Pay-per-click is a great way to generate traffic to your website quickly. But, the PPC model may not be a good fit for every situation. That doesn't mean you have zero options when it comes to increasing traffic to your site. Here are the most common methods to make it happen.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
People use search engines. You can't argue that fact. Often times it is the first place they turn when making a decision, both large and small. SEO is a tactic that focuses on improving visibility of your website on search engines, thus generating traffic from people searching. SEO isn't easy to do-it-yourself (successfully). It's more than installing the Yoast plugin, entering a couple keywords and hoping it works. It's about a well built website, inbound links, page authority, research, testing, data, analyzing, and so on and so forth.
Also, you have to consider SEO a longer term approach than overnight. Don't expect to see your site jumping in search results immediately after having your site optimized. The best part of SEO? The ROI! This effort will continue to produce results and the benefits are compounding. Unless you have an unlimited paid advertising budget, every website in the world should do SEO to some extent.
Like search engines, people use social...a lot. You can generate more traffic from current followers back to your website, or get in front of new ones turning them into loyal readers of your content. The key to social is relevancy, consistency, and communication. A tweet every other week isn't going to do anything for you. Keep a consistent rhythm on the social networks that your prospects are using, share your (and other people's) relevant content with them, and get the conversations flowing. Eventually it will turn into website traffic.
Referrals from Other Websites
This one isn't as easy to control and typically the volumes won't be high, but it can be a way to get some supplemental traffic. The best way to get referral traffic is by increasing the amount of links that other people have on their website back to yours. Don't go bugging people for the links, instead create helpful, unique content (like a blog) that will naturally grow links because people want to share it.
Don't forget memberships you're part of. If your a member of the local chamber or industry groups, make sure that your links back to your website are working appropriately.
Yes, this might fall in line with social, but I'm going to list it as a separate option anyways. Find relevant groups that are having discussions around the topics related to your business. If you provide valuable insight, eventually you will get noticed. By growing your personal brand as a thought leader, that can also trigger more traffic to your business' website. Not only that, but it's helping you stand out from the conversation. The first place I'd start: LinkedIn. There's a ton of great conversations happening in literally every industry.
These are the best things to do to increase website traffic you just aren't feeling the pay-per-click thing. Hopefully you're making that decision based on data vs gut instinct, but either way, you have options. Now go forth and conquer!