by: Christine Swartzendruber, Chief Technology Officer
If you want to make money selling products, building an email list or through affiliate marketing, you will first have to bring people to your site, but how? Here are the top ways to drive traffic to your site and start getting the results you want.
This is the first thing you will find when researching how to gain exposure for your site, because it’s the most important. If you don’t have anything to offer your readers, they wont come to your site. Even if you offer subscription based content, offer some useful information for free. Creating content that is helpful and useful will also bring people back. It’s not only important to get them there once, it’s crucial to keep them coming back for more.
You can improve your search engine ranking by creating content that is rich with words that describe the information you have to offer. This will help people find your website when they’re searching the web. It will bring users to your site who are looking specifically for your topics, because they’re using those keywords in their search. Search engines use keywords to index your site appropriately. It is very important that your keywords flow naturally with text. You don’t want to “stuff keywords” into your content, or people will get frustrated with reading it.
Submit Your Site To Search Engines
If you want someone to be able to find your phone number in the phone book, someone has to send it to the publisher. The same rule applies if you want people to find you on search engines. Ultimately most search engines will crawl your site and index your content, but it will greatly expedite the process if you give them a heads up that you have a new site or that your content has changed enough for them to take a second look.
Title Your Site And Provide Meta Data
Ten years ago this was the most important way to get a search engine to list you properly. Now, this is not quite as important as it used to be, but it is still a key factor in how your site gets indexed. You wouldn’t publish a book without an eye catching title, or a colorful description on the back of the book, so why would you publish a website without these elements?
Each page of the site should have a Title and a Meta Description Tag. Since search engines display this in their search results, it is very important that your Title and Meta Tags be search engine friendly.
Today the search engines place so much value on whether others find your content relevant. The more sites that link to yours the more valuable your site becomes. This means link building or reciprocal link programs should be your key focus. The challenge you’ll face is building quality links. The search engines don’t want artificially created or useless links. The days of link farms and huge link exchange programs are long over. The search engines want links from other sites that share the same focus and provide relevant data.
You will need to do your research. Finding other sites that share your focus and your vision is critical. If you are a site that focuses on knitting, you don’t want to build a link program with sites that focus on unrelated topics. You have to go out and look for similar sites. This can take time. Once you find sites that apply, you’ll need to establish contact with them. It’s helpful if you already have a link to their site on yours. Let them know in a friendly email that you have linked to their site. State that a link back is appreciated but not required. If they respond back with a yes, send them some HTML, with a descriptive link to your site. For example: Knitting Fundamentals. This will make it easy for them to add it to their site and it will be descriptive enough to get the attention of the search engines.
Once a way to communicate with friends and family, sites like Facebook and Twitter have blossomed into a must have in your marketing plan. Social media is a powerful strategy that will get you links, attention and tons of site traffic. If you are selling products/services or just publishing content for ad revenue, social media marketing is a potent method that will make your site profitable over time. A great source for implementing social media for your site or business is a book written by Amber Mac, titled, Power Friending I highly recommend it.
Advertise Your Site
There are lots of free ways to promote your site, but if you want to get a bit more serious about promotion then you would need to look into Paid Advertising. There are several types of online advertising. Here are a few methods to get started.
- Pay-Per-Click. This is pretty self explanatory, you provide an ad banner, ad box or a link to another site, they post it and then you pay a pre-determined amount each time someone clicks your ad. This method is great for trying to build an email list or sell an affiliate product.
- Ezine or Newsletter. Arrange for a personal recommendation within someone else’s newsletter or ezine by the owner. It is important that you assess the author’s value before you ask them to include you. What is their reader base? What topic do they write about? You would want it to be relevant to your own content.
- Google AdWords. You create ads and choose keywords related to your business or site content and Google gives you placement based on the amount you bid and the demand for those keywords and phrases. When people search on Google your ad may appear highlighted in a prominent place in the search results. This is obviously an effective way to drive a targeted audience to your site, because people are specifically searching for what you have to offer.
- Paid Syndication. This involves a sponsorship of a website, whereby your content will be syndicated and integrated into the framework of the site in question. Techmeme is an example of a meme tracker that offers paid syndication and displays sponsor posts on its sidebar and in-between regular content.
These are just a few of the ways you can pay to get your site noticed by the type of people you want to visit your site. Any of these provide a great start to moving traffic in your direction.
Contests And Giveaways
Who doesn’t like to get something for free?! There are some great things to give away that will spark the interest of potential visitors. Try giving away an e-book with your ad on it, hold a free online seminar, get people to sign up using their email address for a free product, let visitors download free software, offer a free consultation, offer free forms, templates or documents. Whatever you choose do it with the best intention. Make sure to follow through with whatever you promised. Integrity is very important online.
Whatever methods you choose to promote your site, be patient. It takes time to produce quality results. Don’t give up, keep trying different techniques and applying new ideas. Eventually all your hard work will pay off, your site will get indexed and people will come.