There are lots of alternatives to google for driving traffic to your website. Here are 91 of them to start with!
I was reading a post this morning on another blog about how you should move on with your life and find something else if your SEO efforts fail and you don’t get any search engine traffic to your website.
Well, firstly, do things the right way and that won’t happen, and secondly… no way!
Search engine traffic should just be one slice of your marketing pie and there are loads of other ways to drive visitors to your site. I had a brainstorming session this afternoon and came up with 91 of them to get you started!
1. Twitter – Start building your followers and drive traffic with catchy post titles.
2. Facebook – Get posting those pictures of cute kittens doing silly things and watch your facebook fans and traffic grow.
3. Youtube – If you haven’t started video marketing you are going to be left behind. Get yourself a channel, get some videos online and make sure they all link back to your website.
4. Other Social Networks – I’m not going to cheat by listing 100 social networks here, so suffice to say, there are lots of them and you should try to be active in as many as you can. Honourable mentions to linkedin and pinterest.
5. Flickr – If you have an eye for a photo then get yourself a flickr account and upload your best work – making sure of course to link back to your website.
6. Commenting On Blogs In Your Niche – A great way to build relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your niche. Many blogs these days also have commentluv, which will automatically link back to your most recent post. Just don’t spam!
7. Participating In Forums – Join forums in your niche and be a helpful, active participant. Most forums will let you put a link to your website in your signature and if you are giving good advice people will click it. My favourite forum for webmasters is webproworld.
8. Guest Posting – One of the best ways to drive traffic to your site is to guest post on other high quality sites in your niche. Write your best content, be a guest blogging superstar and you will get a flood of direct, targetted traffic and subscribers.
9. Build Your Email List – and talking of subscribers, make sure you are have an option for people to sign up to email updates for your site. Build your list, use a service such as mailchimp to send a high quality email newsletter and never worry about traffic from google again.
10. Offer An RSS Subscription – In addition to email, offer an RSS version of your website that people can view in their RSS reader.
11. Submit Your Best Posts To Digg Style Sites – Although Digg itself is now not a Digg style site you probably know what I mean! Seed your best (only your best!) posts to voting sites such as Reddit and bizsugar and if the community likes them you’ll get a load of traffic.
12. Include Your Web Address On Your Email Signature – Make sure that every time you send out an email it includes your website’s address in the signature. You should also include links to your social media profiles too.
13. Start An Affiliate Program – If you have a product to sell, then set up an affiliate program and have hundreds of websites promoting you and sending lovely traffic and pre-sold paying customers your way.
14. PPC Advertising – Ok, technically you’ll probably be using google here as adwords is still the best PPC platform. But you won’t have to worry about your SEO, just outbidding your competitors!
15. Send Your Product To Bloggers For Review – Again, if you are selling a product, then send a free sample out to some top bloggers to review and let them drive traffic to your site.
16. Send Your Product To Youtube Gurus For Review – Same as above, but get your products reviewed in a shiny youtube video and watch your stats rocket.
17. Get In The Paper – Position yourself as an expert and send press releases and pitches to hand picked reporters. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a great service, which will give you leads for reporters looking for stories in your niche.
18. Get Your Product In A Magazine – Send samples of your product to magazines and if you get it featured then expect a load of traffic to your website. You might want to consider a PR company for this.
19. Email Outreach – Email top bloggers in your niche and tell them about your best content. You’ll get ignored most of the time, but it’s worth it for that one bite.
20. Run A Competition – Run a competition or giveaway on your site and promote it through competition sites, social media etc
21. Syndicate Your Content – Be careful with this one as you don’t want duplicate content issues, but as long as there is a link back to your site you might want to allow some other blogs in your niche to republish your articles.
22. Give Away A Free Ebook – Give away a free ebook on your site and spread the word through social media etc. This is also an excellent way to build subscribers.
23. Join Blogging Communities – If you are a blogger, then join a blogging community where you can connect with other bloggers and help to promote each others posts. I’m a member of blogengage and highly recommend it.
