17 Free Ways To Increase Traffic to Your Blog or Website
Increase website traffic and you’ll make more money. It’s a simple solution.
Traffic is the engine that drives every online business. Without traffic, even the best website is destined to fail.
Many small businesses solve their traffic problems by throwing money at it. And if you have deep pockets, you can certainly buy all the website traffic you need via Google Adwords, Facebook ads and more.
But chances are, since you found your way here today, you are more like me. You don’t want to spend money on advertising, especially when there are so many great ways to get free website traffic online.
So today I’ll cover all my favorite ways. These strategies really work, you just have to implement them and stick to them. I urge you to try at least ten of these 17 strategies and keep at it.
You may be surprised at how powerful these traffic methods are. I’ll share them all right after today’s top sponsor message…
1. Blog Frequently
You need to keep adding content to your blog regularly. At a bare minimum, once a week. If you can do it 2-3 times a week that is even better. If you can do it daily, that is even better still.
Google and other search engines love fresh content and they will time their visits to your site based on how often you post.
For example, they might start off coming around every couple weeks. But when they see that you’re posting weekly, they will come weekly to index your new pages. If you post daily, they’ll come daily.
Indexing, by the way, means your page is now findable in the search engine. So if you’re posting a lot, your pages will have an easier time finding their way to the SERPs in a shorter timer period.
And by the way, I’m not talking about posting a few paragraphs. Google and other search engines love LOOOONG content. While you can get away with 500 words or so, you’re better off sitting down and writing for an hour or two.
That way you’ll be posting content that is at least 1,000 words long, or more than 2,000 words long if you have time. Heck, this post you are reading right now is over 3,000 words long. That’s what they love, so give it to them and you’ll be rewarded.
2. On-Site Search Engine Optimization
On-site SEO is a great way to get free traffic. Basically, you make sure all your web pages and posts are set up optimally for search engines. I do this using a free WordPress plugin called Yoast.
Yoast analyzes my post for me before I publish it and tells me where I can improve SEO factors such as title, meta tag, description and body content.
It takes about a half hour to set up Yoast on a WordPress site, but you only have to do it once. Then once you have it set up it only adds a few minutes of work to each blog post you publish.
Those extra couple minutes of work will maximize your on-site seo for every piece of content you publish. Time well spent if you want to maximize your search engine visibility.
Another popular plugin for this is called All in one SEO. Both this plugin and Yoast area available for free via your WordPress Admin area under Plugins, or at https://wordpress.org/plugins/.
3. Off-site SEO (Link building)
This type of SEO is a little more time consuming than on-site SEO, but it can get you lots of traffic, especially in the long run. Basically, it involves growing the number of inbound links to your site.
There are lots of ways to do that including guest blogging and forum posting, and I’ll cover many of them in this post. If you want even more strategies for link building, I suggest you read this post from a fellow blogger.
4. Link Out To Other Authority Sites and Blogs
Google seems to like it when you occasionally link out to other authority sites in your niche. See how I did that in the above tip? It can help your own page rank better, plus you can build rapport with fellow bloggers which can lead to lucrative JV’s and other forms of partnerships.
5. Link to Other Posts and Pages at Your Own Site
When creating and publishing new content at your blog, always be on the lookout for opportunities to link to other blog posts you’ve already written.
These internal links can really help you with SEO, plus they have the added benefit of creating a more useful experience for every visitor to your site. That’s important to Google which means it can significantly increase your traffic over time.
6. Guest Blog Post
You already know that blogging frequently can bring lots of traffic to your sites. But you can also take advantage of other bloggers’ traffic to increase traffic to your own blog.
Many bloggers have a hard time keeping up with a busy blogging schedule, especially when they have so many other tasks to complete in their online business. So when an expert in their own niche comes along and asks if they can take over blogging duties for a day, it’s a welcomed relief!
Start by finding blogs in your niche. Go to Google.com and type in your niche keyword + blogs.
When you find one you like, go to similarweb.com and paste the blog’s URL into the tool and click start. Next the results pop up and you’ll be able to see an approximate traffic profile for the site.
Whenever you find sites you like thave have a decent amount of traffic, go ahead and create a blog post that you feel would fit nicely on the site. For instance, if it’s a golf instruction blog, then come up with a blog post about a driving, chipping or putting tip. (If you can’t post it there you can always post it somewhere else.)
Make sure you include a bio blurb for the blog owner. This is something that comes before or after the blog post that tells a little about who the author is – with a link back to your domain. It shouldn’t be too long – maybe 2 or 3 sentences, max. Some blog owners also let you add a link within the body of the post which can help even more with your off-site SEO efforts.
After you’ve submitted your post, go back to the SimilarWeb results page and click on Similar Sites. That will help you find more blog owners to contact.
