In the fast-paced world of Internet marketing, traffic is your main currency. Getting people to your website or squeeze page is crucial to your success; in order to buyyour products or services, people have to know you exist. Of course, saying is easier than doing and with so many distractions out there, it’s hard to get noticed. While you may have the best product on the market, businesses are fighting for eyeballs and clicks on the Internet – on forums, social media sites, search engines – these are the most common way to reach out to your potential customers. But, there are other ways to drive traffic to your site – some super secret (or not-so secret) means to attract visitors, by tapping into sources you may not have thought about. Let’s take a look at these surprising sources of traffic.
It used to be, blogging was just a way for emotional teens to express their feelings on the net – but now, anyone and everyone is blogging! Companies and websites are utilizing blogs because of the dynamic content (which search engines love). Creating great blog posts attracts visitors and encourage sharing. But, how else can you use blogging to drive traffic?
One good way is to network with top bloggers. The first thing you can do is to actually go and read their stuff – and comment! Don’t make just any comment, but be thoughtful, insightful and intelligent – your comments show that you actually read and understand what this blogger took the time to write. Also, here’s a quick tip: When you’re the first person to make a comment, you’re more likely to gain more attention because your comment will be on top.
Once you’ve developed this relationship, you might want to ask this blogger to do a guest post on your own blog – that way your blog will be exposed to their audiences, and you’ll be surprised how much new traffic will come flooding to your blog. And of course, it goes without saying that the opposite can be true – if you write a guest post for someone, they can link back to you and you’ll gain a whole new following.
When you link to another blog, that blog owner will be alerted via trackbacks, which is an automatic ping Wordress sends to that blog. Aside from creating better relationships with that blogger, your trackback will show up on their comments section (if you link back to a particular post), which of course, goes back to you in the form of fresh traffic.
And of course, don’t forget to list yourself on content aggregators. A content aggregator is a website that collects the best content on the Web and distributes them as feeds. You’ll have to allow these websites to reuse your content and in exchange, you’ll get massive amounts of traffic. Places like 9rules.com and alltop.com are a good place to start.
2) High Quality Content
Everyone who does Internet marketing knows that most important tenet: Content is King. If you have good, high-quality content, they will come! But, to tap those other sources of traffic, it’s also about how you use that content.
First, what’s good content? It should be well-written, and keyword-rich, for sure, though the topic and format should be decided on a case-to-case basis. However, one sure-fire way to get lots of traffic is share your knowledge by to create how-to’s and tutorials. Everyone is turning to the Internet these days to find out how to do things – from changing their engine oil to a great recipe for spaghetti. Tutorials are in high demand, and are sure to attract a lot of attention.
Once you have your content, make sure you send it out to top content syndicators. While article marketing is not as important as it used to be, it’s still effective, if you focus on your own niche. So if you’re creating that engine oil change article, make sure you post it on a car-focused content site, or why not submit your grandma’s secret spaghetti recipe to a recipe or food content site? Another secret source of traffic – try content-focused community sites like Ning Communites [www.ning.com] where you can search the different topic-based communities and post your content there.
Top article directory Ezines (www.ezines.com) is a goldmine for traffic, but you can still find some hidden pockets of traffic which other people have yet to discover. You’ll want to get into the “Most Viewed” and “Most Published.” If you get into these sections, you’re sure to get huge amounts of traffic to your site. To do this, you must promote your Ezine links (or in the case of “Most Published” – clicking on the “Ezine Publisher” link on your articles page and using that URL) outside of Ezines – on your social media sites, or advertising it, for example. This will increase the links back to your article, as well as drive traffic to it and ultimately your blog or website.
Video is the next big thing when it comes to Internet marketing, so make sure you’re not left behind – use the power of video to really drive traffic back to your site.
YouTube is a powerful marketing tool and because of its popularity, it is the go-to site when it comes to videos. Make sure you put appropriate tags on your videos – so that you will show up on the “related” or “suggested” videos when people visit the site. Here’s another quick tip – check out other videos similar to yours (or your competitors’ videos) and try to use some of their tags. Tweak is as you go along – it’s about exploring what works and what doesn’t.
