If you’ve read around the subject of marketing and running an online business, you’ll hear a lot of people talk about the importance of producing good content and posting consistently. But what if no one is reading it? When you’re putting out post after post, yet your website traffic is still low. You might start feeling quite demotivated.
In the beginning stages of a website, entrepreneurs or small business owners are more focused on earning money, rather than spending it on advertising that won’t guarantee a profitable conversion. We’ve compiled a list of 10 free ways you can bring more traffic to your website. Some of them take time to gain momentum, but all are executable without requiring any cash investment.
Good SEO practices are still one of the most effective methods of generating more traffic to your website. This used to be based on factors like keyword density and incoming links, but the system is more complex now.
These days, search engines factor the value your content provides and its share-ability when ranking your website, as well as taking into consideration how often you update your site, and your social networking presence. It’s harder to “engineer” good SEO these days, however if you focus on providing regular, quality content for your readers, and consistently include a few relevant keywords, your ranking will surely improve!
The number of social networks on offer has exploded over the last few years. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn are all valuable social media sites that enable you to promote your website, plus any products or services, for free. When using social media sites, choose two or three that best suit your business, and focus on building your following on those first, before exploring other networks.
For me, my favorite social media sites which work best for me are Facebook and Twitter.
If you run a blog, or offer products and services online, guest posting is an effective way to build up relationships with other professionals in your niche, and exposing your work and website to a wider audience.
Guest posting entails writing a blog post for someone else’s website. The post isn’t designed to be promotional, but instead to provide value to the blog’s readers. When you write a guest post for another site, you should always get a byline at the end of the post, and a link to your website. Guest posts are a way to show your value to the other blogger’s audience, and attract new visitors to your website.
Social bookmarking sites
Social bookmarking websites are a helpful way of sharing your content to a wider audience, as they enable users to share interesting articles, videos and posts for free. Websites like Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon are all popular social bookmarking websites, where you can share interesting content you want other users to check out, and possibly re-share to reach a really large audience.
If your content is really unique or special, it will have a good chance to go viral and this will bring you a lot of traffic! Go ahead now, check out my favorite social bookmarking sites Delicious and Digg.
Get traffic from affiliates
Setting up an affiliate program is a helpful way to bring more traffic over to your website too.
Your affiliates will link to your website and bring you more traffic through affiliate links. When someone clicks through the affiliate link and purchases something from you, the referring website earns commission on the sale. Affiliates act as commission-based salesmen, so they have an incentive to promote your products and services, and provide you with free advertising at the same time.
Offer a free product, report or service
Free content is very appealing to readers and will usually bring you a lot of traffic. If you offer a free product, report, or service on your website as an incentive to join your mailing list, or a similar commitment, people will be more likely to do so. It’s also a great way of introducing your brand to new readers, and you can encourage recipients to share the freebie with their friends, family and colleagues. This will bring you further traffic because of their sharing!
Use podcasts and videos
Blogging is just one way of reaching a wide audience. If you only stick with this method for content marketing, however, you miss out on a very important, and large, population: people who don’t enjoy reading.
Blogging is one of the main methods online businesses use to promote their services, but the meteoric rise of mediums like video and podcast have shown that non-readers enjoy online content too, and that there’s a demand for content they can watch or listen to. Creating a podcast through iTunes, or a video channel with a service like YouTube is free.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment for either activity. To start with, the microphone or webcam on your computer will be fine, and you can decide whether to invest in more state-of-the-art equipment later.
Include your website’s URL in everything
This suggestion sounds basic, but it’s quick to set up and can help expose your website to people who might not have otherwise heard about it. Add the URL of your website to all online correspondence. this includes your email signature (even your personal email), your social networking profiles, and somewhere on every single piece of material you send out physically or digitally that is related to your website. Doing so is surprisingly effective in drawing new visitors to your website, and encouraging them to engage.
Online networking is a valuable way of connecting to others in your niche, and interacting with potential clients and customers. You can network online in a variety of ways, including through social media, by commenting on other people’s blogs, or by engaging in forums associated with your website’s subject matter. Online networking is also helpful for introverted business-owners who might find traditional in-person networking events intimidating or tiring.
Traditional offline networking can still impact your website’s success. If the thought of in-person networking makes you cringe, you’re not alone, however hunkering down behind your computer won’t help you maximize your website’s potential. Going out into the world and attending professional networking events, trade shows, or other activities associated with your niche will bring more visitors to your website.
Meeting people in person also helps build a rapport quicker than if you interact online, so offline contacts are more likely to covert to paying customers or valuable professional contacts quicker than people you connect with online.
You can increase your website’s exposure in a number of ways without having to spend cash on advertising or promotion during the crucial early stages of your business.
With all marketing opportunities, it’s important to maintain the voice and values of your brand, and provide a consistent image of your business to professional peers and potential clients. Engagement is the key, and connecting with others on a personal level will go a long way to improve your visitor numbers, and increase the amount of traffic coming to your website.