7 free ways
to get online
If your website is your business, getting traffic should be your number one
priority. This eBook will break down 7 different ways to get more traffic
through persistence and ingenuity. You may know a couple of these
approaches, or even most of them, but imagine each tactic is a puzzle
piece; if you’re missing just one, your puzzle is not complete. If you have the
money, you may choose to buy traffic through paid advertising, but this
strategy can be costly unless you’re at the point where you get a positive
return on investment for those ads. If your website is still growing, chances
are you’re still bootstrapping, and these tips are for you. Let’s get started!
Edited/designed by Rochelle Bailis
The first thing you should be doing is increasing your visibility
to search engines by making your content easily labeled and
searchable. You do this by filling out your metadata,
including the title tag and the H1 tag (also known as the
header). Make sure that each individual piece of content
your site features has it’s own page with distinct title and
header tags that properly describe the content.
Increasing inbound links (external links that direct to your site) is
crucial for improving SEO. To find which sites are linking to
yours, go to Yahoo and type in “link:www.yoursitename.com”
to see a list of incoming links. You can also search on
Technorati to see what blogs are linking to you. Track this
number, and be sure it’s growing every month.
The more pages you have on your website, the more traffic
you will get. It’s that simple. The more pages you build out,
the more can be indexed in search engines, and the more
traffic you will pull. To see a list of your indexed pages, go to
Google and enter “site: www.yoursitename.com”
2. Press and Traffic
Inbound links may be key to getting more traffic,
but how do you get more people to link to your Find Press Thru
site? One way is to get more press. This doesn’t
usually come from simply having an outstanding Competitors
product that reporters notice. It involves diligently
encouraging the right news sources to cover your
Make a list of your
site. Here’s how to find the right press for your
top ten competitors,
page, and increase your chances of being covered.
then set up a
Google Alert for
each of these
will be notified when
Get the Right Blog Coverage
and where they’re
articles, so you can
The first step is figuring out what
track what press
blogs are most relevant to your
outlets are covering
product.Technorati is a great tool what they do. Look
for discovering what bloggers are up the journalist that
most relevant to you; search wrote the article,
keywords and topics that best and the news
describe your website, and then filter source, and log this
the top blogs in that field. Start by information on a
interacting with the bloggers, leave spreadsheet. Reach
comments on their blog, tweet them, out to the people on
and open a dialogue. Once you build this list every month,
a rapport, reach out to them and ask and be diligent
them if they will cover your latest about it.
3. Social Media
Everyone knows about
traditional social media,
like Facebook and Twitter,
but there are entire sites
dedicated to help people
content like your, including
Reddit, Stumbleupon and
Digg. Leverage these link
aggregate sites to get
more eyes on your most
Produce Content Build Community
Spend some time on Reddit, Spend time engaging the community
see what type of content before submitting content. Sites like
makes it to the homepage, Stumbleupon are based on peer-
and what kind of posts sourced and collaborative content
people upvote. Understand sharing, so being an active member
the community, and then of the community will help you share
create content that is pages from your site more
appropriate for that audience. organically and successfully.
A post on the homepage of Stumbleupon activity isn’t as viral as
Reddit has the potential to a single post on Reddit, but has the
drive up to 25,000 unique potential to bring in more consistent
visitors to your site in a day. traffic over a few months.
It’s difficult to explain exactly how to make partnership and distribution deals. They will
take more persistence than any of the other efforts, without a guarantee of success. But if
you can manage to make a deal with a top site in your field, it has the potential to drive a
considerable amount of traffic, as well as exposure. Here are some prominent examples:
Mixx and CNN Docstoc & NY Times
Mixx is a news aggregator site, Docstoc noticed that
similar to Digg or Reddit. The prominent publishers, such as
Founder, Chris McGill, build an the New York Times and the
incredible product and then Huffington Post, were using a
leveraged his ties with the competitor to embed
online publishing world. He documents for a prominent
made a deal with CNN so that news story. So we picked up
each article page contained a the phone and built
Mixx button, so that each piece relationships with these
could be submitted to Mixx. If publishers, helped them
you track Mixx’s traffic during embed documents on their
this time, you will find that this site and showed them how it
subtle move affected their hits would improve their user
and uniques substantially. experience.
Alexa is arguably the top traffic information source out there. For a flat fee
you can access a list of the top-ranked websites in the world. Scan through
this list, and search for high-traffic sites that could potentially be integrated
with your website or product. Be creative, and try to make the integration
as simple as possible. Consider ways that it will add value for their viewers.
5. Fresh Content
A lot of what we discussed will help you
drive unique visitors to your site, which is
valuable. But it’s also incredibly important to
keep customers coming back, so you don’t Manual Refreshing
simply have spikes in traffic, but are
consistently growing traffic.
Once you’ve built a
repository of content, if you
Consider this: why do you return to the
don’t have the time or
sites, or bookmark them? Because they
resources to sift through it
have new, interesting content. Don’t let your
for the best content to
homepage become a static business card
feature, you may choose to
for your website, find a way to keep fresh
automate the process.
content cycling through.
At Docstoc we created an
algorithm that calculates
the most downloaded
documents (which we
assume have a certain level
of quality), and surfaces
them to the homepage.
In our case, we often rely
on user-generated content,
which means we aren’t
spending our own
resources creating new
content in the first place.
6. Viral Loop
A viral loop is essentially any
way that you can turn users into
marketers for your website. The LinkedIn and Contacts
following are examples of
different approaches (and key The most classic example of a viral
aspects of) a viral loop. loop was LinkedIn in 2003,
when the site was still fairly unknown.
Back then I was in business school,
and I created an account on LinkedIn.
While searching the site, I saw
another user who had over 500
connections on LinkedIn, and had a
little badge next to his name
designating him as a special user.
I wanted a badge too, so I copied my
800 contacts stored on Outlook and
sent them all a message to join my
LinkedIn network. A meaningful
percentage of my contacts that day
Mahalo Answers that signed up for LinkedIn.
Mahalo Answers Why? Because I was a warm contact,
the invite came from somebody that
requested user’s email
these people already knew. And
addresses to send
many of them probably sent invites to
them an answer to their contacts, sparking a chain of
their question. outreach that drove tens of
Capturing somebody’s thousands of users from my one
email address by decision.
offering them value
LinkedIn had turned me into a user
provides great potential
marketer, who brought them an
for driving traffic.
exponential boost in trafﬁc for free.
Goodreads Pushes User Interaction Emails
An even better approach than newsletters is to set up automatic
emails based on user interaction. Goodreads helps users track books
they’ve read, recommend and review past books, and see what books
their peers are reading. It leverages that social aspect to push the
boundaries of customer contact, by sending users an email every time
someone in their network read a book, recommended a book, or
commented on what the user just read. If you sent the customer even
half that many marketing emails, they would be extremely annoyed.
But the subtle difference lies in the fact that these users have
volunteered to be a part of a community. These emails are personal,
relevant to their friends, and make them feel in touch with other
members of that space.
7. Solve a Compelling Need
This may be the most obvious point;
everyone wants their product to be
useful, to fulﬁll a need. Achieving this is
surprisingly difﬁcult, oftentimes
because we lose sight of human
beings’ most basic needs: money, love
and health. We want to lose weight, to
make enough money, and to be loved.
The best networking plays off our need
to connect, interact with those we
love. Consider how you can connect
to one of those most visceral desires.