Struggling to get people to your site?
After mulling over the prospect, you finally made the decision to create a website. All in all, you are happy with the look, think the information is excellent, and think that anyone who visits the site will enjoy it so much that he or she will be back again regularly.
However, the next task is getting the word out and driving some traffic to your website. After all, having a fantastic website doesn’t do much unless people know about it.
You won’t find a list of traffic generation ideas, in this unique compilation, anywhere else.
So here they are, in an easy-to-read format: a hundred and ten tips to help you spread the good news about your site and generate some interest. I guarantee that you’ll find some of these tips don’t work for you. But I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to piece out the stuff that’ll give you that traffic boost you’ve always wanted…
Think Old School
1. Print up some business cards with your URL featured prominently. Leave them at restaurants, on the community bulletin board at the supermarket, in public restrooms, and hand them to the person sitting next to you on the plane. The word will get around.
2. Send out a postcard or two. Postcards announcing your new website can be sent to friends, relatives, business acquaintances, and old flames, even the ones you broke up with. A postcard is more likely to be read than a form letter. An online postcard service, you can use, is SendOutCards
3. Print up some flyers. Hand them out at public events. Check with local laws in your city to make sure this is okay.
4. Put an ad in the newspaper. Believe it or not, people still read the classifieds. You can pick up a visit or two that way.
5. Make an announcement in the local shopping weekly. Usually only costs a few dollars and will reach a market of folks who look for all sorts of things, maybe even stuff you have featured on your website.
6. Invest in some promotional materials. Pencils, note pads, golf tees, and other stuff with your URL can be distributed in all sorts of venues.
7. Hit the Chamber events. Membership in the local chamber of commerce will allow you to network with other business people in the area and generate some interest in what you do.
8. Print up a brochure. Make it a nice trifold that fits into a business envelope. Makes a nice follow up piece to the postcard.
9. Set up at career fairs. Take your business cards, flyers, and brochures and set up an information table. Your site will have several new hits the next day, with more to follow.
10. Use word of mouth. Get friends, relatives and acquaintances to spread the word about your web site. That cute waitress at the coffee shop might let you place some cards at the register if you leave her a decent tip next time.
11. Do some talking yourself. Find ways to work the name of your web site into casual conversation. Just try to do it with different people, not the same folks all the time.
12. Talk to the business editor at the local paper. If the subject matter of your web site catches his or her interest, you can get some great free publicity.
13. Sponsor a local event. Being on a list of sponsors for a competition or event that will pull in a lot of people is a good way to get your name in front of a broad range of people in the community.
14. Write letters to the local paper. Make sure to include your company name and URL in your signature. You will be surprised how many papers will print the web address right along with your company name.
15. Hire a public relations firm. It will be expensive, but they will take care of everything and provide you with a lot of name recognition in a short period of time.
Get The Most From The Search Engines
16. Ideally, your domain name should include your keywords. For instance, if you’re in the Dog Training niche, your domain could be something like www.DogTraining123.com. Search engines will position your domain closer to the top search results, despite your competitor’s site having a higher Pagerank. If their domain does not include the keywords, your site will win against their’s in the search results.
17. Make sure to include your keywords in your webpage title. Again, if your niche is Dog Training, in between your title tag () you would put something like Dog Training Tips, News and Articles.
18. Pepper your web content with keywords that will attract the attention of search engines. That will help your site to show up in a lot of searches and also help you show up higher on the results.
19. Use keyword research tools to find those relevant words. Chances are you will learn a few new ones that will make your site look even slicker.
20. Register with every search engine you can find, large and small. It may take some time, but the effort will pay off in the long run. Just go to Google and type in “site submission”.
21. Use every descriptive word and phrase you can think of when entering search words into the site description. No matter how remote the connection to your site, toss it in. People use all sorts of search phrases, some of them pretty wild. Capitalize on that.
22. Although it’s been said that services who offer SEO for your website, like getting you into the top 10 search results, may be too good to be true, experiment and test to see yourself. Some may actually deliver what they promise.
23. Add new content from time to time and update the search words in your site description to include some of the new verbiage. Search engine spiders will crawl your site more often when you regularly add new content.
