What shall I say?
I find myself thinking of how to put the same statement you have read thousands of times and know, fundamentally, about your online business. Let me just be blunt about it:
In order to be successful online, you need traffic. Not only that, you need the right sort of traffic.
What is the right sort of traffic? Well, let’s say you have a website about home repair and you drive traffic to it that is interested in aerial photography. Okay, maybe just maybe, some of those will “convert” simply from the law of averages, but you cannot expect to be very successful using such a strategy.
You need targeted traffic.
In fact, there are many well known tried, tested and reliable methods out there to give your traffic flows a boost and the majority of them believe it or not do actually cost money.
While it is possible and in fact effective to spend money and get web traffic to your website, here in this article I am going to focus on tactics that cost nothing more than a bit of time.
Some people say that time is more valuable than money and I personally agree, however, you can use your time in whatever way you want. This may not always be true for your money.
In actual fact, some of the seven methods that you will read about here can and will save thousands of dollars worth of paid promotion. The very first tactic I’ll show you here generates over the equivalent of $2,000 worth of paid targeted traffic, except you get it for free.
And now for the main event, the following are seven definite techniques which are guaranteed to bring traffic and exposure to your website starting from right now, if you take action on them.
1. Get PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising Without Paying Per Click
The PPC structures offered by Google, Yahoo!, Bing etc are excellent sources of highly targeted traffic.
Any online marketer worth their salt will know and appreciate the value offered by the giant PPC search engine products.
There is a strange dichotomy though, in that the people who sell paid search per click have a vested interest in you believing that PPC really does work and is actually really great. So they will love to read the line I typed above and promote that sentiment.
Fact is though that PPC really does work, so the pay per click managers have a simple task to convince you, the buyer of that.
What’s the best way to convince you of something that actually works? Motor vehicle salespeople have been doing it for years. The good old test-drive.
As a result of the competition and try before you buy being an excellent marketing ploy, there are quite a good number of PPC advertising suppliers who will entice you with free advertising credits with values of $100 and over. This is just so you can try it out and see for yourself how effective PPC is with their particular firm.
The sheer number of companies offering free advertising credits leaves a lot of free traffic on the table just sitting there. It will be an incredibly monotonous task to sign up for each advertising sample, but the only thing it costs here is time, which as we already said, is extremely valuable.
Now for some real value for those of you still curious and reading thus far: I am about to show you exactly where to sign up and get more than $2000 worth of free advertising credit. It’s as simple as sharing a link, here you will find around 60 PPC companies offering free signup credits: http://www.affiliated-business.com/promotion/Pay-Per-Click5.html. Go through them one at a time and sign up for your free advertising credits. Better still, get someone else to do it for you. Even if you pay them anything less than $2000 to do it you will come out in front.
2. Pay attention to the use of keywords, keyphrases and related terms which match your site’s content.
Search engines are the dominant means by which internet users get what they are looking for, whether it is a shopping item, a piece of scientific information or some form of advice.
The search engines themselves make heavy use of keywords supplied by the user as a clue to what the user is looking for and as a guide to which results to return.
By staying on topic with the content of your website, you will naturally be using the relevant keywords and terms that the search engine will index and rank in order to return as relevant results to their users.
A little keyword research can go a long way. If you are writing your own content it can be advantageous to know which are the best keywords in your niche. That usually translates as the most profitable, whether by volume of search or by conversion rate, you can find out with various keyword analysis tools and methods how well you can perform.
Be sure to make proper use of the keywords you are targeting. In fact it is probably a distracting strategy to “target” particular keywords and phrases. Just be aware of the main ones and use them naturally in your content.
How do you use keywords naturally? Just write about your topic or subject and use the word as part of your vocabulary and perhaps in a heading and or subheading here and there. Don’t swamp your site with the keyword you want to rank for, this can work against you.
Being mindful of high quality, traffic pulling keywords is important in getting organic ranking in the search engines and will definitely get you free traffic.
3. You link to me, I link to you.
Something that can get regular traffic is trading links with sites that bear a relative, topical or subjective similarity to your own.
