7 Free Ways to Get Online Traffic by Jason

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									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
1. SEO
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.

           Inbound Links
            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.

                       Indexed Pages
                        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
                                                        competitors. You
                                                        will be notified when
    Get the Right Blog Coverage
                                                        and where they’re
                                                        mentioned in
                                                        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
discover interesting
content like your, including
Reddit, Stumbleupon and
Digg. Leverage these link
aggregate sites to get
more eyes on your most
interesting content.

         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.
4. Partnerships
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
                                                  Automatic vs.
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.

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