Traffic can make or break a business on the web.
The more traffic you can get, the more likely you are to be successful online.
The best thing about traffic is that you can get it for free if you are willing to do a bit of work.
Below are twelve tricks of the traffic trade that I use to send a ton of free traffic to my websites every single day.
1. Take Traffic from the worlds second biggest search engine
YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine, and is owned by Google. I read today a comscore statistic that said that YouTube has more traffic than Yahoo, AOL, and BING combined!
There are several different ways that you can send traffic to a site from YouTube.
You can watermark your videos with a link you want to drive traffic to. This way during the entire length of your video a link to your website will be displayed.
Include a link to your website on your YouTube profile page.
You can tell people to visit your website in your video.
Make screencast videos showing people how to do something they might not know how to do. Camtasia is the program I use to do my screen capture videos (I use it to watermark my videos too) and they offer a free 30 day trial.
Creating videos can be easy. For example, you can make videos out of pictures by using the very cool tool Animoto.
For more YouTube tips check out this post I wrote about 50 tips for YouTube success.
2. Get Tons of Targeted Twitter Traffic
Since 2008 I have been able to drive tens of thousands of visitors to a variety of sites by actively building targeted Twitter accounts for a variety of businesses and myself.
In the process I have acquired over 100,000 followers, including 65,000 followers of my personal account @Garin.
TweetAdder has been a cornerstone to my Twitter success. Every day I spend a few minutes to automate TweetAdder, and am able to build connections with hundreds of new people in the process. Many of these new connections will click the link in my bio, which is usually this webpage.
A new version of TweetAdder just came out and I created a TweetAdder video review demoing the new features.
Whenever I create new content I tweet about it. Depending on how many retweets I get twitter will send me anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand visitors.
Twitter traffic depends on two main factors:
1. How many followers you have (and the quality of those followers)
2. How many retweets you get (and who retweets you).
I have developed two comprehensive Twitter Traffic Tips articles for those who want to learn more about how to get the most Twitter traffic possible.
Check out these posts I wrote:
3. Comment for Traffic
Every comment you leave on a blog leaves a link back to your blog.
Comment strategically. Seek to build relationships with the blogger who wrote the post, and make sure you actually read the post before you comment on it.
Do your best to add value with every comment you leave, and people will click through to your site, in search of more value.
Look for blogs (and consider installing) a “Top Commentator” plugin that displays the names and links of the people who have commented the most times. Often these widgets are present on every page of a blog, so by getting a top commentator spot on a popular blog you can net a good amount of free advertising.
To find blogs with the Top Commentator plugin installed enter the following into Google: allintext: “Top Commentators” and add any keywords you are interested in to the end of that search string.
Another strategy is to comment on blogs with the CommentLuv plugin installed. This plugin will display a link with the name of your last blog post, in addition to the standard text link.
How do you find blogs with CommentLuv? Use this tool: Dofollow Diver. Typically blog comment links are nofollow links, meaning that most blog comment links may not increase your page rank.
What Dofollow Diver does is allow you to search a list of almost 1,000 blogs with the “Dofollow” attribute set for their comments. This means that by commenting on any of these blogs you will gain PageRank in Google.
What is even cooler about this search engine is how you can organize this search by “Blogs with Top Commentators,” “Blogs with CommentLuv” or blogs with both.
Some people use blog commenting as a primary source of traffic, so don’t underestimate it’s power.
Nothing is sadder sight in the blogosphere than a blog post without any comments. Be the first to leave a good comment on a post and you might just make a new friend who.
4. Attract Traffic with a Free Gift
If you give away exceptional content for free it will cause people to link to you, and share this content with their friends.
Blogging is the most prolific example of this, where you give the gift of free content in exchange for visitors to your website.
You may have heard the saying “the money is in the list.” Well that saying is totally true. An email list is a traffic source that you can rely on. Even if Google were to blacklist your site you could still email your list and get traffic.
An email list is a great way to get traffic to a site, since you can send email updates and drive traffic with a quick email and the click of a button.
If you are wondering what Email Marketing service provider to go with I recommend Aweber if you want to build a list from scratch, or constant contact if you already have an established list.
I used to use and like MailChimp, but after I had a customer service issue I changed my mind. Their customer service sucks. If you need a free service you might want to consider them.
Aweber and constant contact have great customer service, so go with them. These services will cost you a few bucks, but they are worth it and will more than pay for themselves with the free traffic they can send.
5. Use a Squeeze Page
To capture the most emails possible from your free gift you should send your traffic to a squeeze page.
A squeeze page is a page designed to get someone to give you their email address by having one simple call to action: an email submit form.
If you don’t have coding skills squeeze pages can be a bit tricky to build.
I use and recommend the WordPress theme OptimizePress. Although this theme costs $99 it is well worth the cost since it comes with videos showing step by step how you can use the software to create squeeze pages and even fully functional membership sites.
I can’t overstate the importance of an email list, and squeeze pages are the best way to build one.
6. Facebook Traffic Tips you’ll “Like”
Facebook can be a great way to share content virally. The first way to get traffic from facebook is obvious: create great content that people will want to share with their facebook friends.
The next step is to make it as easy as possible for people to send you traffic, by installing facebook share widgets into your blog. In this blog I have installed both a facebook share button, and a facebook “like” button.
I have installed several facebook like plugins, and many of them suck. The best one I found is called: WP FB Like.
Many people only add friends they have met in person to facebook, but I have added many people that I have met online as well, and this helps the content I post on facebook get more attention.
