More website traffic equals more money. It's a simple solution.
The ugliest, worst website will make money if it gets enough website traffic!
Many small businesses try to solve traffic problems by spending lots of money. And if they have large enough budget, they can buy all the website traffic needed via Google Adwords, Facebook ads and more.
Since finding your way here, you are more like me. You may not have a large budget or want to spend money on promoting your business. And you are looking for great ways to get free website traffic or at least low-cost traffic.
I am going to cover my favorite free ways to get more visitors. These strategies work. You just need to test them to see which ones work best for you and then implement them. Try at least ten of these 15 strategies and keep at it.
You may be surprised at how powerful these traffic methods are.
1. Create More Website Content
Consistently add content to your website or blog. At a minimum, once a week. But If you can add 2 or 3 content pieces a week that is even better. If you can do it daily, that is even better still.
Google and other search engines love new content and they will time their visits to your site based on how often you post.
For example, they might start off coming around every couple weeks. But when they see that you’re posting weekly, they will come weekly to index your new pages. If you post daily, they will come daily.
Indexing, by the way, means your page is now added to the search engine database. So if you’re posting a lot, your pages will have an easier time finding their way to the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) in a shorter time period.
And by the way, I'm not talking about posting a few paragraphs. Google and other search engines love long-form content. While you can get away with 500 words or so, you are much better off sitting down and writing for an hour or two. Furthermore, Brian Dean, of Backlinko fame, created what is called the Skyscraper Technique. He develops extremely long content that generates lots of backlinks.
I try to create content that runs 1,500 or 2,000 words on average. Some longer, some shorter. But the key is to make it just right. That sounds like Goldilocks!
Practice that way and you will be posting content that is at least 1,000 words long, or more than 2,000 words long if you have time. Heck, this post you are reading right now is over 3,000 words long. That's what they love, so give it to them and you'll be rewarded.
2. Website Search Engine Optimization
On-site SEO is a great way to get free traffic. Search engine optimization is developing your web pages and blog posts to attract the right visitors when people click your links shown in SERP. I do this using a free WordPress plugin called Yoast.
Yoast analyzes pages and posts before I publish them. Yoast tells me what I SEO improvements I can make. Yoast considers factors such as title, meta tag, meta description, and body content. It is a bit technical but easy enough to master.
It took me about a half hour to set up Yoast on my WordPress site, but it only needs to be done once. Then once you have it set up it only adds a few minutes of work to each blog post you publish.
The extra couple of minutes of work will maximize your on-site SEO for every piece of content you publish. It is time well spent if you want to maximize your search engine visibility.
Another popular plugin for this is called All in one SEO. Both this plugin and Yoast area available for free via your WordPress Admin area under Plugins, or at https://wordpress.org/plugins/.
3. Off-Site SEO (Link Building)
This type of SEO is a little more time consuming than on-site SEO, but it can get you lots of traffic, especially in the long run. Basically, it involves growing the number of inbound links to your site.
There are lots of ways to do that including guest blogging and forum posting, and I'll cover many of them later on in this post. If you want even more strategies for link building, I suggest reading this post from Brian Dean, whom I mentioned earlier.
4. External Links to Authority Sites
Google seems to like it when you occasionally link out to other authority sites in your niche. See how I did that by linking to Brian Dean's blog in the tips above?
Linking to authority sites improves the visitor's experience when visiting your site. Plus, it can help your own page rank better, plus you can build rapport with fellow bloggers which can lead to lucrative JV's and other forms of partnerships.
5. Internal Links to Other Posts and Pages
When drafting and publishing new content for your blog, be on the lookout for the chance to link to other blog posts you have already written. Also, look at older posts for opportunities to link to newer content.
These internal links can really help you with SEO, plus they have the added benefit of creating a more useful experience for visitors to your site. That's important to Google which means it can significantly increase your traffic over time.
6. Facebook Posts
Facebook has a variety of traffic options for you. It is against the terms of service to have more than one profile page. But that should not stop you from having a Facebook page for each site or blog you own.
Create a Facebook page (used to be called fan pages) for people to “like” and that way they can follow you. A Facebook page lets you post links, videos and pictures just like you would on a blog.
In fact, if you want to automate the process of having your blog posts added to your Facebook page, there are plugins available for that. Once is called Facebook Auto Publish and it's a free plugin that works seamlessly in the background.
Once you have your Facebook page and auto-publishing plugin in place, you can move onto the other big social media platform.
