Ways to Increase Traffic To Your Site – Free

In a recent post, I asked What Challenges You Most? and Richard said:

Getting Traffic!

There are so many ways to do it (according to the ‘experts’), but they all take time - and it is said that 80% of all site traffic will come from the search engines, but that’s like trying to maneuver through traffic on the freeway! Easier said than done, what with all the competition, especially on page one...

Richard is not alone. Website Traffic is a challenge for most people who are working online. So today we'll look at a few simple ways to increase traffic to your site free.

It is true that it takes time to build up a consistent flow of targeted traffic to your website. But the key word is "build". It's a process, just like every other aspect of starting and managing an online business.

That said, it really isn't that difficult. And it doesn't take near as much time as you might imagine. And one more note: the competition is rarely as fierce as it seems...

Easiest Way to Increase Traffic To Your Site - Free

Before you try other methods of getting traffic, it's important to make sure your website is properly optimized. This is called SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. As I explained in A Surefire Way To Increase Blog Traffic, you'll get search engine traffic whether you intentionally optimize your website or not.

"If you do not intentionally optimize your content (blog posts, articles, forum threads, etc) for a specific keyword phrase, and intentionally get backlinks to that content, you will still get traffic and readers."

... so it only makes sense to optimize with purpose, and with a plan. Otherwise you're cheating yourself out of more traffic, and most importantly - better traffic.

If you're struggling with targeted search engine traffic, I highly recommend you download SEO Fast Start by Dan Thies (Free Download!) and study the guide. Dan is an SEO Expert, and the guide outlines the same model I use myself.

Also see my post on SEO Content which will teach you how to choose keywords & phrases to target for faster results and better conversions.

You want to target what's called long tail keyword phrases. These are longer, more specific (and less competitive) keyword phrases. You don't just want to choose any phrase though - you want to use keyword targeting to attract a very specific type of visitor. See my tutorial on Using Keyword Phrases That Make Sales.

Competition Is Never What It Seems!

Don't let competition deter you. The truth is, most competitors are rarely as daunting as they seem. The fact that they achieved their rankings, and their business success, should prove to you that it can be done. Just keep in mind that it didn't happen overnight for them either.

Start with long tail keyword phrases that are easier to rank for, as I mentioned above. Make sure every page of your site or blog is properly optimized for a well-chosen keyword phrase, and that each page has a very specific call-to-action.

Make sure these two things are done before you start testing other marketing strategies. That will allow your site to get established in the major search engines and begin rising in the results.

And without that call-to-action, traffic is useless. So make sure it's in place!

Once you have your site or blog ready for rankings & traffic, the next step is to look at ways you can leverage your competitors. Analyze the search results for the more competitive keyword phrases in your niche. Look over the top 10-20 pages and consider ways you can leverage those.

Are they blogs? You can comment, create pingbacks, and even offer to guest blog for them. That's just one simple way to take advantage of their high rankings, and funnel that search engine traffic straight into your own site!

101 Ways Ways to Increase Traffic To Your Site Free

There are endless ways to get website traffic, but ignoring SEO is like shooting your blog in the foot. Almost every other marketing strategy you might consider, ultimately improves your search engine rankings. So it only makes sense to make sure you ARE targeting keywords. Otherwise you're missing out on tons of highly targeted free traffic!

Article Marketing for example, will bring in traffic. But if you optimize the title of your Article, it will get more views from specific keyword searches. And if you optimize the Anchor Text in the link within your article, the page on your site/blog you link to will rank higher for that term.

But if you don't optimize your Article, or your web pages & blog posts, for specific keyword phrases... you'll only get a trickle of maybe somewhat targeted traffic.

As you can see, most online marketing strategies lead back to SEO and keyword targeting. They're all connected. That's why keyword research and optimization is where you should start, as it's the foundation to almost every other way you'll use to increase traffic to your site.

See my Top 10 Keyword Research Tutorials

I encourage you to go back to your blog or website and analyze it closely. Is every single page optimized for a specific keyword phrase? Does every single page or post have a strong call-to-action? If not, start there. There's no point do any other marketing work until you're set up to rank & convert... ;)

Best,

p.s. I know you were hoping for that list of 101 ways to increase traffic to your site free :D but that would only distract you and have you running off in multiple directions trying 3 different things at once. Make sure your blog or site is ready first. In my next post I'll give you more specific ways to get targeted traffic. ;)

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. TrafficColeman says:

    If you want traffic now..find 50 high traffic blogs in your niche and start commenting every day on a new post..use Google reader..this will bring in now traffic..just another tip..

    "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

  2. SuperSimpleGuy says:

    Hey Lynn,

    Nicely adressed inter-complementary directives, resources and surefire advices, as always : )

    "the competition is rarely as fierce as it seems…"
    What do you mean exactly by "it seems"? Are you talking about Page rank, backlinks or just simple results on Google for a basic keyword search? Or maybe the high profile of the top ranked websites for a given keyword?

    Your ideas and recommendations remembered me of when I was using Wordtracker to discover keywords that had high KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index)
    There was a website I was really adoring because it was sharing intelligent insights related to KEI: the KEI Kbservation Deck, it is still updated! Here is the latest entry:
    http://www.keiobservationdeck.com/archives/2010/10/index.html

    Now I am using mainly Google's keyword tools, combined with a chosen set of Google advanced operators in order to study the "real" competition

    Another question is increasing the Page Rank of a website for an easier Google ranking, because no matter how well a blog or website is SEO optimised for a defined keyword, competitors targeting the same keyword win easily when they have a higher PR, even though your content was the best optimised content in the world for the same keyword.

