Online traffic is one of the key performance indicators for online businesses, as it directly affects the number of leads your business acquires. Most online marketers focus their attention on the most well-known sources like search engines, social media channels, and well-known (high-bandwidth) websites. There is nothing wrong with taking the road well-traveled, but don’t stop there. Take a few extra steps could mean a huge increase in traffic.
The online marketing field is very competitive and any edge you can gain is worth the effort. In this post, I want to share five sources of online traffic you’ve probably never considered for your website or marketing before.
1. Reddit: A Fun and Great Source of Online Traffic
Reddit is a social sharing, news, and entertainment platform, where members can approve (upvote) or disapprove (downvote), link, and comment on submissions. Think of reddit (written without caps) as a community where topics about everything from advanced physics to cute cat pictures are shared and discussed by super engaged individuals. Here are some statistics about Reddit you ought to know:
Reddit attracts more than 174 million unique monthly visitors actively looking for news, tips, products, or entertainment, which you are missing out on by not taking part in one or more conversations on Reddit. Reddit is also home to 8000+ active communities where top communities have 1 million or more members.
Here’s an example of reddit awesomeness: in August 2012 President Obama used reddit to engage with the American public by starting an “AMA” or “Ask Me Anything” thread that generated 2,987,307 views and 10,000+ comments on the same day. I understand not everybody can attract as much online traffic as President Obama, but the example illustrates the potential of reddit. Here’s the kicker: all external links from reddit are dofollow so when your post goes viral and reddit gets SEO juice from it, it passes a lot of it the linked page.
Honorable mention: Triberr – which is a community of bloggers set up to encourage social sharing.
2. Ask Quora (For Online Traffic)
Quora may not boast the impressive numbers of Reddit but what it does have is a really engaged user base and a set of great features. Quora is a question and answers platform (a lot like Yahoo answers) where users can ask questions or answer them. Other users can follow questions (as a way to approve them) and up vote or down vote answers, where up votes provide the user with Quora credits (a currency that can be used at Quora).
On Quora questions cannot be closed (unlike Yahoo answers or similar platforms), which means that question pages have a long lifetime. By asking and answering questions you can potentially reach the 1.5M – 3.0M monthly visitors worldwide. Quora also behaves like an online community where you can build a following and display your expertise in a host of different topics by giving great answers.
Aside from asking questions and answering other users questions, you can write blog posts on Quora and publish them. The blog posts will be seen by other users who are interested in the same topic. One cool thing about Quora is that it rewards user engagement and participation through the use of Quora credit, which as I said are rewarded whenever someone follows a question you asked and or when you get up votes for your answers and blog posts. One of the things you can do with Quora credits is promote your blog posts.
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Quora:
- Follow topics relevant to your industry and actively participate in answering questions
- When answering questions include links back to your content as appropriate
- Build a following by up voting others users, following interesting users, and answering questions which other users ask you
- Write blog posts on Quora and feature your content
- Use Quora credits to get more views on your blog post.
3. Content Aggregators can be a Great Source of Traffic
An aggregator is any software or web application that aggregates and syndicates web content.
In general, there are mixed feelings about content aggregators in the SEO community. One thing I can tell you is that you don’t want dofollow links from most aggregators except the high authority ones, but what you do want is links that send you online traffic.
You can essentially multiply your reach by having your content posted at aggregators. Aggregator sites are frequently visited by users who are interested in discovering new content about the topics of their interest.
Take Alltop for example, the site attracts around 0.5M unique visitors per month interested in one of the 600 topics featured at Alltop. Say you are in the coffee industry and have created an a guide to making Turkish coffee. Alltop would be a great place to submit such content for getting a boost in online traffic. The visitors that come to your site from interest / topic oriented aggregators will also be more likely to convert as leads since they are interested in the topic.
There are many other popular aggregators you should consider for gaining more exposure for your content, such as Huffington Post, Popurls, Google News, Yahoo News, Bing News, Newsvine, and Lockerdome. Aggregators may have an application process for accepting content, some may require you to make an account first, and some will allow you to post a link which the community can approve or disapprove. There is no single strategy for getting your content featured on aggregators. What I can tell you is that it is worth the effort.
4. LinkedIn is Not Just a Professional Network Anymore
With the advent of “Create a Post” feature in LinkedIn it has crossed the border between a professional network and a blogging platform. The most well-known ways of generating online traffic from LinkedIn revolve around the professional network LinkedIn and not the blogging platform LinkedIn. In this tip, I want to highlight benefits of blogging on LinkedIn.
Why should you write an article on LinkedIn?
- LinkedIn has 330M active users from all over the world viewing an average of 8.5B pages per month which means that on average a user views 25.7 pages per month.
- You already have subscribers (your connections) who will see the your post in their news feed.
- Your connections are very likely to share, like, and comment on your content. Each share, like and comment expands your content’s reach by the number connections your connection has.
- You don’t need to come up with original content, as LinkedIn is a great platform for repurposing old blog posts to reach new audiences.
5. Blog Commenting
I know what you’re thinking “blog commenting for getting online traffic? Tell me something I don’t know, Karan”. So instead of making a case of why you should comment on blog posts, I want to let you in on a few strategies that I’ve noticed to work well.
- Just like the results in SERPs the top five comments get the bulk of the online traffic, so subscribe to RSS feeds of key blogs in your industry and make sure you comment soon after the post is published.
- Comments to which the author replies positively are more likely have a higher CTR than those where the author doesn’t reply or replies negatively. So make sure you add to the conversation.
- Short comments, compliments, and thank you’s are not going to get you any online traffic. Read the article make an insightful comment. One good comment is better than 10 short, hollow, or complimentary comments.
- Try to leave a link in the body of the text, but make sure it’s relevant and tell the reader what they will find on the linked page. For example: “…. I’ve had the same experience. If you want to check what we did, you can find it here:….”
- Not all blogs are created equally when it comes to sending you online traffic. Focus on specialist websites which published content about the topics of your audience’s interests. Sites which have several categories like Forbes, Wired, and Mashable are great for generating online traffic but will be less effective for generating leads.
- The commenting format matters, for instance blogs with Disqus are much less likely to send you online traffic then the ones who use the comment form format. On the other hand, you can build a following with your audience by using Disqus.
- Finally, commenting on your own guest posts (tip from Mark Traphagen) is really important as it accomplishes two things: 1) you show your readers you are not just writing to gain exposure or back links but actually want to engage with them. 2) By interacting with your readers you increase the likelihood that they check out your website.
There you have it, the five sources of online traffic that you haven’t considered but definitely should. What other sources of online traffic do you recommend?
Featured Image: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr
All screenshots taken December 2014
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!