How to increase traffic to your website - Traffic, the one thing that can make you a mint....or zilch!
What is traffic? Traffic is people.....visitors. Hopefully lots of people, all merrily clicking their way to your website, blog or marketing page.
Without decent traffic to your website, you will be struggling to make a few cents a month (if that)
If you are wanting people to "do" something once you get them to your website, then you have to make sure you are getting the right sort of traffic also.
You know how you see pizza adverts on TV, usually close to dinner time? Well, that's targeted advertising. Those adverts are being screened just when there are hungry people contemplating what they are going to have for dinner.
When you are trying to get or increase traffic to your website, you have to think about what type of people you want to come, and they have to be "hungry" for what you have to offer.
If you have a website where you're trying to sell lawn mowers (for example), you need to get traffic from people who are hungry to buy one.
If most of your traffic comes from people who are looking for Angelina Joile pictures, well, you aren't going to have much luck selling your lawn mowers are you. (unless you have a modified mower with a picture of Angelina Jolie on it.....but I digress....)
If you want someone to BUY what you have to offer you have to get traffic from people who are searching for what you have and are in "buy mode" eg. they are searching for something like "buy green widgets".
If you are offering a review of a product or service, or are offering general information, then people searching for "green widget reviews" would be the target audience you are after.
Your website pages and/or advertisements (like Adwords) should be optimized with keywords so that people using these search terms will find you.
Having each webpage designed to capture a specific, narrow target audience will get the right people you want to your webpage. (you want to make your pages attract people like a lazer beam to exactly what they are searching for.) Having pages with a "mish mash" of content dilutes the search results.....focus on one (preferably highly searched) targeted niche area per page.
There are many ways of getting good targeted traffic to your website. Some work better than others.
Here's a page full of useful links to directories you can submit to, article sites, free advertising sites and more
Increase Traffic To Your Website Links List Page
Below are some methods to increase traffic that work well.
Content - Content - Content!
Content. Relevant, useful, regularly updated and current!
If you have content that is unique, informative, gives people exactly what they are looking for and content that is updated regularly then you have a good chance of getting decent traffic from search engines.
Look around at other websites in similar niches to your own.
What ones are popular? Usually the ones which have quality content and it's updated often.
Also, adding information which is timeless is a good idea. The information will be relevant no matter when the page is read.
You don't have to make a huge gigantic website with a thousand pages. Some of the most successful websites are only small. Just focus on getting what you have right, focused and optimized and it will do well.
Make sure your content is easy to read, well set out and optimized for search engines.
(have a look here for more on that in regards to images)
Have good keywords in your content and phrases that are popular when people search for things relating to your site.
Also put the keywords you want to rank highly for in your page title, description, header 2's, and even in the alt tags for your images. Have the keyword phrase you want to rank for in bold somewhere on your page too (and maybe once in italics also)
Make sure you spell check your content, make sure there's no "stray code" lying around on the pages, make the pages fast loading, make sure all your links are working, check your site out using different browsers....in short, MAKE SURE that everything is working correctly, or people will not hang around.
There's a great online webpage spell checker here.
A good resource to use for Search Engine Optimization is this free ebook. (just download via right clicking on the link below and "save target as")
Download Search Engine Optimization Made Easy (pdf)
Submit Your Site To Directories
There are thousands of directories out there that you can submit your website to.
There are some that are free, and some which require payment.
For example, probably the best directory is Dmoz. It's also free.
If you go to the get traffic link page you can find a list of good directories you can submit your website to.
Increase Traffic To Your Website Links List Page
There are also hundreds of article submission sites where you can submit articles related to your niche.
You can get a lot of traffic from one well written popular article.
You also can get quality incoming links back to your website, not only from the article itself, but from people who use your article on their own sites.
You have to make you article stand out from the crowd.
- Make your title one that will make people want to read more. Make it as descriptive as possible and include the keywords that relate to your article in the title
- Make it interesting in the first paragraph....you have to hook your reader to keep them on the page.
- Don't make the article sound like a sales pitch. That will put a reader off.
- Keep your paragraphs short with breaks between them, makes the article easier to read.
- Include dot point lists (people love lists)
- When putting a link back to your website (usually in the "author bio box") don't just use your site address, include keywords that relate to your website and article. (anchor text) Also tell the readers in your bio that they can find out more by going to your website - give the reader a reason to click your link.
