In this short post I’m going to talk about how to increase traffic for your website using sources that are completely free to use. There are only two types of traffic you could ever drive to your website, and the free methods are one way that I’ll discuss here today.
The other way to get traffic is paying for traffic, such as PPC, Solo-ads or Facebook ads. But I will leave those out for another post on another day. In this article I wanted to discuss ways to get traffic from various sources for free. Let’s dive in!
Blogging is probably the best way to get traffic to your site. It’s one of the most time-consuming ways, but very beneficial in the long term. When you publish a blog post it has the possibility of ranking high in the search results. This will almost always drive a lot of targeted traffic to your website for free.
It’s good to have a blog because it is content that your visitors can consume. You can both educate and entertain your visitors as well as grow a large email list of subscribers who are interested in your line of business (niche).
Pros: It’s practically free to do, all you have to pay for is a domain name and some decent hosting which shouldn’t cost you more than about $120 per year in total. Your own website is the central hub of your online business.
You own the website, and as such, nobody can pull the rug from under your business. If you have a YouTube channel, for instance, that can be closed down at the blink of an eye just because YouTube wanted to.
Don’t rely on a third party as a strong platform for your business. A website is yours and nobody can take it from you.
Cons: SEO, which means Search Engine Optimization, can take a long time to kick in.Depending on your abilities it might be months before you see any decent amounts of traffic sent to you by Google, Bing and Yahoo’s search results. You have to learn keyword research, how to write good articles.
This isn’t too hard but it’s not for everyone. If you’d like to learn more about blogging and affiliate marketing to make money online then you should definitely check out my Wealthy Affiliate review. Watch the video below by Neil Patel where he talks about how blogging can get you a lot of traffic from Google, Bing and other search engines by using proper SEO.
Marketers love Instagram because of the high rates of engagement on the platform. Something like 50 times more engagement than Facebook, I’ve heard. I have an Instagram checklist which you can download for free here.
Pros: Instagram is easy to use, is very visual, and you can use the captions of each post you do as a “nano-blog” as I like to call it. Cons: You have to be consistent with Instagram. Things like posing times are important.
If you decide to post 4 times per day, make sure you stick to 4 posts per day, every day. It will take time to grow your account. You can only have one link to a website in your Instagram profile. This is placed in your bio.
Make your choice of where to link to on your website count! Hashtags and which ones to use can be a pain in the bottom. Generate a list of niche specific hashtags for your own Instagram posts and save them in a document somewhere so you can copy and paste them as needed.
There's a cool app that I use on Android which is called leetags. Have a play with that.
Most people use Facebook. Whether or not you like the platform is another matter. You can post links on your profile’s timeline, and also in the “about” section of your profile. I would call this the bio section. You could have a link to your homepage on your website placed in the about section of your profile.
Individual posts or pages of your website could be posted on your “timeline” within your Facebook profile. Include an image for best results.
Pros Facebook has over 2 billion users and counting.
Cons: Only a small percentage of your friends on Facebook will actually see the article you’ve posted on your timeline. This is down to the Facebook algorithm. Some say it’s as low a number as 6% of friends. Watch the video below which shows one of the best ways to get traffic from your Facebook profile.
A Facebook fan page, sometimes called a business page, is a page you’ve created on a certain topic. It takes a couple of minutes to make one but can take a while to get lots of people to like it. The people who like the page are the ones who will see anything you post on there. As with your timeline on Facebook, though, will only 6% see what you’ve posted? I’m not sure, but my guess is that it will be very similar in that Facebook cuts out most of what you post and only delivers what it deems useful to your Facebook page “likers”. Posting anything with a link to a site away from Facebook will be detrimental in terms of how many people will get to see the post.
Pros Your own Facebook page can be set up in a minute or two. They are a good way to add an extra element to your online business website. Cons: Takes a long time to get a lot of likes on the page. You can invite people on your list of friends to like the page, of course, but many won’t bother to like it if it’s not their cup of tea. Facebook seems to want you to pay to get heaps more likes using the boost option. Watch the video below which shows one of the best ways to get web traffic from a Facebook page.
