Driving organic traffic to your website should be a big part of your online marketing efforts because — whether your site receives 1,000 or 100,000 visitors per month — these customers are essentially free to acquire. In a world where marketing departments stress over their customers’ “cost per acquisition,” having a source of potential customers that find your site on their own volition through search engines or viral traffic is extremely valuable. This article is going to talk about the four most effective ways to drive free-to-acquire customers to your door: article marketing, link scattering, search engine optimization, and social traffic.
1. Article Marketing
Our first technique is called article marketing, and it centers on the idea that quality content will interest readers and drive them to your site. Article marketing is one of the most salient of the free traffic approaches, and you can find marketers in every industry and sector using articles to drive traffic to their products and services.
Article marketing can be broken down into two categories: “Mass Submission” and “Content Generation”. The mass submission technique is typically less effective than content generation as it targets the lower quality, less successful sites. It involves using massive article directories, like EzineArticles.com, and submitting a 400-500 word article relating to your niche, peppered with sales phrases and links back to your page. By posting thousands of these articles (often, marketing departments will outsource the creation of these articles to separate teams), some of the articles will rank on Google searches, resulting in readers and, in some cases, clicks through to the individual’s products or services.
Content generation tends to be more successful, partially because Google supports it with algorithm changes that encourage higher quality, longer articles, while penalizing sites like EzineArticles.com. These are techniques that are working today: things like guest blogging for a partner site in your niche, developing and releasing whitepapers, and articles with multimedia content, like videos. The goal of these articles is to thrive on the “content Web” — the ever-changing group of shared or viral videos and articles on social networks…articles or topics recently posted to leading industry blogs…and things related to recent news. The “content Web” refers primarily to the idea that this is content people are consuming and sharing with their friends, and it is where you want your article marketing efforts to focus.
2. Link Scattering
The goal of link scattering is not simply to flood the Internet with links to your site, but to place those links selectively on high quality blogs and partnership sites. Guest blogging is a terrific way to do this — you’ll typically be granted a request to link back to your site in exchange for publishing a quality blog. Other places to scatter links to your product are in the comments of leading blogs, on social networks, or on forums. The goal is to drive real traffic, not just robots scouring posted links, so make sure your contributions are worthwhile before including your link.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, utilizes two main strategies: website optimization and link building. The first, website optimization, requires that you ensure your hierarchical page structure utilizes prominent keywords in the category names, navigational bar text, and URLs of your site. It also requires you to select the right keywords and make sure that your page content matches the keywords you select. A search engine optimization expert can recommend a list of keywords to target.
The second, link building, involves getting other websites to link to your website, which the search engines view as a “vote” for your site. This should be done on a monthly basis, and there are numerous ways to generate links. The 3 other sections in this article are excellent places to start. You can also hand pick authority directories to submit your business information to as well as engage in an ongoing online press release initiative.
4. The Social Web
Social media has grown to the point where it is a key component of any free organic traffic strategy. Social media, whether you’re focusing on networks like Facebook and Twitter or on social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, or Delicious, is a powerful way to drive free traffic to your site. When it’s used correctly, your products or services can go viral, resulting in tens of thousands of clicks to your site within hours. With good promotion on sites like Digg and Reddit, a single high-rated link can bring you enough instant income to rush out new designs, marketing, copywriting, or products and services to take advantage of the increased traffic before it even leaves the front page of these social sites. Since the success or failure of your content on the social web depends on its ability to grab the attention of browsing users, it’s crucial to generate high quality, niche-specific, multimedia content. Infographics are extremely popular, and with the rise of sites like Pinterest, they have taken on a life of their own as a traffic-driving technique.
A successful marketing model will focus on generating a substantial amount of quality, organic traffic from search engines, but the only way to maximize your traffic goals is to focus on providing high quality, polished content to readers. Where you publish the content, on your own blog, on guest blogs, or on social media, should be varied; develop content with each of these principal distribution channels in mind, and remember that organic traffic is aggregate and grows with time: once you’ve published an article, it could earn you a few clicks or more every day for years, and you can continue publishing content and optimizing until you’ve reached your traffic goals.
Image – © N-Media-Images – Fotolia.com
I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!