10 Free & Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Person writing notes with glasses in forefront

If you’re like most businesses, you want more traffic to your website so you can sell more, increase revenue, and grow your business.

And, one of the best ways to increase website traffic is to improve your chances of being discovered online.

Want to know how to drive traffic to your website? Keep reading for 10 free and easy ways to increase your online presence.

  1. Mobile Optimize Your Website
  2. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
  3. Increase Website Load Speed
  4. Get on Google Maps
  5. Get on Yelp and Other Business Listing Sites
  6. Start Sending Email
  7. Get Social With the Masses
  8. Start a Blog or Guest Post on Another Site
  9. Write Great Content (And Updates)
  10. Promote Everywhere

1. Mobile Optimize Your Website

Let's start off with one of the most important things you can do to get free website traffic – make sure your site is mobile optimized.

Around April 21, 2015, a significant tipping point occurred. Jokingly referred to as “Mobilegeddon,” Google updated its search algorithm to place more importance on websites, landing pages, and blogs that are mobile optimized.1

There are 3.50 billion smartphone users in the world today, accounting for nearly half of the world’s population.2 Rather than having to boot-up a laptop or desktop, users are searching, shopping, and managing daily tasks with more easily accessible devices like smartphones or tablets. According to a recent study, mobile devices accounted for 58 percent of organic search engine visits as of 2019.3

If your website is not mobile optimized – meaning that it is not responsive or cannot be accessed efficiently by a mobile phone, tablet, or anything in between – Google may not rank you on the first page of search results.

You can optimize your website by using a website builder like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace.

Squarespace.com’s template options

2. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

The second most important thing you can do to increase website traffic is to make sure your site is optimized for search engines.

This is what's referred to as SEO, or search engine optimization. With thousands of new web pages launching daily, Google uses an algorithm, known as a Google Spider, to crawl your web pages and understand the content to properly index them and help improve search engine results page (SERP) rankings.4

To improve search engine rankings, here are some things you should do for each page:

  • Insert short and long-tail keywords throughout your content, especially in titles – try this free keyword search tool
  • Include primary and secondary keywords in the title tag (up to 70 characters)
  • Write a short and concise meta description including keywords (up to 160 characters)
  • Include internal links to other relevant content on your website

Organic SEO is not an exact science or a quick fix. It takes time to see results, sometimes as long as a year, but it’s important to keep making SEO optimization a top priority for your website.

someone searching for “sunglass store Brooklyn

3. Increase Website Load Speed

A third tip to improve your online discoverability is to ensure your website loads quickly.

Studies show that 57 percent of visitors leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.5

To find out how quickly your website loads, run it through a website auditor like WebsiteScore.org, which will output a report that tells you everything you can do to enhance your website.

Here are a few quick tips to help improve website speed:

  • Compress images throughout your website
  • Reduce the number of redirects
  • Use external hosting platforms for videos and downloads

WebsiteScore.org

4. Get on Google MapsTM

Get free website traffic by driving physical traffic to your location with Google Maps.

In comparison to other mapping systems, Google Maps leads the charge.6 If you're not listed on Google Maps, you're potentially missing out on a lot of phone calls and foot traffic to your business.

Google Maps offers a $200 free monthly usage credit. For most businesses, this is enough to support their needs, but the pricing model is flexible.7 All you have to do is go to Google.com/Business and follow the steps.

You do have to have a physical business, so if you have a retail store, restaurant, or even a home studio, you're eligible for Google Maps.

Google Maps being used on a mobile device’s screen

5. Get on Yelp and Other Business Listing Sites

Another strategy for how to increase website traffic is to get on one of the most popular directory systems in the world – Yelp.8

Yelp is a great way to search businesses within a specific location, category, or niche. For example, if you wanted to find “best rooftop bars” in your area, Yelp can help with that.

To sign up for your free business listing, go to Biz.Yelp.com, and be sure to include your name, address, phone number, website URL, and company description. Adding pictures and videos to your profile is also a plus, as it gives visitors a sense of what they can expect from your business. And, be sure to respond to reviews (both positive and negative) to engage with your customers.

