The 7 “Free” Ways to Get Traffic on the Web

Aug 15, 2013 12,930 Comments by

The 7 Ways to Get (unpaid) Traffic on the Web

“If You Build It…They Will Come”, may work for historical baseball ghosts, but it’s not a strategy you can rely on when starting an internet company.Driving traffic to your website is a formula that can be reverse engineered. Other than paying for traffic with advertising, there are only so many ways to get people to show up at your door.

There are 7 Ways to Get Traffic on the Web, in no weighted order they are:

1.) Search Engines
2.) Referring Traffic / Press
3.) Social Media
4.) Online Partnerships / Distribution Deals
5.) Refreshing Content
6.) The Viral Loop / User Email
7.) Solve a Personal Compelling Need

7 Ways to Get Traffic Online

Search Engines – Google, Yahoo, MSN, ASK redirect billions of searches everyday.Search engines have the potential to drive millions of visitors to a given site.Wikipedia and About are two of the most popular sites on the web, but the majority of their traffic comes from referrals from search engines, not people going directly to their site.To make sure your site is optimized for search engine traffic:

1.) Each individual piece of content should have its own distinct URL(title tag), and a unique title (H1 tag) for the page that search engines can read and index.2.) Increase the production of your content.It’s a simple formula, go to Google and type in this query site:“name of your”.The more pages indexed, the more traffic you will get.
3.) Get more websites linking to your various content pages.Once you get your pages indexed by search engines, you want them to show up as high as possible in the results.The two most important variables to make sure an individual piece of content ranks high in search results are 1) how many inbound links that page has from other websites and 2)the amount of traffic that page gets.

Helpful Resources about Search Engine Traffic: 68 Helpful SEO Tools

Referring Traffic / Press

The web is interconnected, and traffic flows between sites that interlink.The more sites that link to you, the more sustainable traffic you build overtime. The type of sites that might link into you are blogs, traditional press online, forums or bulleting boards, or content rich sites that are focused on a similar topic.To make sure you maximize the potential for referring traffic:

1.) Create a target list of blogs that could cover your product or content. You can search Technorati to find the most popular blogs on the web across various categories.Make sure to reach out to bloggers personally and build a relationship.Leave comments on their posts, link to them from your site… do that and when you approach them to write about you, you’ll find a welcomed reception.2.) Make a list of 15 similar websites.Track all their online press in major publications such as the WSJ, NYTs, BusinessWeek Online, or more specific trade publications.Make a list of the journalists writing the articles, they’re easy to find on Linkedin and Facebook.Follow up with compliments on their writing and get some emails going back and forth, and then pitch your product or service.Helpful Resources about for Getting Referral Traffic: Top Blogs List (with email contacts)

Social Media – Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon,, Twitter.This is a separate segment of referring traffic that warrants its own category. These are sites that are set up to discover content on other sites across the web.These sites are typically geared towards more viral or humorous content, but they can be powerful sources for driving a significant amount of traffic. To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic from social media:

1.) Create content appropriate for these sites, each site has a slightly different slant on which type of content is most easily popularized.
2.) Engage in the community and make friends.Most of these sites are based on some type of voting or book-marking system.More community friends = more exposure = more traffic.
3.) Find a way to engage users in other content on your site.This traffic is mostly transitory and has few low pageviews/visit, so in order to maximize its potential, make sure to serve up lots of related content on each of the pages that receive traffic from social media.

Helpful Resources for Getting Social Media Traffic: The Social Media Manual and Promoting Yourself on Twitter (by geekpreneur)

Online Partnerships/Distribution Deals –These are harder to come by, but can pay off big dividends.The idea is to get other major sites to integrate some core functionality of your site into their own, as a value ad.One of the best examples was when social news aggregator landed its deal to have its links on all of CNN’s online articles, likely one of the main factors that helped their traffic skyrocket. To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic from partnership/distribution deals:

1.)Get the list of the Alexa or Compete most popular sites on the web, and scan through the list to find any and all web properties that have a crossover with your site.

2.)Widgets, Widgets, Widgets.Wherever possible build a simple, value add, easy to use widget that others can include on their blog or webiste, a la the docstocembed documents tool

3.)Be creative and persistent.This is the hardest category to give specific “how to” advice.These are typically custom deals that take some creativity on your part, relationship building, and a whole lot of patience.But fortune favors those who prevail.

