When it comes to online marketing, SEO is the dominant topic and focus, as most websites want to capitalize on the value that organic traffic can provide. While it’s not free so to say, it can drive an abundance of traffic without the per-click cost associated with paid ads and paid social media promotion.

The mistake a lot of online marketers and online business owners make is putting all of their trust in SEO, and then when traffic drops their sales are non-existent. You need to have several sources of traffic, and many will discover that there are other options other than SEO that provide even more conversion opportunity.

Not every single business and offer is designed for organic search. Some are ideal on social media or YouTube, yet they never discover this because they become so wrapped up in search engine optimization. It can suck you in, but you need to understand that it’s just one component.

Yes, it’s often the most important component to focus on, but it’s not the only one. We have clients that generate 10X their organic traffic revenue through their email list. Now, SEO is what helps them build that list, but it’s the actual list marketing that is responsible for making the sales come in.

I put together a list of several ways you can generate traffic for free while you work on your SEO. It’s a good idea to get all of these angles working, because when you have them all attracting visitors you can really experience solid growth.

Use these tips to grow your traffic while you strengthen your seo


1. Give your product or service to influencers to reviews and promote.

Consumers are very careful when it comes to who they trust. The old days of gimmicky advertisements are long over, and most online shoppers are now very cautious and almost over protective, assuming claims and statements are false.

This can be a major hurdle to overcome, and it’s one of the reasons that content marketing became so popular, as it’s a way to educate and inform a potential customer and then have them convert on their own once that trust level is established.

But when it comes to influencers, whether niche industry or celebrity, consumers remove that trust barrier. Since it’s someone the look up to and respect, they automatically remove that previous guard. Now, you aren’t going to get a world famous celebrity to promote your product or service for free, but there are plenty of niche specific micro influencers that will gladly post in exchange for a free product or a comped service.

The great thing about niche influencers is there audience is very targeted, and if they have high engagement your offer will be seen. Whether people bite depends on how enticing the offer is, so you will need to come up with an irresistible offer.

The easiest way to find influencers is by searching Instagram’s explore page via relevant hashtags and then direct message anyone that you think would be a good fit. This will require some work, but if you dedicate 30 – 45 minutes a day to do this you will start to attract some attention.

Your offers should direct the people back to your Instagram page, so you can hopefully gain a follower. Have your call-to-action URL in your own Instagram bio and have all influencers push interested people to your profile.



2. Be active on forums and strictly provide value.

Online communities have become very popular recently, and you can find a discussion forum for almost every niche imaginable, and that doesn’t even include reddit, which is the largest place of discussion online.

You have to have the right approach though, because participating in a spammy or promotional way will get you banned, and on reddit it will cause a feeding frenzy of personal and business attacks.

As long as you have good intentions and focus on providing value it will actually help you attract loyal and genuine customers. You also don’t want to create an account and on the same day answer 100 questions and appear to be trying too hard.

Online communities are very tight knit groups, and if an outsider comes in on their turf and starts being overly helpful and nice right away it raises several red flags. I would suggest joining as many niche relevant communities as possible, and slowly ramp up your activity and posting in a natural manner.

Most forums will allow you to post a signature as well, which is how you will eventually drive traffic to your website. Sometimes it’s better to post for some time and then enable your signature. If you enable it right away with a link to your site many people will see what you are doing.

Become a valuable member of the community, establish relationships and then drop the signature. If your replies are helpful and you appear to be an expert, you will naturally attract traffic that is genuinely interested in your business. I started out on forums and even made it to a moderator position on one of the leading SEO forums by helping out and providing real value for the community members, forums were a huge part of my traffic at one point.

You can also post on reddit with burner accounts, dropping links to your website content in response to relevant threads. You can’t do this with brand new accounts, though. You will need to age some accounts yourself or purchase them. Reddit can drive thousands of visitors within minutes — it’s that powerful.


3. Upload daily videos on YouTube.

YouTube is something that you should take advantage of because it’s the second largest search engine and video content is so popular right now, especially with mobile users. Years ago many people assumed they needed fancy expensive equipment to edit and film, but any kind of content that looks like it was high production value looks like an advertisement, and consumers avoid it.

Look at some of the most successful YouTube personalities. They are simply documenting their daily life, often filming with just their iPhones and a point and shoot camera. It’s the content that attracts views, not the production quality.

So, whether you create video content based around your actual business or your personal day to day business activities, just make sure it’s something interesting. nobody wants to watch a video of you talking about boring things or watch you work at your desk. That’s not exciting and sure won’t get people to watch future videos.

If you have a great personality, create a personal vlog. You can look at Casey Neistat as a prime example. He is an interesting character, and he built up a following of several million fast, and now he has an audience ready any time he announces a new project or company.