Facebook groups are full of people all vying for attention. The best way to post your “ads” in groups on Facebook is to not actually post a link to your website. Allow me to elaborate. When you post a link on a Facebook group, the Facebook algorithm sees the link and gives your post a lower score in its “edgerank” algorithm. This is likely because Facebook doesn’t want people to leave their site, and as such, they don’t want your post to appear high up in the group’s posts. You’ll notice in large groups when you post something, it will get buried under everyone else’s post when they add something after you. If, however, you add a post which does not have a URL in it, you’ll be better placed to actually get people to see the post. A post with a link in it will undoubtedly not “rank” as well as a post with no links. I’ve also noticed as a result of not adding a link, that there is more engagement on the post. So, how do you get people to your website if you can’t add your link? Easy. All you have to do is make a post that tells people what to do. For example, see below in the image. You could even add the instruction to “share this post” as number 3 which might work really well. Each time that someone “likes” the post, it will be “bumped” up a little higher in the algorithm Facebook uses. Each time someone comments on the post, this does the same thing, making it more likely that your post will be seen by others, too. You can even “reply” to people in the comments, which will bump the post a little bit more. Don't post the link in the comments, this will stop the engagement with the post in its tracks. Rather than doing that, tell people in the comments that you're going to send them a private message and then send the link to them in Facebook chat.
Pros Groups on Facebook are very niche specific. You can find groups of people in niches like home business, affiliate marketing, pets, makeup, comedy, memes, remote control drones. The list is endless. If you’re in a certain niche, search for all the groups in that niche and join them. Cons: The ranking mechanism you’re subjected to will mean that when you post something with a link to your site, it will fall quickly and be buried in a sea of other posts. Don’t add a link if you want more people to see the post. Everyone’s doing the same thing, which is trying to get people to leave Facebook and go to their sites. It’s easy to get lost in the noise. People can become blinded by the sheer volume of posts. Watch Neil Patel in the video below as he talks about Facebook groups for traffic generation.
Although Twitter for me is not something I get into often, when used properly, can be a brilliant source of free traffic. I'm not keen on Twitter myself, but don't let that put you off trying it out. We all have our preferences.
Pros You can actually post quite a lot on Twitter so it's not easy to accidentally spam the social network. Cons: Typically in my experience there's a low engagement rate. But hey, I might not be doing it right! You might do it miles better than me. Neil Patel will show you how to get traffic from Twitter in his other cool video below.
Quora is a forum where people can ask questions and also get answers. It is in the answers where we can leverage Quora for some free traffic. Quora works well if you don’t use it to just spam your links with the sole purpose of getting free traffic, and thus, free money and subscribers on your email list. With Quora, you must provide value in your answers. Sometimes you can get away with adding a link to your website. Although if you were to do this in every instance, you’d probably find yourself in hot water. Be prepared to spend a little time every day within the forum that is Quora, help people out by answering questions on whatever topic you know about. Add in a link to your site where it would benefit readers.
Pros Traffic from Quora can be super targeted. Take for example someone asking a question about how to get traffic to their website for free. You could go in there and answer, and if done properly, add a link to a blog post on your website. (Hey, I could post this blog on there, eh?) hehehe. Cons: You might get into trouble if you overdo it with your links. As soon as you're seen to be not genuinely just trying to help people out, you could end up at worst losing your access to Quora.
Pinterest is a visually appealing site that can be used to drive traffic to your website. Think of each image you post on Pinterest as a doorway to your website. For example, you could have an image of a wedding dress and link back to your website which is all about weddings. Each image you post on there could link back to an individual blog post on your site, or, if you’re an ecommerce website owner, the sales pages for individual items you’ve posted pictures of on Pinterest.
Pros Pinterest is fairly easy to use if you're good with images. Cons: Organizing your Pinterest boards well may be a problem if you're new to the platform. Take a look at this YouTube video I found which might help you there.
