So you have a web site. What do you do next? Of course, you have to publish content – something that people will want to read. You may choose to put gibberish there, but the chances are that your web site will die before you can even say “I want more traffic.”
Common sense dictates that when you create a web site, you want people to discover it and visit it periodically. The more people, the better. In other words, you are looking to generating as much traffic as you want to your web site. So how do you achieve this goal? Here are some tips that can help you gain exposure and get more traffic to your web site.
Content is King!
This line has been so used so many times, that it goes beyond cliche. Just like with many cliches, though, it cannot be any truer. At the end of the day, people will visit web sites AND keep coming back if there is something to draw them back. That something, folks, is your content.
Whatever your web site may be about, what you need to do – more than any other thing – is to provide content that will cater to the needs of your target audience. You need to provide value in terms of information. You may have the most beautiful web site on earth, but if there is nothing to read there, you will not be able to sustain traffic. On the contrary, if you have unique, valuable, and fresh content on your web site, your readers will keep coming back and even do free promotion for you by sharing the information with their own circle of friends. Forget cliche, content really is king!
Some important bits to remember when it comes to content:
- Do not copy content from other sites. This will not only turn readers off, it can get you in legal trouble.
- Make use of the talent available to you. You can find a lot of auto-generated content out there, but why go for that when you can produce your own content? If you don’t have the time or talent to write, enlist the help of your employees (if your web site is a business site).
- Periodically add new content to your web site. It does not have to be everyday, but giving your readers something new will keep them coming back.
- Observe proper English. You don’t have to be a grammar Nazi. You don’t have to be the best writer. Just make sure you proofread your work so that you catch any glaring mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and the like.
You might have heard of this term, and it is pretty self-explanatory: the goal is to attract as many people as possible to link to your content. How do you do this? You go back to content. Create content that people will love and link back to. Here are a few tried and tested ideas for linkbaiting.
- Lists. Lists are easy to read, and if you choose interesting enough topics, then you’ll get links to your content for sure. Think along the lines of ’50 Most Useful Web Sites,’ ’10 Hottest Women in Blogging,’ and so on.
- Quizzes. People also love taking quizzes. There are tools online which you can use to create your own quiz, so that you can customize the topic to fit your web site’s focus.
- Infographics. These are images with tons of information thrown in. They’re all the rave these days, and people just can’t get enough of them. If you don’t have what it takes to create one, check out different infographics creators – there’s lots of them.
- Funny/controversial images. Along similar lines, you can publish images that you know your readers will like. Just make sure that you pay attention to copyright issues.
Make use of social bookmarking/networking.
If you haven’t already, create accounts in the popular social networking sites today: Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious, and so on. Of course, creating accounts is not enough. You ought to devote some time to promoting your web site in order to attract more traffic.
Take it one step further and make it easy for your readers to share your content as well. Make use of buttons or icons so that your content can be shared with a single click!
Optimize your web site.
How do you do this? There are many ways, actually.
- Link to your pages. Make it easy for your visitors to discover more information contained in other pages in your site. Do not hesitate to include links that will point to other (relevant) pages. This will not only make your site more user friendly, but search engines will also give you plus points for this!
- Make sure your web site is viewable using various browsers. Just because you use Firefox does not mean that everyone else does. Try viewing your web site using Chrome, IE, Safari, etc. in order to see how the web site performs, and make adjustments accordingly.
- Speed up your web site. How much do you hate slow loading sites? You’re just like everybody else, so make sure your site does not have issues in this regard. What you can do is make sure the images are compressed, or lessen the number of images. You also ought to invest a little bit in a good hosting service that will ensure fast loading times.
A little SEO won’t hurt.
SEO (search engine optimization) is another buzzword, but not everyone really gets it. Suffice it to say that you need SEO to drive more traffic to your site. You might want to engage the services of SEO professionals, but you can also do little things here and there yourself.
- When writing content, pay a little attention to keywords. This is not the end all be all of SEO, but researching the right keywords and using them will certainly help.
- Use images in your content.
- Include a site map.
Photo credit: mark.woodbury