You’ve chosen a great product and designed your store. Now, all you need to do is figure out how to get traffic to your website so sales roll in.
From social media to nontraditional marketing hacks, this article will help you figure out what it really takes to learn how to increase website traffic on your store. You’ll also hear what the experts do to increase traffic on their websites. And we’ll throw in some website traffic checker tools for you to find out how much traffic you’re getting and from where.
What is Website Traffic?
Website traffic tells you how many users visit your website. Analytics tools will often tell you both the number of pageviews and the number of unique pageviews. Pageviews are the total number of times anyone has visited your site, while unique pageviews tell you how many people visited your site — some multiple times and some only once.
The idea is that the more website traffic you get, the more opportunities you have to convert users.
But you’ll often see that with more traffic comes lower conversion rates. This could be because the traffic isn’t as targeted — though more people are coming to your site, they might not all be highly qualified leads likely to purchase your product(s).
35 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website
Here are the top 35 ways to increase website traffic in 2021:
#1. Optimize your website for search
When you’re starting out, focus on finding keywords that represent your niche to base your blog content and store pages on. Typically, you’ll choose to focus on one or two main keywords per webpage. You can use SEO tools like Keywords Everywhere to help you find relevant keywords.
In the beginning, focus on keywords that have the search volume of under 10,000 searches a month. After a few months of creating blog content and optimizing product pages, you can then focus on going after higher volume keywords.
The trick to getting website traffic is to build a strong foundation of relevant keywords first. Be sure to take advantage of the blog on your online store as it can have the biggest impact on driving organic traffic to your website.
#2. Experiment with content freshness
Content freshness is an SEO hack people do to drive traffic to your website in a big way. Essentially, you’ll need to remove outdated content from your webpage and add new sections to keep your content relevant. It’s basically a quick touch-up on old webpage content.
A simple way to do content freshness for product pages is to have a product review app like Stamped.io’s Product Review Addon. This allows your customers to leave reviews on your product page, which shows Google that there’s regular activity on the page and new content. You can also keep your product pages “fresh” by taking the most common customer feedback and turning into a sentence in your description.
#3. Submit your site to search engines
Also helpful for SEO, you can request search engines to crawl and index your site, increasing your odds at appearing on results pages for relevant queries.
#4. Build out your backlinks
Backlinks are another important component to SEO. When an external site links to your site, it’s signalling to Google that your site is trustworthy and relevant to the words in the anchor text (the clickable words).
Beyond SEO, backlinks have the potential to drive traffic to your store in and of themselves. Users on those sites may click through and explore yours — hopefully leading to a purchase.
#5. Spy on your competitors
In my latest ebook, I talked about some of my secrets when it comes to competitor analysis. Whenever I start a new online store, I’m always curious to know the main traffic sources of my competitors. This helps me understand which marketing channels I should prioritize.
I sometimes use the free Alexa tool. All you need to do is type in your competitor’s website, scroll to “Upstream sites,” and look at the list of websites that were visited immediately before landing on your competitor’s website.
If you see that Google tends to be the top choice, then you need to focus on Google Ads and SEO. If Facebook is the top website then you know you’ll need to create Facebook ads. Or if a niche blog is the highest source of traffic you can then focus on building out an outreach strategy to collaborate with that blog.
#6. Optimize for long tail keywords
While many shorter keywords may come up in your keyword research, it’s important to also pay particular attention to the long tail keyword opportunities. Often, these keywords are more specific. As such, they typically have less search volume and, as a result, less competition. That means it’s not only easier to rank for relevant long tail keywords, but it’s also easier to guess the searcher intent.
When you create a website experience tailored to the searcher intent, you’re more likely to deliver the content that they’re looking for. This will help drive more organic search traffic to your site from a targeted group of users.
#7. Add new products or content to your website daily
Because one of Google’s ranking factors is how fresh the content is, it’s also a good idea to update your website content on a regular basis — daily if possible.
But this isn’t just a good move for SEO. It also gives users a reason to keep coming back to your site. If they know there’s something new to discover, they’re more likely to visit your site to find out what that is.
#8. Host exclusive content on your website
Start a blog, create a free course, develop Slideshare presentations, host webinars, and publish other relevant content on your site. Maintain a regular publishing schedule and allow users to subscribe so they have a reason to keep coming back.
