6 Ways to Get Free Targeted Web Traffic

Susan Brown asks: "What's the best way to get your website discovered by a lot of people in your niche besides forums, social media, and guest blogging?"

I smiled when I read Susan's question above. It made me wonder why she chose to exclude those specific methods for free targeted web traffic. ;-) My guess, and I could be totally off base, is that Susan doesn't enjoy the social aspect of marketing for one reason or the other. Or perhaps she doesn't enjoy creating content.

Maybe you can relate to one or both of those issues yourself...

Two Requirements For Free Targeted Web Traffic in 2012

There are two things that are pretty much required to succeed at online business right now: content and social media. This is different than a few years ago, where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) would have been been my #1 answer.

Quality, unique content is particularly important since the Google Panda Update.

It also plays a huge role in your pages getting liked/shared across social media channels. Which brings us to why social media is so important right now...

Search is changing. It's moving more toward “social proof” instead of “link proof”. So right now, and going forward, your “Social Media Rank” will be even more important than PageRank ever was.

Every Facebook share, Tweet & Retweet, Plus One, etc will play a role in how well your pages rank in the major search engines. And even more important – your Click Through Rate in the search results.

This means you need strong social media channels with frequent content & high levels of engagement with your market. If you're not already on top of this, see the page I linked to for specific instructions.

Without these two marketing strategies, awesome content & social media engagement, you'll be missing out on TONS of free traffic to your website. And that's just plain silly! ;-)

Six Ways To Get FREE Targeted Web Traffic - Easily!

With that said, variety is the key to a great marketing strategy. The more sources you have for your site traffic, the better. Here's a quick list of the bases you should be covering in your marketing plan:

  • SEO / Search Engines
  • Social Media
  • Link Building
  • Email Marketing
  • Guest Blogging
  • Leverage Market Leaders

SEO is first on the list for a reason. Everything you do should revolve around a Keyword Strategy so you can easily reach your market at the exact moment they are searching for what you offer. This involves researching keywords, and proper web page optimization for ALL of your content. Once you get the hang of it, it will be like second nature every time you write an article or blog post. ;-)

Social Media is a two-for-one. It's like Link Building in that it helps with your search engine rankings, but you'll also reach your market directly in the process. See How to Use Social Media, and also add Pinterest to your list.

Make sure you have social media buttons on every page of your blog/website so that your readers can easily share, like, stumble or vote-up your content FOR you.

Link Building is NOT dead, and you should still be searching out quality inbound links to your pages to help them rank higher in the major search engines.

See: Does Link Building Frustrate You? for a new perspective on this mundane task. Also see One Way Link Building and Quality Inbound Links.

Email Marketing and List Building are two things that should be HIGH priority in your marketing strategy. If you're not building a mailing list, today is the day to start. If you have a mailing list, but you're not emailing them consistently - again, today is the day to start communicating with your readers! See: Do You Ignore Email Marketing?

I highly recommend List Building For Bloggers by Phil Hollows. We have an exclusive coupon code for this guide. Download it for only $14.95 using the code “clicknewz”. ;-) This is one of my personal favorites and we'll be working through this guide together in March, so grab your copy and stay tuned!

Guest Blogging is an awesome way to get the BEST possible quality inbound links (and a *free* permanent link at that!), and also get in front of an established readership. Often when you guest blog, you not only get in front of that blogger's readers, your post will also be shared to their email list & social media channels.

See: How to Increase Blog Traffic – Fast! for proof, and to learn about my favorite resource on the topic. Also see: Blog Interviews & Guest Blogging for tips, examples - and a funny video. :)

Leverage Market Leaders: What does this mean exactly? It means you should find the top podcasts, magazines, blogs, forums, radio shows, etc in your market. Find out what content your market is consuming, and where, and leverage that to your benefit. Brainstorm ways to get in front of your market where they are, which is much easier than trying to get them to come where YOU are.

Comment on their blogs, join their forums, guest blog for them, submit content, interview them, review their products, submit testimonials, advertise with them, etc. Get creative and figure out ways to get in front of their established audience!

I hope this answers Susan's question, and also gives you some fresh ideas for getting free targeted web traffic to your own blog or website.

Best,

p.s. Notice how I just created a 900+ word blog post from a single question on Facebook? That's a little bonus tip for you. ;-) There's no end to the sources for great content ideas! But if you find yourself struggling to come up with topics for fresh, unique content... see: Fast Content Ideas for Easy Writing!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 15 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. SEO has always been my favourite way of getting traffic....