24. Join Facebook Groups – Look for groups related to your website on facebook, sign up for them, participate and promote your content where appropriate. Again, don’t spam – you’ll just get thrown out!
25. Interview Experts In Your Niche – Contact experts in your niche and try and arrange an interview for your website. The chances are they will promote the interview to their subscribers.
26. Start A Flame War – Have an opinion that’s controversial, or opposed to an expert in your niche. Well, write a post about it and leave a comment on their site telling them about it. You might annoy a few people, but you’ll get a load of traffic and buzz.
27. Sponsor A Charity – Sponsor a charity and ask if they will link to your website. You’ll feel good about yourself and get some traffic 🙂
28. Traditional Advertising – Advertise your website in newspapers and magazines, just stick to your budget and make sure your advertising is targeted. It’s easy to waste money!
29. Advertise On Other Websites – Take out a banner ad on a popular website in your niche. Rates are normally pretty favourable, but beware of banner blindness. When was the last time you clicked on a banner?
30. Sponsor A Post On A Blog In Your Niche – A great way to get traffic, but be careful with this. Even though this post is about how to drive traffic without google, you don’t want to annoy them, so best practice is to make sure the post is marked as sponsored and the links are nofollow (as they are technically paid links).
31. Sponsor Your Local Football Team – Get your website plastered over the shirts of your local football team. You will be supporting your community and building your brand.
32. Hand Out Business Cards – Carry your business card everywhere and make sure it has your website address on it.
33. Create Infographics – People love infographics as they explain a topic in a nice easy visual format. Create a great infographic and allow other sites to republish it with a link back to your site.
34. Advertise On Facebook – Build up likes to your facebook page with a paid campaign.
35. Create The Ultimate Resource For A Topic – Do your research and write the definitive article, or series of posts for a topic. You’ll be sure to attract lots of interest and links which bring direct traffic.
36. Pick Up Where Someone Else Left Off – If you find a post by a top blogger in your niche that doesn’t seem to finish the topic, or you feel you could add to it, then create a follow up post and tell them about it.
37. Reply To Your Comments – This one is very important. Treat every visitor to your website like a king and take the time to reply to any comments or questions. Active engagement will encourage them to come back and visit time after time through that great bookmark in their browser bar.
38. Ask People To Bookmark Your Site – And talking of bookmarks… ask people to bookmark your site as part of your call to action at the end of your posts. You might be surprised how many people will follow your advice if they like your content.
39. Break The News In Your Industry – Be the first to break important news in your industry and you’ll quickly be seen as an expert and increase your direct traffic.
40. Maintain A Schedule For Your Content – Make sure you post new content on a regular schedule – be it daily, weekly, monthly – whatever you can maintain. People will quickly get used to your schedule and check back for updates. If however, you don’t maintain your schedule they will quickly get bored and go elsewhere.
41. Make Sure Your Content Is Amazing – Well, I better put this in. If you want loads of direct traffic, referrals and subscribers you better make sure that your content is amazing! No one is going to recommend mediocrity.
42. Put A Strong Call To Action At The End Of Your Posts – Tell people to subscribe, share and link to you. After all, if you don’t ask…
43. Attend Blogger Expos & Trade Fairs – Go and press the flesh at blogger expos and trade fairs. Make real life connections and plug your website.
44. Sign Up With Zemanta And Add Your Blog – Zemanta will get your blog posts in front of other bloggers and if they like what they see you may appear in the related posts under their articles.
45. Create A WordPress Theme – Create a free wordpress theme, give it away and add your link in the credits. Don’t use spammy keyword links though, that’s a rookie SEO mistake!
46. Hand Out Flyers With Your Website Address – Flyers are a cheap way of spreading your message and they do still work. Create a nice visual flyer with your website address, get a few thousand printed and have them delivered around your area.