If the two sites are particularly specialised in a certain area, the exchange of traffic can be quite significant.
There is a mutual benefit when exchanging links between sites of equal value, status and traffic levels. There is a kind of traffic sharing that takes place between the sites through the featured links on each site.
Everything each site does to generate more traffic will benefit every site that is linked on the respective pages. There should in theory be an exponential increase in traffic with every link exchanged, assuming all sites are also exchanging links in other places, as well as doing other things such as those I talk about here to generate traffic.
The running theme continues here. Exchanging links should not cost a single penny to do. If you pay money to exchange links then you are doing it wrong. All you need to do is contact the webmaster of the site you wish to trade links with and come to an agreement.
4. Put your writing skills to work, create content that is not for your own website.
That’s right I’m about to talk about article marketing. You can find a lot of websites that accept articles for republishing on other websites. Very often the article websites insist on a minimum standard of writing and certainly a minimum length of submitted article.
A good rule of thumb is to submit articles that are in the same niche as your website. The reason is that you get a bio at the end of the article that you can use to link back to your site. Once again, the effectiveness of article marketing is frequently debated among internet marketers, but the fact is you can get free traffic by writing and submitting them.
The higher your writing quality the more effective this method will be for you. If you share valuable knowledge with your readers and really engage them, you can pull in huge amounts of traffic from a single article that might just go viral.
There are certain rules to follow in your bio, such as not spamming with bad links, but it is worth spending time crafting this to maximise the chances of a click through to your website.
5. Be more sociable
By joining forums, blogs, other communities online and facebook groups.
The demographics of the group members where you join will be a close match to the type of traffic you are looking for to your website.
You will need to be fairly active on these sites to assert your presence, but if you can offer value, help and advice to other group members then you will create a reputation after a while.
Here is where you can build a reputation for your self and your website. You have the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise. It’s quite simple really, become well known by others in your field and they will want to see the website you have produced. If you actually have a good product or service, that will be talked about between the members and in other areas. There is no better advertising than word of mouth.
Using this method will certainly bring you free traffic.
6. Send out newsletters
This will be more effective once you already have a list to whom to mail the newsletters.
The idea here is to keep in contact with your subscribers and to provide real value in the things you write to them. You can let them know what new offers and products you have available, or give them a review of any new content you have added to your site.
As usual, keep the quality of your writing high. Add a bit of your own personality and humour and you wont be far off the mark.
Encourage the readers to share your content and get others to sign up for your newsletter. All this activity translates to a steady traffic flow to your website.
You might want to add incentives such as discounts, cash payments or free products. The newsletter is an ideal place to let your readers know about them.
7. Go Viral
The term “viral marketing” can be confusing and a little misleading to newcomers in the business. It is something that you are continuously trying to achieve and understand in your ongoing efforts.
You might try to study other things online that have gone viral with the intention of extracting that magic “juice” that pushed it into a phenomenon. If you can figure it out, you’re made. But there are so many variables that go into making viral content. What went viral last week might not do so today.
If you are aware of the current climate of the global human consciousness, then you might be able to understand what will give people relief, entertainment, knowledge or anything that millions will happily consume.
There are already established patterns observed from content that has gone viral. You might try to write gossip columns, create a buzz of anticipation (remember Y2k? 2012?). If you have any scandalous news or opinions that you don’t mind sharing then those have often proved to have a higher chance of going viral.
Again, use of incentives to share content over social media will help cause the viral chain reaction to spark.
You may have heard or read about the methods in this article before, perhaps several times. They are not particularly new or cutting edge at this time. However, it is always useful to be reminded of what you could and should be doing to promote your business and improve your position.
By applying what you have read here, you are guaranteed to receive a boost in traffic. Each method mentioned also has the advantage of not costing any money to do. It does however, cost quite an investment in time. So the term “free” here is debatable. If you can get others to do some or all of the work for you then you can free up your own time. Perhaps offer students work experience or come up with some kind of exchange.
The world of internet marketing is always shifting and dynamic, but there are always marketing basics that never change over time.