    Of course guest blogging and posting on related forums also works wonders but for consistent traffic SEO has done me proud :-)

    Danny

    • I agree, Danny - and SEO has always been my top focus too. But the fact is, these days there is no SEO without Social Media. They pretty much go hand-in-hand at the moment, and I see that holding true going forward.

      So yeah, social is huge - but SEO is the first thing I consider, always. ;-)

  2. Lynn, I love it! You just managed to put the whole guide to getting free traffic in one concise post. Put all of these together and you have your new ebook. Though we all can't wait for your current one!

    - Sharyn

  3. Peter - Web Services for.Business says:

    Thamks for the quality summary, Lynn.

    The social media shift is the biggest challenge for my marketplace (small-med business), but it is also the biggest opportunity!

  4. Ah, the elusive "I want {insert awesome benefit here} but I don't want to work for it!" syndrome.

    Getting free traffic isn't that hard. But you do have to do some work. However, if you put some initial thought into your content marketing system from the outset, you can make it pretty easy.

    For example, every post you write should have one main topic (think keyword phrase). You should make it easy for others to share. And you should syndicate some of your content on auto-pilot (automate your tweets and Facebook postings)--just remember that social media is about connecting and interacting with people so make sure you do that!

    • I agree - all good points - except I don't "auto pilot" any of my social media. It only takes a few seconds after I hit publish to share it on each social media channel manually. That way I can use the proper attributes (hashtags, @'s, etc) for each individual channel.

  5. Hi Lynn! Link building is one of the most effective techniques. It not only helps to improve rankings, but to create new traffic sources to your website. I think guest blogging can be understood as a part of the process.
    Regards!

    • Guest Blogging is definitely a form of link building, as is Social Media in it's own way - but they are both a direct source of targeted traffic as well, which is cool.

      The thing is, any marking plan needs variety. Multiple sources. No one marketing strategy alone will reach your market properly.

  6. Nice posting! I think both SEO and SMO should be done properly to get good volume of targeted traffic to your website. For getting quality traffic from search engines, getting higher ranking of your targeted keywords is very necessary. So of course SEO plays a vital role! Social media is another way to get quality traffic...so really both are equally important!

  7. Thanks for answering my question and a few others I had (You must read minds, Lynn). The reason I asked was that I wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing any other big sources of traffic besides the ones I mentioned. I am already doing the forums and social media. I love your suggestion about leveraging market leaders. I'm going to start checking that one out this week. You also answered questions I've been having about Google Panda. Most SEO guides and articles out there are pre-Panda. I've been looking for some post-Panda guides. Thanks again, Lynn.

    • Ahh, I may have misread your question then - gotcha! SEO is pretty much the same post-panda, or "real SEO" I should say. I have not changed anything I've been doing when it comes to SEO in the last 5+ years - except to add in Social Media.

      I have a free report on Leveraging Competition (& Market Leaders) for Elite Members in my private brainstorming group: http://www.clicknewz.com/members/

  8. Susan- I haven't found an post panda guides either. Most opinions just seem to reiterate exactly what Lynn has said here. Just keep building (and fix any major issues with the site like duplicate content.) It must work because I am almost fully recovered from the panada attack from last October. Wish I had a magic button to tell me exactly what I did that worked but I am just glad something is working :)

  9. Thanks Lynn this was perfect timing.Love the analogy of us getting in front of Leaders instead of expecting them to find our sites.

  10. I was familiar with the first five ways but I hadn't thought of the 6th way. That's a very good one and I like the name, Leverage Market Leaders. I bet one could write an entire ebook about this point.

  11. Edward Young says:

    I absolutely agree with that. Having a strong social media presence is enough for a low competition niche. I have made experiments with this and it actually works. The only thing that I haven't explored is email marketing. This is because of the type of visitors that I get and the niche that I am in. Leveraging is also a technique that I haven't utilize.

  12. Thank you Lynn for sharing this and this has made evaluate what I am doing to be known online to my ranking. Awesome post and that's why I am here everyday to Unlearn and Learn

  13. Hi Lynn,

    I would like to point out that getting web traffic, even tons of it, doesn't necessarily lead to making money with your website.

    Any and all traffic you get from these sources has to be targeted using "buying" keywords.

