Everyone loves free traffic, especially small business owners and marketers who don’t have enough advertising budget to experiment with paid traffic sources.
But there’s only one problem with free traffic…
You see, free traffic is not really free. When we hear the words, ”free traffic” we tend to think that we don’t have to do much to get this free traffic to our website. But in reality, free traffic is difficult to master.
… And it’s very hard to scale.
But the good news is… even though you’ve to spend some time and effort to master this free traffic sources, at least you don’t have to pay anything for it. There are bloggers, and online marketers out there who make a very good income with only free traffic sources.
Because these free traffic sources are available for everyone, some of them are more effective than others, but you’ve to try them yourself to see which free traffic sources work best for you.
Today, I’m going to share with you 16 (high-quality) free traffic sources that’ll increase traffic to your website, get you more brand exposure, and eventually help you grow your online business.
So let’s get started.
1. Search engines
Visitors that come to your site from a search engine like Google are highly targeted, they tend to be more interested in your content. Why? Because unlike paid ads, you’re not the one who’s targeting them. They’re the ones who requested to see your content.
According to statistics, search engine visitors tend to be more engaged with your content, and they usually check more than one page on your website, unlike visitors who come from other traffic sources.
So make sure your content is of high quality, so that it ranks higher on search engines.
2. Email newsletters
One of the best ways to get repeated free traffic to your site on-demand is by building an email list of followers and potential customers.
It’s also probably the fastest, highest converting, and most targeted traffic on this list.
Whenever you want to get traffic to a new page or offer, you simply write an email and click the ”send” button and booom… you get instant free traffic.
So make sure your email marketing strategy is solid.
3. Direct traffic
You probably didn’t expect to see this traffic source on this list. You’re probably even wondering what the heck is direct traffic.
Direct traffic refers to visitors who come directly to your website, without using any search engine. They write down your website directly onto their internet browser.
Why do they do this?
It’s because they’re familiar with your website, they probably love your content.
To take advantage of direct traffic, your domain name has to be highly memorable. But most importantly… your website has to offer a lot of value to your readers.
4. Social media
The best thing about social media is that it’s free.
And the second best thing is that people live in social media. People spend hours everyday on social media sites, most people are even addicted to it.
This is a good thing for us marketers and small business owners. Why? because we can easily (and freely) interact with our target customers and clients for free.
There are a lot of social networking sites out there, but you should focus on the ones that could possibly have your target customers.
Just ask yourself this question: ”where would my typical customer spend most of his time online? Is it on Facebook? Twitter? Snapchat?” And simply, focus your marketing efforts on that particular platform.
Most marketing specialists predict that online video is going to explode in 2017.
A lot of people nowadays watch YouTube content on their mobile devices more than they watch any of the U.S. cable networks, says Google.
If video is not a part of your marketing strategy in 2017, then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunity to grow your online business.
Of course, video content is time-consuming and needs a lot of materials, equipment, and software. But considering the huge growth of online video, it’s really worth it.
6. Guest blogging
When you’re just starting out, writing articles for yourself will not get you much traffic.
Instead, you’ve to look for other websites in your niche market and offer to write for them in exchange for a link back to your site, or a mention of your site at the end of the article.
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to hack the growth of your website or blog.
But it’s not for everyone, you’ve to be a really good writer if you want to write for large websites with bigger volumes of traffic.
Quora is a question and answer community where people ask questions, and other users answer them. Basically, everyone contributes into the community to provide value.
Moreover, Quora posts tend to rank higher in search engines.
Try typing a question in Google, and you’ll probably get lot of Quora posts that may have the answer to your question.
Google seems to love Quora and it’s community of users. To start with Quora, simply sign-up, fill out your profile information and start contributing to the community with a link back to your website.
8. Social bookmarking
Social bookmarking can be a great way to share your content, build backlinks, and get traffic to your site.
If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s basically a way to share your content to other sites called – social bookmarking sites.
Social bookmarking sites such as Stumbleupon, Digg, and Delicious can help you get a lot of exposure and traffic, and introduce the right people to your site.
9. Referring sites
Referring traffic is basically the traffic that other websites send to your site.
Of course, you can’t expect other websites to just link back to you without you having to do anything.
If your site doesn’t have high-quality and valuable content and resources, then obviously no one will mention your website’s content in their posts.
Referring traffic is a great source of free web traffic, but the real challenge is that you’ve to convince other websites to send traffic to your site by reaching out to them and networking with them.
10. Forum marketing
Before the explosion of social networking sites, people used to interact with each other in forums.
Forums are online communities where people interact with each other, ask questions, and generally have a good and fun discussion about the topics they’re interested in.
But how does forum marketing works? and how to get traffic from forums?
Forums are very strict about self-promotion. But usually, they give you a small space that shows up under your every forum post where you can add a short call-to-action (CTA) and link back to your site.
11. Blog commenting
Commenting on other blogs in your niche market is a great way to network with others and build backlinks to your site.
Blog commenting is one of the most favorite ways for bloggers and marketers to build backlinks, rank higher in search engines, and get traffic to their sites.
This method has gained a lot of popularity in the blogging and online marketing world because it’s easy to get started with, you only have to look for blogs in your niche and comment on their site.
12. Article marketing
Article marketing is just a fancy way of saying submitting articles to article directories, such as ezinearticles.com
Although this marketing method is not as good as it used to be. It still works if you know how to write short and valuable articles about your chosen topic.
13. Slides submission
If you know how to use PowerPoint, then slides submission could be a great way to get traffic to your site.
You can make a simple presentation about your chosen topic, and then upload to a slide sharing platform such as Linkedin’s slideshare.net.
The great thing about slides submissions is that your slides will remain for a long time on that platform, this means you’ll get to have recurring free traffic to your site.
14. Web directories
A web directory is a website that specializes in organizing websites into categorized topics.
The benefit of submitting your site to one of the web directories is that you get a link back to your site, and Google takes notice of links coming to your site, which could result in higher rankings, and more traffic.
But be warned that not all web directories are equal, some of them are abandoned. But as a start I suggest you submit your site to a reliable directory such as webdirectory.com
This one takes more work than the others.
You’ll have to write a book, include a link to your website inside the book, and wait for buyers to come back to your site.
A lot of self-published authors use this method to build and grow their email lists.
16. Word of mouth
I bet you didn’t expect this one.
You’re probably asking yourself, ”how the heck can word of mouth marketing help me in the world of online marketing?”
This is how word-of-mouth marketing works…
When someone (a visitor, customer, etc) likes your website, and loves the content that you’re sharing. Then he may tell his friends about how great your website or product is.
And we all have a tendency to trust the recommendations of our friends, over people we don’t know.
The above free traffic sources make a great opportunity for small business owners, marketers webmasters, or anyone who doesn’t have a big budget to experiment with paid traffic.
Most online marketing specialists agree on the fact that you shouldn’t depend on one source of traffic. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
However, focusing your traffic generation effort on all the above 16 free traffic sources is also a bad idea. It’s better to choose one source of free traffic until you master it. And then you can move to the next one.