In the world of internet marketing, getting free traffic is the holy grail of “success”.
If you can correctly figure out a free traffic source, you’ll gain access to the most valuable aspect of business…
Low cost of acquisition or CPA!
Seriously, how does the sound of 1,000 visitors per day to your website, blog, or ecommerce store sound to you?
What about 1,000 visitors per day AND a CPA of 20% LESS than your competitors?
That sounds even better, right?
If you’re a savvy entrepreneur or side hustler, your first response should be “Uhh yea, duh…”
If that’s your response, then you’re in the right place.
This article is dedicated to helping guide you through the maze of free traffic. It’s not as easy as you think, but my goal is to give you everything you need to make it work.
Let’s get started.
Is There A Catch To Free Traffic?
I’m glad you asked!
Before we go any further I need to make one thing abundantly clear.
There is no such thing as “free” traffic.
Now, before you roll your eyes and dip out to another article, let me explain myself.
What you probably consider as “free traffic” most likely means “zero or low capital traffic.” I’m going out on a ledge here, but my guess is you’re looking for traffic sources that don’t cost any money (or monetary capital).
Probably because you’re bootstrapping your business or side hustle, and you don’t have the capital (yet!) to do a full advertising campaign.
There’s no shame in this. Everyone who gets into business starts like this.
What I want you to understand is a very important concept called “Opportunity Cost”.
Opportunity cost is defined as: the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.
The reason I say there’s no such thing as “free traffic” is because of opportunity cost. Whatever direction you choose – whether it’s paid traffic or free traffic – you’re spending something.
- Money or,
You MUST be aware of this before you dive into a free traffic source. You WILL be giving up a large chunk of your time to building a free traffic source.
In my experience so far, this is the case with free traffic. It eats up a lot of your time.
If you’re aware of this, it will be much easier following through on building a system for free traffic.
So far, in my experience working with entrepreneurs who are building free traffic sources, they don’t account for the time it takes to build it.
They give up before they get the flywheel started. Then you’re dealing with a sunken cost and no results.
Don’t do this to yourself.
Be prepared to commit at least 6 months to quality activity to get your free traffic source up and running.
If this is clear, then let’s get into the different kinds of free traffic.
4 Pillars Of Free Traffic
There are essentially 5 pillars to getting free traffic online.
- Search Engine Optimization or SEO
A successful (and mature) business will have all of these pillars generating traffic for them.
If you’re just starting out, I highly recommend you pick only one pillar and really dive deep into it before going to a second pillar.
Don’t try to do all five at once. It doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried, and wasted a lot of time doing that.
You’ll find greater mastery and results by picking one, and focusing deeply on it for 6 months.
Let’s start with my personal favorite, SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is my personal favorite method of generating free traffic for any business.
Just think about it.
Google has published multiple statistics indicating that people are essentially “banner blind” which means they don’t notice advertisements anymore.
This is particularly true for Google Ads. In fact, on the average search term where ads are being served, you can expect at most 15% of the traffic to click the advertisement.
Where does the other 85% of traffic go? That’s right, organic listings right underneath advertising.
To add insult to injury, more people are adopting ad blockers on their browser windows. This completely eliminates ads from appearing.
This means a large portion of the audience searching online are only getting organic listings for search terms.
That’s the power of SEO.
What is SEO?
It’s the process of getting your blog noticed and seen by Google.
Google is a search engine constantly crawling and indexing internet content to create a “library” for reference.
When somebody searches a keyword term, Google will then go into that library and pull up the results it believes will answer your question the best.
That’s why it can be so powerful. You’ll gain access to high quality visitors, basically for free.
What’s the catch?
It’s bloody hard to rank for competitive keywords for free.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
The process just takes longer.
Here’s the good news:
This is a site I started working on heavily about 1 year ago. I’ve only focused on growing it through organic SEO, and I’ve put in very limited funds.
That’s the power of organic traffic. But, like I said, it takes time and effort to make it work!
Most Important Factors of SEO Traffic
People might disagree with me on this, but I personally believe there are only 2 critical factors to SEO:
Focus on these two factors, and I promise you the results will blow you away.
When it comes to content, you need to write high quality articles based on keyword research.
