All websites, blogs, online businesses, and ecommerce stores operate on the same core principles. No matter what kind of site you have, the keys to success are 1) Getting people to your site (driving traffic) and 2) Getting them to take some action (driving conversions). If you stay focused on improving these two things, and apply your energy and problem-solving consistently over time, you cannot fail.
And just because you don’t want to spend any money doesn’t mean you have to settle for worse results.
There are many tools you can use to start driving more traffic and conversions on your site like the pros, without spending a single cent. These are tools everyone needs to begin playing the game of driving traffic and conversions.
Once you’ve got the basics out of the way, it’s time to STAND OUT from the crowd. Your goal is to get attention in an extremely crowded and competitive marketplace. Will you do it by repeating the same things everyone else is doing? Of course not! You need to do something different.
So in this article, you’ll find a collection of free plugins that will help you get up to speed and do things that actually make people take notice and click.
One of the biggest traffic acquisition channels for most blogs is search, so it pays to put some effort into search engine optimization (SEO). Luckily with the Yoast free SEO plugin, there is virtually no work required and you get the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market. You still have to do keyword research and write and publish your posts, but this plugin helps you optimize each article and the site structure so people are more likely to find you when they type your keywords into Google.
If you’re just starting out, your biggest traffic acquisition channel is probably social media. SEO is notoriously competitive, so the easiest way to grow traffic at first is to post your articles wherever your target audience will see them. If you make it easy for them to share, their networks will see your content, and you’ll get even more traffic. Including a simple way for people to share your posts is a great way to enable the kind of viral word-of-mouth growth that is every marketer’s dream.
One way to engage new people is to put out content on completely new channels. Now you can instantly get your content onto 200+ million Amazon Alexa devices, right from WordPress. Set up a “Flash Briefing”, where people can ask Alexa for your latest news and articles. Or give them a “Quote of the Day”, where you share a daily tip to help them achieve something. The good part about Amazon Alexa is that it’s a pretty wide open field—chances are your niche is still unfilled! But at the same time, over 1/3 of American adults own one, so you’re getting lots of solid reach as well.
Giveaways are a great way to generate interest and get people to check out what you have to offer. You might think, “But I don’t have the money to give stuff away. This was supposed to be free!” Well, if your site sells products or services, you might just make enough through the traffic you drive from the giveaway itself! Plus, there are other things you can give away that don’t cost you a cent: Give away your expertise, or a service, or round up a bunch of fellow business owners and get each to contribute something. There are many ways to make a giveaway work, and RafflePress’s free version is a great way to set up a giveaway in WordPress.
This one free plugin does a lot: Lightbox popups, slide-ins, sale notifications, top announcement bar, and exit intent popups. Totally free, very customizable, great value for time invested. We love the small side popups because they’re unobtrusive, but still do the job. The exit intent popups can be particularly effective, and Holler Box comes with powerful features that let you set when and who you want to show them. Sale notifications in particular are great: they leverage FOMO to get people to convert.
Tawk.to provides that little live chat popup on the bottom right corner of your site. This can really help to engage people who would otherwise leave, and it’s totally free—no feature limitations. It comes with a full backend for your and your team to manage incoming messages, and there’s even a mobile app so you can receive notifications on your phone when someone starts a chat on your website. This is a crucial tool to get you closer to your website visitors than ever.
Run a webinar to engage your audience by offering them the chance to participate live around an irresistible topic. As far as lead magnets go, people love their “cheat sheets” and “white papers”, but webinars have been growing in popularity recently. And for good reason: when you’re watching someone present live, it really humanizes them and allows you to connect. This can be the perfect way to lock in your core fans, and get more people sharing about what they learn from you.
One of the boring essentials of driving traffic is making sure your site doesn’t load so slowly that people abandon it before even reading your content. Smush is a good plugin for increasing your page load time by compressing images on your site. It’s no secret that slow page load times can cut website engagement like crazy, but the good news is it’s fairly easy to fix with this plugin.
This is the second essential piece of speeding up your page load time. You don’t need to know all the details—that W3 Total Cache works by storing pieces of your site closer to your user (using what’s called a Content Delivery Network) and storing some pieces in their browser itself—but you should be able to see the difference after you’ve installed this free plugin.
Measure & Improve
Here’s a free and easy-to-use A/B testing plugin. The key to sustainably driving more and more traffic and conversions over time is to combine your natural creativity with a scientific approach. That’s where A/B testing comes in. It can help you use real data to make decisions about what to put on your page, what wording to put in your headlines, call to action text, and buttons, and much more.
This is easily the best plugin to connect your site to Google Analytics. Why connect Google Analytics? So you can tell how much traffic you’re getting to which pages on your site, when, and from who! Once you know more about your existing traffic, you can much more effectively find ways to increase traffic in the future. To give the people what they want, you have to know what they want in the first place. This is an essential tool for everyone serious about driving traffic and conversions.
Get more conversions through voice! Click here to try Shoutworks free, and grow your audience, increase leads, and boost sales through the chatbot in everyone’s living room, Amazon Alexa. In one click!