If you’re like most small businesses you have a very small marketing budget.
Truth is most small businesses don’t have any dollars committed to marketing. Even large companies have small marketing budgets (Moz has 3% of expenses committed to marketing).
Much of the new business comes in through word of mouth and referrals. It’s a good way to build a business, but often the business owner wants to take things to the next level.
That’s when the business looks for new opportunities.
If that’s the position you’re in then you’ve come to the right post.
As a small business ourselves, Ghost Blog Writers is working with a very small marketing budget. We’ve also worked with other small businesses just like us that are in the same position.
These are the ways we generate website traffic, leads and sales.
I have a good friend that runs sales for a small business. I’ve asked him on a few occasions how he generates interest, traffic and sales. He said that his best investment was creating basic product videos and putting them on YouTube.
The videos have generated thousands of views over the last few years, which is impressive for a small business. Those views turn into website traffic and clients.
As an experiment I created a SlideShare presentation a couple years ago for Country Music Life. Since that time the presentation has thousands of views and ranks high for its keyword.
Like YouTube, SlideShare is usually ranked highly in search results especially on Google. You can earn that traffic and tap into the audience on SlideShare to get some additional traffic to your business website.
Twitter has been a big source of traffic for my various sites. There is a large audience on Twitter and they like to follow links to blog posts. Twitter likes longer posts especially list posts like the one you’re reading and large guides. Infographics have been popular in the past, but seem to be fading a little bit lately.
Build a following on Twitter and it can lead to strong traffic to your site. It almost always has to be linked to another source of content, though, such as YouTube or your own blog.
I’ve recently been diving into LinkedIn with full effort for GBW. So far the results have been great. Traffic is coming to our site. Making connections with your target customers and participating in discussions on groups are working for me. Also sharing posts each day has been driving traffic to the site, which leads to incoming leads.
5. Affiliate Partnership
You may not have dollars to hand out for traffic, but you can partner with other websites that have an audience to work out an affiliate deal. Give them a percentage or a dollar amount for each new client they bring you.
Your job is to find the sites that have your target audience. From there it’s pretty easy to track the traffic with analytics or by simply asking each new client how they found you.
Many forums, blogs and communities have audiences, but don’t have revenue. You don’t always have to offer money to get them to put your sponsorships on the site. Offer your service or product for free on some level and in return they’ll send you traffic.
7. Speak At Local Events
This is one I’m looking to get more involved in for GBW. I’ve been thinking about website traffic and new clients on a global level and that’s great, but there are many businesses in the local area interested in blogging too.
I’m getting involved in the local business community and organizations. I’m helping one of the groups setup a blog. I’m giving small talks about blogging and it’s led to some traffic from the targeted audience.
8. Email Niche Bloggers
As mentioned earlier, bloggers have great audiences and they’re a big source of traffic for your growing website. If you’re writing guides and blogs (see below) you can reach out to niche bloggers and make them deals. Say that you’ve expanded on a topic they’ve written about. Offer to do something for free for them.
Don’t ask for traffic or spam them with links. Look to provide something for them that they actually want. A free service can usually do the trick.
What is something your target customers need to know how to do?
Teach the person how to do it with a guide. For a chef it would be something like a free cookbook. For GBW it’s a guide on business blogging. For Moz it’s a guide on SEO.
Create a nice guide. Offer a designer free services in exchange for help with the design.
Then promote it like crazy on social media.
There are hundreds of posts here on GBW about the benefits of blogging. We’re strong believers in blogging. It’s responsible for much of our traffic. It comes from the sources you see above, search engines and social media.
Here are three case studies in getting traffic with a blog:
- 250% Traffic Increase in 6 Months for a Web Design Agency
- 92% Organic Traffic Increase in 5 Months for Website Provider
- 53% More Traffic With a Blog for GBW
You’ll want to find about three ways to generate website traffic for free. As a small business owner there is just not enough time to do all of the items on this list. Find the ones you can commit to and can do well.
Don’t become too dependent on one channel because there is always the risk of that traffic drying up. It’s happened with SEO traffic many times in the past.
Use the channels you can commit time to and spread your efforts out a little bit.