30 Ways to Get More Website Traffic and Referrals Without Search Engines

website traffic non-search enginesThese non-search engine web traffic generators can help produce visitors and referrals without relying on search result traffic or ranking from Google or Bing

If you run an online business, blog or company website, then you know that your organic traffic is generally at the mercy of search engine rankings with Google and Bing. Recent algorithm changes (like Google’s “Panda” initiative) have hurt traffic for many legitimate online businesses, blogs and small company websites – despite their intent to only target low-quality webspam sites. Even worse, online competition seems to increase daily for nearly every industry niche making maintaining high ranking on search engines an ongoing challenge.

While there are certainly ways to optimize your website to get better search engine placement and more traffic, constant competition and algorithm changes make you vulnerable to traffic declines. Even small businesses with SEO consultants that help them continually optimize their sites for better placement within search engine results are vulnerable to variables out of their control… like non-discriminating factors that bump their website ranking.

It makes you wonder… what can my business do to safeguard my traffic and not rely so much on search engine referrals?

Search engines will likely always be an important part of your online business strategy, but it doesn’t need to be your only source of website traffic. Fortunately there are many ways to get more organic (non-paid) traffic and referrals to your website without relying solely on the big search engines like Google or Bing.

Known as “inbound links”, these web traffic tactics will help boost your search engine rankings but also create other sources of referrals. Most tactics will require some time investment, but the cumulative effect will increase your web traffic referrals and help your business become less dependent on search engines.

Here’s a list of web traffic generator ideas to get more referrals without search engines:

Social Media

  • Add social sharing buttons: put them in a prominent place within your posts or on all your website pages (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest)
  • Add advanced social sharing features (like Wibya)
  • Add follow links: follow your business on Twitter, like Facebook pages, add to Google+ business page circle
  • Be sure your website link is prominent in ALL your social media profiles
  • Post content often from your social media sites
  • Comment, like, pin or +1 often on other social media accounts
  • Join groups on LinkedIn – post and comment often
  • Create boards on Pinterest
  • Pin, re-pin, comment and like often on Pinterest (promoting your brand on Pinterest can be a good traffic generator – it is the third most popular social media site, following Facebook and Twitter)
  • Directories and Online Listings
  • Get your business listed in as many industry or product directories as possible – be found where your competitors are listed
  • Get listed in local directory and online yellow pages sites
  • Take advantage of free listings and/or invest in paid listing opportunities that are targeted to your industry niche
  • Encourage your customers to post reviews about your business on local or relevant review sites

Content Buzz

  • Create product and promotional videos and build out a video library on YouTube
  • Encourage sharing and embedding of videos on websites
  • Create an Infographic that hyperlinks to your site – offer embed code to easily share on other sites
  • Put QR codes that link to your site on everything (printed and non-printed materials)
  • Distribute press releases on company news, products or special content – submit online through press release distribution services or directly to relevant industry news sites
  • Create a free ebook with value-add content that includes links to your company website – distribute it everywhere

Forums and Communities

  • Join forums or communities that allow you to put a link in your signature or share content on your website
  • Comment and post often in related forums and communities (make it relevant, helpful but non-sales oriented)
  • Start a forum or community on your own site to generate participation and repeat traffic


  • Start a company blog to gain more traffic opportunities
  • Encourage visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds
  • Participate in other blogs with a guest post and links back to your site
  • Comment often on other blog posts with relevant and helpful comments

Email Marketing

  • Create an email newsletter to continue marketing to visitors and generate repeat traffic for your website and offers
  • Offer a free ebook or downloadable PDF as incentive to build a subscriber list

This may seem like an exhaustive to-do list for generating traffic, but chances are you are doing many of these things already as part of an integrated marketing plan. Focus on ramping up many of these efforts to grow your inbound link opportunities and you’ll slowly start to see search engines represented as a smaller slice of your traffic source pie going forward.

The following two tabs change content below.
With nearly 30 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is the founder of SBMarketingTools.com and author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. Diane also runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing, and two boating lifestyle sites: MyBoatLife.com and BoaterKids.com.