How To Get More Website Traffic
You have a site – great. Now all you need to do is to get some traffic. Without traffic your website is nothing more than a bunch of bytes sitting on a server somewhere. You need traffic to the website you need to be always increasing your traffic.
The question is: how to get more website traffic? There are millions of people on the internet with a million different websites to visit. How to get some of that website traffic to your site?
Not all traffic is the same. There are three main ways a person can find your website:
- Direct Traffic: These are visitors that come to your website by typing your website address into the address bar of their browser. Or they received a link to your website in an email. Another possibility is that they have your website as a favorite (bookmark) and they clicked on the link.
- Referral Traffic: These are visitors that arrived from another website - the website has a link to your website and it was clicked on. The referring website can be anything - a blog, website, directory, forum. Basically any webpage on the internet that links back to your website.
- Search Engine Traffic: When somebody does a search on Google, Bing, Yahoo! etc. and the results return your website, and the link is clicked, then the visitor arrived via a search engine. Another name for it is organic traffic.
Depending on what kind of website you have, you will want to focus most of your attention on one these three types of traffic. Do not completely ignore the other two – just make sure you are getting the right type of traffic to your website. You can have a great website, but if you have the wrong types of traffic then you will not make any money. More traffic, but not more money.
Know what kind of traffic is best for your website.
Search Traffic Is Best For Advertising Websites (AdSense, AdBrite, Chitika etc.)
If you have advertisements on your website then you want organic traffic – traffic from search engines. The reason is simple: when somebody does a search they are looking for something. They are called targeted traffic because they have a goal in mind – to answer a question, to find information, to buy a product.
If somebody does a search for 'how websites make money' they are looking for information on how websites make money. Imagine that they do a search and land on this website. This website has advertisements that are targeted for people looking to make money with a website. The person doing the search lands on this website and sees an advertisement for 'see how you can money with a website today'. Because it is the information they are looking for there is a good chance they will click on the advertisement.
On the other hand, somebody who just randomly stumbles onto this website will not click on an advertisement because they are not targeted. They arrived on this website with no goal in mind. They are not interested in 'how to make money with a website.' That is why social traffic is not good for advertisement based websites. If someone visits your website from a social site like Facebook, Digg, or Stumpleupon they are not interested in your website or the information you are offering. They are just surfing the web with no goal in mind and therefore are not interested in your advertisements.
The only way to make money with an advertisement based website is to have most of your traffic from search engines.
Direct And Referral Traffic Are Best For Affiliate and Product Sales
If you are selling a product or affiliate product then you want to focus on referral traffic. The reason is trust. Before people buy anything from you they need to trust you first. If they find your website via a search engine they do not trust you because they do not know you. They trust sites like Amazon and Ebay, but who are you? Who knows – you are probably just another online scammer. So search engine traffic is not good if you are selling products.
The best kind of traffic for affiliate sites is referral traffic. People who come to your website from a website they trust will trust you. If they receive a link from a friend or they see your website on a site they trust they will not arrive at your site suspicious.
To sell products you need to be trusted. And the only way to be trusted is to have lots of other people vouch for you. So you need to become friends with as many people online as you can, gain their trust, and ask them to link back to your site. Best case scenario: Oprah Winfrey likes your product and puts a link to your website on her webpage – people trust her so they will trust you.
The important thing with referral traffic is that you want the referrals to be from relevant sources. If you are selling children's books then you want a website with an audience of people who would be interested in children's books to link to your website. There is no point having a referral link from a travel website to your website – you want a link from a website catered to people with children. Just like search engine traffic you want your referral traffic to be as targeted as possible. People arriving from a travel website to your children's books website will not be interested in buying anything from you.
Building a Website is Easy – The Hard Part Is Getting More Traffic To Your Website
Increasing traffic to your website is the biggest challenge in pursuit of a successful site. And the worst part is that it is the last step. First you create the content, then you create the website, finally you try to get traffic. Unfortunately the hardest part is left to the end and traffic is the only thing that really matters. The best website in the world is useless without traffic.
