TRAFFIC, WHERE ART THOU?
Welcome to a guide on how to increase website traffic – for free. I understand that feeling. After spending so much time working on a spanking new site, there is nobody visiting it. What do we do? How can we get more pairs of eyes on the website? The easiest way to get traffic? Throw swats of cash into paid advertising.
Yep, but that is probably not good in the long run, nor is it any good for people without much money. So this is where this guide comes in, sharing all the shameless self-promotion methods that you can get some traffic – for free.
AN HONEST DISCLOSURE
Quick, hide your wallets! I am an affiliate partner of Google, eBay, Adobe, Bluehost, and more. There are affiliate links and advertisements on this page. Whenever you buy things from the evil links that I recommend, I will make a commission.
Nah. These are just things to keep the blog going, and allows me to give more good stuff to you guys - for free. So thank you if you decide to pick up my recommendations!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Direct traffic results from people directly entering your website address into their browser… Yep, took a genius to figure that one out. While direct traffic may not be as easy to gain, the methods to drive direct traffic are pretty straightforward.
METHOD 1) WORD OF MOUTH
The good old school method. Let your family and friends know of your website, and ask them to visit. Spread the word, and who knows how far it will go.
METHOD 2) FREE ADVERTISING
If you are running a business website, this should be pretty easy. You can just register your website with free listings and get plenty of free advertising opportunities. Two of the usual suspects are Yelp and Craigslist.
METHOD 3) BUSINESS CARDS
This is not exactly a free method, but can still be pretty cheap. Design and print some business cards, give them to friends and people who might be interested. Another interesting way to distribute your cards is to put them into related library books. For example, if you are a doctor, you can try putting name cards into medical related books in the library.
METHOD 4) FACEBOOK
Who does not know Facebook? What you need to do, is to create a Facebook page, and join a few groups related to your website’s niche. Share your posts to the groups, and watch the traffic go. But remember – do not spam. Do not piss off the admins of groups.
METHOD 5) GOOGLE PLUS
Big brother Google has their own social media platform. Yes, they do. It is called Google+, and strangely, not the entire world know about it. While it may not be the most popular, it is still a very good platform to tap into. The usual tactic applies – create a new page for your website/business, start posting and share in communities. Do not spam though.
METHOD 6) REDDIT
Reddit is a powerful platform if you know how to tap into it. Subscribe to subreddits and share your posts. Beware though, Reddit has become a community that hates random posts, and you might need to do some “warming up” with the community first. Oh. Watch out for the trolls too. Don’t feed them.
METHOD 7) TWITTER
Twitter seems to be losing its shine slowly, but still, it is too big to be ignored. So go get yourself a Twitter account, and start tweeting.
METHOD 8) PINTEREST
Pinterest is an interesting place. It is a very graphical social sharing platform, and if you want to win over Pinterest, post a lot of good pictures and infographics.
METHOD 9) LINKEDIN
LinkedIn is a social media platform that targets professionals. A good place to source for the more serious crowd.
METHOD 10) STUMBLEUPON
StumbleUpon is a platform that recommends content, by users for users. Simply add your page in, and assign an interest.
Referral traffic is traffic that came from a link on another website. You can probably wait for other people to build such links for you, but the more productive way is to build some of them by ourselves.
METHOD 11) SCOOP.IT
Scoop.it is probably one of the easiest places to get you backlinks and referral traffic. Simply start your own topic, and share your posts. But no spamming, no adult, gambling, and drugs related contents are allowed.
METHOD 12) FLIPBOARD
Flipboard is similar to Scoop.it, and it’s more “magazine oriented”. Nothing too different though, start your magazine and share your posts.
METHOD 13) FORUM POSTING
The age-old method. Put a link back to your website in your signature, and start posting. This method is sort of getting more difficult as forums are slowly dying out, and fewer forums actually allow you to put a link in the signature now.
METHOD 14) GUEST POSTING
Another age-old method, and a pain to do. If you are interested, look for “blogs that accept guest posts” on Google, and try to write some guest posts for those blogs. As you might have guessed, there are way too many bloggers today, and guest blogging will only accept very high-quality posts. Still worth a shot though, if you are trying to write for very popular sites.
METHOD 15) ANSWERING QUESTIONS
METHOD 16) COMMENT ON BLOGS
Yet another old school method. Simply find blogs, and comment on them. Make sure that you have a link back to your own website in the profile. You can find blogs that accept comments with Drop My Link.
