Search engines constitute the most exciting source of free traffic in today’s digital business landscape. Once your content is listed on Google page one and position #1 for your main keyword, your conversion will soar (all things being equal). But there are other sources of free traffic that can keep your business going without search engines.
You don’t have to fold up and shut down your online business because Google did some minor or major changes and you are now losing natural exposure and search traffic. Completely relying on one source of traffic is a marketing error. In this post, I want to discuss with you other sources of free traffic you should work on so your business won’t suffer massive losses should there be a drop in search engine traffic.
#1. Your Email List
Building a list of real people should be one of the main activities of bloggers and other digital entrepreneurs. The reason is that an email list is always a source of traffic you can turn to anytime. Your list is your asset. You are the only one who decides how to use it.
However, building a list of active subscribers isn’t a day’s job. For bloggers, it takes time to grow an email list from zero to thousands of subscribers. Adding to this, if your list is built for your blog updates and company news, it may be a bad idea to start promoting affiliate products or some unnecessary messages.
My list is made up of subscribers who are interested in learning more from me. I’m very careful about what I send out to them. I don’t mail about some new and glittering product just in an attempt to sell and earn commissions. I do promote products to my list but it has to go through review posts on my blog.
Here are the few steps you need to follow in order to create a powerful list for free traffic should Google turn its back on you:
1 – Signup to an Email Service Provider (ESP): There are hundreds of them online but you may want to take a look at Moosend’s list of free email marketing services. You may not need to spend money on these services. For the most part, the free packages will allow you build your business steadily.
2 – Add signup elements to your blog: Many of these Email Service Providers allow you to easily add signup forms to your blog. If your blog is powered by WordPress, you should find out if there is a plugin from your ESP to easily integrate their system in your blog. For the most part, you will have to copy and past some HTML form tag on your blog to display the forms.
3 – Offer your readers an Incentive: Generally, you may be required to get a super attractive signup incentive. This is something your readers can only get by submitting their valid email contact to your list. It could be free report, content upgrade, discount codes, etc.
4 – Have a content strategy for your list: This is very important. You don’t just get up one morning to send anything to your list. If you want the list to steadily grow without you losing subscribers, put in place a strategy that trains your list what to expect from you.
List building is just a tiny part of Email Marketing which involves the list, your ability to get real people to signup and how to convert the subscribers to customers.
#2. Guest posting
Guest posting has many advantages. But recently, it has been seriously messed up by marketers and SEO firms who use it to build backlinks for SEO. If you have a marketer who hits your blog with a single article and runs away, chances are that he is simply a backlink monger not someone who seeks to engage with you.
If you constantly post useful content to a blog, you will definitely stand out and pull free traffic from that blog. With an excellent lead capture strategy, readers from your guest posts will become list subscribers and repeat readers.
Here are a few tips to help you succeed with guest posting:
- Post on relevant blogs. Don’t waste time trying to pitch websites out of your niche.
- Provide real value in your content aimed at helping the reader.
- Don’t hit and run. When readers of a website notice that you are constantly around with helpful thoughts, they’d want to come check you out.
- If there are comments on your guest articles, make sure you respond to them.
- Promote your guest articles on social media
- Share clean and well designed images. Respect image sizes on different platforms.
#3. Social Media
An interesting source of free traffic is social media. But it has to be done correctly. Many bloggers waste their time on social media platforms, getting distracted and not being able to drive any traffic.
The first step at driving free traffic with social media is to select a few platforms and stick to them. Grow your following naturally. Don’t rush after large numbers. It makes absolutely no sense to have thousands of followers who don’t click your links or engage with your posts.
Very quickly, let me give you some tips to succeed on any social media platform:
- There is a long list of social media websites. Don’t think that you can be active on all. Don’t be jack of all and master of none. Pick a few and master their ins and outs
- Post relevant content to your timelines. Don’t fill your accounts with spammy and unnecessary posts.
- Engage with your followers. Reply to comments and thank them for sharing or retweeting your tweets.
- Respect the ethics of social media and the rules and regulations of each platform.
There is no denying the fact that Pinterest has recently grown to be one of the most talked-about platforms for web traffic. I personally have seen very little of ‘social’ happening on this platform. A lot of people take it to be social but many users use it to find useful information.
Pinterest content called pins is the main call for concern on the platform. You don’t just grab your content and post on it as you do with other content syndication platforms.
Creating pins that attract clicks needs serious design skills. But there are platforms and tools that have been specifically designed to help you easily create Pinterest pins.
To succeed on Pinterest and drive free traffic, here are some few useful tips:
- Create attractive pins. Focus on image quality and respect dimensions
- Create attractive Titles and Descriptions
- Use keywords in your Titles and Descriptions to drive traffic using the internal search functions
- Post to relevant boards
- You may want to use Pinterest posting tools like TailWind
If Google and other search engines don’t send you free traffic, these other methods can help. It may require time to start seeing results but you should definitely begin with one or two of these methods. I hope this helps you build a solid traffic plan to keep your business going.