Effective article writing and submission, if done correctly can create an enourmous amount of healthy organic traffic to your website. To find out how to get the most out of your article submissions I highly recommend the Article Marketing Domination ebook.
Comment and Interact With Other Sites
The possibilities are endless here.
Becoming involved in forums that relate to your website is a great way to get traffic.
You can talk about your site in your posts (if allowed) or include links to your website in your forum signature. Try and keep your posts helpful and constructive (don't just run around posting your link everywhere)
Same goes for blogs.
There are thousands of blogs posts out there that you can comment on. Some bloggers don't allow links to websites in the comments they receive, but a lot of them do.
Are you a member of any websites that allow you to have a website link in your profile? If you are, then go add it NOW!
If you have come across a great book, great program, great download...how about going finding the website where it came from and writing a testimonial.....with a link back to your website of course.
Use Pay Per Click Marketing
This is probably one of the best way to get targeted traffic to your website.
It does cost some money, but if you do it right, you can increase your traffic and get the people that you want to come to your website.
The most well known pay per click marketing method is Google Adwords.
I'd recommend reading about how to set up and manage pay per click campaigns before you start however, as you can waste money if you don't do it correctly.
Pay per click ads are the BEST way to get ultra targeted visitors to your website, and you can not only target in terms of keywords people are searching for but also target people in terms of geographic location.
There's a free ebook that gives you good, quick understanding of using Google Adwords called Google Adwords Made Easy.
You can download it via the link below (just right click on the link and 'save target as")
Download Google Adwords Made Easy (pdf)
Pay per click is good in that you only pay for clicks, that is people who have ended up at your website and you can also set a budget so you don't spend a lot of money on a campaign that might not be working.
Therefore, you can setup small "test" campaigns, and tweak your keywords, amount you pay per keyword/phrase etc so you can maximize your ads potential without breaking the bank.
There are quite a few good pay per click search engines that are good in addition to Google Adwords.
The next best is Yahoo Search Marketing.
Using the lesser known pay per click marketing sites shouldn't be ignored however. They are usually a lot cheaper.
For a list of good pay per click advertising sites to use visit the traffic links list page.
Increase Traffic To Your Website Links List Page
This is a simple way to get some links back to your website and extra traffic, but a word of caution, make sure you choose QUALITY sites which are related to your own website content.
Search engines rate the quality of your incoming links highly. So if you have a camera website and you have incoming quality links from other websites related to cameras, photography etc, those links will be worth more than links coming from unrelated websites.
Having a link from your website on a very popular page with lots of traffic is a good thing, even if it doesn't have a high page rank....but having links from websites with a high page rank help your website enormously.
You can get reciprocal links by finding websites that are similar or related to yours and seeing if they have a "add link" (or similar) option where you can add your site link in exchange for putting a link to them on your website.
Be careful that the website you want your link to show on has their links in a place where plenty of people can see it. (not tucked away in some obscure links page where nobody goes)
Don't overdo reciprocal links, but find a few quality websites.
There's a neat online tool you can use called Backlink Builder.
You type in a keyword or two that relates to your site or blog, and then it gives you a list of similar sites to your own which allow you to include your site link on theirs.
You can give it a try by clicking the link below.
Of course the external linking that is just a one way link back to your site is better than reciprocal linking and can be gained by many different means (either through making them yourself (blogs, articles, from other sites you have etc) or by other people linking back to you because they want to (always nice)
I would avoid "buying" links. I know some people say this is a great way to get high page rank links back to your site, but there are so many other ways to get good links and Google frowns on it. Try and keep your incoming links as "natural" as possible.
Don't forget that your sites internal linking between pages can have a BIG effect on how you site ranks in search engines.
If you have a page on, for example "Make Money on the Internet" then make sure you have links through your site that use your main keywords linking back to that page. (as above example)
This makes it easier for search engine spiders to see which pages are relevant to certain keywords and also, most importantly, makes it easier for your visitors to find their way around your site also.
Try to use this strategy in your main navigation menu, and where you have several pages that are similar in topic or might enhance each other. (You've probably seen how some people have links at the bottom of their pages called "related topics", this is a good example of internal linking that works well)
Having menus that are easy for spiders to navigate are also important.
Flash menus look great, but simple HTML menus are easiest for spiders to read.
Yes, getting quality inbound links, that are RELEVANT and preferably include your keywords are the most important, but don't ignore your internal linking structure either. It can make a difference to how search engine spiders see the relevancy of your site, and in turn can improve your sites rank for your chosen keywords. Higher rank in the search engines for relevant keywords relating to your pages means more "useful" traffic to your site.