#9. Create quizzes with share results features
Quizzes are an effective lead generation tool to use in your content marketing mix. In 2016, LeadQuizzes users had a 33.6% conversion rate. And not only are these emails of users you can market to in the future, you also have data about them through their quiz answers.
But let’s get back to the main goal: website traffic. When users finish a quiz, they get shareable results. They then post those results on social media, and their networks can click on the link and take the quiz themselves. Use this tactic to drive more traffic and grow your email list at the same time.
Bra company True & Co. has a quiz on their site to help users choose the right size bra. They serve users product recommendations based on their answers.
#10. Start a podcast
51% of Americans have listened to a podcast, and 32% have listened to a podcast at least every month. Podcasts have a huge audience, and starting one to support your online brand can also drive traffic to your site.
Podcasting benefits you in a number of ways:
- Brand awareness: Users might discover you first through your podcast, and then visit your site to learn more.
- Nurture customer relationships: Provide extra value to your customers through podcast content. You could also incorporate an interactive component to give them a more intimate brand experience.
- SEO: If you transcribe your podcasts, you can embed the audio and post the text to your site’s blog, giving you more opportunity to optimize for search.
#11. Host contests and giveaways
If you make contests and giveaways a regular part of your ecommerce strategy, you’ll give users a reason to visit your site — and to keep coming back. Not to mention the word-of-mouth marketing you’ll ignite, especially if you incorporate a social-sharing component to the campaign.
When users enter your contests and giveaways, you’ll also have a chance to market to them in the future. Just about one-third of contest entrants are willing to receive information from brands.
Plus, you’ll have specific insights about them as far as their interests go, so you can tailor strategies to their shopping preferences. Personalization is a huge opportunity for brands, considering 71% of consumers are frustrated when their experience is impersonal.
#12. Write on Medium
Medium is an online publishing platform where people and brands can post blog posts with basic HTML and CSS editing and styling. The platform has also created a community of publishers who can follow, engage with, and promote others’ posts.
You can tap into this existing community and introduce your brand. After you’ve invested resources in creating a great content experience on Medium, you’ll gain traction and readers. By including links back to your site, you can lure readers to your online store.
#13. Master YouTube marketing
You can increase traffic from YouTube by creating YouTube ads, adding links to your description, adding annotation links to your video, or by getting other YouTubers to share your links on their videos. By creating a new video at least once a week, consistently and over the long haul, you’ll be able to drive more traffic back to your website.
If you don’t have an audience yet, you can reach out to YouTubers with sizable audiences and ask them to become affiliates or pay their fee. This could work well in the short-term but it’s always a good idea to try to build out your own channels to lower your acquisition costs.
#14. Get involved with guest blogging
Guest posting works two ways: You can submit posts to other sites or you can accept posts from external contributors. (You can also do both!)
Search for popular publications and blogs in your niche. Pay particular attention to those with active, engaged audiences and posts that get a lot of social media attention. Some blogs will have guest post submission guidelines, so it’s important to check for that first. If you can’t find it by clicking around on site, do a site search via Google — something like guest post site:URL.com.
Remember to follow guest post guidelines carefully. Offbeat Bride, for example, has a detailed page and form where users can submit their pitches:
Many times, guest posts will include a link to your site — in the content, your author bio, or both. This will drive traffic from that site to yours.
On the other side of things, invite niche bloggers and complementary brands to post on your blog. It’s a good idea to share what’s in it for them: Do you have a lot of blog traffic? A big email list? A huge social following?
#15. Drive website traffic with Facebook
While Facebook’s organic reach continues to decrease, as Facebook prioritizes posts from users’ friends and family members, that doesn’t make this platform less of a powerhouse. You can obtain website traffic from Facebook groups, Facebook Ads, Messenger, social media posts, and of course your own business page.
For online store owners, you can promote products in buy and sell Facebook groups to help ensure you receive website traffic from people who are interested in buying your products.
Also, by combining Facebook ads with consistently posting on your Facebook page, you’ll increase the chances of getting website traffic from various areas in Facebook. Feel free to check out the Facebook Chat app, as you can share links to product pages or blog content to potential and actual customers.
