You've launched your new website. It looks sharp, runs fast, and is built for conversions. All you need now is for people to visit your website.
Getting site visitors is trickier than ever these days. Virtually every company, personality, and even pet have its own pages, social media presence, or something else online vying for attention. You'll need a solid SEO strategy and a bit of luck to cut through the noise.
You cannot just launch a website into the wild and expect people will come to visit. People may never see your website even if you have a strong local presence or are known in your industry. You must be active to stay top-of-mind with your audience and remind them of your online presence.
Thankfully, a lot of the work you need to do to remind people can be done for free. Yes, there are Google and other online advertising you can pay for. But there are also many ways to gain visitors to your website that won't cost you anything except your time.
So, let's get started with our 25 free ways to drive website traffic to your local business.
Even though the world's gone digital, there's still power in good old-fashioned networking. Meeting someone face-to-face helps humanize a business or solution in a way digital solutions still haven't quite mastered. All you need to do is locate local events and show up, talk, socialize, and make new friends and connections. Just be sure to bring a stack of business cards with your website's URL and hand those out to everyone you meet.
Give something away
Who doesn't love a freebie? Blast out the news on all your platforms that you're giving away something from your website, and watch the visitors roll in. Be sure to put something in place to capture new leads, as you will get many new people to your website with a giveaway.
Hold a limited-time offer
Deals are second only to freebies in people's minds. Sometimes they can actually be more effective since many people will assume they won't be the lucky winner in a giveaway. But everyone loves getting a good deal on a product or service. Be sure to make the offer limited so it's unique and creates a sense of urgency.
Publish a free eBook on Amazon
eBooks are an excellent way to establish your business as an authority figure within your sphere. Many host their ebooks on their own site as lead generators (which is also an excellent tactic). But most will overlook getting their information out into the wild. Other sites have new followers who have never heard of you. Use their website traffic to help build your own by giving your eBook away for free on their platform.
Client testimonials are vital for any business, particularly small and local businesses. Look at how much of Amazon's page is dedicated to testimonials and referrals. If you have some regular and happy customers, ask them for a testimonial to host on your website or, even better, on an external website that can drive visitors back to your website.
Ask for referrals
Similar to testimonials, people trust direct referrals from their friends and colleagues. When many businesses are starting out, they forget to tap into their network of friends and work colleagues. They know of your company but might assume your business is booming or you don't need help. Many would be more than happy to let others know about you if you simply ask. This is especially true if you've been happily servicing or working with someone for a long time.
Do a joint venture
Joint Ventures can really help boost your website's traffic. Partnering with other businesses that might overlap your industry is an excellent way to grow your reach beyond what you currently have. There are loads of opportunities available to you if you're creative. Don't think of it as using other businesses for their lists, either. Other small businesses will be just as thrilled to gain access to your customers as you'll be to get theirs.
Speak at an event
Many have apprehension about public speaking. Still, there's no denying the power that comes from appearing at an event. When you speak at an event related to your industry or even unrelated to what you do, people will get interested in your business and want to know more. Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert or authority will help your company's standing in your industry and drive people to your website.
Host your own event
If you can't find speaking engagements or your industry isn't well represented in your area, host your own event. We're not saying you must fill your local convection center (kudos if you can). An “event” these days can be smaller-scale. You can host a live session on Facebook or LinkedIn. All you need to do is invite your own panel of experts and lead the conversation. Also, ensure your company's name is featured and you mention visiting your site for more information during the event.
Host a training or webinar
People love learning something new. You might not think you have anything to share. But, if you've been in business for any amount of time, you've gained insights and knowledge that others don't have. Think through what you've gone through to set up your business or what you've learned about your industry. Use that to inform, educate, or entertain your audience. Just be sure to direct your audience to a landing page or your website during your presentation.
Start a podcast
More and more people are turning to podcasts over public radio or other forms of entertainment. Tap into this explosion with a podcast of your own. It not only helps establish your credibility, but it will also help you expand and grow your audience. Try to host guests as much as possible to really boost your audience.
Start a blog
Blogs are a fantastic source of organic website traffic. Post regular, valuable articles relevant to your profession. Not only do blogs give you extra search results (which helps drive organic traffic), but they also help you establish a community. Readers can comment and engage with your content instead of simply passively reading. Use the blog to gain visitors who prefer to consume their content through the written word.