Aside from just commenting using text, Youtube allows you to post responses with videos as well, so use video responses when you can – it’s a guaranteed way of getting tons of traffic! Let’s say you’ve created and posted a video on YouTube on how to make a great chocolate cake. Search for a similar video – maybe someone else making a chocolate cake or someone enjoying a delicious slice of chocolate cake – that has a lot of responses -(maybe 100,000 views or more.) You can then post a “Video Response”, presumably the previously uploaded chocolate cake video. Once you do this, anyone who watches this video will see your response, right below the “top comments” section.
Finally, don’t just stick with YouTube – there are hundreds of sites out there where you can post your video, like Google Video, Yahoo! Video, MetaCafe, Blinxx – just go to Google and search for the top video sites out there.
“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” or so the saying goes. It’s human nature to want a reward in exchange for an action. So, if you want people to come to your website, you have to give them back something in return.
The simplest way would be to give away things – like coupons for example. There are dozens of coupon directories out there that can help you – or maybe you can even give out discounts on group buying sites like Groupon, which has millions of subscribers all over the world.
You can join or start your own JV Giveaways. You can search for already existing events and contribute a gift that they can give on their site. This way, you can get your name out to people on their lists, tapping this rich resource of traffic – and all it takes is one small gift. Of course, you can also start your own giveaway. If you already have your own list of subscribers, you can easily ask people to join your giveaway.
Another great resource are giving away Warrior Special Offers. Free WSOs can really help you build your list, and well worth the expense.Targeting those really focused and specialized marketers (or “Warriors”) are a great way of building your networks and relationship with high-level people in your industry.
A popular way to gain attention is to run a contest – but the idea here is to send people back to your site, as well as building your existing lists. The mechanics of your contest must include a way to promote your product or to go back to your squeeze page – whether that means people must post on their blog or Facebook with a link, or by asking them to upload a video to YouTube linking back to you – it’s not about the winner per se, but if you make spreading the word part of the contest, you can get loads of traffic.
5) Ask for it
If you want something, just ask for it! It really doesn’t hurt to just ask people to click on your link. But before you pick up the phone and start calling your family and friends, here are other ways to just ask for people to come to your site:
You can use Twitter and other social media sites and leverage your followers – just post a link asking them to visit the site, and more importantly, asking them to retweet to their followers. Of course, this assumes that you have a great relationships with your Twitter followers. So before you ask them to do anything, make sure you are engaging them in conversations and that you constantly provide them with good, valuable content (and not just spamming them!)
Submit your website or page to places like Yahoo! Picks or Cool Site of the Day. Getting featured on such sites can mean thousands of visitors to your site – and not only that, your site may get noticed by more mainstream media, and get featured on places like CNN, BBC or TV and Radio Stations.
Exchanging or swapping ads with other marketers are another way to build your own list of subscribers and bring new traffic to your site. Use your networking skills and find other people with their own list, and just ask them if they want to do an ad swap – basically you recommend each other’s products to your own subscriber. That way you both get something out of it.
6) Pay for it
While many marketers disapprove of buying traffic – it is quite effective, and offers the most value for your money. There are ways to drive organic traffic to your website by paying for the tools or services you need.
If you’re not knowledgeable about social media or Internet marketing, you may want to outsource it to other people, like an agency or a consultant. That way you can focus on what you do best, rather than spending hours in front of a computer trying to figure it out on your own.
You can also get a little bit of help, a little bit at a time. Amazon Mechanical Turk is a wonderulf service that lets you spread out small tasks to many people, and you can pay as little as a few cents to ask people to click on a link. Just sign up for an account and you can assign Human Intelligence Tasks or HITS to their list of wokers or “Turks”. For example, if you want to get people to “Like” your page on Facebook, you can send out this task on Amazon Mechanical Turk and pay people a few pennies to do this.
Purchasing existing websites is another great way to bring traffic to your own websites. You can use these websites to create leads for your own squeeze pages and sites. Many people create sites for fun, or try to make money from it but failed, due to lack of knowledge – this is where you can come in. If a website owner is not maximizing the potential of their site, then you can gain from this. You can buy underperforming websites (on places like http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/ ) where you already have the products, content and other assets in place and turn it around. Or you can take those assets and break them up – turn them into Ebooks for sale or to give away to help grow your list or support your own product.
With competition being so tough these days, you need to be more creative when it comes to doing business. Let your competitors fight for those Google Adwords, top rankings on SERPs or social media dominance. While they wrestle each other for the same eyeballs and users, you can use these simple unorthodox means of getting traffic to your site.