When trying to kick off an online business, most of us are on a shoe string budget. This means the big time of paid traffic and heavy advertisement experiments are out of reach for a lot of beginners. So generating website traffic (at least to start out) should mostly be from free sources.
Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t get good traffic for free.
Free targeted traffic that converts. If you know exactly what to do.
I will list 5 ways of how to go about getting free traffic for your business/website. I’d also like to suggest that even if you are already at a point where you like using paid traffic, you will still find these methods working well for you along with your paid sources. Anyways, what’s free is fabulous (I love the *free* stuff!), so why not claim it for yourself?
So, let’s get right to it, shall we:
# 1: EMAIL SIGNATURES
Okay, the simpler source first. Now I know people are going – “Oh no! Not those…”. Here’s a little insight:
People use email signatures the wrong way! That’s why they backfire.
I’m not talking about email you send from your auto-responder. Use this in mails that you would send to a normal person, not on your list.
Every email you send out is a traffic generating opportunity. Don’t waste it! People on earth send and receive millions of emails a day using their free email service. But remember, it’s a traffic getting tool, not a hard selling tool. What most people think of when they use email signatures is a classic calligraphy of their name or text based contact details and business cards at the bottom of an email.
No no no. Avoid those. Go to your website and pick up your logo. Use that as your signature. An image!! It’s elegant and professional. Then after it’s in your email, use it as a hyper link, i.e. a click-able email signature image. That way, they come directly to your site from their inbox. And it garners attention and curiosity.
I realize that you don’t want to sell stuff to your mom, or make your friends feel like you’re eying their wallet. So you can always remove a signature from an email at the click of a button. Now when you do send out mails with your image signature in them, people remember that image! And later on if someone they know needs a service like yours, they mention it.
“Oh you need that. I have a friend… who I believe does exactly that… well I saw in his email there was something related to it.”
Voila. There’s your traffic, with social proof. Signatures will work more on such social engineering. But they do many a times send immediate traffic too, bit by bit.
# 2: FORUM LINKING
This is a classic and age-old method that is proven to work. At forums relating to your market, start answering questions and provide out assistance for free. Yeah, help others. This WILL take work but it builds trust. Then, once people start to refer to you, place a recommendation or link down at your avatar. They’ll be wanting to check out what you found or what it is you offer. This is also powerful for SEO purposes as it passes some link importance to your site.
# 3: FORUM PARTNERING
This builds on forum linking. Inside the forums, find people with higher ratings and “thanked ratios” by looking up their profiles. This tells their level of respect and how many times their advice has been helpful to others. Such people with high respect have successful businesses as their advice comes from working down in the field.
Get in touch with them and build a connection. Then, check out their avatars and the places they recommend. It’s bound to point to one of their own businesses as well. So check out those businesses from your niche that compare to your own and would be interesting to check out for people on your list.
Now here’s where PARTNERING with them comes in.
Your list is going to get tired of you if you continuously bombard them with your own site and it’s links. But you can’t just give away free content all the time and have it go waste (which is what happens a lot of the time). So after every few emails, have your partner from the forum treat your list to a special bonus email session, and let them go ahead and link to their product instead of your own. And tell them to do the same for their list. As in, YOU be their guest for a change.
Testing has shown that these emails get higher open-up ratios and higher click-backs. So where earlier, you were just sending out free content, you now have exclusive guest content and you get to leverage fresh traffic from your partner’s list.
# 4: iTunes-TRAFFIC
Well that’s what I call traffic from iTunes.
If there’s two precious decisions that have really helped my online career, it’s these:
> Buying a Mac
> Exploiting iTunes – to the max
If you’re not tunes into iTunes already, make sure you do that once you finish reading this. It is THE place for the coming generation – of children, of internet newbies, of BUYERS!!
You can share your opinions and content as both free and premium information on iTunes. It’s called podcasting. And contrary to popular misconceptions, you can put anything in your podcast – music, audio messages, video, pdf files, documents, zip files – just about whatever your mind wants to create – so long as it’s legal content. What’s good about podcasts is that iTunes will automatically update people who’re subscribed to your podcast, unlike RSS feeds where you’re left to the interest of the consumer. iTunes creates that interest for you, thanks to it’s excellent format and sophisticated content delivery.
I’ve tried even putting up gibberish on iTunes once or twice and still managed to get some traffic. No effort at all.
# 5: SEARCH ENGINE TRAFFIC, ANYONE??
Okay, I kept the bomb for the end. Battling search engines and trying to rank well in Google is without a shadow of a doubt the best form of free traffic out there. But, unlike what many of us would like to hear, it’s a pain in the butt!! It’s a pain not just for the average online entrepreneur, but also for experienced computer engineers and IT geeks who’re tired of Google behaving like their ex-girlfriend who keeps giving them hopes and then shatters them all at the climactic moment by issuing an unwanted update. Not pretty, huh?
Truth be told, if you were a quality boyfriend who knew how to deliver quality content every now and then, without there being so many spammers who ruin the game for you, Google would never dump you!
But alas, jerks always make it tough for the poor nice guy, so until Mr. nice guy can find his true sense of masculinity he’s going to end up nowhere. Sorry…I digress.
Well here’s a secret not many people are talking about: Google acknowledges flowing page rank. You can use that to your advantage.
What I mean is, if there’s a site with a high Page Rank value (greater than 5), it has authority in Google’s eyes. And you need to find a website that has high page rank as well as allows others to borrow that PR. This happens when a new sub-domain made on that website will be able to share the PR (due to rel=’dofollow’ linking in it’s HTML code…”dofollow” means the Google bot does follow connected pages and scores them on a similar PR value).
So in short, build your pages on a website that has dofollow linking and allows you to create subdomains on it, or add your own domains on it, without having to own the entire site.
I’ll save you the trouble on this one. I found a place called webstarts.com, where you can build your own website and it’ll have a webstarts subdomain if you’re using it for free. Now, webstarts has high page rank, so your pages on webstarts will crush your competition and hit the top of Google fairly quickly, sometimes just after a meal. now if you wish to own your pages on that site, it does cost a small fee, but hey… you can use the free pages first and then make some money off it. then, go for the paid domain.
I hope you enjoyed these free website traffic generation strategies. Now it’s up to you to go out, implement them, build your traffic, and make money from all that free targeted website traffic! GOOD LUCK.