When starting a new website, blog or business on the internet, it’s not just about the content you create. Sure, it’s going to be one of the most important aspects of it — but at the end of the day, it really comes down to your content promotion and getting traffic to your site.
In short, this is just a big numbers game. With over a billion active websites on the internet today, how are you ever going to complete?
The answer is simple — create better content than your competition, provide more value, and then put in the marketing effort to make sure your audiences finds it. At this point in the game, focusing solely on “great content” will likely get you nowhere.
However, not everyone has a massive budget that they can blow through each month, just to get traffic flowing to the site. On the flip side, there are plenty of “free” methods for increasing exposure, backlinks, and traffic to your site as well. To further stress this point, I thought it would be a great idea to ask 12 different entrepreneurs and business owners from the YEC community this same question — “What is the best way to increase website traffic without blowing through your budget?”
1. Create Social Media Content
There’s no cost to generate a solid social following, outside of time and creativity. When done correctly, you can then push that captive audience to any website you want. Focus on being genuine and authentic, pull in followers that truly want to engage with your brand and don’t be overly promotional. Share information that will be helpful and useful, mixed in with some calls-to-action
– Jonathan Long, Market Domination Media
2. Contribute Guest Posts to High Traffic Sites
Even if you don’t have much money for marketing, you are rich with knowledge. Identify a few different websites that have a lot of traffic and contribute your knowledge to those sites. Give away the farm and create something immensely valuable for that site. Link back to your site, use a popup to collect emails from the inbound traffic influx and begin creating your audience.
3. Build One Incredible Piece of Content
Great content is the path to more traffic. Don’t just write filler two-paragraph blog posts. Put all of your energy into creating one incredible piece of content like a piece of software, in-depth video lesson or webinar series.
– John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation
4. Email a Link to Your Site
Find out who your ideal target person is and email them a link to your site, and a brief explanation of why they would be interested. Qualified traffic is more valuable than lots of junk from a funny social post.
5. Hit the Streets
In today’s digital era, hitting the streets means roaming the web looking for interactions. Engaging in other’s work will draw attention to your work as well (make sure your content presentation is on lock). The web isn’t a one-way street. By posting on other’s threads, you’re not only visible to them, but to other people that are in their social media circles.
6. Leverage Industry Influencers
In marketing, one of the easiest ways to reach new customers without paying a fortune is by tapping influencers who already have a captive audience of fans and followers. Find influencers who would appreciate your product or service and partner with them to promote your brand. Many will be willing to do it for free, while others would be happy to take an affiliate commission.
7. Manage Your Online Reputation
It doesn’t cost a penny to be on Angie’s List, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Facebook, Google+ and Yellow Pages. Survey your customers first to make sure you can stop negative reviews in their tracks. Then, syndicate the positive ones all over the internet by asking for feedback on sites your customers belong to.
– Tommy Mello, A1 Garage Door Service
8. Feature Trending Topics
Using buzzwords or writing about trending topics is the best way to generate website traffic and rise up in search engine results without paying a penny. At my agency, we make sure to pay attention to trending topics in the media and write about them ASAP. Whether it’s a new Instagram update or the latest video game, quick turnaround time is crucial because you want to strike while searches for these topics are at their highest.
– Bryanne Lawless, BLND Public Relations
9. Take Advantage of Word of Mouth
Get others talking about you to do the legwork for you. This includes telling friends, family, colleagues and others who, in turn, can share it with others. They can pass around your website address or share it on their own social media sites and emails.
10. Participate in Forum Discussions
We participate in several LinkedIn forums and other online forums where we know our clients come for help. If we make good contributions, users click on our profile and visit our website. It doesn’t cost us anything, and it also improves our digital reputation because it shows our clients that we are very dynamic in the community. Try it.
11. Produce Video Content
Create interesting content about your product, service or industry with an engaging video. Everyone has access to video on their phone, laptop or tablet. Whether on-the-go or at home, video is accessible and more engaging than text. As long as your content is captivating, people will share it and become more interested in your brand, which will bring them to your website.
– Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
12. Blog Often
You need to have a blog. Blogs are very cheap, and often free! They’re also super easy to use and are a great way to start generating website traffic. Get a content director working on it right away and make sure to blog often. Your content should be relevant to your product, and at the same time interesting to read. Happy blogging!