If you have a web site, but don't have a blog.....get one!
Make A Blog
If you have a regularly updated blog with plenty of links to your website, with useful information, you can drive quite a bit of traffic to your main website. (and even make some money from your blog as well by incorporating Google Adsense etc)
Search engines love blogs, so if you want good exposure to your website, some carefully crafted, informative blog entries with great searchable titles that relate to your niche can bring you terrific extra traffic.
You can also submit the RSS feed of your blog to a stack of RSS feed directory web sites which increases your site exposure still further.
The traffic links list page has a list of some good RSS feed directory web sites.
Increase Traffic To Your Website Links List Page
Get Return Visitors To Your SiteGetting a visitor to come to your web site once is fine.
Getting them to keep coming back is better!
Having active forums on your web site or having comments open on blog posts can help keep visitors coming back. Allowing people to contribute to your website and with other members adds a sense of community also.
Start a newsletter and have a section or web form on your web site where people can "opt in" to receive your newsletter by submitting their name and email address. (you keep people regularly informed about your site or new products they might be interested in. Just when they have forgotten about you, your newsletter pops up in their mailbox.)
You can even offer your visitors something free like an ebook to entice them to sign up to your newsletter.
Using a good email autoresponder helps enormously when you are doing email marketing and sending out newsletters.
Autoresponders collect your subscribers email addresses and then send out pre-written emails to them.
Two popular autoresponders are:
Make sure you have an option for people to bookmark your site and put this somewhere very visible .
Stay current. People aren't going to come back to your site if they saw all there was to see the first time.
Keep things fresh, stay in touch with new developments in your niche, keep up with popular trends and popular things people are searching for in general.
A few ways to keep in touch with what's hot online are these web sites here:
Yahoo! Buzz Index
AOL Hot Searches
Ask.com Top Searches
If you are setting up a new website, consider using a CMS (content management system)
There are a lot of them out there which are free and come with things like forums, blogs, image galleries and most have add on modules so you can tailor your site to your needs.
Saves the hassle of connecting different elements into your web site, and they are relatively easy to manage.
You can find a good selection of free and commercial content management systems here
If I write a huge blurb on each of these this page will end up a mile long (it's already half a mile long) so I will be brief.
These are some other ways you can get useful traffic to your site.
- Free advertising forums - Quite a few of these around, have listed some here
- ViralUrl - Very cool site to promote your site or affiliate products. Easy to set up, no manual surfing looking at other peoples ads and you can build your own downline for free!
- Yahoo! Answers - Answer questions people have, if your website holds more answers include your site url in the "sources" section.
- Google Images - If your site has images, make sure they are optimized and you can generate terrific extra traffic if they are listed in Google Images
- Google Groups - Search through the groups, see if there is something that is related to your site and start contributing to the threads there. Include your web site url in your signature.
- Facebook - Advertise your website, blog or affiliate program through the Facebook Marketplace or Facebook Flyers
- Make a press release You can find a list of some press release web sites here.
- Emails - Don't forget to add your web site address to your email signature
- YouTube - Make a video about your product or service, or just contribute. Have a link to your web site in your profile or on the videos themselves
- Give away free software/gadgets/eBooks - People LOVE free stuff!
- Make a web widget - make one for Widgetbox or other web widget sites and make sure somewhere in the widget you include a link to your site (widgetbox also have "blidgets" - you can make a blidget for other people to copy and paste into their sites that includes an RSS feed from your website or blog. Terrific "Web 2" viral marketing)
- MySpace - Make a page, include your web site url
- Sponsor contests - Give your site some positive free exposure
- Buy some links - I don't recommend this method of getting traffic, as search engines aren't keen on it, but it's an individual choice.
- Social Bookmarking - Get people to add your web site to social bookmarking sites, or add your own web site. Better if you get others to do it though. You can get a list of good social bookmarking sites here and you can get a useful bookmarking widget here that you can add to your web site or blog.
- LinkedIn - Join LinkedIn and create a network of contacts that you can mutually benefit from - share information & promote your web site/service
- Webrings - join a webring of web sites in a similar vein to yours
- Write an eBook - Write an eBook about a topic you know well. Offer it as a free download. Put links to your web site or affiliate product throughout it.
- Be Controversial - Write about something that will make people mad (optional....but works well....lol, use with caution)
Don't exclude offline advertising techniques.
