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Designing a Free Service website as a lead generator
When you're starting a specific type of service, mainly a paid service, you will want to think outside the box a little when it comes to lead generation. A method that I love using is building a legitimate free service and making it so popular that it's a good place to put my banners and links as well as help build a super targeted email list.
Not many people will do this because it takes a tremendous amount of work since you'll need to run this free service website like it was making you money when it makes nothing. This is a similar method to when a website offers a free ebook or course to anyone that signs up for their newsletter. You'll run your free service website as a legitimate business, build up its popularity, and then sprinkle in your money-making website, which will then get plenty of free traffic since the free service site is related to the money site.
Your website should really be providing a Free Service
When you're setting up a website like this, you need to make sure it is offering something for free that people can use more than once. You don't want a "Free Service" to consist of emailing people an ebook to help them on their journey because that method has been beaten to death.
I'm breaking into a new niche soon, and one of my free services will help people generate leads for their websites or business. I'm currently spending money to get something custom coded, which you might not have to do if a code already exists, and once it's done, I will release my site to the public and build it up gradually. After about three months I will start to show my money site and funnel people towards it
Automate your service as much as possible
One thing that you'll always want to do with a free site like this is to automate it as much as possible. You don't want to spend 40+ hours a week on your free site and watch your money site suffer because you can't show it the love it needs to grow. You'll want to have scripts running in the background that can perform actions you would have normally done manually.
Take PingFarm.com as an example, it was coded to help people ping their backlinks, and now it has nice banners on there that funnel people to SEOclerks and other related sites within the Ionicware network. The sites PingFarm, IndexKings, and LinkCheckPro, are 100% free to anyone that wants to use them and that's one of the main reasons they've become so popular.
Optimize your pages for specific keywords
One thing you'll need to do is optimize your website for specific keywords that will pull in traffic when you eventually rank. It's easier to rank these free services over time because your users will gladly share your site with the masses, and that's always going to give you a slight boost in the SERPs when Google, Yahoo, and Bing see it.
Do your keyword research to know what keywords get traffic; you can do this by using ahrefs, and know what keywords are easier to rank for as well as what keywords are going to take a very long time. Target your most difficult keywords and your easier keywords at the same time, so you rank quicker for the easier ones, and your SEO work will boost your more difficult keyword gradually over time.
Set up PPC campaigns
Yes, you read that right, you will want to set up some PPC campaigns to bring people into your free service website. This will help give you that initial boost to your traffic, sign-ups, shares, page likes, etc. and that's never a bad thing. I will usually run low budget PPC campaigns while I'm manually building awareness online, so people start to go to my site, then search for it within Google, and they eventually see that it's on all the major marketing forums and think "This site must be legit, it's everywhere!" and then they sign up
You can't see your free service site as a red-headed stepchild. You will need to treat it kindly, nurture its growth, and watch it flourish into the amazing unicorn that it is lol. You'd be surprised how much traffic one of these free service sites can get because it will almost always get more than your money site lol
Generating leads is something every business should focus on, and one of the best ways to do this is by giving away a free service. You can generate massive amounts of traffic to your free service site, get people to sign up to your newsletter, and start to advertise your money site to them while they're using your free service site. A lot of websites will do something like this, but then they'll rent out ad space. You'll be doing this but giving yourself ad space and not letting anyone else put up their banners lol. Boost this website like it was making you thousands a day, and it could push your money site to numbers higher than you'd imagine!
Thanks for reading
- Tommy Carey