Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How to Increase your Web Traffic

1. Write quality content to draw inbound links.

Although you may not have much influence over your search engine rankings for the first few months you will always have control over the content you create for your website. Quality content that attracts people’s attention will draw inbound links which will bring visitors and get your site indexed by search engines quickly. Inbound links are critical to the success of any website. In order to entice others to link to your site you must produce something of quality.

2. Start a blog.

A blog is an ideal format for the content that you will be creating. Blogs make it easy to add new articles and they also tend to draw more inbound links. Bloggers link to other blogs when they find something the like, so combining these first two points is a great decision.

Additionally, blogs can help to get your pages indexed by search engines because they ping the search engines when new content is added, rather than waiting for search engines to find new pages on their own.

If you consistently add new posts to your blog, the sizeable amount of content that develops over time will put you in a better position to receive much more traffic from the search engines.

3. Run a contest or a giveaway.

One of the best ways to generate some buzz is to give away something of value. You can give away just about anything, but downloadable products tend to work well. Many websites have generated huge amounts of traffic by giving away a free e-book or special report. Of course, this only works if you are giving away something that people will actually want. One method is to give the freebie to new email list or RSS subscribers, which forces people to subscribe if they want what you are offering.

The best contests and giveaways will create a lot of attention and inbound links. The cost of whatever you’re giving away may be more than offset by the free publicity.

4. Write a press release.

Without help from search engines many of the traffic building techniques that we’re looking at involve creating publicity and attention to your website. An effective press release can do just that. However, a press release must tell about something newsworthy or it will get no attention. Just announcing the launch of a new website (unless it’s extremely unusual or groundbreaking, or if the creator is already well known) is not anything that will catch an editor’s attention.

A good press release for your website will work in conjunction with point numbers 1 and 3, creating quality content and the contest/giveaway. If you truly have something of value that people will want, your press release is bound to get some attention.

Press releases are now very easy to submit online (at sites such as PRWeb, PRBuzz, and I-NewsWire). By submitting your press release online your story will be available on websites like PRBuzz and Google News. A successful press release will also receive a lot of incoming links from people who see the story. The end result is new inbound links and a lot of interested visitors.
To learn more about how to properly write a press release see www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp.

5. Social media websites.

In the past few years social media websites (like Digg, Reddit, Stumble Upon, Del.icio.us and Netscape) have become extremely popular. Although they each have their differences, social media sites essentially present information that users have submitted. Popular articles can receive thousands of visitors in a day.

While traffic from social media sites is short term, the effects of that traffic can carry over to the long-term. Repeat traffic, increased RSS or email subscriptions, increased sales, brand recognition, and inbound links are just some of the results of a successful social media campaign.

6. Write for other blogs.

Guest blogging for another blogger that shares your target audience is one of the most effective ways to get your writing noticed by new people. To have success writing for other blogs you will need to offer original content, not just an article that you’ve already used on your own website.

You can find blogs that are looking for guest bloggers at Guest-Blogger.com. Another way to find blogs is to visit community sites like MyBlogLog and Bumpzee. Find a community that matches with your blog’s audience and contact some of the bloggers about providing content for them to use.

A different variation of the guest blogging idea is to participate in blog carnivals. A blog carnival is a group of blog posts from various writers on a particular subject hosted on one blog. The host blog will provide the post title and a brief description of each post with a link to the full post on the writer’s website. You can find blog carnivals to participate in at BlogCarnival.com.

7. Join or start a blog community.

The blog community sites like MyBlogLog and Bumpzee that were mentioned in the previous point provide another way for you to draw traffic. There are communities of bloggers who write about topics of all kinds. Being a part of these communities can help you to get noticed by other bloggers, which can lead to inbound links and guest blogging opportunities.

8. Pay-per-click advertising.

PPC ads are a relatively inexpensive way to get targeted traffic for your website. One of the greatest benefits of PPC ads is that no budget is too large or too small. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to spend. The most successful PPC campaigns will either generate direct sales or create leads that will lead to repeat traffic.

When setting up your PPC ads don’t just send traffic to your homepage and hope that visitors find their way to your sales pages. Pick the specific page that you want visitors to go to (or create a special one especially for PPC ads) and create the ad so they can land directly where you want them. The largest PPC ad networks are Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing.

9. Paid website reviews.

There are a growing number of services that offer you the option to pay to have your website reviewed on another website or blog. The review may bring traffic and a link to your site. The cost of the review depends on which website you want to review your site. Those with larger audiences charge more because they expose your site to a greater number of readers.

Some of the leading programs are:
PayPerPost
ReviewMe

10. Comment in forums and on other blogs.

Forums and blogs are great places to demonstrate your knowledge by providing intelligent feedback, answering other people’s questions, or posting a thought-provoking question. As a result, some people may click through to your site. Neither forums nor other people’s blogs should be used to advertise your site – if you do must likely your comment will be deleted. Focus on helping others and they will see you as a useful resource.

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