Getting Free Traffic To Your Website
Beginner Niche Marketer's Guide Vol. 5
In case you haven't figured it out, traffic is massively important to you website. For the Beginner Niche Marketer's Guide Vol. 5, we are going to be discussing free traffic methods, which is to distinguish it from ‘paid' traffic methods like paid ads.
If you write decent content on your niche site, you will eventually make some sales. Of course, better content means more sales, but only average content will still make you some money. At this stage in the game, any money is better than no money.
So once get a few visitors on your site, and after you make a few sales, you'll start to think, “Awesome! How do I get more of this?!”
The answer is traffic. More traffic. And not just any traffic, you need targeted traffic. That means visitors coming to your website that want what you are selling. I'll get into this below.
What's that? You don't know if anyone's visiting your website? Watch this video to see how you can start tracking visits on your site. There are also various traffic tracking plugins that you can use. PS, if you are using Jetpack to track visitors, I recommend you stop using it. It's draining your resources, and Google Analytics provides much more insight.
Also, I should let you know that part of getting targeted traffic is knowing how to do proper keyword research. Am I putting the cart in front of the horse here? No. First understand how important traffic is. Then understand where to get it from. Then understand how to get it via keyword research. That'll come in BNMG Vol. 8
Why Is Traffic So Important
Without people on your site, you're not making sales. Without the right people on your site, you are still not making sales.
So many of these scam products online tell you that they will help you get thousands of visitors on your site. Go to Fiverr, and I'll be you can buy a million visits for $5. The problem is that these are just people looking at your stuff. They are not people BUYING your stuff. Ultimately, we want people to buy our stuff. We are getting into this business to make money, not just have a high traffic blog, right?
One of the most amazing things about having lots of traffic is that you can you can use the data to improve your site in quite a few ways. Most importantly, you can use this data to see which posts you created are the most popular (then make more of those), and see where you are getting most of your traffic, and optimize those posts to make sales.
Without this data, you are shooting in the dark. Perhaps a smarter business man could develop a better business plan than this, but that's not me. I just know what works for me:
- Pick a topic I'm interested in
- Write tons of information on it
- See where traffic is coming from
- Optimize my site for that traffic
- Optimize my site to make sales from that traffic
Targeted Traffic & The Customer Purchase Lifecycle
So we are looking for two things with traffic, we are looking for people that are interested in what we are writing about. That's the “targeted” part.
The second thing we're looking for is people late in the customer purchase lifecycle. I'm sure you've researched a product before on the internet. Did you buy from the first site you went to? Probably not. You probably visited a few sites, did some research, and sat down a few days later to actually go and buy.
Your first search in Google might have been “why do motorcyclists wear leather jackets”. Then maybe “how do I know if a motorcycle jacket is real leather”. The second search might have been “American made real leather motorcycle jackets”. With all of these searches, you are still browsing and still researching. Thanks for the free info dude, see you later.
A few days later, you type in “Schott motorcycle jackets with free shipping”. Now you are ready to buy. We want those people.
But we can't just make every post on our site about “Buy X Product for cheap” or “Discounts on Y Product”. That would make a lame site, and to be honest, very few “buy X product” type posts rank well. Lots of people base their entire business model on these keywords, and I can guarantee their sites won't last long, if they even rank at all. We need to have a variety of information, and get a bit more creative like that.
I will be completely honest with you – I'm not expert at finding customers late in the purchase lifecycle. Keywords vary based on niche, and I don't have any rules except for gut feelings. I'm sorry that I can't explain it better. But if you keep this in mind while doing your keyword research and writing your posts, you're heading in the right direction.
Always think to yourself, “Am I just creating a resource for people to use and never come back, or am I creating something that shows people what they need to purchase?” It's OK to have just informative posts! But they should be part of a large plan. You can read about basic funnel concepts in Vol. 9 of BNMG.
3 Ways To Find Targeted Traffic
There are three main ways to get targeted traffic to your website.
1) Social Media
Hang out in the right social groups, and people will be interested in what you have to say. Leveraging social media is NOT about posting your links everywhere. That sucks, and everyone hates it. But with a bit of a ‘guerilla marketing' attitude, you can use social media to your advantage.
Follow people in your niche. Join the social communities they use like Facebook groups, Google communities, or Twitter chats. Engage with them. Comment on their posts, ask good questions, and offer unique information. Others will follow. People will check out your profile. If you have your accounts properly connected and allow those curious people a way to find your website via your social media profiles, they'll drop by.
Offer them great content, and they'll keep coming back. Maybe they'll even share your content for you. Then you're golden.
Even if none of this works, you still spend time learning more and more about your niche, and about the people who are interested in it. Learn their problems, and find solutions for them. Did someone just complain about the stitching in their leather jacket breaking? What happened, why, and how did they fix it? Write an article about it. Next time it happens to someone else (and it will), they'll search in Google and find your article.
It's a painfully slow process, and very hard to measure results. It's even harder to not get distracted by all the useless content passed around on the interwebs. The best way to approach SM is have a daily plan of what you do or how much time you do it, and stick to the plan. Every few months, take a look at what you are doing and see if it's working for you. Increase or decrease or alter your plan from there.
