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Last Updated on April 7, 2023
Want to learn how to increase the website traffic your site brings in? We’ve outlined 17 strategies with actionable tips you can start implementing today to reach a wider audience, make a bigger impact and increase your revenue with SEO, PR, marketing, and more. Make money from website traffic, especially websites for coaches, consultants, and course creators.
Table of Contents
If you’re new here, we’ve got all kinds of content about how to make a full-time income from running an online business in the realm of coaching, consulting, and course creation. We’ve addressed how to start a blog, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, how to know when to outsource and delegate, and have been publishing our popular monthly income reports since January 2018.
What we haven’t addressed yet? Traffic.
It’s typically one of the first things people think about when starting a website or blog, because more traffic = more people clicking your ads, buying your products, hiring your services, purchasing from your affiliates, joining your email list, and becoming part of your community.
And while traffic IS important for all of those reasons, it’s certainly not an end all, be all. I think creating genuinely helpful content and authentic engagement are the most important foundations of running a sustainable online presence.
From there, increasing your traffic can become a focus to help you scale your impact and your income… and who doesn’t want that, right?
But more traffic doesn’t always mean more money. There are a surprising number of websites that get hundreds of thousands of page views every month but have not optimized their site for monetization. For example, one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Pinch of Yum, was getting 2.5 million page views per month and making $39,727.80.
Compare that to Root + Revel, my first blog that I later sold –– in January 2019, we made $20,764.65 with just 228,519 page views. So don’t fret if you don’t have a million people on your site every month. It’s still possible to make great money without crazy high traffic.
It all comes down to RPM, Revenue Per Mille, or the revenue earned per 1,000 pageviews. When you look at RPM, you put the focus on optimizing your revenue as efficiently as possible, rather than just getting the most people to your site.
For example, Pinch of Yum’s RPM in the example above was $15.89, while mine was $90.87. If they had optimized their site to have my RPM, their income would’ve been $227,165.47 for the month. Pretty crazy, right?
Now this isn’t a criticism of POY –– they are seriously some of my very favorite bloggers and truly amazing people –– just an example that more traffic doesn’t always mean more money.
That said, I get it. We all want more traffic, myself included. So, in this comprehensive guide, I cover the top 10 strategies that I used to grow my own website and coaching business over the years. These strategies have been tested and perfected by me with proven results. No matter what stage of business you’re at, you can always put time and energy into implementing or improving your traffic efforts. That’s why I help my clients in the Incubator mastermind learn not only how to increase the website traffic to their sites, but also how to make money from website traffic.
To really understand how to increase the website traffic you are attracting, you first have to have a basic understanding of the various types of traffic.
Let’s break down the different categories of traffic you’ll see when you log in to Google Analytics.
Under the Acquisitions menu, click Channels. There you’ll see these categories: organic search, social, direct, referral, other and email (refer to screenshot above).
Now that you understand the different types of traffic, we’re moving on to reveal 10 strategies that will increase website traffic based on the three dominant categories from above: organic, social and referral.
If you want 20 more ways to increase your website traffic, download my free traffic checklist here!
You’ve likely heard about the importance of SEO before. As I mentioned above, the better your site does at optimizing SEO means that you’ll show up more in organic searches, which in turn leads to higher traffic as people click through to your site. Organic searches are my #1 traffic source.
So how do you improve your SEO? There are literally people who dedicate their entire careers to this, and it is a hugely complex, technical subject and–really–its own language. I’ve learned some basics that I stick to while continuing to pick up new insights along the way to help with my SEO.
Here are my top two recommendations for getting started:
I recommend you install the free browser extension called Ubersuggest.
I use this to see the search volume of different keywords and combinations I’m considering, and then pick the one for my post that’s the best match based on keyword searches, usually aiming for a search volume per month of about 2,500 – 12,000. More than that, and your competition gets crazy (not that it’s impossible to rank, it just becomes increasingly difficult).
However, I have started playing with aiming for a lower volume on certain posts to see if I can rank for keywords that may have less overall searches–but that would still deliver relevant and interesting content–and where there is way less competition.
Here’s a selection of some different keywords we could brainstorm when creating the post:
Clearly, just using ‘pumpkin spice latte’ is too big of a search and we’d never show up for that, plus it’s just not specific enough and the search results will inevitably lead to Starbucks and other big publications talking about the oh-so-infamous PSL.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, ‘homemade healthy pumpkin spice latte’ is too narrow and specific.
