There are a million articles, blog posts, ebooks etc on how to get traffic to your website. Some of them are good but most of them are regurgitated fluff.
I know because I have read many of them. They all basically say the same vague thing. “Do SEO” “Write Really Great Content” “Do PPC” and the same old list goes on and on.
What I have never seen are any outside the box ideas for website traffic generation. I wanted something that no one else in my industry was doing.
Having spent the last 15 years in the internet marketing world I have tried almost everything. I have always looked for a way to get instant qualified and targeted traffic to my websites.
And I came up with 3.
3 really good strategies that provide either a legitimate boost in traffic or a steady increase.
1. Put your website up for sale
What? Are you insane? I know that is what you’re asking. But let me tell you that for 5 years I bought and sold websites for a living (and it was a good living).
I can’t tell you how many times I was at a website marketplace and looked at different websites for sale and after reading the listing and checking out the site I ended up buying whatever product the website was selling.
Every time this happened I thought to myself, I wonder if the owner of the website just listed the site for sale to get more traffic to the site, or to get saps like me to buy their product.
That’s when it hit me. If they didn’t do this on purpose somebody definitely should.
Think about it. When you list your internet business for sale you have a captive audience that you can share with (in great detail) how amazing your business is.
You can tell them how awesome the product(s) is that you sell and how all of your customers have been so satisfied with it.
You can share how much money your website has been making or how much you project it to make in the next 12 months.
If you do your job right everyone that looks at that listing is going to check out your website.
It’s a lot like taking your business onto the TV show Shark Tank. Every company that goes on that show whether they do a deal or not sees an insane jump in sales right after the show aires.
That is essentially what you are doing by listing your business for sale in a popular marketplace.
Now unless someone comes in a makes you an amazing offer, obviously your intention is not to sell the site. So make the reserve price and the buy it now price a number high enough that if someone actually bought it you would be ok with.
Another good reason to have a really high buy it now price is that it peaks people’s curiosity.
They want to know what makes your business so great that you say it is worth that much. You automatically gain some credibility in their eyes and they make immediate assumptions about your business because the buy it now price is so high. I know because I made those same assumptions.
Now I recognize that this strategy is not a long term traffic generating idea. This is for when you want a boost in traffic and sales that will last for a week or two.
But at the same time you can capture email addresses with all of that added traffic and then you have that forever.
One downside to this is you have to pay for the listing. The most popular website marketplaces have a listing fee and a selling fee. You’re only listing, not selling, so that part of it won’t affect you but you will have to pay the listing fee to get there.
But for the traffic and potential email captures and sales it is definitely something you should test out at least one time to see if there is a positive return.
Go try it out. Then come back here and post your results in the comments section below.
2. Buy a website in a related industry
This strategy to get traffic to your website is in my opinion the best strategy of the 3.
Like I mentioned earlier I bought and sold many websites over a 5 year period. In that time it dawned on me that since I knew how to buy a website at a killer price why not just buy one only to use for referral traffic to help promote other websites I owned and operated.
I remember I was running a website that was generating almost all of my revenue and as I was looking for other sources of traffic for that site I came across a website that was showing up high in the search engines and I could tell the website owner didn’t know how or wasn’t trying to monetize it.
So I approached him about selling the website to me and eventually we came to an agreement where I got this awesome referral source for around $500.
If a website is already generating a ton of traffic why not piggy back off the effort of the owner? They have done all of this work generating traffic. Traffic is what you need.
A really important point that you need to be aware of: The website must not be making money, at least not a lot of money.
You want to look for a site that gets traffic but makes no or little money. This way you don’t have to pay a premium just for the traffic since your only goal is to refer the visitors to your main website.
Why not just buy an ad on that site instead of purchasing the entire website?
This actually is a valid point and something that I actually recommend. Before you buy any website solely for it’s referral traffic you should buy an ad on the site to see if you get any referral traffic.
I would recommend purchasing an ad that looks as though the link pointing to your site is part of their website (contextual or in the menu) so people will actually click on it. (This is a topic for another post on ad strategies but you wont be able to test if the site drives good traffic if you don’t do the ad right)
Buying a banner ad on a website will not be a good measure for showing you the potential of a website. You need to buy a link that looks like it belongs on the site.
Here is an example of good link ads that look completely integrated into a website:
Once you have tested and found the traffic to be converting well on your website then is the time to start talking to the owner about buying the site.
When you own a website where you can place links or banners or anything you want over to your main website obviously the referral traffic will be much higher in volume.
Before you buy any website purely for the visitors it will send to your main site, make sure the traffic from that website is your target audience. Again doing a test ad campaign before will help answer this question.
Why not just build another website that generates traffic for my main site?
Also a valid strategy. It just takes way longer. Being able to get targeted visitors to your website instantly is why you can justify spending the money to buy a website. Obviously if the asking price is too high then you just keep advertising with them or move on to another opportunity.
3. Expose A Scam In Your Industry
I understand this one is much more difficult to pull off simply because if there are no scams happening in your industry you can’t expose them.
But I learned about the power of this traffic generating technique by accident.
Several years ago I ran a blog in the make money online industry. One day I came across these banner ads that caught my eye because in the text of the ad they mentioned a guy who was making thousands online and he lived in the city where my office was located.
A few days later I saw the same ad when I was in a different city and they mentioned that city instead of the other city only this time it was a picture of a different guy. So naturally I clicked through and realized this company was making up fake people who had made money on the internet and every different ad they had used the same images of checks they received and cars they bought but just with a different person (who happened to live in the city where ever you are).
So I wrote a blog post about this scam and included snapshots of the different landing pages that were using the same exact pictures etc.
Little did I know that this one blog post would blow up and increase my website traffic by 500%. This website where I posted about this scam jumped from 1000 visitors a month to over 5000 a month just from that one post. I got over 700 comments on the blog post because so many people had fallen victim to the scam.
This blog post ranked #1 on Google for “Google scam” along with many other terms.
After seeing the success of this one post I started keeping a close watch on the industry to be able to expose anyone else who was being unethical or just plain dishonest in the industry.
Over the next several months I ended up writing 2 more similar blog posts, both with similar results.
Now I’m not saying you should just go out and start calling everyone a scammer. That is a good way to get a bunch of expensive lawsuits on your desk.
But if your potential customers are legitimately being misled or scammed you will win them over forever by exposing the scammers and protecting the customers.
So there you go. 3 totally out of the box ways to drive traffic to your website that most of you have probably never thought of before.
Go give one of them a shot and then reply in the comments what the results were. I would love to know how it works for you.
Do you have any other out of the box ways to get traffic to your site? Post them in the comments below.
About The Author
Adam White is the founder of Website Rocket, an online software service that helps small businesses do their own social media and SEO promotion. He has worked in the internet marketing world since 2002 and in his spare time wrote and directed a feature film. He lives in Arizona with his wife and 6 children.