How do you generate free traffic for your website
There are a lot of different methods for getting “free” traffic, I am going to talk about the most used and most efficient.
1. CONTENT MARKETING
You attract people by creating awesome content.
- YouTube videos
- Facebook Pages
- blog articles
- native marketing
- consumer generated marketing
Thanks to content marketing, you can
- become an expert in your niche
- build up a big following
- make money by recommending different products & services through your blog
The best examples are all the mommy bloggers.
They build an audience by creating enormous content and giving away great information through PDF and eBooks.
From there, their readers become their fans and trust whatever recommendations they can give.
When they promote a supplement or workout plan, people will buy it, and the mommy bloggers will get a commission from everyone who purchases.
Mommy bloggers are actually what you want to copycat if you want to succeed in Affiliate Marketing. At least, you need to follow them to get their content marketing best practices…
Some of the best mommy bloggers are:
- Rookie Moms
- Rockin Mama
- Brooke Burke and Lisa Rosenblatt
- Tech Savvy Mama
- Tara Ziegmont
- Amy Bellgardt
2. SITE OPTIMIZATION
The second technique means that you already have a website with content. It’s mainly posts (or articles) that you wrote yourself or that someone wrote for you. It could be your employee (paid), a writer (paid), a Fivver (paid). Well, you see what I mean…
Now, let say you have that website with anywhere between 20 to 50 articles, but you don’t see any uptick in traffic…
That’s because your site is not optimized…
To optimize your site, you need to do the following:
2.1. Be Aware of Your Traffic Stats
Once you trigger the optimization of your website traffic, you need to be aware of your traffic stats.
There are a lot of ways to drive traffic to your website, but you need to start with stats…
From there, you can realize how your actualizations are changing your traffic growth for the better.
To start, let’s make sure your Google Analytics tracking code is set up. And if you don’t have one, now is the second best time to do it (the best time was when you published your 1st article…
After you have -at least- a few weeks of traffic, check your website stat report on Google Analytics.
Take a look at this screenshot showing a traffic overview using Google analytics:
If you think Google Analytics is too complicated (it is), you still have other options:
- Hotmart (with your free account)
- Clicky Analytics
Below are some of the most essential analytics you should review:
- Unique visitors
- Pages per visit
- Pages per session
- Average time on site
- Bounce rate
- Traffic sources
- Exit pages
Note that bounce rate, traffic sources, and exit pages are not available via HotMart.
2.2. Check Your Website Traffic Regularly
You’ve probably heard of the old saying, “What gets measured, gets managed.”
Well, it’s true! If you want to know how to increase blog traffic, you are going to test new traffic strategies, and you need to know how they’re performing.
For example, I know those spikes in the page views are due to Facebook posts… So, if I know Facebook is a good strategy (to get free traffic), I should focus my efforts on posting more often…
That’s why you regularly need to review your website traffic. At least a couple of times a week. That way, you’ll know what part of your strategy is working, and what part is not. Of course, you will need to rinse & repeat on the good stuff to maximize your traffic growth.
2.3. Create a Documented Content Marketing Strategy
Here’s where many businesses are failing. They either don’t have a content marketing strategy, or if they do, it’s seriously flawed.
You can try all the SEO hacks, but without a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll be wasting your time.
Exactly how important is a content marketing strategy?
According to research by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, not documenting your content marketing strategy can severely curtail your chances of success:
- Only 7% of businesses without a content marketing strategy will succeed
- 32% of businesses with a verbal (but not documented) content marketing strategy will get results
- 60% of businesses with a documented content marketing strategy will get results from content marketing
documented content strategy
Not only do you need a solid content marketing strategy, but your content marketing strategy needs to be documented.
How do you create a better content marketing strategy?
Before we get into that, let’s talk about the types of content that should be included in your strategy:
- And of course, the blog-post…
There are 6 Main Types Of Blog Posts
- News (or Newsjacking) Post
- Instructional Post
- Personal Spotlight Post
- Cheat Sheet Post
- Media Post
- Entertaining Post
A good blog content strategy or content marketing strategy has a mix of all those different types of content.
