Anyone can build a store — just put up four walls, a door, some price tags, and some sale signs, and you can call yourself an entrepreneur!
Of course, it’s not actually that simple.
Getting people through the door is a challenge that exists offline and online.
In fact, it’s even easier to build a website than it is to build a brick-and-mortar business. But while building a website is easy, driving traffic to it isn’t.
How do you get people through your virtual door?
More importantly, how do you get a large and consistent flow of the right people to your website?
That’s what we’re going to talk about — I’ll give you 8 tried-and-true strategies for driving consistent website traffic. And if you’d rather skip right to the really good stuff, then get your free copy of Traffic Secrets by clicking below.
1. Infiltrate Your Dream 100
In Russell Brunson’s book — he’s the founder of ClickFunnels — Traffic Secrets (click above to get your free copy), he discusses a critical concept he calls the “Dream 100”.
One day, though, as I was writing DotCom Secrets and thinking about how I was going to sell the book when I was finished writing it, I identified who my dream customers were that would want to read my book and where they were congregating. I made a list and wrote out everywhere that I could think my dream customers might be gathering.
On that list, Russell identified…
- 10 top websites and forums
- 15 active Facebook groups
- 50 influencers
- 30 podcasts
- 40 email newsletters
- 20 blogs
- 20 YouTube channels
This was more like a Dream 185 — but the concept is the same. Russell looked for online communities where his target market was already congregating.
Then he worked to infiltrate these communities with his own message — he found that there were basically two ways to do so.
First, he could work his way in — this would consist of building relationships with influencers, pitching guest blog articles, interacting in forums and Facebook groups, and asking to be interviewed on a person’s podcast or YouTube channel.
And second, he could buy his way in — this would consist of paying for placements, advertisements, features, and mentions.
Both strategies are effective for different Dream 100 communities.
Some influencers are open to building relationships and bartering mentions — others prefer to be paid for all sponsorships.
For the rest of this article, we’re going to dive into detailed tactics for driving traffic to your website. But first, it’s a good idea to go through the Dream 100 process so that you know which online communities you should be targeting.
After all, not all website traffic is equal. And it’s critical that you spend your time and money to attract the right people.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Check out the video above to learn how Russell Brunson applies the Dream 100 strategy to SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s the process of getting your website to rank in Google for phrases that your target market is already searching for.
What’s cool about SEO is that once you’re on the first page for a certain phrase, your website is going to consistently drive traffic via that ranking… every single month.
For example, I’m the founder of Get Your Gusto Back, a personal development website.
Over the last few years I’ve written some blog content and managed to get that website ranking on page 1 for the following three keyword phrases:
- What should I do with my life
- What to do with my life
- Why am I alive
Collectively, just those three phrases have generated 750 visits per month for the last several years.
Imagine how much traffic you could generate if you were ranking on page 1 for a few hundred phrases?
In fact, at ClickFunnels, we’re driving more than 300,000 visits per month to our website entirely through SEO.
That’s how powerful SEO can be for driving website traffic.
So… how do you do it?
Well, start by figuring out which keywords you want your website to rank for. You can use Neil Patel’s free tool to do keyword research.
- The Searcher’s Intent — What is the searcher looking for? Do they belong to your target market?
- Search Volume — How many searches does the phrase get every month? That’s indicative of how much traffic you stand to drive as a page 1 result.
- SEO Difficulty — How competitive is the phrase? The higher the difficulty, the more time and work it’ll take to rank.
The best keywords to target are ones with the right intent, low difficulty, and decent monthly volume.
To target a keyword phrase, create a new page or blog post and then follow our SEO tips over here.
You can also apply the Dream 100 to your SEO strategy — determine the 100 keywords you want to rank for and sites you want to get backlinks from. Then get to work.
3. Social Media Advertisements
Social media advertising is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Check ou the video above to learn how Russell Brunson uses Facebook to fill his sales funnels.
What’s great about social media advertising is that anyone can do it — the barrier to entry is extremely low.
Heck, with just $10 you can start running some ads on Facebook or Pinterest.
Of course, running effective ads — ads that target the right people, spread the right message, and drive website traffic — is easier said than done.
So we’ll give you some advertising advice here shortly.
But first, let’s cover the main social media sites at your disposal and the ideal demographic for each…
- Google — Google ads work for just about any business. You can target general or specific keyword phrases so that your target market sees your result before they see organice results.
- YouTube — YouTube also works for any business. You can target users who watch videos that indicate they’re a part of your target market.
- Facebook/Instagram — Facebook/Instagram has some of the most advanced targeting among social media platforms and it’s demographic is versatile enough to support nearly any business.