2) Keyword Research & Low Hanging Fruit
I'm going to be writing a whole post on how to do keyword research, so for now, we just need to cover how it relates to your traffic. Update: Here is the full post on how I do keyword research, including over 2 hours of free video to help you.
Especially when you are just starting a new website, it can be hard to get found. There's just so much noise on the internet, that search engines don't' really have time to pay attention to what you are doing. You'll be indexed, but somewhere on page 20, where no one ever goes.
Consistency in blogging is a huge factor when trying to improve your rank. But you can't just post 50 blog posts in a week to try and ‘speed up' your consistency. That takes time, and it's something we really can't control.
So the answer is to go for super-low-competition keywords, also known as low-hanging fruit. It means they're easy to pick from the traffic tree. I'll cover how to find those low-hanging fruit in Volume 6, but basically it works like this.
a. Find low competition keywords
b. Optimize your posts for these keywords
c. Rank for these keywords
d. Create large amounts of these types of posts over time
Why Do We Do This?
1. Though each kw gets you only a few visits per day, collectively they add up
2. Highly targeted keywords means more engagement on these posts
3. High engagement, plus increasing traffic helps your authority and starts to increase your rank for other, more competitive areas
If you were to save $1 per day, your friends might laugh at you. After 1 year, you'd have $365, which is not so funny anymore. Invest that money in a decent stock (Tesla at $35?), and a few years later, you've tripled your money (BTW Tesla is now $250). You now have
$1700 more money, and you understand my point. Traffic can work the same way.
Go for super low competition keywords, even if traffic is minimal. Do this repeatedly and consistently and you can build traffic slowly, which will eventually snowball into higher traffic and more rankings for higher competition keywords.
This is my main weapon for getting traffic, so if you wondered what my secret to success is, this is it:
This is pretty advanced, or at least takes some confidence to implement. And to tell you the truth, I haven't done too much of them.
But collaborations are a great way to get high quality traffic on your site. This can be directly, through a link on whatever venture you're working on, or indirectly through brand recognition.
If you know what you're doing in your niche, people will want to work with you. But they might not know who you are or what you can bring to the table. Seek these people out. By working with experts with tons of followers, you will be exposed to a whole new audience, and won't have to wait the years to it takes to build that audience.
One thing to watch out for is that these people are busy. They might not even respond, or they might politely decline. It's frustrating, but understandable. If this is the case, take a step down, and start looking for peers to do joint ventures with. No one in their right mind would turn down an opportunity to grow their own audience and hone their craft. Just make sure that this is how you pitch your project to them.
Saying something like, “Hey, do you want to work together, I can't get any traffic to my blog.” is going to give the wrong impression. Don't focus on the traffic. Say something like, “Hey, there's a project I want to start working on and wanted to get a partner for it. I like what you are doing on your blog, and think we can both benefit from something like this. At the very least, it'd be cool to learn about X, or see the results of Y.”
And don't get too scared, you don't have to start by building a Fortune 500 company on your first idea. Here are some possible ways to work together with people in your niche:
- Hangout on Air discussion on a related topic
- Skype interview
- Guest blogging on their or your blog
Remember to keep in mind that no matter how polite anyone is, they are keeping themselves and their own business in mind. If your collaboration is clearly one sided, aimed to help you leech off their traffic and brand, they will say no. This is why it's important to build your brand independently and have some success before pitching to the big dogs. At the very least, you should have an awesome site to show them, so that they feel they are getting something out of the deal.
If you have a basic site with tons of visitors however, this is great too. They know that any project they help you with will get likes, shares, and views from your audience, which could get some of your followers to also follow them.
If you really can't actually get to work with these people, you can still make yourself known to them! Here some ways to get their attention:
- Tweet questions at them
- Comment on their blog regularly
- Do an expert roundup post that includes them (and let them know)
- Write a post about something related to them and ask their opinion on it
What If I Don't Have Any Traffic?
Everyone starts from zero. I blogged every day on One More Cup of Coffee for 6 months, with less than 10 visitors per day. I'll hit 10,000 visits this month, and growth is increasing exponentially. How did I do it? I did everything I outlined in this post, so if you want similar results, read the article again.
Everyone thinks that for some reason Google hates them and they are doing something wrong. But if you write consistently, and write the best content you can, traffic WILL come. You are not special in the eyes of Google. That means it takes a long time to gain authority, but it also means you get an equal chance just like anyone else.
Already Have Traffic?
That's great! Even just a few visits a day can give you some insight into what you should be doing more of on your website, as well as what just isn't working for you so far. Here's a video on how to analyze your traffic for content ideas and sales.
In case you missed 'em
- Vol. 1 : How to Choose a Good Domain Name
- Vol. 2 : Best Hosting For Newbies
- Vol. 3 : How to Build a Website for Cheap
- Vol. 4 : Choosing a Profitable Niche
When did you start your site and how much traffic are you getting? What's your plan to increase traffic at this point?