Having a fantastic looking website or a blog is a great way to show the world what you have to offer, sell or say. However, given the sheer size of the internet, unless you do something to draw visitors to your site, they are not going to see what you have to offer or say. Fortunately, nowdays there are many ways of generating traffic and driving readers, surfers and customers to your site.
Here are some of the key methods and strategies for driving traffic to your site, whether you are selling something or just want to share your views, or offer information and advice on any subject:
Sponsored links through AdWords program – This is Google's pay-per-click advertising program and is a quick and powerful way of bringing targeted traffic to your site. You bid on your product or site related keywords and phrases and create adverts incorporating them. Google will then feature them as 'Sponsored Links' on the search results page when people search for your selected keywords.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and basically means optimizing your website / blog with selected and relevant keywords that will help the search engines to find your page and pull it up in the search results for the surfer. You can make your site search-engine-friendly by using relevant frequently searched keywords in the page title, post headings and key sections of your content.
Search Engine Submissions – When you have a newly created site it's important to submit your site to the various search engines directories so that they are aware that a new site has been set up and will come to crawl it and list it.
Social Bookmarking – This works like recommendations. Social bookmarking sites such as Del.icio.us, Digg, Reddit, Furl, StumbleUpon and similar others offer opportunities for internet users to store and share their bookmarks by tagging them and storing them online. They can then share these stored bookmarks with their social network, friends or general public. This helps to increase exposure of your site and drive traffic to it. Make sure your site offers social bookmarking icons and script for easy sharing.
Social Networking – Sites such as Facebook, Hi5, LinkedIn, MySpace, and RedGage are great for networking with other online users. Set up an account with such sites and create an interesting profile describing your interests, your sites and what you have to offer. By browsing around these sites you can explore different groups and leave interesting and useful comments and suggestions with your link to your profile and your site URL for people to follow if they wish. You can set up groups around specific subjects and themes and invite people to join your group and encourage them to invite people on their lists to join your groups. This will increase the size of your group exponentially and encourage members to click through to your site.
Article Marketing – Write articles relating to what your site offers and post it to the hundreds of article directories available on the net. Using major, high ranking ones like EzineArticles, ehow, HubPages, and Squidoo will help to promote your site and provide quality links back to your site. Ensure you make good use of the author resource box to encourage people reading the articles to click through to your site. You will also need to check the article directory permits links back to your site as some do not allow out-going links.
Linking – Incoming links especially from well ranked sites will help to improve your ranking too. Seek links from complementary and associated websites or use professional linkbulders to increasing the number of links to your site. Search engines see this as a sign of popularity & will send more traffic your way.
Blogs – If you have a website, it's useful to have a blog on the same site and update content regularly. Use services such as pingomatic or the WordPress ping function to announce fresh updates and content.
Include a forum on your site, if appropriate – this offers your readers a chance for discussion, provide feedback on your products and generally encourage them to spend more time on your website. It will encourage loyalty and regular visitors dropping by to read up on the forum discussions and responses.
Freebies – offering something free usually encourages traffic and return visitors. This can be a virtual product such as an eBook or report relating to or complementary to what your site offers. You can also include an opt-in box so people have to insert their email addresses to request the freebie. This will help you build up a list of your target audience that you can, in future, offer other products to.
Viral Marketing – similar to offering the freebies but including that you include links in the eBook or report to various product pages on your site.
Polls – Easy to complete polls and quizzes engages the visitor and encourages them to spend more time on your website as well as tempting them to come back for the poll result.
Commenting on other blogs and related forums works well in drawing visitors to your site. Just ensure you leave helpful and useful comments with your signature and url link for them to click on and come through to your website.
RSS Feed – Use to offer so that interested readers can subscribe to your feed and be instantly updated every time you post fresh content on your site.
Video Submissions – Some people are more visually oriented and it's useful to offer a video with the same message as text or other related matter.
Forums – Get involved with forums related to your product or site and offer value by responding to questions or offering suggestions and comments. Leave a good signature and your url for them to click through to your site.
Tags – Very useful to tag all your content as tags are the keywords people search by and which the search engines use to pull up your pages for results.
Subscription / Opt-in Form – Useful to capture subscribers if you have newsletters or an ezine circulation or want to build a list of your targeted audience.
Do Press Releases online whenever you launch a new product or make changes.
Off-line tactics – Insert your site URL in your leaflets, business cards and newspaper adverts and offer incentives such as discount for online orders to encourage more visitors to your site.
You will find all above tactics work. Analysis of your site traffic will reveal what works best for you and you may then wish to focus only on the ones that bring in good results. In summary, if you have a user-friendly site, provide good content and value to your readers and use a few of the above tactics to promote it then you are bound to see more traffic to your site.