How to Build Free Website Traffic and Gain More Visitors
Do you want to generate free website traffic? Does your new and growing site need to attract more visitors? Are you interested in free website traffic? This article shows you how to achieve your traffic goals and do website traffic promotion. Most of the methods presented here are free. One or two will cost money, but you can save them for later or ignore them altogether.
Just building a website doesn’t mean visitors will come. Many online business owners are surprised when they learn that their expensive, professionally designed site doesn’t get traffic. And their website traffic stats are grim. Some people think that if you have a site, visitors will just come. Similar to how customers just “drop in” to a local offline store. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in the online world. You can have a beautiful site and get zero visitors. Is there hope for your struggling site? You bet! Every site has to start somewhere. Even sites with hundreds upon hundreds of daily visitors started out with little or no traffic!
Ways to Build Free Website Traffic Online
Submit Site to Directories for Free Website Traffic
Your first tactic for building free website traffic is to start by getting links from some good directories. What is a directory? A directory is different from a search engine. Directories are run by real people who review submitted sites and decide whether or not the site meets the requirements to get listed. Directories can become a big part of your visitor traffic, so make submitting to them a big part of your traffic-building campaign. Make sure your site is presentable before submitting to directories so that you don’t waste money and/or time. For example, you don’t want it to be under construction, and it should be visually pleasing and the copy grammatically correct.
You will want to start with the four free big search engines first: Google, Yahoo, Bing (formerly Live), and ASK. With all four directories, you will want to enter your URL into a Notepad or TextEdit first, so it won’t have any added code that isn’t acceptable to the engines.
For Google, go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/site maps/login and follow the directions. You may have to create a Google account first if you don’t already have one. Once you do that, look for “Submit Your Site URL” and submit your site.
Yahoo’s address for site submission is https://www.siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com You will add your site and then create a manual ping at http://www.search.yahooapis.com/SiteExplorerService/V1/ping?site map=
Your site’s URL goes right after the equal sign. Make sure you start your URL with the http. So it will look like this: http://www.your-URL.com/XML code.
You can get the specific XML code that comes at the end of the .com/ by doing a Google search for “site map generators.” You can also use this same information when it comes time to build your site map (see Build Site Map below). Once you find the service you like, it will crawl your site and give you a site map with an XML document which includes your code.
Bing’s link is: http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?site map=
ASK’s link is: http://submissions.ask.com/ping?site map=http%3A// With ASK, you don’t enter the http://. Just start with www.
Link building can be time consuming and it’s a long-term process, but it has to be done if you want free website traffic.
DMOZ Open Directory for More Free Website Traffic
After you submit to the four big search engines, you’ll want to submit to DMOZ at http://www.dmoz.org. You won’t get as much traffic from DMOZ as you will from Yahoo, Google, or any of the other big search engines. But DMOZ is free, and it can bring a lot of traffic. So it’s worth the effort it takes to submit your site.
With many of the directories, know it could take several months before they review your site. So you want to be sure that you select the right category for your site so you don’t slow up the process. Also, you want to wait on monetizing your site (placing affiliate links, Google AdSense, etc.) because many directory editors decline sites with ads.
Here are some directories to consider:
Yahoo! Paid Directory
First of all, take a look around the Yahoo site and familiarize yourself with their rules. If you get a good Google rank, you’ll also rank at Yahoo.
So why bother submitting to their directory? Because if your high Google rank ever drops, then you have the assurance that you still rank well at Yahoo. Also, listing with the Yahoo may greatly increase your Google traffic, because the two are tied in with each other.
Unfortunately, the Yahoo! directory costs $300 per year, and inclusion is not guaranteed. So if you don’t have the cash, keep submitting to the free directories. It’ll get you there!
Your site will be automatically submitted to MSN, AOL, Alta Vista, and Ask Jeeves when you submit to DMOZ and the paid Yahoo! directory.
Some other paid directories include Business.com, JoeAnt.com (you can sign up to be an editor and get your listing for free!), and BOTW.org.
Also, when I typed in “strongest directories to submit to” in Google, I found, among others, http://www.avivadirectory.com/strongest-directories/. Also, check out http://www.strongestlinks.com/directories.php?sortcolumn=free, and http://info.vilesilencer.com/top. Most (or many) of the sites in these lists won't charge you anything, thus helping you reach your quest to get free website traffic.
Your goal is to find high quality directories with good page rank and/or a high Alexa score—preferably both.
Finally, a couple words of caution: Be careful of link farms. How do you know if it’s a link farm? First, look at the directory. Are you impressed? Or is it just lists of useless links? A good directory should be substantial, with well-organized links to quality sites.
Second, don’t use automated software to submit your site to hundreds of free directories all at once. Many of the directories are not legitimate, and they have such a huge pileup of sites needing to be approved, that they approve large quantities without review. This is done just to catch up with the backlog, but as a result the search engines consider them link farms.
Finally, know that the good directories are run by humans! They review your site and decide whether or not to list it.
