One of the chief concerns we have as website owners is how to drive traffic to our websites. Without knowing how to get more traffic, how else will we get more leads, make more sales and continue to make money online?
There are a number of ways to get more traffic, so I’ve collected this list of my favorite traffic-generation techniques. I’ve tried to organize them into the following categories:
Content & Article Marketing
SEO & Search Engine Marketing
Video Marketing & Podcasting
Email Marketing & Syndication
Advertising & PPC
Public Relations & Spreading the Word
Social Media & Bookmarking
(Of course, some techniques could arguably be placed in more than one category. Enjoy!)
Content & Article Marketing
1. Start a blog or add a blog to your website. Use WordPress. Tip: Don’t go with the free WordPress hosting offered by WordPress.com. It’s a watered-down version of WordPress you cannot optimize!
2. Research your article keywords using the Google keyword tool. Target your blog posts and articles using these keywords. (Read How to Add Keywords to Your Website.) This will help your posts rank higher in the search results.
3. Update your website or blog frequently. Three times each week is great. Daily is better.
4. Write better headlines. Writing compelling headlines that convert into views is an art. Make sure you research your keywords and work them into your headline. Keep your headline congruent with the webpage it describes.
5. Stay away from duplicating other posts and articles. Duplicate content is one of the big no-no’s according to Google and your site can be penalized or banned if you are engaging in this practice. Tip: If you’re hiring out your content writing, ensure the contractor knows their work needs to pass a plagiarism-detection tool like Copyscape.
6. When considering content for your website or blog, there are two approaches to consider: timely hot topics or evergreen. Hot topics—like world events, emerging technology or celebrities—will offer you a chance to speak to something that is on everyone’s minds, however those topics often cool off and fade from relevance over time. Evergreen content—as the name suggests—is content that provides timeless value, based on principles that aren’t as likely to change with the public’s mood. A good piece of evergreen content can bring traffic steadily, year after year, and makes for a real asset to your website.
7. Convert your blog articles to Adobe PDFs and offer them on Scribd.com.
8. Offer to guest post at other highly-ranked websites. Include your URL in your resource box (your brief description about you and how to reach you for more information.)
9. Comment on other blogs in your industry or niche. Make your comments thoughtful, courteous and use a keyword or two. Include the link back to your site.
10. Similar to blog commenting, offer helpful solutions on Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers and Quora. Place the brief synopsis of your solution in answer to the question you’re addressing and post the link to the full article (already posted on your website) if they want to learn more.
11. Join niche-related forums and offer advice, ask questions, etc. Include links to your websites in your forum signature.
12. Offer a whitepaper that answers a common challenge for your audience. Collect email sign-ups in exchange. Deliver your whitepaper automatically using your confirmation autoresponder.
13. Write an ebook. Include links to resources and to your own URL. Offer the ebook on your website.
14. Place your new ebook into ebook directories for free or low-cost download.
15. Convert your ebook into a PowerPoint presentation and post on SlideShare.
16. Repackage your ebook for delivery on the Kindle, Nook and other tablet platforms. Then offer it for sale through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.
17. Add your blog posts to BlogCarnival.com. Host a blog carnival to bring exposure to others within your niche while building the value in your own site.
18. Form a blog promotion network. Agree to retweet, mention, link or otherwise promote one member each week. (This requires 100% dedication from all members to make it work. If a member begins falling down on their commitment, they’re out.)
19. Article marketing. Submit your pithy articles to sites like the following and remember to include keyword links leading back to your website. (Read Marketing Mastery Series: 5 Steps to Powerful Article Marketing.)
Associatedcontent.com (now Yahoo Voices)
20. Build a quiz or self-test that shows people something about themselves. Entertaining, informative or both, bring value through self-discovery. Though I am certainly biased, here is an example I especially like: Branding 101: Discover Your Brand Archetype Quiz
21. Create a Squidoo lens. This is a collection of original articles that link back to your site from your Squidoo page.
22. Add a forum or discussion group software to your website. (Be warned: It takes time, dedication and love to grow a thriving community, but it can be well worth it.)
23. Offer regular webinars and communicate the schedule and topics through your website and mailing lists. Tip: Record the seminars and add them to a members area on your website, or make them available 24/7, thereby bringing even more value to your site.
24. Offer a free tool, template or software. When Hotmail was first introduced, each message carried a little signature at the bottom of each email that said “Get your free email at Hotmail”. The email system went viral, spreading naturally from inbox to inbox.
25. Need help getting posts out regularly? Hire a ghost-writer through an outsourcing service like iWriter, oDesk, Elance, etc.
26. Create a compelling infographic. When done well, infographics make even the driest material visually interesting, effectively grabbing and holding the reader’s attention long enough to deliver the message—and your URL.
About the author: Matt is a husband, father of four, marketing consultant and founder of Marketing Ideas 101. As a student, teacher and published author, Matt supports the worthy goals of service and commerce in the small business and nonprofit communities. You may find him on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. Creative marketing ideas and marketing strategies may be found at MarketingIdeas101.com.