47. Advertise On The Radio – Radio advertising can be cheaper than you think, particularly local radio. Only works for certain types of website/business though, so don’t get sucked in to the sales patter.
48. Sponsor A Competition On The Radio – If you don’t have the budget to advertise, radio stations are always looking for prizes for their phone in competitions etc, so offer to donate a prize in return for a cheeky on air plug of your website.
49. Advertise On The Television – Again, look into micro targeting your area. For example, you might be able to choose just to show your advert in Glasgow. This will keep the cost down and having an TV advert will do wonders for the credibility of your brand.
50. Sponsor A Television Program – This is big bucks, but if you have the budget…
51. Give Away T-Shirts/Hoodies With Your Website Address – Students in particular love a freebie and will probably be happy to strut around campus with your url displayed across their chest!
52. Get Celebrity Endorsement – Nothing will do more for your website than getting a celebrity to endorse or mention it. People are obsessed with celebs and will do anything to emulate their heroes. This will be hard, but you might want to start with offering to send them some freebies?
53. Purchase An Email List – Not something I would do personally, but I’ll leave it up to you. If you don’t have time to build your own subscriber list, you might consider purchasing an email list. Not sure why this works anymore as I would never open an unsolicited email, but it is still popular, so I guess it must. Think carefully about what it will mean for your brand though.
54. Give Away Pens With Your Website Address – People love freebies and everyone needs a pen right? This has the added bonus that people are forever taking their pens out with them, lending them to friends and leaving them elsewhere, so you are kind of creating a pen based viral marketing campaign!
55. Put Your Website Address On Your Sign – This obviously only applies to those who have a physical business as well as an online presence, but if you do then make sure your website address is prominently displayed on your sign.
56. Make Sure Your Website Address Is On Your Letterhead etc – Self explanatory, but make sure that every bit of correspondence you send (comps slips, invoices etc) has your website address on it.
57. Sign Up With A Retweeting/Sharing Service – Just Retweet is a great site, in which you earn points for retweeting other members content. You can then use these points to have your own posts retweeted and drive more traffic from twitter. There is also the option to have your content shared on facebook.
58. Add Your Website As An App In The Chrome Webstore – I must admit this is a new one to me, but apparently you can add your site as an app in the google Chrome web store and drive a load of traffic. This article on reliablesoft.net explains how to do it!
59. Invest In A Responsive Design – Make the most of every visitor to your site and increase subscribers, by offering a great experience no matter how they are viewing your site. Responsive designs, where your website adapts to the size of the browser window are becoming the norm, so don’t get left behind!
60. Make Sure Your Website Looks The Part – Talking of design, make sure your website template is clean and professional looking. People do judge a book by its cover when it comes to the web, so a good design will lead to an increase in your subscribers. If your designer is exceptional, you might find that other webmasters will actively refer visitors to you.
61. Include A ‘Design By’ Link At The Bottom Of Client’s Website – If you are a web designer, you clients may allow you to add a ‘design by’ link at the bottom of their page. If people like what they see, they will hopefully click through to your site. Don’t go overboard with this though and don’t use keywords for the link text, just the name of your website or Company.
62. Share The Link Love – If you have an SEO who tells you not to link out to other sites and preserve all your site’s link juice then sack him and find a new one immediately. Linking out to other high quality sites and articles in your niche is a great way to get your site (and content) recognised and increase incoming links and shares. Most webmasters check their referrals all the time, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to get on the radar of A list bloggers. So, link freely.
63. Be Friendly – Good things come to good people, so be friendly, polite and courteous in all your dealings with other webmasters. Help out where you can and some day you might get the favour returned and see a bit spike in traffic.
64. Spread Your Wings – If you have an ecommerce store then set up branded shops on amazon and ebay. Tap into their huge traffic and get your brand in front of a bigger audience. The fees might be off putting, but give them good service and hopefully next time they will come straight to your site.