Now, when you write any content marketing strategy…
It should include the following elements:
- The primary goal of your content (i.e., Increase traffic, generate leads, etc.)
- How do you plan to add value and set your content apart from the competition?
- Your audience, defined (i.e., Who are they? What are their biggest pain points? How can you help them through your content?)
- The frequency of posts
- Content amplification (i.e., How will you get your content in front of more eyeballs?)
Of course, you can also hire a content marketing agency to do all of this, but as I said before, how free this will be if you need to hire a content agency or a content marketer?
2.4. Write More Compelling Blog Headlines
A compelling headline is what sells the content. If you want your content to be read – and also to rank in search engines – then great headlines are key!
There are two things you must optimize for with your headlines: Social traffic and search traffic.
To do so, your headlines should have the right keywords, the right length, and also be compelling enough for social media users to click on them.
To find the right keywords, use Google Keyword Planner. Plug in some possible search terms for your blog post ideas.
For example, when I was writing about how to get traffic to your website fast, I used the keywords: SEO, online marketing, traffic, web traffic…
Here are the results for “how to get free traffic to your website” :
Google Keyword Planner screenshot
You can easily see that “traffic to your website,” “get traffic,” “how to drive traffic to your website,” “how to get traffic to your website,” and “website visitor tracking” get the highest average monthly searches. More importantly – you can see the competition for each of these keywords.
While “boost blog traffic” and “how to increase organic traffic” have medium competition, and low monthly searches.
When using Google Keyword Planner, you want to pay special attention to both the average monthly searches a keyword gets as well as its competition. When you can, you should focus on less competitive keywords that get a lot of searches.
In that example, Google gave me 763 keyword ideas…
From there, you can use some of these compelling headline templates so that the title is also compelling for social media:
(Note: try and keep your title under 70 characters, so it doesn’t get cut off in Google Search.)
“How X Can do X” (i.e., “How College Students Can Make Money Fast Working Part-Time”)
“X People/Things Who Are Doing X” (i.e., “15 Brands Who Are Crushing It on Instagram”)
“How to Do X (Even If [Obstacle])” (i.e., “How to Start Investing [Even if You Don’t Have Tons of Money Saved Up]”)
“How to X” (i.e., “How to Get More Followers on Instagram”)
Here are some general tips for writing better headlines:
Use list posts (i.e., “10 Ways to Do X in Record Time”)
Ask a question
Create a sense of urgency
Aim to trigger emotion in the reader
Use alliteration occasionally
Use power words
Make the value as clear as possible
You can also take things to the next level and use the following tools to generate compelling headlines or analyze your headlines:
Sumo Kickass Headline Generator
Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator
Impact Blog Title Generator
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Portent Content Idea Generator
SEOPressor Blog Title Generator
Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer
If you are unsure how to do it, or if you don’t want to do it yourself, just hire a copywriter. They will know how to transform a dull article into something that will attract, entertain, educate, inspire and retain your customers…
4.5. Write Better Content
A great content marketing strategy with catchy headlines won’t matter if you don’t have compelling content. Any reader who comes to your site will just bounce out immediately – and that will make an ugly traffic report.
How do you write more compelling digital content marketing?
You can start by infusing these hacks into your writing:
Hack #1: Tell stories…
A good story creates memories. Which, if you’re a content marketing copywriter (or considering being one), is itself a very important thing to remember.
Stories connect with us emotionally and drive us to take action. Add stories into your content to prove arguments, hook readers in, explain a problem, and for whatever else you can think of. Stories are gold!
10 tips for weaving a story into your copy:
- Stories need to be real, relatable, and relevant (the 3 Rs).
- Great storytelling often starts with an intriguing, open-ended question: “Would you rather be part of the solution or part of the problem?”
- Great storytelling can also start with a thought-provoking statement: “As mobile technology advances, the world as we know it faces profound change.”
- It’s essential to select a story that applies to your core message.