- Twitter — Twitter has a balanced demographic and is a useful advertising platform for most businesses.
- Pinterest — The vast majority of users on Pinterest are women, so this is a great platform if your target market is primarily female.
- LinkedIn — LinkedIn is the ideal platform for B2B companies to run advertisements. The targeting on LinkedIn is just as advanced as other social media sites.
- Tik Tok — Tik Tok is popular with young people.
On most of these platforms, you can choose the interest and/or demographic that you want to target.
Obviously, the better your targeting is, the more clicks you’re going to get.
Check out our guide to Facebook targeting over here, which will help you with targeting on most of the above platforms.
Also keep in mind the creative of your ads — the image and copy.
Even if you manage to get the targeting right, this will play a huge part in how much traffic you’re able to drive. We recommend always testing at least three different creatives to see what performs the best.
4. Your Email List
In Traffic Secrets, Russell Brunson differentiates between three different types of website traffic.
- Traffic You Earn — You can earn traffic by building relationships with influencers in your niche.
- Traffic You Control — You can control traffic by paying for advertisements.
- Traffic That You Own — Traffic that you own exists in only one place: your email list.
In fact, one of the primary goals of driving traffic that you earn and traffic that you control is to turn it into traffic that you own.
(i.e. get people’s email addresses)
We’ve already talked about infiltrating your Dream 100 (traffic that you earn) and running social media advertisements (traffic that you control)… here we’re talking about traffic that you own — specifically, your email list.
Why do we say that you own your email list?
Because you can reach the people on your email list whenever you want without consulting a gatekeeper or ever-changing algorithm.
Even if you have thousands of followers on your Facebook page, you can’t reach all of them without paying Facebook — the same is true of most social media sites.
Google search traffic is incredibly valuable, but even those rankings are always at a risk of being dethroned by an unfavorable and unexpected change to Google’s algorithm.
Email is different.
When you send an email, you have unlimited access to the people on your email list — and the larger your email list is, the more traffic you’re going to generate with every email.
So we recommend doing the following two things…
- Always Be Building Your List — It’s important to always be trying to grow your email list. The bigger your email list is, the more traffic and sales you can drive on demand. This means creating lead magnets and getting visitor’s email addresses whenever possible.
- Send Daily Emails — Generally speaking, a business can expect to make about $1 per subscriber per month… but only if the business is consistently emailing those subscribers. In fact, we recommend sending daily “Seinfeld Emails” — you can learn more about that in Russell Brunson’s book: DotCom Secrets (it’s free).
5. Follow-Up Funnels
We talk a lot about optimizing sales funnels — after all, that’s our bread and butter.
But no matter how optimized your sales funnels are, you’re never going to get 100% conversion rate — in fact, you’re never going to convert everyone who is convert-able with one pass through the sales funnel.
Some people take more time to make a decision.
Some people need more convincing.
In fact, it’s no great secret that following up is a critical part of the sales process…
And that’s why email-based follow-up funnels are important… not just for driving website traffic, but also for increasing conversions.
Follow-up funnels are useful for recapturing cart abandoners or upselling new customers.
Definition: A follow-up funnel is a series of emails that trigger when someone takes a certain action on your website:abandons their cart, purchases a product,sign up for an event, etc.
You’ll notice that our Tripwire Sales Funnel, for example, has a follow-up funnel recommendation at the bottom…
That’s because selling is an ongoing process… something that often requires multiple touch points.
Follow-up funnels allow you to automate that process.
6. Email Outreach
When you think of methods for driving traffic, you probably think primarily of tactics that are automated — advertising, SEO, follow-up funnels, etc.
And that’s good. The goal, after all, is to spend a little to get a lot.
But here’s a method that most people don’t consider: manual email outreach.
That’s right: reaching out to individuals (ideally, micro-influencers in your niche) and asking them to share your blog or podcast content.
Because so few people do it, it’s surprisingly effective.
There are two parts to this…
- Finding micro influencers in your niche.
- Reaching out to them.
In Ahrefs, for example, you just click on “Content Explorer” and type in your content topic — here I’m using “real estate marketing”.
Scroll down and sort the results by “Twitter Shares”.
Then you can click on the “Details” part of each result and “Who Tweeted” to get a list of people who are sharing content in your niche. The number of followers is even included so you get an idea of how much influence each person has.
You can export this list, hand it to a virtual assistant, and have them send an email to hundreds or even thousands of people, asking for a share.
(You can use a tool like GMass so that you don’t end up in spam)
Here’s the outreach email script I use…
First of all, I LOVE your twitter feed. Following!