Getting people to visit your site is an art not a science. It is very similar to marketing a product. The most successful products are those that have a great marketing scheme. The most successful websites are those that can make their presence known on the Internet.
How To Increase Traffic To Your Website
Below are some of the common approaches to increasing website traffic. These should be part of every webmaster's traffic acquiring toolkit. But do not limit yourself to them. Always be on the lookout for other approaches. Once your website is built your mental energy should be focused on getting more traffic. Be creative, do what others are not doing, innovate, find a way to stick out and get the people visiting is droves. Remember to think big and think outside the box. Traffic is an art – try everything, throw paint on the wall and see what works and does not.
Join forums. This is an easy step. Go to Google and do a search using keywords from your particular website niche. For my site (howthiswebsitemakesmoney.com) site I entered “Money, earn, website, online, forum’. This produced a large list of forums that discuss making money via websites. Select a few forums in your niche and begin contributing. Just simple contributions. A witty comment, reply to someone else’s comment, answering peoples' questions - these are best because they give you credibility. There are good forums out there so do not be surprised that you end up being a regular contributing member simply because you enjoy it.
Joining forums has two major benefits. Firstly, you will become more informed about your own niche. You will see what others are discussing and what others are asking. This provides a great source of content for your website. Secondly, forums drive traffic to your website – here is how:
How Joining Forums Increases Your Traffic
- You can mention your site in your post. But this must be done carefully. It should be done in a way that does not look like you are selling your site. Try to squeeze it in somewhere between informative content. You want to appear like a person interested in the content of the forum, not just as somebody trying to increase traffic to your site. Be forewarned this is a tricky thing to do and must be done with care. Doing it wrong can cause your post to be removed or worse, you can get banned from the forum.
- In most forums you can add as your signature a website address. So for every post you make your website address is displayed. Most of the time search engines like Google will count it as a link to your site from an external site (a quality backlink), which will increase your search results ranking.
Regardless of which niche you decide to create your website in, there will be other people on the Internet with websites and blogs about the same niche. These are like minded people who have the same interests as you and who have visitors that might enjoy your website.
By visiting other sites and leaving comments whenever possible you create the opportunity to increase visitors to your site. This is possible because when you leave a comment you can also leave your website address. Somebody reading your comment has the option to click on your website link and visit your site.
Also, if done tactfully, you can include a link to your website directly in the comment. But be careful, this must be done only if it adds value to your comment. Do not just place a link to your website in the comment. If you do most likely the comment will not be posted and you might be tagged as a spammer.
The key rule to remember when writing a comment is making sure that it adds value to the site that you are commenting on. You should be making a comment for visitors of the site you are commenting on, not for yours.
Why Writing Comments To Get Backlinks Does Not Work
A couple years ago it was common practice to write comments on other sites to get backlinks. The idea was that Google would see the link back to your site from the comment site and consider it as a backlink and therefore increase your ranking.
This use to be true, but not anymore. Google has created a 'nofollow' tag to prevent spammers from creating backlinks for themselves.
Now almost all high ranking and popular sites have a 'nofollow' tag on their comment section. The 'nofollow' tag tells Google that the link should not be considered as a backlink. So do not bother to create comments to get backlinks – it does not work anymore. Of course, there are a few sites out there that do not have the 'nofollow' tag but they are usually low ranking and dead sites – with no backlink value.
Tips For Writing Comments On Other Websites
- Write comments on sites that are in the same niche as yours. The idea is that you want the same kind of visitors that visit that site to visit your site. If the visitors are interested in a similar niche site as yours then there is a good chance that they will be interested in your site.
- Do not write one line comments like, “Great Post!”, or “Nice Website.” Not only do they add no value to other readers they also expose that fact that you are only making a comment for the link back to your website. It makes you look stupid and greedy – do not do it.
- Write a comment that has something unique about it. Do not say something that has already been said by another commenter. Remember that idea is to make yourself stand out. The more you are different, the more intrigue you create, the better chance that somebody will click on your website link to see who you are.
