Building traffic is hard, ask any blogger, and the answer would be a resounding ‘Yes.’ Bloggers want their audience to identify with their content which is only possible if you reach them. So how do you move from zero to hundred thousand visitors? What traffic generation techniques should you use?
We spend the last few weeks trying to read up on what does it take to build traffic on the site. Conventional wisdom would suggest that create valuable content that your audience would come back for every day. It’s not that easy as your content gets lost in the chaos of 3 Billion Internet users.
Build your audience before you need them – Jeff Bullas
Companies get valued either on the traffic that they generate or on profitability. Businesses that do both well build a sustainable model. Bloggers who scale their traffic use a combination of traffic generation techniques. We have listed down the popular traffic generation techniques that we uncovered during the research.
7 Traffic Generation Techniques to Build Readership
Skyscraper technique involves finding link worthy content and then creating something better. Let’s take an example to showcase how exactly this works, and we also use some tools to execute this technique.
Let’s say you run a content marketing blog which wants to do an exhaustive article on social media tools. Use tools like BuzzSumo to find link worthy article on topics. Type in the keyword ‘social media tools, ‘ and you would find 600+ articles on the topic, and it even segregates them based on social shares & back-links received.
Read up every link worthy article related to the keyword and build something better to rank for the keyword. The flip slide to skyscraper technique is to rank on the keyword besides content you also need domain authority and topical authority.
If the site that currently ranks high on the keyword has topical authority, then chances are that you won’t rank for the keyword in spite of your best efforts. For example, Moz will continue to rank high on any keyword related to SEO as they have high topical authority and relevancy.
Content layering is among the most effective ways of creating content that layers directly on top of your core content. Let’s say for instance you are a company that is in the business of selling shoes. Usually, online buyers like to use a shoe size calculator to make sure that the shoes they buy fit them as different countries have different shoe sizes.
If you can create content around the keyword ‘shoe size calculator’ then it sits right above 2 – 3 steps before the user decides to make the final purchase.
Distributed content works on the belief that the user shouldn’t come to your content rather your content has to reach the reader. Conventional wisdom when it comes to traffic generation techniques suggests that the user has to visit your site to consume the content.
Buzzfeed uses distributed content to reach its user more than half of its views & engagement come from social properties. The brand was among the first to sign-up for Facebook Instant Articles. Distributed content doesn’t mean that your content will not enable you to monetize your content as the brand is among the top revenue earners on the platform.
The brand constantly monitors the share rate on the platform to optimize its content. We wrote about how Tasty used this metric to grow its viewers on the platform a while back.
10x Content has high virality and requires more effort than the conventional skyscraper technique. Skyscraper technique would usually require you to write a 1,400+ word article bundled with infographic & visuals while 10x content could require you to build a micro-site, tool or something much more complex which doesn’t exist currently.
The most typical example of a 10x Content could be a bank creating a loan calculator which is of high value to its users. The most recent example of 10x content is a company that deals in artificial intelligence. Snips is a brand that is unheard of when it comes to artificial intelligence. As the brand realized that many users didn’t understand the concept of artificial intelligence they created a microsite that explains the concept in under 6 minutes using simple analogies and examples.
The micro-site ‘A 6 Minute Intro to AI‘ has clocked over 366 back-links with mentions from leading websites like of The Next Web covering the project and also got has over 2.2K shares for the content. The number might not be enormous, but considering the niche and difficulty in crafting content around the concept, this is certainly a 10x Content.
Brands that fair well when it comes to content marketing are better story tellers. If you have ever liked a commercial from Thai Life Insurance, you know what we are talking about.
Your content has to either make the user laugh or cry in between you are lost
Click-baiting works because it plays with your mind. It makes you curious enough to read further and take action. Buzzfeed’s entire model is based on crafting headlines and content that requires you to take action.
Singer & songwriter Sia Furler was able to build curiosity around her persona for several reasons. People were curious enough to find more about her as she didn’t reveal her face and was usually seen wearing a wig. The wig has also been featured in most of her songs. Sia’s single ‘Chandelier’ literally broke the internet with over 1.5 billion views on YouTube. The way the video was crafted, people could relate to the lyrics as it came from singers personal experience or whether it was Maddie Ziegler’s dancing antics everything added to people’s curiosity. Curiosity results in organic PR on steroids just look at the number of content pieces around the topic on Bing.
Storytelling is not a traffic generation technique, but it is what lies at the heart of content creation. You can only evoke a reaction if the user can relate to the situation.
Science behind keyword search
Keyword research involves a variety of techniques and requires data crunching before you zero down on a final list. Keyword research could use something as simple as Uber Suggest to zero down on the list of related keywords.
Keyword research could also involve using something as complex as KOB analysis. KOB stands for Keyword Objection & Benefit Analysis. Keyword objection is a combination of factors like age, anchor text, on page optimization, local set links, global link popularity, unique linking domains, exact match bonus and social signals. Keyword benefit could be search volume multiplied by the cost per click.
No matter what technique you use SEO has many moving parts as Todd Malicot mentions in his article on KOB analysis. Your competition is also using the same set of techniques to achieve the goals, and you have to factor that in when you create your projections.
The above list is not exhaustive, and you will uncover many more traffic generation techniques once you start to work on building traffic for your site. Depending on the nature of your business some techniques will work while others won’t, but the important aspect is to learn and improve in the process. If you like the article or have experience with traffic building do share your experience in the comments section below.