If there’s something everyone loves, it’s free stuff. And contrary to popular belief amongst new entrepreneurs, giving away your ideas for free is not the worst thing you can do for your business–oftentimes, it can be the best thing. The trick is to offer something your audience can truly benefit from–like a freelance contract template, or advice on how to write a great freelance proposal.

In my latest ebook, I talked about some of my secrets when it comes to competitor analysis. Whenever I start a new online store, I’m always curious to know the main traffic sources of my competitors. This helps me understand which marketing channels I should prioritize. I sometimes use the free Alexa tool. All you need to do is type in your competitors website, scroll to “Upstream sites,” and look at the list of websites that were visited immediately before landing on your competitor’s website. If you see that Google tends to be the top choice, then you need to focus on Google Ads and SEO. If Facebook is the top website then you know you’ll need to create Facebook ads. Or if a niche blog is the highest source of traffic you can then focus on building out an outreach strategy to collaborate with that blog.
Whatever industry you’re in, chances are there are at least one or two major conventions and conferences that are relevant to your business. Attending these events is a good idea – speaking at them is even better. Even a halfway decent speaking engagement is an excellent way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and gain significant exposure for your site.
“Social media advertising has been an effective way for us at Buffer to boost website traffic around top performing blog posts, strategic marketing initiatives, landing pages, and even our podcast. In the past year alone, we’ve used Facebook and Instagram advertising to generate more than 100,000 unique targeted visits to our website for less than $0.25 per click, which has resulted in thousands of leads and hundreds of new customers. Plus, it has had a huge impact on brand awareness and word-of-mouth marketing.”.
If you haven’t used software like BuzzSumo to check out what your competitors are up to, you’re at a huge disadvantage. These services aggregate the social performance of specific sites and content to provide you with an at-a-glance view of what topics are resonating with readers and, most importantly, making the rounds on social media. Find out what people are reading (and talking about), and emulate that kind of content to bring traffic to your website.
Another way to increase traffic to your website is to get listed in free online directories and review sites. For most of these sites, your profile will have a link to your website, so actively updating these listings and getting positive reviews is likely to result in more website traffic. In addition, many directories like Yelp have strong domain authority on Google. There’s a chance that your business’s free Yelp page could rank high for relevant searches, which could help drive more traffic to your site.
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