Marketing Articles to Build Links and Get Free Website Traffic
A simple way to define article marketing would be: trading words for links. It can help with link building, but since some of the article syndication services, such as EzineArticles.com, now have a nofollow rule, getting backlinks from articles doesn’t work like it used to. What is nofollow? Nofollow causes Google not to see the link as a recommendation for the site, so you won’t get a link through EzineArticles.
But still, article marketing can boost your traffic. How? When you write articles related to the topic of your website, and include links to your site in your Author Resource box . . . someone who is looking for content for their web site can publish your article as long as they don’t make changes to the article or your resource box. This means you are getting links back to your site by having someone else publish it. And if your article provides fresh, useful information, many webmasters may pick it up and publish it. That could translate into quality links and free website traffic!
The trick to effective article marketing is to do it consistently. If your goal is to write one article a week, stick to that agreement with yourself.
Also, you will get better results if you write high value, original articles than if you publish articles that come from PLR (Private Label Rights)content. That’s because many other webmasters may have rights to the same content, and you could see it replicated on the web if you don’t do an effective re-write of the information.
Finally, using a distributor like Submit Your Article or Article Marketer, while costing you money, may yield better results than submitting directly to the directories yourself. That’s because of the sheer numbers of quality directories they submit to. But if you are just starting out, you might want to wait on this type of service if funds are an issue.
Create Site Map for Free Website Traffic
Your site should have a site map. What is it? A site map is a visual diagram of your website. It can be a list of links, or it can be a little more elaborate. The kind of site map you will need depends on the type of website you have. The site map is for both your human visitors and the search engine spiders. Since the spiders and the humans both use the site map in different ways, you should have a different site map for each.
For a small site, around 10 pages, you will only need a site map for the spiders. All the pages on your site will most likely be easy to access, so you won’t ever need a site map for the humans. But, if your site’s navigation is complex or deep, then a site map for the humans is a good idea.
It can help your human visitors easily find their way around on your site. It’s easy to create an HTML list for a site map:
- Page One
- Page Two
- Page Three
Or you could do a nested list, like this:
- Page One
- Page Two
- Page Two A
- Page Two B
- Page Two C
- Page Two D
And so on. Your site map should be a part of your 404 Error Page as well, so that visitors can find their way back if they encounter an error.
XML is the best format in which to create site map for the spiders. If you aren’t familiar with XML, you can use an online site map generator. As stated earlier, do a Google search for “site map generator”.
Once you create the site map file, you need to upload it to your web server via FTP. Then add your XML file to the Root Directory. You also need to create a Robots.txt file if there are pages on your site that you don’t want the search engines to find. The Robots file is the first file that the spiders will visit, so it’s a good idea to direct them to the site map from the Robots file. Reference the XML file in the Robots.txt file and add a link to the site map, like Site map: http://www.domainname.com/site map.xml
Your site map must be updated constantly to stay current with the changes on your site. Be sure and update the site map every time you add or delete a page. If your site is very large, have your site map update automatically every week. It is working behind the scene to bring you free website traffic.
Creating and maintaining your site map is simple, but it can be a big help to your traffic volume!
Blogging for Free Website Traffic
Blogging won’t work well for everyone, especially if adding content regularly is like hearing a nail against a blackboard for you! But it is a good way to keep your site fresh with new content. Blogging also gives your readers a more personal relationship with you, especially if you make a point of being friendly. Don’t be too stuffy and “businesslike” when you’re blogging; talk about your mistakes and tell your visitors what you’ve learned. Make it personal!
Guest Blogging for Free Website Traffic is also a great way to get traffic, but it will require that you invest some time in building relationships with other bloggers in your niche. Take the time to keep your guest posts of real value (vs. saying something as banal as “great post”, or “I totally agree with you!”) The host blogger will appreciate it and it will be valuable to readers as well.
Pay Per Click (PPC Search Engine Internet Marketing)
For a new and growing site, getting free traffic exclusively from Search Engines will take some time. But a pay per click search campaign can get your site off to a running start. Of course, when you stop paying for the PPC, then the traffic stops. That’s why the first four methods are powerful—because they build lasting traffic over time. Keep your PPC budget on the low end until you are confident that you’re making a good profit. Do your keyword research first and find cheap long-tail keywords. Tempted to go after high traffic words? Don’t do it! It may be tempting,but in the long run it can get very expensive.
If your site has a unique and attractive design, you might consider submitting it to a CSS design gallery in order to get a link back. Do a Google search for “CSS design gallery”.
How to Build Free Website Traffic Offline
Sponsor a charity function or local event! This method will especially work well for a small local business. If you sponsor an event, your business name will likely be listed on brochures and promotions for the event. Just like online activities this can help you build free website traffic.
Pass Out Business Cards That Include Your URL
While you’re at the aforementioned charity event, or any other event, you’ll want to have business cards on hand. This is also true if you are teaching a class, giving a speech, going to a networking event, or when a new acquaintance asks what you do. Heck, even if a friend or family member asks, you can give them several cards and ask them to share them with their network when appropriate. It’s very easy to order business cards online, so you really don’t have an excuse for not having some available when the opportunity arises!
When you working on ways to build free website traffic, remember that patience is key! Your website traffic statistics will not leap to amazing visitor counts over night, but with patience and persistence your traffic will grow. And your site will succeed!
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