- You want to create rich images with words that will percolate and hopefully leave an indelible impression on your audience (ho hum thinking need not apply).
- Use metaphors that will elevate your writing to a higher level.
- Incorporate infographics when that helps you tell a complex story simply.
- Consider using videos to personalize your message and help it spring to life.
- Weave your story seamlessly into your copy to give it the most significant impact.
- Remember – the better the story, the greater the effect.
Hack #2: Use shorter sentences.
Avoid long paragraphs and huge blocks of text. The more scannable your content, the better. Try to keep paragraphs under 5-6 lines (ideally 2-3).
To learn more about scannable content, read this article:
Hack#3 Hook readers in from the beginning.
Truth: People have low attention spans.
If you don’t have a compelling “hook” at the beginning of your blogs, people will click off in seconds.
You can hook them in by teasing the benefits of the article, telling a story, or stating a common problem that your audience faces.
Hack #4: Read your writing aloud when editing.
What looks good on paper doesn’t always sound good.
By reading your content aloud, you will discover clunky phrases and any errors will jump out to you.
Hack #5: Use “Bucket Brigades” to Turn Your Page into a Slippery Slope:
Bucket Brigades are short sentences (words or phrases) aimed at getting people to stop, pay attention, and continue to the next line of text.
The term was coined and popularized by Joseph Sugarman. It usually stands alone and ends with a colon and directs users to another paragraph continuing the article. A bucket brigade is a very short sentence or phrase that forces the reader to read the next line to get more context.
Some common Bucket Brigades include:
- Here’s the deal:
- Here’s what you need to know:
- Check this out:
- You’ll never believe this…
- For example:
- Even better:
- In fact:
- That said:
2.6. Use Eye-Catching Photos
Eye-catching photos can do wonders for your traffic. They can make your blog more visually appealing, so readers stay on your site longer. Pictures also make your content more shareable on social media, provided you have the right size.
In a study by Socialbakers, researchers found that images on Facebook constituted 93% of the most engaging posts, compared with all other status updates. Another study found that visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks than other content types.
When you combine your title with a strong image, you give it the best opportunity to generate traffic and clicks.
The best part:
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars paying for stock photos. You can use free stock photo sites like Unsplash or Pixabay to find hundreds of eye-catching images (without having to spend a dime!).
2.7. Internal Linking
Internal linking refers to adding links from one page on your website to another page on your website. This can mean you’re adding links from one blog post to older posts, or from certain pages to other pages.
Most websites don’t use internal linking nearly enough. Sure, you shouldn’t overkill it with 40-50 internal links in each blog post – but there is a happy medium.
Why bother with internal linking? These types of links are useful because they help your readers navigate your website, help improve the search rank of the pages you link to and help define the architecture and hierarchy of your website.
You get the most most out of internal linking by creating more content.
The more quality content you create, the more quality content you can link to. It’s really that simple!
Use the right anchor text. Using our previous example: if you wanted to internally link to the “how to make money” blog post, you can write a sentence in another blog, like “Once you have mastered [how to make money], you can enjoy as much luxury as you can dream.” In this case, the reader has a compelling case for clicking on the link because of both the anchor text (“how to make money”) and the context of the sentence. There is a clear benefit from clicking the link.
Link to relevant content. Don’t link for the sake of linking – always link to content that will add to your readers’ experience.
Don’t overdo it. Anywhere from 5-10 internal links can be used in a 1,000-word blog post. Any more than that and you’ll overdo it.
2.8. Conduct a Content Audit
What if you could delete a third of your content and yet triple your website traffic? Well, that’s exactly what Todd Tresidder did.
He conducted a content audit, deleted a third of his content and saw a massive increase in traffic.
You see, when you’ve had a website for several years, you can start running into problems like redundant and irrelevant content that no longer matches up with your message.
The only problem is that your audit should be done manually because there is no content audit software available on the market. By conducting a content audit, you can solve a lot of problems.
A content audit will definitively improve your SEO ranking and your traffic.
Think about it: Quality is the new SEO.