While I could go with ‘pumpkin spice latte recipe’, it’s still not really targeted enough. There are tons of recipes for this and my version is made with healthy, real ingredients, so someone who is just searching for ‘pumpkin spice latte recipe’ probably doesn’t care about the ingredients as much.
By contrast, someone searching for ‘healthy pumpkin spice latte’ would be a perfect match. Their intent is to find a healthy recipe, and this post delivers to that end. The search volume is smaller than I would usually go, but ultimately I went with this keyword as I’m experimenting to see if I can rank with something more niched.
However, ‘homemade pumpkin spice latte’ also has potential and is a very good match for the post as well, though doesn’t have an indication on if it’s a healthy recipe or not. I decided to plug the keyword ‘homemade’ into the post as well, just to see if I can perhaps rank for both searches.
To sum up: this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keyword research, but I hope it gives you some insight into how it works. While there’s somewhat of a science to it, there are also some parts that are more intuitive and take concerted learning and growing over time to really get. Don’t worry, you’ll continue to improve and it will make more and more sense as you go!
This plug-in allows you to insert your keyword from step #1 into your post, and then tells you how to improve your SEO. It’s a checklist that will remind you to include the keyword in your ALT text, in headlines, at the top of your post, etc. It’s a really helpful reminder of all the key points to try to hit with every single post to improve your ranking. Here’s an example:
To learn more about where you should put the keyword in your content (i.e. meta descriptions, alt text, titles and headlines, etc.) I highly recommend joining my mastermind, the Success with Soul Incubator, to learn more about SEO and how to optimize your keywords.
While optimizing keywords and on-site content is a crucial part of improving your website’s SEO, another crucial practice is gaining backlinks to your site from other websites. By having other reputable websites (preferably in the same realm as yours) link to your content and site, your domain authority improves. This tells search engines that you have content that is reputable, reliable, and liked by others.
An easy way to generate backlinks to your site is by creating content that is easily shareable, either on other websites and blogs, Pinterest (more on that below), or and other platforms. In an interview on the Success with Soul Podcast, SEO expert and founder of Ubersuggest, Neil Patel, shares a tool that can help you generate shareable content called Code Canyon. With it, you can build tools that will be housed on your site that others will then link to.
Other ways to generate both backlinks and awareness about your company are creating e-guides, infographics, and other content that can be easily shared.
Your referral traffic category in Google Analytics will show you the overall traffic generated from these platforms, but to gain a deeper understanding of what converts, I like to use tracking links like bit.ly or Pretty Links. This is a unique link you create that redirects to your post and you can see exactly how many people click that link.
Pinterest, falling under the ‘social traffic’ category, is my #2 traffic source after organic search. It’s important to realize that Pinterest really isn’t a social platform, rather it’s a search engine.
Some of the most important tips for Pinterest:
We also recently experimented with doing some paid ads on Pinterest and while it’s still a bit too early to report ROI, I can say this: Promoted Pins are an amazing way to drive traffic to your website.
If your only goal is to get traffic, this is a great ROI as the cost per click is so much lower than many other ads, like Facebook ads. Our average CPC has been just $0.12.
However, traffic for traffic’s sake is meaningless to me and unless that traffic is sticking around to become a long-term reader, signing up for my email list, buying affiliate products in the post, etc. than I have a hard time justifying the cost. But it’s a personal preference that each business owner will have to decide for themselves.
One smart way to build your audience is to get in front of other people’s existing audiences that are in the same niche as yours. Your ideal readers are out there, you’ve just gotta find them! So why not take advantage of an opportunity to provide value and shine in front of a pool of people who are ready to hear just what you have to offer?
This is where guest posts come in, which also fall under ‘referral traffic’.
I try to write only for big sites that have a high domain authority, traffic and/or those that are willing to also include mention of the post in their email newsletter for added exposure.
Since I used to be a full-time journalist, I really want to ensure that anything I create is worth my time. Instead of being paid, in this case I’m compensated with referral traffic and exposure.
For example, here are some sites I’ve written guest posts for:
And here’s the corresponding traffic I’ve received from these sites over the past year:
You’ll see that most of these numbers besides Dr. Axe aren’t very impressive, but at least at a minimum we’re gaining a backlink from a big and trusted site, which helps improve our SEO. Plus, you never know which clicks will convert into email subscribers and eventually buyers, so from that perspective any traffic is helpful.
When you’re starting out, if you can’t land guest posts at big sites like this, you might want to play with trading guest posts with bloggers who are at about a similar audience size as yours. It may not deliver huge benefit, but if they’re in the same niche as you, you could gain some new followers and fans as the audience is already prequalified to enjoy your content.