Helpful Resources for Getting Traffic from Partnerships:: Web 2.0 Distribution Deals

Refreshing Content – I go back daily to sites like TechCrunch, GigaOm, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, WSJ, Neatorama,because they have topical, informative, biting, controversial content that is always refreshed. On the web, Content is King. Find ways to integrate refreshing content into the pages people visit most on your site, and you’ve given them a reason to come back for more. To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic from refreshing content:

1.) Don’t use your home page just as a static business card.Put new topical content that updates as often as possible on the home page so there is always something new and interesting to bring people back.

2.) Find ways to automatically generate refreshing content without having to manually edit and input it.For example, how can you show related content or automatically surface the content that is most topical and popular.

3.) If your site isn’t optimized for refreshing content, add that as a component.It might seem overly simple or it may seem to difficult to implement, but just do it, and over time returning traffic benefits will accrue.

Helpful Resources for Getting Traffic from Refreshing Content:: How to Write Great Blog Content from Problogger

Viral Loop - The viral loop is the process of turning users into marketers and thus exponentially increasing your traffic via your user base.For example, in 2003 I became the “chief marketer” for LinkedIN and proudly exported 1500+ Outlook contacts to LinkedIN and sent them ALL a message asking them to “join my network” to satiate my ego – I wanted to show off that I had “500+” connections. They turned 1 Registered User = 100 Registered Users, 100 Users = 1000 users. Turn your users into your marketers, it’s the more legit cousin of multi level marketing.

To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic from the Viral Loop

1.)Make sure you have a sign up process on your site.Give your users a compelling reason to share a link with friends or import their contacts and send a message.

2.)Awards, Points, Leader board, Recognition, Self-Promotion.Adults still like party games, there typically has to be some notoriety or self benefit involved to get others to promote your site for you.

3.)Have an easy call to action.Don’t put the onus on your users to do all the work.Sure, anyone can copy and paste a URL and send it out to dozens of folks, but how many ever will?Import your users’ contacts, and have easy tools for them to post and share links with friends and across the web.

4.)BONUS: set up auto-emails that go out based on all the users actions.Think of all the emails you get from Facebook, everytime one of your friends does something on the site.Those users aren’t intentionally sending you email, but the items them post, friends they add, events they host, all generate an email that shows up in your inbox and potentially drives you back to the site.

Helpful Resources for Getting Traffic from the Viral Loop: The Viral Coefficient

Solve a Compelling Personal Need – So this is kind of the general catch-all category for “just build a good site that people want to use”, but even this is more nuanced.People come back to sites that solve a personal compelling need.Most of the time, we’re either thinking about Money, Health, or Love (or some derivative).So gear your site around one of these compelling needs and make sure you solve a BIG problem.For example, Pricegrabber lets you find all the stuff you want at the lowest price.Dating sites are the modern day Yenta’s selling love.WebMD tells you what every possible symptom your suffering from could really be. To make sure you maximize the potential for traffic by solving a compelling personal need ask yourself:

1.)If you were the most popular site in your category, would it give someone a reason to come back to the site everyday?

2.)Am I directly dealing with making/saving money, related to health/fitness/symptom reduction, helping people find love/have sex/meet people, am I in the vanity business/do people come to my site for fame?


I don’t claim to have unearthed any amazing secrets to traffic generation.And for anyone in the business of building Internet companies or marketing online, this list of 7 should be very familiar.However, I know from personal experience, many entrepreneurs neglect to take a comprehensive approach to building traffic.

Each of these seven is a piece to the puzzle that makes up your entire user engagement.The goal is to analyze which of these seven areas you may be lacking in, apply attention and effort in these areas to help them grow, and keep working on improving the areas that already work for you.

Business, docstoc

About the author

Jason is the Co-Founder and CEO of, the premier destination to start and grow businesses, offering the best selection of documents and content resources. Jason is also the creator of Startups Uncensored the long running and most widely attended tech mixer in Southern California. Before starting Docstoc, he was a partner in a venture consulting firm in Los Angeles where he worked with dozens of startups. Jason holds a BA from UCSB and his JD/MBA from Pepperdine University, where he was the Student Body President of both Universities.

12,930 Responses to “The 7 “Free” Ways to Get Traffic on the Web”

  1. chanel 財布 マトラッセ says:

    chanel 財布 マトラッセ

  2. says:

    Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this post is awesome, great written and include almost all important infos. I’d like to look more posts like this .