7. Post on Facebook
Facebook has a variety of traffic options for you to take advantage of. It’s against the terms of service to have more than one profile page. But that shouldn’t stop you from having a facebook page for each site or blog you own.
Create a facebook page (used to be called fan pages) for people to “like” and that way they can follow you. A facebook page lets you post links, videos and pictures just like you would on a blog.
In fact, if you want to automate the process of having your blog posts added to your facebook page, there are plugins available for that. Once is called Facebook Auto Publish and it’s a free plugin that works seamlessly in the background.
Once you have your Facebook page and auto publishing plugin in place, you can move onto the other big social media platform…
8. Post at Twitter
Some people (like me) mistakenly ignore Twitter because they worry about how much marketing they could do in just 140 characters. But the reality is – a lot of traffic can come your way through Twitter!
Not only can you post messages (including links) to your Twitter stream, but those messages can get Retweeted to more people if your followers hit the Retweet button for you.
Make sure you treat your Twitter followers the same way you would followers on other social networks. Watch the feed and interact with them on their posts. Retweet some of their posts, too.
Don’t just market to them. Have a good mix of personality in your Twitter stream to create a stronger brand loyalty. Let them get to know the person behind the account.
Personally, I don’t have time to tweet daily so I automated the process using this strategy.
9. Use Push Notifications
You may have heard of web push but you’re not sure how it works. It’s fairly recent technology that can sound confusing on the surface, but really isn’t. And it can really increase traffic to your blog.
In a nutshell, web push brings visitors back to your site by offering a free notification of new posts, via a small button. In fact, I added a little web push button on this site you’re at right now.
To set it up, I used a free service from OneSignal.com – while there are a handful of services that offer push notifications, such as PushCrew, and many server based solutions, I chose OneSignal because it was 100% free with unlimited subscribers and pushes.
And frankly, it was the simplest one I could find. Adding the plugin and button took me about 30 minutes in total.
So is it working?
Well, at the 30 day mark I was pleasantly surprised to see 85 new subscribers in my OneSignal account. While that may not sound like a lot to you, it’s over 1000 new subscribers per year, all 100% on auto-pilot, and all 100% free.
As I write this today, some six months after setting up my Onesignal account, here is an updated screenshot of my stats. Keep in mind that this is a 100% set it and forget it traffic system and it is growing all the time…
At this rate I expect to easily surpass the 1000 mark later this year. Not too shabby for a completely free traffic source.
OneSignal makes it very simple to add web push notifications using its Web Push API, which lets users choose to receive personalized push notifications from your web sites on their PCs, tablets, or smartphones.
Their site contains simple videos walking you through the setup procedure and it really is a breeze. After I set it up I tested it out by visiting my site from my smartphone and clicking OK when it asked me if I wanted a notification when new posts were added.
Now I am reminded how well it works every time I add a new post — I get that nice little notification sound on my Android phone along with a visual notification and link to my site. Cool! And people who accept notifications in their browser see my post alerts the next time they open their browser.
The last few months I’ve been getting a 5% click-thru rate via these push notifications, which definitely makes it worth the effort.
If you’re not using OneSignal or another web push solution on your blog you’re missing out on adding more subscribers. Remember, some people may not want to opt-in via email, and some email subscribers may miss your emails in their sea of daily spam.
The bottom line is, OneSignal is definitely worth the one-time setup effort and remember, it’s completely free!
10. Build An Email List and Use It
This one gets overlooked by too many businesses simply because it “seems” like a lot of work to set up. I assure you, it is not. Email marketing is the number one reason I’ve been in business online for more than 20 years. Quite simply, it works better than any other traffic strategy I know.
While you will need to invest in an autoresponder service such as Aweber (that’s the one I use) the cost is minimal. And the strategy itself is 100% free.
I could write for hours about how to set up your email marketing and how to contact your subscribers, but I’ll refer you to this post if you want more info.
11. Post at Niche Forums
Participating in forums for your niche where real people hang out, is a great way to increase traffic and also grow your inbound links. Many forums allow you to add a signature file that automatically shows up below any post you make on the site. So if you reply to someone else’s thread, it shows your message, with a sig file beneath it.
Most forums have rules for sig files though, and some don’t allow them at all. You might be able to use a mix of images and text, or one or the other.
Remember, the very best way to make use of your sig file is to provide good value to the forum. If people read a thread started by you and are amazed at its great value, they will often click on your sig file to see what else you have to offer!
12. Use Article Marketing
I’m sure you’ve seen a LOT of information about article marketing. Yeah, it can be time consuming and tedious, but it still works to get you traffic and backlinks.
Basically, you write articles and submit them to websites along with your bio and link.