24. Popular cities and states can become good keywords, no matter where you live. Mentioning New York City, Chicago, and London may seem odd when you live in Bent Fork Falls, but find a way to work them into the text.
25. Compare your products and services to a competitor. This will give you some useful search words for the engines to pick up on. Just make sure whatever you write is correct and current.
26. Drop popular celebrity names. You may not know much about Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake, but work a casual reference to them into the text on your website and the search engines will pick up on it.
27. Check major search engines that feature the most recent top ten searches conducted with their engine. This will give you some other great ideas of words or ideas to work into your site somehow.
28. If you don’t trust your own writing skill, find a freelance writer who can turn out some SEO articles for you to rotate on the web site.
29. Mention current events on your web site. Referring to a news item that is currently hot will help people to find your site and hopefully like what they see.
30. Check your rankings from time to time, so you have a handle on what type of searches are working best for you. This will help you come up with ways to improve the process.
31. Get some feedback from friends and fellow web site owners. They may have some ideas on how to get the most from search engines that have not occurred to you.
32. Be on the lookout for any changes that search engines make. In some cases, updates and changes will mean you will have to tweak a few things in order to keep appearing high on the search results.
Blogging Can Be Your Friend
33. Create a blog of your own. You can promote yourself as much as you like, as long as it is tasteful and doesn’t drive people away.
34. Look for blogs that have some connection to what your site is all about. You will not only get ideas for blog entries of your own, but also often can have a chance to comment and leave the URL for your site.
35. Ask questions in your blog entries. Publish some of the best responses. People like to see their words in published form and will come back again and again.
36. Use your blog to announce something new you are doing with your web site. People will want to click over and see what they think about the changes.
37. Have a guest blogger from time to time. His or her loyal audience will come over to take a look, and will likely want to find out more about your and your website.
38. Be a guest blogger yourself. You can expound on your view of the world and pitch your site at the same time.
39. Participate in blogs where you can answer questions and leave contact information. You will get a reputation of being knowledgeable and somebody worth doing business with.
40. Expound on holidays. The good thing about blogs is you can write about all sorts of things and manage to tie them back to your web site. Holiday thoughts and stories are always a good opportunity to promote your web site and its core business.
41. In like manner, don’t let a season go by without scrutinizing it at one time or another on your blog. Winter, spring, summer, and fall all offer a wealth of ideas you can use to capture attention and then redirect it to your web site.
42. Post new articles on your blog on a consistent basis. If people know they can depend on at least one new article by Thursday each week, they will get into the habit of checking your blog before leaving the office on Friday.
43. Be a little controversial. Pressing a hot button now and then will stir up interest, and make people come back to see what else you have to say.
44. At the same time, select your controversies carefully. Go for something that captures interest, but is something you can discuss without alienating a huge section of your target audience.
45. Don’t be afraid to admit you have changed your mind. If you take a stance and several readers come back with some great reasons to think otherwise, acknowledge them and admit you have rethought the issue. People will appreciate your honesty and will be confident to return.
46. Jazz up the look of the blog now and then. Just changing the basic colors and using a different font on the headers will help keep the look of your blog fresh.
47. Write about whatever you want, but always tie it back to your core business somehow. After all, that was the point of the blog in the first place.
How ’bout Online Classifieds Boards?
48. Find the free online classified ads and place a short and to the point ad. Make sure to include the URL for your web site. A good place to start is Craigslist.
49. Keep in mind many of these free classified sites are part of specialty sites. If they have a free membership and the customer base of the members is a good fit for something you offer on your site, then sign up and post the ad.
50. Keep up with which free classified sites you post, and when. You may need to go back periodically and place an updated ad if they purge ads every so often.
51. Once you exhaust the free classified sites, turn your attention to the ones that charge a fee. Look for paid classified sites that tend to cater to the clientele that you want to attract to your website.
52. Make sure the classified sites will allow you to ad a hot link to your website. People are much more likely to click on a link than they are to cut and paste the information into their search engine.
53. Check on the costs for adding graphics, such as a logo. This will give your ad a little more visual interest and make it harder to skim over.
54. If the cost for the paid classified is a flat rate, then use as many words as you need to make your point.
55. If the site charges a per word fee with a minimum word limit for the ad, then meet the minimum, but don’t go much beyond that.
