For most online marketers, getting started with free traffic is done out of necessity. Unless you starting your internet marketing business with a large initial budget or with a lot of investors, odds are your marketing budget is either zero or next to nothing.
Fortunately, there are many low-cost and no-cost marketing techniques you can use to drive traffic to your web pages. While they may not be as fast or efficient as paid traffic techniques, they will get you to the same place: A high-converting sales page promoting great products with high traffic that results in strong and sustained revenues.
For marketers without a start-up budget, these revenues can be re-invested into the business – such as for paid traffic generation and marketing methods – so that the business can continue to grow and the revenues can become exponentially larger.
Eventually your affiliate marketing business will need both paid and free traffic methods. But when you have no money to start with, you must focus your initial efforts on free marketing.
The first free traffic method to consider is backlinks. These are links that lead back to your web page or blog from or wherever you are promoting your affiliate product from other web pages.
Up until a couple of years ago, the number one way Google decided which web pages should be ranked first on its Search Engine Results Pages — or SERPs — was the number of backlinks the page had.
The thinking was that if a lot of other websites linked back to your website, then yours must be an important and influential website that Google’s users would find relevant to their search.
Links from Authoritative Sites
Google still takes backlinks into consideration when ranking pages — especially pages with a lot of backlinks from authoritative sites. These are sites people go to when they are looking for answers to questions … so they include sites like Wikipedia, About.com and eHow.com.
Websites with addresses that end in the suffix .edu and .gov are also generally considered to be authoritative sites by Google. So backlinks from education and government sites to your pages will help your rankings a lot.
Landing on Top
Now, why is it important for your web page, blog or wherever you are promoting your affiliate products to appear in the top spot on Google, or at least on the front page? It’s because the link in the top spot on Google for any given keyword or set of keywords usually will get about 70% of the click-throughs from the people who land on that page.
That means that 7 out of 10 people who search for those keywords are clicking on your link. That’s a monstrous market share.
And only about 11% of all users ever make it past the first SERP for any given search. So if your link ends up on page 2 or page 202, you are pretty much out of the running in terms of getting people to click through to your page.
One of the best things you can do is to create a lot of backlinks from other web pages — and especially from authoritative pages. One great way to do this is by posting articles that you have written on other people’s web pages or on article syndicators, which are sites that collect thousands of different articles from all over the web and index them in one place so that they are more easily found by interested searchers.
Whenever you post an article anywhere, always make sure it includes several links back to your page so that it is easy for people who read your article to follow the links back to your web page.
Participate in Forums
So how can you get backlinks from authority sites? If you post your articles as replies to forums on educational or governmental websites, it will instantly increase its esteem in the eyes of the search engines.
They also like established sites that most people would consider to be expert, such as Ask.com, eHow.com, About.com, or any other site you would likely go if you had a question about your niche.
When you syndicate your content on established authoritative sites, you can generate traffic to your website instantly. Plus, you also can build a reputation as an authority in your market, which is a great way to get repeat customers.