There is nothing more crucial to successfully bootstrapping your business than free marketing. This is my personal check list for every website I start. Not only will this drive traffic to your businesses web presence, but can also get you a free high ranking Google listing.
From what I hear, having a link to your website on the first page of a Google search is a good thing! To get that result for free, well that’s just phenomenal. And it’s all done by simply piggy backing on sites that Google already loves.
Make a 1-2 minute commercial for your service/product. People will bump into it here and there plus you can use it later for your website to have a rich media experience for your visitors.
Make a free podcast about your service/product. Talk about features, benefits, how to use it, and have customers talk about how much they like it also.
Create a business profile and interact with people. This is particularly great if you are in the retail industry. There are thousands of niche groups on Myspace find the one for your industry and introduce yourself.
This is where you can get your really high Google listings if done right. Write a 300-500 word article selling your service/product and make sure to use the right keywords. There are tons of sources out there that can teach you how to find and exploit the right keywords. That would be a whole other article itself. Basically, you just stick your keyword/phrase in the article title and throw it in the body of the article about 4-5 times also. Make sure to include a link to your site/s in the “about the author” box.
These are the only four article sites you should worry about as Google has an affection for these. The others wouldn’t hurt but also wouldn’t help much either.
There are thousands of online forums out there in cyberspace. Each one usually around a specific niche topic with tons of like minded people in there talking about the topic EVERYDAY.
There are a couple ways to find these forums, the easiest being to just go to http://www.big-boards.com and look up your topic in their forum search box. If it’s not listen in there then you’ll have to do a special kind of search in Google.
Using “quotes” around certain words in your Google search will tell Google to make your search more specific. If you wanted to find a forum about tomato growing then your search would look like; Tomato Growing “forum”
Once you find a good (active) forum on your topic you want to register as a member, most are free. The worst thing you could do as a new member is make a post about your product right away. This is a community of people that has most likely been around before and will most likely be around after you… You don’t matter.
The way you drive traffic from the forums is to create a “signature box.” This sig box is a small pre-written block of text that automatically gets attached to every post you make in the forums. I like to construct my signature boxes just like an Adwords ad where I have a short headline, short description, and then a link to my site. If you use more then one link you might come across as spammy.
When you have your sig box created (by going to your “User CP”) then you just go out into the forum and try to join into the conversations with adding value in mind. Yoy might answer questions, give your opinions, or even ask questions of your own. Just be a valuable member to the conversations and people will naturally click your link out of curiosity to find out more about you.
A couple years ago someone got really smart and said “I wonder if people would be willing to share all their favorite bookmarked websites with the rest of the world.” That’s when social bookmarking was born.
It’s really easy to use too, all you do is post a link to your website to the social bookmarking sites and people visit your link to see if they like it too. If they don’t like it then you’ll only see and handful of traffic. However, if they do like it then they will give your site a vote and more people will see it.
Get enough of these votes and you could have THOUSANDS of visitors coming to your site. If you want to have a successful social bookmarking experience then you need to take 10 – 20 minutes to take a look at what type of things get lots of votes… It’s definitely not sales pages!!!
There are lots of tools like BookmarkingDemon that will automatically submit your sites to all the bookmarking sites. We use SocialMarker.com because it’s mostly automated but lets you do it by hand and thats gives us a little more control with our listings. Either way works just fine though.
You will want to first go make accounts at these 5 most popular social bookmarking sites…
StumbleUpon.com (MUST HAVE!)
Use the same concepts as article marketing and you can secure a high listing with these sites as well. The downside is that classified ads generally go away after 30-45 days. Some have a feature where you can pay a small amount of money to have it re-posted over and over again. Well worth it if you can spare the cash.
Backpage.com (Paid bonus features)
UsFreeAds.com (Bonus features for $9/month)
Ebay Classifieds (Only $10 So I Included It)
Facebook Classifieds (Must Be Logged In To Access)
If you are not using any of these techniques you could be missing out on 100-1000 free visitors a day to your businesses web presence. Just reading about this stuff won’t do anything for you though. If you want to get more free traffic then all it takes is action and action builds confidence!
Do you have a free traffic source that I missed? Share it with me and everyone else here by leaving a comment below.