If you’ve got a well-designed website with some great content up and running, you’re well on your way to becoming a fully-fledged online entrepreneur. The only missing component is traffic.
Even if you’re offering the best product at the best price, you still need people to know about it to purchase it. The same is true for your website. You might have the best website on the internet, but you need people to visit your site to know it. So, let’s take them there.
Here are 9 great strategies for getting traffic to your site, without having to spend a dime:
1. Use social media
There are more social media platforms than ever before, but not nearly enough entrepreneurs are taking advantage of them. The largest of which have over a billion active users per month, providing a huge opportunity to build a following and direct traffic back to your site.
With social media, you need to find out what people in your niche like and produce quality, engaging content. You will rely on your followers liking and sharing your posts/tweets to build your audience, but if you create something that goes viral, your business can literally become an overnight success.
Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit, are some of the largest platforms you could join.
2. Search Engines (SEO)
Search engine traffic is the best kind of traffic you’ll ever get. Why? Well, its passive, its steady, and its long lasting after you’ve put in the initial effort. But most importantly, it’s targeted. When you get good rankings for specific keywords, you know that the visitors you get to your site from those rankings will be highly interested in reading content or buying products related to that keyword.
But because search engine traffic is so food, competition can be fierce. Fortunately, there are great strategies to help you get started.
One of the best strategies is to target long tail keywords. The competition will be lower, making it easier to rank. And when you’ve accumulated a few long tail rankings, the traffic rewards can be immense.
Long tail keywords are like regular keywords, but are more specific.
For example, if you’re selling dresses you might want to rank for the word “dresses”, or maybe “yellow dresses”. This won’t work for a beginner website, as the competion will be too high.
But if you try to rank for “yellow dresses with white stripes” or “yellow dresses with flower patterns”, you’ll have a lot more chance of appearing higher in the results.
You can get as specific as you want, with more being easier and easier to rank.
To rank a webpage for a keyword, include it a few times in your content, without going overboard. Make the content good to keep your bounce rate (users quickly leaving your site) low, and to increase your sites authority, and you should be rewarded for it.
3. Create a network with other sites or blogs
One of the best ways to grow a new website is to trade traffic with other website owners.
Let’s say you find a growing website in your niche, and you’re not direct competitors. You could contact the owner and ask if you could train website links, possibly under a “friends of” banner, or you could form a site network together. This way you can receive traffic from visitors who’ve already shown interest in your niche, making them perfect for becoming loyal followers, or even customers.
You’d actually be surprised how well this method can work. You can land great partnerships with large sites, sending you tonnes of traffic for literally no effort on your part.
4. Collect email addresses
It is great to get new traffic to your blog, but relying on new traffic is no way to build a sustainable business. You want previous visitors to return to your site too. This is the power of collecting email addresses and building a list.
Email remains the most reliable way to reach out to your audience and build trust, making it a great way to keep in contact with your brand followers, and also sell to them when the time is right.
To build a list you need a lead magnet, something to convince them to hand their email address over. Offering a free product like an eBook or even just a discount, work as great incentives.
Once you’ve started building your email list, send out a weekly newsletter letting your readers know about all the new content on your site. Every now and then you can also mention one of your products on offer.
Just be careful to not spam your readers inboxes. That’s the fastest way to lose subscribers as quickly as your gaining them.
5. Comment on other websites
Like sharing links with related sites, leaving comments is another great way of getting related traffic to your website.
Search out for other sites in your niche, with a high participation rate in the comments section of their posts, so that you know the sites are receving decent amounts of traffic from engaged readers.
Then leave a helpful, thought out comment of your own, with a link to your site, to make those engaged readers some of your own.
The beauty about doing this is that pages that have ranked in google will become stable traffic sources for you as well, as it will keep your comment visible to new readers.
Even if you do just this, 20 times per day on different blogs, over time you’ll see a significant, and growing, steady influx of traffic to your own site.
6. Write a “Top 10” Or “Top 100” list
People love “Top 10” lists because they are really easy to digest. In the event that you are the first to compose a “Top 10” post about a popular topic in your niche, your post can quickly go viral from readers eager to digest your new article.
“Top 100” lists are great for producing traffic too, since readers are naturally predisposed to bookmarking and sharing these articles because of the enormous amount of value they convey.
These lists are super easy to make too, making them high reward for minimal effort.
7. Guest post
Guest posting can be VERY successful method in getting large amounts of traffic to your site, especially if you can publish guest posts on some of the webs authority websites like Forbes or The Huffington Post.
Submitting guest posts can be as simple as finding a submission link on your target site, possibly through a link titled “write for us”. Or, if no submission links are available, you can contact the site owner, asking if their sites interested in external content.
Make sure your articles are of similar quality to posts on your own site, or better, to get readers interested in you, and to keep the guest posting opportunities alive.
Medium is an excellent source for free traffic. The site receives 25-30 million monthly visitors, and they let you republish your existing blog posts, making them a no effort source for potentially huge amounts of traffic.
A great strategy to entice readers back to your site is to only post snippets of your full articles, and then direct them back to your site to read the whole thing. Keep a healthy balance of not giving too much away, but giving just enough to show your articles value, leaving the audience wanting to read more.
If you’re getting good traction on Medium, you could even mix it up by writing the occasional exclusive Medium article once you’ve built up your readership.
9. Post on forums
In order to effectively market on forums you have to understand forum culture. Forum marketing can be powerful and can provide high quality traffic, but you can’t just go into a forum and start spamming links to your site. No one will pay attention to you when you just registered and have no post count, and you’ll probably get banned.
To get forum traffic to work, you need to interact with others on the forum, create real value, and establish a reputation. Then, as you’ve started to become an authority figure, you can start promoting your site (with the admins permissions) by adding links within your posts, and in your forum signature.
If you get a good following, you can expect to get a lot of traffic from the large forums, and those visitors will already trust and have a relationship with you, making them very valuable and easier to convert.