The old saying “if you build it, they will come” may be true for some things, but it really doesn’t apply to your web site. In today’s world, a beautifully designed web site may be great for your company’s image, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have traffic (or “visitors”) that see your web site. You may think that it will cost a lot of money to generate a lot of traffic to your web site. Well, this isn’t necessarily true.
There are various ways you can get free traffic by simply improving the visibility that your web site gets through organic search results. A lot of people refer to this as search engine optimization (“SEO”). There are also numerous ways you can get free traffic directly from third party web sites.
So, let’s look at five free and easy strategies you can implement to drive traffic to your web site.
Strategy 1: Article Marketing
One of the fastest and easiest ways to drive traffic to your web site is through article marketing. This is basically where you write various articles and distribute them through numerous article directories.
The benefits of article marketing are two-fold. First, article marketing not only gets visitors to read your articles, but also provides the reader with an opportunity to go directly to your web site to get more information about your business. Second, article marketing can also help improve the ranking of your web site from the search engines.
But in order to actually get traffic from article marketing, you will need to list your web site in the author bio at the bottom of the article.
For more details on article marketing, see Issue #21 where Denise shares her favorite strategies for getting lots of free exposure for your business through article marketing.
Strategy 2: Comment in Blogs and Forums
As I mentioned in Issue #20, participating in blogs and forums can drive traffic to you business. Blogs attract similar types of people who are looking for the same things. You can quickly build up a community of fans for your business by sharing your knowledge and ideas.
Participating and commenting in forum discussions also is another quick and easy way to increase your exposure. By simply asking questions or answering another user’s post, you immediately start building rapport with others within the forum community.
Before long, you will become a trusted friend and colleague and people will want to follow you and watch what you are doing. This is a great way to bring attention to your business.
And just as you do with articles, you will also need to list your web site URL beneath your name when you post in blogs and forums, or no one will know how to find your web site.
Another way to bring attention to your business is to add a blog to your web site.
Strategy 3: Begin Blogging On Your Web Site
A great way to interact with your current and future customers is by adding a blog to your web site. A blog allows your company the opportunity to discuss important news and information quickly and cheaply. It also allows you to be seen as an authority in your industry, which in turn results in increased customer trust and respect.
By providing great content, people will want to share it with others. Just think if every new reader simply shared your article with one friend, colleague or associate, your customer base would literally increase overnight.
Take us for example. Denise and I post each issue of our Thriving Business newsletter on our blog page. We do this for two reasons.
The first and foremost reason is so people who visit our web site can see all the great content that we publish to help entrepreneurs. This allows our valuable subscribers (like you) to easily check out any of the past issues at any time.
The second reason, although selfishly, is to help our web site rank higher in the search engines. Google and other search engines will give more credibility to sites that change their content frequently. So we get a lot of credit for updating our web site twice per week with high quality articles.
Google and other search engines then send us free traffic to those pages when someone is searching in a search engine for content that is related to the topic of the article.
Strategy 4: List Your Business in Google Places
Since more people search for businesses online than anywhere else, it is extremely important to list your business in the search engines, especially the king of all search engines, Google.
A great way to do this is by listing your business with Google Places. And the best part, you can literally create a listing within minutes and it doesn’t cost a thing. You simply log in to your Google account or, if you don’t have one, you can create a new account within seconds.
Google Places allows you to update and manage your physical business location information to appear in Google Maps, other Google search results, and associated Google properties.
Google also allows you to optimize your listing by entering in your services/products, uploading images/videos and customizing your categories like your service area, brands you sell, how to find parking, etc.
By simply listing your business in Google Places, you can quickly attract new customers and improve your online presence.
Strategy 5: Submit Your Web Site To Relevant Directories
In most cases, it’s a waste of time to submit your web site to various search engines these days, although you can do it if you want to. The reason is because if you follow the other strategies I’ve mentioned in this article to get inbound links to your site from other relevant third party sites, your site will get indexed automatically.
However, there are a lot of different directories that you can list your business in for free so that people can find you when they are looking for a certain type of business. So it’s worth taking a few minutes to search for popular directories in your industry that other people may use to find your type of business.
With these 5 strategies, you can start to drive traffic to your web site today without any cost. You don’t need to have deep pockets, like your competitors may have, if you know how to do it for free. All you have to do is simply get started.
To learn other ways to increase your revenue, then make sure you sign up for the special Business Mastery Training webinar.
For other business strategies on how to grow your business, then check out a free business startup and growth training program. If you haven’t signed up for that free course yet, I highly recommend you check it out too.
*Originally published as Issue # 32 – October 7, 2011