Millions of businesses join Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day for the sole purpose of generating traffic. Many set up Google ads. Because of this increasing participation in social media, however, success with conventional online advertising has become harder to come by.
Related: 17 Ways To Immediately Improve Your Website Traffic
For the small business owner, this problem is especially worrisome: These smaller guys (and gals) are up against bigger competitors with much larger marketing budgets and armies of marketers. They're worrying about setting up the perfect Facebook ad to avoid "banner blindness." They're consumed with that fragile Facebook post-to-ad ratio.
In other words, smaller businesses are not short of problems.
So how do they tackle them? How do we smaller entrepreneurs navigate our marketing campaigns to success? The answer is by following the road less travelled or, more specifically, doing stuff that most marketers have not yet thought about.
Below are four relatively unconventional methods for increasing your website traffic.
1. Social media "re-marketing"
Re-marketing is a neat strategy for users of Facebook (and consequently Instagram) and Twitter. It is not enough to just set up an ad and walk away, hoping for optimal conversion. Instead, Facebook and Twitter remarketing is a way to increase the probability of higher conversion rates, by targeting only those people who have visited your site and thus shown interest in your offering.
All you need to do is to install a Facebook or Twitter tracking pixel on your website to gather valuable information about your site visitors. This way, you can continue to put your business in front of visitors and return traffic to your site repeatedly.
Make sure, though, not to target customers who have already subscribed to your email list or have patronized your business — that is dangerous. The reason: You wouldn't just be alienating a visitor, you'd be alienating a customer. Use Facebook Custom Audience to enable you to exclude already existing customers from your target audience, unless you plan to upsell something new to them.
2. Google Voice Search
Google-search queries make up a huge percentage of the reasons people discover businesses online. And now, with the increasing popularity of Google Voice Search, online marketing endeavors are poised to get even more exciting.
As the founder of Notion Technologies, Faraz Sayyed, told me: "Google Voice Search is the latest innovation for performing searches online. I mean, who wants to spend time typing out the word kittens on their keyboard, when they could just say the word? It is definitely smarter, faster and has the 'cool' factor."
In fact, a Google study conducted by Northstar Research showed that 41 percent of U.S. adults and 55 percent of teens use voice search on a daily basis. In 2016, at a keynote conference, Google revealed that 20 percent of all queries on mobile devices at that time were voice searches.
In 2015, searches through voice-search assistants such as Siri, Cortana and GoogleNow accounted for 10 percent of the global search volume, which, according to the Local Search Association, totals 50 billion monthly searches. This SEO trend will only grow in popularity with every passing year. So, this is the time for every business to revisit or overhaul its online and mobile-marketing strategies.
3. Social media micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing can increase and enhance your brand visibility by leveraging the popularity, following and respect an influential figure has. In today's world, determining the reach and impact of a person's influence is much more metric-oriented than in the past, thanks to social media channels.
Related: 50 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website
A study by Makerly involving over 800,000 Instagram accounts showed that as an influencer's following grows, the rate of engagement with his or her followers (in likes and comments) starts to go down. Figures from the study put influencers with less than 100 followers at an average 8 percent likes and 0.5 percent comments, while users with a following of 10 million and over garnered just 1.6 percent likes and 0.04 percent comments.
These figures show the power of the micro influencer (meaning those within the 10,000-to-100,000 follower range). By turning to them, you'll still be getting a large audience, with followers who are keyed into what your influencer is all about — not to mention the fact that they are a cheaper alternative to mega and celebrity influencers.
This relatively underrated traffic generator can be summed up in one sentence: "StumbleUpon is a giant collection of the best pages on the internet." The site is among the top seven social media traffic-generator channels, according to Statcounter. In my experience, it is just as effective, if not more, at generating traffic, than conventional social media advertising.
So, what does it take to leverage StumbleUpon for traffic generation? First, your content must be beautiful, entertaining and/or relevant. This is not the place to advertise sales pages and product info (unless you're Amazon), because that kind of content will not do well. Instead, your content should be in the form of any popular media format: videos, infographics, images and tutorials.
Next, add a StumbleUpon badge to your website to increase your chances of getting "stumbled upon." You can grab the code from the StumbleUpon badges page. Also, make sure to complete your profile on StumbleUpon as this will help bring people of similar interests to you.
Related: 5 Ways to Steal Your Competitor's Web Traffic
You can read this post to gain greater insight into the effectiveness of StumbleUpon