Keeping an eye fixed on your company’s most predominant sources of web traffic -- such as search engines and social media -- is a great place to start when it comes to optimizing a content strategy and building audiences. But there are quite a few other traffic sources that deserve your attention, too.
Whether you’re burned out on the same old Google numbers or are actively looking to expand a more creative outlook, here are five traffic sources that many webmasters may have never heard of but which can yield enormous payoffs.
1. Flickr is not just for photographers.
Many website owners ignore Flickr because it seems to only benefit photographers or proprietors of image-driven websites. But anyone can earn traffic by getting involved -- and not even by necessarily publishing photos.
When you go to Flickr to use a photo for a blog post, for instance, leave a comment under the photo and add a link to the post. While the photographer of the image is likely going to want to see how the photo was used, others considering using the photo may also click on your link as well.
2. Publish content on Squidoo to garner targeted traffic.
Squidoo allows you to create a page about your company (which should also link to your website) where you can upload articles as often as you want. The site is split up into different categories so you are likely to get very targeted traffic.
The website determines which pages are featured on any given day -- so the more you keep your page updated, the better. As an added bonus, companies can also get paid depending on how well their pages are performing -- or, this money can be donated to a charity of your choice.
3. Quora is an easy way to show you’re an expert.
Quora has been one of my favorite websites over the last few years and though it’s definitely gaining in popularity, there are still a lot of companies missing out. Founded in 2009 by two former Facebook employees, in my opinion, Quora is like the new, better version of Yahoo Answers.
Visit the site and see if anyone is asking a question that you can answer. Give your best answer and then refer those reading to an article on your site where they can learn more information. It’s also a good idea to have a link to your website on your profile in case someone wants to learn more about you.
4. iTunes is great for podcasters.
This traffic source is really only beneficial for companies that create podcasts. Nonetheless, if you start publishing podcasts on your own website or on YouTube and are finding that you’re generating some traffic, iTunes is definitely a worthwhile option.
While iTunes is an easy way for users to organize different podcasts and create custom playlists, of note is that you cannot host your podcasts on iTunes. You need to use your own web hosting provider and then submit your feed for inclusion in the iTunes Store podcast directory.
5. Anybody can go viral on Reddit.
While Reddit may not seem like a suitable site for “serious” businesses, the traffic opportunities can be huge. Reddit had more than 113 billion users last month who consumed everything from GIFs to educational tutorials. It’s a time-waster site -- so post something funny or entertaining and you’ll be surprised at the traffic it will bring.
The site works through a voting system, where readers determine which discussions rise to the top of the website. You can comment on different posts as well, and thus could potentially use this feature in the same vein as Quora and Flickr as discussed above.