Does it seem like there are too many things to do, all at once, to establish your presence online and get free traffic? Doing these 5 things will establish the foundation to get free traffic online to your site and will help to dispel the confusion from information overload. Go through them, one by one, and you will feel like you are off to a good start.
As with everything, build a solid foundation and then build up from there.
If you are starting from scratch, do these ten things in order. If you are already up and running, go through this as a checklist and update as needed. They may seem too simple, but they are important.
Table of Contents
- Pick the right domain name using keywords
- Write your About page – using keywords
- Write About Me page
- Write your first post or home page – using keywords
- Add the Meta description
Step 1 – Pick the right domain name to get free traffic
This can feel like torture. And it can also feel like if you don’t get it perfect, you are doomed! Relax, there is no perfect here. With over 300 million registered domain names, the “perfect” ones are already taken, so don’t put pressure on yourself! You just find the best one you can, and then move forward.
Ideally, you want a simple, easy to remember and memorable, keyword-rich, dot com domain name that is also short. The name is the first thing that can help you to get free traffic.
You can come up with lots of ideas only to find out they are already taken. Don’t get discouraged. First, go to someone like namecheap.com and type your business in the blank and it will show if it’s taken or not. If you’re in luck, it won’t be! If it is your established business name, buy it immediately! Always try to buy a .com (dot com), unless you are an organization in which case you can buy a .org or dot org.
However, if your first choice isn’t available, you have to get creative.
It’s important to get creative in a strategic way, which brings us to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keywords and using them to your advantage. The mere mention of SEO may give people headaches and make their eyes glaze over. But trust me, for no reason. SEO is playing the long game and I think people get frustrated when they look at it as a short game.
To get started in the steps that will get you free traffic:
- create a spreadsheet (or table) with a list of 5 keywords that relate to your business, product or service.
- Go to Google and type them one by one into the search bar.
- For each one, check the listings that appear on the first page and also the list of “people also ask for.”
- Add all of these for each keyword in your table or spreadsheet
Add Keyword Surfer
as a Chrome extension so that you can check the volume of searches for a keyword. Ideally, you want to use keywords that have search volume because you know that people are looking for that phrase and so your site may come up when that search is made on google.
String together more than one, or a phrase and it may help you.
When you have some keywords, you can play around with making a domain name out of them or go to a name generator such as https://www.nameboy.com/. This will offer suggestions using your terms and show if it is available or not.
This is a process. You don’t have to do it all at once. Do an hour or two the first day (or more if you can handle it) and then return the next day. New ideas will occur to you overnight.
Many people will recommend spending no more than 20 minutes deciding on your domain name. Personally, I find that the more familiar you are with your keywords the easier it to spend no more than 20 minutes! So look at this as doing keyword research first and then use that info to buy the domain name.
Unless of course, you hit on one that you love immediately – then just go for it! Most domain names are under $10, so it’s not a big loss if you change your mind.
Tip: Save all your keyword research on a spreadsheet because you will use these keywords throughout the life of your site in writing posts and adding content, and you will continue to add to it over time.
Step 2 – Create your About page
Don’t overlook your About page to help you get free traffic to your site.
This page is about your business and site, focusing on the benefit to the visitor. Use your keywords here, too, one per paragraph. Make this all about how what you offer will benefit the customer. This does not have to be too long but long enough that the visitor feels comfortable with you and interested in what you offer.
Step 3 – Write the About Me page
Here you want to tell enough about yourself to show you are a real person who the reader can trust to deliver real value. Have a picture that is suitable for your site. For example, if you are an accountant, a professional-looking headshot photo would be suitable while a headshot of you on a sailboat might be suitable if you have a sailing site.
You also want to describe your personal interest and goals in having your site, a bit of history, a good story to describe this – whatever suits your style. The purpose is to connect. The best way to get free traffic is to engage your visitor so that they want to return.
An easy way to write this would be to imagine that you are speaking to someone in person. What would you tell them? Be enthusiastic and let your love of the subject shine through.
Step 4 – Write your first post or home page using keywords to get free traffic
With only one exception, always write a post around a keyword or keyword phrase from that list that you created in Step 1 and that you continue to add to. Ideally, you would plan out your posts based on that keyword list, but sometimes planning gets in the way of doing. Just write that first post, giving valuable information, using the keyword in the title and the first paragraph, and also throughout the post or article.
Yes, there is such a thing as using the keyword or phrase too much. And yes, it will hurt you. Most important is that your readers won’t like it. They will get the sense that it’s more about the keyword than it is about giving them helpful or entertaining information. And that is the opposite of your intent in writing.
And the purpose of using keywords is to help you show up on Google searches. But if you keyword-stuff (technical term haha) Google doesn’t like it either, and “punishes” you. And do it often enough over time and Google thinks you aren’t a real site delivering real value, so you get punished further.
SO: Use keywords in the right amount. How do you know the right amount? Use the WordPress plug-in, Yoast. It helps immensely. You tell it what the keyword or phrase is and it will tell you how you are doing with it in each post. (oops, you will note from the screenshot that I did not tell it the key phrase! But it was still helpful. So another tip for you – imperfect action is better than no action. But I can now go back and add a keyword phrase to Yoast.)
Be sure to add the keywords as tags, and assign one of your keywords as a category.
That one exception? Sometimes you just have something to say or information to give, that is not based on a keyword. Go ahead and write that and share it. Don’t ever let a keyword be the main reason to write something – give value!
Step 5 – Meta description
And this segues into step 5, which you can write using Yoast. Yoast provides the space to write the Meta description – try to key your keyword here. This meta description again helps with people finding you on Google.
Congratulations! You now have a domain name from the keyword list to help google send you traffic. You also have a keyword list that you can use to create content on a regular basis, making Google like you even more for using keywords appropriately.
Okay, you do have a few additional steps like setting up your WordPress site on a host, but these 5 steps can be done before that, without complicating things. The actual site set-up is a whole other post!