  3. Cheap Ugg Boots Canada says:

    The Singapore Civil Defence Force BlogA contingent associated with fifteen SCDF personnel participated in a Ugg Australia Sale ASEANRegional Forum Disaster Relief Workout (ARF DiREx) 2013 from 6to 10 Might 2013 in Cha am, Bangkok.Inaugurated in 2009, the biennial ARF DiREx aims to succeed civil military coordination amongst ARF members indisaster response. The ARF DiREx The year 2013, co hosted by Bangkok and the Republic of Korea, engaged a Table Top Exercise (TTX) plus a Field Training Exercis

  4. says:

    Thanks very interesting blog!

  5. Cheap Jerseys From China says:

    It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!
    Cheap Jerseys From China

  6. Full Statement says:

    Superb post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!

  7. Mujer Supra TK Society says:

    Potrebbero. il sindaco di Firenze potrebbe essere un’altra spina nel fianco di Bersani. Marco Ciriello ha gi?pubblicato alcune raccolte di racconti. Fossero stati buoni, l抋lta istanza giudiziaria non ha mai rimesso in discussione un accordo su uno scambio diprigionieri concluso dal governo. che prevede l抋brogazione delle tariffe delle professioni regolamentate nel sistema ordinistico, Parall鑜ement ?ses 閠udes ?la Sorbonne, hanno detto alWashington Times due funzionari dell抜ntelligence Usa che hanno letto i rapporti sull抩perazione che ha portato all抲ccisione di Bin Laden.razione ha deciso di dar inizio a nuove tri? E poi prenderei tutti i film di Frank Capra sull’uscita della crisi della Grande depressione perch?malgrado tutto ci serve un po’ di ottimismo.

  8. UGG Bailey Button says:

    tri tre arresti, Olivia Palermo a choisi une mise en scène stricte mais pas trop. Il miraggio dell’ingente somma ?l’inizio della fine della famiglia che spende e spande i soldi prima di riceverli. alla Corte Europea di Strasburgo”, la ? equipaggiato con un innovativo motore Wankel a pistoni rotanti (una vera raffinatezza tecnica, forma? A questo punto voglio fare una dichiarazione”. le label Epic intéressé et le succès immense: 600 000 copies sécoulent. Johnny Hallyday rvait de jouer sur le sol de la Big Apple.

  9. Jimmy Choo says:

    ebbe un solo grande amore. Cependant, il professore bocconiano rassicura, elle avait repris les commandes de “Toute une histoire”, un vrai,Texas?Le fratture all’interno del Consiglio di sicurezza le divisioni tra Stati Uniti Europa la maggior parte dei Paesi arabi da una parte e Cina e Russia dall’altra rendono vani gli sforzi della comunit?internazionale di trovare una soluzione alla crisi siriana alle violenze che da 18 mesi vanno avanti in diverse parti del Paese Soltanto ieri secondo i calcoli degli attivisti dell’Osservatorio siriano per i diritti umani in Siria sarebbero morte pi?di 50 persone Si ?combattuto tra l’altro ad Aleppo Homs DamascoDall’inizio della rivolta secondo il portavoce dell’Osservatorio le vittime sarebbero oltre 27300 di cui pi?di 19mila civili (il dato comprenderebbe anche i civili che hanno preso le armi) Le forze del regime dicono di avere perso almeno ottomila soldati Davanti a questa situazione Lakhdar Brahimi il diplomatico algerino successore di Kofi Annan nella difficile posizione di inviato delle Nazioni unite e della Lega araba per la crisi siriana ha ammesso di essere spaventato dalla propria missione Annan ha lasciato poche settimane fa frustrato dall’impossibilit?di trovare una via percorribile Brahimi ha iniziato ieri il suo primo viaggio nella regione Oggi ?al Cairo al quartier generale della Lega araba per organizzare la sua prima visita a Damasco nei prossimi giorni E secondo l’agenzia di stampa iraniana Mehr il diplomatico potrebbe anche volare a Teheran il primo e pi?potente alleato e sostenitore del regime siriano La Repubblica islamica accusa Turchia Stati Uniti Arabia Saudita e Qatar Paesi che hanno parlato in favore dell’uscita di scena di Assad e che sostengono le forze di opposizione di fomentare instabilit?in SiriaTwitter: @rollascolari “Star Academy” s’exporte désormais sur NRJ 12.musica e storia: da Mr Bozzetti ha poi parlato della necessit?di i Btp un investimento a basso rischio. nel cuore di Porto Cervo.

  10. Zapatos para Bebés & Ni?o says:

    invece. Cette 閙ission a pour objet de parodier des 閙issions.Svizzera.

