Website traffic is the lifeblood of your publication. Without your traffic numbers, advertisers lower their rates or flee entirely. You already know you need consistent and great content to keep your loyal readers coming back week after week. Social media is a must as you build your library, back links and SEO. You already understand the daily grind of getting people to click on your content. Think beyond your ordinary tricks and tactics. Keep your website from looking like a ghost town with these website traffic tips that go outside the box.
Blog as a Guest
Blog as a guest on someone else's website. Somewhere in that blog, either at the end or beginning, you get a byline. You might get to place a few links to your own blog posts somewhere within your guest post. The beauty of guest blogging is that you don't even have to stay within your industry. You might have a sports publication, but maybe you decide to guest blog on a lifestyle website where you write about weddings held at ballparks. Take a look at Forbes or Huffington Post sometime. Many of those authors are experts in other areas aside from business or media. Because those two outlets have high readership, those guest bloggers get more exposure for their own websites.
Branch Out to Other Media
A multimedia website gets Google's attention in terms of SEO because various forms of media mean more expensive advertisements. If your website specializes in written content, branch out to other forms of media. Throw a video into the mix among your three written pieces you make once per week. Host a podcast every two weeks. You could even show up as a guest on someone else's video or podcast, and you get to mention your website within that video or in the podcast. Post on a forum rather than within your own website. Don't spam the forum, but occasionally you can put a link to your website in there so long as it's within the rules of the forum.
Publications may take a few weeks to put together. Even a highly targeted, SEO-rich blog could take some time to craft. Do away with your traditional format and go live instead. Announce a few days in advance that you plan to run a Facebook Live or Google Hangout session at a particular time. Expand your YouTube audience with a live stream on your company's channel. Host a live Twitter chat thanks to a specific hashtag that gets everyone in line with your chat topic. Live content gives you a chance to interact with people, respond to comments and answer questions. The spontaneity of the live session reaches a different audience, or it puts you in touch with your regular readers in another medium.
Interact with your readers on a regular basis. Respond to comments on your website, on social media and on your YouTube videos. Every interaction should remain pleasant, even if someone criticizes your take on a particular topic. Write back to people when they comment on your blog. Re-tweet or re-post someone's social media post and let that reader know you saw the comment and leave a reply. If one particular post received a lot of reactions, write an entire post as a follow-up, or create a react video that is extremely popular on YouTube.
Ask for Suggestions
One way to stay responsive to your readers is to ask for suggestions for future content. Maybe one reader, listener or viewer has a unique point of view to express. Bring up that topic in a week or two. This does a few things. First, the reader tells his friends what you did and you have the potential to gain more readers from that reader's inner circle. Second, news spreads quickly that you take suggestions. Suddenly, more of readers leave comments to help drive your content. Suggestions from the audience give you an idea of what they want to read, and you might get some great topics that you didn't consider before. Asking for ideas helps increase engagement with your website.
Website traffic doesn't have to be the same old formula you used to get where your website is today. Keep it fresh, new and innovative by trying something different to drive more website traffic. Not only is this new content fun, but your advertisers notice the uptick in unique monthly visitors and you can charge more for ads on your website. The ripple effect is that with more money, you can invest more time, staff and effort to the techniques you employed to draw that extra traffic to your publication. Use that momentum to take your publication to new heights and new levels of market share.