    I get tons of organic traffic from Google that isn't centered around "buying" keywords, so that traffic, even though it is "organic search traffic" still doesn't make any money.

    Mark

  14. Great tips! Each one takes a little work, or a price if you pay someone else to do it, but they are all worth thw time, effort, and money!

  15. really good tips... Social media is becoming more important than ever (especially with Google +, personally I don't really like it that much but I definitely think it's one to watch as Google will be giving more importance to it)

    • I'm the same Liz. In fact, for a long time I didn't like Facebook, lol. That said, we have to go where our market is - AND Google+ is important to your rankings and CTR right now. ;-)

  16. It's a snowy day here in Central NY and I'm in the market for some good reading material so I just picked up a copy of the List Building For Bloggers. Thanks for the discount code; much appreciated!

  17. Hello,

    Thank you very much for these excellent tips and advice. Like you, I am also wondering why would someone choose to skip the "social" part of marketing, especially forum marketing, which is my fav btw! :D Anyway, thanks for including guest blogging in your list! Speaking of which, are you accepting guest authors for your blog? ;)

  18. I definitely agree that in order to get free targeted web traffic, SEO or Search Engines being the first way is really the major key. Knowing your business' potential in the market is really a key. And for your business to boom, strategies must take place. And this is where SEO should come in.

  19. Social media = yes
    SEO = Yes
    SEO & Content generation = YES YES YES
    I just discovered that i get traffic for keyords I didn't plan for. So I group them together and create content around them which again gives me more possibilities to get indexed, ranked and attracting vistors who hopefully convert

  20. Thank you for this article. I'm definitely taking down notes! Right now, I'm working on getting more targeted traffic for my sites. It's so timely that I came across your post.

  21. Great article, thanks for the good information. There is so much going on the internet it is hard to keep up. As times change and Google changes SEO and web marketing has changed dramatically. I miss the old days when SEO was easy and consisted of repeating keywords and pumping your meta tags. Google caught on though i guess. I did hear about how Google is now basing websites off of their social media and even reviews for your company or website across the internet. The down side of Google's changes is a lot of past time consuming and hard SEO work isn't as potent as it used to be but the up side is Google's new algorithms will give SEO specialists a whole new market to explore. I defiantly agree SEO has to be the top of your internet marketing plan, without it you will not succeed to your potential online. I definitely agree having good, relevant, well organized content on your website is probably the most important thing. People need a purposes to be on your site and it has to be of relevance or interest to what they are looking for. At the end of the day there seems ti be endless SEO techniques and marketing strategies and my advice is utilize them all. Some will say certain aspects should get more attention than others and i agree, but, I always say if Google is looking at it then it matters. Optimize your content, generate strong, relevant back-links, get involved with social media, and more. There is no middle of the rad for effective web marketing. It takes time, knowledge and practice. Do your research and I believe anyone can successfully market online.

  22. I would just add, outsource what you can.. because it's so easy (at least for me) to get bogged down in the mundane tasks and not do the top 2 items I need for success:

    1) Offer outstanding, 'this will solve your problem' content.
    2) Build relationships

    dee :)

  23. Thank you for this wonderful article. I have to study this because there is a lot of valuable content and many good tips. I am happy I found your Clicknewz website.

  24. Katie Petrie says:

    I can't wait to get my own website so I can build a mailing list. I do feel overwhelmed when I think about having to create content that someone would actually want to read. Is this something that can be outsourced in the future or should I always be the one to write it?
    Katie @kpetrie

    • Hi Katie,

      I've been blogging for almost 9 years now, and creating content online even before that, and I haven't run out of anything to say yet. :D

      You can have contributors, guest bloggers, use PLR and many other sources & shortcuts. When you get ready let me know and I'll point you in the right direction. You can always post the question/request on my forum so I'll be sure to see it: http://www.clicknewz.com/members/ :D

  25. John Trendsi says:

    Awesome tips Lynn. I was so focused on getting ahead of my home decor competitors that I forgot to include them in my link building(and connection making) efforts directly.

  26. As cliche as it is to say, content is still number one in my view. In my experience, content largely takes care of social media (as long as you provide sharing buttons which is easy and free).

    I'm not active in social media and instead focus on content and blogging. I've been worried for a year or so that focusing on content and ignoring social media (as an active participant) would hurt traffic. The opposite is true. My traffic on my sites is growing like crazy. I spend at least 4 to 5 hours a day generating content (videos and articles).