If you are an affiliate matketer you can use offline methods even without a website quite easily if you advertise in highly visible and "targeted" areas in your community.
One technique I've found that works is simply by putting up simple flyers on community notice boards.
For example, there's certain sections in my city which are "dog crazy", so targeting these areas for say, dog training affiliate products works quite well. (supermarket mall noticeboards, local library (can even be a little "sneaky" and put "post it" notes with your website details into books that relate to your niche)
Another example could be local gym noticeboards.... good for weight loss & body building products.
You don't even have to bother having an actual website yourself.
You could either just buy a domain name and have it masked and forwarded to your affiliate product, and have that domain name on your flyer, OR, use a free Gmail email address for the flyer contact information and have the vacation responder setup to send a pre written email with a little more about the program in question and of course your affiliate link.
Having your own website is fine, but if the flyer is written well enough to capture a persons inerest, then it's doing the same job a squeeze page would do anyway....and you want to get your prospects to the offer in question quickly and easily.....the less pages it takes them to get to that main offer, the better.
This might not be something that gets you more traffic, but it does help if you get traffic that can't read your website!
Translate Your Website
I have often come across sites that seem really interesting, but because they aren't written in English I have to leave them.
Sometimes sites include a translation option, so you can click on a button (usually a flag) and viola, you can now read the site in English.
What about your own website?
I'm writing this for people who have English language websites.
Have you ever wondered how many people come to your website, but can't read it because it's in English and not their own language?
I put a simple translation option onto one of my sites a few months ago, and after looking at my site statistics, was amazed at how many visitors used the translation option.
If you want to add a quick, simple and unobtrusive translation widget onto your site you could get this widget of mine from Widgetbox.
It's run by Google Translator, and opens up the translated page in a new window and every page they click on in that new window will be translated also.
It's easy to install and can be added to regular websites as well as Typepad, Blogger and others.
Traffic Exchange Sites
I have listed this at the bottom......mainly because I think that on the whole these are a TOTAL waste of time.
You want people to come to your website...you think "hmmm, what about all those neat free traffic exchange sites, where all I have to do is view other people's websites in order to get credits for other people to visit mine.....that sounds easy enough"
Yes, it's easy enough, BUT, you have to remember that 99.9% of everyone using these websites are only there to get credits so you can look at their site.
After you have used them for a while, you can work out "systems" where you can get plenty of "manual" hits to your website, without really "looking" at someone else's site for more than a couple of seconds, if at all......and I believe that's what most people probably do.
So if you are doing that, then so is everybody else......so sure, you might get a stack of hits to your website, but are people "really" looking at it?
I tested a few of these sites out with one random url over the space of about a month.
Lots and lots of hits (a few thousand).....but as for people clicking and interacting with this url....I think there might have been 3 clicks.
When you take into account the amount of time you have to employ, click click clicking away, I think there are a LOT better ways you could be spending your time. Spending your time using some of the other methods illustrated on this page is a MUCH better option.
There is only one site I came across which perhaps offers some genuine traffic to your website, and that's LinkReferral.
The reason this is a little different from the other is that it's not really a "surf for credits" website.
At LinkReferral you submit your site link, and it gets added to their website directory under whatever category you specify.
To get the best exposure of your link in their directory, you visit 30 sites belonging to other members, review 5 and make one forum post per day.
If you do this properly, your site moves up in the directory listings and is seen more often.
Also, because people have to do 5 reviews a day, the chances of someone actually "looking" at your site is a lot better than on regular traffic exchange sites.
Yes, it's still a " tedious" way to get traffic, but LinkReferral is the only one I've found that can offer you some visitors that look around and interact with your site. They can also offer help and advice in relation to your site (either by their reviews of your site, or in the forums)
When you consider how much time you would spend on a few traffic exchange sites, spending half an hour a day at LinkReferral is probably a better option in my opinion.
On the whole though, if you want decent targeted traffic, avoid traffic exchanges like the plague......just not worth the time.
Just a quick mention about Google Page Rank and Alexa Rankings.
Page Rank and Alexa Ranking
To improve your page rank, get LOTS of quality incoming links to your site.
If you get links back from sites with a good page rank, yours will improve too.
Getting quality links from sites that contain the keywords you want to rank highly for is what you should aim for.
To improve your Alexa ranking download the Alexa Toolbar
The Alexa toolbar is also an excellent way of seeing the general statistics of the websites you visit and is terrific for analyzing your competition at a glance.