Simply owning a website doesn’t earn you any credibility, or money. In order to benefit from your precious online real estate, you need to have traffic. There are two types of website traffic: Organic (free) and Paid. While it’s advantageous to utilize both methods, in this article we’ll show you how to get Free traffic to a website.
#1 Rule – Always SEO Your Website
If you want to build a website that is going to stick around, then you’ll have to learn how to please the search engines. In order to do that, there are simple guidelines to follow that include creating and presenting quality content, as well as avoiding spammy blackhat techniques.
I recently published an article that outlines the basics of SEO, so if you’re not sure what it means to SEO your site, don’t worry…
For more information on using keywords and how to build, or update, your website using whitehat (good) SEO techniques, you can see my previous article Learn Search Engine Optimization (the Right Way!)
Using good SEO techniques when building out your website creates a strong foundation for a long-lasting website. The secret to being “found” on a search engine is to provide searchers with the most relevant information on the topic they are searching.
When Google and other search engines see that you are contributing unique and helpful information, they will present your website in the SERPs (or Search Engine Results Pages), which allows people to find you, thus creating traffic to your website.
SEO is extremely important for longevity, and should always be your first method of creating organic traffic.
#1 Free Online Marketing Tool – Social Media Platforms
The world is obsessed with social media and online purchasing. In our society’s ever-growing need for instant gratification, the internet has exploded into a giant market of visual advertisements and fast shipping of whatever your heart desires.
Whether your business, and your website, provides products or services, it can benefit from the use of social media platforms to gain massive amounts of traffic (and increase sales!) for Free.
Here are the 6 Top Social Media Platforms for Business:
Pinterest is a Search Engine
The widely used social media platform, Pinterest, is actually a large search engine. You can search for anything you like in the search bar, and much like Google responds, it will return the most relevant pins, boards, or people based on the keywords you entered.
Pinterest for Business is quite the traffic tool, as Pinterest is happy to help you market your business, and will even help you create a brand specific campaign.
While you do need to follow their rules of engagement in order to utilize the platform (which is true of any platform), they seem to make it pretty easy for any type of business to market online; from independent entrepreneurs, to small businesses, to large corporations.
If you haven’t yet discovered what Pinterest can do for your business, you can research what they have to offer on their Create a Pinterest Business Account page. They have very helpful articles on how to use your business account, as well as analytics to optimize your time and efforts.
While Pinterest is not the largest social media platform, it is arguably the greatest platform for generating free targeted traffic. It is used very differently than other platforms, in that people are often looking for inspiration and information of new products to buy, versus just socializing.
After creating your business page, you create “boards” with topics related to your business, which will hold your “pins” which are images with text, or very short videos, that contain links to something on your website (info, product, service). The idea is to create unique pins to appeal to your target audience, who will then re-pin (share), thereby generating more traffic back to your website.
Pinterest Account Setup and Use Tips:
- Use your company logo for your Profile picture (optimal upload size is 600 x 600px which will display as 165 x 165 px)
- Use keywords related to your business in the ‘About You’ section
- Confirm your website to boost your pin’s rankings and increase your brand visibility
- Use short, but descriptive board names (include keywords if possible)
- Write clear, concise, yet detailed, board descriptions including keywords
- Include your logo in your pin image, and your Brand name in your pin description
- When your able to, incorporate a scheduler to maximize your efforts (like Tailwind or Hootsuite)
Is there a paid ad option? After you’ve created your account and found an audience, then you may want to incorporate a Pinterest Ad campaign to increase your brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website. Pinterest has a step-by-step guide for creating a successful custom ad campaign with a set schedule and budget.
Facebook is the Largest Social Media Platform
According to Hubspot (https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics), Facebook has over a billion active Users every day, and three out of four people on Facebook scroll their feed page in search of “interesting content.”
Well, you might have some of that to share!
To use Facebook for marketing your brand, you’ll need to create a Business Page, and you must first have a personal profile in order to do this.
There are Two Ways to Create a Facebook Business Page:
- You can use your existing profile, if you’d like. Simply login and click on ‘Create’ then click on ‘Page’. Choose the appropriate title, either ‘Business or Brand’, or ‘Community or Public Figure’.
