How To Generate Website Traffic On A Budget
Generating traffic to a website is the million-dollar question. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. In fact, an entire industry has sprung to life over the last 10 years promising to do just that: get you an unlimited stream of traffic to your website. Most of the SEO firms out there are promising inflated results. The reality is that neither you, nor a marketing company, can guarantee you any kind of organic ranking. Even the best reverse engineered plan is subject to change tomorrow. The elephant in the room is this: SEO firms tell you it takes a long time to get rankings, yet they simultaneously say they can adapt to any changes in the search engines' algorithms.
Presumably, the reason it takes so long to get the initial ranking in the SERPs is because you have to figure out what makes the search engine tick (i.e. its algorithm), comply with the rules to get indexed, and then spend a lot of time following the best practices that will earn you rank and traffic.
Problem: what happens when the algo changes? Won't you have to start all over again? Answer: yes. If it takes a long time to get a good ranking, doesn't it makes sense that - when the algorithm eventually changes - it's going to take a while to figure out what the new rules are and regain lost ground? Of course it is. What are you doing while your site is taking a shellacking? You're losing money, that's what. There are a few better ways, and they don't involve gobs of money or years of work.
Guest Blog Posts
Writing guest blog posts are free, and they are a high value to big blogs looking for good content. They do take a lot of work up front, but the backend payoff it tremendous. One good post could send you traffic for literally years with no additional work necessary after the post is live. To get guest post gigs, create a list of blogs where you think your ideal customers hang out. Then, contact the blog owner with your idea. Offer to send a draft first. Then, propose he publish it if he likes it.
Leaving comments on high-traffic blogs is often overlooked by most bloggers. Yet, this is an excellent way to drive free traffic to your site. The key to making this work is to find a very popular post in your niche. Popular posts are ones with lots of comments. Once you've found a popular post, craft a comment that adds to the conversation - preferably the original post. Write a counter-point or elaborate on something in the post. Maybe you have a key insight that would add real value to the original post, and it's something that isn't covered elsewhere on the blog. Maybe your area of expertise is on whatever the post is about. Do an in-depth review and analysis of the post for other blog visitors. You'll attract attention, and if your comment is really good, you might even attract the attention of the blog owner. That gives you instant credibility in the community.
By far the easiest way to get traffic is by buying it. It's not always the cheapest method, but it is possible to get traffic without spending an arm and a leg. Basically, you have to enter into the CPV or CPM arena. This is a tricky arena because not all traffic brokers are honest. You really have to sift through a lot of garbage to get to the real gems. One of the things you want to do is contact the company selling the traffic and ask them what safeguards it has in place. You don't want to end up spamming users or - worse - downloading viruses onto your (or your prospects') computers.
Make sure that the traffic broker is easy to reach, has good customer service, and can target your market effectively. While general traffic might work, it's definitely not as good as traffic targeted to your niche. At the end of the day, you want the traffic to convert well for you. As long as you're making more than you're spending on traffic, you're golden.
What methods are you using to generate low-cost or free traffic? What are your experiences with gues posting? Commenting? Buying traffic?