How To Increase Traffic To Your Website [No Link Building & Content Creation Involved]
How To Increase Traffic: You can hardly find a single website owner who doesn’t want to increase traffic from the search engines to their website. Familiar situation? Ok, what do you do about it?
There are two common ways of increasing your domain rating. It’s link building and adding new content.
But is it possible to increase your search traffic without doing the above?
Maybe you will be surprised, but I am going to tell you about 3 ways of boosting your traffic without building links and writing new content.
- ‘The Merger Method’
- Filling gaps in existing content
- Switching ‘main’ keywords
Let’s discuss each of them.
Use ‘Merger Method’ to double search traffic
Have you heard the term ‘keyword cannibalization’? Maybe you have even faced the issue? For those who are not sure about the phrase meaning: keyword cannibalization is the situation when multiple pages on your site are targeting one and the same keyword.
It’s not a complete disaster, but definitely not the perfect SEO practice.
The problem is that Google may be confused. They won’t understand which page to rank and split the link equity across multiple pieces of content.
The ‘Merger Method’ will help you avoid keyword cannibalization and boost your search traffic along the way.
Let’s see how you can implement it.
Supposing you have several posts on the blog that target the same keyword. One blog post receives the most Google traffic. The other articles have cool data but the first blog post consumes all the search traffic so people have poor chances see to it.
As to the first blog post, it is of high quality, but it’s not a bomb worthy of a top ranking.
So, what can you do about it?
It’s a good idea to combine several posts into 1 comprehensive guide.
If you rewrite the guide from scratch and add your unique data, you’ll get really the best content for the keyword.
This is the essence of the Merger Method.
You combine multiple pieces of average content and create the best resource on the web for your keyword.
To finalize your keyword targeting, publish the new guide under the new naked anchor URL.
301 redirecting the old URLs to the new URL is the final step of the process.
It isn’t complicated, but there is something super cool about the whole thing.
All of your pages had already acquired some backlinks. In other words, before the ‘Merger Method’, the link equity was split three ways. But after combining the posts all those links are pointing at 1 piece of content, which makes it really powerful.
What can the ‘Merger Method’ result in?
First of all, you are going to experience a noticeable rise in traffic to the new guide. Just don’t forget to stick to your regular promotion strategy.
Besides, you will get loads of social shares and fresh links.
But what is really amazing about the Merger Method, it can help you double your organic search traffic compared to original posts.
When should you use the merger method?
If multiple pages on your site are targeting the same keyword, then it’s a good sign to consider combining them all together into one piece of mega content.
When your new post is ready, 301 redirect the old URLs to compile all the link equity in one place.
As you see, the process is simple and efficient.
How to increase search traffic by filling gaps in existing content
Currently, all of us are opting for lengthy writings as one of the ways of gaining more backlinks and boosting organic search traffic.
Still, traffic to the new content is not the only traffic available.
I will tell you about a simple trick you may use to increase traffic to pages that already exist on your website.
BTW, I am not going to talk about link building.
Let’s imagine that you are ranking somewhere at position 45 or so and getting little to no traffic.
Here are the steps you may undertake to increase the traffic to your page:
Define rankings of existing keywords
At first, you need to figure out which keywords your page is currently ranking for as well as identify the positions it ranks at.
You can do this by entering the URL of the page into your favorite tool’s input bar and running the “Organic Keywords” report.
Your tool will generate a list of all keywords your page currently ranks in the top 100 results (the numbers may differ depending on the tool you are using, but you got the thing).
Your article is probably pretty much focused on the relevant SEO already.
The problem is that even being good, your content isn’t ranking high enough. If you look at it critically, you’ll see that there is a room for improvement.
Now you know which keywords and key phrases the article was already ranking for and can use this information.
What’s the competition?
Before you start to update your content, you need to know who you are competing with.
If you are not ranking high enough, there are big chances that someone’s content is doing better than yours.
Do a Google search for your target keyword. Click all the links & visit all pages in the top 10 results.
Make conclusions – which parts of the content are better than yours?
You may use the guidelines below for that, but try to be unbiased:
- Is your content’s quality “worse” than this content?
- Is your article length enough? Does it cover the topic in-depth?
- Which aspects of this content is your page not covering completely?
- Which “user intent” queries is your content not answering?
- How can you make your content better?
- Can you use any great visuals like imagery or diagrams to supplement your content?
- Are there any YouTube or other videos which can add value to your content?
Do the same for all of the pages which are outranking yours. It might be tough at the beginning, but the rest will go quicker and follow the similar pattern.
Don’t look for shortcuts. You’ll have to review all the pages outranking yours to make sure that you don’t leave any gaps.
Update your content so that it fully answered the user search query
When you know perfectly well what you are up against, it’s time to update your content.
In other words, your content must be better than the one of your competitors. It also must fully answer the user search intent.
Make it the best content on the given topic available on the internet.
If you have already analyzed your competitors’ content, you should know well enough what your content is missing.
Make necessary additions to your existing content, but:
- Don’t rewrite it completely because you might lose the precious content Google was ranking you for.
- Don’t write a new post hoping that it will rank better. It takes much more time and is harder than pushing up the content that already exists.
- Don’t change the URL.
Google will notice your efforts and reward them.
Consider your judgments from the competitive research to make up a plan of what needs to be added or updated.
If any content is missing, add it.
Looking through the organic keywords you are ranking for you might find out that you have no content for user search intent keywords.
What you need to do is make sure that your refreshed content answers such queries also. I guess there is no need to explain why these queries are precious.