Or, if you need / prefer…
- You can create a whole new profile, then ‘Create a Page’ from that. Either way, your ‘Page’ is separate from your profile and will only show as being connected if you choose it to be under Settings, or add yourself as the Admin under Settings: Page Roles. If you wish to be unidentified, then don’t assign any roles.
After you ‘Create a Page’ you’ll be ready to start marketing in 5 QUICK STEPS:
1. Create a Page Name. This should be your Business Name, Brand, or Domain Name if you have a business website.
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2. Select a Category. Start entering your type of business, then choose from the suggested Categories.
3. Enter your Address. This is a legal business requirement. Just check the box ‘Don’t show my address’ if you don’t want it to display on your page.
4. Add a Profile Picture. Most often, this will be your Logo for a business. You can use a personal photo if you’re an independent agent such as a Realtor, Financial Planner, Private Instructor, etc.
5. Add a Cover Photo. It’s best to use an image or banner that is associated with your business. FB allows a space of 828 x 315 px and will not resize your photo, so try to optimize before you upload. You will have the ability to adjust placement slightly. Do not skip this step, as having a cover photo greatly increases your exposure.
Next, you’ll want to visit Settings to edit your page functions and restrictions.
Is there a paid ad option? Once you have some posts on your new page, you’ll also have the option of using ‘Boost’ and creating ads if you want help finding more interaction and new followers. You choose your audience, schedule, and budget.
Once you have a Facebook Business Page, it’s very easy to start a campaign on Instagram (since Facebook owns Instagram).
First, you’ll need to create an Instagram Business Account.
Go to Instagram, or download and install the Instagram app from the Google Playstore.
Setup your account by signing in with your Facebook business login, or:
1. Enter your email or phone number.
2. Choose a Username and Password.
1. Fill out your Profile Info.
2. Add a Profile Picture.
3. Click Done.
Now, you can post, share location, share photos, and share videos. For information on how to most effectively use your Instagram Business Account, visit the Instagram Help Center.
With an Instagram Business Account, you receive free Instagram Insights, which provides useful data about your followers, as well as your content performance and engagement.
You can manage your Instagram account directly from their website, the Instagram app, or from your Facebook Business Page, which SAVES TIME and DOUBLES YOUR EFFORTS.
On your Facebook Business page:
- Go to Settings, and click on Instagram in the left side menu.
- Connect your Instagram account.
- Easily share your Facebook ads to Instagram, or create new Instagram ads from your Facebook page.
Is there a paid ad option? Instagram Ads can help reach a specific audience with targeting in categories such as location, interests, behaviors, lookalikes (similar followers) or demographics. They are easy to set up and track, and you select your schedule and budget.
Twitter continues to grow, and is widely used to increase brand awareness.
When you open a business account on Twitter, you’ll need a business name, and a unique Twitter handle.
You can use up to 15 characters to identify or describe your business. Brainstorm some possibilities before setting up your account.
Chances are it will take you a few tries to find a handle that’s available. If your first option is already taken, try adding one of these:
- The, Just, Mr, Mrs, ThisIs, WeAre (other Title)
- Inc, Co, HQ, LLC, Corp
- Ask, Try, Join, Play, Eat (other action)
- City, State, Country (other location)
To Open a Twitter Business Account:
- Go to Twitter.com, and click on ‘Sign up.’
- Enter your name, email, and password (you are allowed ONE account per email address).
- Create a Username (this is where you use your business name) and click ‘Join.’
- Build your Timeline (follow some people, there will be suggestions to start).
- Confirm your email.
- Customize your business account with a profile picture, background image, website and short company bio. (the bio allows 160 characters, so be concise and be personal)
- Start Tweeting… and remember to use #Hashtags!
What is Twitter good for?
Connecting to customers fast. But, Tweets don’t stick around forever, so it’s best to determine what times your followers are following and Tweet accordingly. This will take some time to analyze in the beginning, but will be well worth your efforts to optimize your results.
Is there a paid ad option? With Twitter Ads targeting, your business can market to a specific audience, and only pay when a User interacts (Like, Follow, Retweet, etc). If it fits into your marketing budget, it could expand your online connections.
Is LinkedIn still In?
