Whether you’ve maintained your own website for years or you just created a new one, you would probably like to increase your web traffic. No matter what a site’s function, from a long-term business to a blog just for fun, we usually create them with the wish that many people will stop by and read what we have to say. You can build a website and hope that traffic will come your way, but this isn’t normally a very successful method. Many websites are left undiscovered and abandoned not because they had no useful information, but because the author did not take the time to promote their work. Increasing website traffic over time is a job in itself; here are a few ways to get started that won’t cost you money.
Search Engine Optimization
Improve your rankings with search engines by focusing your site’s articles on specific keywords dealing with your subject. If a page is about how to “improve credit rating,” be sure to mention this a few times in the body paragraphs, not just the the title or introduction. This doesn’t mean to stuff to content with keywords to increase website traffic, however. You still want to focus on quality content for the viewer, and overstuffing will not only feel awkward, but it may get you tagged by the search engines as a spammer. If these sites mark yours as spam, it will sink to the bottom of the pile during any search. Stay true to your articles when using keywords.
Another way to get noticed and increase website traffic is to work on getting links from other sites that are in your field, but not in competition with your content. Write to other webmasters and offer to exchange links. They will often place a link to your page in their domain if you are willing to do the same for theirs. Keep in mind that quality is still a key factor here. A link is seen as a vote for one site by another, and it won’t do you much good if the sites you are linking to or from are shady or ill-received.
Another linking method is to place links to your site on forum sites. This too, must be handled with time and care. Do not travel to various websites spamming your information, as this is neither helpful nor welcome. Instead, take a genuine interest in what other people are saying about your chosen subject and add to the conversation. There is nothing wrong with answering questions and directing them to your site for more information, or posting a link to your website within your forum signature. This method often takes time, but can increase website traffic in a meaningful way.
You can also use social networking sites to your great advantage, if you have a little patience. StumbleUpon, Digg, HubPages, Twitter, and Facebook are all valuable places to promote your work as long as you get involved in other ways, too. Promote other non-competitive sites as well, and have something useful or amusing to say in between linking your new content. If you take an active interest in others and help them often without asking for anything in return, they will be far more likely to want to get to know you better.
Write an e-zine, or newsletter, for your subject. Regularly submitting your news to free e-zine publications is a great way to increase awareness and traffic for your website. Just make sure to write quality content and mention your own site at the bottom. Even if you only hook a few readers each time, this can really add up if you keep at it.
Bulletin boards at clubs, community centers, and libraries are all places of free advertising. This can be especially helpful if your website is focused on local events. Advertising this way may not bring in your largest group of traffic, but it can be very rewarding to interest people from your own city or neighborhood. Some small businesses related to your content may even let you display business cards on their premises. It helps if you have frequented the shop often and are on good terms with the staff, of course. Just don’t be too pushy, and never leave your information anywhere without asking first.
Extend a Hand to Your Visitors
Offer your website traffic perks such as good advice and quick responses to their questions. A section for comments is a good start. Also, let visitors contact you via a secure email. This can be time consuming, but actions such as these go a long way to establishing a loyal visitor base.
There are general rules to follow when working to increase your website traffic. Never spam or fall into scam tactics. Always treat your potential visitors with respect. Do not expect them to care about your website if you do not care about them as people. And finally, continue to look for new ways to improve your site and increase traffic every week. Owning a website is a job. This doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, but it does mean putting in long hours of your time if you want your website to be truly successful.