Forums, a little like Quora, are where people convene is groups within a specific niche. For example there are forums about weightloss, online marketing, and home business. Just like Quora, you can’t just create an account and start spamming your links. You must create value first, and then just drop the odd helpful link in sometimes.
Pros: You can find a wealth of information on whatever topic you are interested in. Genuinely helping people out with your advice is the best game plan. You can meet new people who are into the same things you’re into. Cons: Can take time to build up your level of trust with other members. If you’re new, expect to wait a while before you’ll get away with dropping the odd link to your site.
YouTube is a great free source to increase traffic for your website if you don’t mind making videos. With YouTube you can make different types of videos. If you don’t mind being on camera you can talk directly to your viewers. However, not everyone is comfortable with being on camera, so, you could use the good old screen sharing option where people will only see your screen. Then you’d only have to worry about speaking on a mic instead of being a movie star! I use Camtasia Studio myself, which is about $300 to buy. But there are other tools you can use a lot cheaper or even free. Try Screencast-o-matic, which is both a free app (with a 15 minutes limit for recordings) and also a cheap version can be bought at about $36 for 2 years or $18 for 1 year. Not bad at all. If you’re starting out, the free version should be fine.
The free version will have a small watermark in the bottom left of the screen which says “screencastomatic” on it. No big deal. And you’ll also be limited to 15 minute long recordings. Okay, so if you’re comfortable making videos, this is where you can add a link to your website. You can place the link in the description section below your video once you’ve uploaded it to your YouTube channel. Hint: place the link to your website on the top line in the description so that people don’t have to click on anything to reveal what’s hidden below. People really are lazy these days. You can also embed the link inside the video using something known to YouTubers as “cards”. This is where a little popup appears on the video with a call to action which could be a link to your website. There used to be an option called annotations which (I think) are being phased out as they weren’t very good for mobile devices. Correct me if I’m wrong in the comments below this post!
Pros: YouTube can drive lots of traffic if you do a little keyword research before making the titles of your videos. Cons: You’ll have to get out of your comfort zone if you’re shy about making videos. Some people don’t like the sound of their own voice, for example. Try to get over it. Once you’re up and running you’ll get used to it to a point where you’ll wonder what the fuss was all about.
Although there is nothing wrong with free traffic in itself, it does actually cost you. How so? Well, it costs you time and effort to learn how to use all of these free traffic sources. Each one on its own, if done correctly, could be all you ever need. My advice is to knuckle down and really learn how to drive traffic from just one or two of these sources. Otherwise you’ll definitely be spreading yourself way too thin and barely get any traction.
You could, for example, try YouTube and your Facebook business page combined. Post the YouTube video you’ve made on your Facebook page, perhaps (and on your profile?). You could, as another example, try Instagram and Pinterest, since they’re both image centric. Perhaps use the same images on both platforms, although you’d probably have to resize them to look better on each. Don’t make the mistake of taking on too much, especially if you’re a beginner. It’s better to get stuck in to one at a time and then learn it really well. Become a master! Wait until you can do it with your eyes closed and one hand behind your back before you move on to learning another platform. If you go at it one by one you’ll build up a nice steady stream of traffic a lot quicker than you would if you took on all of the above methods at once. Question. Is there really such a thing as “free” traffic, after all? Perhaps not… In that case, you might want to go the paid traffic route to get yourself moving faster. If you have funding that you can throw at paid traffic then one of the best ways to pay is to go for solo ads. And then there’s PPC (Pay Per Click) which you can do with Google and Bing. And of course, you’ve probably heard of Facebook ads. Facebook ads are great if you can learn how to set them up properly. In another post, I will discuss these paid sources of traffic in a little more detail. But for now, it’s time for my dinner. I sure am hungry! If you have any questions about traffic, either paid or free variants, ask me in the comments section just below. Additionally, if you have any other ways to get traffic for free that you believe I should add to this list, let me know below. Thanks for reading.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away... Jimbo got a chronic case of sciatica and lost his job. However, Jimbo used this opportunity to learn how to build websites with Wordpress and then to make money online. Jimbo wants to help you do the same, while helping you to avoid the plethora of scams.
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