The number one challenge for anybody marketing on the Internet is getting traffic.
Of course, you could and should do search engine optimization (SEO). In its essence, SEO means structuring and writing your web content so that the search engines know what it's all about, and will lead searchers of that content to your door. SEO also involves building links from other sites back to yours.
However , while SEO is essential, it takes time to see results.
Another option is paid advertising, particularly pay-per-click advertising. This form of online advertising is an excellent way of getting in front of web users who are actively looking for your content. PPC is fast and fairly easy, BUT it isn't free.
This post is all about fast, easy and free, remember?
Here are my top 5 fastest, easiest and free ways to get web traffic:
A couple of months after I finally “figured out” Twitter and started using it regularly, it became one of the top 5 sources of traffic for my sites. Especially those for which I don't do any SEO at all (I'm lazy, so do as I say, not as I do).
My clients get loads of traffic from Facebook or LinkedIn, depending on which one they use more. Choose the social networking sites where your Ideal Customers hang out, and learn how to use it effectively to promote your business — without being obnoxious about it.
Social networking sites are easy to use and even fun. However, without a strategy and systems, they can also be a huge waste of time and effort.
If you have a blog (and you ought to), then posting new content more often will bring you more traffic. On one of my niche sites, I more than doubled the organic (aka “free”) traffic simply by publishing a new post every day.
If you're posting once a week, go for twice a week. After you manage that, then go for three times a week. You don't have to kill yourself in the process; just do more than what you're currently doing.
Blogging works very nicely with social networking too. It's easy to share links to your blog posts, and to have those get passed around even to audiences you wouldn't normally reach.
Article marketing does work. The idea is to submit your unique articles to article directories, where they will get read and syndicated (republished) in other sites or content outlets.
Article marketing works in three ways:
First, the articles you post in article directories are more likely to rank higher in search engine page results (SERPS), than if you posted them on your site. That's because these sites have higher authority than yours. Web users who read your articles are then likely to click the link in your resource box and go to your site (assuming you've written your resource box properly).
Secondly, when your articles get syndicated, they're published all over the Internet, all over various newsletters, forums and other content distribution sites. This means more readers and potential traffic for you.
Finally, having articles in article directories also builds links to your site, which helps immensely with SEO. This means your articles in directories and other people's sites help your own web pages to rank in the SERPS.
Article marketing is pretty powerful. Two years ago, I bought a site that had been neglected by the owner. It was still getting a decent amount of traffic, considering it hadn't been updated for months. The reason? The owner had submitted tons (I think hundreds) of articles to article directories. In fact, according to Yahoo Site Explorer, there are 846 links back to that site.
Before I got busy with clients, I used to submit articles once a week. The result? One site has 1,156 backlinks to it. How much better would you do if you submitted twice a week? Three times a week? Or even every day?
This post has gotten much longer than I intended. I will continue it in another post next week.
In the meantime, if you have questions or additional advice about the three traffic magnets I've discussed, please post them in the comments below.
PS: If you want to make sure you don't miss the last two of the fastest, easiest and free ways to get web traffic to your site, then sign up for email updates by filling up the form below:
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Google Analytics for Beginners: Get Smart with Your Website Stats
Blogging Advantage by Karon Thackston: An Honest Review
5 Ways to Use Amazon to Become an Exceptional Content Marketer
Blog Topic Ideas: 3 Steps to Get Inspiration from Magazines
Content Mavericks by Andrew and Pete: A Book Review