This cannot be emphasized enough. Good Seo is your starting point to any free advertising campaign. Before you even consider any other methods for free traffic, get your website user and search engine friendly. Put on quality content in line with the objective of your website. Make your content interesting, fresh and unique for the user and the search bots will come crawling. If word gets around that your content is great, webmasters may voluntarily link to your website. This one-way linking will increase your link popularity, search engine rankings and get you good free traffic. Ensure your site is well designed, your html is clean and compliant, your pages load quick and there are no dead links. Your users should be able to get what they want within three to four clicks. Avoid excessive use of graphics and animation unless absolutely necessary. I don’t recommend you use pop-ups as most users get irritated by them.
Writing articles is another great way to get free traffic. Webmasters are constantly looking for fresh, quality articles to put on their website. When you write an article, you are allowed to describe a little about yourself and your website in the resource or author bio box. It is in this box that you are allowed to put a link back to your site. Submit these articles to article directory sites. If your article is relevant and exciting, webmasters will put it on their websites. In this way, you can improve link popularity by getting a one-way link back to your site and free traffic from readers who read your article. Write articles that relate to your website. For example, if you have a website on growing roses, write an article that has something to go with growing roses. Submit your article to as many article directories and relevant websites as possible.
Every niche on the internet has a plethora of forums. Do a Google search and find relevant ones in your niche. Join these forums as member and contribute to the community by making useful and thoughtful posts. You are allowed to put your link in your signature line. This also counts towards your link popularity as search engines also index forum posts. Fellow forum members may also click on your link to visit your site. A word of caution – every forum has a different set of rules, especially when it comes to links. Make sure you read and obey them at all times. If you just go in and put up links, you will be banned almost instantly.
The great granddaddy of free traffic, link exchanges are still very relevant and effective today. Make contact with sites that are in a similar niche as your own. Offer to exchange links with these sites. A word of caution – choose the sites that you link to very carefully. Avoid linking to spammy, black-hat sites with questionable content and motives. Make sure that these sites are not banned by the major search engines.
You not only need to get a continuous stream of new visitors to your website, you need to make sure you keep the old ones coming back all the time. The best way to do this is by providing fresh valuable content and by way of a newsletter system. Put in a newsletter subscription form on your site and invite visitors to subscribe to a newsletter that you can email to them either weekly or monthly. You can put some content, some special offers, ads and a link back to your site in your newsletter every time you email out. Also provide them with an incentive or reason to click on your link and visit your site. In this way, you remind your visitors about your website.
Submit to directories
There are many directories available on the web that allow ads or links free of charge. Some are general and some specialize in a particular niche. Choose relevant ones and submit your link or ad to them. Make sure you choose quality directories that are indexed by search engines. In this way you get a one-way link back to your site. You benefit by getting free traffic and improved link popularity.
Email this page
Another great, yet simple idea is to add an “Email this page” feature to your website. It’s a simple form where a visitor fills in the name and email address of another person that he/she wishes to recommend your site to. You set the form to automatically email a link to your website to that person. That person will then receive an email with a short message that says that so and so person had recommended that he/she visit your site, etc.
If you follow these simple ideas, you should start to see an increase in traffic to your site. Please note that building traffic takes time and won’t happen overnight.