This article doesn’t list every traffic strategy under the sun.
Instead, it lists the tactics we use at Ahrefs. These are tactics that have helped us grow our revenue by +65% year over year.
In other words, they’re proven to work.
The Ahrefs blog gets over ~230,000 organic visitors per month:
Besides word of mouth, this is our second best marketing channel, sending us hundreds of new users every month.
Without a doubt, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to achieve consistent, long-term results. For as long as you rank highly in Google, you’ll be able to generate passive organic traffic to your site.
To do this, you need to write about topics people are searching for. In other words: topics with search traffic potential.
Here are two quick ways to get started.
A. Find high-volume, low-competition keywords
Enter one (or a few) relevant words or phrases into Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, then choose one of the keywords ideas reports to see hundreds or thousands of ideas.
Filter this list by two metrics:
- Search volume—the overall search demand for this keyword, or how many times this keyword is searched for in Google each month, in a specific country;
- Keyword Difficulty—the ranking difficulty of a keyword, represented as a numerical value between zero and a hundred.
This gives you a manageable list of low-competition topics with decent search volumes.
For more ideas, play around with the filters until you get a list you’re satisfied with.
IMPORTANT. Filtering for Keyword Difficulty (KD) only gives a rough sense of difficulty. You should always analyze the search results manually to judge real-world difficulty and search intent before targeting a keyword.
But don’t stop there. Further prioritize your list of topics by focusing on those with high business value (i.e., the topics where your product or service is crucial for solving a particular problem).
In the end, traffic is a vanity metric. There is no point in driving a lot of traffic to your site unless that traffic somehow translates into revenue.
This is the simple scale we use at Ahrefs to determine the business value of topics:
- 3: our product is an irreplaceable solution for the problem;
- 2: our product helps quite a bit, but it’s not essential to solving the problem;
- 1: our product can only be mentioned fleetingly;
- 0: there’s absolutely no way to mention our product.
The very best topics strike a balance between high traffic potential, low competition, and high business value.
B. Use the Content Explorer ‘hack’
Content Explorer is a searchable database of over a billion web pages.
To find low-hanging content ideas that are easy to rank for, search for a broad topic and apply two filters:
- Referring domains < 5
- Organic traffic filter > 1,000
This will give you a list of relevant pages that get lots of organic traffic while having few or no backlinks.
Scroll through these pages and look for topics with business value that make sense to cover.
For example, if we were Beardbrand, we could easily create content about “grey beard styles” and “how to shape and maintain a square beard”.
Learn more about content creation in our step-by-step guide to writing a blog post that ranks.
Guest blogging is a tactic where you write for other blogs. In return, the editor/site owner will usually allow you to link back to your site.
The benefits include:
- More referral traffic;
- More backlinks (which correlate with rankings);
- Increased brand awareness
Here’s an example of a guest post that I recently did for SmartBlogger:
The biggest challenge with guest blogging is finding blogs that are willing to accept your guest posts.
To circumvent this issue, most SEOs use Google search operators to find sites with “write for us” or “become a contributor” pages.
The problem? This is tedious and time-consuming. Plus, if everyone follows the same process, then everyone finds the same opportunities. As a result, editors of these sites often receive more pitches than they can handle and so ignore many of them.
How can you solve this problem? Don’t limit yourself to only sites with a “write for us” page. Most sites are willing to accept guest posts, even if they don’t advertise for it.
After all, who doesn’t want free content?!
If you can find websites that have written about a particular topic before, then chances are they’ll be interested in a guest post about a similar topic.
The easiest way to do this is with Content Explorer.
Enter any word or phrase and then toggle the “one article per domain” switch to make sure you don’t contact the same sites twice.
Voila! 26,000+ potential guest blogging opportunities!
Too many? Use the Domain Rating filter to focus on the caliber of sites that you’re comfortable writing for.
To learn more about guest blogging, read our guide on how to do guest blogging at scale.
Most people write guest posts solely for links. It often doesn’t matter to them whether the topic of the post is relevant to their blog, or whether the links they build are likely to send referral traffic their way.
I’ve also made this mistake in the past:
Luckily, Tim showed me that to get traffic from your guest posts, you have to write about relevant topics and pitch your product or service in the post itself.
You don’t have to give the hard sell. Just mention your product or service where relevant. In my experience, most site owners allow this as long as it’s not too pushy.
Here’s an example from the SmartBlogger guest post:
Relevant online communities are places where your target audience hangs out on the Web.
You can find these communities everywhere:
Recently, we launched Content Explorer 2.0, which is rebuilt from scratch and has tons of new features.
As part of the launch, I did a few videos for SEO-related Facebook groups, where I explained how to take advantage of these new features.
Judging by the comments, it was pretty well-received.
Sounds easy right?
It is. Just don’t seek out a few Facebook groups and start spamming the heck out of them. There is no quicker and better way to get booted and banned.
What’s missing in this example is the effort required to be active in the group, build trust in the community and cultivate your relationship with the group admin.
Do this, and they’ll be more inclined to say yes on the rare occasion you ask permission to self-promote.
Nathan Collier, the admin of the Facebook group Content Marketing Lounge, says this is the reason why he was able to “turn the other cheek” when I posted something self-promotional in his group:
Quora is a Q&A site where anyone can ask questions or answer them.
That means you can respond to existing questions in your niche, establish your authority, and generate some traffic for your website along the way.
Since July 2018, I’ve been active on Quora, answering at least 5 questions a week on topics related to Ahrefs, SEO and digital marketing. Since then, we’ve accumulated hundreds of thousands of views.
But, Quora views are a vanity metric. The real question is: does it send traffic and sales to your website?
Short answer: yes.
We’ve been getting consistent sign-ups from Quora every month (and that’s from people who have indicated they knew us from Quora):
So, how do you market on Quora?
There are two parts to this equation: