Search engines are my favorite source of passive free traffic but they require time, work and patience. You will often find that search engines are fickle dance partners. Your site may be positioned well one day then suddenly drop very low or completely out of the indexed results. These fluctuations are normal and you may only vanish for a day or two before coming back. The more your site is seen as an authority site with many incoming links of high quality the fewer fluctuations and disappearing acts you’ll experience.
Even though search engine traffic is free, highly targeted and can deliver a lot of good visitors, it should not be your only source of traffic.
Traffic Referred by Other Sources
Some of the other sources of traffic are free and can deliver targeted traffic if set up correctly.
Some banner exchanges allow you to specify the category of the website you show your banner on. I’ve successfully used banner exchange for years but the click through rate is very low and they are only worth using if the effort involved is minimal.
Social Bookmarking sites
This type of site is where you can place links and sometimes descriptions to your website. The thing that’s really neat about these sites is you specify the tags associated with your page. Think of tags as keywords. The more targeted your tags are the more targeted your visitors will be. Two samples of sites that are variations of social bookmarking sites are www.digg.com and www.netscape.com . Quality articles that are properly targeted will generate targeted traffic. I have articles that were written and submitted to these sites weeks ago still generating traffic. Caution: Over use of Digg can result in your submissions being banned.
Writing articles that are targeted at one specific keyword phrase is a way to generate highly targeted traffic when the article is informative yet leaves the reader hungry for more. Your resource box for each article is where you show the reader a place to find the additional information. This traffic generation method can be time consuming and you need to consistently write new articles. Write a new article for each directory helps you with inbound links from the article directories which often have a high Google Page Rank. I currently have about six articles out among the directories and have started receiving traffic from them. The traffic is just a few visitors a month but it will grow as the number of articles increases.
Quality posts that have a good signature in forums that allow them will deliver targeted traffic over months if not years. Join forums that are appropriate for your target audience and offer help where you can or ask intelligent questions if you don’t know much. Forum threads that generate passionate responses on either side of an issue get a lot of activity and posting in these threads when they are on topic will get your signature read. I have posts still delivering traffic after 8 months. Caution: You can waste a LOT of times in forums if you don’t remember that you are there to share enough knowledge to get the reader to trust you and click the link in your signature. Budget 30 minutes to no more than an hour a day to posting in forums and make sure the forum is in your niche for the best results from your efforts.
Visiting blogs in related niches and making viable comments with your website URL under your name generates traffic and an inbound link. These comments are especially useful if you can post additional information on your site or blog that either expands on the post you commented on or gives a different viewpoint.
The traffic generation methods mentioned above all work. They all require a certain amount of research and time to start generating traffic. You are in control of which methods you use and the articles, comments, forum posts, etc. that you put out are usually there a long time. Get good at one or two methods before adding more to your marketing efforts.
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