Optimizing your sites to receive free traffic is a crucial part of site-building. Not only will it save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in paid advertising, but it will also remain a permanent asset to your site. If you decide to sell at some point in the future, you can simply show buyers your completely organic search engine traffic – and that will lift the perceived value of the site, even if you don't have high revenues.

So how do you go about optimizing your sites to receive free traffic from search engines, including Google?

The best way in which to go about this is to setup link exchanges with other site owners in your given niche. You can do this by joining a link exchange program, such as http://www.linkmetro.com (which is completely free) or you can hunt down these sites by yourself.

You will want to setup links with high page rank sites that are related to your niche. Additionally, you will want to put your target keyword to optimize in the anchor text of your link. This is what the search engines will look at when they determine what your site is about based on the link.

If you setup a large amount of link exchanges, you will want to vary your anchor text to include several different keywords – not just the one you want to optimize for most. This will ensure that you receive traffic for a number of different keywords.

In addition to a link exchange campaign, you will also want to run a complementary content-creation campaign. This will consist of creating new pages for your website based around keywords that are receive little traffic, but have no competition. This will allow you to virtually dominate all of the traffic for that given keyword.

And there you have it: the basics of how to optimize your sites to receive search engine traffic – and all within a short article. Just get inbound links to your site and optimize pages for keywords that no one is competing for.