    I'm also of the view that back linking still works for SEO. I've had periods where I stop building backlinks and then go on a big back linking binge. The binge almost always results in higher rankings and more importantly more traffic.

    Every since you ran your 31 day list building post series last year I've been focusing on list building and am pleased to state that I've increased my subscriberships significantly since then.

    What I've learned about list building is that subscribers from my blog are the most responsive subscribers (compared to buying solo ads and buying other traffic directly to a squeeze page). I hypothesize that my blog content resonates with readers who then appreciate my e-mail content more than someone looking for an immediate freebie item.

    Therefore, my approach is to continue increasing traffic to my blogs which in turn increases responsive subscribers. A few responsive subscribers is better than 100s of non-responsive subscribers.

    I know people state that the money is in the list and that's true, but I love the fact I also have decent websites that having traffic and generate revenue. The sites are assets much like a subscribership.

    • Content will ALWAYS be tops. :)

      Link Building is still necessary, both for direct traffic and for SEO. But add in Social Media, and you get even more benefits. Google is now considering how many votes, shares, likes etc you get in their ranking criteria.

      And while people WILL share your content, even more so if you are there - and make SURE your content is there to share. ;-)

  27. As much as I agree that content is an important part of the equation and as much as everyone writes, tweets and shouts that content is king and social media is the future, for the intermediate future link building is still one of the major ways of gaining in SERP apart from simple SEO.
    As many case studies, for instance in seomoz, have shown time and time again - google might try to tell us that their algorithm changes have made content even more predominant and social media counts so much more now, link building is still one of the most effective ways of increasing your numbers.
    Now, for the long term, obviously, one would have to consider social media more closely and it is probably a great idea to have a following already and be in a good position once the changes actually do arrive.

    Thanks for the insightful post, Lynn!

    Regards,
    Lea.

    • Great points, Lea - and I don't disagree. I still think you should optimize and get quality inbound links. Without a doubt. But if you have a strong social media following... it will not only give you additional highly targeted traffic - but also carry you through ANY dip in other sources of traffic, like Google. ;-)

  28. one of the critical steps to finding the targeted traffic is finding the right forums. For example, I get a ton of traffic through various private forums that are paid memberships. Either people pay a monthly subscription, or they got access through buying a product, and it is a support forum for that product. Those forums tend to bring me TONS of traffic, and they are all proven buyers, which are people I want coming to my blog and opting in to my list. But, those forums are usually also not indexed by Google, so they wont do any good for SEO, which is why most people ignore them.

  29. Great post Lynn! The ways that you have shown in the article to get free targeted are really awesome. Thanks for such a wonderful post.

  30. I have been seriously considering utilizing social media for my site, but I am still stumped in how I can use it to its fullest benefit. My site is information based, with little changes in content needed, and I am not into blogging. I guess i don't fully understand. So now I'm off to read you post: How To Use Social Media.

  31. Thanks for the offer, Lynn. Yes, that is my site. I just read through your How To Use Social Media article and it did help open my eyes a bit. I think my biggest hurdle is actually getting involved with my visitors (finding the time). I am in the process of observing the leaders in my niche to see how they do things - great tip, by the way. I think I'm getting closer to taking the plunge.

  32. I think the above are true:-
    However what I feel is that the main importance should always to be given to SEO, ultimately its what the matter most for the site to be going on long terms. While Social Media plays the important part, Email Marketing & Blogging can give you an additional edge for your website.

  33. Thanks for this post. I am definetly going to try some of your tips and see if it works for me. I am fairly new at blogging and still learning. thanks for sharing

  34. Very nice article and even nicer to see someone that really knows what they are talking about. Thanks for taking the time to right this great, informative, and accurate blog post. Learned a couple of things, but that is why I read blogs and see if there is anything I may have missed.

    Take care and God Bless!

  35. Thank you++ for your great post. I think it is better to look further through Social media from now!

  36. Great post Lynn! Some really useful methods you pointed out there, i can't say i have a favorite one as i believe all of them are essential in promotion.

  37. Thanks for the offer, Lynn. Yes, that is my site. I just read through your How To Use Social Media article and it did help open my eyes a bit. I think my biggest hurdle is actually getting involved with my visitors (finding the time). thanks

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