#16. Try Instagram marketing
As time passes, Instagram becomes a better marketing channel for online retailers because of its business-friendly features and large audience size.
While you can increase traffic with the link in your bio, you can also do so by having affiliates, people who market your products for a commission, add their referral link to their Instagram accounts. Or reach out to influencers with big followings to share your link in their bio. You can boost website traffic by creating traffic ads. And you can even add links to Instagram Stories, posts, and photos. You can use free tools like Showcase to create Instagram galleries.
So, if you add the link in your bio, it directs Instagram followers to the shoppable galleries on your website instead of a third party app. It also helps boost overall conversions since it allows people to buy the products in specific Instagram posts you create.
#17. Increase website traffic with LinkedIn
For most online retailers, LinkedIn often seems like the last place you’d get traffic from. And while it might not be the biggest priority, you can still get a steady stream of traffic from this source.
Many online retailers use LinkedIn to share their PR news. For example, if you recently donated to a charity, want to highlight an employee from your team, or achieved a big milestone for your business, you might share an article from your website on LinkedIn.
Sharing product links is uncommon, unless the product is the first of its kind. Videos tend to do really well on LinkedIn in terms of views and engagement. By adding a link to your website in a post with a video, you could increase website traffic.
#18. Add social share buttons
Add social share buttons to shareable pages like blog posts, product pages and images, and other website content. These social share buttons make it easy for users to post your content (with links!), giving you social proof and traffic. When their network sees these posts, they can click through to your site.
Skincare brand Speak has social share buttons beneath product descriptions and above customer reviews on their product pages.
#19. Engage in email marketing
With email marketing, you’ll be able to keep driving website traffic to your store as long as your customers stay subscribed. With social media sites continuously limiting your reach, email marketing is one of the only marketing channels you can have complete control over.
#20. Maximize Twitter marketing
While Twitter has been cracking down on spam automation, you can still take advantage of this traffic source. If you’re still just learning how to increase website traffic, Twitter is a great platform for experimenting. You won’t need to worry about limited reach. With the help of relevant hashtags, you could reach an audience bigger than your follower count.
When it comes to content marketing, a little trick I do to get traffic from Twitter is to share a click to retweet link with people featured in the article. This allows your original tweet to get more visibility, especially if a hashtag is used in it, because it can help you rank higher on the feed for the hashtag used. As a result, more eyes end up on the tweet, and you’ll get a higher click through rate to your website.
#21. Check out Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the best ways to get website traffic flowing. By pinning your products and blog content multiple times a week, Pinterest traffic can potentially outperform powerhouses like Facebook. All it takes is for one pin to go viral to get an endless stream of traffic to your website.
If you’re sharing a blog post, you can pin all of the images within the post. This gives you multiple opportunities for a pin take off — one of your pictures could potentially outperform the rest. As a result, you could drive even more traffic back to your website.
Let’s say you want to promote a product page. You can upload custom pictures to entice clicks to your website if the product photos on that page aren’t the most inspiring. To increase website traffic from Pinterest, you can try the Pinoculars app which re-targets visitors on Pinterest.
#22. Try influencer marketing
There are multiple ways to leverage influencers for site traffic:
- Pay influencers to post about your brand and products, including links, on social media
- Get influencers to feature you in their email newsletters
- Develop relationships with influential bloggers so they talk about your brand in their blog
- Send products for free to influencers and invite them to post an honest review on their channels
- Get featured in influencer round-up articles
- Mention influencers in your content and share the links with them as a “Hey, I wrote about you!” — people love free press and might be willing to share with their networks
#23. Promote your store on Snapchat
With around 190 million active daily users, Snapchat is another social media platform to connect with your audience — particularly if you’re targeting a younger demographic. Build up an audience of your own with a strategic plan and direct them to your site to learn more about your brand and products.
You can also experiment with Snapchat ads. These are clickable snaps that show up during a user’s experience in the app. You can direct them to any URL on your site.
#24. Participate in forums
Forums are digital communities where people ask questions and have discussions about any given topic. Reddit, Quora, and Yahoo Answers are a few of the more popular and well-known forums — there are discussions, groups, and threads about almost any topic imaginable.
Keep in mind that forum participation must be organic and non-salesy. You need to add value, build relationships, and earn respect as a member before you promote your business. Only after you’ve done that can you add links to your website.
