9 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Free Website Traffic
If you think the internet is a blackhole of content, you're absolutely right. There are more than 164 million blogs online, yet a whopping 71% of them get less than 5,000 visitors per month.
The problem is, a lot of brands think they can simply share their posts on social media, sit back with a smug grin, and hope for the best.
There's always paid ads of course, but that can get pricey - especially if you're a new business.
So what's the solution? How can you get more free website traffic without having to rob a bank? The answer lies in using techniques that are traffic-friendly and totally free.
Let's dig in.
1. Guest Blogging for Backlinks
Guest blogging gives you the chance to get your brand in front of an audience that might not otherwise know about you.
A strategic campaign can also help you double or triple your search engine traffic, which is more of a long-term goal (this blogger, for example, boosted their search traffic by 342.35% with a guest blogging campaign).
Start by looking up the top publications in your niche and check to see if they accept guest posts (you can search name of publication + "submissions" in Google).
You can also search for the top influencers in your niche and see where they've published guest posts. Chances are, you'll be able to submit there, too.
Then create an in-depth piece of content that aligns with your brand and add a compelling byline at the bottom that links back to your site.
2. Interview Experts and Create Roundups
People love sharing posts they're mentioned in.
A great way to get a surge of free website traffic is to interview experts in your niche (ones who already have a large following) or include their thoughts, theories, and posts in a roundup blog.
For Brian Lang, using this technique generated more than 4,000 social shares on his roundup piece. "In March of last year, I published this roundup asking bloggers their best tip for promoting blog content. Over 40 different experts gave their views on the topic." It soon became BuzzSumo's most-shared post on "blog promotion", and it allowed Brian to connect with influencers.
Start by identifying 10-20 influencers in your niche and simply reach out via Twitter or email with a short question that encourages a concise but detailed answer. When the post is live, email the influencers and ask them to share the piece amongst their networks.
3. Repurpose Content on Different Platforms
Short 140 character posts get lost on LinkedIn, and the longer, in-depth posts of Facebook don't transfer well to Twitter.
What's more, you'll find that different segments of your audience hang out on different platforms. Some may be on Twitter but not Facebook, while others might be on YouTube but not LinkedIn.
This means you need to be repurposing your content for a variety of social channels in order to reach a wider audience.
With one blog post, you might:
- Turn the topic into a short 2-minute video for YouTube
- Pull 3-5 quotes out for engaging Tweets
- Create a new introduction for a long-form Facebook post
- Publish the piece on LinkedIn Pulse
Obviously, putting your content in more places means more people will see it - but it has to be the right kind of content for that particular place.
4. Thoughtful Comments on Big-Name Blogs
Commenting is such an underrated traffic generation technique - but there's an art to it.
Sujan Patel received 513 new leads by commenting on other blogs. He wasn't just pumping out the old "great post" spiel. Instead, he created a well thought-out campaign.
Again, you want to identify the top 5-10 most influential sites in your niche and create alerts (you can do this with Google Alerts) every time they publish a new post.
Then you can head on over and add a thoughtful comment that generates discussion. "If the article is lengthy," says John Chow, "read a few paragraphs to extract insights. As much as you can, avoid short irrelevant comments. Make it detailed (100+ words will do wonders)".
5. Get Guest Authors on YOUR Site
On the flipside of guest blogging is reaching out and getting guest bloggers on your site.
Sure, you might not be able to get the top influencers to whack out a post or two for you, but you might have luck with medium-sized blogs.
The incentive for them? They get a link and a product pitch and exposure on another site (and, therefore, in front of another audience).
Sites like Nichehacks have managed to grow their traffic every single month by hiring guest posters. In fact, the founder, Stuart Walker, rarely writes on the site at all any more, instead getting talented guest writers to share their stories and opinions. This tactic grew the Nichehacks site from 0 visitors to 30,000+ a month during its launch year.
6. Switch Up Your Headlines
80% of your audience will only see your headlines and nothing else. A measly 20% will click through and read your content. Ouch.
This just means you need to ace your headlines.
As CoSchedule shares: "writing great headlines is one of the best ways to make your content shareable, get found on search engines, and grow your traffic."
The type of headlines people are drawn to varies on different platforms. So what works on Twitter might not have the same attention-grabbing effect on Facebook.
To counteract this, generate 5-7 different headlines for each post and rotate them when you share your piece on social media. Here's a detailed guide for creating attention-grabbing headlines that get people to click through and read your piece.
7. Make Sure Your Website is Internally Set Up For Success
Priming your website for free traffic is key. When you're a new brand, you can set up your site for success by making sure everything's optimized in the backend.
- Making your posts SEO friendly by incorporating keywords in your titles, metadescriptions, and sprinkled throughout the piece. This will boosts your posts ranking in Google and get you more click-throughs.
- Internally linking your posts to keep people clicking around on site and boosting your traffic numbers.
- Making sure your site is user-friendly so visitors know where to go to find what and don't get frustrated that they can't find what they want.
8. Press Releases
Press releases might seem like a thing of the past, but they can still reap great exposure to new audiences.
If you have a unique product (and can highlight its uniqueness concisely) or are launching something new, you can send out a few press releases to those top publications and influencer sites in your niche.
Take it one step further, too, and sign up for HARO, where you can get regular press requests from journalists in your inbox who are looking to feature certain products and brands.
You can choose which niche areas you want to receive requests for.
Eric Brantner, founder of Scribblrs.com, assigns much of his traffic growth (now at over 500,000 users a month) to regularly pitching the queries he gets in his inbox from HARO
He says: "3 times a day I receive an email from HARO that has dozens of queries from reporters who need sources for their stories. I carefully comb through the list and respond to every single query I think is a decent fit."
9. Syndicate Your Content
Syndicating your content simply means distributing it elsewhere on the web without having to make any extra effort. Most of the time, when you take part in a syndication network, your posts are automatically published to the other sites in that network, exposing you to a wider audience with zero time output.
It's not just traffic that syndication helps boost either. Social Media Today claims it's "one of the most effective strategies to build credibility and trust while boosting your SEO efforts." (http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/how-and-why-syndicated-content-can-work-you)
Start by researching the top syndication sites in your niche and join up one at a time, testing out which ones give you the best ROI traffic-wise. Here's a comprehensive guide to syndication and how to get started.
How Will You Get More Traffic?
As a new website, getting traffic seems like a massive uphill struggle - and an expensive uphill struggle at that.
With these techniques, you don't have to spend a penny, but you'll see a surge in views as well as a boost in credibility.
So tell us - which of these techniques will you be trying out first?