If you've taken the time to build a website and put your ideas and business out into the world, I'm going to guess that you want people to actually visit your site.
Odds are you didn't spend all that time, effort and money for nothing!
Most websites have a goal in mind, and that's to GROW. They want to increase traffic to their site and build up an audience who is ready to consume their content, purchase their products and sign up for their services.
Having a larger audience is desirable for pretty much all types of websites. From hobby bloggers to professional businesses, we all want a wider reach to share our ideas, have a bigger impact and even do a better job at monetization.
Whether you're starting out with a brand new website or looking to take your site to the next level, there are different ways you can get new and more eyes on your site. If the same old "growth tactics" haven't been working for you so far, you might have more luck thinking outside of the box!
Let's take a look!
Tried and true?
Experts proclaim that there are some "guaranteed" methods to grow your website and build up an audience, and for the most part the tactics they suggest do work. These tried and true methods include guest posting, blogging and being active on social media.
These are all totally worthwhile but there are OTHER strategies you can use as well that will really help you to get results!
1. Media mentions
Media mentions and press coverage related to your website and business will always drive new traffic to your site. The way you get media mentions and press coverage can vary a lot and there are options for everyone - even those who would rather hide behind their keyboards!
This could be via
- a mention or quote in an article
- being a guest on your local tv programs
- being interviewed for a story related to your expertise or unique position
- profile in a magazine, newspaper, online publication
There are a few ways that you can get media mentions and press coverage but basically you'll have to go for it and put yourself out there.
This could be by pitching yourself to journalists and reports who you've connected with already, or maybe you need to introduce yourself to them first! Social media is great for this because you can easily search for people's public profiles on Instagram, Twitter, or even LinkedIn.
Another way to get media mentions is by signing up for HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out. Everyday you'll get calls from journalists looking for quotes for articles they're working on and all you have to do is reply to relevant queries.
A third example is to get a shoutout or feature on a brand's social media channel. They usually have large audiences and getting a feature will drive people back to your profile, where you've clearly linked to your website as the Call To Action (CTA).
2. Contribute to an industry publication
If your website serves any industry with a publication, I suggest contributing to it. Not only is it a great way to get in front of your peers, it also positions you as an industry expert to prospective clients and customers. I've seen this work well for all sorts of business, from lawyers to accountants to social media experts.
Start out by reaching out with your pitches for a few article ideas. You could offer to review a relevant book/white paper, offer an op ed on recent news, interview someone in your industry (ideally a leader but not required), share your tips & tricks for topic XYZ - whatever.
Print is fine but digital is best because it's easier to link back to your website.
I've found that it's pretty easy to contribute to these publications and it pays off.
Collaborations - that sounds a little broad but stay with me!
Collaborations work super well and you can be as creative here as you'd like! You can collaborate within your industry but it's also totally great to collaborate with others in compatible but different industries as well.
There are countless ways you can collaborate but here are a few ideas:
- cohost a webinar
- put on a summit
- feature each other on social media (works for individuals as well as brands)
- host an event or meetup (in person or on-line)
- co-create a product or service
Collaborating with a peer (or fellow business) works well because you are both experts in your field who are providing value, just with different voices or positions. For example, a group of accountants with different specialties might get together to host an online workshop on 'everything you need to know about filing your business taxes' and each expert gets to talk about a certain area. Or a group of online business owners put on a summit where everyone gets an hour to talk about something related to a specific topic. How about a fitness coach who features a different tip or piece of advice every day for a week from a dietician?
If you want to collaborate with someone/a business who is in a different but still compatible industry, it still works well because you are offering information (or whatever) about something adjacent that the audience will benefit from. An example might be a freelance social media manager who runs a session/webinar with a videographer to talk about the future of video marketing. Or a photographer might team up with a wedding planner to produce a checklist or video on tips for planning and getting ready for your wedding day photos. A final example could be that a lawyer and a financial planner team up to co-create an ebook about estates/wills/whatever that they both sell on their respective websites.
Remember : collaboration over competition!
4. Be a speaker
Become a speaker online or in-person, both are great choices! If the thought of speaking in front of people makes you want to hurl, might I suggest going to a local Toastmasters meet up?
Remember that you can always start small and local to get more comfortable public speaking. You might offer to speak to a class at your local high school or to a youth sports team to get a bit of practice in before moving onto professional crowds. As you get more comfortable and experienced, you can work your way up to larger or targeted crowds.
The goal here is to get in front of a new audience so that they get to hear you showing off like the rockstar that you are! You'll get a chance to plug your business and website while you're at it, as well as get a link in your official speakers bio on the online event information. People will check you out because they're curious or liked what they heard so you'll be able to keep a relationship going!
5. Launch a podcast
This is a great option if you're someone who has zero interest in speaking at live events or getting up in front of a bunch of people. Podcasting is awesome because you could literally record an episode at home in your closet and no one will ever know!
Podcasts are different from social media because you are reaching your audience in a much more natural way - over time listeners will get to know you and your personality, and it starts to feel they are listening in on a conversation with a friend. If you interview people or have guests on your show, they will likely promote the podcast to their audiences, which means you get links back to the episode on your website. It's a fabulous and fun way to position yourself in front of new audiences online!
Podcasts can take a bit of work to start up but once you get the hang of it, there's actually a lot that you can outsource, so long as you're willing to do the talking.
As you grow your website and increase your influence online, it will open MANY doors for you to expand your business, build up your brand, reach new audiences and offer more value into the world!
It's not selfish to want to grow your website. Think of it instead as getting to impact more people in a bigger way!
Don't forget than it's one thing to say "I want to grow my website" but it's an entirely different thing to make those dreams a reality. In order to see your website grow, you must monitor your progress and track your metrics. Shameless plug: my website growth tracker is a fantastic way to do this in a "done-for-you" way, but you can always do it yourself as well!
As a parting thought, I want to remind you that growing your website is obviously smart but you want to make sure that you're getting those people onto your email list while you're at it. Here's why you should start an email list but basically you want to nurture your relationship with your audience so that they stay loyal to your website and brand, and over time ideally become customers or clients. You want these new visitors to your website to clearly see what you're about and offering, and that way they'll know if they want to stick around and become part of your growing tribe.
Now go forth and start watching your website traffic and readership grow! Be sure to let me know if you try out any of the suggestions above, I'd love to hear from you.
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