Your company’s website is essentially the face of your brand that is there to make a great first impression. Even more, your website should provide information, answer questions, and close sales. But, none of that can be achieved when you aren’t attracting traffic to your website. This can be overwhelming if you just recently launched a website. But, once you dive-in, it’s actually not as stressful as you may have believed. Try using these seven strategies to attract traffic without paying.

1. Create an amazing blog.

The keyword here is “amazing.” That doesn’t mean only updating your blog to push your products or services. It also doesn’t mean using your blog as a diary where you share your thoughts on whatever’s on your mind.

Instead, an amazing blog that will attract traffic without paying is one that is entertaining, valuable, or useful to your target audience. Content ideas for your blog could include:

  • A case study or success story involving your customers – putting this in infographic form would be really move the needle.
  • A reading list of other articles and blog posts you find useful or entertaining.
  • Playing off popular culture or a trending news story.
  • Answering questions that your audience is asking.
  • Offering a behind the scenes looks of your brand.
  • Sharing how-to instructional guides on your products/services.
  • An interview with an industry leader.
  • Having your staff share their favorite things.

2. Get your name out there as much as possible.

Besides creating and sharing content on your blog, you also need to get your blog noticed elsewhere. This could include writing guest blog posts, answering responses on HARO or Quora, or appearing on influencer podcasts or webinars. On top of online opportunities, also start speaking at events, teaching a class at a local college, or sponsoring Meetups.

And, don’t rule some old school tactics. This mainly includes link acquisition and getting listed in online directories and review sites.

This may sound like a ton of work. However, the idea is getting a new audience to discover your website without spending money on marketing. And what better way to do that then by getting your name out there by borrowing someone else’s audience?

Your primary expense here will be your time creating content and reaching out to those with an established audience.

3. Give something away.

This doesn’t mean you should be giving away freebies all the time. It does mean that you can give away some awesome digital content away for free. This could include:

  • A free report or eBook.
  • Videos or graphs that can be embedded on other websites.
  • A series of tutorials.
  • High-resolution images.
  • Design templates.
  • A free chapter of your book or track from your album.

By giving away something for free, you’re enticing people to visit your website. It also encourages them to share this content with their network, which means even more visitors.

Just remember to use a Creative Commons license so that people know exactly what they can and can’t do with your intellectual property.

Besides giving away digital content, you could also launch a contest or giveaway. It’s a tried and true way to boost traffic and obtain new email subscribers. I would review the laws regarding sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways.

Also, if you’re speaking at an event or conference, handout some from swaq. Just make it memorable and relevant to your brand. If you’re stuck, Eventbrite has put together 13 original swag ideas for you to try out.

4. Engage online.

Be as active as possible in online groups and on websites. But, not just any online groupe or websites. They need to be relevant to your business and community.

For example, if you were a mechanic then you would want to build a presence on sites like Autoblog, Popular Mechanics, and Jalopnik. It wouldn’t make sense to be active on online communities devoted to cooking, construction, or medicine.

So, how can you build a presence? Start by leaving comments on blog and social media posts. Answer questions that other users have posted posting. And, participate in conversations regarding your industry.

The more that you engage with your community, the more exposure and profile visits you’ll receive. If your social media profiles contains a link to your website, then you’ve just turned your engagement into a way to drive more traffic to your website.

At the same time, you also want to engage moderately and in a sincere, natural way. I know that you want to get more website visitors. But constantly including links to your website within your comments comes off a bit pushy and spammy.

5. Leverage long tail SEO.

Keywords are paramount when it comes to attracting website visitors. That’s because without keywords, your website wouldn’t appear at the top of search engines.

When it comes to keywords, there are short tail and long tail.

Short tail keywords are simply search phrases that contain just one word. So, if you ran that mechanic website, you would use a keyword like “car.” Short tail keywords are great at driving a lot of visitors to your website.

The problem? They’re extremely competitive and harder to rank for.

Instead of focusing on short tail keywords, leverage the power of long tail keywords.

There are phrases of three or more words that are more descriptive and targeted to your specific audience. As a result, you’ll have a better shot of ranking higher. And, as search engines and voice-to-text capabilities advance, more people are using specific phrases when searching online.

So, if that mecanic was located in St. Louis and specializes in Ford vehicles, then they would use long tail phrases like “Ford mechanic in St. Louis.”

Neil Patel claims that 91 percent of his traffic at Quick Sprout comes from long tail phrases. So, if you’re new to the SEO game, it’s definitely worth the time in learning more about how your website can use long tail phrases.

6. Launch new a product or service.

Remember all the coverage Elon Musk and his Boring Company received when it was announced that they would be selling a flamethrower?

While I’m definitely not suggesting that you start selling flamethrowers, it’s a great example of how introducing a new product or service can generate buzz. And, when you have that kind of traction, people will naturally visit your website to see what all the hoopla is all about.

If you want to get people to talk about your new service or product, make sure that it addresses their needs. It may not be as exciting as a flamethrower, but it’s a surefire way to get people to start discussing your business.

7. Optimize your website.

Finally, if you want to boost your website traffic then you should optimize your site. This means speeding it up by:

  • Eliminating unnecessary plugins.
  • Using Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs for short.
  • Enabling browser caching.
  • Making sure your site’s scripts are up-to-date.
  • Sizing your images before uploading them to your site.
  • Turning on Gzip compression.
  • Keeping CSS files at the top of your page and Javascript code at the bottom.

Furthermore, you should make sure that your site is mobile friendly. And, don’t forget to make it easy for your visitors to share your content by using social sharing buttons. I would suggest that you A/B test your headlines and content to see which type of content your audience is sharing most often.

In following these marketing hacks, you should be able to attract traffic without paying.