Flood Your Website with Targeted Visitors Without Building a Single Link "I need you to rank me #1 on Google so I can start to get some website traffic, get sales, and make a billion dollars. Can I be at that top spot by Friday?" This is what the typical person says to the SEO company they hired. Trust me, I have heard it all. "Company XYZ said they can get me to #1 in 7 days. Can you do it faster?" "I need Google approved SEO to get to #1 ASAP." "Can you sell me 10,000 links so I will rank at #1 faster?" Sadly, those are not made up. Those are three questions that have been asked within the past week. Then you have the people with deep pockets that are spending a large sum of money on editorial links. They think $1,000 links will shoot them to the top. $10,000 and 10 hard to obtain links should work the magic and get any website to #1, right? Wrong. Links have the biggest impact on search results and rankings, so don't mistake this blog post for me becoming one of the anti-link SEO gurus. I am far from that. Links are top dog when it comes to ranking, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to attract traffic to your website. We all know that a Google update can royally ruin your day, and if it happens on a Friday you can kiss your weekend goodbye. When I build websites or work with clients I like to make sure there are a number of traffic sources, and not just Google rankings. That's a dangerous game to play and it's one that I see many people make. They throw 100% of their budget into SEO and link building. It's a big gamble. Some might get away with it, but that type of planning sinks more ships than it keeps afloat. So, here are some solid ways to push traffic to your website without building links. Am I saying to stop building links? Hell no! But I would suggest you start to play with some of these methods, as it will not only help you increase your overall traffic, but it will also keep your website alive in the event of a penalty that slaps your website out of the SERPs. Traffic Without Links? Put Down The Crack Pipe I'm serious. All you need is a blog on your website and the willingness to write content. If you can do this, then I can teach you the rest. You don't have to do them all at once. Don't be afraid to start slowly and increase your output as your traffic and income increases. A lot of people want instant results and that just isn't realistic thinking. It takes time. So many people give up before they even start to see results. Commit to the long run and work hard using these methods along with your current SEO and link building. 1. Create One Amazing Infographic Per Month I've talked about the power of infographics a lot in the past, but usually just as link bait and ways to get websites to link to you. They can STILL be used as link bait and to be honest, most of the times a website posts your infographic they are going to link back to you. But let's just pretend for a minute that you find a great blog that has a lot of traffic that would be into whatever you have but the website is a DA 10. Bro, a Domain Authority 10 link isn't worth it. Oh yeah? Stop thinking about link metrics that may or may not even matter. Until Google puts a crown on Rand Fishkin and declares that Moz metrics matter, stop stressing over them. Think of the big picture, which is actual traffic to your website consisting of people that want to actually buy whatever you are offering. Rankings and keywords don't mean jack shit unless you are making sales. You want to get exposure on websites that your dream visitor is already visiting daily. Let's pretend for a minute that you own a fishing lure website. You sell fishing lures for fresh and saltwater anglers. What would benefit your BANK ACCOUNT: A link to your website on Forbes, a DA 96 link. (Ahhh, I just creamed my pants) An infographic on a fishing blog (with a DA of 12) that receives 50,000 visitors every single day that will see an informative infographic with your logo, website address and phone number at the bottom. You can only pick one. The people that THINK they know what SEO and online marketing is will pick the first choice, when in reality that is useless. I would be that a very small percent of the people that see the link on there will even click it. Sure, you get a good link, but you make no money. The infographic that is branded and placed right in front of people that actually buy your product is the way to go. Even if you just get 50 visitors a day from that particular placement, they are all high quality visitors that are more than likely to purchase or come back and purchase. (Note: this is why it's so important to collect emails from every visitors) I talk to so many website owners that want SEO and they are only focused on SERP results. They want to "be #1 for my main keyword" and that's such a bad way of thinking. As soon as you start thinking more about ways to get buyers to your website instead of where your keywords are ranking, you will start to make more money. I promise you this. OK, so back to how to get your infographic on any website you want... First...don't ever talk about a link. You really shouldn't even care about it. If you get one, then cool. If not, count all the extra money that you will make instead. Make a list of all the websites that you want to get exposure on. Again, don't think in SEO logic, and don't just say "Forbes, Tech Crunch, Venture Beat, NY Times, etc." Those are good link metrics, but there is a good chance you won't get a SINGLE sale from getting exposure there. Using the example from above, if you had an e-commerce website that sold every fishing lure under the sun then you would want to find the top 50 websites that active fishermen visit. If they fish, then they no doubt buy fishing lures. If you get your website name and logo in front of them, it can lead to instant sales and at the very least more email subscribers to sell to at a later time. Don't pitch these websites like you would pitch a guest post. They get these requests