But here’s the thing: your work is valuable and you deserve to get paid for it, or at least get some kind of compensation even if that’s in the form of a high-quality backlink. It’s probably not the best use of your time to write endless guest posts for other people without seeing some kind of ROI so use this strategy wisely.
Another strategy to build your audience is to participate in social sharing groups. Typically, these are groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, or sometimes on apps like Slack. While the threads vary in their specific details, the general essence is this: leave a link, and get comments, likes and/or shares on that post in return for leaving comments, likes and/or shares on other peoples’ posts.
Threads exist for everything from getting blog comments, watching Youtube videos, re-pinning pins on Pinterest, etc. This can be a great way to increase your overall engagement, as algorithms tend to boost posts that start getting engagement from the get-go.
In other words, if through the share group you get 10 people visiting your website, for example, it shows the search engines that your site is getting traffic.
Personally, I haven’t found share groups to be all that helpful. We do use them for some of our content, but feel like we’d have to dedicate a lot more time in these groups to really see bigger benefits. At the end of the day, I’m just someone who prefers real, authentic engagement, so I have a hard time justifying things like this that make it appear as though those posts are more popular than they really are.
While that’s my personal preference, some people really love share groups and have had crazy success with them, so I’m mentioning it here.
First, I would hesitate spending too much money on ads if you’re not making money from your website yet. As we talk about a lot, I’m a believer in spending money to make money, but simply paying to get traffic to your site doesn’t necessarily mean your income will go up (other than potentially a little bit from your ads that are paid by impression).
If you have a paid product to promote, I think it’s a no-brainer to try out some paid ads, since that’s easier to directly measure and see if you’re coming out with more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
As far as paid ads solely for the purposes of traffic, I recently did some paid ads with Pinterest, as mentioned above in strategy #2 and I’ve done a little bit of experimenting with Facebook ads. For fun I’ve played with promoting a few posts here and there, but to be honest, I’ve had no luck. I’ve also admittedly not spent a ton of time or energy trying to learn more about how to best use paid ads. So take my experience with a grain of salt.
Finally, I did experiment last year with paid traffic using Outbrain. While my pageviews went up, they weren’t converting to subscribers or spending more than a few seconds on the site. So I decided to stop the ads and see what would happen.
The result? My page views did drop, but guess what? My income was the highest it’s ever been! It’s such a great reminder that quality matters SO MUCH MORE than quantity. You can have tons of traffic, followers and likes, but what really matters is whether your readers are taking action: buying the product you recommended, signing up for your email list, connecting with you on a deeper level, heeding your advice to improve their lives, etc.
As you consider paying for ads, definitely keep this principle in mind! Don’t seek traffic just for traffic’s sake.
For food bloggers specifically, you can try to increase your referral traffic by submitting your recipe photo to aggregate sites that act as search engines for people looking either for a) recipes to make themselves, or b) publications in need of recipes to feature in roundup-style posts (this is great not just for traffic, but for backlinks).
Some people have tons of success with this and certain recipes seem to be magical for them, driving a big spike in traffic. For most of us, we’ll get a small spike when we first submit the recipe, and then it flattens out pretty quickly.
However, sometimes we may not get a spike at all, making this process frustrating. You can spend time on this task–some submissions are quick and easy but others are more labor intensive–and it may not even deliver any worthwhile results. Plus, sometimes your photos get declined and you have to resubmit, and may or may not ever get approved.
The best way is to test for yourself and see what sites are a match for your target audience and actually deliver traffic.
When I was running R+R, I tried submitting to all of the following sites: Foodgawker, Healthy Aperture, Finding Vegan, My Recipe Magic, Oh My Veggies, Tasteologie, Fave Healthy Recipes, Fave Gluten Free Recipes, Whole Yum, Fridgg, Epicurious, Recipe Lion, Dan330 and Tastespotting.
Ultimately, the only sites that generated enough traffic to justify our time are Foodgawker and Fave Healthy Recipes (and Finding Vegan for any vegan recipes we create). Even then, it’s still a really small number for us, but since the submission processes are quick and easy, we’re keeping up with it for now.
Here’s the traffic generated over the past year from all of our sharing efforts:
Something we spent time on in 2018 was reaching out to online publications, magazine websites, big content sites, etc. to see if we could get any exposure in the form of recipe roundup placements, or food and health story features.
