Of course, the first and foremost free website traffic source that people immediately think of is the traffic that come from search engines. Through search engine optimization (SEO) and plenty of patience (and maybe some luck), you get a highly ranked search result that drives lots of targeted traffic to your website. It does work. Many swear by it. But, it can take a really long time to work. Results can take weeks and even months before you see any quantifiable increase in traffic.
Hiring an SEO professional may help speed up the process, but then, the traffic is no longer free, is it? Increasing targeted internet traffic is important. But, you need to understand where you can get quality free traffic. There are many sources that are being employed by successful online entrepreneurs and that are proven to work.
What is the best way to get free website traffic? There are several techniques for getting traffic that are working today. They are being used very successfully to drive quality traffic to websites and are also a good starting point for you. The age of your website and the amount of traffic you already get make no difference at all.
Using proven traffic methods like those below, you can become more successful at getting your website traffic. Many will take a list like that below and try using each and every one of them at once. I suggest that you don't do that. Pick one and perfect it before beginning to use the next one. Doing OK work on several methods will never beat doing great work on one. It is important, however, to remember that diversification is important. When you have perfected one method and creates a system to repeat that success, begin using another. If the first traffic source drys up, you don't want your traffic to dry up with it.
So, what are these free traffic methods?
Video: You've likely heard the name YouTube. Video viewership is increasing by the day. It's become easier to create video and is free to post on most video sites.
Social Networking: Social Networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace can drive a lot of targeted traffic to your website. The key here, is that they are social networks. It's not just putting up a link and hoping people click on it. You will need to be engaged with the other users in your social network. That means you need to have good content that explains your site, and answers any questions the users might have. Try to avoid directly selling to the users.
Article Marketing: Article Directories like ezinearticles.com and goarticles.com can help you get additional visibility and lead to a higher perceived level of expertise. This leads to more traffic. These directories are usually highly favored by the search engines and so your content could rank higher based on that.
Press Releases: Press releases (in particular, well written ones) can improve search engine rankings as well as drive traffic to your website.
Forums: Forum traffic can be highly targeted. This is a similar traffic source to social networks, and so, the same rules apply. Usually just a link and short blurb in your signature is required. Again, being engaged without directly selling people is a must. Use your knowledge to add to the conversation and answer questions. This will add to your expert standing and gain trust from the users.
Local Search: Getting your website listed in the search engines for local queries can be an immense help. Local searches are searches that contain a city, state, or regional name. Generally, there are fewer exact matches for these searches, which makes them easier to rank higher for.
Podcasts: A Podcast is an audio recording that you post to the internet. Generally, you post it to a blog (or your website), but there are a few directories that are available for posting to. Most computers come with the software to record sound, you just need a microphone.
Blogging: A blog, with regular posts, can be a great way to increase your traffic. As a rule, blogging goes hand in hand with social networking. Most blogs will create an RSS feed (think of it as broadcasting your posts to the internet) that people can subscribe to.
External Links: Linking is one of the key methods of increasing your search engine ranking and driving organic traffic to your website. Usually, they are permanent and can drive a good amount of traffic.
Offline Marketing: Seminars, conferences, meet-ups, and other networking opportunities in your field can be a very effective traffic engine. Think of this as social networking, just without a computer in-between you and your target.
Joint ventures: Find someone else in your field and partner with them. Perhaps they have an email list that they would be willing to let you use. Or, it could be something as simple as guest posting on each others blogs.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to achieve website traffic and not end up with an empty wallet. Try one, become good at it, and then continue on to the next. You'll be buried under tons of traffic in no time.