56. Remember to use an opening that will catch the attention of the reader. Get them with the flash, keep them with the substance.
57. Check on the ability to post more than one classified at a time on the site. Ads in several different sections will increase your chances of grabbing some attention.
58. Don’t design one ad and use it forever. Adapt your ad a little for each classified site you post on. Even tweaking the header a little will make a nice change.
59. Along with general ads, toss in an ad that promotes a special of some sort, either a free download or some other trinket. It doesn’t have to be expensive to draw traffic to your site.
60. Always have a point to the ad. If there is an obvious reason for your ad, other than wanting business, it is more likely to catch attention and motivate people to check out your site.
61. Don’t be afraid to try something different. If you ad on one site is not getting a response, go back and rework it a bit. A few changes may turn the ad around and gain you some attention.
62. If at all possible, track the responses you get. Knowing how people found you will give you a good idea of what sites are worth continuing to use, and which ones need tweaking or replacing.
Use The Power of Message Boards
63. Join some Yahoo groups where interested people are likely to visit. Depending on the nature of the group, you can probably include a link to your website in your signature.
64. Scour the Internet for entrepreneur message boards, and join up. You can reach other people who have an interest is buying from and selling to other entrepreneurs. Plus, you might pick up some tips on traffic generation there.
65. Find message boards that are focused on subjects that touch on your core business in some manner. Even if the main subject is administrative assistants and you offer teleconference services, remember that admins often choose conference call carriers for their bosses.
66. Don’t just join message boards and hope somebody will check out your profile. Dig in and post some messages that are likely to generate some responses.
67. At the same time, don’t post only in topics you start. Participate in other conversations as well.
68. Balance promoting your site with participating in the discussions. Too much promotion will turn people off and they will begin to skip over your posts.
69. Offer constructive advice, citing an article you have on your website as a reference. People will want to link over and check it out.
70. Stay away from arguments on controversial issues. It is too easy to lose your temper and alienate readers.
71. Be professional at all times. It may seem like fun to craft responses using Internet abbreviations and slang, but remember what you write will be viewable for years. Use those words to enhance your reputation as being poised and knowledgeable, even in a casual atmosphere.
72. Always thank people for their responses to your comments, especially if you have asked a question. That little courtesy will help people think well of you and increase the chance they will visit your website.
Pick Up Traffic From Free Article Sites
73. Put your knowledge of doing things to work. Post short articles that tell how to do something. You get no pay, but you do get publicity and sometimes the ability to include a link to your website.
74. Find niche market article sites that will connect you with the right clients. For example, if you sell old records then posting a couple of articles on an article site devoted to pop starts of the 1960’s is a natural fit.
75. If the article allows a place to list references or sites of interest always include your URL. The easier it is to click something and get to your site, the better.
76. Pepper your articles with words and phrases that also happen to be the keywords and phrases that you used to describe your website to the search engines. It will increase the odds that somebody will use those phrases for a search and find your site right there in the top end of the results.
77. Make the articles interesting as well as logical. People will come back to read them again and recommend your articles to their friends, which means more exposure for you and your website.
78. Go with articles that are timely. If your topic is on a lot of people’s minds currently, it is likely to attract more attention and you will pick up a few more hits to your web site as a result.
79. At the same time, work in a few articles of enduring interest. While you are less likely to experience a quick spike in hits due to the piece, it will provide you with a consistent flow of visitors over time.
80. Always go with free article sites that allow you a byline. Stay away from any of them that will not allow you to use your name and post a link to your website. After all, the idea is to get people interested in visiting your online business.
81. Always respond to any email your articles generate. That is an opportunity to include your URL as part of the response.
82. Post new articles on a regular basis. People who visit the article site regularly will get into the habit of seeing what you have come up with recently, and might also be reminded they have not visited your website in a while.
How ’bout Some Video and Web 2.0?
83. Sign up for several of the online profile sites that allow members to upload homemade videos. Joining at least three sites of this type will allow you cover a wide range of the population. Some suggested video sites – YouTube, Google Video and MetaCafe.
84. Make a few short general advertising videos that get right to the meat of what you do. This will help to establish your name in the minds of people who visit your page.