7. Twitter Tweets (Posts)
Some people (like me) mistakenly ignored Twitter because of the concern about marketing effectively in only 140 characters. But the reality is – a lot of traffic can come your way through Twitter!
Not only can you tweet messages (including links) to your Twitter stream, but those messages can get Retweeted to more people if your followers hit the Retweet button for you.
Make sure you treat your Twitter followers the same way you would followers on other social networks. Watch the feed and interact with them on their posts. Retweet some of their posts, too.
Don’t just market to them. Have a good mix of personality in your Twitter stream to create stronger brand loyalty. Let them get to know the person behind the account.
Tip: Add no more than 2 hashtags.
Besides Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is a great option as well. Because people do not recognize the search engine aspect of Pinterest. The following shows my Pinterest data on February 8, 2019.
8. Use Push Notifications
You may have heard of web push but you are not sure how it works. It is fairly new technology that sounds confusing on the surface but really isn't. And it can really increase traffic to your blog.
In a nutshell, web push brings visitors back to your site by offering a free notification of new posts, via a small button. In fact, I added a little web push button on this site you're at right now.
To set it up, I use the free service from OneSignal.com - while there are a handful of services that offer push notifications, such as PushCrew, and many server-based solutions, I chose OneSignal because it was 100% free.
And frankly, it was the simplest one I could find. Adding the plugin and button took me about 30 minutes in total
Their site contains simple videos walking you through the setup procedure and it really is a breeze. After I set it up I tested it out by visiting my site from my smartphone and clicking OK when it asked me if I wanted a notification when new posts were added.
Now I am reminded how well it works every time I add a new post -- I get that nice little notification sound on my Android phone along with a visual notification and link to my site. Cool! And people who accept notifications in their browser see my post alerts the next time they open their browser.
According to Adweek, push notification open rates are 50 percent higher than for email. And click rates are almost double that of email.
If you're not using OneSignal or another web push solution on your blog you're missing out on adding more subscribers. Remember, some people may not want to opt-in via email, and some email subscribers may miss your emails in their sea of daily spam.
The bottom line is, OneSignal is definitely worth the one-time setup effort and remember, it's completely free!
9. Build an Email List
This one gets overlooked by too many businesses simply because it "seems" like a lot of work to set up. I assure you, it is not. Email marketing is the number one reason I've been in business online for more than 20 years. Quite simply, it works better than any other traffic strategy I know.
While you will need to invest in an autoresponder service such as ConvertKit (that's the one I use) the cost is minimal. And the strategy itself is 100% free.
I could write for hours about how to set up your email marketing and how to contact your subscribers, but I'll refer you to this post if you want more info.
10. Post at Niche Forums
Participating in forums for your niche where real people hang out, is a great way to increase traffic and also grow your inbound links. Many forums allow you to add a signature file that automatically shows up below any post you make on the site. So if you reply to someone else’s thread, it shows your message, with a signature file beneath it.
Most forums have rules for signature files though, and some don’t allow them at all. You might be able to use a mix of images and text, or one or the other.
It is easy to find forums related to your niche. You can use Google to search for niche forums. Search by your niche name and add "+ forum" to your search term. For example, my search term is "internet marketing + forum" which returns the following SERP.
My favorite internet marketing forums are:
Remember, the very best way to make use of your signature file is to provide good value to the forum. If people read a thread started by you and are amazed at its great value, they will often click on your link to see what else you have to offer!
11. Use Killer Headlines for the Best Results
Great headlines get more clicks. You know the headlines I'm talking about, the ones that grab your attention. They trigger an emotional response because they hint at a solution to a current problem. Some examples are "7 Myths About...", "Why You Need to Stop Doing This Today", "Is This The Easiest Way Ever To..."
Basically, you pique the interest of anyone reading the headline so they almost HAVE to click to find out more. All the most popular blogs and websites use this strategy and you should use it too.
The best places to use teaser headlines are in your email subject lines, and in your blog post titles. Master this skill and you will find it generates more clicks and more revenue almost overnight.
When it comes to creating headlines, I use several online tools. Because I am not the most creative type and need all the help I can get. I use the following tools whenever I need a good headline.
CoSchedule is the #1 content scheduling calendar program. They provide a free headline analyzer as a way to collect leads. It is a fair trade, your name/email address in exchange for using the headline analyzer. Plus, I like the information they provide in their newsletter.
