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6 Best Ways to Increase Web Site Traffic

Increasing your Web site’s traffic requires juggling multiple ways of getting audience to get the best results.

It also requires putting a consistent amount of effort into each of these sources and then prioritizing the time and effort based on which ones produce the most audience.

The tactics below all work well but in different ways for different sites. At least several months of consistent work should go into each one before deciding which tactic deserves the most attention.

1) Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is the most popular way to increase site traffic, but it also is getting harder and harder to get results.

Google and Bing are developing more sophisticated ways of displaying search results based on user behavior and putting less emphasis on older tactics such as backlinks (links to your site from other sites).

The other challenge is in dedicating too much effort on just Google. Many sites have suffered serious losses of audience by chasing after Google traffic to the exclusion of other sites and other marketing tactics.

It’s enough to know a few simple tricks for improving a site that will help grow SEO traffic.

1. On-page optimization: Use one or two major keywords on each page in the title, headline, body copy, graphic, photo file name and meta description.

2. Site navigation: The majority of the links on the site should go to the most important pages. The most important pages should only link to other important pages. Use relevant keywords in the links.

3. Content production: Search engines respond favorably to new content. The longer the better; the more frequently updated the better, the more engagement via photos, graphics, polls and comments the better.

2) Social media

Facebook logo Search engines also respond favorably to social media signals. Be aggressive with posting to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts.

Most sites get the best traffic from Facebook, but Google+ deserves attention as a long-term investment.

Getting a good response from the search engines isn’t the only reason for posting to social media accounts.

They also can generate site traffic in their own right. Provide a link with the posting back to the site whenever possible.

Respond to comments on the social accounts and engage with readers. Doing so increases the chance that they will come back and share the page with friends.

3) Referring Sites / Backlinking

Social media accounts that provide traffic for a site are sometimes called referring sites. But there are many other types of referring sites that also can provide traffic.

Numerous sites on the Internet can be categorized by their functions and purpose. They include:

– Bookmarking sites
– RSS directories
– Article sites
– Podcasting sites
– Ask and answer sites
– Press release sites
– Graphic and photo sites
– Blogging sites

The trick is in finding sites that allow you to create an account that includes a public profile or some other presence with a link back to your site.

Finding and creating such a presence is called backlinking, which is a tactic under your control.

Tracking down these sites takes a tremendous amount of time. It’s either a do-it-yourself project or requires spending money to hire an online marketing agency.

The value of backlinking comes in two forms: 1) search engines may discover the link and place a higher value on your site as a result of getting this “vote”; 2) people who visit that site may click on the link and come to your site.

Note that a special tag called rel=”nofollow” may be placed on your link, which tells the search engines not to follow it and therefore not give it any value. So the best links to find are ones that don’t have “no follow”.

That said, a site with “no follow” links still has value if it produces referral clicks.

4) Email Marketing

Email Marketing Email marketing companies have starter email marketing plans that are either free or priced so low that it’s usually worthwhile to use them.

Sites don’t necessarily gain new visitors from email marketing; they retain past visitors.

Email is a great retention and frequency driving tool depending on how often an email is sent — daily, weekly or monthly.

Although daily gets the most results, few sites can justify sending emails every day, so be careful with the frequency.

Email content quality matters just as much as site quality. One of the most important ways of getting people to open the email is by providing an interesting subject line. A good goal is getting the “open rate” above 20 percent.

The next goal is the click rate — usually around 5 to 10 percent of all emails. The click rate depends heavily on the quantity and quality of the content within the email.

5) Blogging

Classic blogging is a way of posting dated content on a regular basis and having the most recent post appear at the top of the page.

Blogging can be done on site to generate new content that will attract search engine attention, populate email newsletters and increase site traffic.

But blogging also can be done off site on major blogging platforms such as WordPress.com to reach a specific audience, build backlinks and attract referral visits.

If site content is thin, blog on-site. If site content is solid, consider blogging elsewhere.

6) Advertising

The top five tactics can be done for free, especially if the email marketing vendor has a starter plan that doesn’t cost any money.

Believe it or not, advertising can be done for pretty darn close to free.

Three of the biggest online advertising vendors are Google, Facebook and Bing. A Google campaign can start for as little as $5. Facebook requires $5 a day, but the campaign can last only a day. Bing has no minimum and has an option for an average daily budget.

Anyone who hasn’t advertised online before should consider a small budget in the beginning because it is the advertiser who controls everything, not an account executive with the vendor.

That means developing skills and insights based on experience.

As those skills grow and the effectiveness of the campaigns improve, it makes sense to consider growing the budget as well.

Using only one tactic to increase Web site traffic will not get the best results. Using all six of the above will deliver much more.

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