  11. Michael Kors Bags Canada says:

    What’s up, this weekend is fastidious for me, because this time i am reading this great educational piece of writing here at my home.

  12. Michael Kors Bags says:

    Awesome things here. I am very glad to look your article. Thank you a lot and I am looking ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?|

  13. says:

    Right away I am going to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.

  14. Cheap Nike Free Run 5.0 says:

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire group shall be thankful to you.

  15. says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this website needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

  16. Michael Kors bags symbolize unusual elegance and distinction says:

    Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks|

  17. Haloti Ngata Jersey With Great Selection Paypal Surpport says:

    towards Republic, his extreme probably your own prospective they will equiped amongjthe, issued his / her their lives spanMany websites acquire fully customizable jerseys together with hats It is extremely safe door-to-door service, did not get trouble customs I’m a large proponent associated with on the computer buying countless factors; but nevertheless past different as well as accessibility, cost could be greatest the benefit of on the internet acquiring the primary red colorization wonderfu

  18. Michael Kors Bags says:

    I just couldn’t depart your web site before suggesting that I extremely loved the usual info an individual supply in your visitors? Is going to be back continuously to check up on new posts

  19. Buy Vigrx says:

    I think this is one of the most vital info for me.
    And I am pleased reading your article. But desire
    to remark on some general things, The site style is great, the articles
    are really great : D. Excellent job, all the best.

    Here is my blog – Buy Vigrx

  20. レイバン 3016 says:

    約マイクギアリーを見る 私は暇な時間の活動として理解数多く時折時間をやっていることを指摘している
    レイバン 3016

  21. says:

    This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  22. Wikipedia Info about China and Hong Kong says:

    I waas suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m noot sure whether this posst is written bby him as
    no one ekse kow such detailed about my trouble. You’re wonderful!

  23. Livejasmin Hack download free says:

    I enjoy you because of every 1 of your function on this internet page. Gloria takes pleasure in participating in internet research and it is straightforward to realize why. Many people notice all of the compelling medium you create valuable suggestions and hints by way of the website and in addition attract contribution from visitors on that theme then our princess is without a doubt discovering so much. Enjoy the rest of the new year. You’re the 1 performing a amazing job.

  24. Ralph Lauren Outlet says:

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I’ve learn this post and if I could I wish to recommend you few interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles relating to this article. I desire to read even more issues about it!

  25. air jordan 6 cigar review says:

    For Kate Spade Japan’s fiscal year ended August 31, 2012, Kate Spade Japan’s net sales were approximately $88 million, an increase from the prior fiscal year of 20% on local currency basis, with an adjusted operating margin (operating margin adjusted to exclude the impact of unusual charges recorded in 2012)in the high single digits and adjusted EBITDA margin (adjusted EBITDA defined as adjusted operating margin excluding depreciation and amortization), in the low double digits, calculated at an exchange rate of 78.83 to US$1.00. Kate Spade Japan distributes its products mainly through 53 points of sale including department store concessions and e commerce. These direct to consumer channels made up over 90% of total net sales for the twelve months ending August 31, 2012. The Company intends to realize synergies from the Kate Spade Japan Buyout by leveraging its global retail expertise with Kate Spade Japan’s continued growth and its strategic marketing and sales positions in the rest of Asia. The Company does not expect the Kate Spade Japan Buyout to have a material impact on the Company’s adjusted EBITDA for 2012.

  26. portefeuilles pas cher Louis Vuitton says:

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to eturn the favor?I am trying to find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!
    portefeuilles pas cher Louis Vuitton

  27. says:

    Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  28. Michael Kors Outlet says:

    Good web site you have got here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!|

  29. ナイキ シューズ アウトレット says:

    「私たちは皆、大部分は、それが提供するが、続編である必要があり、それにもかかわらず、壊れた年表私のパートナーと私は数え切れないほどの年のための悪い違反に実用に関する刺激的な要素は、時間内にわずか遊んで、視聴者は通常、私たちの家族にキャストされていないです 、ギリガンは、ホームシアター毎週尋ねた。
    ナイキ シューズ アウトレット

  30. cheap nba jerseys for sale says:

    Its white and red combos ‘re not as specified as shall be expected by such a place with main football future and past brand establishment ” Followed out try to find that excellent, considered ” Misting system The Days Resort Akron-Kent is very near to Kent Proclaim University,cheap nike nfl jerseys, the type of University of Akron, golf courses additionally Geauga Lake Recreational ParkIn which noteworthy going through selection cruising with manner is barely unexplainably fine Most of is the pu

Leave a Reply