Social Media and Content Marketing Tips for Massive Traffic

  In Content Marketing

Content Marketing Tips

Nearly 19 years after its launch, Google remains the number one search engine in the world. Every day, it drives countless targeted visitors to millions of websites. In fact, in 2013, Google accounted for 25% of all internet traffic.

Thanks to Google’s dominance, we’ve all been raised on the belief that you have to use SEO techniques if you want traffic. If you believe the marketing mill, there is no way to succeed online without spending thousands of dollars on SEO to game search engines.

But what if you could get traffic without Google’s help? What if you could use content marketing tips that help you grow without spending a dime on SEO? How would that change your business and marketing strategies?

In this post, we’ll take a look at how to get traffic without relying on Google. We’ll discuss businesses that do this, and reverse engineer their traffic strategies. We’ll end with actionable tips you can apply straight away to your own business.

Can You Get Traffic Without Google?

The question in your mind now would be: is it even possible to get traffic without Google?

Before we can answer this, let’s take a look at the top 10 websites in the world in terms of traffic:

SEO-Traffic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you might have noticed, 3 of these 10 websites is a social media platform.

In Q4 2015, such social platforms drove 31.24% of all traffic to websites. Google, in contrast, accounts for only 25% of all internet traffic.

Clearly, social media is driving more traffic to businesses than Google.

A closer look at many successful businesses reveals the same. For example, Upworthy, a news curation website, grew to a massive 88M visitors every month within a year, making it the fastest growing media company of all time. It managed to achieve this astronomical growth by focusing relentlessly on social media, especially Facebook. According to Alexa, it gets just 2.80% of its traffic from search engines.

Buzzfeed’s growth follows a similar story. The 37th most popular website in the US gets over 75% of its 150M+ visitors through social media.

But social media doesn’t just drive traffic to media companies. Plenty of B2B businesses have leveraged it to gain massive traffic as well. Buffer, a company that sells social media tools, gets up to 12,000 shares for some of its blog posts.

Buzzsumo

 

 

 

 

So to answer the original question then: yes, you can get a lot of traffic without using Google.

We’ll learn how below.

A 2 Step Strategy to Google-free Traffic

If you want traffic without relying on Google, you have to completely rethink your marketing strategy. Instead of SEO-first, adopt this 3-step strategy for success:

  1. Create value-driven, social-first content

Now based on what we’ve seen above, it is safe to say that social media can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to any website. It is also safe to say that social-first content is very different from SEO and Content Marketing. The former is all about stoking the reader’s curiosity and giving real value, while the latter is about keywords.

Which is to say, you have to start creating content that puts readers first, search engines second.

How can you do this? These four content marketing tips can help:

  • Use visuals: If you look at any website that gets a lot of traffic from social media, you will notice that they are all heavy on visuals – images, GIFs, videos, infographics. In fact, visuals get shared 53% more on Facebook, while Twitter users are 94% more likely to share a photo tweet than a text tweet. So instead of writing walls of text, consider adding a few images and GIFs to make your content more social friendly.
  • Focus on headlines: At Upworthy, writers have to come up with 30 different headlines for every article. All these headlines are designed to generate curiosity in readers. Give readers a glimpse of the article content, but hide the punchline. This is called a ‘curiosity gap’. In one case, it led to 927% increase in lift.
  • Increase readability: How many times have to clicked away from a web page after encountering a huge wall of text? Increasing your content’s readability can give a big boost to social shares. People don’t read online; they scan. By using shorter sentences, bullet points, images, and larger fonts, you can make your content more readable, and thus, more shareable.
  • Deliver real value: Lastly, always remember to put your readers first, search engines second. Don’t just stuff your page with keywords and expect SEO techniques to work their magic. Instead, focus on solving your readers’ problems. Add in keywords where it fits in naturally, but don’t fret over them. It’s far more important to give readers value than to get into the good books of search engines.
  1. Focus on distribution

Once you’ve figured out what kind of content to create, it’s time to tackle the next big problem: distribution.

The best written social content won’t get you any traffic unless you get distribution right. Top performing websites know this, which is why they spend more than half their time distributing as they do in creating the content.

Follow these three content marketing tips to ace content distribution:

  • Master one social platform: One of the biggest mistakes you can make with distribution is to try and win on every social platform. This will do nothing but stretch your resources. Instead, focus on dominating one social platform. This should be relevant to your business. A consumer oriented lifestyle/product company will see strong traction on Facebook or Pinterest, a news/media company will do well on Twitter, while a B2B company will see great results on LinkedIn. Pick your platform, and master it completely.
  • Adopt an influencer outreach strategy: Getting your content shared by an influencer can be a massive traffic boost. Court such influencers aggressively by building relationships with them. Share their content, comment on their posts and strike up conversations on email. When you publish content, ask them to share it with their networks to maximize traffic.
  • Focus on communities: A great way to get traffic without Google is to establish a presence in an online community. This can be a forum, a Quora topic, or a sub-reddit on Reddit. Help out the community by creating consistently high quality content and solving problems. In turn, the community will help you spread the word about your content. You will also earn bonus goodwill for your brand.

In this day and age, getting traffic without Google is not just possible, but even recommended. Where it can take months to rank for a target keyword in search engines, you can often get thousands of shares in weeks on social media. If you’re tired of playing by search engines’ rules, it’s time to adopt a social-first strategy and follow the content marketing tips above for big wins online.

Do you feel it’s possible to get traffic by ignoring Google? We’d love to know in the comments below!

mike@marccx.com
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.
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