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Starting a new website can feel like treacherous territory, especially after all of the expenses are finalized and the website is live. After a week of waiting patiently, there may still only be 20 visitors recorded; and there’s a chance that every last one of them might be search engine bots. This is very discouraging, but the good news is there is a ton of free traffic just waiting to be tapped into. Whether the site owner chooses to pay for targeted advertisements through PPC programs or to try the free hands on methods below, there is traffic to be found and no reason to fret.

Optimize for Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keyword optimization is all the rage with websites that rely on organic traffic. While most sites are competing for different short keywords with higher competition, there is a gold mine of long tail keywords that get sifted out. Each may only bring a trickle of traffic, but an army of long tail keywords is easy to rank for and could bring in a serious amount of organic traffic. This traffic is long term, and will not just stop like the traffic from an advertising campaign will.

Facebook Fan Page

In today’s world, a Facebook page is a must for any website. It is the most widely used social networking platform in the world. Therefore, a site’s fan page will provide a wonderful middle ground for customers and readers to stay up to date with the website, any special offers, and important announcements. It is also a wonderful place to receive testimonies and reviews from previous readers and customers. New blog posts can easily be shared on Facebook, allowing the website more of a chance to go viral socially.

Made for Pinterest Images

Speaking of virility, every website should take advantage of Pinterest. Some site owners claim that they have seen no benefit out of this social networking site; while others have seen droves of viral traffic assaulting their servers for weeks on end. The key to success is all within the image and the followers. Is the image made for Pinterest, or is it a raw photo? A made for Pinterest image has a title describing the content to be found at the URL that it points to, a teaser line, and a call to action. There are usually at least 50 words in the description as well. An example of a wonderful pin might have “25 Ways to Eliminate Stress” as the title, with a teaser that states “Have you ever dared to dream of never stressing again?” It would then beckon readers to click through to the site to see how they can eliminate stress. In addition, the account must have followers. Without followers, there won’t be as many people who will see the pins.

Old Fashioned Business Cards

Business cards are in no way obsolete. As a matter of fact, they are easily accessible when customers or readers are talking about the site to friends and family in casual day-to-day social activities. They can easily reach for the business card if they need to share information about the website. In addition, business cards are easy to print, or cheap to purchase from printing companies.

Email Submits & Email Marketing

Everyone has heard it at some point before: email marketing. It is still one of the most effective methods of direct contact that a website has with its visitors. Even if the idea of email marketing doesn’t resonate well at this time, it is still a good idea to set up an email submit to harvest readers’ email addresses when the site is launched. Even if the site owner still decides not to use them in the future, it only takes a few minutes to set up an email submit form. Should feelings change in the future, there could be thousands of email addresses just waiting to receive newsletters, special offers, or important announcements; and make another visit to the new website!

Contests and Prizes

Contests and prize giveaways are always popular. This is a fairly common practice when companies unveil newly launched websites. A contest spurs a big buzz with word of mouth marketing through readers and customers. When family and friends become involved (such as with social sharing and voting), it causes a massive ripple effect that will drive brand awareness through the roof. Everyone is going to want to win the big prize! Once the contest is over, all of that extra attention will fall off rather quickly as will the website visits. Even though this sounds bad, it’s not! When all is said and done, all of those people who were involved became aware of the website and its purpose.

Free Downloads & Trials

Another great option is to offer free downloads and product or service trials. Free downloads could consist of articles, helpful charts or infographics, patterns, self-help books, and more. All of these will help to build trust among the readers. In addition, a trial can show customers and readers what they can expect of the website, in terms of what it has to offer and what kind of customer service they will be receiving. For those who are happy with the trial, they might just decide to stay. Trials let potential customers know that a new website has nothing to hide!

Having a Clear Call to Action for Social Sharing

While Facebook and Pinterest were discussed, the call to action needs special attention. A “call to action” is a phrase that tells a reader to make a particular action when they are exposed to a piece of content. It could be liking a post, sharing a webpage, signing up for an email list, or leaving a comment. In the social world, call to actions should be short, to the point, and crystal clear. It can be hard to compete for attention among the user’s sea of social updates, so the call to action has to really count! The site owner should not be afraid to tell the viewers what they want: “Share this coupon with friends!”, “Check out this amazing article right now!”, or “Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!” are all great examples. Without a great call to action, site owners can kiss a lot of potential traffic goodbye.