Boost your website traffic with other people’s content [case study]
Category : online marketing
Let’s say you’re the proud owner of a new small business website. The only trouble is, very few people know that it exists. Even less have seen it.
Here’s a case study of how I got 76 new visitors in one day using someone else’s content, and without paying a cent for advertising!
It’s easy as:
- Find some interesting material that is relevant to your target audience
- Check that you’re ok to share it on your site
- Publish it in your blog
- Link to it from Facebook
- Ask your friends to like it
Read on to find out how it went and exactly how you can do this for your own website.
If you want any help with boosting exposure for your business at low cost, let me know.
Given that I have a new business and a new website to go with it, I wanted to gain some quick exposure and get some people looking at my website. One of the easiest way to do this is to post regular articles and link to them from popular social media websites.
As you’ll see from this example, you don’t even need to write your own material. The whole process is very easy to reproduce.
Another aim is to show people the sort of items that I’m interested in. Over time, it will help them to get to know me by the type of information that I publish.
Having regular updates to the website also helps with the search engine ranking, as well as the influence level of my profile on sites like LinkedIn.
As they say in the academic world – “publish or perish”.
Will I get any customers from a blog about font selection? That is highly unlikely. It’s hardly the most engaging topic going around. Still – it was there and ready to go, so away I went.
To get better engagement, I’ll need something a bit more targeted and useful (like this post!)
Before giving you a step by step on how to do this yourself, here are my results.
I published my first blog entry – a really useful guide on how to choose the right font, at 5:45am on Thursday 14th of January, 2016. I also posted the article on my Facebook company page and LinkedIn company page. Both of these company pages started the day with less than 10 followers in total.
I then shared the link using my own accounts on both Facebook and Linked In. On Facebook, I asked my friends to do me a favour and “Like” my company page.
By the end of the day (18 hours later), I had:
- 76 new visitors to my website
- 52 likes on my Facebook company page
- Over 1000 people who had the post pop up on their Facebook news feed
- 222 people who had it pop up on their LinkedIn news feed
After 6 days, there had been a total of 180 visitors who had visited the blog entry on my website. 13% of those went onto look at another page on the website afterwards.
Not bad for a first blog post.
Here’s a closer look at the day one statistics using some of the tracking tools that are available:
Google Analytics summary of website traffic
Facebook company page and post analytics
Note that I also had my first page “unlike”.
LinkedIn post analytics
The LinkedIn date shows the 13th of January instead of the 14th – I assume it is reporting in USA time.
How to do this for your own business
I had the following in place before I started:
- A company website with a blog
- Google Analytics to track website usage
- Company Facebook and LinkedIn pages
- A LinkedIn network with 508 connections
- A Facebook profile with 533 friends
Contact me if you want help with getting any of these set up, or want me to do it for you. Obviously I can’t find your friends.. but I can help with the other bits!
1. Find interesting material that is relevant to your target audience
The first step is to find some interesting material to share.
Given that my business relates to copywriting, online marketing campaigns and website development, I regularly read articles on these topics.
Occasionally I come across one that I find really interesting and worth sharing on my own site. In this case, it was an infographic on a topic that I knew very little about. The infographic was really interesting, and the general format is engaging. I find it hard to stop reading a good infographic on a topic that is even vaguely interesting!
There are a multitude of websites and groups that will happily send you new articles every day. If you’re not subscribed to any relevant mailing lists at the moment, here’s where to start:
- Do a quick Google search for topics relating to your business and add the keywords “blog” or “news” to your search. The first couple of pages of results will list a number of the most popular blogs and news websites. Most of them offer a sign-up option and will regularly email new content to you.
- Search for the same topics on Facebook and LinkedIn. Look for any public groups relating to that topic. Join the groups that have a lot of members. LinkedIn in particular will send you regular emails with summaries of the most popular articles. You can also use the LinkedIn Pulse app to find the top stories quickly and easily.
2. Check that you’re ok to share it on your site
Before sharing the content on my site, I got in touch with the authors and asked them if they were happy for me to share the article – they were.
From their point of view, they get another link to their site (which helps build up their search engine ranking), and another 1000 people who saw their material as a result.
3. Publish it in your blog
Publishing was quick and easy. I grabbed a copy of the infographic and wrote a brief background blurb to go with it. I also put together a quick image to go with the blog, using the title of my article written in different fonts. I used PowerPoint to put it together, cut and paste it into an image file and made sure it was the right size.
4. Link to it from Facebook
Once published, I posted the link on my Facebook business page, and reposted that link using my own personal Facebook account. My Facebook page had just a handful of likes at this point (thanks everyone who liked the page!).
I also put the article on LinkedIn.
5. Ask your friends to like/share it
When sharing the post on Facebook, I added “Please do me a favour and like my business page. Thanks!”
A couple of people also re-shared it on their page which was very nice of them!
So that’s it – a quick and easy way to get a lot of new visitors to your site in less than a day.
There are many ways to make this process even more effective. A “how-to” post with step-by-step actions that are of use to the audience (like this one) typically go a lot better, have a much better chance of being shared, and are more likely to generate leads for gaining potential customers.
Speaking of which, I would love to write for your business. If you would like use a blog to boost your business, please get in touch.
Now it’s time for you to try it out for yourself. Let me know how you go in the comments below.
PS – If you found this interesting, please share it with your friends by using the share buttons below. Thanks!
About the author
Leon Troeth is a Melbourne-based freelance technology copywriter. Leon loves helping small businesses use online marketing to boost their sales.