- Try to start a discussion in the comments. Ask a question or give an opinion. Do not be embarrassed and worried that your question is silly or that others will disagree with your opinion. The more people that disagree the better. If people are answering your question or commenting on your opinion that is good. Because they will want to know who you are and where you are coming from. To find out the will have to visit your website.
- Do not sell yourself in the comment. Other readers will instantly and instinctively ignore you. Out of spite they will not visit your website. The only way to get people to visit your site is to add value.
- Some sites have tens of thousands of visitors a day. These ultra popular sites also have lots of comments, sometimes over a hundred. For these types of sites it is better to be one of the first comments. Most readers tend to read the first few comments and stop. If you can be the first, second, or third comment you will have a lot more exposure than if you are comment number sixty-four. I have tested this on the blog problogger.com which has thousands of visitors a day. When my comment was amongst the first I would receive more traffic.
- Most blogs update their post around the same time everyday. Monitor the blogs and try to find out what time they update their blogs. Once you know what time they update their blogs then you can always be one of the first to post a comment. If they usually make their updates between 2:00 -3:00pm then keep checking the site around that time to see if it has been updated. Do not just wait till you get the update in your RSS reader because by then it is usually too late because your RSS reader is not updated as soon as the new post is made.
Article submission is the easiest way to create quality one way backlinks and to increase your traffic.
The principle is simple and works like this. There are very popular and high ranking article websites that offer articles to their readers. All the articles are written by guest authors like you. The idea is that you write an article about something in your niche and submit it to the article website. If it is approved then your article will appear whenever somebody does a search for your article topic. Since the article websites have lots of traffic your article has the potential for lots of exposure.
How does the article submission increase traffic to your site? Each article has two sections:
The 'give' section and the 'take' section. In the 'give' section you give some information about your area of expertise. You write between 250 to 1500 words about something that gives value to the readers.
In the 'take' section of the article you give information about yourself and your website. If a reader enjoyed what you wrote and wants to know more then they can click on the link to your website in the 'take' section.
How To Write Articles
Article should be short and to the point. They should contain one or two main points. They should add value for the reader. Making a point, or answer a question, or give information in a new light.
As a website owner you want to create articles that somehow tie into your website. The idea is to create an article that wets the reader's appetite and leaves them wanting more. If they like what you write and want more then they will click on your website link and visit your website.
To create an article that will benefit your website do the following. Read a page from your website and then close the window. Then open your word processor and rewrite what you just read. Same main points but new words. Make sure that the article version is shorter and more to the point. The articles should to be at least 250 words. My articles submissions tend to be around 400 words and take about 30 minutes to write. It is easy to do because it is not new material. Just a summary of key points from your website. At the end of the article place one general link your this site and one link specifically to the page being summarized.
Where To Submit Articles
There are lots of sites that except articles. But the two most popular and thus the most valuable to you are ezinearticles.com and goarticles.com.
Visit these websites and open up an account. Make sure to read through their tutorials and tips on how to write articles. By following their advice you will create high traffic articles and avoid wasting time by having articles denied.
Tips For Writing Articles:
- The shorter and more to the point the article the better. Remember you are not writing a story – you are relaying information. Article readers are there to get information. Give the information in the least amount of words possible. Use lists whenever appropriate.
- Do not duplicate information. Do not just cut and paste text from your website. Not only is it against policy but Google does not like duplicate content. If Google notices that the same text is on a whole bunch of websites (yours, and a few article websites) then Google might punish you by lowering your ranking in search results.
- Always manually submit your articles. Do not use article submission software or service. Its might sound like a great idea to have your article submitted to 300 different article websites but it is not. You want to be in control of your articles and where they are submitted. With auto submitter software/service you have no control over where it is being submitted and how. Also Google does not like it when your article appears suddenly on 200 article websites at once. Google does not want you to use auto submission software so do not use it.
