A website without traffic is almost like human body without blood. Yes, it’s that important. In fact, there’s no point of having a website if it does not attract regular traffic. It is the basic input required by any website to develop a feasible business model. You can also call traffic as the currency of the internet. The more traffic any website attracts the more options and chances it has to develop new businesses and explore new revenue generation opportunities.
This is why webmasters all over the internet look for ways to increase sources of relevant and qualified traffic to their websites. However, traffic generation is more about developing strategies than taking one off actions. Therefore, as a website owner you need to categorize your strategy into sources that can give you both immediate and long term streams of relevant traffic.
In this post I’ll list 10 actionable points that will not only give you an immediate surge of traffic but will also create channels that will keep sending you visitors for a long time to come.
1. Article Marketing
Article marketing is one of the most effective ways of getting regular traffic and building links to your website. Write short articles about the topic of your website and submit them to popular article directories like Ezinearticles,Buzzle, Helium, Goarticles, Freeuniquearticles etc. Make sure you put the link to your website in the Author Bio section at the end of your articles. This is a proven method to route regular traffic to your website.
2. Blog Commenting
This is a popular but often badly used tactic to gain traffic. Too often bloggers post irrelevant or useless comments just to get their links on popular blogs. There’s a better way of doing this. Don’t see blog commenting as just a source of links to your website. You will get links & traffic anyway when you comment. Instead, use it to build relationships and enhance your reputation by adding insightful comments that make others notice you. Add value to the discussion. Ideally, you should dedicate a few hours daily to comment on leading blogs. This is one of the quickest ways to get qualified and highly relevant traffic.
3. Guest Blogging
If done correctly, guest blogging has the potential to not only get you more traffic than any other source but also to build your reputation as an expert in any niche. Guest blogging gives you the opportunity to utilize the traffic of other blogs and route it towards your website.
The best way of going about it is to make a list of blogs you wish to offer guest posts. Make sure they are relatively established blogs. Study their writing styles and the type of content their visitors like to read. Once you have a fair idea of the target market, prepare an article that you would proudly associate yourself with. Contact the blog owner and pitch him your article idea along with an attachment to your article.
There’s hardly any blog owner who would decline a value adding guest post that is relevant to his target market. Try it; you would be surprised by the number of visitors these guest posts can get you.
4. Forum Links
There are thousands of discussion forums in almost every niche on the internet that attract millions of visitors every day. Forums are the ideal platforms to get highly relevant visitors to your website who are not only interested in the topic you write on but also regularly share different articles and links on these forums.
But you need to do it the right way. You can’t just start posting links to your website. You’ll be banned if you do that. Instead, start contributing to different topics and threads on these forums. Earn trust and credibility through your answers. After spending a few active days, include the links to your website in your signature. Look closely for the hot topics being discussed and write articles on your blog that address those topics. You can then easily link back to your website.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is a no-brainer really. Search engines are the most important traffic sources for any website. Therefore you need to make sure that your website is in the best shape to be noticed by major search engines. You can start by submitting your website to major search networks
Submit to Google http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url
Submit to Yahoo http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html
Submit to Bing http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url
Also make sure that you follow all the SEO guidelines by Google. Search Engine Optimization is not as complex now as it used to be. If you have the basics in place and create high quality content regularly, then most search engines would send you traffic naturally. However, if you want to know exactly what you need to do to be in the good books of search engines, I would recommend reading the Ultimate SEO Guide for Writers.
6. Social Networking Websites
Over the last few years, social networks have become one of the most effective sources of traffic generation. Make use of the unlimited power of these networks where millions of people actively engage in sharing content that they find valuable. A solid presence on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest is a great asset and can be used to get your content viral across the internet.
7. Social Bookmarking –StumbleUpon, Reddit
In my personal experience, StubleUpon and Reddit have the potential to send your servers down with traffic. These social bookmarking websites can offer unbelievable number of visitors, if used correctly.
8. Answer Websites – Yahoo, Google, Topix
People visit these websites looking for answers to their questions. You can participate and offer your perspective on different questions along with links to your website. You’ll be surprised by the traffic you can get.
9. Interviewing other bloggers
This is a great way of using the popularity and community of other bloggers to visit your website. Ask other established bloggers for interviews, not manywould decline. Once you get the interview done, ask your guest to spread the word in his community as well.
10. Pay Per Click Advertising – Google, Facebook, LinkedIn
I put this at the end because this is the only traffic source listed here that will cost you money. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on search engines and social networks can get you lots of visitors but they can be expensive as well. Unless you have experience of using PPC effectively and routing its traffic to your desired pages, I would recommend staying away. But for those who have mastered it, no other marketing tactic offers as much traffic potential as PPC.