Move Over SEO: How Developers Can Generate You More Traffic
I’m a marketer. I know more about traffic generation than most others, and I surely know more about marketing than developers.
But what if I told you that developers can generate you more traffic than an SEO or any other type of marketer?
And no, it’s not because the developer implements changes to your site… they are just able to produce more traffic.
What’s crazy about this is that it’s cheaper in the long run than paying marketers.
Although I always want more big companies to pay us, typically a developer can generate you more traffic than I (or any other ad agency) can drive.
It sounds bad, but it’s true.
Here’s what I mean…
My traffic growth
I’ve shown you my traffic over time. You already know I get a lot of traffic, but, in case you forget, here’s my latest traffic numbers:
In the last 31 days, you’ve helped me generate 1,864,246 unique visitors and 4,764,739 pageviews. That’s not too shabby!
Even at my level, I still haven’t tapped out as only 25.1% of my traffic is repeat visitors.
Now, can you guess how much traffic I had during the beginning of the year?
808,747 unique visitors.
So how have I grown from 808,747 to 1,864,246 in 10 or so months?
Well, one thing that helped was the purchase of the KISSmetrics blog. By combining both of the blogs together, I instantly increased my traffic.
It helped me generate an extra 510,442 visitors per month.
But that’s not what I am talking about when I say developers can drive you more traffic with SEO.
There was another thing I did this year which really helped my traffic grow… more than the KISSmetrics blog purchase.
Can you guess what it is?
How much traffic does Ubersuggest generate?
I bought Ubersuggest back in early 2017, and I ended up merging the tool into NeilPatel.com in February 2018.
The moment I merged the tool into NeilPatel.com, here’s what happened to my traffic (keep in mind the last month is on a partial month):
My traffic went from 808,747 to a bit more than 1,176,243 visitors a month between February and March.
The original Ubersuggest (version 1.0) doesn’t look anything like what it looks today. It looked more like this:
The original tool cost $120,000 to acquire and $15,000 on development to clean up the code, add some simple features, and merge it into NeilPatel.com. In addition to that, I had API expenses that cost me around $2,000 a month.
That alone got me Ubersuggest 1.0.
Now I didn’t have to buy the tool, I could have created something from scratch like my SEO Analyzer, which I am currently redoing and merging into Ubersuggest.
The first version of the SEO Analyzer cost me around $30,000 and since then I have continually spent more to improve it.
As you can see from the graph, the SEO Analyzer has driven me 435,115 unique visitors so far this year. And those visitors generated 3,143,220 pageviews.
The best part about the SEO Analyzer is that it is easier to maintain than my blog. It only costs $1,173 a month for hosting.
All in all, tools have generated me more consistent traffic than anything else. I don’t have to worry about social media algorithms or Google updates… people just keep using them even when you stop putting effort into them.
How hard is to generate traffic through tools?
At this point, you are probably wondering how hard it is to market these tools. Because if you pay a developer, they probably won’t just get instantly popular.
And you are right, they won’t.
But it isn’t rocket science. If you build something that is somewhat decent, it will naturally gain popularity.
All you have to do is write a blog post or two about your tool and just be patient. If you can get others to blog about your tool, it will, of course, help even more.
Just look at Ubersuggest. It has continually grown even though I haven’t done much marketing for it till the last 30 days.
As you can see during the earlier months it kept growing in popularity just because I kept it up and running.
If you don’t have an audience as I do, what I’ve found is people will mention your tool if you just email them. I know link building is tough, but not when you are giving away free tools.
You can search Google for list-based posts within your industry. Some of these lists will focus on or include other tools. Just email out people and see if they will mention your tool.
I love JohnChow.com and I have to say I am a huge fan for years.
I know you are busy so I will get to the point. I noticed that you wrote a blog post called “10 Marketing Tools You Ought to Use” but I noticed that most of those tools cost money.
I recently released a free marketing tool called Ubersugget and it helps people get more traffic from Google for free. 🙂
Let me know what you think of the tool and I would be honored if you included it in your list.
In addition to that, you can always put your tool on Product Hunt.
When I wrote a blog post about the latest release (Ubersuggest 2.0) and then I got on Product Hunt, I saw a big spike in traffic and usage.
Over time, the traffic normalized and came down… but as you can see from the graph above, the traffic is still better off than before.
Best of all, it is also causing my brand signals to go up, which is a huge factor in Google’s algorithm.
Just look at the chart from Google Trends. I am catching up to Buzzsumo and Ahrefs fast. SEMrush, on the other hand, is still crushing me.
The crazy experiment
You guys know I am crazy, or at least my friends say I am. So, in the spirit of craziness, I thought it would be fun to make Ubersuggest a good marketing tool instead of something that was mediocre.
You’ve already seen how I have cleaned up the UI and added data from sources like Facebook.
And just by doing that I got a 38.12% increase in branded traffic.
In the next few weeks, I am going to make the tool even better by adding more keyword ideas.
I am going to take concepts from Answers the Public and start showing comparison and question-related keywords.
From there I am going to add traffic estimation data on URLs, which I hope to release by the end of the year.
That way, you’ll be able to type in a URL and get data on how many visitors from Google a site is generating as well as their top keywords and pages.
And then I am going to add all of Buzzsumo’s features.
The overall goal is to keep releasing new features, and then announce them each time.
As I do this, my brand queries and traffic should increase each time. This is how I am going to grow from 1.8 million unique visitors to 3 million by the end of 2019 (that’s at least my personal goal).
It really is easier to grow your traffic by just paying a developer to create free tools than it is to pay marketers.
I know I am a bit crazy and am spending more than most people are comfortable with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow in my footsteps.
Just go on Google and search for “scripts” within your industry. For example, if you are in the real estate industry, search for “mortgage calculator scripts”.
You can do this for any industry.
You’ll find tools that you can buy for a few hundred dollars (sometimes even for free) and use the code and just put it on your website. This will allow you to have a tool that you can release for free with little to no effort.
Now, I will warn you that you won’t do as well as me because I am spending a ton of money on development. But you will probably do better in the long run than just burning money on ads.
In an ideal world, you should release tools, do SEO, run paid ads, send promotional emails, etc. In other words, you should use all of the channels out there to grow your business. Especially leveraging developers!
So what do you think about the concept of generating traffic through developers? Are you going to start leveraging it?