So you’ve finally created a website for your small online store! Now you think, ‘How do I get people to visit my site?’ If you’re like most new website owners, you wonder how to bring potential customers to your site without spending lots of money on expensive advertising. In order to help you, I’ve compiled a small list of five methods that I have used to drastically increase traffic to my own site. I’ve also listed two websites under each tip that will help you get started implementing these suggestions.
1. Offer a freebie or a contest for your items: One of main reasons that people use the Internet is to find free (or cheaper) stuff. If you offer a freebie or contest for one of your items, then you are likely to attract potential customers. To get maximum exposure for your freebie or contest, you should register with as many ‘free stuff sites’ as possible. Here are a couple of sites which would be a good starting point:
http://www.thefreesite.com and http://www.realfreesite.com.
2. Link to similar websites: A popular method used by webmasters to increase web traffic is to swap links with comparable websites.However, the trick to maximizing the effectiveness of linking is to find sites with a minimum Google PageRank, which is a system which Google uses to judge the importance of each webpage, of 3 or 4. To find out more information about PageRank, click here: http://toolbar.google.com/ . To find good linking partners, check out these two link partner directories: http://www.links-pal.com/ and http://www.gotop.com/.
3. Join an internet discussion group: People also frequently use the Internet to find places where they share common interests with other individuals, which has led to the creation of Internet discussion groups. You can use discussion groups to introduce yourself and your product. Find a group that is related to your store or personal interest, and make sure any topic that you post is tied into a current discussion. Don’t SPAM any discussion group with an obvious sales pitch. Simply write comments applicable to both the group and your product; people will naturally want to know more about you! Two great listings of potential starting points for discussion groups are: http://groups.yahoo.com/ and http://topica.com/.
4. Post your product or service on a free classified ad page: Although many websites only have paid inclusion into their classified ads, many offer a free place where you are allowed to advertise your merchandise. If you spend time developing an interesting headline or ad, you can bring in a steady amount of traffic from these sites. To get started on free classifieds, you can use my own free service http://www.mizambar.com/classified.html . In addition, the following link has a directory of tons of free classified services: http://www.ecki.com/links/.
5. Write an article related to your website and submit it to ezines: By writing an article about your service or a topic related to your website, you instantly become an authority on your issue. Although you might have some apprehension about writing, if you have a website, then you probably have something to talk about. Two great directories on ezines are:
http://freezineweb.com/ and http://www.ezinelocater.com .
By following these steps, you should see a dramatic increase in your web traffic. The key is to always think about website promotion–if you spend a little time each day following one of these steps, you will be rewarded with more visitors and hopefully more customers. Good luck, and happy advertising!
P.S. Stay tuned for more free ways to increase traffic to your website!