Facebook has a friend limit of 5,0000, and by reaching it you can take advantage of the full potential of your facebook friends. A great way to get more facebook friends is to advertise it on your other social networks. I include a link to my facebook profile on my twitter background, for example.
Another way to get traffic from facebook is by starting a page or a group. Pages and groups have no limit on how many friends you can have.
If you are debating between a page and a group consider going with a group, even though pages have become the norm.
Facebook groups also give you the ability to send invites with a message, so you can give people a reason why they should join your group when you invite them.
Most importantly groups give admins the ability to message group members directly. When a user receives a message from a facebook group, they are notified, and this means the open rate of facebook messages is high.
Facebook Pages are powerful as well and there are free apps by companies like North Social that are very powerful, and can allow you to capture emails with custom tabs within your facebook page.
Facebook pages, unlike groups, can have custom URLs which you can set at: facebook.com/username.
5. StumbleUpon is Su.pr at sending Traffic
StumbleUpon has sent me tens of thousands of visitors to my websites. With over 11,300,000 stumblers, so there is plenty of StumbleUpon traffic for the taking.
StumbleUpon has a url shortener called su.pr. You can use it to sumbit your content to facebook, twitter, and StumbleUpon at once.
- Generate rapid exposure for a specific website, brand or concept.
- Establish a reader base for your blog very quickly.
- Gain numerous backlinks from StumbleUpon visitors with websites.
To increase StumbleUpon traffic:
- Become active on StumbleUpon; rate and thumbs up other sites (The more you Stumble, the more your stuff will be stumbled)
- Stumble articles that link to your site
- Add friends (So that they Stumble your stuff)
- Add multiple topic tags
- Add a StumbleUpon button to your website or blog
- Submit content that is catchy, that will appeal to someone who could easily click “Stumble” and leave
- Optimize your website so that it is lightning fast (If you use WordPress get the plugin: W3 Total Cache)
- Stumblers are highly visual and stumble sites with infographics, and great design (I recommend grabbing a premium wordpress theme)
6. SEO Traffic
Search Engine Optimization can unlock a tidal wave of traffic when it is done right.
When optimizing a website for search engines several factors come into play. The most important of these are determined by the back links pointing to your site, and anchor text used for those links.
Page titles and content are also factors. If you want to rank for certain keywords you should aim to have a page with those keywords in the title and two to three times throughout the body text on your page.
Your URL is also an important SEO factor. Google will rank you favorably for the keywords contained within your URL. The older your URL is adds authority to your site, so consider buying an established domain if you can find one that you like.
Quality links matters more than quantity. Seek to build links to your website whenever possible.
Build links with your social profiles, submit links to directories, write guest posts and articles, purchase links, and seek out relationships with website owners where you can do link exchange.
An awesome free tool that I use when I am optimizing my webpages is Traffic Travis. Traffic Travis allows you to analyze the competitive landscape for keywords so that you can see what keywords you should optimize for.
Here’s a story I heard at an SEO conference that will help explain how backlinks work: A few years back thousands of bloggers organized and all linked to George Bush’s home page with the anchor text “Miserable Failure.” This resulted in George Bush’s homepage achieving the first Google ranking for the search “Miserable failure.”
The more quality links you have with certain keywords (anchor text) the more you will move up in Google’s rankings for those keywords.
Try to get well established sites to link to you. If an authoritative site links to you that tells Google that you have some authority as well.
9. Social Bookmark for traffic and back links
Social bookmarking sites are a great way to get traffic.
There is no shortage of these sites out there, and some are better than others.
Some of my favorite Social Bookmarking sites include: Digg, Mixx, Delicious, Reddit, and Sphinn, just to name a few.
The most tedious part of getting traffic from social bookmarking sites is registering for all of these sites the first time you want to add a link. After you do this though you can add links and get free traffic anytime you want!
Two free tools I use to social bookmark efficiently are Social Poster, and Social Marker.
Social Poster is a list of 250 social bookmarking sites. You can sort this list by those bookmarking sites that will add SEO fuel to your blog, or by the most popular bookmarking sites.
Social Marker is a tool that can help you spread a link on 50 of the best social bookmarking sites in under 15 minutes!
By using these tools not only will you get a lot of back links and traffic, your will also get indexed by Google in a matter of minutes.
10. Free Article Traffic
By submitting articles to online article networks you can pick up a ton of new traffic.
Two of the most popular article networks on the net are:
To get traffic from these sources make sure that you write a quality article that elaborates on the article title you select.
Just write brief articles: 250-500 words. The whole point of your article is to give the reader a bit of value, and entice them to click the links in your signature.
Article submissions drive traffic to your website through the links you are allowed to include in your signature.
I recommend linking to squeeze pages from your signature so that you can capture as many visitors as leads on your email list.
11. Turn your emails into traffic
If you don’t link to your sites in your email signature you are missing out on a traffic opportunity every time you send an email.
I used the firefox extension wisestamp to include the social media icons within my emails.
By including these icon links you make your email signature stand out and give your links a better chance of getting clicked.
12. Use Offline Methods
Make sure that you include your web address(es) on your business cards and all other physical marketing material you might have.
If you don’t have business cards you can get 250 free business cards from vista prints.
If you are really serious consider getting a custom decal to sport on your car. If you do any offline advertising make sure to include a link, many people will check it out, especially if you offer an incentive for them to do so.
Instead of just using: “www.thesocialmediastrategyguide.com” give people a reason and a call to action for them to click on your link: “For a FREE gift you should check out: www.thesocialmediastrategyguide.com”
Split test different calls to action and go with the one that gives you the best results.
Let me know what you think of this post, and what your favorite tips for getting free traffic to a site are in the comments below!