Let’s say you’re thinking of starting an ecommerce brand in the beauty space. For the sake of an example I’m going to use the beard grooming space.
The best way to find content is to do keyword research based off competitors. Here’s an example:
For ecommerce, you’ll want to find topics or questions related to your product or service. The example above is a perfect point. This brand would do really well to create a piece of content around this keyword.
Just look at the search traffic for it!
Links are indicators to Google that you’re somebody to be trusted. It’s basically like a vote from the internet that your content is quality.
The best way to get links is to do outreach to other websites asking to write a guest post.
Because content is expensive, and blog authors are happy to allow a guest post to help produce good content for their audience.
Youtube is the second most used search engine behind their parent company, Google.
In fact, over 1 BILLION hours of video are being watched daily. That’s a lot of eyeballs.
It’s one of the best mediums for creating content because more people prefer to watch videos compared to read text. It’s easier on the mind.
Personally, I would only make YouTube videos based on the blog content created. It’s so much easier to just repurpose your created content onto different mediums.
It’s also completely free to get started with YouTube, and it operates nearly identical to Google in terms of search intent and keyword research.
Going back to the example of using a beard roller, here’s a list of keywords I found via ahrefs for YouTube content.
As you can see there’s a good deal of online traffic per month to those terms.
If you make video content related to the keyword terms, and you stuff those keywords in the description and title, you’ll be more likely to rank for it when someone searches.
It might not seem like “that much” traffic, but trust me, every visitor counts.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media.
A lot of internet marketers swear by social media. They claim it drives huge amounts of eyeballs to their projects, and the conversion rates for their content are quality.
Here’s my problem…
It takes A LOT of time to make this work.
You will constantly need to engage with the audience to grow your social channel. Activities like:
- Reposting or Retweeting
- Direct Messaging
- And more
It’s seriously a full time job trying to grow a website using social media. And it does take a lot longer to get traction compared to the other methods.
Additionally, the internal and external data I have just doesn’t show it being very effective.
Since 2014, only 5% of online traffic is driven from free social media.
And less than 1% of the traffic will actually convert into a paying customer.
This doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from it.
Here are some of the best networks to start with.
Best Social Networks For Free Traffic
- Tik Tok
Here are some tips based on the one’s I know best.
The best way I’ve found to make Facebook work is to join Facebook groups and start adding value in your niche.
Both public and closed groups are available, and many of them will allow you to join with the promise of not spamming their board.
If you do this, it’s critical to have your profile page optimized for conversion. You need to have it very clear what you do, how you do it, and who you serve.
Once you make a comment in a group, a lot of people will start researching who you are, and this is the best way to drive them to your store.
LinkedIn can be a beast, but the users are REALLY savvy, so be careful.
The best way I’ve found to get LinkedIn to work is to comment a lot on other people’s posts, and add value as much as possible.
You can also repurpose your blog content by writing a summary of your content and posting it for your followers to read. Then include a link to the original blog post for more information.
Reddit is weird, man.
You can’t just start posting on a Reddit board unless you have enough Karma, and that does take some time.
Even when you do get enough Karma, and you start promoting your business, you get basically chewed out by the users who claim to be “above advertisements” and all that nonsense.
For the life of me, the only way I know how to just start commenting and adding value as much as possible, with the hope they look at your profile.
Forums are great places for people to engage in a private space about 1 particular topic only. There are forums for literally everything. Topics like:
- Bearded Dragons
- Yeti Coolers
- Internet Marketing
- And beyond
If you want to get traffic from these sites, you have to get creative and produce massive value (seems to be pretty common in all free traffic sources ? ) for the users.
It takes time to build trust in a forum, and if you spam your links you’ll get blackballed quick.
My personal favorite forum is Quora…
Quora is a question and answer site where you’ll get the opportunity to answer questions by users.
Those users will then upvote or downvote based on your answer.
The best part is you can create a full profile with links to your website or blog.
Executive Summary: Free Traffic Sources For Your Website
Hopefully this provided you with massive value.
If there’s anything you can learn from this article, it’s that free traffic sources work, but only if you put in the time and effort.
There’s no chance you’re going to see overnight success, but if you’re starting with a small budget then pick one of these pillars and dive deep!
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.