Thursday, 15 January 2009 12:35
Last Updated on Sunday, 07 February 2010 12:17
Free Traffic Sources
Post advertisements on websites that offer free classified ads. Most traffic gained by this method will be highly targeted as users were most likely searching for the product or service you offer. Here’s a list of some popular sites for posting free classified ads:
- Craigslist.org – By far the best choice. They have quite a few restrictions on posting ads in multiple cities and linking to commercial sites, but Craigslist is by far the most visited classified ads site on the internet (the 8th most visited site on the web to be exact!).
- ClassifiedAds.com – This site has many categories to choose from. I haven’t personally seen much traffic come from this site, but it’s usually worth the minimal effort to post an ad for the chance of increased traffic.
- BackPage.com – This site offers free classified ad postings by city. A friend of mine (an online marketing guru) swears by it!
- freeadvertisingforum.com – A large forum offering free postings in one of three categories – business opportunities, products & services, and income opportunities.
- kijiji.com – Organized by city, this site also offers a wide variety of categories and lets you post a picture in the title.
For additional sites, just do a Google Search for “Free Classified Ads”
Write articles and have them published on major websites. This works best when the subject of the article relates closely to your website theme. If people like your article, they may be inclined to visit your site. Websites like ezinearticles.com will let you submit articles on any subject and allow you to include your name and a link to your website.
Post in community discussion forums. It’s a great way to let people know who you are and establish credibility in your industry. Be sure to post relevant answers to people’s questions, and avoid blatantly posting spam. Also, to generate traffic to your site, make sure you include a signature in your post with your name, title, and website address. To find relevant forums for your industry, search Google for “X Discussion Forums” (replace the X with your industry when you search).
A traffic exchange program is another method of increasing traffic to your website. However, to be effective, it requires that you visit other people’s sites. Usually, exchanges occur at a ratio of 2 to 1, so you have to visit 2 sites for them to send 1 visitor to yours. While this is a viable option, it can be time consuming and the traffic you receive may not be targeted.
Submit your website to directories. There are hundreds of directories on the internet, but in my opinion only two have enough clout to matter: dmoz.org and dir.yahoo.com.
Dmoz is free, but it can take 3-6 months to get listed. Yahoo may be faster, but you’ll pay $299 annually. I highly recommend listing your site in the Dmoz directory, but give careful thought before spending almost $300 a year for any directory. Think of it this way: When was the last time you went to a directory to find a website?
Link Exchange Program
Create a page on your site for links. Then search the internet for related websites willing to participate in a link exchange. This strategy will also help your search engine placement as the number of inbound links plays a part in your ranking. Be sure you are trading links with relevant sites, otherwise the traffic won’t be targeted, and therefore won’t be nearly as beneficial.
Find other companies with similar services and partner with them. This is accomplished by placing a page on your site which advertises their services and includes a link to their website. In return they do the same for you. If you partner with a site that enjoys high traffic volume, it can be very beneficial to you. Convincing the other webmaster that your services are equally valuable is often the challenge.
Tell A Friend
Software is available that allows you to strategically place “Tell a Friend” links on different pages of your site. After it’s installed, when users click on the link it opens a pop up window with a form they can complete with the names and e-mail addresses of friends that may be interested in your services. Personal recommendations are valuable and word of mouth advertising can’t be beat. MPS offers a simple “tell a friend” script that can be inserted into your web pages, for more info please e-mail
Answer queries on Yahoo!Answers and include a link to your website at the bottom of your response. Other users may find this response and visit your website.
Paid Traffic Tactics
Your website can be overloaded with visitors when your website address is included in a formal Press Release. One site, famous for this very thing is prnewswire.com. I’ve never personally used prnewswire.com in this capacity, but they are known for sourcing the latest corporate information and news. Keep in mind that your press release must be “news worthy.” This means that you must have something significant to share. In addition, it must be very well written, which usually involves hiring a copywriter.
Google Adwords will be covered in detail in another article. In the meantime, I recommend going to the library and checking out a book on Google Adwords (or buying it off of Amazon.com). I’d strongly recommend “Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords” by Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.
Search Engine Optimization and Placement
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is by far the most important part of your online marketing plan. Search engines are users’ primary choice for finding information on the internet. Your website needs to be ranked in the top 20 listing for keywords related to your website. SEO is a process that involves researching keywords and then hand tailoring your web pages to use these keywords so that when the search engines “spider” your page, they will list your webpage under the search results for that keyword. You can only realistically optimize one page for a maximum of about 5 different keywords (depending on how much content is on the page). Keywords must be used in the page text, headlines, images’ “alt” tags, and must be properly defined in the pages’ META tags.
SEO is a long and drawn out process that can take 12 months or more before any results can be seen. Be leery of companies offering a top 10 ranking in 30-90 days. Oftentimes, they achieve these results by using uncommon keywords. While this strategy may achieve a high rank for the keywords they used, these keywords are not searched for as often, and therefore will not generate the traffic you desire.
To learn more about SEO, I suggest visiting seobook.com. This website has many online resources for learning everything there is to know about SEO.
Hopefully this installment of Generating Website Traffic will get you started and on your way. We will be covering more topics next time, so check back soon. Also if you have any suggestions for ways to generate website traffic, feel free to leave a comment.