- For the links back to your website use keywords in the anchor text. For example, if your article is about 'Prague Food' do not simply link back to your page <a href=www.yoursite.com/praguefood.html></a>. Use the keywords in the anchor text. <a href=www.yoursite.com/praguefood.html>Prague Food</a>. Doing this really helps Google figure out what your webpage is about and thus makes it a better backlink to your website.
A guest post is a post that you write and then submit to another website or blog and hope that they add it to their site.
The main idea is that you find a site that has a lot more traffic then your site and that is in the same niche. Then you write a post appropriate for that site. If your post gets accepted then everybody that visits that site will see your post, your name, and the link back to your website. The benefits are great especially if your post gets accepted on one of the major blogs with lots of traffic.
The drawback, which admittedly is a small one, is that you are writing material for someone else's site. But this is a small price to pay for the potential payoff.
Guest posts are harder than article posts. Creating articles is easy because unless you really screw up and do not follow the rules your article will be published. Guest posts are much more difficult because they have a very selective gatekeeper – the site owner. It is up to their discretion whether your post gets published. If he stubbed his toe just before reading your email requesting a guest post and therefore in a bad mood you could be denied just because his toe hurts.
Spend a few hours creating a guest post specifically designed for a specific blog. Send it to the site owner and wait. A few days later you might get a rejection email. ‘Sorry, but at this time I am not taking guest posts’, translation: your post was denied. Or on the other hand you might get an email stating that your post was accepted and that it will be published within the next few days.
If your post gets published make sure that you pay attention on the day it goes live. Keep an eye at the comments and answer any questions or comments that the readers might have. This is your chance to shine and send some of the traffic from that site to your site.
Guest Posts Are Great Backlinks
Besides the great publicity and exposure that guest posts bring they are also a powerful backlink. The link back to your website will be noticed by Google. Google will see that a high ranking site is linking to your website. In the long run this will increase your organic traffic.
But be careful. Do not waste your time writing guest posts for the first blog you come across. Make sure that it is in the same niche as yours, has a lot of visitors and preferably has a high page rank. If you are going to spend the time writing for somebody else then you might as well get as much out of it as you can. Aim for high traffic, high page rank, high relevance (same target audience as you have).
How To Write A Guest Post
Every site owner has different requirement for submitting guest posts. Do a search on your target site for 'guest post', usually they will have guidelines posted for guest posts. Follow them exactly, most large sites get lots of guest posts requests and not following the guidelines is a quick way into the rejection pile.
Tips For Writing Guest Posts
- Find a site related to your website. Read a few of the regular and guest posts to get a feel for the style of previous posts.
- If the site owner does not explicitly state that they are accepting or not accepting guest posts, write an email to the blog owner asking whether he/she is accepting guest posts. Ask whether there are any specific instructions for submitting guest posts.
- Write a great guest post. Even though it might be hard to write a post and give it to somebody else remember that you are going to benefit. A lot more people are going to read the guest post then the number of people that read your website. Guest posts should be your best material, your best foot forward.
- If your post gets rejected by one site owner it does not mean that it is a poor post. Try making slight changes and submitting it to other another site.
- Try to give the site owner as little work as possible. Send them both a text and HTML version of your post. Use the same header tags that the site owner uses for their posts. Try to make it so that the site owner simply need to copy and past your post to their site. They should not need to do any paragraph formatting or editing. Also, most guest posts have a little introduction about the author (you) and a quick summary of what the post is about. Write this yourself and submit it with your post. Again the site owner should only need to copy and paste your introduction. An example of introduction to your would might be, “This is a guest post by John. Here he shares his view that Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.”
- The main reason you are creating a guest post is so that the visitors of the site visit your site. At the end of the post add a link to your website. For example, “John lives in Prague and loves writing about the Golden city. For more information visit his site www.pragueczechtravel.com.” Make sure that you put the link back to your site at the bottom of the post so that people can click on your link after they finish reading. It is a mistake to put the link back to your site at the top of your post because you will lose all the readers who do not want to scroll back to the top of the post after they finish reading.