all the time. Call it a content partnership. Say something along the lines of, "We are publishing a series of informative infographics and we would like to offer you free publishing rights. We can send you one every month to post on your blog and share with your readers. There is no cost to you, as it will be a free republishing license. We are heavily involved in the fishing industry as you can imagine, and want to help educate and inform anglers." That is it. You aren't asking for a "guest post" or anything like that. You are offering a infographic with no strings attached. If you approach the websites the correct way, it will be hard for you to find ones that will turn you away. It's a good idea that you create one BEFORE you start approaching websites so they can see the type of infographics you will give them. If it is decent quality and well done, and you aren't asking for anything in return, they will gladly accept your offer. When you get dozens of websites to post these every month you will gain exposure that floods your website with the best quality traffic and you didn't have to build a single link to get it. 2. Write Huge Top 100 Expert List Posts This is another easy way to get a shit load of referral traffic from other websites and even more social media traffic. If you do this right you can have thousands of visitors all at the cost of nothing and without building one link. This can give you the type of traffic a Google #1 ranking can bring for a major keyword, but the difference is this traffic won't cost a penny and it will be the highest quality you could ever imagine. This involves creating "Expert List" posts on your own blog and then convincing everyone you included on the list to share it on their own blog and also on social media. It's all about picking the right people to include on your list. You want to include deserving people of course, but you also need to take other things into consideration, like the size of their website and online footprint, most importantly when it comes to social media. You don't want to just look at total number of followers, because a lot of people have large followings that aren't active (probably because they are fake) so the total number is a bad way to judge. It's a good idea to create a "hit list" of all the top people in your industry that you want to promote your content. These should be influencers that have a following of people that will listen to what they say. If they say "check this out" or "click this link to read this post" you want them to have a following that is going to do just as they say. This is a list you can use multiple times and for a wide range of outreach, so put some effort into it. If you are tight on time hire a micro worker to research the top 100 influencers in your industry. Don't say "There is no way I can find 100 experts on..." because that is an excuse. You have to get creative sometimes. If you have a website about cars, think of how broad your expert list can be. You could track down 100 influencers from these categories: Top YouTube Car Channel Owners Top Journalists from the top automotive blogs Top car Instagram accounts Top car Facebook groups It isn't hard if you just put in some work. These are perfect tasks for your VA's to handle if you don't want to spend the time doing this, but if you do it yourself this can really be a $0 cost traffic generation method with no links. Once you put together your "hit list" you want to start blogging. Not only are these types of posts really good to get traffic from the experts you list, but they also can pull in long tail search traffic if you include the right keywords. It's important that you pick a blog topic and title that is fairly generic and will allow you to easily include all of your experts in without them wondering why you included them in the list. Sticking to the car blog topic, you could do a title like "100 Car Experts, Social Media Profiles & Websites You Need to Know About" and that would allow you to easily include everyone. This is a list post, so list them, form #1 down to #100 and make sure you include an image for each one that helps to promote the person or site. The goal is to get these people to share, so you need to make it attractive. Two things: This will be a very large post. Even if you only have 50 words per expert, that's 5,000 words total. After the content is indexed pay attention to your Analytics to see if it is pulling traffic for certain long tail keywords. If they are solid keywords then fire some links at the post to get even more traffic. But that's a bonus...because this is a post about traffic WITHOUT links. A post with all these images is going to need to be on a blog with good hosting and one that is optimized. If you are using WordPress use an imagine compressing plugin and a cache plugin to make sure there isn't a lag in loading. The last thing you want to do is have one of your featured experts visit and have to wait for the page to load. That won't get them excited to share. Once you have the post done, publish it to your blog and then contact every single person you included. Let them know that you hand picked them for inclusion on the list. You can ask them to share it, but if it's good you won't have to. This is ego baiting at its finest. They will want to brand, which leads them to sharing it on social media. If they have big active followings you will see a flood of social referral traffic. Don't get mad if some people don't share it. Wait a week and then reach out to everyone again. This time, tell them some stats that will get them excited. Something like "Just wanted to let you know that over 10,000 people have read this post!" You will see many of them share a second time, giving you even more free traffic. Even if just 50% of the people share it you are still doing very well. 3. Conduct One Interview Per Month This is along the same lines of the "Expert List Post" mentioned above, but this is a bit more detailed and serves two purposes.. It