Keywords are still important.
Everybody speaks about user search intent now. But that does not mean that keywords are no longer relevant.
Google uses keywords to understand what your content is about and for ranking it. Ranking signals have increased, but keywords are relevant all the same.
This is pretty obvious, but you should use the keywords which you are already ranking for in your content. In other words, use keywords which you are ranking for but have not reached the top spaces yet.
Use the keywords in headings and subheadings if it makes sense for the content and does not lead to keyword stuffing.
If you see that using keywords in headings makes the content feel spammy, use them in the content.
Please note that when your updated content is long enough and in-depth, it is easier to include lots of organic keywords into it.
Your content has to be engaging
Dwell time is getting an even more important ranking factor to Google than it was before.
I mean Google would rank higher the pages which engage the users more. How can they measure the engagement? By recording the time spent on-site.
That would be the time between clicking a search result and returning to the search page for Google.
Well, what can you do to make a visitor stay on your web page longer?
Here are some tricks:
- It’s quite natural that longer content that contrives to stay engaging results in a longer time on page. Plenty of studies, including Ahrefs’ 2m keyword study show that longer content correlates with rankings.
- You can embed YouTube videos that are related to your content. This will help to increase time on page and make your content more engaging.
- Interlink the articles on your blog and encourage the visitors to explore them. This will also help to increase time on site.
Maybe your content needs a kick
Below you will find some ways to help your content climb a few positions upwards:
- Write an inviting search title that encourages click-throughs. You can expect a reward from Google in the form of higher rankings if you have a solid click-through rate.
- Add internal links to your content. They are so much easier to obtain than the external ones. Besides, you can keep the anchor keywords you want to use under control.
- A fresh overview of your content will never hurt. You can use social media marketing, email blasts and other methods of promotion. This will send good signals to Google.
When should you use this strategy?
The tactic is especially useful for content focused on advice, tutorials or other educational material.
Repeat the points highlighted above on a regular basis and you’ll notice the improvement in your organic search results.
How to increase search traffic by 50% switching main keywords on existing content
The strategies of analyzing your existing rankings and filling in gaps in your content covered above are great ways of boosting your traffic.
But in some cases, you want to take things further.
Did you know that switching out the main target keywords for your old articles and changing the URL may result in 50% increase in organic search traffic?
Let me explain how it is possible.
Imagine that you run a reasonably high traffic site of a viral type.
Your site is multi-author and the majority of its traffic comes from social media, so keyword research has not been thorough enough.
What does it mean? This means that you are losing traffic and you need to do something about it.
The process of raising the traffic is described below.
Change the targeting for a few dozens of the existing pages. You’ll see that while the search volumes on their own aren’t terrific, taken together they will be a nice traffic blow.
You can carry out experiments and switch the target keyword together with the URL. This can lead to 100% increase in traffic to the page you are working with.
You can also keep the URL the same, but change the different keyword and enjoy a 150% traffic increase. The numbers are approximate, as you understand.
Multiply this over a number of pages and it will add up. Furthermore, the traffic should continue to increase as the pages grow older and move up the rankings for the new keywords.
What’s even better, the whole process will take you only a few hours if you use a decent SEO tool.
The first step is to analyze the existing keywords
This time you need to look for keywords for which a page already ranks somewhere with higher search volume than existing targeting.
The next step is to select a potential new main keyword.
Conduct keyword research to find out if this option is an absolute leader or maybe there is a better one.
You need to think well here because you are way off track with your initial targeting.
Is the keyword you selected going to be the one searchers are most likely to use? How about some other variants?
Check the volumes in your SEO tool. The result may differ from the expected one. Here you might be tempted to switch your keyword targeting to the keyword that is likely to perform better.
Please don’t hurry up. Take the informed decision or use both variants if you are in doubt.
Now you need to optimize your article for the new keyword.
Don’t forget about the info above. Fill in the blanks and make it the best article for the keyword.
Here’s what else you need to do:
- Change the post title and URL
- Change the SEO settings
- If you change the URL, set up a 301 redirect
You can use a free ‘Redirection’ plugin to manage redirects. All you need to do is enter the old URL, set the new target URL and you’re done.
Now you need to make Google re-crawl the page. This is not necessary if you have enough patience to wait for Google to re-index the page naturally. But I would recommend speeding the process. Use fetch as Google > submit to index in Search Console. That’s it, the post is optimized for the new keyword.
What results to expect?
If you did everything properly, your page’s search traffic is going to double. And it didn’t take you too many investments. I guess the strategy can be called a win.
When to use this strategy
The process is recommended for pages that are currently performing poor in search. It will help to draw extra traffic to them.
When implementing on multiple pages (particularly on large sites), it can quickly lead to a great growth in search traffic.
When not to use this strategy
The tactic is not risky, but if your page is performing well in search, then I would recommend diving the second method a try.
Over To You
So, these were 3 strategies to increase traffic to your website without building links or adding new pages. Implement them and reach your dream heights!
Audit your content regularly looking for opportunities to improve your existing rankings. If you don’t do this, you are missing opportunities!
Now I’ve got a couple of questions to you. Did you have a chance to use any of these strategies on your site? Are you satisfied with the results?
Do you have any questions or insights you would like to share with the community? Your feedback is welcome, so, please leave a comment for me below. Also feel free to share this blog post on your social media accounts.
About the author
Helga Moreno is a passionate content creator and marketer at Ahrefs bold enough to believe that if there’s a book that she wants to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then she must write it herself.