Comment on other blogs
Even if you don't blog yourself (but you really should), you can gain potential traffic by being active on other blogs in the comments. We're not saying to simply drop in and leave a link to your website. You need to really engage with the community and offer meaningful, relevant feedback on what's being discussed. Establishing a presence on relevant blogs shows you're active in your community or industry. It will drive people to want to know about your company. And if you do it right, you might be asked to do a guest spot.
Write a guest post
Once you've gained the attention of other bloggers, websites, or social media influencers, they may ask you to come to write a guest post on their site. This is an incredible opportunity to convert some of their website traffic into your own. If no one has asked you to write a guest post yet, don't hesitate to reach out to them. It's hard to keep up with content calendars, and everyone loves getting new, fresh content for free.
Interview others/get interviewed
This relates to podcasting and blogging but can also be its own thing. While you want to feature interviews with vendors or customers on your site or podcast, you can also video them or record the discussions and share them on your social media channels. People love listening to others have conversations more than being talked at. And if you can be interviewed by other people or outlets, this will help you build trust in the minds of the people who listened to the interview.
Develop an email marketing list
You can't afford not to have an email marketing list today. We've talked about it before, but you need to have a direct line to your customers. You can use your list to update your customers on new website changes, promotions, or other vital information which will help drive them to your website.
Develop a lead magnet
Ebooks, brochures, webinars, etc., are excellent website traffic drivers. The crucial detail is ensuring that your offering is truly valuable information. Don't skimp or hold back just because what you're offering is “free.” The leads and new visitors you gain will be worth far more than the information you share.
Answer questions online
If you have specific industry knowledge, share it online to help others. There are many popular sites like Yahoo Answers or Quora where people go to ask questions. These sites appear at the top of many organic searches. So, having helpful answers in these search results will drive people to your website for years to come.
Write case studies
If you've been in business for any time, you have a satisfied customer or two. Get their story down. Detail how you helped them, why they wanted you, etc., to help future customers understand your value proposition.
Be active on Reddit/Medium
These sites have a massive audience and powerful search engine performance. In fact, many Google searches suggest an “on Reddit” in the search bar when entering information. You can't spam links in most Reddit groups, but you can be a helpful, active community member. Over time, this will build trust for your business and help increase your website traffic. Occasionally you will get opportunities to tastefully share your links, but don't go in trying to spam links.
Be active on social media. Yep, you heard us right. You get to browse Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to build your business. Try to find related industries and services and get active in their comment sections. Again, don't just share links, but offer helpful information. Build credibility and trust in other communities, and people's curiosity will lead them back to your website.
Be active on YouTube
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. You can't afford to not have a presence on YouTube, even if it's just a few videos. There are many people out there who don't want to read blogs and prefer to get their content via video. Don't lose out on the ability to reach this audience.
Pinterest might not have the booming presence it once did, but it rules the roost on image searches (which are an excellent source of organic traffic). Many companies focus on capturing keyword search results but neglect to capture image search results. Pinterest boards and groups are still a viable source of significant organic website traffic.
Join or Host Facebook Groups
Facebook groups have replaced many popular online forums in recent years. There are tons of communities dedicated to even the most niche markets. Chances are if you're involved in an industry, there are multiple Facebook Groups with passionate, active community members. And if there aren't any already, start your own!
Go Live on Facebook
Never before have we been able to broadcast ourselves to a worldwide audience anytime we feel like it. While many companies have a Facebook page setup, they aren't taking full advantage of what the network offers if they're not using Facebook Live.
Get started promoting your website
Hopefully, these tips have helped get you started on new ways to promote your website for free. You should integrate these tips into your formal SEO strategy to maximize your effectiveness. That way, you can measure and study the effectiveness of each action.
The sky's the limit online. A small mom-and-pop startup has the same reach potential as global juggernauts. OK, maybe you won't have their marketing budget. But online today, that can sometimes be an advantage for some consumers.
Go out there and try one or all of these and see how it improves your website's traffic. If you don't feel you have the time or know-how to do any of these, reach out to us today.
We'll be glad to help you out.