gives your blog readers a really good interview to read. A lot of people are only focused on writing blog content that is SEO friendly. That's fine and it has its place but you need to understand that a lot of your visitors will actually want to read content. If you only put up SEO content that might not read the best, then you might push people away. Mix in some really good reads, and detailed interviews are great. You need to make sure the topics are interesting and the Q&A's provide some interesting value. It allows you to really get on the good side of the top people on your "hit list" that you should have created before doing your first expert list post. While being included on a list with 100 other people might not get the top influencers in your niche excited, a full interview dedicated to only them is an easy way to get them to share and introduce your website to their audience. Stroke their ego and make them feel special and they will share because people can't help but brag. This exploits that personality trait to the max. If you are thinking that you don't know how to conduct and interview or think someone won't want to sit down and talk to you take a step back for a minute. It doesn't have to be as hard as you are probably imagining it. If you think you are going to hold an interview on the phone or in person stop. Nobody has time for that. Reach out to your interview prospects and say that you would love to interview them for a full feature on your website. Tell them that you have already put together a list of questions and you can email it to them to return at their convenience. Not everyone will have time to meet or get on a phone call, but everyone will reply to an email list of questions. Create 15 - 20 smart questions that will get a nice response back. DO NOT ask simple "Yes" or "No" questions because that will make your interview dull and boring. Example of a BAD question: "What is your favorite car?" Example of a BETTER way to ask this: "Tell me what your favorite make of car is, along with 3 detailed supporting reasons as to why it is." You want to ask questions that are going to get the person to answer in at least 3 - 5 sentences. When you have nice lengthy replies it makes it much easier for you to put together a nice interview on your blog that looks like an interview and not some Q&A that was just thrown together. Your readers don't have to know it was an interview conducted through email. If you do it right, they will assume you sat down and properly interviewed all of your subjects. The key here is the personal connection you develop with each interview subject. When you are emailing back and forth try to mix some small talk in there. If you are emailing them on a Friday, make sure to wish them a good weekend. If you are touching base on a Monday, ask them if they had a nice weekend. Do some research and see if they make their favorite sports team known or if they list any interests. If you can find a way to mix in small talk related to their interests, you will make that connection that will make them want to share it even more. Make sure that the people you approach for these have a very large following. Start at the top of your "hit list" and work your way down. Pitch a lot at a time, because the top influencers in your niche will be very busy and not all will be able to respond right away with answers to your questions. This will help you to build a pipeline of interviews and allow you to do one every month. 4. Blog About Timely News This is a method that will work for most niches, but not all. You will need to use your common sense judgment and knowledge of your niche to determine whether or not this one is going to be worth your time. How do you find out if this will work well for you? Ask yourself this one question: "Is there daily news written about my niche online?" Most people will find that there is. If you really aren't sure, pull up Google and type in your top keywords and then click on the "News" filter tab. This will show you the recent news about your niche. If there are several recent stories over the past week then you are good to go. If the last news piece is crusty and old, then this might not be the best way to spend your time. Even if it isn't a good fit for your niche, don't worry, because the other four methods explained in this post will work for you. So, the trick with this is two parts: First, you need to get into the habit of blogging about news worthy topics as soon as they happen. You can do this by setting up Google alerts to tell you anytime there are posts about certain topics. Another good way to stay on top is to follow the biggest news outlets for your niche on Twitter. Create a separate Twitter account just for this purpose. You don't want to be following celebrities and other pointless accounts that will just clog up your Twitter feed. Stick to following just the news sources that report breaking news in your niche. Then, as soon as you see something happen, blog about it. Make sure that you keep the actual event in your title and within the first few sentences of the post. This will help you come up when people start to search for this event. The quicker you do this and get your post indexed, the higher you will show up. Once you master this Google stats to give your blog more authority. This also sets you up perfectly to become a Google News partner. I will say this from the beginning: make sure you set up your blog with anticipation to be a Google News website. This means including a number within your URL structure and publishing news worthy posts from the start. I can promise you this: if you get picked up as a Google News website every single post you publish will pull traffic back to your website. When you can focus on just posting newsworthy content and not about building links it allows you to build a very solid blog. This is a very good method for someone that is just starting out and doesn't have a virtual assistant or a writer that handles all of the