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Growth Hacking and Acquisition: The Complete Guide 2021

How to get more visits to your website? More conversions? Discover the proven methods with our guide on acquisition through Growth Hacking!

Acquisition and Growth Hacking: how to increase traffic to your site

How do I increase the number of users on my website or app? That's the question acquisition and growth hacking specialists ask themselves every day. The multitude of channels and levers allows various approaches, but they are not always effective. What are the best channels to increase the number of my visitors? How can I measure the effectiveness of each one, and how can I implement the best strategies? These are the questions we will answer, by studying the impact of growth hacking on your acquisition.

You want to increase the traffic on your site? Growth Hacking can help you optimize your acquisition.

Growth Hacking: definition

Let's start by quickly defining what growth hacking is. Growth hacking is the ability to generate growth for your business, often through digital levers. It is based on the AARRR matrix for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, Referral. 

When looking at acquisition-related growth hacking techniques, you are actually looking to increase the number of visitors to your site or app. The growth hacker will implement several tactics and measure their effectiveness, to focus on those that allow you to attract the most visitors. Advertising, referencing, visibility... The techniques are numerous, but some will be more efficient than others for your business.

The AARRR Matrix: how Growth Hacking can help you increase your traffic

Growth hacking is based, as we said, on the AARRR framework. This model breaks down as follows: 

  • Acquisition: this is the ability to generate traffic to your website. Improving your acquisition means getting more users to see your content, products or services. 
  • Activation: Activation is the act of engaging your visitors directly after you have brought them in. When a user arrives on your site, they need to feel that they have found what they were looking for. 
  • Retention: Retention measures your ability to engage your users over the longer term, to keep them coming back. Users who become familiar with your products or brand are far more likely to convert. Building trust and getting your users to come back regularly is key. 
  • Revenue: The revenue stage is crucial, as it aims to increase the number of users who will spend money on your site to buy your products or use your service. This is the conversion stage. 
  • Referral: Once your users know your brand and have tried your products, you want to turn them into ambassadors. A user who has been won over can become a source of acquisition for you, by promoting your company in their personal circle.

The growth hacker therefore works on all the stages of this matrix. Each stage depends on the others, so none can be left unattended. But at the base of this model, we find acquisition, which is perhaps the most important. Indeed, without traffic, there are no leads. Many growth hacking strategies therefore focus particularly on acquisition. 

The main acquisition channels: your marketing levers

In digital marketing, there are many acquisition levers. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so identifying which ones will be most effective for your business is crucial. Not all of them are necessarily relevant to your business. The role of the Growth Hacker is therefore to identify the channels that will be the most relevant to increase your ability to capture traffic and users. 

Here are the main acquisition channels to consider if you want to implement Growth Hacking strategies.

Social networks

ocial networks are an important source of acquisition. Understanding how they work in order to use them to their full potential is essential in your growth hacking strategy.

Social networks are an important lever for many companies. They allow you to connect with millions of users, and provide you with important information about them, such as their interests. Most social networks also allow you to set up ads, to target people who fit the profile of your customers. If you sell interior design for example, Facebook will allow you to reach people who are interested in decoration. 

You can therefore use social networks for your acquisition by precisely targeting qualified profiles. 

To discover growth hacking and acquisition techniques for each social network, discover our dedicated articles: 

Growth Hacking Instagram

LinkedIn Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking Pinterest

Referencing and search engines

Search engine optimization, whether free or paid, is a very effective acquisition channel. Every day, Google receives nearly 7 billion searches. It's up to you to identify what people are looking for in order to appear in these results! 

Two possibilities exist for you: SEO and SEA. 

SEO, for Search Engine Optimization, aims to appear in the so-called natural results of Google. When a user clicks to access your site, it costs you nothing, but it can take months to appear in the top results. 

SEA, or Search Engine Advertising, consists in buying the keywords on which you want to appear. Much faster and safer, but also more expensive: each captured user costs you a few cents. 

Search engines (and in particular Google, which represents about 90% of internet searches in France) are often central elements in Growth Hacking acquisition strategies. While social networks allow you to target user profiles, search engines allow you to capture users with search intent.


Emailing is a third very important lever in Growth Hacking. Thanks to emailing solutions, such as Mailchimp or Sendinblue, you can get in direct contact with potential users and submit your offer, a promotion, or a content likely to interest them. Problem: for your emailing to be effective, you will need to collect emails first. Scraping techniques can help you do this.


Attention: we are not talking about referral in the AARRR matrix, but about a specific acquisition lever that you can activate in your growth strategy. Referral is the fact of being quoted by a source external to your company, such as a media outlet. A link is placed within an article that promotes your products and users who read this article have the opportunity to click on your link to visit your site.

