like testing your adverts, you should be testing your landing pages.
A/B testing is where you test Version A of your page against Version B. The goal is to find out which of them converts better.
You can run a range of small tests including:
- Call to action button colours
- Text changes
- Image changes
- Layout and position changes
- A different flow of information
To see which results in the best uplift in conversions.
Afterall, it’s no good having a website that doesn’t generate you leads or sales!
To make the most of your website, and make sure you convert as much of your traffic into leads, follow our web design tips.
Conclusion: How to Drive Traffic To Your Website
Learning how to drive traffic to your website is an important skill.
Especially if you’re looking to grow your business online. You simply can’t do that without a good amount of traffic.
Using the methods outlined above, you should be able to tap into a steady stream of traffic for your website.
Growing organic traffic is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Without it, you’re always going to be investing either:
- or Money.
By building your organic traffic, you’re website is working without you. And that’s exactly what you want, to allow you to focus on growing your business!
Driving traffic to your website isn’t easy. But it’s necessary for success.
What have you tried? What has driven the best results for your business? Let us know in the comments below.
reading time: 17 minutes