While it’s true that search engine optimisation should play a part in any online marketing strategy, it is not the end all be all. As a matter of fact, some sites get most of their traffic from alternative sources and little from search engines.
The truth is that a lot of people don’t spend their time conducting searches on Google and consume their information from different avenues, and if you end up putting all your eggs in the same basket, you’ll be at the mercy of every update or algorithm change Google rolls out. In other cases, your niche is simply too crowded to make a dent through SEO, and you’ll have to use all the options at your disposal and get your traffic elsewhere. Here are five alternatives to SEO you can use to drive traffic to your website.
1. Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube attracts over 1.5 billion users every month, making it the second biggest social media platform in the world. More than 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day and 30 million users log on daily. With these kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder why YouTube can be such a huge opportunity for traffic.
But where YouTube is especially powerful is when it comes to its reach among younger audiences. YouTube has already surpassed television for people aged between 18 and 49, and is even more popular among Gen Z-ers. As a matter of fact, 24% of them said that they go to YouTube first for product recommendations. And according to Adweek, 50% of Gen-Zers said that they simply couldn’t live without it.
One great way to attract traffic to your site through YouTube is by using its many features. For example, YouTube allows you to carefully place calls to actions that overlay over your actual video. This way, you can prompt people to learn more about your business at a specific point in the article. This is your occasion to spark their interest and encourage them to go to your website.
2. Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay Per Click marketing, or PPC, is another great way to send traffic to your site without spending months and months on an SEO campaign. The way PPC works is simple. PPC allows you to bid on certain search terms people interested in your products or services might be typing. Then, a small text ad will appear either over, under, or next to the organic search results every time someone searches for the term. Every time someone clicks on the ad, they will be directed to your site and you will be charged the amount you bid for.
One of the best things about PPC is that only you will be paying for results. For SEO, you can spend hundreds, and even thousands campaigning without getting any return on your investment. PPC also allows you to get traffic almost instantly in some cases and you could start getting conversions on your very first day.
3. Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is still alive and well, and one of the most cost effective and efficient ways to target your main audience. However, you have to be careful with your approach when using email marketing since you don’t want to look like just another spammer.
The goal here is to inundate your subscribers with value and start by building a trusting relationship first and foremost. Once you’ve learned how to send a bulk email campaign, most of your messages should be to resources either on your website or somewhere else. Offering a free manual that subscribers will be able to share is another way that you could start getting attention for your website virally. Once you’ve built a genuine relationship with them, you can start pushing your merchandise and/or services.
4. Guest Posting
Guest posting is another great way to gain more traffic to your website and establish yourself as an expert and resource in your niche. One evergreen article on a popular site could be enough to send tons of traffic to your website. And as you start building a reputation for great content, other blogs may start soliciting you to create content for their site too, which will give you even more visibility and traffic.
5. Don’t Neglect Forums
While the old tactic of placing signature links on do follow forums is pretty much a thing of the past, there are plenty of benefits to staying active on forums. This is another way for you to show your expertise and answer questions people in the community may have. You might not get millions of visitors this way, but the type of people you’ll attract will already be pre sold and more likely to convert into customers later on.
Don’t limit yourself to search engines and use as many methods as possible if you don’t only want to get more traffic, but not become dependent on Google. You never know what the next update roll out might bring, so be as versatile as possible and use all the tricks in the book if you want to get a steady flow of traffic to your site.