31 Simple Ways To Generate (mostly) FREE Web Traffic

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Web traffic is the lifeblood to web masters and online business owners. It’s a lonely place without traffic and you will not survive in business without it.

However, not all traffic is created equal.

If I told you I could get 1,000 new visitors by tomorrow for only $10.00 – would you take it? (I hope you said “no”). Targeted traffic is much more important.

Here is a list of traffic tools or tactics you might want to look into. Some of these you can start yourself. (The list is not categorized or organized in any order of importance).

It certainly is  not all-inclusive, and it does not include any special instructions, but please post your questions here and I’ll try to answer you.

It’s impossible to list all the detailed step-by-step actions you must take to do this. But, it should get your thinking started. (This post has been updated from an earlier entry, and takes a “broad-stroke” approach. It’s meant to give you ideas.)

Important before starting: When looking at these traffic options, make sure that you do your keyword research first. Find the top performing keywords and phrases for your niche. Find keywords that have less competition at first, and work within your budget. Use the Google Keyword Tool as a free option. Use your findings as key phrases in headlines, links and body content, including file names and domains. That may even include profile setups (social media, forums, etc). And finally, it helps to have your keyword list ready when contacting others about your topic and describing the keyword space.

31 ways to generate more website traffic (ideas):

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art & science of bringing your site to the top of search engines. Do it with a long term view, and it’s not about getting to the top, but staying there also.

2. Blogging. Create your blog using WordPress. Use blogsearch.google.com to discover more information about your niche and get design ideas from others. Interact with your community, and ask to guest blog.

3.  Contextual ads. They that allow you to place related ads & content on other websites. Search for ‘contextual advertising’ in Google.

4.  Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Paid search. Google Adwords is a great place to start, get some traffic, analyze the data and see if others like Bing, Looksmart and 7Search might work for you.

5.  Text Ad Networks. Try adbrite.com, adster.com.

6.  Directory Submissions. Directories like dmoz, yahoo, botw are good for trust/authority (builds over time). Note: mass-directory spamming is NO GOOD!

7.  Social Bookmarking. Still popular, and if done right can get huge elevations of traffic. However, be more concerned with quality, than quantity. Share “their” content too.

8.  Social Networking. Join the growing list of social networks and write your own comments and ideas with a link back to your site. Don’t just fish for links and attention, contribute something! Build profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn as defaults.

9.  Article Submissions. Recently, several “top” destinations took a hit from the Google Farmers (Panda) update. But, look at ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com and even isnare.com (can help automate). Provide value, don’t spin articles and submit everywhere.

10. Newsletters. Build and promote newsletters. Start with a monthly newsletter, and build your list (important!). Go to elance.com or guru.com and have somebody write them for you.

11. Article Trading. You can trade articles and swap contents on your site and / or blogs, and is a great way to build partnerships if not done in a spammy way.

12.  Signature Linking. Make sure that you provide a keyword rich link in the signatures of your articles, your emails and any site that allows for this.

13.  Forum Posting. Related to your field, not spam, add constructive, intelligent posts in forums and get visitors / links back to you. Not all links are weighted equal, but you should consider the content value before the link. Think like a contributor/administrator, and the value will come.

14.  Press Releases. Try PRweb.com to start. Can be a fantastic way to generate traffic, news exposure and claim a little authority along the way. Don’t overdo it though.

15. Video Submissions. Pull out your webcam or handy-cam and create a video and upload to YouTube (2nd largest search engine) to start. Then, search for other video submissions sites and start promoting using existing email lists, purchased lists and other techniques as shown in this blog post. Consider wider distribution with TubeMogul.

16. Reciprocal Linking (be careful) is not completely out of the picture for some of the engines; just tread lightly with Google here. Do it organically.

17.  Affiliate Marketing. If I market and sell something for you for $20 dollars, you give me $10 dollars back. That’s affiliate marketing put simple. Sign up with clickbank.com to start for information products where you typically find very good profit margins. Sell somebody else’s product, make money, and generate traffic back to your website through partnership deals.

18. Joint Ventures (JV). Partner up with a site or company in your space. If you have something to offer, or you are owner of quality email lists yourself, expand quickly by creating joint promotions. You help them first, they will help you in turn.

19.  Viral Campaigns. Let the Jungle Telegraph work its way. This guy started a site for fun: http://www.livethesheendream.com/. This is where your humorous or controversial video, audio, blog or website takes a life of its own. Another example is the BlendIt Videos.

20.  CPA Networks. Generate traffic and leads.

21.  Hub Sites/links. eHow.com can be great place to start. And, if you have documents, upload/share to sites like Scribd.com

22.  Craigslist. It can generate traffic quickly. Folks post regularly to get a boost in traffic on daily & weekly basis, but you have to pay. You can pay to post in different locations throughout the USA. Don’t spam.

23. Feedback Groups/QA Sites. Answer sites like answers.yahoo.com to find what people are asking, but also providing expertise and links back to your site. Don’t forget groups.google.com and groups.yahoo.com.

24.  LinkedIn. Create a profile, add text and keywords supporting your business theme.

25. Paid Links. Paid advertising for traffic, not PageRank (SEO). Don’t make this an ‘obvious’ practice. Connect personally with the other parties (phone).

26.  Trusted Networks. Build community within trusted (blog) networks. Blogger.com, WordPress.com can be a good starting place.

Symbol for web traffic, SVG version of Image:W...

Symbol for web traffic

27.  EBay. From building stores to posting of your products. Do your keyword research. Submit to products sites like google.com/products if you are in the ecommerce space.

28.  Myspace. It has been going down steady, but musicians still use it. Create a profile, keep it active and continue to post. You can use services like OnlyWire.com or Ping.fm to get a broader push across multiplate networks at one time.

29.  StumbleUpon/Ads. Stumbleupon.com generated over 200% increase in traffic in a test that I did a while back. You can get lots of traffic starting at 5c per impression. Make sure to create profiles and pages that support your theme + keywords. Community that is very supportive if engaging content. No boring pages!

30. Paid Advertising & Solo Ads. Google Adwords, Bing are good places to start using paid advertising. Create segmented groups with your preferred keywords, and test display (contextual) and site targeted networks, including expanding beyond text ads into image ads, video ads as well. Search in Google for “your topic/phrase + solo ad”. Buy traffic from clicks within somebody else’s email list.

31.  Wikipedia. Write an entry and make sure you comply to rules to make it stick. Pure value, no spam. Don’t forget the Wiki’s.

Once you start to see tactics working, you’ll be heading into more traffic – but you are in control – you are FLYING!

What other ways have you found to work? I am interested to hear from you.

About 

Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after SEO and Digital Marketing Experts for Small Business. He is famous for his high-return and passionate approach to optimizing websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty...without wasting time. His brand NEW website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press/McGraw-Hill is in bookstores now. Act fast, and get a free gift here. Jon on Google+. To receive future updates, Click HERE to subscribe to our mailing list

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