Creating a web site takes a lot of time and hard work, and it can be extremely disappointing and frustrating when the only person who seems to visit it is your mum. We understand, and that’s why we wanted to offer you some tips on how you can increase traffic to your web site. Best of all? All of these methods cost you absolutely nothing except for your time!
Add Content to Your Site
Writing articles or blogs related to your web site’s subject matter is an excellent way to increase traffic to your site. Why? Because when the search engine spiders visit your site, they’ll find fresh content that can’t be found anywhere else, and this can help increase your page ranking. Plus, if you’re regularly adding new information that may be of interest to your site’s visitors, then they’re likely to check back frequently to see if you have anything new to say.
Join Social Networking and News Sites
If you want to tell more people about your business, then create a profile for your organisation on Facebook and add other organisations related to your industry. If you write articles or blogs on your web site, then you should sign up to Digg, a site for finding and sharing content on the web. Every time you write something new, submit the article’s URL to Digg — this will give you a new backlink AND make it possible for other Digg users to read your writing and visit your site.
Twitter, a micro-blogging service, is also a great way to tell more people about your organisation. Once you sign up, just search for people who are in industries related to your own (or who share your interests) and start following them on Twitter. In most instances, the people you follow will begin following you, and they will be kept up to date on your site and your organisation every time you send a tweet.
Submit Your Site to Search Engines
If you’re an experienced web designer, then you probably think this is incredibly obvious, but many new web designers don’t realise that they need to submit their site’s URL to search engines.
If you’d like to submit your site to all of the major search engines, just click the links below:
Post in Forums
A lot of forums will allow members to put a link to their web site or blog in their signature (the space found below the typed messages in a forum post); this can help increase traffic to your site because a backlink to your web site will be created every time you submit a post (backlinks will help increase your site’s page rank and position in search engine results). Plus, if you’re posting helpful or interesting messages on a forum related to your web site’s subject matter, other members may click the link in your signature to find out more about you and your site.
Write and Submit Press Releases
Press releases are an excellent way to publicize your web site, business, or organization, but it’s important to know what to write and where to submit them. In my opinion, the key to writing a good press release is to make it read like a news article by relating the purpose of your web site to current events or universal issues. For example, people have always been concerned with saving money, but the current economic climate has everyone scrutinizing their bottom lines. Blogs and articles on the impact of the global recession have become extremely popular in recent months, and a press release incorporating information about the economic downturn is more likely to be published. This is a lot easier to accomplish than you may think: if your organisation is running a special offer or discount, you can write a press release discussing how your business recognizes that the recession has caused customers to become more mindful of their expenses, so you’ve decided to help oganisations and individuals save money with a 50% off promotion (or any type of similar offer).
Another component of an effective press release is figuring out where to submit it. There are a few online press release submission sites (some are free, while others will charge you a fee) which will submit your release for you, and I would recommend using the free sites. However, the key to having your press release appear on a lot of web sites is to identify the leading site within your industry and submit your press release to that site first. If you can get the leading site within your field to publish your press release (take a look at the news on their site, get a feel for the types of press releases they publish, and write your press release in a similar manner), then other web sites within your industry will also publish your press release. Why? Because most of the smaller sites simply republish the news from the leading site via an RSS feed.
Exchanging links means that you will post a link to another web site on your own site (usually on a page dedicated solely to URLs, and that page is linked from a site’s home page) if the owner of the other site will post a link to your site on theirs. Exchanging links with other web sites is a great way to increase backlinks to your URL, thus increasing traffic to your site. How do you find people to exchange links with? Ask anyone you know personally or professionally with a web site (preferably related to your field) if they would be interested in exchanging links with you.
Create a Newsletter
Give your visitors the opportunity to sign up to a newsletter which you will send them via email on a regular basis. Your newsletter can include information on your latest sales and promotions, as well as excerpts from your newest content with links to the full article. Just make sure that you don’t send your subscribers a newsletter too frequently; they may start to feel like they’re being spammed. Plus, creating quality content for your site takes time, and you don’t want to start churning out frivolous articles just for the sake of having something to stick in your newsletter.
Comment on Blogs
Commenting on blogs works much in same way as commenting in forums. Most blogs will allow you to create a signature with a hyperlink to your web site’s URL, so you will create a backlink to your site ever time you post a comment. Take the time to actually read over the post and compose an insightful and articulate comment related to the subject matter of the blog. If you simply write “Nice post!” randomly on blogs, you are more likely to find that your comments will be deleted as spam.
Create an RSS Feed
While many people may be interested in what you have to say on your blog, they may be too busy or too forgetful to check your web site regularly. If you offer an RSS feed for your site, then all users need to do is subscribe, and they will be alerted when you add new content to your site. Instead of having users come to your site once and forgetting about it, they’ll be more likely to visit it again when they’re alerted about new content and special promotions via an RSS feed.
This site offers a great tutorial on creating an RSS feed: http://www.labnol.org/internet/create-rss-feed-for-websites/5470/
Minimize Usage of Images
Images can do a lot to spice up a bland web site, but they can also hurt your search rankings. Why? Search engines can’t read images, so they just skip over this content. While this is old news to experienced web designers, it is something many new web designers just don’t know. I’ve actually seen quite a few sites with all of their content written as text in a program like Photoshop; they saved the file as a JPG or PNG, uploaded it to their site, and then couldn’t figure out why their site didn’t come up in search results based on the content in the image. Don’t make the same mistake!
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