It’s also worth exploring niche forums related to your industry. This is a way to reach a highly targeted group of people.
#25. Create your own forum
Use your website a platform for your own forum, where you invite people to discuss more than just your brand and your products. Make it a respectful community where people can talk about topics relevant to your niche
This drives traffic to your site by giving people something to come back to — there’s always a new discussion or new response in active forums. You can incorporate notifications to proactively lure people back.
Forums also create more unique content, helpful for SEO. This content is already optimized for your customer’s voice, being that it comes directly from them.
#26. Get into Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups have become particularly popular as of late, and ecommerce brands are tapping into the opportunity to get involved in thriving online communities.
Search for groups relevant to your niche, sit on the sidelines, and join conversations when you have value to add. Just like with forums, it’s important to avoid being overly promotional. Relationships first, traffic second.
#27. Reach out to affiliates
Affiliate marketing works when companies pay affiliates to promote their products. Affiliates earn a percentage of the revenue from every sale they refer. Often, these sales come through website traffic. Maybe the affiliate is a blogger or social media influencer who posts a link with their referral or tracking code. Each time someone makes a purchase with that code, you pay the affiliate the agreed-upon fee.
#28. Advertise via ad networks
If you have a budget (it doesn’t have to be big), tap into the opportunity of ad networks. Create digital ads that promote your website, target ads towards your ideal customer, and watch the traffic roll in.
Some ad networks to check out:
#29. Collaborate with other brands
Brand partnerships validate your company and put you in front of a targeted audience. Every brand collaboration should have some sort of digital component, especially if you want to drive traffic to your site.
This could include cross-promotion on social media or email, as well as links to your site from theirs.
#30. Reach out to reporters on Help A Reporter Out
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a tool journalists and writers use to find and connect with sources for stories they’re working on. Publicists and brands use it to find queries for pitches for specific stories.
Sign up for HARO’s emails in your respective categories and look out for queries you can answer. Pay attention to any specific pitch guidelines to increase your odds at getting accepted. Many times, the writers will talk about your brand and include a link to your site.
#31. Publish a press release
Got something newsworthy to share? Write and publish a press release about it. In addition to posting the release on your own channels, share it to a syndicated site like PR Newswire or PRWeb. These services can put your press release and brand in front of new audiences, which can in turn drive more website traffic to your site.
#32. Post on Product Hunt
Here’s how it works: Create an account, wait a week to gain posting privileges, then post your product. Remember to use high-quality product photos, add well-written descriptions, and use URL parameters so you can track the traffic coming in.
#33. Create retargeting ads to win back visitors
Only 2% of visitors will make a purchase the first time they come to your site. Retargeting ads are so effective because you’re marketing to a warm audience — you’re trying to get them to come back for a follow-up visit. Because of that, you have an easier time convincing them to convert.
In the case of retargeting ads, the conversion is the click through to your site. To drive more traffic to your site using retargeting ads, consider basing it on user behavior. Automations can trigger based on actions they’ve taken online, allowing you to create a personalized, more engaging experience.
#34. Optimize your best traffic source
Take a peek at your analytics and find out what your best traffic source is. To determine the best sources, consider:
- Which sources send the highest volume of traffic
- Which sources send the highest-converting traffic
- Which sources send the most engaged traffic
From there, determine why those sources are so effective. Then double down on it. We call this optimization.
#35. Leverage in-person events
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, distribute to physical retailers, or are getting involved in temporary or pop-up retail, you want to turn those in-person shoppers into online visitors. This will drive sales outside of normal operating hours, in locations where you have no physical presence, and after your temporary activation has ended.
How to do this? Collect emails at the point of purchase and include your website link in e-receipts. Remind shoppers of your online store by plastering your website URL on in-store signage and other visual displays.
3 Website Traffic Checker Tools to Try in 2021
Here are the top 3 website traffic checkers to use in 2021:
Shopify’s website traffic checker reports help you understand how much traffic your store is getting. Under Reports, in the left menu of your Shopify store, you can browse “Sessions over time” and select specific dates to see how much website traffic you have.
By cross-referencing this with other reports, such as “Online store conversion rate,” you’ll better understand if you’re getting traffic from your target audience.