Here are some tips that can help you maximize your article marketing efforts:
· Most article directories are free. Others have perks for those who pay a monthly price – like faster article approval. Decide if premium services are worth it to you, in most cases it’s not worth the cash in my opinion.
· Work on developing your call to action. This is the small area at the end of your article that gets people to click through to your link. Don’t be boring and simply say something like, “for more information, click here,” because that’s not interesting enough to warrant a click. You need to pique curiosity!!
· Spread your backlinking efforts among many sites – not just one. Most marketers use EzineArticles.com for their article marketing – but there are many others, like ArticlesBase.com and ArticleCity.com – that you can use, too.
· Don’t put all of your content on directories – save a good deal of it for your own blog.
If you want to cut down on the work involved, you can outsource content writing to a ghostwriter and upload it under your name on the directories. Just make sure it’s unique so that it gets approved. You can even outsource the submission to directories if you want to make it completely hands-free.
13. Use Teaser Headlines
Teaser headlines get more clicks. You know the headlines I’m talking about. Some examples are “7 Myths About…”, “Why you Need to Stop Doing This Today”, “Is This The Easiest Way Ever To…”
Basically, you pique the interest of anyone reading the headline so they almost HAVE to click to find out more. All the most popular blogs and websites use this strategy and you should use it too.
The best places to use teaser headlines are in your email subject lines, and in your blog post titles. Master this skill and you’ll find it generates more clicks and more revenue almost overnight.
If you’re not a creative thinker (I’m not either) you can use the tool I use whenever I need a good teaser headline. It’s called Headlinr and it automates the process, delivering awesome headlines in seconds.
14. Use the Parasite SEO Method
The parasite SEO method can get you a LOT Of traffic from Google.
The term “parasite” when referring to SEO simply means getting one or more pages of your content placed on an authority domain which you don’t own yourself.
You can then monetize that traffic multiple ways, including with affiliate links and links to your web pages, to help boost your own site’s search engine ranking.
Here’s a little more info on how parasite SEO works:
The main authority domain such as LinkedIn, Wiki How-To, Quora, Yahoo Answers and dozens of other authority sites are considered the ‘host’. These hosts already have high authority and top ranking web pages.
That’s where you come along and act as the parasite.
You do that by posting content on a user-generated page, placed on their domain. Your page then draws on the authority of the host site to rank fast.
It’s a fairly simple concept and the process is relatively simple. And it works so well because Google views authority sites like those as trustworthy.
That means you can get pages to rank far more easily than your own self-hosted pages (especially if you have a new website.)
Instead of taking six months or longer, plus working to get a ton of quality backlinks (which means lots of time and money invested) to rank pages on your website, the parasite SEO strategy can shortcut you directly to the process of generating leads and earning income.
If you want to try Parasite SEO, Rank Hijack is a great tool to help to find parasite opportunities.
15. Speed Up Your Site
Slow websites and blogs are a traffic killer. Google hates slow sites and you will get outranked by faster sites in your niche almost every time.
For the amount of effort it takes to speed up your site, it’s a no brainer. I use a plugin called WP Fastest Cache which takes about five minutes to install. I put it on all my sites and all my clients’ sites using WordPress. It speeds up the site every time. You’ll find a link to it along with a 17 other WordPress plugins I use here.
16. Ask For Comments
Blog comments are a critical component for every blogger. Not only do they show that you have an active community, they add lots and lots of relevant LSI keywords to your website.
LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are basically keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. These are the terms other people use when searching for content like yours. Search terms you probably don’t have in your content already. This WILL help you get better search engine ranking.
Yet most bloggers drop the ball when it comes to getting comments at their blog. That’s because they don’t ask! Asking for comments is the easiest way to get them. Another strategy I use is to give away a free gift or a chance to win something, to every person who comments.
Oh, and speaking of comments, when you get them take time to respond. That builds your community and lets people know you actually care about them. Plus, when you respond to every comment you automatically double the number of comments you get! 😉
17. Do Joint Ventures
Joint ventures are one of my favorite free traffic strategies of all time. You can do them in any niche and they can bring an immediate rush of new subscribers and sales.
I find most of my joint venture partners via my email contacts, on facebook, on contest leaderboards and simply by searching the web for other blogs in my niche.
When approaching a potential JV partner, don’t make the mistake of telling them about your new product or service. Instead, start by asking them if they have any new products or services you can promote for them. This method almost always gets them to open up and reply to you.
Then after a few emails or facebook messages back and forth, after you’ve had a look at their product or service, tell them about yours. Since you’re committed to promoting for them, they almost have to say yes to you!
OK, so there you have it. 17 free ways to increase traffic to any site or blog.
Remember, these are not theories, they are real traffic methods that work. I know because I use them all. And I make my living online in my spare time. If that’s something you want to do too, grab my 150 page PDF where I explain step by step how I did it.