Let's say that you have a new website, and you're in a classic catch-22: you can't get traffic until your PageRank puts you higher into search results, but you can't get a higher PageRank until you have established some web traffic. One answer to this problem is traffic exchange. One of the oldest solutions to the problem of “you've got to have traffic to get traffic,” free traffic exchange shouldn't be your only tool for traffic building for your law firm site, but it can be an invaluable addition to your arsenal for kick-starting a website's search engine marketing potential.
Where Traffic Exchange Comes From
Of course, when you want to start using free traffic exchange, you're not the only one. Other websites have wanted to solve this problem since the early days of the internet, which is where traffic exchange began. In those days, there were several reasons to do free traffic exchange, but search engine optimization was not even the biggest one—one of the biggest reasons was in order to make sure many eyes were on your website.
Today, traffic exchange is just another SEO technique, and should be implemented alongside other techniques to optimize your website. It's much more effective if you already have ideas for how to bring in other types of traffic that will be more likely to lead to conversions.
How Free Traffic Exchange Works
When you start using a traffic exchange website, you'll initially have to sign up for an account and start visiting the websites of other users. Every website that you visit will give your website credits. These credits mean that other people, in order to gain credits, will go to your site. In this way, you're essentially trading visits with the other people in your exact same situation.
Different types of traffic exchanges require different ratios. In general, you'll want to use a traffic exchange that gives you the most site visits per visit you make. If the ratio is too low, you may find that it's simply not worth it to you to make the site visits in order to build your traffic.
What Can Traffic Exchange Do For My Site?
One of the ways that free traffic exchange can be particularly effective is in getting your website, or other websites your site gets inbound links from, higher in Google's PageRank algorithm. PageRank is based on the number of visits and links you've received, and Google tends to punish sites whose inbound link ratio is suspiciously high compared to their overall web traffic. By using free traffic exchange, you make your web presence look less suspicious to Google, ensuring that you can rise in search engine rankings even while using a lot of different techniques to optimize your site.
Traffic exchange can also help your ranking numbers on websites like Alexa.com. You can greatly improve your reach and visibility by increasing your traffic numbers with free traffic exchange.
What Can't Traffic Exchange Do For My Site?
While free traffic exchange is really useful, it can't take the place of real marketing and advertising campaigns. It's very unlikely that any of your visitors from a traffic exchange program will actually need your legal services, so until you actually are able to get conversions, the exchange will only actually affect numbers on your website.
Don't expect for free traffic exchange to bring you visits by the thousands or the millions. Because you have to actually visit the websites of other people, it's very hard to get a great deal of traffic without having several people working on it full time—and with those kinds of expenses, you may be better off just paying for targeted traffic instead of trying to get it for free with a traffic exchange program.
You also can't expect your free traffic exchange program to work once your website is already at a large scale. If you're a small, new firm, traffic exchange can fill the gaps in your traffic. However, larger firms are not going to be able to get a significant percentage increase in their traffic, making it so that the bigger your site gets, the less effective you'll find free traffic exchange to be.
How Do I Effectively Use Traffic Exchange?
The best way to use free traffic exchange is to already have an idea when you start using it of what your goals are and how you'll transition away from it. By the time you've been using a traffic exchange for a few months, you should have some ideas about moving into the social media sphere or some other kind of marketing that is more likely to bring you real, targeted traffic. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the high numbers of hits you're getting mean much for your overall web presence—you'll see much more meaningful results and many more conversions when you start marketing on social media and doing search engine optimization in combination with free traffic exchange.
You should also make sure that if you start using traffic exchange, you're doing it every day and taper off smoothly. Google's search algorithms find it suspicious when websites have sudden traffic spikes and sudden lapses—you're much more likely to find yourself high up in search results when you don't make too many sudden moves.
Alternatives to Free Traffic Exchange
If you're tired of getting the high-bounce traffic from traffic exchange programs, you may want to look for alternatives. For example, one good alternative to free traffic exchange is to purchase targeted website traffic. This traffic will be based on your desired keywords and is much more likely to lead to actual conversions. If you're not targeting any of your traffic, it's very likely that you're throwing a lot of your marketing budget away.
You should also consider the free features available from social networking hubs. These popular websites give you an unprecedented audience for any content that you want to put out onto the internet, and make it easy for your content to go viral and find new audiences all over your area or even around the world.