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Based on a Techzulu speech given by Jason Nazar several years ago, this eBook breaks down seven FREE ways to get more traffic on your website.
7 free ways to get online traffic 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 Metadata 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. product. 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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