Not only can you pull in organic traffic from YouTube as a search engine, but you can also use your videos as content to share on social media and on your blog. You will need to put it out there to get people to notice it, rather than just uploading on YouTube and hoping people find it. Mixing up your content, from blog posts to videos also helps to keep your audience interested in what you are doing. If you get too predictable and stale you will lose attention.


4. Guest post on as many relevant high traffic blogs as possible.

The focus around guest blogging typically revolves around securing links, but aside from SEO benefits, it’s the referral traffic that can really contribute to long term benefits. If you look at the largest media outlets online, you will see that most of them have contributors, guest bloggers or even sponsored content.

This is all content that is given to the website for free, which then becomes part of their online asset. Why do people give them content? For the exposure and opportunity to get in front of their audience.

A lot of people will only look at Domain Authority or whether it’s a do-follow link when identifying guest posting opportunities, but the audience and relevance is much more important. When it comes to SEO, you need to have a very diverse link profile, meaning a wide range of authority and a mix of no-follow and do-follow links. You want your link profile to look natural and not manufactured.

The best advice I can give you is to focus on landing guest post opportunities on blogs that your target audience is actively reading. This will bring you more attention, credibility that you can leverage to build your personal brand, and referral traffic that has a much higher probability of converting into customers.

Competition for guest blogging is very high, so I would suggest you start on your own website’s blog or a platform like Medium, and build up an impressive portfolio to use as writing examples when you are pitching. If you can’t write well or don’t have the time, consider hiring a ghost writer. It’s important you stick with the same one and find someone that truly understands your industry and will provide you with a strong voice.



5. Warm up your email list with the 80/20 rule.

We often hear about how important it is to build an email list, but nobody ever really talks about how to properly leverage it in order to drive sales. If you simply collect emails and only blast out messages about purchasing your products your unsubscribe rate will be low and most people will start to ignore your emails, making your open rates drop significantly.

If you adopt an 80/20 rule you will not only see your open rates improve, but your click-through will increase, along with the ADV (average dollar value) that each mailout returns. This is something that every business should be tracking, as it’s a good indication of whether or not it’s worth spending money to build your list.

A lot of businesses, like e-commerce for example, can generate a huge return on their email marketing, so it’s worth it for them to spend a few dollars per email address, as long as it makes financial sense.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t include a promotional offer in each email, because you absolutely should, but don’t just send out a discount code and a link to purchase. Mix in a good amount of company news, industry news and just useful information. If you’ve been on our list long enough you’ll see us doing this weekly with news, updates and new content… and of course we mix in some epic promotions too!

If someone thinks the email is only going to contain an offer they won’t even open it to see what it is. If you constantly provide value you will get them to open it, and if your offer grabs their attention they will convert.


6. Start cold conversations on social media.

Blindly posting content on social media isn’t going to always attract your target audience. It’s a very crowded space, so I like to tell people to get aggressive and take the ball in your own hands. Social media is very search friendly, especially when using hashtags.

If you use a little bit of creativity, and carve out some time to dedicate to this, you can place your offer in front of people that need and want what you are selling. One of the most effective ways is by targeting those that are unhappy with your competitor. Unhappy customers are the easiest to flip, and by reaching out and offering to help you appear to be trying to solve their problem, and not just sell to them, even though that’s exactly what you are doing.

You don’t have to just target unhappy consumers that you can flip, but it’s a great starting point, as they are the easiest to quickly turn into customers. Searching hashtags like #[competitor] sucks, for example, will give you a list of potential sales, with the most recent first.

If you want to really convert a high percentage, create a special offer or discount for those switching to your company from a competitor. If this strategy will not work for your type of business, you can still find potential customers by searching hashtags that signal purchase potential. It will take some time, but start with local and location focused tags to get good at it and then expand.



While SEO can be very lucrative in terms of the amount of organic traffic it can help bring your website, it’s not the only way. In order to do search engine optimization right, it takes time and patience. Even if you had unlimited funds you couldn’t achieve overnight results because you would need to build links and distribute content in a natural way to avoid being penalized by Google.

You also never want to put all of your eggs into the same basket, so using the tips above to diversify your traffic sources is always a smart play. We never know when the next algorithm update will hit or a new major change. Remember: Google doesn’t owe you shit. They can suddenly remove all of the organic results from the first couple pages and fill them with paid listings if they really wanted to.

Having several traffic sources that drive sales and inject money into your business is key. It not only helps you stay operational in the event of an organic traffic drop, but it can also help you scale faster, especially when you identify a winning source.

What are some of the best traffic sources you have found aside from SEO? Let me know in the comments below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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