Portent's Digital Idea Generator is a FUN idea generator that creates some funny headlines for content ideas. I used the keyword "headlines" and Portent created the following:
11 Reasons the Amish Were Right About Headlines
12. Use the Parasite SEO Method
Sounds gross but the parasite SEO method can get you a LOT Of search (organic) traffic from Google.
The term “parasite” when referring to SEO simply means getting one or more pages of your content placed on an authority domain you don’t own.
You can then monetize that traffic in multiple ways. For example, you can include affiliate links and links to your web pages, to help boost your own site’s search engine ranking.
Here’s a little more info on how parasite SEO works:
The main authority domain such as LinkedIn, Wiki How-To, Quora, Yahoo Answers and dozens of other authority sites are considered the ‘host’. These hosts already have high authority and top ranking web pages. I have added content on Quora and Medium with links back to my websites.
That’s where you come along and act as the parasite.
You do that by posting content on a user-generated page, placed on their domain. Your page then draws on the authority of the host site to rank fast.
It’s a fairly simple concept and the process is simple. And it works so well because Google views authority sites like those as trustworthy.
That means you can get pages to rank far more easily than your own self-hosted pages (especially if you have a new website.)
Instead of taking six months or longer, plus working to get quality backlinks (which means lots of time and money invested) to rank pages on your website, the parasite SEO strategy is an easy shortcut you can use to generate leads and earning income.
If you want to try Parasite SEO, Rank Hijack is a great tool to help to find parasite opportunities.
13. Speed Up Your Website
Slow websites and blogs are a traffic killer. Google hates slow sites and you will get outranked by faster sites in your niche almost every time.
Neil Patel's blog post tells us how loading time affects our bottom line.
For the amount of effort it takes to speed up your site, it's a no brainer. I use a plugin called WP Fastest Cache which takes about five minutes to install. I put it on all my sites and all my clients' sites using WordPress. It speeds up the site every time. You'll find a link to it along with 17 other WordPress plugins used here.
14. Ask Readers to Leave Comments
Blog comments are a critical component for every blogger. Not only do they show that you have an active community, but they also add lots and lots of relevant Latent Semantic Indexing ( LSI) keywords to your website.
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are basically keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. These are the terms other people use when searching for content like yours. Search terms you probably don't have in your content already. This WILL help you get better search engine ranking.
Yet most bloggers drop the ball when it comes to getting comments for their blog posts. That's because they don't ask! Asking for comments is the easiest way to get them.
Oh, and speaking of comments, when you get them to take time to respond. That builds your community and lets people know you actually care about them. Plus, when you respond to every comment you automatically double the number of comments you get!
My secret comment tool is the Wealthy Affiliate community of affiliate marketers. Wealthy Affiliate has a website comments tool where members exchange comments. The Wealthy Affiliates are trained to provide quality comments.
15. Guest Blog Posts
You may already know that blogging frequently can bring lots of traffic to your sites. But you can also take advantage of other bloggers’ traffic to increase traffic to your own blog.
Many bloggers have a hard time keeping up with a busy blogging schedule, especially when they have so many other tasks to complete in their online business. So when an expert in their own niche asks if they can take over blogging duties for a day, it’s a welcomed relief!
Start by finding blogs in your niche. Go to Google.com and type in your niche keyword + blogs.
When you find one you like, go to similarweb.com and paste the blog’s URL into the tool and click start. Next, the results pop up and you’ll be able to see an approximate traffic profile for the site.
Whenever you find sites you like that have decent amount of traffic, create a blog post that you feel would fit nicely on the site. For instance, if it is a golf instruction blog, then draft a blog post about a driving, chipping or putting tips. (If you can't post it there you can always post it somewhere else.)
Make sure you include a bio blurb for the blog owner. This is something that comes before or after the blog post that tells a little about who the author is – with a link back to your domain. It shouldn’t be too long – maybe 2 or 3 sentences, max. Some blog owners also let you add a link within the body of the post which can help even more with your off-site SEO efforts.
After you've submitted your post, go back to the SimilarWeb results page and click on Similar Sites. That will help you find more blog owners to contact.
Increasing Traffic to Your Website Conclusion
OK, so there you have it. 15 free ways to increase traffic to any site or blog.
These are practical methods that work, not theories. I know because I use them all working online.
Also, I admit there are many more such as article marketing and joint ventures. But it has been a long time since I have used them and cannot confirm they still work.
Have you tried any of these free traffic techniques? Please share your experiences below. Just fill in and submit the form below. I love feedback!
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