LinkedIn is a professional site for people to review company profiles, network, or job search. Used for business connections, rather than socializing, it can serve as a good place to build your brand.
According to Hubspot stats (again), LinkedIn is the best platform for lead generation. So if you’re a business looking for conversions, then developing your brand on LinkedIn is still In.
Much like Facebook, you need to have a personal account in order to create a Company page.
To open a LinkedIn account:
- Go to LinkedIn.
- Enter your desired Email and Password.
- Enter your First and Last Name.
- Create your Profile including Country, Zip code, Title, Company, Industry.
- Verify your E-mail.
- Start connecting! Suggestions will appear. You can add individuals, add all on the page, use search to add someone specific, or skip this section to return later.
- Add a Profile Picture.
- Add your phone number if you want mobile access (optional).
- Choose your Interests. Hashtag groups (like #entrepreneur) will appear that you can select to see groups and people who fall into that category.
When you arrive on your personal profile page, you can Follow, Post, Like, Comment and Share content.
To Start a Company Page on LinkedIn:
- In the main navigation bar on your profile, click on the ‘Work’ dropdown.
- Scroll to the bottom and click ‘Create a Company Page.’
- Choose a Page type, and enter your Company Name, Website, Industry and Logo.
With a Company Page, you gain marketing features to scale your business
- Engage with your selected target audience
- Create objective-based ad campaigns
- Use conversion tracking
- Generate qualified leads
- Use ‘Sponsored Inmail’ to send targeted Private Messages (with an average open rate of 52%, according to LinkedIn)
LinkedIn is the largest professional online network. You can promote your Brand, build relationships, find resources, and reach high-potential customers who are more likely to take action on purchase decisions.
Is there a paid ad option? Yes. The Company Page marketing features mentioned above can be found in LinkedIn Ads. You can maximize your reach of selected audiences through sponsored content, Inmail Ads, and text Ads. You bid for your audience, then set your schedule and budget.
YouTube for Video Marketing
Did you know that Google owns YouTube? When you create a YouTube marketing campaign, and incorporate your website, you greatly increase your exposure and your SEO!
YouTube is a very large search engine, with over a billion users each month.
According to Hubspot, over 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube daily!
Don’t think you have what it takes to create your own unique channel? Think again. There are people covering every topic imaginable, and most people aren’t pros.
Don’t want to be on camera? You don’t have to be! There are successful channels that promote video content without the creators ever being on the camera themselves. Don’t let being camera shy stop you from taking advantage of the power of YouTube.
Written words are wonderful, and absolutely necessary for a website, but an evolution has taken place in which people favor video content; preferably short, informative, and interesting video content.
Website owners are greatly expanding their market reach by incorporating video content on their website, which can be shared on all social media platforms, including a personalized YouTube channel.
To get some ideas on how to use YouTube for your business, go to YouTube, search companies you find interesting who have a lot of followers, and research why that is:
- What type of content are they sharing?
- What is the average length of a video?
- How have they established a unique presence?
- What could you do to establish your unique presence?
Recent information has indicated that the optimum video length is between 60 seconds and 4 minutes; enough time to provide a viewer with something of value, but not too long that they skip over your video to find a shorter one… remember we live in a society now that wants instant gratification. Short, concise, quality videos can lead to an increase in followers and website traffic.
Is there a paid ad option? YouTube can help you create a video marketing campaign to grow brand awareness, increase customer interest, and drive measurable results by choosing the right audience. As with other platforms, you select your Ad schedule and budget.
Social Media Marketing Organized
Once you have all of your Business accounts created, how on earth do you keep up with them all?!
There are many social media organization tools, such as calendars, schedulers, and automators, that make marketing on multiple platforms easy!
In our next article, How to Use Social Media in Marketing (10 Benefits and Tips), you’ll learn how you can organize your efforts to maximize your traffic while reserving your time for other business activities. Many social media management companies offer free trials (and free service!) so you can manage all of your social accounts in one place. These can be powerful business tools!
I hope you found this article on free website traffic helpful. Remember to check out our guide to SEO basics: Learn Search Engine Optimization (the Right Way!)
Are you ready to launch or scale your brand’s social media marketing campaign?
Share your comments or questions in the Comments section below!
Owner of BuildYourIncomeOnline.com