The biggest problem with Google AdWords is its popularity. Every business owner knows that Google gets more traffic than any other website in the world. Therefore, if you want to pay to expose your brand to the greatest number of people possible, the only logical choice is to get on AdWords and start bidding on keywords. The issue, though, is that your competitors are all doing the same thing – and they’re all bidding on the same keywords. It’s getting to the point where, in many industries, a new customer acquisition via AdWords is almost too expensive to be worthwhile. What you need, then, are some AdWords alternatives to balance your paid traffic with some free traffic.
In fields like CBD SEO, finding AdWords alternatives is doubly important because there are some types of businesses – CBD businesses being one of those types – that aren’t allowed to buy placements on AdWords at all. The same is true of every other major pay-per-click or social media advertising network. So, in this article, we’re not going to discuss paid advertising channels. You already know what all of the major advertising channels are, so we’re going to dig a little deeper than that. These free AdWords alternatives can bring traffic to any website, and although money can certainly accelerate the process, these ideas don’t require anything except time.
On-Site Content Is Always Your Most Important Traffic Source
No matter what niche your business occupies, your most important source of traffic will always be the content on your own website. If your site doesn’t have a blog yet, you need to get started on one right away. The content that you write will increase the volume of different keywords on your site. The more text content your website has, the better chance you’ll have of appearing in Google’s results for a wide variety of search terms – and the traffic that your website attracts through Google’s organic search costs you nothing.
How can you choose what topics to write about for your blog? Use these basic ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- What questions are people likely to ask when they’re strongly considering buying a product like yours?
- What problems or pain points can your product solve?
- How can people have a better experience with the type of product that you sell?
- What problems might people encounter when using a product like yours? How do you solve those problems?
Link Outreach Can Improve the Rankings of Your On-Site Content
Have you already tried adding content to your website’s blog and been disappointed that the content hasn’t attracted any readers? When your blog content doesn’t generate traffic, there are two likely reasons for that.
- The content isn’t as helpful as you think it is. Search for the main idea of your post on Google. Is that idea already covered in greater detail on many other sites? Unless you do a better job of covering that topic – or cover it from a fresh angle – your article probably won’t generate traffic.
- Your site doesn’t have enough inbound links.
A link pointing from one site to another is like a vote of confidence between website owners. Google tallies those votes of confidence and assigns higher rankings to sites with more inbound links. If your website has plenty of helpful content – and that content isn’t bringing traffic your way – it’s likely that your site needs more inbound links.
One way to get links is by contacting website owners and asking them to link to your site. There are many ways of doing link outreach. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
- You can look for websites with resource lists relating to your industry and ask for inclusion on those lists.
- You can find published articles relating to your industry and ask the authors of those articles to link to your site as an additional reference.
- You can add your site to business directories relating to your industry.
Link outreach isn’t always free; many website owners will expect payment for their time in adding the link. Many others won’t respond to your requests at all. Don’t be afraid of rejection!
Increase Your Authority by Becoming a Valued Member of a Community
You can find forums and Reddit groups relating to almost any industry – and as a professional, you can contribute valuable insight to those communities. Do you have a bit of extra time to answer questions or provide advice? Joining an online community is a great way to increase your authority in your field and get people to recognize you as the expert that you are.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the best way to promote your business within an online community is simply by becoming a valued and helpful member of that community. Don’t attempt to use the community as a venue for free advertising. If you do, community members will ignore your posts.
Are you in an industry that isn’t served by an existing online community? Start one! It’s very easy to form communities on Reddit and Facebook.
Extend Your Reach by Contributing Content as a Guest Author
As we’ve just mentioned, one way to acquire inbound links for your website is simply by asking for them. It can be even more effective, though, to contribute content to other websites as a guest author. When you write a guest post for another website, you can insert a link to your site in that post. The link itself has SEO value because inbound links can help your rankings on Google. In addition, receiving author credit for content posted around the web increases awareness of your brand and solidifies your position as an authority in your field.
Writing a guest post isn’t just about getting the SEO value from the link in that post; it’s also possible that people will read your guest posts and click through to your website. If you’re able to post guest content on websites relating to your industry, you should put plenty of effort toward making sure that your content is genuinely useful.
Some publishers will happily accept guest posts for free if the content is good enough. Be aware, though, that many publishers will expect to be paid for the time taken to publish your content.
Create Useful Content and Grant Usage Rights for Links
When you write a guest post, you’re allowing a publisher to use your text content in exchange for a link to your website. In that arrangement, though, you can only give the text away once; no webmaster wants to publish text that’s already been published elsewhere. Content that’s duplicated from other websites isn’t likely to earn a high ranking on Google.
As an alternative to creating content that’s only useful once, you can create content that’s useful many times and grant usage rights to that content in exchange for a credit and link to your site. One of the most common ways of doing this is by uploading Creative Commons images to websites like Flickr. If you’re a photographer, you can upload your images and request that people link to your website when using those images. Journalists always need images for their articles. Over the long term, this is one of the most effective link building techniques in existence.