It looks like major players leave no room for startups and small sized entrepreneurs on the Internet. They buy up as much traffic as possible, place their banners far and wide, occupy search results, etc.
However, there’s still a huge growth in online business. For example, there’s a 15-20% annual increase of newly launched online shopping sites. It is as clear as noonday that all those new ventures demand more and more traffic and, unless a startup is backed by strong investors, many of them can barely get enough of it to promote themselves effectively.
The following 5 sources can help you to generate extra traffic for your startup at few or no cost, provided you rethink the way you used them before.
1. Social Media
Look at the examples of popular accounts maintained by business owners in social networks. Check out Steve Blank, Richard Branson, Randi Zuckerberg and others. Develop your brand in social media through your personal expert profile. Just one tweet from a popular “business expert” can generate more traffic than an average corporate account can do throughout the year.
Try suggested posts on Facebook. According to AddRoll, suggested posts get 49 times more traffic than standard right sidebanners. In case you’ve got an email subscription database, don’t send “spammy emails” to users. It can be used to target ads.
2. Search & Referral Traffic
You must know that Google underrates websites with few or no external backlinks. On the other hand, backlinks should be treated like a real source of traffic too, not just for various bots and automated testers. So, focus on both increasing the quantity of backlinks (for better search ranking) and creating high quality content which can go viral and generate referral links to your website (for example, articles, interviews, infographics and analytics).
3. Traffic from Images
Millions of Internet users search images and videos every day. Sometimes it’s easier and less expensive to get traffic from visual content than from general search results or ads. Besides, try posting such type of content on Pinterest if your business is easy enough to visualize. On average, about 69% of consumers who have pinned an image related to a product or service on Pinterest, purchase it eventually.
4. Traffic from Comments
When users comment on your site, don’t leave those comments unanswered. Make sure to provide immediate response and avoid negative statements. Instead of standard pre-defined comments, it is better to set a social commenting platform (e.g. Disqus) that allows to log in with an existing social profile, as well as share discussions with friends. Consider commenting on third party websites and putting links to your own site, but keep in mind that by doing this you’ll always stand on the sharpest edge of spamming. However, if you find communities where people discuss similar products or services and suggest them relevant information, your comments will be able to generate hundreds of visits to your website.
5. Cheap Commercial Traffic
Sometimes even the most popular websites sell off relatively small amount of traffic that they had been unable to sell to big clients. Even more often, they fill vacant spots on their websites with AdSense. Thus, it is possible to place your ad on such websites either directly with considerable discount or with the help of specific targeting your campaign on AdSense.