content. Why? Because if you are staring a website on a certain niche there is a good chance you are the best person to be speaking about it and writing about breaking news. So, if you were a fan of a particular professional soccer team and started a blog about them, you would be able to write the best content, because you understand and follow the team. If you told a VA or a random writer to create blog posts about the team they would probably sound boring and stale. Your readers wouldn't connect with it. When you start, you want to capture attention and suck readers in. If they sense the content is coming from someone that understands the topic, then they are going to come back. Most people don't buy the first time they visit your website. It's like a date. You need to feel it out. Then, on the second or third encounter you can go in for the score! This might sound crazy to some, but don't think about the money at first. Look at all the HUGE websites, like Tech Crunch and Mashable. They were started by one person that really liked the topics. They wrote and wrote more. They were so into the topics that the visitors really connected with them, and kept coming back, telling others about it, and shared on social media. Then they turned into companies worth millions, but that was a result of great content in their niches. 5. Become a Trusted Reddit User Reddit is a very funky community. It's so old school, but the amount of traffic you can pull from this place is unreal. The trick is becoming a trusted user, because they will spot (and flame) anyone they suspect of just trying to spam. I would not advise buying an account or trying to do any shortcuts. This is something that you need to do the right way to make sure you can keep tapping into this source of very good traffic. There are sub reddits for almost any topic. As an example, here is the sub reddit for American NFL football (for you Americans): https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl If you look, you will see that there are posts with thousands of up votes. This keeps that particular post on top and exposed to all of the people that visit that sub reddit. A submission with thousands of up votes can equal tens of thousands of website visits. This is probably one of the most powerful traffic sources out there, but so many people stay away because you can't expect overnight results. I promise you that it's worth it. Create an account and start to participate in the sub reddit that you would want to get your content featured on. Up vote good posts and you can even submit a few posts here and there. The trick is to stay under the radar and DO NOT post content from your website right away. Sticking with the NFL topic, if you were new in that sub reddit you would want to post links to breaking news stories from ESPN and the official NFL network website. This gives the impression that you are a true NFL fan that is there participating for the right reasons, and NOT there to just spam. One of the biggest mistakes people make is making the switch to self promoter way too fast. You can't post a couple things for two weeks and then expect people to trust you when you drop a link to "Tommy's Football Blog" because it reeks of spam. You will need to participate for 3-4 months if you REALLY want to stay under the radar and build an account that will withstand time and allow you to constantly drop links and suck up traffic. Don't think of it as a long time. It's not and it's not going to take a lot of time daily. Spend 5 minutes a day. Login, up vote some good posts and maybe drop 2 good suggestions a week. No more is needed. If you use this approach when it comes time to start promoting your own content, your website will be viewed in the same way that all of your ESPN and NFL suggestions are: as good sources relevant to the sub reddit. Reddit is one of the tighter, if not tightest online communities. Most of the users there have been around since the internet started and they have seen it all. I don't care how good of an SEO or online marketer you are; they will spot you every time if you try to jump the gun. There are two reasons why Reddit is such a good opportunity: The community calls out BS right away, so there are no quick results. You have to be willing to invest time and earn your right to get that traffic. It's well worth the effort, I promise. The reason the traffic is so valuable is because only good content is up voted. So, if you have a link to a post on your website up voted expect a flood of traffic because their users are a loyal bunch and they trust the up votes. If someone says it's a good read, then all their users click with full trust. There are also some very exclusive up vote groups that you can join, but only when you have an aged and established account. This is a great way to start the up vote ball rolling. Just like with social shares, if people see a big number next to something they assume it's good and follow suit with a click. Conclusion These 5 methods are very simple, and you can do them all without spending money. Yes, even the infographic method can be done just by using free templates. As long as you have interesting data and stats there are plenty of free templates to make it look like you spent thousands of dollars on the infographic. Listen, you aren't going to rank #1 without links. It just won't happen, but as you can see, there are ways to get a lot of traffic to your website without even building a single link. So, there is no excuses anymore. "I don't have the money for SEO." "I can't afford the links needed to rank #1." All those excuses are bullshit. If you really want traffic, work hard and get busy using these methods of traffic generation. This will be my last share of the year guys.. I'm in Ireland now for Christmas with my family and friends, I intend to make it a chilled, work free one. So a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all enjoy the read. Any questions or feedback - fire away below. Until next time.. Ciao for now!