METHOD 17) SHARE SLIDES AND PDF
Already have a great article? Why not make full use of it? Compress it into slides, make a PDF and distribute it… just remember to add a link back to your own website within. I usually haunt LinkedIn Slide Share and Issuu to distribute the slides.
METHOD 18) POST A VIDEO
If you are not camera shy, take a short video to supplement your post. Post it on YouTube, and maybe on a semi-regular basis as well. As you build up a following, a constant stream of traffic will start going to your website.
Organic traffic is grown with the natural methods and without pesticides. It is traffic that resulted from people searching for certain things on the Internet. Free organic traffic is actually hard to get, and it will involve you writing good content and promoting things in the long run.
In short, you will have to do something called search engine optimization (SEO), which you might have heard of already. Free organic traffic is slow to earn, but once you start the ball rolling, it will probably never stop.
METHOD 19) WRITING GOOD CONTENT
What does good content have to do with free traffic? Because people tend to share contents that they think it is good – and when people share it, you get even more free visitors.
METHOD 20) SHARE IT, POST IT
Yes, it’s weird. We need traffic to attract more traffic. But in general, we want social signals and backlinks. With these, your article should slowly move up the ranking ladder, and eventually, you will get organic traffic.
This is one of the most traditional sources of traffic, and one of the most difficult to get. I mean, how the heck do you even get your website into many emails for free? If there is a will, there is a way.
METHOD 21) EMAIL ALL YOUR FRIENDS
The simplest method, especially when you have a lot of overseas friends. Well, if your friends don’t mind, that is. No harm letting them know that you have a website, and need some help with it.
METHOD 22) FREE EMAIL LISTS
I am personally not a fan of this method. There are plenty of free email lists online, such as Free SafeList Mailer and Instant List Generator. But as you guessed it, they are email exchanges and you will get a lot of junk mail. You will not get quality traffic out of these, but at least it’s free.
UNTESTED AND BONUS METHODS
These are a few oddball methods that don’t seem to fit anywhere. One thing to note though, I have not tried all of these methods. I just happened to stumble on a few of these and try it at your own risk.
METHOD 23) FROM WEBSITE TO CHROME STORE
Difficulty : ?
Do you know the Google browser called Chrome? Do you know that there is a Chrome store dedicated to it’s plugins? The even more unknown part – do you know that you can add your website to the Chrome store. It’s not free though. I have not tried this method, and I do not know if it even works. I guess you will have to try this to find out yourself.
METHOD 24) SOCIAL EXCHANGE
What is social exchange? It is simply sharing someone else’s post, and someone else will share yours. You visit someone’s page, and someone visits yours. I am usually not a huge fan of exchange programs… as they are pretty low quality and low on interest. But the only legit program that I found is Viral Content Bee – Worth to check it out if you are interested.
METHOD 25) HELP A REPORTER OUT (HARO)
This is a program where reporters seek out some help with their scoop from the public. Well, who knows? You might get lucky. Check HARO out.
METHODS THAT DO NOT WORK
These are the methods that simply do not work. These are what I call “junk traffic”, and sure, you will see traffic going to your website, but they are either bot traffic or uninterested spammers.
BUYING TRAFFIC FROM FIVERR
For those who are not aware, there is this website called Fiverr, where you can buy services for just $5. Among those are some rather shady deals like “unlimited real human traffic for 6 months”. Well, no shame in confession – I have tried those out of curiosity before. Did it work? Yep. Traffic came in, but that did absolutely nothing to my website.
No sales, no social likes, and shares, nothing. So much for the “real human traffic”, which should be “real traffic generated by a human using an app”. Don’t waste your money on those, it really does nothing more than wasting your bandwidth.
FREE TRAFFIC EXCHANGE
There are plenty of these traffic exchange programs, such as Hit4Hit and HitLeap. The huge problem with these traffic exchange is that everything is automated. Which defeats the entire purpose. You will get a lot of traffic, but so what? Again, there is no human interaction. No sales, no social likes, and shares, no interest what-so-ever. Don’t waste your time on these.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
So we have come to the end of this guide. I hope that this list of free traffic sources is enough for you to get rolling. While one traffic source may not seem much, you will get a tsunami as you stack all of them up. I will try to add more traffic ideas as time goes by. But in the meanwhile, good luck with your website and may the force be with you.