Influencers & partnerships

Influencers are all the rage, and for good reason! They unite communities of enthusiasts around them. Just like social networks, partnering with an influencer allows you to reach an audience that is attracted to your product or service. Today, influencers can be found in every industry: fashion, beauty, travel, food, tech and more. There are even platforms that connect businesses and influencers to facilitate your acquisition via this channel.

Online advertising

Outside of social networks and search engines, other platforms allow you to advertise to qualified audiences. Youtube, for example, allows you to run video ads, and Spotify audio ads. Find out which ad networks might be relevant to your business!

How to choose your acquisition levers?

So there are a multitude of levers you can use. But how can you be sure that you are choosing the most effective ones for your acquisition growth? It comes down to three words: "test and learn". When trying to boost your acquisition via growth hacking techniques, always keep this in mind. 

Test & learn is about trying a lever and measuring its effectiveness. When you work on a new acquisition channel, you can't afford to do it blindly. You need to measure the impact and gains you've made with that lever. Select the most relevant KPIs(Key Performance Indication) and compare them to other levers. 

Second point: don't close any doors. If some levers seem naturally more interesting than others, keep an open mind and test as many as possible. Get rid of your prejudices to avoid missing an opportunity. LinkedIn isn't just for business prospecting, or of interest only to B2B companies. TikTok and Snapchat are not just social networks for teenagers. 

Each lever has its own advantages. Test them, measure them and select the ones that are most relevant to your acquisition.

What KPIs to measure the effects of your growth hacking on acquisition?

But then, how do you measure the effects of your Growth Hacking on your acquisition? What are the KPIs to take into account?

Test, measure, and make decisions with the data you collect. Growth hacking and acquisition is all about data and KPIs.

The first indicator - and certainly the most important - is obvious: traffic. Does a lever allow you to get more traffic? When you work on your acquisition, you are looking to get more visitors. So it makes sense to measure this metric. However, beware of certain pitfalls: levers can "overlap". So make sure that when you activate a lever, you get a growth in the total traffic on your site. 

A very concrete example: let's say you come first in natural results for your brand name. On average, 500 users search for your brand every month. They find you in the natural results and click on your site. 

Many companies also buy their brand name in SEA. This allows them to appear in both paid and natural results. When you look at your Google Ads reports, you'll see that your branded ads are getting a lot of traffic, so it looks like you're achieving your goal. But in fact, your ads can simply capture a part of the traffic that would have arrived on your site via the organic result. You do not capture more traffic overall. Worse: you even spend money to attract users who would have come anyway. 

But the number of users and sessions is not the only interesting KPI to follow. Other indicators are interesting, which can be classified in two families: visibility indicators (branding) and engagement indicators.

To work on your acquisition, work on your branding

Branding is your ability to make your brand known. If you want to grow your acquisition over the long term, getting as many people as possible to know your brand is an interesting technique. These users, even if they are not captured immediately, will be more likely to come to your site in the future. 

To monitor your visibility, here are some KPIs to measure: 

  • Impressions on social networks. How many users have seen or interacted with your page, site or social media posts? 
  • Search engine impressions. How many people saw your site in the search results, whether they clicked on it or not? 

Number of searches on your brand. You can follow the evolution of your brand's popularity on the Internet with Google Trend.

Track your engagement KPIs

The second type of KPI to track is engagement. As we said at the beginning of this article, growth hacking is not only about acquisition, but also about the steps that come after. So, when you work on your acquisition, your goal is not only to capture traffic, but also to capture qualified traffic, that is to say, traffic capable of engaging with your product or service. If the users who come to your site leave immediately, your acquisition is ultimately of little interest. 

To measure your users' engagement, consider tracking : 

  • Session duration. How long do users spend on your site? 
  • Bounce rate. The bounce rate measures the rate of users who have left your site without taking any action. 
  • Conversion rate. How many of the captured users end up converting? This is often the ultimate goal of your Growth strategy, so it's important to measure it, even at the acquisition stage. 

You can measure all these indicators with analysis tools like Google Analytics or AT-Internet.

GrowthYouNeed, a growth hacking agency specializing in the acquisition of new customers

You now have all the cards in hand to improve your acquisition thanks to Growth Hacking! Test, measure and draw conclusions using as many relevant levers as possible. This requires time, investment and method. 

At GrowthYouNeed, we have developed a methodology that is inspired by the scientific method to help you with all your acquisition and growth hacking issues. So if you want to take your strategy to the next level, don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your strategy!

GrowthYouNeed, Growth Hacking agency in Paris

Article on Growth Marketing

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This article is brought to you by GrowthYouNeed : Growth Marketing Agency in Paris

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