The website traffic checker Alexa helps with competitive research. In other words, if you want to know what your competitors’ traffic sources are, this is the tool you can use. Plus, it’s free.
I use this website traffic checker when building new stores to see what the main traffic sources of my competitors are. You can also use it to monitor the competition’s popularity — is the traffic trending upward, stable or declining. You’ll even see the website’s global or national rank.
The SimilarWeb website traffic checker tells you the total number of pageviews, visit duration, top traffic sources, and more for competitor websites.
This website traffic checker even gives you the top referring sites so you can create a game plan to reach out to those websites to get links to your own website. You’ll know the percentage of paid versus organic traffic to help you better understand how to better strategize your traffic generation.
8 Experts Share Ways to Increase Website Traffic
Gresham Harkless, the Blogger-in-Chief at CEO Blog Nation
The best way to get organic traffic is to feature your target market on your site. For CEO Blog Nation, we focused on having regular roundups that featured entrepreneurs and business owners who shared it to their audiences. The impact has been over 40k users without advertising.
Andrew Sumitani, Marketing Director at TINYpulse
An obstacle almost any organization will face is growing the number of the inbound links while maintaining a high quality of links. At TINYpulse, we typically avoid acquiring backlinks through forums, blog comments and social media sites.
To maintain quality, we seek out influential journalists or website content coordinators via tools such as Buzzsumo and Ahrefs. They are a fantastic resource for relevant news and story angles that provide the most value to their readers, simply by filtering by the most popular content.
George Perry, SEM Specialist at Bandwidth
Competitions or drawings. I’ve worked with companies to send out postcards inviting people that have shown interest in the business/industry to enter to win. We’ve brought them to a unique page for the contest, and after entering, ensured that we had a CTA in the Confirmation that pushed them to the main site. Resulted in a 30% bump in traffic during the contest period and a 5% bump over time.
Pinterest Promoted Pins have been the number one source of traffic to my new website, and they’re far cheaper than Facebook Ads for my audience. A small $5–10 per day budget has resulted in 1,127 clicks to my website in the last 30 days. The best part? Even once I stop running the promotions, my pins will still show where people have pinned them, so they’ll continue to drive traffic to my website
Dayne Shuda, Owner at Ghost Blog Writers
Guesting is one of my favorite forms of increasing website traffic. You guest on other types of content such as podcasts, videos, articles, etc. You provide content usually that’s entertaining or educational and in return you get access to a new audience. Think of an actor that goes on late night talk shows to promote a new movie. It can increase short-term traffic, but also long-term traffic.
Steven Page, Digital Marketing Expert at Giant Partners,
Growing your messenger subscriber list and driving them to pages on your website is one of the most effective ways to get more traffic. These messages get a 90%+ open rate and a 50%+ click-through rate which almost guarantees they will see your next blog post or resource you created.
Messaging apps are surpassing social networks and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I recommend you get started because these amazing engagement rates will not last long.
Jeff Moriarty at Tanzanite Jewelry Designs
We own multiple websites and have customers who have only purchased from one of them. We started sending out postcards 30 days after customers place orders with any of our websites. These postcards thank them for their purchase and display our other websites as well. It’s actually converted into new sales for us on those other websites that our customers didn’t even know about. And the nice thing is that it’s all done through an app and is totally automated, and each send is less than $1. You really can’t beat that for the extra exposure.
Jesse Weinberg at Global Yodel Media Group
Everyone loves press. Create a roundup blog post compiling 25 thought leaders in your industry. Find people you admire, people doing innovative things, people you look up to and even the best of your competitors. Include a short synopsis of them, their work and what they’re doing that is unique and inspiring. Include a link to their Twitter handle.
Once you publish the article send out a unique tweet @tagging each person with a link to the article. Everyone loves unexpected press. Chances are, most of the individuals you mentioned will retweet you and share the article on their social networks driving traffic to your blog and website.
By going the extra mile, spreading kindness and giving props to individuals doing good things in your field, it in turn helps you by driving big traffic to your website. That’s what I call a win-win.
There are tons of ways to drive traffic to your online store, from social media to in-person marketing and everything in between. The most effective method depends on your brand and your customers — and you’ll only learn through trial and error (plus a bit of optimization).