Five Free Traffic Sources You Shouldn’t Be Without!

Getting free traffic for your website isn’t nearly as difficult as is commonly thought – but there isn’t any ‘push-button’ solution. You’re actually going to have to put some work into the task. But 30-60 minutes a day is all you need. I’m going to describe the 5 methods of getting traffic in the order that you should begin using them (at least, in my humble opinion 🙂

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

1. Tags

Everything starts with the foundation – and with website traffic, the foundation is going to be your website itself. To begin with, your theme must correctly use Header tags. This is simple to see – go to any website post, and look at the source code. In Chrome, go to ‘Tools/View Source’ – then when you have the source code listed, go to ‘Find’ and type <h1>… take a look at your post – does it have the title of the post in between an <h1> and </h1> tag?

If not, then you need to change your theme! It clearly doesn’t employ even the most basic of SEO practices, and while this is surprising, it’s actually quite common. And easy to fix! CHANGE YOUR THEME!

When writing posts – and knowing that the title is going to be wrapped in the <h1></h1>  tag – you need to very carefully think about the title – this is the critical element in determining what Google thinks your post is all about – so make sure you have your keywords in there! Make the title enticing – such as the title for this post ‘Five Free Traffic Sources You Shouldn’t Be Without!’ – you’ll get traffic from the search engines for a title like this…

Compare, for example, the title: “Free Traffic Tips” – a rather sparse 17 characters, considering that Google allows roughly 70 characters for the title. The Serps – Search Engine Result Pages – don’t give you very much – so you need to take all you can get. This means a well-crafted title – and an manually written and enticing meta description.

You might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned meta keywords… there was a time when these were highly valuable – but people learned to ‘game’ the search engines by putting in keywords that weren’t highly relevant, so the search engines fought back by developing algorithms that bypass what YOU think the relevant keywords are. So you can safely ignore specifying meta keywords… they simply don’t work any-more.

2. Website Speed

Go to WebPageTest.org and test your website speed. The faster your website loads, the more people will come to your site. People who click away because your website takes too long to load are simply contributing to your bounce rate – and this is one of the factors that search engines use to determine where to rank your site. If you aren’t under 1.5 seconds, you need to do whatever it takes to get your site loading faster. Follow the suggestions on WebPageTest and you’ll end up with more traffic – simply because the traffic that does come to your site doesn’t leave before it loads!

Compressing any graphics you use is one of the simple ways you can improve your site load speed. And – as there are online sites that will compress your graphics for you – you really have no excuse. I use an old program, Paintshop Pro – and it allows me to compress my graphics before saving. Also – check the size of your graphics… does it NEED to be that large? Or can a smaller graphic still have the effect you want for your readers?

Website speed is one of the most critical SEO changes you can make, so test your site and make the changes needed to turn it into grease lightning!

3. Meta Post Descriptions

Next step, each time you write a post – you should also write out individual post meta descriptions – these are the descriptions that Google will use in the search engine results – and should be tailored for the 160 characters that Google uses.

Here for example, are two results for ‘Facebook Ads’:

Facebook jacks up ad prices as advertisers learn the game …
venturebeat.com/…/facebook-jacks-up-ad-prices-as-advertisers-learn-the- game/‎Cached
May 23, 2014 … Where social media sites are concerned, advertisers see Facebook as by far the
biggest game in town. And for good reason. Facebook ads are …

About Advertising on Facebook | Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/advertising‎/Cached Similar
A powerful tool for managing your Facebooks Ads and sponsored stories.
Monitor likes, click-through rates, impressions, reach and more.

One of these descriptions was simply chosen by Google from the post – one was hand-crafted by the website author when he wrote the post. Which one do you think will draw more traffic?

My theme, Dynamic for Genesis, includes a character counter so when I type my meta descriptions I know exactly how long they should be. You can also type them into Office, Open Office, or similar – and use the built-in word/character counter to set your meta description precisely to the right length.

One tool that I’m using right now is ‘Notepad++‘ – an open source notepad replacement. I often type posts in notepad, then simply copy them to the website. Notepad++ offers an HTML mode, so you can add formatting right into your posts if you’re familiar enough with HTML. And with the TextFX plugin, it will give you word or character counts. A very useful tool that is open source and completely free.

4. Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO are the things you do on your website that enhances the ability of search engines to correctly index your content. This allows you to rank higher in the search engines, and draw more traffic from organic searches. Mistakes are made in millions of websites around the world with simple onsite SEO methods, and with just a little knowledge and practice, you’ll get a big jump on them if you just follow a few simple tactics:

As you write your posts – these are a few of the things you should be thinking about:

4A. Keywords & LSI

Many people obsess over specific percentages for their keywords… you can safely ignore any such percentage advice. Use your main keyword in your title, your meta description, and then just 3-5 times throughout the post (depending on the length of the post). Also be sure to use LSI – Latent Sematic Indexing – a fancy term for using related words. LSIKeywords.com is a good resource for finding related terms for your topic. If you just write a long post, you’ll end up naturally using related terms, however – it’s still good to check your post before posting.

4B. Graphic & Photo Alt Tags

I always encourage people to put at least one graphic or photo in their posts. People are visually oriented, and a good picture IS worth a 1,000 words. You’ll also find, if you study your logs, that you end up getting traffic from Google Image searches. When you use graphics or photos – be sure that you include the alt tag – a tag that describes the photo using the keywords you’re targeting. Such a simple and quick trick, but it pays off in traffic.

4C. Bold, Underline, & Italics

Make sure you utilize bolding, underlining, and italics in your post – the words you highlight using these formatting structures will help Google place your post in the correct category. Keywords and related terms should be formatted with bolding, underlining, and italics from time to time in your post.

4D. Videos

If the topic is appropriate, add a video to your post. Videos help you with your bounce rate – because once someone has clicked on anything on your post (including watching a video!) – search engines no longer count that visit as a ‘bounce’ should the visitor then leave. I use a freeware plugin that allows me to serve Youtube videos, with a backup on my Amazon S3 server… so if the Youtube video goes away, my site isn’t broken.

4E. Authority Links

Search engines want content that appears to be helpful to their readers – and one of the best ways to help your readers is to link out to an authority site… find a good Wikipedia article on your topic (such as Web Traffic) and link to it. This raises your authority in the eyes of the search engines, and will rank your site higher – leading to more traffic. The idea here is that sites that are helpful to their visitors are exactly the sites search engines want to send their traffic to.

4F. Pretty Links

Use the free WordPress plugin – Pretty Link. This allows you to track how many people are clicking on your links, and even more importantly, allows you to ‘no-follow’ any affiliate links you might have in your content. By using ‘no-follow’ on your affiliate links, you make your site look more authoritative to search engines, and not appear ‘spammy’. Don’t ignore this trick – you never want the search engines to get the idea that you might want to earn money from your website like they do… always ‘no-follow’ your affiliate links.

Off-Site Website SEO

Everything above is about on-site SEO – but off-site SEO can help as well. The key concept here is the anchor text that is used to refer back to your site. An entire manual can be written on this topic – but with Authority Blogging, it’s not as important a topic as it is with Niche Websites. Just keep in mind when you link back to your website from forum posting or website comments to use your website name and a good sprinkling of keywords as the anchor text.

This concludes the first method of getting free traffic – the remaining four methods can be easily accessed however, by simply clicking one of the below buttons:

About Ben Holmes

Online since the late '90's, I built my first website in 2001 - coding it on notepad. Times have changed, haven't they? Active on the Warrior's Forum and Facebook - I spend most of my time teaching people how to build their first list - and market to their subscribers. Do you have a list yet?

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