Whether you’re looking to start a website to earn money, or you just want to share your opinions with the world, one of the first things you’ll need is traffic coming to your site. Traffic, or visitors, is really the life blood of any website. Without it, you may as well just be pulling out an old notebook and writing in your journal.
The problem most new website owners have is that they mistakenly think that if they just go out and publish their articles, videos or other content, people will eventually find it. The fact is, that is not the case. You need to go out and actively work at getting your site in front of your desired audience so that they will visit your site. If they like it, they will keep coming back again and again. Getting people to visit your site is an essential part of running any page. Fortunately, when you follow some, or all, of the following tips, you’ll be having visitors in no time.
The following five tips will introduce you to some of the most important, and effective, ways to drive traffic to your site.
Tip #1 – Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important ways you can help bring traffic to your site. SEO is essentially any effort you make to help get Google and the other search engines to find your site, and rank it for specific keywords. There are billions of searches made on search engines each day,so you just need a tiny number of those searches to return your site on the first page of the results and you’ll have a nice stream of traffic every day. There are two types of SEO you need to worry about:
On Page SEO
On page SEO is any effort that is done on your site itself. Things like making sure your site loads fast, having an easy to navigate organizational structure, and adding content that uses the types of keywords that people will search for are all great examples of on page SEO. The bottom line here is you need to fill your site with high quality content that your visitors will love, and do it in a way that the search engines understand.
Off Site SEO
Offsite SEO is any effort you make away from your site to improve your rankings with the search engines. This is a huge, and ever changing, concept, but let’s just touch on a few of the most important strategies:
- Link Building – Getting other sites to link to your page. This is how people, and search engines, find their way to your site.
- Social Networking – Having a page on Facebook, Twitter and other sites that is for your website will help search engines see that your site is worth ranking.
- Local Directories – If your site is targeting a geographically local area, registering with directories like Google Locations and the Yellow Pages is very important.
There is a lot more to SEO than just this. In fact, there are entire books available that discuss just this concept. This should be enough to get your feet wet, however; also, remember that it is something you’ll always be learning more about. SEO is a long term effort that drives traffic over time, so there is no real need to become a master overnight.
Tip #2 – Using Forums
One of the most effective, yet least utilized ways to drive traffic to your website is by using forums. If you’ve never used them before, forums are websites where people come together to ‘talk’ about a specific topic. There are forums about virtually any topic you can imagine, and they are quite easy to find by simply Googling, “Your Topic Forums.”
Forums will give you two major benefits. First, you’ll be interacting with a community of people who are interested in the same thing as your site is about. This will help you to come up with new ideas on what to write about for your site. Second, you can add a ‘signature’ to your forums posts. In your signature, you can include a link back to your web page.
When people see the link, they may click on it and find your page. This is a great way to get visitors to your site who you know are interested in what you have to say. These links will also be part of your offsite SEO strategy (mentioned above) and help your site get ranked better with search engines.
Tip #3 – Social Media
Social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, have millions of people on them at all times. When done properly, you can help encourage some of these people to come visit your site. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up a page, or account, with each of the major social media sites. The account should be named the same as your website, and should include a link back to your site.
Once you’ve got your accounts set up, you can post from them on things that are related to your page. For example, if you have a website about soccer, you can go find public posts about the World Cup and make a quick post from your website’s Facebook account. When people see it, some of them will click on your ‘name’ (which is the name of your site) and be brought to your site’s Facebook page.
From here, there should be links to all the content you wrote for your site, and other valuable items that will show visitors that they should come to your web page. This strategy can be used on all the social media sites, and will help to not only drive traffic, but also build up relationships with many visitors. When it comes to social media, make sure you use more than just Facebook and Twitter. There are dozens of great social media sites, so try them all and see which ones work best for you.
Tip #4 – Guest Blogging
Another great way to not only get traffic to your site, but targeted traffic is by guest blogging on other websites that are similar to yours. If there is another site that is made for the type of audience that you want to visit your site, reach out to the page owner and ask if they accept guest posts. A guest post, or guest blog, is simply content that is written by someone else (you in this case) and posted on their site.
You’ll write up a great post for their site, and at the end of it there will be a ‘bio box’ which contains information about you, and your site. There will be a link back to your site in this box. Some sites allow you to add a link in the text of your post, and even have your name at the top hyperlinked back to your page.
The big benefit to guest blogging is that you are getting in front of the exact people who you want to see your site. If you write a great article, for example, they will see that you offer quality information and will want to visit your page. If they like what they see, they will keep coming back on a regular basis.
Of course, the links on these related pages are great for your SEO efforts too, so this is another way to ‘double dip’ when it comes to driving traffic.
Tip #5 – Buy Your Traffic
If you really want to bring traffic to your site as quickly as possible, the absolute best option is to buy it. There are many different ways you can pay to advertise your site, and get hundreds or even thousands of visitors to your page each day. The best option when it comes to paid traffic is using Pay Per Click (PPC) services.
There are dozens of different PPC providers, but the two biggest are Google and Facebook. You can pay them a set amount for each person who clicks on your link and visits your site. When setting up your advertising campaign, you will identify exactly when you want your link to show up based on a number of factors.
For example, with Google AdWords (that’s the name of their PPC program) you can set it so your ad is displayed only to people from one country (or even state, city or zip code) and only when they type in specific searches. This allows you to drive extremely targeted traffic to your site. You can do the same type of thing with Facebook ads, and have it displayed only to people who ‘like’ certain things.
Driving traffic using PPC campaigns is typically only done for sites that are made to make money, but they can be useful for anyone. Just be careful to monitor how much you’re spending to ensure you don’t go over your budget.
Keeping your Visitors Happy
As you can see, getting people to your site doesn’t have to be too difficult, but it does take consistent effort on your part. No matter how you decide to drive traffic, however, you need to make sure every visitor likes what they see once they get to your site. If they don’t, they won’t ever come back again and without repeat visitors, it is hard to have a successful page.