85. Along with the basic video ads, think about a how to video. If possible, use the products or services you sell in the video.
86. Try a video presentation or two that show your products being used in different settings. Show them being used in an office, on the road, at the beach, or any other place they would work.
87. Keep the videos short. Thirty seconds will do the trick nicely and you will likely hold the attention of the viewer all the way to the end.
88. Also, configure the streaming so people on dial up connections can access and enjoy the videos. That will also enhance chances of viewers linking over to visit your website.
89. Always include your contact info at the end of the video, as well as having links to your website on your profile. The visual reinforcement will pay off over the long run.
90. Record and upload new videos on a regular basis. This gets people back each week to see what you have been up to.
91. Get social! Join sites like MySpace and Facebook and embed your links throughout your profile.
92. Just as you change up the look of your website from time to time, do the same with your profiles on these types of sites. It will keep things fresh and also give you the chance to do something a little different now and then.
93. Create a Squidoo lense. Besides how flexible and powerful this free service is, your lenses will get indexed quickly in search engines. Google just loves Squidoo lenses. You can create a Squidoo lense on just about any topic you’d like. To get more traffic to your Squidoo Lense: Digg, Stumble and Delicious your Squidoo Lenses. This is called “Social Bookmarking”
94. Write an Ebook and offer it as a freebie with a minimum purchase, or as an incentive to visit your website. You can build trust and credibility if you present useful information in your ebook. This will get more attention from your readers the next time you recommend something to them.
95. Create a 10-30 page viral report and give it away for free. Make sure you note, inside your report, that the person reading it may pass it to their friends. You also want to make sure that you include links which go back to your site.
96. Consider banner ads as a way to publicize your site. It may cost a few dollars, but the return can be excellent, if you have the right advertising partner.
97. Participate in some of those quick answer sites that are relevant to what you do. Or, try some of the general question and answer sites, like Yahoo Answers. Your name will become more familiar and people will be more likely to look for your website if they have heard of you before.
98. Donate an item to a silent charity auction. You get a chance to pass along your URL, get a tax write-off, and do something good all at one time.
99. Print up tee shirts or sweatshirts with your URL prominently displayed across the back or chest. You can become a walking billboard for your web business. You start your own store at CafePress
100. Invite current readers and clients to participate in a contest. The current client who refers the most people to your site (based on verified data) over the course of a month gets a free good or service from your site. Remember to set a limit which items are eligible for selection.
101. Do an email campaign. But don’t use those worn out lists that have already been used a million times and are probably less than 40% accurate. Use only a qualified and current email listing for the campaign.
102. Put a signup page on your web site. This allows visitors to opt in to receive emails when you update the site or have something special going on. They can pass the notifications on to friends and family members as well.
103. Don’t overdo the promotional specials. Too much of a good thing will kill the excitement and make it easy for people to take a “so what” approach when you have a special every week or month. Pace yourself.
104. Watch for new technology or kinds of websites. Both can present opportunities to promote yourself and your site that may not have been possible or practical in the past.
105. Ask friends, associates, and other entrepreneurs about other ideas for generating traffic to your website. Chances are you will pick up at least a couple more great ideas you can use.
106. Consider hiring a cartoonist to draw “funny cartoons” that are related to your niche. Post it on your blog and let others share it. Make sure that they link back to your site if they’re using it.
107. Write or get someone to write a press release and submit it to press release sites, like www.PRWeb.com.
108. Submit to DMOZ.org. This large, human-edited directory is one of the fastest tickets into Google. Make sure you get listed here.
109. Start an affiliate program for your product/service. Find and recruit affiliates and JV partners to promote your website to their list and give at least 50% commission
110. Purchase a link on a high page rank site. This is an excellent way to both build links and increase traffic at the very same time.
Here’s some resources to help you with your traffic generation:
Some great places and resources to get articles written:
– www.iWriter.com – My #1 source for getting articles written.
and, of course, there’s:
Let’s Wrap it Up…
I’m glad you made it this far!
You don’t need to apply these tips all-at-once. But rather than sitting on this and waiting until you think you’re “ready”, do something TODAY to increase your site’s traffic and continually grow your business.
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