65. Invite Your Customers To Leave Reviews – Invite your customers to leave reviews for your site on review sites such as trustpilot. Stores are normally categorised, so you should get some traffic from people browsing through and finding sites with good reviews.
66. Submit Your Design To Design Galleries – If you have a particularly stunning website, there are a number of showcase sites which enable you to submit your design. If you are using the default wordpress theme, then this is probably not an option…
67. Review Another Website (Or Product) And Tell Them About It – Write a glowing review about another website or their product and email them to tell them about it. People love good publicity, so the chances are they will share it with their following.
68. Write A Bad Review About A Top Website/Blogger/Product – The alternative to the above is to write a scathing review about someone or something and again make sure that they see it. They will probably not be able to help themselves from commenting, writing a counter article etc and you may end up with even more publicity than if you had done a positive review. This does however go against point 63!
69. Give Away Your Music On Soundcloud – If you are musician, then set up a soundcloud profile and start uploading your music. It’s an incredibly popular site and if people like what they hear then they will no doubt visit your site to check out more.
70. Sponsor A Band/Gig – If you are not a musician, then how about sponsoring a band/gig?
71. Advertise In Toilets – Think this sounds crazy, well… it works. Think about it. When you are standing there (guys) answering the call of nature and staring at the wall you are a captive audience. Billboard ads in toilets are becoming a popular and effective form of advertising, so get your website address up on that wall before your competitor does!
72. Advertise In Gyms – Another popular place to advertise these days is with a poster or flyer in gym lockers. Offer an incentive for people who buy your product or service and are members of the gym. You might even be able to get your site featured on the gym’s website or blog.
73. Offer An NHS/Fire Service/Police Discount – Offer an exclusive discount code for your website to the NHS, Fire service etc and ask them to promote it for you.
74. Offer A Student Discount – Same as above, but for students. Get a poster up in the campus, or give out flyers with your website address and discount code. You could also consider signing up for snapfax, or other student discount services.
75. Become A Published Author – All that great content on your website? Use it to create a book and either self publish, or try and get a publishing deal. Make sure your website address is prominently displayed on the inside cover.
And now for the ridiculous…
76. Wear A Sandwich Board With Your Website Address
77. Run Down The High Street Naked With Your URL Tattooed Across Your Body
78. Hire A Skywriter To Write Your Web Address In The Sky
79. Graffiti Your Website Address All Over Town
80. Have Your URL Stamped On A Signet Ring And Punch Random People In The Street
81. Just Walk About Shouting Out Your Web Address
82. Change The Browser Homepage To Your URL When People Leave Their Laptops Unattended In Coffee Shops
83. Sue A Well Known Brand
84. Get Your URL Shaved Into Your Head
85. Shave Your URL Into The Fur Of Your Pet Hamster (And Post It Up On Youtube)
86. Ride A Hot Air Balloon Around The World With Your Website Address Emblazoned On The Front
87. Wish Upon A Shooting Star For More Direct Traffic
88. Tell People You Will Kill The Kitten If They Don’t Visit Your Site
89. Piss Off Anonymous
90. Become A Celebrity And Endorse Yourself
91. Create Your Own Search Engine And Rank Your Site At Number 1 For Everything
Edit 10/07/2013 – thanks to Nishadha (http://rumblinglankan.com/) for method number 92!
92. Stumbleupon – Can’t believe I forgot this on my original list! Stumbleupon is a great way to drive traffic to your site. Submit your best content and there’s a chance it may go viral for a bucket load of traffic.
So, there you have it,
91 92 ways to drive traffic to your website without google. Ok, you can probably ignore the last 15 or so, but I’m sure if you put your mind to it you can think of a few more. And if you do, then please leave a comment below and I’ll add the best suggestions to the main list!
Now, the ironic thing is, if you do all of the above (well maybe not all of it!)… you’ll find your search engine traffic will skyrocket anyway as you gain a bucket load of links, social shares, build real relationships and create great content. So, by forgetting about google, google will love your site. It’s a funny old game!