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Increase website traffic by being different

Updated on October 12, 2009

I want more Website Traffic NOW!

This is the most common question I receive from website owners. It seems everyone is concerned about getting more website traffic. No one seems to focus on what happens when they get that traffic, but that's their choice.

Today I want to answer your questions on how to get more website traffic. But instead of just listing the tools you can use, I want to change the way you think about the traffic you so desperately want.

Being Different gets Attention

Most websites have a lot of competition. If you don't have direct competitors, you still have a billions of other websites all vying for your visitors' eyeballs.

So how do you stand out amongst the crowd and become worthy of visiting? You do something different of course...who would have seen that answer coming!

Being different gets attention, full stop. It may be bad attention the way you look at someones strange clothes on the street and wonder why anyone would want to pierce that part of their body. Or it could be good attention that makes you stand apart from the crowd.

In Seth Godin's book, Purple Cow, he talks about driving through the countryside and looking at the cows. At first, cows are new and exciting because they don't see them wandering through the city.

But eventually all the cows are the same so they get boring. Then they come across a purple cow! How strange, how unique, how wonderful. And of course the wonder of the purple cow lasts for a while but as they encounter more purple cows, the effect begins to diminish again. [I think I remembered the story correctly - it makes my point anyway]

To spell out the message, first you need to be different to everyone else. Then you have to consistently work at being different so you don't lose your purple cow effect.

Difference for the Sake of Difference

What I'm not telling you to do is be different just for the sake of it. You don't just suddenly decide all your staff should be wearing Santa hats every day of the year. Sure it'll get attention, but if your a bank your customers might not like the difference.

What you have to work out is what makes you different and align it with your passion and strength as a business. Every business has core values, whether by accident or design, and it needs to live those core values every day. You need to always work in line with those core values and maximise their effect as your differentiating factor.

In Good to Great by Jim Collins, the book discusses how the companies that went from good to great all found an specific area and decided they could be the best in the world at it. They didn't look for something that was making money, they simply picked the niche that they could completely dominate.

It's a little strange thinking about giant companies choosing niches, but it's exactly what they did. Most of the companies even changed the direction of their business to focus on a completely different area. If a huge company can do it, it's a lot easier for your business.

Also note, that when they found the area they were going to be the best in the world at, they didn't change their minds. They might change strategies, but the goal was the same. There's no point in building up momentum only to squash it by changing direction constantly.

This brings me nicely back to website traffic...I promise!

Umm...the title said something about website traffic?

I'm getting there, I'm getting there! Remember, the absolute, 100% most important factor in these things is mindset. It's not about new secret techniques or performance boosting technologies. It all begins in the mindset of you and your business.

So far we've said you need to:

  • Be different and always continue to innovate.
  • Choose a point of difference that fits with your core values.

Now comes the website traffic...almost. First I want to highlight your attention to another hub I've done called "How to build a great business website." This will make sure you do something with the traffic when it arrives, otherwise you're just wasting your time and money.

Creating a great website based on your point of difference is critical to success.

Buzz Marketing Results

This is the traffic boost achieved using technique 3: Buzz Marketing
This is the traffic boost achieved using technique 3: Buzz Marketing

It's Time for the Traffic!

Thanks for your patience. If you truly understood the sections before this one you'll realise this part is the least important. Sure, it's difficult to get traffic, but not if you have a great website first.

Then all you have to do is make people aware of your website. There are many techniques, none of them sexy, none of them secret. In fact, I'm going to give you nothing you haven't read on any other website giving advice about website traffic. I may know a few more tricks and techniques but honestly, everyone needs to start with the fundamentals.

The Highly Coveted Traffic Tips of DOOM!

1. Get involved with the conversation in your subject area

You're reading hubpages right now, but how often do you comment on other people's hubs? I'm not saying post for postings sake, but always try to come up with a way to add value to the conversation.

For example, in my comments section you tell your own traffic tip. I certainly won't be covering them all and other people would welcome your input.

This works wonders when you're visiting blogs, people love to receive comments. And a good place to comment are where no one else is commenting. The more obscure the blog means the more likely the blog writer will visit your website and you can start to build a relationship with them. A relationship with another blogger means they could be featuring your stuff on their blog if it's good.

There's also benefits of posting comments on popular blogs, especially if you can comment quickly and add value to the conversation. Last month I received 53 referrals from StomperBlog. And I received most of that traffic from just one good comment.

I've also got 61 referrals in the last month from Dean Hunt, mainly because he featured one of my blog posts on his site. And he had 3 other links in the same post before people clicked on mine. But the fact is I received that link because I built a relationship that started with his blog and lead to meeting up in person. I'm now friends with the leading expert in Buzz Marketing, and it all started with a kiss...I mean comment!

Another area to get involved is with forums. Forums are where people come together to ask questions and create discussions. A simple signature link in your signature under a well thought out response to a question can drive lots of traffic to your website.

Once you build the trust of the community and can offer them something relevant you'll see the traffic building. You can even highlight new articles you've written if they help the community. For example, I usually get about 30-50 visitors a month from forums. Then I wrote a great blog post (see Buzz Marketing below) and I had 220 in the last month thanks to the one post. But first, I had the relationship where I could recommend by post!

The same applies for HubPages, Squidoo, scribd, YouTube, and other content sharing websites. The same applies for Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking websites. And the same applies for digg,, and other social bookmarking websites. All have room for comments so make use of them and get involved in the conversation.

2. Create Interesting and Different Content

Creating something that people want to read is half the battle. Most website owners don't seem to understand that visitors don't want to read all about your company. They want to receive information that is interesting to them.

