How do I get traffic to my site without SEO?
Are there cost-effective ways to get traffic other than SEO? Should I do late-night TV ads, for example, or pay for ads in print publications? I'm a bit lost and dont' have a huge budget. What would you suggest?
Not to sound a bit like a broken record here, but the best way to generate traffic is to produce great content with frequency. Really. Once you start to have content on your site that is truly of value to your marketplace, to your potential customers, then you have an easy job of building traffic because you don't have to trick people or spend weeks fine-tuning word choice in a PPC ad: you just have to raise the visibility of your site sufficiently to have the thought and opinion leaders in your marketplace know about it.
Further, I strongly encourage you to consider ongoing publication of quality content. It's much harder to be successful when you publish a half-dozen articles, even really great ones, then ignore the site for six months or a year. Instead, shorter, pithy, topical articles of roughly 250-500 words that you release once or twice a week will do much more to improve the search engine ranking and reputation of your site.
Then you can start thinking about how to bring traffic to your site, and at that point, your best bet is to participate in your industry discussion, regardless of industry. You building a travel site for ski resorts? Find where avid skiers are hanging out and chatting - be it a mailing list on Yahoo Groups, a discussion forum associated with one of the skiing publications, or the weblog of a well-known skier - and participate by adding your own thoughts and comments.
Note that I didn't say "ask them to visit your site" because that will never work and will inevitably backfire, actually. But if you can get out of aggressive salesperson mode and think about what you'd share with potential customers and friends you'd just met at a café, you'll be on the right track.
Once you can start building up a reputation as a smart, clued-in expert in your marketplace, people will want to know more about you and will care about what you've written / built, then you can start really leveraging your reputation to increase the sales and revenue of your business.
For example, notice how I answered this question: I didn't say "Hey, I have a book I wrote on just this topic..." even though, well, I did actually write a book about how to grow your business with Google. :-) but instead have done my best to offer you concise and hopefully valuable information that will help you get going in the right direction. Of course, if you did want to learn more about my book and the great workshop I have spun off from it, I'd like to hope you would click on the links in my bio, but even then, I'm gambling in exactly the same way you should with your participation in your industry discussion: if you can offer truly valuable content, you can pique curiosity and drive traffic.
Then once they get to your site, they really find even more value in what's there (which is what I started by talking about) and bookmark it, send a link to their friends, link to it on their blogs, cite it in MySpace, whatever. Now you're building traffic!
Oh, and notice that I never once suggested anything that'll cost you more than just time and effort. And it's your industry, so the time you spend should be fun, interesting and informative anyway. A win:win for everyone, I'd say!
Dave Taylor is an expert at far more topics than he wants to admit, and his 19th book is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Growing Your Business with Google. He's spun off a course about how to leverage your expertise to grow your online business too, which you can learn about at Blogsmart.com. Oh, and thanks for reading the bio! :-)
More Useful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Articles:
✔ How do I restructure my Wordpress blog without losing SEO?
I have a wordpress blog that was using categories in the url structure like this: /category_name/post_name/ Then I had read somewhere that if...✔ Change in Web site navigation drops PageRank to zero?
We changed our website recently and also changed the menus on it so some of our pages have a different path now. For...✔ How do I implement add rel=author for Google serps?
I notice that sometimes on the Google search results that the author of the article is displayed next to the match in the...✔ Add a new site to my Google Webmaster Tools account?
Thanks for your earlier blog entry about how to verify my account with Google Webmaster Tools! Now I want to add an additional...✔ How do I verify my site with Google Webmaster Tools?
I've heard that one of the best ways to improve my Google search ranking is to fix anything that's marked as incorrect in...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+