Though private investigation is certainly not an “online business,” we have to pay attention to our online presence to take advantage of every marketing opportunity.

Here are  20 Ways to Drive Free Traffic to Your Site

1. Set up a blog, either separately, or on your site.  Write posts and articles that provide your potential client base with information they might need (which also tells them you know what you’re talking about).  Two good outside blog locations are www.blogspot.com and www.wordpress.com. 


2. In your blog articles, use terms and words that people would use when searching for the info you provide.  These are keywords.

3. Every time you add a post to your blog, be sure to “ping” it.  Pinging is basically telling the search engines that a new post has been added to your blog.  Start your pins at www.pingomatic.com. 

4. In every blog post to an outside blog, be sure to have a link back to your main site.

5. Regularly update your site.  Search engines love updates.  If your blog is on your site then you’re set.  If not, you can add an RSS News feed to part of your site and have it populated with current events applicable to your specialty.  For example, if you specialize in fraud or identity theft, tell your news feed to look for articles and news dealing with those subjects.

6. For some free videos on blogging, take a look at http://masterbusinessblogging.com and also take a look at http://www.freeblogpromotion.com.  

7. Consider creating a newsletter that current, former, and prospective clients can sign up for.  You can write your own articles and also use some that are offered for free at article sites like www.ezinearticles.com.
  
8. Post some of the articles you write yourself to the free article sites for other investigators to post on their site.  Be sure to include your site address in the articles so when they post your article it will help drive  traffic back to you.

9. Hint:  If you post an article to 4 or more sites, change each posting up a bit.  Sometimes search engines frown on what they call “duplicate content,” so change the title and rework the first paragraph.

10. Taking articles to the next level, if you have how-to info that’s best suited to video, then by all means, you should post a video to www.youtube.com (and a ton of others you can see listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_hosting_websites). 

11. If your potential client list includes businesses of a certain nature, it’s likely they have a trade publication in one form or another.  Write articles for this publication.  In this case, web traffic is secondary to the fact that you’ll get a lot of direct advertising this way.

12. If you decide to go the newsletter route, you’ll need an “autoresponder” which is the service that allows you to collect email addresses from people who sign up on your site, and then lets you mail out your newsletter in bulk.  Two autoresponder services are www.aweber.com and www.constantcontact.com. 

13. List your site in “open directories” such as http://www.dmoz.org. 
14. However, stay away from “free for all” sites which allow anyone and everyone to list their site.  Search  engines frown on these.

15. Be sure to put your website address in your signature file in every email you send out.

16. If you do onsite presentations such as “lunch & learns” for business or civic groups, ask them to put their name and email address on a sign-up sheet, and then add them to your agency’s newsletter.
17. If you use social media, be sure that each of your pages has a link back to your site.  Suggested social media outlets include  www.linkedin.com,  www.facebook.com,  www.myspace.com,  www.twitter.com, and www.myyahoo.com among many, many others.

18. Consider “social bookmarking” where you post a collection of bookmarks others may be interested in.  You can set this up to be pertinent to your specialty so potential clients can see the info you provide.  Some social bookmarking sites include www.digg.com, and http://delicious.com.  

19. Add a “site map” to your site.  This is a single page showing direct links to all the pages and subpages on your site.  This can make it easier for visitors to find certain info, and it also makes for better SEO since it  helps the search engines decipher your site.  For examples on the layout and details, simple do a search for “site map” and you’ll find plenty of examples.

20. Make your site easy to load, easy on visitors, and easy for the search engines to read by keeping flash,  animation, large graphics, etc. off your site.

Keep an eye on this site for additions to this list and a host of related marketing information. 

Sources: online pdf file.
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