Read time: ~11 minutes

SEO is like, really important for your website. You’ve seen it on my website, in my blog, and you’re here because you know it too (or suspect it and want it to not be true).

Maybe you’re looking for a loophole to skip the “SEO stuff” because it’s hard, it’s confusing and despite all of the videos you’ve watched, you still can’t seem to find the answer you’re looking for (I get it). 

That’s why I went into SEO to begin with. I was trying to find answers to questions like: 

  • What determines a website’s popularity?
  • How do I get people onto my site?
  • What do I need to create to drive customers to my website? 
  • And what the heck is high-quality traffic? 

Instead of finding the answers to those questions, I found “experts” who were more interested in gatekeeping and getting views. So I learned to do it myself (what, like it’s hard?) and made it my core offering to help other businesses. 

As an SEO strategist, I obviously believe that SEO is extremely important, but it’s just one piece of a successful website and driving high-quality traffic. P.S. doing all of these things also affects your SEO in a good way so the title is a bit misleading. Work with me.

In this post, I’m talking about the importance of website traffic and 10 other ways to bring high-quality traffic to your site — without hardcore SEO.

First, what do I mean by high-quality traffic?

It kind of sounds like a secret industry term but in reality, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Just like in your business you have a high-quality lead and a low-quality lead. You probably do different things to get a high-quality lead and this is no different.

A lot of the SEO that doesn’t feel right is because they’re trying to get you to rank for a keyword that doesn’t necessarily make sense for your business but it allows them to say they got you to the first page. (P.S. watch out for first-page promises).

Example: Let’s say you’re a luxury kitchen builder. You mostly do bespoke countertops and cabinetry for high-end clients. Your minimum project rate is $30,000. 

You don’t want to rank for keywords like: 

  • DIY kitchen remodel tips
  • How to paint instead of replace your countertops
  • Ikea kitchen remodel hack

That’s not reaching your ideal audience. Anyone paying (minimum) $30,000 for a new kitchen isn’t going to be searching for DIY tips.

These types of posts might drive 10,000 visitors to your site per month but result in 0-1 calls booked per 10,000 visits. Your energy would be better spent releasing content geared toward your audience.

Let’s say you rethink your strategy. It might include blogs such as: 

  • How To Decide Between Concrete, Granite, or Quartz Countertops 
  • How To Design The Most Functional (and braggable) Butler’s Pantry
  • To Separate Or Integrate Your Kitchen, That Is The Question

Now, your traffic drops to 2,000-5,000 visitors per month but out of 5,000 3-4 are booking calls and at least one becomes a customer. That’s high-quality traffic (and a much better use of your time). 

High-quality traffic is not only better for you because it’s a “warmer lead” but because the quality of your website traffic plays a factor in your website’s popularity.

Your website’s popularity (success) is dependent on visitors

SEO is important to your website’s success. But it’s not a silver bullet. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to rank anywhere close to page 1 without an optimized site. HOWEVER, it’s just the foundation. 

Other things need to happen for everything to come together (backlinks, good content, driving traffic). 


Think of your website like a house. You’re having a party at your house and you want to make it easy for visitors to find your party and come in. So what do you do in preparation? 

  • Send out invites directly to people telling them when and where to be (email marketing)
  • Tell your friends to tell all of their friends (backlinks)
  • Put up a flyer at local businesses (guest blog)
  • Put up signs and arrows in your front yard (blog)
  • Make as many streets and sidewalks that lead directly to your house as possible (keywords)
  • People

People start showing up (yay!) but these people got a different message and the party isn’t what they thought. Maybe the read the invite wrong, maybe the word of mouth was wrong, maybe there was an ad taken out that was a little too click-baity. Any way you look at it, they barely make it through the front door before they start leaving. 

This is a bounce rate. 

All these people immediately leaving are telling new visitors (and the search engine) that the party isn’t what they thought it was. So the search engine starts blocking your sidewalks and roads. 

But then, other people start showing up and the party is exactly what they thought it was. These are the people who read the invite correctly. Not only do they come through the front door, they’re heading to all the rooms to check out what each room has to offer to the party (good content). 

They’re loving it so they’re inviting more of their friends. As more of the right people are coming to the party, they’re removing the blocks to the roads and sidewalks which let’s even more of the right people in. 

This is how the search engine works.

It’s better to have fewer visitors that stay on your page longer than a bunch of visitors than leave ASAP.

  • Tons of visitors that leave quickly = you’re not providing the right answer for that search query. 
  • Fewer visitors that stay around longer = they found their answer on your site. 

The search engines serve the searchers, not you (a website owner). You get rewarded by helping someone complete a search successfully. This is why you want to be creating content for your specific audience. This is how you create the good content that Google is always going on about. 

You could have the best content in the world but if no one is seeing it, it’s not doing much for you right? That’s why you need to drive traffic to your site.

10 ways to drive high-quality visitors to your website (without tradish SEO techniques)

Okay, you get it. Getting people to your website is important. So how can we create all these roads and sidewalks?