Not only is this great for backlinks (again, think SEO boost), but of course it can drive more traffic back to your site.
A few features I’ve landed through PR Media Pitching:
You’ll see the traffic generated from these posts is actually better than the guest posting traffic (shown in strategy #4 above):
These sites are constantly coming up with new content, so if you can give them something relevant and helpful to make their job that much easier, they’ll often be excited to collaborate with you!
Similarly, another way to grow your exposure and potential traffic is through being interviewed on a podcast. The biggest pro of this strategy is that you build such a deep connection to those listening way faster than most other mediums because they’re getting to know you, relating to your stories, building trust and seeing you as an expert.
That means if they vibe with you and make the effort to follow you on social media, visit your site and engage with you somehow after they listen to the interview, then they’re more likely to become an engaged follower or raving fan or buyer/client, depending on what paid products you offer.
Another benefit is, again, more backlinks to your site.
The cons of this strategy are that:
a) it’s hard to track the direct traffic or engagement you get from this as many people will hear you on the podcast and just type in your URL into their browser rather than clicking through a trackable link, and
b) often times people listening to podcasts are doing something else–driving, cooking, working out, etc.–so they’re not able to follow up right away to connect with you.
In other words, you need to make a powerful impression, or they just really need to love something about you, in order for them to remember and take the time later to follow up with interactions.
I’ve been a guest on 23 podcasts in the last 2 years across the food, health and online business/blogging niches. I have so much fun sharing my story and meeting amazing people, plus the benefits described above, that I feel like it’s worth my time in the end to keep saying yes to interviews, even though there’s likely a minimal direct traffic benefit.
Utilizing your email list is an easy way to bring traffic back to your website. You’ve already got engaged readers who are way more likely to be interested in your new posts and content, or they wouldn’t be on your list–so make sure you regularly reach out and let them know what’s new on your site!
We sent three emails a week at my wellness blog:
It may not be a big number at first if you have a small list, but every bit of traffic helps! Plus, you’re obviously providing value to your audience here, which is priority #1.
11. Use email signatures to promote your website
12. Participate in online forums and include a link to your website in your signature
13. Offer a referral program to encourage visitors to share your website with others
14. Create a press release and distribute it to relevant media outlets
15. Collaborate with partners to promote each other’s products or services and drive traffic to each other’s websites
16. Use video marketing by creating a YouTube channel and sharing valuable, relevant content to attract a targeted audience and drive traffic back to your website
17. Create a comprehensive, informative FAQ section on your website to improve your search engine rankings and drive targeted traffic
If you want 20 more ways to increase your website traffic, download my free traffic checklist here!
Alright, there you have it –– 17 Ways to Increase Website Traffic to your website. Before we leave, I wanted to let you know about a great resource for driving traffic: The Traffic Transformation Guide.
Author Lena Gott, founder of WhatMommyDoes and, more recently, the blogging resource school, Adventures in Blogging, where she offers multiple courses, eBooks and challenges about successful blogging based on what she’s learned over the past 6 years.
This is a 100+ page guide where Lena put together her top 21 traffic generation tips, theories and a list of what NOT to do, so you can apply what’s she discovered over the years to your own website. While the book is more geared to beginners and newbie bloggers (and focused on growing traffic rather than monetization strategies), I did find some really helpful tips in the book, particularly about how to use Google+ to drive traffic, keyword research tips, harnessing the power of holidays and using analytics to grow your readership.
Lena also recently added a 40-minute Google keyword research & optimization training video to the bundle, where she walks step-by-step through the simple methods she uses to mine keywords and optimize her blog posts to rank high in Google results, which is an oh-so-important skill in blogging!
The Traffic Transformation Guide is just $79–get your copy here–you can also sign up for Lena’s FREE Blog Traffic Bonus Guide, which contains 3 solid traffic generation tips that aren’t included in Traffic Transformation.
What are some of your favorite ways to increase your website’s traffic? Let us know anything we missed in the comments below, different experiences you’ve had, or share one strategy from this post that you’re going to implement!
The top 10 ways are utilizing SEO, Pinterest, social media, guest blog posting, share groups, paid ads, sharing websites, PR placements, podcast guest appearances, and using your email list. More on each of these below!
You need to install Google Analytics. From there, you’ll be able to see where your traffic comes from. We walk you through the different sources of traffic below in this post!
See our income reports for detailed explanations on the variety of ways we make money blogging, including ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsors.
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COPYRIGHT © 2022 • KATE KORDSMEIER
We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.