Traffic is the lifeblood of any website. No visitors, means no customers, no business. A lot of people talk about free traffic but there actually is no such thing as free traffic, as there is likely some sort of opportunity cost involved like paying someone to do your traffic generating tasks, and if you do it yourself your time is certainly worth something. You would be surprised how many people still believe that they can sit back and relax and wait for traffic to hit their websites after they are built. Does not happen that way. You would need to promote your website, just like you would promote a business.
There are many ways to get more visitors to your website but here is a list of the fastest and easiest ways and a brief description of each.
1. Email Signatures
If you have a business website, you should at least have an email signature that has a link to your website AND your unique selling proposition or any value statement that catches attention and prompts a reader to click the link to your website.
2. Social Networking and Social Media Accounts
If you have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube then you have the opportunity to tell people on your network about your website, product or services. However there is the right way and a wrong way to do that, and from what I have seen, a lot of people do it the wrong way.
Do not spam nor annoy people with messages that they are not interested in. The key to getting people to your website through social properties is to catch their attention by posting your own or sharing other people’s content such notes, articles, links, and videos that are of interest to people on your network. The key there is to first get their attention, then sustain their interest with whatever piece of content they are viewing, the longer they consume that content a desire in them brews, then make them take action by giving them an irresistible offer or incentive.
I always underscore the three key elements to a successful social marketing campaign:
- continuously grow your network
- keep posting content that people on your network will enjoy or find useful
- interact with people in your network in order to establish a rapport and build trust
You can send traffic to your website from social sites through the links that you include with the content that you publish.
3. Craigslist and Classified Ads Websites
If you are selling products or services and you cater to a local audience, Craigslist is a great way to be able to put those products and services in front of customers who are already looking for what you have to offer. In fact, Craigslist is a great way to quickly dispose of products or inventory that you do not want cluttering your shelves, because you want to make room for new stuff.
Craigslist allows you to post classified ads that contain links in the listing, links that readers click and are sent to wherever those links point.
4. Press Release Submission
If you own a business, you probably have sent out Press Releases to media outfits requesting that they get published or the story carried. You would probably see a lot of these on newspapers. The same thing works online, you submit a newsworthy story to Press Release websites that will publish and distribute your story to media outfits. There are free sites and paid sites that you can submit to and of course the paid sites offer some form of added value.
The traffic from Press Releases will come in three ways:
- people reading the Press Release on the PR sites where it is published click a link in that takes them to your website
- people subscribed via RSS feeds to these PR sites will receive notices of your new PR via email
- people reading news websites who carried your PR story click the link that takes them to your website
5. Email Marketing
If you are an existing business and have customers, leverage on existing customers by getting them on your mailing list. Satisfied customers often make repeat buys from a seller that has earned their trust. Again, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. The wrong way would be to, not be in touch with your customer then suddenly send them a message that you have a sale. You would need to be in touch with your customer through email, immediately after they make a purchase and find out if they are satisfied with the transaction; keep in touch with them by providing them with useful information that would make them make the most out of the product they had purchased; then offer them special deals on related products. It is also important that you get their permission for you to send them email messages, and this is easily accomplished with many email marketing services such as , which I use and have used for several years now.
6. Article Marketing
This is one of the most effective means of getting traffic today. Simply put, it is the process of writing articles that are relevant to your prospective customers, articles they would find helpful or useful and would contain a call to action for them to click a link that is part of that article. You would need to submit that to article directories such as ezinearticles.com or goarticles.com.
The traffic you will receive come in the form of visitors reading that article published on those article directories and the traffic from websites that republish that article on their websites. Article directories allow other websites to republish articles as long as the links remain intact.
You can also publish these articles on high traffic social sites; blog sites like WordPress.com and Blogger.com; content sites like Hugpages.com and Squidoo.com. These sites have a huge number of pages and communities tagged or categorize according to topic or subject matter. Publish content on these sites and tag them with relevant keywords; words or phrases that best describe your content, the same words and phrase that people on these sites use on the website’s internal search engine in order to find your content.
7. Forum Posting
Forums or online bulletin boards are online communities where you can find people of similar interests. You would need to join forums where your target customers are found and contribute in threads or discussions, providing useful content that will help resolve any of their issues or problems. Make sure to include a link on your website on your forum signature, with your unique selling proposition or a value statement.
8. Yahoo and Help Sites Posting
A few years ago, a friend of mine laughed at the idea of going to Yahoo Answers and answering questions, she found it silly. Well, the fact of the matter is, Yahoo answers has proven to be a good source of traffic. All you have to do is find answers that you can provide good answers to, and if you can use your website as a reference to those answers or an added resource you can post that link in your answer.
9. Blog Commenting
Blog commenting today is often referred to as blog spam, since a lot of people simply leave brief non helpful comments at the end of blog posts, just so they can get a link from that blog post. The right way to do it, is contribute to the discussion, add something helpful or useful to the blog post so that the owner will allow your comment to remain and you keep that link.
Traffic from blog comment links will come in the form of readers who found your comments useful.
10. Integration Marketing
Integration marketing is a term I heard being used by Kim Roach, but this is nothing new. A lot of companies have partnerships and co branding activities. This method of increasing traffic is simply the act of finding related businesses that you can partner with, and put your product in their sales process.
In business partnerships, you can for instance be a contract plumber who gets business from an architect, who hires you to take care of plumbing for a house the architect is building. In the virtual world, you can be an elearning software vendor who ties up with a human resource and training consultant who sells training DVDs online, and when DVD buyers check out, the buyer is given a one time offer where they can try your elearning system for free and a link where they can claim that offer. Another example that has more of a direct impact on sales rather than traffic is, you can be a seller of cellular phone skins and accessories who ties up with a cell phone retailer, and in the check out process when a customer buys a phone from that retailer, the customer will be shown your skins and cell phone accessories at discounted prices.
All the strategies above are FREE methods, but again.. they are not exactly free because your time has a price to it, right? I believe time is precious and certainly not free. If you don’t do it yourself, you can hire someone to do all that for you.