- Remember that after your send the email you cannot make anymore changes to post. It is no longer yours. Make sure that you have proof read it very, very carefully. Nothing is more embarrassing then having thousands of people read your post that has a spelling mistake in the first sentence. Basic grammar and spelling mistakes will really hurt your credibility. Also, if you have any facts or figures make to sure double check that they are correct.
- Try to entice participation. At the end of your post pose a question to the readers, or ask for their opinions. You want to get as much comments as possible because they give you a chance to express yourself even more in the comments section. The more comments you get the more exposure you will get when you respond to the comments.
- After your post has been published and all the benefits reaped, do not forget to email the site owner and thank them for the privilege.
Social Website Traffic – Do You Want It?
Over the last few years social websites have exploded in popularity. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, Tweeter, Stumbleupon have millions of users. Almost everybody that is online is signed up to a least one social website. This provides a great opportunity for a source of traffic.
Social websites are hoards of people in one place looking for something to do online. By joining a social network you have great exposure to lots of potential visitors to your website.
Imagine if you are signed up with Facebook and you have 50 online friends. On your homepage you put a link to your website. Instantly 50 people are aware of your website. But it does not stop there. Each of your friends has friends. If out of your 50 friends 10 of them like it enough to pass it onto their friends. If each of them has 50 friends then 10 * 50 equals another 500 people you will be made aware of your website. Now imagine that out of those 500 people 100 find it interesting and so pass it onto there friends. Each of them has 50 friends so that is 100 * 50 equals 5000.
That is the power of the social websites. They have what is called a viral effect. If your website goes viral it means that it is passed on exponentially through the social network. At each level more and more people are made aware of your website.
This looks like a very powerful method for getting traffic. All those people in one place ready and waiting to view your website and to pass it onto their friends. But unfortunately there are major drawbacks to social traffic when it comes to making money with your website.
Major Drawbacks To Social Traffic:
- It takes a lot of time. You cannot just create a social network and promote your website. If you did that then you would not have any online friends. Promoting your website needs to be secondary. Primarily you need to be involved in your online friends' lives. That means that you need to keep up to date with your network. You need to read everyday what others are doing, what their feelings and opinions are. You need to know that Bob is going to the grocery store to buy some bananas. This takes lots of time and effort. You can spend all day keeping up to date with all your Facebook friends and reading 100's of tweets everyday about absolutely nothing. After a week of this you might be able to throw in a quick plug about your website and hope that somebody visits it – but do not do it too much or people will ignore you. 99% of the time you need to be a friend – 1% of the time you can promote.
- Social traffic is not targeted traffic. Social networks are an assortment of people with nothing in common – they are composed of all interests and desires. Somebody visiting your site from a social network is not really interested in your site. They are only visiting it because a friend recommended it or they saw a link on a MySpace page. They might have a quick look at your site but since they are not an interested (targeted) visitor they will click out. They will not read anything nor will they click on an ad nor will they buy anything. They are not interested – they are just aimlessly bouncing around the Internet. This is completely different than visitors that come via Google search or a niche related guest post. In the case of a Google search the visitor is looking for information that your website provides, and in the case of niche related guest post the visitor is coming from a site that is about the similar niche as yours – they are interested. Therefore even though you might be able to get lots of traffic from social networks, most of that traffic is useless. They are like an Amish person walking into a store selling home entertainment systems – absolutely no interest.
- Social Network users are catching on. Social network users are becoming more aware of people using the networks to self promote products. More and more users are able to spot a self promoter and instinctively avoid clicking on their links. It was a lot easier to promote your website a few years ago but now you really need to mask it. You need to appear like a true social network user and only 1% of the time promote your site. This is especially becoming true with twitter – nothing loses you friends faster then when you constantly send tweets about your website.
Social traffic is fun - but it does not make you money.
Go Get Some More Website Traffic
If you read this far then congratulations. Now go out and start getting some traffic to your website.
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