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10 Free Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Web Site!

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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:
Google
Bing
MSN
DMOZ

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.

Exchange Links

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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21 Comments

  1. On January 16, 2012 at 8:31 am

    All About London said:

    I have just come across you website while looking for free ways to increase traffic.I found your article interesting and helpful for me. I read your other articles too. So , I just bookmarked your website and add it to my favorites.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Regards,

    Amelie Wakelin

  2. On November 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Cristian said:

    Using images in your articles is good because the ALT attribute is another keyword for your content. Social bookmarks aren’t what they used to be, now everyone can submit their junk links to them and there are so many. I don’t know about submission of Press Releases i never tried but i heard they are much better then article directories and social bookmarks, they are on top of the list.
    The best way to increase traffic is to always give to your visitors fresh and unique content and do a lot of commenting on related blogs.

  3. On September 8, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Karl said:

    Lovely tips…really needed some good advice for my site. Thanks!

  4. On July 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Donna S. said:

    Yup, you nailed it with those tips. Their awesome and really work. Just doing what you suggested, will get any site in the top 10 of google. I guarantee it…just made a link plan with everything you pointed out. Thanks very very much. I really needed some guidance!

  5. On June 23, 2010 at 8:09 am

    shirley said:

    Awesome, thanks for the post. Very helpful. Thanks a lot.

  6. On June 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Chris said:

    I am not 100% convinced minimising the use of images is a good tip or not, after all thesedays even 200kb is minimal. Perhaps 5 years ago yes, but with techniques such as sprites and CDN caching, not so much. Good article though!

    • On June 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm

      Tim M. said:

      I think the point is that if you write all your website’s content in an image (rather than text) how is Google going to index it? You still see it to this day (and I see customers doing this too) where people design an entire site in Photoshop or whatever (inc text) then save the big image into chunks and throw them into HTML so the entire page is just 6-10 images and there is no search engine readable text. It’s horrible! 🙂

  7. On April 16, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    call answering service said:

    Hi, I agree with most of your points. Top 2 in my experience is lots and lots of content (which is constantly added to) and lots of backlinks with keyword rich anchors. I know what you mean about sites using too many images (point 10) I still come across sites where they have written something in paintshop and then put that up as content?! why would you do that? a) it’s a pain to change anything and b) you might as well kiss google byebye as well.

  8. On April 13, 2010 at 3:06 am

    hcg said:

    the 10 tips are much helpful. Thanks for sharing it up.

  9. On March 31, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Alan B said:

    Of course I am biased, but sending a press release, in our opinion is the best way to ‘make news’ and send to 10,000′ of media contacts in the shortest period of time.

    – Press Release Group

  10. On December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Jon said:

    I’m not really sure why we have to submit to the search engines. I’ve heard that they are able to find your website anyway so that they can index it. I’m not sure if that’s true or not.

  11. On September 19, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Open moon project said:

    Write and submit press releases..wow I have never done that, and about your last point I thought that there can be some traffic with using images as some people search for google images and can end up on our site right..Excellent post overall, 5 star rating!
    .-= Open moon project´s last blog ..Space navigation =-.

  12. On July 7, 2009 at 8:49 am

    TechGuide1 said:

    Good Points …. press release is a great option for new websites to get crawled fast.

  13. On May 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Karen @ Blazing Minds said:

    That’s some great advice and many of which I myself follow to the point, twitter is great for getting the word out, it’s on of my faves at the moment and it’s great to see you guys on twitter as well..

  14. On May 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Kirk said:

    being somebody that is not a web designer, i’ve always felt that it’s neat to see sites that have lots of cool images never knowing that images have that much effect on your website and ranking…

    • On May 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm

      Cat M. said:

      I love sites with lots of images as well, and I certainly don’t want to dissuade anyone from posting their favourite pictures. It’s just important to find a balance between images and text–you have to give those search engine spiders a little something to read!

      Thanks for your post!

  15. On May 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    sulumits retsambew said:

    The explanation is very short but very detail. Web Directory submitting work is very easy and also free: but very effective to increase the traffic as well.

  16. On May 22, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Marcy said:

    Your tips are undoubtedly helpful. These 10 are proven and tested and success in the campaign will be within your reach if you follow all of those. To those who have not realized the importance of these, well, now is the time to change your strategy!

    Marcy

    • On May 28, 2009 at 2:20 pm

      Cat M. said:

      Thanks for your post Marcy! I’m glad you liked our tips!

  17. On May 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Kim Bradley said:

    Thanks so much Guys. This article has really helped me. I’m a bit lost in the field of marketing my website and I have found your tips informative and simple to understand.

    Good wishes
    Kim Bradley

    • On May 28, 2009 at 2:22 pm

      Cat M. said:

      Thanks Kim! We’re so glad we could help! Best of luck to you with your site!