Building up a steady influx of Web traffic is rarely easy, but every once in a while we stumble across simple fixes that make a big difference. The 3 traffic strategies shared below should be doable in about 5 minutes each – and are more than worth the time investment.
1. Social Media Embeds
Take a look at your Facebook feed. Browse through your Twitter updates. Pay attention. How many of those posts are blog posts? How many are bite-size pieces of visual content? And which ones are getting shared the most? They aren’t blog posts, are they?
Don’t get me wrong. You need in-depth content if you want to retain an audience, get people coming back, and actually grow in the long term. But social media isn’t for article posts. It’s for bite-size content. Use your social media platforms for what they’re for. Don’t post website articles, post bite-size content and link it back to your website for attribution.
Unfortunately, with more competition now on social networks than ever before, it’s not easy to get those social posts in front of enough people to get the ball rolling. Average organic reach on Facebook is down to 6.15 percent. With numbers like that, it’s tough to get enough social sharing to happen in a way that actually sends meaningful traffic. Especially when pages with over 500,000 Likes are only reaching about 2.11% of their audience on average.
If only you had a platform that allowed you to reach a larger portion of your audience. Oh that’s right, you do. Open rates in email average about 20%, and then there are all those random visitors who come to your site from other sources.
So why not display your social media posts on your site, where people will actually see them?
Here’s how to do that on Facebook. Click on that arrow in the top right corner of your Facebook post:
Click on “Embed Post:”
Then just grab the embed code and paste it in the HTML on your blog:
Try using these embeds in place of pull-quotes or subheadings. Now your visitors can share these bite-size takeaways from your website on Facebook – right from your website.
Here’s an example from Shopify:
It’s bite-size posts like this that are keeping Shopify’s Facebook engagement rate around 5%, while average engagement rates for Facebook Pages of their size are just 0.16%. Sharing posts like those on your website can boost those rates even higher.
Shopify understands that while big guides are good for audience retention and growth, bite-size posts are what do well on social networks. When you link the two together with embeds on your website, and links back to your website, you create a more cohesive experience, all while using each platform for its appropriate purpose.
2. Put a Kindle eBook on Amazon
Wait, wasn’t this article supposed be about five-minute traffic strategies? Yep, and that’s about all it takes.
The Kindle marketplace is a great way to put yourself in touch with an audience that otherwise may never have found you. You can do that simply by transforming one of your most valuable articles into an eBook and publishing it through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. All you need is a Word document.
You’ll need to eliminate any bullet points, fancy fonts, or tables, and keep in mind that you should remove any images that won’t render well in black and white. To split it up into chapters, use hard page breaks. To give it some semblance of professional appearance, you’ll also want to pay somebody to produce your cover, but you don’t need to spend much. There are plenty of graphic designers who can throw together a decent book cover for virtually nothing over at Fiverr.
If you have qualms about asking people to spend money for an eBook that was originally a free article, you can actually put it up for free. You’ll need to use SmashWords to do it. Space Jock has a blog post explaining how to do this.
While editing your eBook in Word, you can add hyperlinks directly to your website. These links are clickable from within the eBook. Also make sure to get your branding all over the eBook so that people know where they can find more content.
According to Alexa, Amazon is the 12th most popular site on the Web. This can be a massive source of traffic if you use it properly. Granted, to get the most out of an eBook you will need to spend more than five minutes, but that’s all it takes for you to cross the threshold and show up in the Amazon marketplace.
3. Write a Descriptive, Intriguing Headline
We all know that headlines can make or break a successful article, but for some reason this seems to be where most bloggers and content marketers end up falling flat on their face. You can start by not getting too creative. As this study by Mailchimp demonstrates, the most successful email subject lines do a good job of telling users what they can expect to find when they open the email. The ones with the worst open rates, on the other hand, tend to try too hard and focus too much on selling.
According to a study published in the Guardian, these changes will also help your click through rates for headlines:
- Use about 8 words in your headline.
- Use a colon or a hyphen to indicate a subtitle.
- We all know lists are good, but for some reason it turns out lists with odd numbers tend to perform better than lists with even numbers.
- Ask a question (but only if it’s an intriguing one). Titles with question marks tend to do better than average.
- If you’re going to use an exclamation point, use three of them. These headlines performed twice as well as headlines with any other punctuation mark. (You can obviously go overboard with this.)
According to Outbrain, if you use superlatives, you should use negative ones. Headlines that use the words “always” or “best” perform 29 percent worse than average. Headlines that use the words “never” or “worst” perform 30 percent better than average.
According to research by Dan Zarella, you should use more verbs and adverbs, and fewer nouns and adjectives. Put the focus on actions, and how those actions are performed - not on things. While this research was performed on Twitter, I believe it’s true in general.
And according to research by Startup Moon, these changes can help your headlines perform better:
- Using violent words tends to boost click through rates. Words like “kill,” “fear,” “dark,” “bleeding,” and “war” grab attention. We’re not talking about actual violence here, either. We’re talking about headlines like “Google Kills Google Reader” as opposed to “Google Shuts Down Google Reader.”
- In agreement with Outbrain, negative versions of words tend to do better. Words like “no,” “stop,” and “without” dramatically improve sharing. “5 Things You Should Stop Doing” works better than “5 Things You Should Start Doing,” for example.
- Again, we all know numbers help headlines, but a few insights from the study included the fact that digits work better than number words, and bigger numbers tend to perform better. Using numbers as data works too, not just using numbers to label a list. Using time units helps as well, and starting the headline with the number is better than ending with it.
- Guides that use words like “Introduction,” “The Beginners Guide,” and ahem, “In 5 Minutes” tend to perform better. Using “DIY” also helps.
- Surprisingly, using “you” or “me” doesn’t seem to have any real impact. Likewise, “how to” doesn’t seem to help. These don’t really hurt either. It’s just that they are widely believed to help – when in fact they don’t seem to make a difference.
I’m going to wrap this article up by saying that you should do at least one of these right now. No excuses. As a reminder, these were my suggestions:
- Embed a social post in your next article.
- Transform one of your best articles into a Kindle eBook.
- Follow a few basic guidelines when you choose your next headline.
Let me know which one of these traffic strategies you’re going to use!
Social Media User Photo via Shutterstock