SEO lays the foundation for the house, the roads and sidewalks — it can even get people there with time. But there are other things you can and should be doing to help drive traffic and supplement your SEO efforts.

1. Good Content

SEO gets people to your site — we know this. But no matter how good your SEO is, they will leave if the content sucks. This is why copywriting and content are more than just slapping some words on a page. You need to know who your audience is and create content for them.

2. Backlinks

A backlink is a link to your website that lives on another website. Backlinks are incredibly important for a few reasons: 

  • They help search engine crawlers find and index your site
  • They act like endorsements — a recommendation from one website to yours
  • The search engines use the quantity AND QUALITY of the backlinks to determine your authority. It’s the online equivalent of a letter of reference. 
  • The more authoritative backlinks you have linking to your site, the more the authority of your site grows.

All of these combined help lend authority to your site which helps you show up higher in search results. 

3. Blogging

I can’t really gauge the temperature on blogging but I feel like we all got burned out on bloggers and we’re just co-existing with blogs at this point but, when used correctly, blogs are really great! 

  • They allow you to be a thought leader and show off your knowledge (yes, that word makes me want to vomit but it works).
  • They’re a great place to go in-depth with case studies or portfolio pieces (i.e. bespoke rustic kitchens). 
  • They allow you to engage directly with your audience by creating content that’s interesting to them. 
  • They drive traffic via keywords with SEO optimization
  • They can be repurposed into a variety of other content (Instagram posts, tweets (X’s?), Pinterest pins, Youtube videos, podcast episodes, etc). 
  • Drive traffic by sending the blog out via your email list, social profiles, or posting to your home page.

4. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging combines the power of backlinks and blogs. The idea of guest blogging is that you have a unique insight, authority, or opinion on a topic that a brand hasn’t covered but their audience would be interested in. You create a blog for them and in return, they post it for their audience and link back to your site. 

For example, Unsustainable Magazine creates content in my industry. So I reached out to write a post that was in line with their content but not something they had already posted. In return, the blog links back to my site.

5. YouTube

I know, but video is the future of content. YouTube is a great place to create and store content. You can share that content via your email newsletter, socials, guest posts, or embedded into a blog.

6. Social Media


Social media is hard and as my friend Johanna, founder of Bye, Social Media says, “Social media feels so hard, because it forces into a rhythm of communication that’s not human.” YEEEES! That hit right in my feels. As one small creator, I hate using social and don’t really want to. 

But it’s still an important tool to use to drive traffic if you can (and if you want to). Just like YouTube, each social platform works off algorithms and keywords → TikTok is its own search engine. 

Social is also a great place to repurpose the content that you’re creating elsewhere. How often do you watch a Reel that was originally a TikTok or like an IG post that was originally a Tweet (X?)? 

The downside is it’s overwhelming, especially for a solopreneur/small business. So pick ONE platform (or one platform per person) and focus on creating consistent, good content. Oh, and interact with people. 

And remember, “You’re not a robot. You don’t need to dance for the algorithm.” — Johanna coming in hot again. 

7. Email

Do we all have the biggest love-hate relationship with email? I hate it but … it’s also my preferred method of contact. 

The crazy thing is, in the year of climate change 2023, “77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement in the past year and 87% of brands say email is critical to their success.” (Hubspot) So like, it’s not going anywhere. 

Email is great because you can kind of do whatever you want as long as you’re showing up consistently for your audience with relevant content. 

8. Podcasts

Everyone has a podcast these days. Instead of rolling your eyes and using that tone of voice, I know you read that in, use it to your advantage. Go get on a podcast! Not only do you get exposed to an entirely new (relevant) audience, there’s generally a social post (with a link), a blog recap (with a link), and sometimes a directory (

9. Speaking Engagements

Hear meowt. A podcast is just a digital convention. In the digital age, people are seeking community and connections more than ever. You don’t have to speak at a 30,000 person Las Vegas convention for this to work. 

  • Start local, find organizations and groups that your business fits into. 
  • Sign up for the Chamber of Commerce. 
  • Host an event with other local businesses and there will be socials, newspaper articles, newsletters, blogs, and plenty more backlinks and writeups linking back to you. 

10. Paid Ads

Didn’t see this one coming, did ya? As a non-sleazy SEO strategist (that’s my official title), my main focus is always driving organic, meaningful (high-quality) traffic to your site, however, there is a time and place for ads. If they’re working for you within your budget — great! Keep doing it! But know that as soon as you stop paying, they stop sending you traffic, which is why they’re a great supplement to other traffic-driving initiatives.

Here’s the thing – I’m a small business too.

I don’t have the time, knowledge, or money to do every single one of these things and I hope that’s not your takeaway from this post. SEO is super-duper important but so is knowing that it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

You never want to put all your chargers in the same checked luggage bag. So set yourself up for success by using other methods to help drive high-quality traffic to your site. You’ll be popular in no time! 

As always, if this was interesting (yet overwhelming), I’d love to help you with your SEO!

You might also be interested in….

10 ‘non-SEO’ ways to get high-quality traffic to your website