Webmasters agree that it’s important to diversify your organic website traffic sources. The real question is, how do you do it? If you’re wondering this, we invite you to check out the following list of real-world ways to drive organic traffic from a variety of search and non-search referrers.
Google, Bing and Yahoo all offer their users image search capabilities. In the recent past, image searches have increased in prominence, particularly for visual topics such as food, fashion, home decorating, and the arts.
It’s increasingly important for web pages to include pictures, even when the page is about a not-so-visual topic.
Think about it like this. If you include images on your web pages, it becomes possible for visitors to find those pages through image searches. If you don’t have images on the pages, there is zero chance that visitors will ever find your pages via image searches. Simply adding pictures to pages can potentially increase the amount of traffic to each page.
To optimize your pages for image search, make sure that each page on your website includes one or more images, preferably sized at 300 pixels or larger. Google’s image-search bot seems to favor larger photos, often featuring pictures in the 500 – 1500 pixel size range.
It’s important to use keywords when you name your pictures.
Try using names like
Avoid using names such as
Additionally, be sure to add descriptive, keyword-rich alt tags and captions to each photo.
DMOZ and Directories
DMOZ claims to be the largest human-edited directory on the Internet. Not only is DMOZ a valuable source of non-search traffic, a DMOZ link can also increase your organic search traffic as well.
According to DMOZ, search engines such as Google, AOL, Lycos and others make use of DMOZ data. There are also bunches of smaller directories that incorporate some DMOZ listings into their pages.
You can submit your site to DMOZ for possible inclusion in their directory. Their editors will decide if your site is a good fit for them or not.
Links from other directories can also be valuable. If your website targets a specific geographic location, it could be profitable to search out local directories in your area. You could also explore topic-specific directories to find potentially valuable sources of non-search traffic.
Privately-owned websites offer ample opportunities for attracting non-search traffic to your website. Topic-specific forums and community websites are particularly useful for this purpose, although many different websites could become referrers.
To get the most out of a community or forum, you’ll usually want to be an active member of the forum, contributing ideas and insights to the discussions that take place there. The goal is to become a trusted and valued contributor, rather than just being a spammer who drops links and disappears without adding any value to the community.
You can use the same approach by regularly commenting on any blogs you find interesting, adding fresh insights to the discussions there. Many blogging platforms allow you to enter both your name and website URL when you comment on a post.
Other sorts of websites could also become valuable traffic referrers. There are two keys to maximizing your inbound links from privately-owned websites:
1. Develop relationships with other website owners and bloggers
2. Offer interesting products, services or content that would appeal to that website’s visitors.
Most of the time, when a webmaster posts a link to a resource, it’s because sharing that link in some way reflects well on the webmaster. It’s a resource that s/he knows his or her visitors would find valuable. With that in mind, it’s important to create resources that other webmasters perceive as being interesting to their audiences.
Back in January of 2014, the head of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts, famously proclaimed, “Stick a fork in it. Guest blogging is done.” However, I invite you to pay careful attention to the updated title of his blog post: “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO” (emphasis added.)
After writing this post, Matt had to backtrack and clarify what he really meant: that spamming in the form of guest blogging is the problem. Google is trying to fight the practice of spammers disguising paid links as guest blog posts. So, you definitely want to avoid that, or you risk jeopardizing your website’s organic rankings in the Google search engine results pages.
Guest blogging to attract organic traffic is, however, alive, well and still a best practice. This is the kind of guest blogging that we recommend. It has the potential to bring numerous new visitors to your website, and it can be beneficial to everyone involved.
One possible approach to guest blogging: Develop relationships with webmasters who run websites similar to yours. Write some informative, interesting posts that would appeal to visitors of the target websites, and potential visitors of your own website. Include a nofollowed link to your website in an author box at the bottom of each post. Then submit the posts to the target websites’ webmasters for publication. If your posts resonate well with visitors, perhaps they will click through your link and visit your website to learn more about your website’s content, products and / or services.
Social media sites offer significant potential for diversifying your website’s organic traffic.
Google+ is a social media site owned by Google. It can provide valuable exposure and traffic for your website.
Twitter is a social media site where people share ultra-short posts known as “tweets.” Tweets can be sort of like blog posts, only they’re shorter.
Pinterest is a social media network that’s well-suited for sharing pictures, infographics or similar visual content. If you own the copyrights to some interesting photos, you can share them via Pinterest in hopes of driving some of Pinterest’s traffic to your website.
Facebook — In the past, Facebook has been a viable source of unpaid organic traffic. As Facebook pushes its paid advertising platform in front of users, it is uncertain whether this situation will remain the same in the future. However, Facebook is an option that many webmasters are still using to diversify their organic traffic sources. If you invest your time with Facebook, do be prepared to have to pay for Facebook ads to reach your target audience in the future.
Additional Social Media Sites: With social media being one of the hottest buzzwords on the Internet, there are new social media sites and networks cropping up constantly. Take a look at sites like Tumblr, Medium and others.
Regular blogging opens up numerous possibilities for attracting organic traffic to your website.
If you blog on a platform such as Blogger or Typepad that’s separate from your website, the blog itself can become an important traffic referrer.
Additionally, your blog could potentially attract traffic from blog search engines such as Google’s blog search.
As an extra bonus, inbound links you create from your blog to your website could potentially bolster your website’s organic search rankings.
An important part of attracting diverse sources of organic traffic to your website: optimizing your content to make it compelling, clickable and shareable. Here’s a quick checklist of 5 things you can do to maximize the chances that people will share your content with their networks:
1. Optimize your titles: Write catchy, keyword-rich titles that either tell an interesting story or promise the reader some sort of payoff. Be specific. Don’t leave the reader guessing what the page is about.
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2. Deliver on any promises you make in the title.
3. Make the content as fresh, interesting, authoritative and relevant as you possibly can.
4. Include pictures.
5. In each page or piece of content on your website, include multiple links to other pages on your site that would be of interest to visitors. That way, they may become interested in other products, services or articles on your site and keep clicking to find more of your offerings.
Now that you know how to diversify your organic website traffic sources, it’s time to implement what you’ve learned. Best wishes for increasing your website’s traffic, conversions and profits using this information.