They say it's easier than ever to start a business today. Somehow this is true, because from day 1 you can reach millions of potential customers from all over the world thanks to the web. First you need to generate more traffic to your start-up so that you become visible to your potential customers.
But honestly, that rarely happens. The internet is becoming a very competitive place, where it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out, especially for new young start-ups that have not yet built up much brand awareness.
For these folks, we've put together a list of five unconventional ways to get your startup's site a steady stream of traffic. As always, these are tips that you have to put in the effort, it never comes naturally - otherwise everyone would be generating more traffic!
1. Make use of other sites
During the first phase, Google is not a friend to many start-ups. Your website simply doesn't have any traffic or authority to show up in search engine results.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can generate traffic without Google. The best way to grow your online business is to write guest blogs. You can write great blogs, but if you have 0 readers on your own website it makes no sense to post them there. Fortunately, there is a good alternative for this; write a good 3000 word article for someone else.
You could say that guest blogging isn't exactly unconventional anymore, and you're absolutely right! Here's what we've done to make it more effective:
Every time you write an article, keep track of every outgoing link you include. Once your guest post goes live, use it as an opportunity to establish a professional relationship with the author of the article you're linking to.
Don't overdo it though, any outbound link should provide value to the public above all else. You often have a choice between different content sources from different authors to link to.
Reach out to these authors and go with the one most likely to enter into a reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationship.
Congratulations, not only do you now have a backlink from a bigger site, you are now on the radar of other authors, who will be inclined to do the favour and link to you in future articles.
With consistent guest blogging, you will be able to publish articles on larger sites over time and become an authority in your industry. So it's important to start pitching guest blogs as early as possible.
Apart from guest blogging, you can also make use of major sites with a high DA (Domain Authority) such as Quora, Medium or Reddit. Create a post or answer questions relevant to the keyword you want to rank for.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at how to achieve success with this tactic.
2. Create highly shareable, interactive content
One of the best ways to attract visitors is to create content.
Ideally not your average everyday content, but high quality shareable content. Unfortunately, creating such content is easier said than done.
But contrary to popular belief, producing great content, the kind people love to share, isn't guesswork, and certainly not luck. It's a combination of beautiful stories, self-interest (theirs, not yours) and consistency.
Consider creating a piece of interactive content instead of writing another guest blog. You can even reuse previous posts.
Here are some benefits of using interactive content:
Interactive content is highly shareable
It attracts much more attention than static content
You get better conversion than with static conversion pages
One particular type that has been proven to be effective is quizzes.
Making a quiz nowadays is not nearly as difficult as it used to be. You don't need any programming or technical skills to create an engaging quiz. Most survey creators you can find online also offer quiz options and ready-made quiz templates.
3. Build a word list or knowledge base
Every company or niche has its own jargon and abbreviations. You can assume that your target audience understands the jargon well, or you can create a glossary or documentation page. I propose the latter.
Ideally, you could set up a separate page to explain each popular term within your niche. List as many terms as you can think of and start writing a piece of content about 300 words per term.
Give them some time to get to grips with. Check back four weeks later to see what terms are driving organic traffic. Then create a dedicated blog post about the most popular terms (1000+ words) to drive more traffic to your website.
Don't forget to redirect the old pages in the glossary to the new ones to avoid having two of your pages competing for the same keyword.
We have tried this tactic ourselves with great success. We never expected to get 2500 visitors per month from people looking for 'closed questions', yet the results were mind blowing!
4. Don't be afraid of low search volume keywords
When you first start out, you don't have the authority to rank for the big, high-volume keywords in your market. Instead, focus on keywords that are close to your USP or combine one of the big keywords with something that makes your business/startup unique.
These keywords don't have the greatest search volume, but it will rank a lot easier and you'll get traffic of long tail variations.
For each keyword candidate, check whether there are enough closely related keywords with a given search volume. To look up these long tail keyword variations, you can use the same tools and methods as you would for regular keyword research.
We put this to the test. One our best performing blog articles (in terms of organic traffic) is an example of this. What else ? The keywords do not have the largest search volume, but they do have a lot of long tail variations (1000+)
The thinking behind this approach is that long tail keywords are easier to rank within search engines such as . When you combine the volume of those long tail keywords together, they break even with the volume of a single high volume term.
5. Translate your (best) content
As mentioned before, the internet can be a competitive place. Especially if you target an English audience. However, when you move away to other languages (spoken by your target audience), you open up a whole new range of possibilities.
This is where international SEO comes in. For one of our clients, we translated one of our best blog posts (in terms of organic traffic) from English into 5 languages. The Spanish version proved to be the most successful, as it has the largest population.
When you combine the languages, these translations generate 60% extra monthly traffic which can certainly be important.
Beware! There are some pitfalls related to international SEO. For example, make sure you optimise the keywords for each language. It is important to understand that even if a keyword performs well, this does not mean that the (literal) translation is sufficient. You may need to use different keywords for specific languages.
Like most, if not all, start-ups, we all have to start at the bottom. I hope these tactics will give you some inspiration or advice on how to jump-start traffic to your site. Entrepreneurs, remember; building your start-up is a marathon, not a sprint.
Do you need help growing your startup, designing, converting landing pages or building a marketing strategy? Contact us and get connected to one of our experts