Google wants the best quality experience for its users. By conducting a content audit, you signal that you’re trying to deliver the highest quality experience.
OK, but how do you conduct a content audit?
Before we get into it, here’s what you need to do first:
Go through your entire archive of content and put it into a spreadsheet – every page and every post.
Check off & categorize each one according to one of four categories:
- Keep (good content that will stay on your site)
- Improve (it’s on-brand, but needs updating)
- Consolidate (for example, short content on a similar subject can be combined into a single post)
- Remove (delete because it’s irrelevant or off-brand)
From there, use this step-by-step process for conducting the content audit:
Step #1: Edit and improve the content in the “Keep” and “Improve” categories. Consider creating lead magnets for higher traffic articles.
When analyzing this content, use the following criteria:
- Is the formatting on point?
- Are the images SEO-friendly?
- Is the writing quality up to par?
- Is it easy to scan & read?
- Is the title optimized for search engines AND social media?
- Are the affiliate links correct?
- Are there enough internal links? Can older posts link to newer posts?
For posts that you update and consolidate, make sure to delete older comments that are no longer relevant. For not confusing the readers.
Step #2: Consolidate the shorter, similar blogs into a new blog post.
You’ll probably have several groups of similar posts to consolidate. Once you combine them, you should:
1) Choose the most popular blog post of the consolidation grouping.
2) 301 redirect all of the other blog URLs of the consolidation group to the URL of the most popular blog.
(Note: A 301 redirect is a way to send users and search engines to a different URL than the one they initially requested. The redirect saves 90-99% of the link juice to the redirected page. Implementation of the 301 redirect depends on your web hosting – contact your host for how to do this.)
Step #3: Delete content from the “Remove” category.
After that, just delete the content you no longer fits in your content strategy!
Of course, the content audit isn’t a quick an easy process. But if you put in the hours and actually perform it, you will achieve some great results by boosting your traffic.
If you have a traffic problem, I highly recommend you doing this…
3. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION AKA “SEO”
SEO traffic refers to the organic results in search engines (also known as natural results).
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to the process of optimizing your website to make it rank higher in search engines.
There are a whole bunch of tactics people use to get their sites ranked higher in the search results.
This image shows a few of them:
You can probably already tell that this isn’t easy or free
You can’t pay Google to be #1 in their search results, you have to “earn” it.
I’ll explain “earning” the #1 position in a second. But first…
Did you know that when you’re searching in a search engine, you’re not
searching the web?
You’re only searching their “index.” This means that you’re just searching that search engine’s database of websites.
Of course, Google has the biggest index, which is why all the other search engines just copy them.
SEO is an attractive source because it’s “free.”
What could be better for BestBuy.com to be ranking #1 for “big screen tvs?” They’re receiving millions of visitors monthly for that keyword alone, and they’re not paying a dime for it.
Google has a complicated search algorithm which takes into account hundreds of variables to determine which site should rank for which keywords.
For example, a huge variable in getting rankings is getting links. Google determines that if your site has other popular, similar sites linking to it, then it’s an important site. Thus, your website will rank higher than
others with less or lesser quality links.
Knowing this, SEO guys will try to get links in a variety of ways, which can include money of course.
(Google highly frowns on this and actively monitors paid linking).
And that’s just one of the variables SEO must account for (although it’s arguably the most important variable).
Trying to optimize for this algorithm takes time, resources, and money.
Even after perfect optimization, it can take months to years to finally achieve rankings for your targeted keyword.
Furthermore, Google continually updates its algorithm so one single update can wipe out ALL your efforts.
If you’ve ever heard of SEO guys talk about Penguin or Panda, then you know the dangers of 100% relying on SEO traffic as your primary source.
However, if you can figure out the SEO puzzle and get ranked on the first page for your keyword, then congratulations. You’ll be receiving tons of free, targeted traffic.
Here’s an example of how it looks on Google:
(The same strategy works on other search engines)
The yellow section are paid ads. You can create a Google Adwords account and pay money to advertise there.
The green section are “natural” results. They are there because Google thinks they deserve to be there.
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