Anne Moss (Anat El Hashahar) is the CEO of Moss Digital Publishing. She blogs about web publishing on Yeys.com.
The age-old strategy of relying solely on Google for website traffic is no longer enough.
As a web publisher who has owned multiple informational sites for over twenty years, I’ve seen the effects of industry shifts first-hand. While Google can still be a valued traffic source, focusing all your attention on SEO (search engine optimization) in 2023 is a risk you should avoid.
In this article, I’ll explain why diversifying the sources of traffic to your site is now more important than ever and show you how even small-business owners can utilize AI to craft a custom-tailored robust traffic strategy beyond Google.
Relying on Google traffic has always been a double-edged sword. There’s no denying that Google is the gatekeeper of the majority of Internet traffic; however, its algorithm can be painfully capricious.
Every once in a while, Google rolls out what is known as a core algorithm update, drastically changing how it ranks websites. A single Google core algorithm update can instantly flush years of painstaking SEO work down the drain, leaving your website’s traffic in freefall.
But the risk to your Google traffic goes beyond core updates. The advent of GPT-4 in 2023 made quality AI-generated content ubiquitous, lowering the entry bar to creating web content. The result? More web pages compete over each search query, thus diminishing Google’s potential traffic numbers for each page. Smart business owners need to diversify and fast.
Fortunately, AI is not all bad news. You can harness the power of affordable AI tools such as ChatGPT or Anthropic’s Claude to diversify your site’s traffic sources, creating a more resilient and robust channel for acquiring new customers.
To pinpoint new traffic sources for your business, consider asking about it. You could use this prompt.
“I have a business in the [your industry]. What traffic sources other than Google would you suggest for my business website?”
If you have no experience working with AI, don’t worry. AI chatbots are very approachable. You only need to create an account and simply talk to them, utilizing a straightforward chat interface.
Discuss your overall traffic strategy with the AI of your choice. Use it as a sounding board to help you brainstorm other channels for acquiring traffic.
Be specific and detailed when describing your business goals; you might be surprised at the ideas that will come up during the conversation. Ask for pros and cons for each option, and weigh those against your business needs to come up with a solid plan. Remember to always verify and double-check an AI’s recommendations.
Once you have your strategy, the AI can also help you implement it. Here’s how you could use AI to get traffic from two different and very lucrative platforms: Facebook and Pinterest.
AI can help kick off a successful Facebook traffic strategy, whether you already have a page with followers or not.
Begin your journey with a general prompt, sharing your current situation. Describe your business, your current assets (i.e., a Facebook page or group) and your goals. Take some time to carry a conversation, and don’t be shy about asking for clarifications.
If your business has no Facebook presence, the AI can help you plan a Facebook page and explain how to set one up. You can ask for help at every stage. For example, you can ask for a list of suggested names for your page, including the pros and cons of each one.
Already have a Facebook page with followers? Great! You’re halfway there. AI can now help you create engaging Facebook posts that resonate with your potential customers. You could use a prompt like this one.
“My business is [business description]. Please suggest a content plan for my Facebook page that takes into account holidays and other events.”
Pinterest is both a social network and a visual search engine. Your pins need to be not only visually appealing but also optimized for search using detailed text descriptions that include the right keywords.
In the past, I’ve had team members manually craft elaborate pin descriptions. Now, you can get AI to do that based on a simple description of the image and the page.
Here’s a step-by-step way to use AI for crafting effective pin descriptions.
1. Make sure your site pages include great vertical images, as those work best for Pinterest.
2. Choose the page you want to promote on Pinterest and pick your vertical image.
3. Go to the AI tool of choice and provide it with the page title, URL and a short description of the image using this prompt: “Create a title and description for my Pinterest pin. The pin will promote this page: [your page title and/or URL], and the image shows [short image description].”
If you’re technically inclined, you could even automate the process by connecting to ChatGPT’s API or by using online tools that can generate pins on the fly, including AI-generated titles and descriptions.
Staying ahead in today’s saturated online world involves looking beyond Google for your traffic strategy. With AI advances, you can more easily pinpoint alternative traffic sources and effectively implement a diversified approach.
I hope you can see how AI can help you generate traffic from social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest. The same principles can be applied to other platforms. You could also apply them to create a robust mailing list.
Use advanced AIs to safeguard against Google’s unpredictable algorithm changes, offering customized plans for traffic diversification and helping you implement them. It’s not as complicated as you might think.
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