So you made the first step. You have your first eCommerce or Affiliate Website up and running and you’re ready to make money online. Now what? How drive traffic to your website?
The basic theory of website optimization is quite straight forward. You visit the popular website directories (Google, MSN & Yahoo) and fill in the appropriate information. You enter your URL address, a brief description of your website and the related keywords or keyword phrases and you’re done. Piece of Cake! Just kick back and wait for the search engine spiders to crawl your site and “bam,” you’re on page one.
If it was indeed that simple, the search engine directories wouldn’t have the need for a second, third, or 953rd page for your designated search results. Everyone’s website would be on page one. The theory of website optimization and the applied practice thereof are spectrums apart.
Realizing this, you now have two options at your disposal to drive traffic to your website. These options are paid or organic (free) traffic.
You can start up a PPC (pay per click) campaign on Google Adwords. There are many internet Gurus who swear by the benefits of paid advertising. Admittedly, your website will start getting hits literally within minutes of your campaign going live. But there is absolutely no guarantee that your revenue will exceed your advertising expenditures. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could burn through a lot of money very quickly. And you might only recoup of fraction of those expenses in generated income.
What if you are just getting started and don’t have or can’t risk the money to invest in a paid advertising campaign? If this is the case, then free traffic may be exactly what you need to get your internet business going.
Your first thought might be, “Come on now. Nothing in life is free.” And you would be correct in this assumption. Think of generating free traffic to your website like investing sweet equity in a property you’ve just purchased and are hoping to turn a profit on. You don’t have the money to pay professionals to come in and patch the walls, paint, rip up the nasty old carpet and the ever dreaded linoleum. So you roll up your sleeves and go to work. And why would anyone in their right mind want to do all this? Because you know that the property is worth the time and energy you will put into it.
Generating free website traffic can be approached in much the same way. Your investment may not be monetary, but it will require time, energy, and above all, creativity on your part. You need to learn to think outside of the box! There are several methods that can be utilized in generating sweet equity traffic to your website.
The Fundamental Principle of Organic Traffic:
Organic traffic is based on building back links to your website. The more numerous these links are and the more relevant they are to your website’s particular niche, the higher your ranking in the search engines. Sounds complicated, right? In reality, it’s following a step by step process until you obtain the desired results.
Think of it like building a staircase. The objective of building any staircase is to get to the top of where it is you need to go. You simply build one step at a time until you have reached your destination. The primary difference is that you are building arrows in cyberspace that point back to your website rather than an actual physical staircase.
Nine Foolproof Methods for Organic Link Building;
1. Web Directories
One of the oldest and most established ways to increase free traffic to your site is by submitting your link to website directories. There are hundreds of directories on the internet. Every time you add your link to a directory, you are increasing your chances of generating free website traffic to your site.
2. Article Submission Sites
Submitting ezine articles is an effective way to establish extremely relevant links to your website. In addition to accomplishing the objective, the reader can visit your website directly from the author’s box.
Ezine @rticles is by far the most established of the internet ezines. Their readership is not to be ignored. There are, however, may other ezine article websites on the internet. You would know this because you’re on one of them. For a comprehensive listing simply Google ezine directories.
3. Social Bookmarking Sites
In recent years, social bookmarking sites such as Reddit, Stumbleupon, Furl, http://Del.icios.us, and Digg have gained immense popularity on the internet. You can bookmark virtually anything you have posted on the internet on these sites (including your own ezine articles) provided you do not violate the site’s terms and conditions. Fellow users of these sites then have the opportunity to link to your bookmarks if they find the subject matter interesting. This, in essence, can escalate into a form of viral marketing.
4. Social Networking Sites
Myspace, Facebook and the up and coming Twitter are incredible resources for establishing links and generating free traffic to your website. http://Compete.com recently ranked twitter as the third most used social networking site surpassed only by Facebook and Myspace.
Posting bulletins (or tweets) on these sights and inviting fellow members to follow you back to your site can produce phenomenal results.
5. Yahoo Answers
Yahoo Answers is yet another great marketing tool at your disposal. There is a question posted on Yahoo Answers for virtually any topic you can think of. If the asker deems your answer the best, he will vote it best answer. I have seen best answers wind up on Goolge’s first page on more than one occasion.
Just pick a question from a topic that is relevant to your website and post the answer. You are not allowed to post promotional links in the answer itself. And Yahoo does not recognize anchor text. You can, however, post your website address in the sources box as an expert on the topic.
Please Note: If you are new to Answers, you want to post at least five answers without posting your web address in order to avoid having your account suspended for spamming.
Yet another way to establish relevant links is to utilize forum websites. Forums are, in essence, discussion groups. You can post questions or topics for discussion within the forum. You can also comment on said posts, leaving your signature (a user name with your website address anchored into it).
The perfect forum for people wishing to establish links to their affiliate or ecommerce site is Warriorforum. Warrioforum is a forum specifically for internet marketers. It is not only one of the best sources for relevant links. It is also a great place to gather creditable information from established internet marketers.
Please Note: Most forums are presided over by a moderator. It is the moderator’s job to determine whether or not you are adding content or demonstrating a desire to learn within the forum. If it is determined that you are simply spamming the forum to proliferate links you will be banned. So do yourself a favor. Don’t leave comments like, “Great info, Bro” just to get another link.
7. Video Websites
There are many video posting websites on the net. Inarguably, the most popular by far is YouTube. You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to post on YouTube. YouTube postings range from simple commentary format with a handheld camcorder, all the way to full-blown video productions.
How effective is YouTube? April 1st 2009, no one had ever heard of Susan Boyle. On April 11, this rather plain looking woman wearing a dress that looked as if it had been pulled straight off a Salvation Army rack auditioned for a show called Britian’s Got Talent. This program isn’t even aired in the U.S. Despite the judge’s and audience’s skepticism, she proceeded to prove her vocalizations as a force to be reckoned with. By April 20, she had received over 100,000,000 hits on Youtube, more than President Obama’s Inauguration Speech. This happened in just nine days.
In case you think I went off on a tangent, I did not. Susan Boyle’s unprecedented exposure was simply meant as a demonstration of the sheer pulling power of internet video. If you type in phrases such as make money online, online business or work at home jobs you will find videos that have been viewed in excess of 100,000 times.
Flickr is an image and video hosting website. It also acts as an online community platform. Its primary function is to allow users to share personal photographs with the online community. However, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. When viewed from a marketing standpoint, Flickr can be an effective promotional tool.
9. Website Linking
Linking with websites compatible you your own is a great way to increase internet traffic. You will find that many sites with similar content to yours will be more than happy to swap links with you. Conduct a Google keyword search. Find sites that are similar in content to your own. Ask the owners if they are willing to swap links.
Many website owners view this as a win, win situation. You provide free content to his site. In exchange, he provides a link back to yours. Both of you will increase your web traffic and boost your website ranking. There are also automated link swapping programs. But you run the risk of less relevant links that may damage rather than aid your long-term ranking objectives.
Dual Fold Benefit
Virtually every method I have outlined above offers a dual fold benefit for your traffic generating efforts.