    Talking about traffic,
    Do you know about the top 1000 list of the most visited websites shared by Google? Take a look here: http://www.google.com/adplanner/static/top1000/

    A question that I did not research yet is this: how long does a backling live? And what are the factors that determine it's health?

    The advanced Google operator "link:" often doesn't return logical results (for those who don't know what it does, link:www.websitename.* or link:websitename.* - example: link:www.clicknewz.com - on Google let you know how many "trusted" or serious websites are linking to your website or blog with a backlink) I tried Yahoo! Site Explorer but it's the same issue (poor numbers of links on Google VS too much numbers in Yahoo! Site Explorer)

    I know there are paid services that return at least respectable results, but do you know about other free services that return logical results for backlinks?
    What do you use Lynn?

  3. Cheers traffic coleman, I'm looking at your site now, then going to set up Google Reader!

  4. SuperSimpleGuy says:

    Hi TrafficColeman,

    How are you using Google reader? It seems to be interesting

  5. Holy cow Lynn where have you been all my internet life. I love this site and this article. I am looking forward to the next post. You hit it on the nose with the jumping around deal for a while I thought I was related to that dog in the kids movie "UP". Every new thing was like a squirrel and off I would go chasing my tale. I have now started a steady work routine hopefully I can help others like you are helping me one day.

    Thanks Lynn, Merry Christmas.

    Chad.

    P.S. I hope I did the name thingy right, if not I can change it.

  6. So far my best traffic getting method has been paid traffic. I know most people don't want to hear all that, but it's true. I've paid a little over $150 and received over 700 visitors to my site which resulted in over 240 subscribers. That equals about 63 cents a subscriber. Now, I'm not too keen on PPC and I'm all about some SEO, but I've found that paid traffic is much faster.

    My estimate is that by the end of February, I'll have around $850 invested in building my list and my list will have over 1200 subscribers. That's when the money begins. With a list of 1200, I should be able to make over $500 a month easily. So the ROI will be great.

    Lynn is totally right, SEO is great. However, sometimes I'd prefer to pay for results. Currently I work 2 jobs and I'm a full time college student. I'm married and have 2 kids. I simply don't have the time to put into SEO to get my site on the first page of Google with organic traffic. So I opted to pay for it. I simply put together a site that converts and paid for visitors.

    I do however, write articles and do some guest blogging. But by and large, my best traffic method to date is paid traffic.

    Merry Christmas to all and happy marketing.

    Peace,

    Shane

  7. SuperSimpleGuy says:

    Hi Shane,

    At the same time, this is also a very good way of getting a good PR more quickly, I mean if you buy directly ad spaces on higher PR websites that you choose and select yourself.

  8. Ashley Ittoo says:

    Well, competition there is and we cannot deny that. So mush effort is being made by businesses to appear on top positions of search engines.
    I would believe that at startup phase, getting high traffic for "free" would be a hard job. The initial step would be PPC I would advise.

  9. Valuable Post. The biggest problem on page 1 is competition from authority websites like Wikipedia in my opinion. You keep trying but still cannot beat them.

  10. I have read these kind of advice more than once. I do not know why but it is not exciting to review all your past blog posts to make sure ALL of them are optimized. I'm afraid there's a lot of page that I needed to put a CALL TO ACTION.

    Anyway, thanks for the reminder. I vow to do these things first before moving on to other strategies. Our blog desperately needs it!

    All the best & Happy New Year!

  11. I agree articles, blog post, or just about anything you write for the web, should target around your main topic "keyword" and end with a "call to action" when your working on making a sale or driving your topic point across.

  12. Getting ranked for your domain name seems to be the easiest way to get traffic. I just built a site around Christmas 2010 and it was ranked high pretty easily.

  13. I've made a post recently very much similar to this strategy Lynn. For starters, it's really best to target for low competition keywords (mostly long tails and very relevant to your main targeted keyword) with substantial amount of monthly search count, since it's easier to rank on those search phrases. Plus making articles that are strictly about the longtail and submitting it through article directories or guest posts is definitely the way to really entice search crawlers onto believing that the destination page is very relevant to the targeted keywords. I've done this tactic recently, and I can really vouch for its results.

    Regards and Happy holidays!
    Jason

  14. John McNally says:

    There's no point getting traffic if you don't know what to do with it. Having a call to action, and converting traffic into subscribers has to be the first step, as you said Lynn.

    This is my project for 2011. Once I have worked out what I can offer subscribers, I can start collecting addresses.

    John
    Leamington Spa, England

  15. Keywords are important, so even if you have written a good article, if this doesn't contain the right keywords, the traffic results may be poor. Also, social marketing helps, but the in order to get good results one has to spend a lot of time building its presence on the social sites.

  16. Cindy Brock says:

    Bless you for not giving us the 101 ways. I think my brain would fall out and run down the street screaming, "I can't take anymore"!

  17. Yes, the "Competition Is Never What It Seems!". Thanks, it encourages me...

  18. Currently this is one of my business goals, to get on the first page. I've been doing alot of research-some results. Definately want much more.

  19. "Ignoring SEO is like shooting your blog in the foot." You're hilarious, and honest! What a refreshing combination, Lynn. It's nice to be reminded that SEO is the lifeblood of your website. The more long-tail keywords you include in your content, the higher your site will rank on search engines, and the more traffic you'll get. It's as simple as that.

  20. A great introduction to SEO. It is surprising how many websites do not consider SEO and then wonder why they are receiving 3 visits a day! I would argue that reviewing competition is even more important that SEO. If you can find a gap in your competitors strategy and exploit it you may not even need SEO!

  21. I heard that meta keywords arent that important, however description and anchor text is worth gold.

  22. Great part about the competitiveness of your area not being a deterrent. There are many companies vying for the same spot, but what sets certain ones from the rest is their overall quality of work.

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