So start giving out hints and tips to your industry. Tell them how to do things the best way. Stop worrying if they're a customer or not and start giving them value. When you start giving valuable content, the traffic will start to arrive. I'm not saying sit back and don't promote your website, but having something worth reading is key to success.

When you have the material, you need to put it in a place where it will be read. Unfortunately, this may not be your website to begin with. Start publishing content on content sharing websites like this one and you'll start to draw attention to yourself and your website. Just make sure your website isn't a hollow shell when people finally arrive there.

Also remember, when publishing to content sharing websites, quality beats quantity. I see so many new hubs that are just quick efforts that barely offer any value to the reader. You'll notice all my hubs are huge. I want you to get the information you need to succeed, no matter how long it takes.

Another good way of sharing content is a blog. You can produce useful information that applies to your industry...the only tricky part is getting people to read it. Which is why we're here in the first place.

3. Taking Content Sharing to the Next Level - Buzz Marketing

Buzz Marketing is a technique that fits in great with all that I've talked about. It's the art of creating content worth talking about, or "Buzz Worthy." Go to digg and see what people are talking about, then have a brainstorm about what you could create that could generate some buzz.

You want something that is viral, that people spread around the Internet on a huge scale. But to begin, a few hundred visitors isn't going to hurt, is it?

I recently created a Buzz Marketing blog post called "The 5 Worst Web Designers in the World." In 7 days it brought in 451 unique visitors and the single blog post currently has over 1000 page views.

You should note that I wasn't publicising my website much before this marketing effort. I'm too busy with my clients to get my own website up to scratch or spend much time promoting it. So before I had between 3-5 visitors a day. Now I have between 15-30 a day after using just Buzz Marketing and some of the other simple techniques I'm sharing with you.

By no means are these figures impressive, but remember this is a few days effort and I can now repeat the process over and over. Because that's really what it comes down to. Repeatability. And when I create more buzz content, I have more of a base to launch it from.

For more free information about Buzz Marketing, check out Dean Hunt's Web Traffic Orgasm report. Trust me, Dean is not your average Internet Marketer and you won't regret it.

4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

No list would be complete without it, but I'm not going to waste your time with it for now. SEO is extremely powerful, and there's tonnes of great guides out there available for free. The problem is, everyone is already doing it and that makes it harder to compete.

Using the techniques above will help your website in the search engines. I suggest learning a little bit about them to choose the right key phrases and put them in the right places on your website. Then focus on driving traffic and links using the other techniques.

5. Pay-per-Click Advertising (PPC)

I know that no one wants to spend money (and why should they) so I'll keep this brief as well. PPC drives traffic to your website. If it's cost effective for you, use it. If not, use the techniques above. What you need to measure is the number of sales you are making from that traffic. Just make sure the cost per conversion makes sense.

Again, there's tonnes of information out there for free on this subject. It doesn't hurt to have a play if you have the budget. Also, how your website converts visitors to customers becomes that much more important with this technique This is a good incentive to make sure your website is incredible at converting. When money is on the line, things becomes more important...funny, isn't it?

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, getting traffic to your website isn't difficult. The best word I would use to describe it is:


Why is it boring? Because it's all about doing the same techniques over and over. You want to drive masses of traffic to your website, simply do the first 3 techniques above over and over and over and over again!

There's no magic formula. There's no hidden technique that the Internet Gurus are holding back from you, although they'd like you to believe it. How did they start, the same way you are, by getting the fundamentals right. The rest of the game all stems from there.

Now I know people want some flashy technique that works instantly but it just doesn't exist. All you have to do is create a great website and get involved in the conversation, that's the bottom line.

Which brings us back to being different...

How you can be Incredibly Different

Be boring. Create content that's different, create a website that's different, and create marketing that's different.

But remember that repetition is the key to success. One Buzz Marketing article will not get you the traffic you want. A few scattered comments on blogs won't either. You need a consistent effort on your part.

Come up with a plan. On Monday I write a blog post. On Tuesday I visit these blogs and forums, on Wednesday I publish on HubPages. Follow the plan and you will see results. Not instantly, but they'll come.

Take this consistent effort and in a few months your traffic levels will reflect it. Keep taking action while adding to your sophistication and in 6 months you could have a very popular website.

Why is this being different? Because most people won't do it. In my experience, most people will surf away looking for more quick wins about building traffic. Even those that support the strategy will let other things get in the way of success. "Oh, but I had to do the accounts, then a customer called..."

You get out what you put in. So, I'll leave you with this idea:

Be different by doing what no one else is willing to do.

Commit to success and you will have it.

The First Test

Did you just commit to being different?

If so, share your commitment with us in the comments. All you need to put is something like:

Craig, I commit to building my traffic.

You could add, "and hunt me down like a dog if I don't do it!" but that's up to you. I'd just love to create another hub sharing your success stories with community so please get in touch to let me know how you're going.

But first things first. Make the commitment to yourself. And make the commitment to the HubPages community. Please comment below...


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very good tips. A lot of valuable info.Thanks

      PR: wait... I: wait... L: wait... Traffic: wait... C: wait...

    • Craig Dewe profile imageAUTHOR

      Craig Dewe 

      10 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm always glad people are reading and learning.

    • profile image

      Dean Hunt 

      11 years ago

      Superb post Craig.

      Very informative.


    • Inspirepub profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Great stuff again, Craig.

      I'm a fan!


    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 

      11 years ago from North Carolina

      Craig, I should be committed.... I mean I am committed to building my traffic!

      One neat tip if you are using video is to not only post it to the content sharing sites, youtube, dailymotion, flickr, etc, but then to embed that also on your blog. Then, to really ramp up, social bookmark both entries, multiplying the effect of your one video.

      Keep up the good work, my man!



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