A lack of traffic and a long term scalable traffic acquisition strategy is the number one problem most businesses face, and many do not realize that this is even their problem. The first thing you must have is Google Analytics installed or some reliable method of tracking your daily and monthly website visitors. A lot of businesses do not have this in place and do not even know how much traffic is going to their website on a monthly basis. This tutorial on Google Analytics can help you set it up on your website. Building traffic to your website is not easy, and can either take tremendous hard work or a lot of expensive advertising dollars online.
For those with smaller budgets to spend on paid advertising or are just sick of getting low returns from PPC, here are 10 tips to build traffic for free:
If you are not blogging regularly than you are losing out on a major opportunity to generate more traffic. Blogging helps with SEO, referral traffic, social media, email marketing, and direct traffic, the five major traffic channels every website will have when they look at their Google analytics.
If your site is not built with a blog in place, invest in integrating a WordPress blog into your site. If you do not know how to do this, you may have to pay someone to do so, but the WordPress software is free and is fairly easy for even a beginner to setup.
2) Buffer Your Posts Everyday
Don’t have time for social media? That excuse is no longer acceptable in today’s overwhelmingly online social world for a business, small or large. Regardless of whether you care or not about social media, there will be a competitor who is eating your lunch on social if you do not actively engage in building a social following for your company.
Buffer is one of the best ways to consistently promote your company on social media. If time is your number one concern, then bookmark 10 to 20 blogs or sites relevant to your company and industry. Scrape them for the best post each day and buffer your posts.
Buffer is free for up to 10 buffered posts so if you do this daily or even a few times a week you should be able to spread out your posts throughout the week with only about an hour or two of work.
3) Generate A Keyword List
One of the best ways to generate traffic is through SEO, but without a solid keyword list you are just shooting in the dark. Use tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner, or MOZ’s difficulty grader to get a gauge for what keywords, keywords groups, and competition is out there. Once you have an idea of whether it is realistic to rank for certain keywords, whether they be local, long tail, or national/international, you can begin to build a content strategy around those keywords.
4) Claim Your Local Listings
Its unbelievable how many companies have not even claimed their Google places yet are retail and consumer oriented businesses! Claiming your local listings is essential for local SEO and having your customers conveniently find you when they are close by. Even if you are B2B, anyone traveling to your office will have a much easier time finding your location online if you claim your local listings.
Here are over 50 local listings to claim for your business.
Moz Local and Yext are two services that can help you claim your local listings. Local listings are generally free to claim however, so I personally feel that Yext is a complete ripoff. Moz Local is a bit cheaper, but I am yet to try it out so I cannot comment on the value accurately.
5) Find Relevant Niche Websites
Every company has a niche, even the fortune 500. Amazon, for instance is the largest eCommerce store in the world. That means bloggers and people interested in eCommerce are most likely going to be following what Amazon is doing on a frequent basis. There are many sites dedicated to topics such as eCommerce and other niche topics like Moz’s Community for SEO and Inbound Marketing.
Engage in the communities that are built around your niche. This will help you build online credibility and potentially earn valuable links to your website if you do a good job of promoting your sites value without being spammy or annoying.
6) Post On Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites may overlap with niche sites as many of them are geared toward certain topics or industries. Websites like Bizsugar, inbound.org, or designfloat, are great places to post certain types of content that could help your blog or site gain more traction, especially in the early stages.
There are hundreds of social bookmarking sites out there, but ultimately you want to find ones that are specifically geared towards what your business does or provides.
7) On Page SEO
On Page SEO is the foundation of any websites online presence. If your website is not crawlable for Google and the other major search engines, it simply wont show up in search engines or get indexed properly. Sign up for Google Web Masters to make sure there are no major On Page SEO issues.
Make sure you put in the effort to build a solid on page SEO foundation using things like Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress or other on page SEO tools. All of this can be done for free if you take the time to learn some basic html tags or build a thorough understanding of how your CMS works.
Email marketing is one of the most underutilized marketing tactics for many businesses but also offers arguably the highest return of any type of advertising. Mailchimp is a free email-marketing platform up to a certain amount of contacts and emails per month. It is a great way to get started emailing your prospective or current customers to keep them engaged and aware about your offerings.
9) Blog Commenting and Forums
How can commenting on blogs and forums help your traffic? Spend sometime looking at opensiteexplorer and you look at your competitor’s link profiles. You may realize they have links on authoritative sites but you wont see that link in the actual page. The link may very well be in the comment sections.
Many blogs and forums allow you to comment and have links in your comments and this can be a great way to link to valuable content on your site that can add value to the conversation.
10) Learn to Code!
Learning to code will become one of the most valuable skills in the world if it is not already. In fact, many of the highest paid salaries are almost all from CS degrees from universities like Stanford and other top CS schools. Even if you rarely utilize your coding skills you will realize how valuable understanding programming for business is when you begin to learn to code.
Many important business efficiencies are achieved through cloud-based programs like Dropbox, marketing automation platforms, Quickbooks online, and many other types of cloud platforms. As you begin to integrate these programs into your website or utilize your website and these types of software more frequently to grow your business, this knowledge will help you manage these projects even if you are not the one doing the actual programming work yourself.
There are a lot of free sites that teach you how to code. Here is a list we gathered of some of the best 15 sites to learn how to code for free or very low cost!