Google is working to serve up more directory listings like these in SERPs. Additionally, having a link back to your website from your profile is an added SEO benefit.

Other business directories to consider are:

  • Facebook
  • Google My Business
  • LinkedIn Company Directory

Biz.Yelp

6. Start Sending Email

Sending email is another way to drive traffic to your website.

If you have been collecting email addresses for your business, it's always a good time to start sending email blasts to your subscribers about:

  • Upcoming sales and events
  • Useful educational resources
  • New products or services

An easy way to collect emails is by putting a little bar or pop-up on your website that allows your visitors to sign up for your newsletter or download a PDF. You can offer discounts on products, access to exclusive events, or any special rewards to entice them to give you their email address.

Once you have that, you can use a system like Constant Contact or Mailchimp to design and deliver visually-appealing messages that result in conversions.

Both online email programs integrate with all-in-one POS systems, like Clover, so you can collect email addresses at the time of checkout.

Clover Mini with Email collection screen

7. Get Social With the Masses

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube – approximately 45 percent of the global population is on any one or more of these platforms every day for over two hours, on average.9

Social media is by far one of the easiest ways to reach a lot of people at one time. The keys to being successful on social media are to create a plan, be consistent, and invest time to grow your social presence.

Understanding your target audience will help you determine which platforms are right for your business. For instance, a professional legal firm may have more success posting on LinkedIn or Twitter rather than Instagram or Snapchat. The demographics are different for each channel.

An effective way to streamline your social media planning is to use a free management tool, like Hootsuite or Buffer, which allows you to manage all of your social media channels on one platform. This makes it easier to schedule posts, track links, and respond to feedback.

Hootsuite Dashboard

8. Start a Blog or Guest Post on Another Site

Creating a blog is a great strategy to increase your online visibility. Simply put, you can create articles that allow you to target the keywords your users are searching, which in turn drives more traffic to your website.

Blog posts live perpetually “in the cloud,” so your content is always searchable, especially if you have “evergreen” content that consistently remains relevant. A good tip is to embed social sharing buttons on your post. This gives your readers the opportunity to share the content on their feeds and reach more visitors and potential customers.

Additionally, creating thought leadership content enables you to promote yourself as an expert in your field. Forget the sales tactics and the corporate tone. Blog posts should be personable, educational, and inspirational.

If you don’t have the means to host a blog on your website, consider blogging for other websites in your market. Remember to include links back to your homepage or relevant pages on your website.

Linda's blog

9. Write Great Content (And Updates)

Inbound marketing is about serving up the right content, at the right time, to the right audience. If you want to increase your website traffic, it is important to continually create new content, while refreshing or updating older content.

Content doesn’t necessarily have to be a written piece. It can take on multiple forms like:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • SlideShare Presentations

Content pieces

10. Promote Everywhere

This last tip, although not digital, can prove to be helpful. If you want to increase traffic to your website, put your URL on everything visible to your potential customer base.

Add your website URL to:

  • Business cards
  • Email signatures
  • Social media profiles
  • Employee uniforms
  • Company vehicles
  • Promotional giveaways (pens, sticky notes, etc.)
  • Exterior signage
  • Bags, receipts, advertising

Jerry's Store promo items

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Disclaimer: All trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owner.

1 “Google Algorithm Now Rewards Mobile-Friendly Sites: Here’s What You Need to Know,” HubSpot, 28 July 2017

2 “How Many Smartphones are in the World?” Bankmycell.com

3 “Mobile share of organic search engine visits in the United States from 3rd quarter 2013 to 4th quarter 2019,” Statista, 29 January 2020

4 “What is the Google Spider and How Does It Work?” LooktotheRight, 2 August 2018

5 “3 Seconds: How Website Speed Impacts Visitors and Sales,” Hosting Manual, 4 September 2018

6 “Most popular mapping apps in the United States as of April 2018, by monthly users,” Statista, 20 November 2019

7 “Pricing that scales to fit your needs,” Google Cloud

8 “The Ultimate List: 57 Online Local Business Directories,” HubSpot, 9 August 2019

9 “How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media in 2019,” Medium, 8 August 2019