I just published an article on my own blog that is similar to some of the other content you’ve shared — I usually don’t reach out like this but I’m really proud of this article and I thought you might like it, too.
Here’s the link – [LINK]
If you like it, would you mind sharing it with your audience? I’m trying to reach more people 🙂
Either way, glad to make the connection!
If no response comes after one week, then I send this email…
I don’t wanna bug you, but did you see my last email? I’d love to collaborate with you 🙂
And finally, I send an email with this meme if I still haven’t received a response one week later…
That last one gets a response quite often because it makes people laugh!
Obviously, this is a strategy that requires sending a lot of emails to make it worth it. But even if you get 10-20 micro influencers to share your content with their audiences, that’s traffic you wouldn’t have had otherwise!
7. Create Viral Content
In my recent research on how to grow a newsletter, I stumbled across a piece of advice from Kolby Hatch, product manager at The Hustle.
I asked him what growth tactics he’d recommend for the early stages of building a newsletter. But his response is pertinent to growing website traffic as well…
Depends on the newsletter a bit. There’s tons you can do. Most effective early on for The Hustle was 1) Scope out Reddit communities that overlap your newsletter. 2) Write a viral-ish article for that community. 3) Have email capture on the article. We’d drive a 10k+ folks with an article like this. Capture a decent chunk as subscribers.
The example article he sent me was this one: Soylent: What Happened When I Went 30 Days Without Food
I’m not surprised that article drove a lot of traffic and subscribers for The Hustle — it’s appealing to just about anyone who’s interested in health and fitness.
You might consider trying this strategy out for your business.
However, creating “viral content” is easier said than done.
I remember reading about a famous music producer a while ago (I can’t remember who) and when the interviewer asked him how he knows if a song is going to become a hit, he responded, “Because it’ll become a hit.”
In other words, it’s difficult to predict what people will share.
BUT… it’s not impossible.
In recent years, authors like Jonah Berger (in Contagious) and Malcolm Gladwell (in The Tipping Point) have analyzed what gives a message virality.
And here are some of the most helpful takeaways from their books for creating “viral-ish” content…
- Awe Inspires Shares — In Jonah Berger’s research for Contagious, he discovered that the emotion that most inspires people to share is awe or a sense of wonder. Consider that when you’re creating something that you want to go viral.
- The Right People Share More — In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell explains that Mavens and Connectors (people who know a lot about something & people who simply know a lot of other people) are far more impactful in social epidemics than the average Joe. They spread the message more (if they like it). So it’s worth thinking about how your content will appeal to the charismatic experts in your niche… because they’re the most important people to impress.
- Make People Look Good — People share things that make them look smart or kind or generous or wealthy. When creating your viral content, engineer it so that the people who share it will look good to their friends.
- Make The Message Sticky — You can have a great headline, but is the actual content where it needs to be for it to go viral? The most-shared messages quickly hook people’s attention… but also deliver on the promise that was made.
This is something you’ll get better at with practice — the more content you create, the more you’ll discover what your audience likes, and the better you’ll get at creating share-worthy content.
As inspiration for writing your headlines, I recommend checking out Headline Hacks from SmartBlogger (it’s a free download).
8. Build an Affiliate Army
Check out the video above to learn how Russell Brunson thinks about building an affiliate army.
An affiliate army is exactly what it sounds like — a group of affiliates who sell your products for you for some sort of commission.
(For example, you can sell ClickFunnels as an affiliate for up to 40% recurring commission)
I mean… imagine it.
You could go learn how to do advertisements and SEO and PPC and display advertising… or you could find the people in your niche who are already good at that and ask them to become affiliate partners.
This is a process that Russell talks about in detail in his book, Traffic Secrets, which is 100% free and I highly recommend picking it up.
He recommends using the Dream 100 system to identify your dream affiliates. You can then reach out, give these people free access to your product or service as a bribe, and ask them if they’d be willing to promote your offer as an affiliate.
Using this system, you’ll be able to drive a lot of traffic and make a lot more sales in less time than you’d be able to if you were driving your own traffic.
So we highly recommend taking the time to build an affiliate army.
Which website traffic tactic will you try first?
I’ve given you 8 strategies for driving website traffic.
Each of these strategies has worked for thousands of different businesses around the world — and they can work for you, too.
But don’t expect an overnight miracle.
Driving traffic is a skill set that marketers spend decades honing. Your own journey will require a lot of experimentation, learning, and resilience.
The best thing you can do right now is exactly what you’re doing: learn from those who’ve come before you.
And if you want to dive deeper, then click below to get your free copy of Traffic Secrets.