How to Drive Big Traffic to Your Website
 


 

While the marketing plan for your online business will use many of the same tried and true principles that the brick-and-mortar stores use, most of the best advertising for websites/blogs is free. Search engines will typically provide the greatest source of targeted traffic, followed by links from other websites. If you budget allows, you might also consider pay-per-click advertising to round out your traffic building plan.

1) Search Engines
2) Link Building
3) Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)


Search Engine Optimization
Search engines will provide a significant source of traffic, so understanding the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) should be a primary goal. The basic principles of search engine optimization are simple, and are well within your grasp.

Search engine optimization at it's very basic level, includes an attention to:

1) Title Tags
2) Identifying Important Keywords/Key Phrases
3) Building In-Bound Links also called Backlinks


Title Tags
Title tags are the most important part of your on-site search engine optimization effort. A title tag is an HTML (HyperText Markup Language) tag that displays your page title at the top of the browser window. It is also the title that appears as a blue link above the page description in search engine results. A title tag needs to be rich in high traffic keywords and intriguing to internet searchers.

For example, if your webpage is about Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks, your title tag might look like this:

<title>Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks | M.I. Hummel Figurines</title>


Keywords/Key Phrases
Before you even begin to develop content for your website, you should identify the keyword phrases that are relevant to your website. Once you have identified your set of keyword phrases, you can put them to the test with the Google Keyword Tool. The purpose of this tool is to discover which keyword phrases are more frequently used in a natural search.

Google Keyword Tool

Let's say that you have decided to start a music website that offers piano sheet music that you can digitally download from your website. You've seen your competitors use the phrase "free sheet music" often, and think it might be the perfect fit for your new website. The Google Keyword Tool displays the following results, indicating that "free sheet music" is in fact the most frequently used search phrase. You also notice that "free piano sheet music" is a frequently used. When using this tool, it is important to check "Phrase", under "Match Types" (on the left) to get an idea of how many visitors will type an exact match for your keyword phrase.

The next step is to see how many competing pages there are for each search phrase. Google will provide this answer. One at a time, type each of these keyword phrases into Google's search engine. At the top of each search results page Google displays the total number of competing pages currently indexed. While it may have seemed that "free sheet music" was the best choice by a landslide, the number of competing pages makes it likely that this choice may cause your brand new website to not be seen by many people for quite some time. The best choice in this instance is "free printable sheet music".

Because there are so many ways to drive traffic to you website, don't be to worried too much out about which keywords to choose. Just choose well, and stick with them.


In-Bound Link Building
Link building continues to be the very best way for your website to rise up in the search engine ranks. This is true because search engine algorithms are written to highly value links as a sign of website popularity. When a search engine sees that you have links pointing at your website, it recognizes that someone found something worth sharing.

Here are a couple suggestions for link building:

  • Request Links - Email website owners with the same, or similar content as your own. Links coming from these websites are much more highly valued than those coming from websites with distantly related content. Include keyword focused link text with the description you are requesting website owners to place on his/her website.

    A well written keyword focused link text and description will look like this:

    Art Projects for Kids | MakingArtFun.com
    Lesson plans, artist biographies, free printable worksheets and coloring pages for the young artist.

    A one-way link is considered the most valuable. Many website owners will be interested in a reciprocal link. While this link is not as valuable, it should not be dismissed, as it can drive valuable targeted traffic your content, and help you to build page rank.

  • External Link Quality/Quantity - The quality and quantity of the links that point at your website is another important factor to consider. Large, well established websites will typically offer you the best quality link. You can check the quality of a website by visiting PRChecker.info and Alexa.com. PRChecker is a free service that will indicate the Google page rank of any page on the website from which you are interested in acquiring a link. It's best to check the homepage. Alexa.com considers a number of factors and assigns a traffic rank to each website.

    PRChecker.info
    Alexa.com

  • Internal Linking - Linking to one page to another on your own website helps search engines place a value of importance on each page. While a single link from the homepage of your website is an important link, multiple links from pages throughout your site is even better. This technique also keeps visitors on your site, navigating from page to page to see what you have to offer. Perhaps, no other site on the web appreciates the power of the internal link more than Wikipedia.org - and few have the incredible web presence that this site does.


Social Networking
Social networking websites can provide a wealth of traffic, and the links are free. All you need to do is decide which websites will bring the most targeted traffic, and are a good fit for you.

  • Facebook.com - Facebook is one of the most visited websites in the world, and thus has the potential to generate incredible traffic for your website. If you choose to market your website with Facebook, you should strive to build relationships and trust, promoting your website only when it would be useful to the Facebook community.

  • YouTube.com - Television advertising might be out of reach, but a simple video describing your offer might be well within your grasp. While the advertising is free, you will have to determine if you have the skills to make a quality video presentation. If you do decide to pursue this advertising medium, the potential for reward is great. The power of your presentation will allow you to reach far beyond the strength of the written word, to clearly illustrate through sound and picture, the benefits of your product or service.

Creating short videos for YouTube.com may be the best decision you ever make. YouTube is one of my favorite resources for driving traffic to my websites. To date I have 329 videos launched and 851 subscribers receiving updates on my new additions. These videos bring 1,300 new visitors every month.

Each time you launch a video to YouTube, remember to include a descriptive and engaging keyword rich title, several title tags (not more than 10), the desired landing page URL in the description box, and a description of the contents of that page. The URL should appear first in the description box, allowing visitors to see the link whether the video description box in expanded (more info) or collapsed (less info). You might also include a short description about your website.

Social Networking Buttons
Social networking buttons give you an opportunity to turn some of the marketing of your website over to your visitors.

  • AddThis.com - Placing an AddThis share button on you website will allow your visitors, almost as simply as clicking a button, to add your link to anyone of many social networking sites. Your visitors will become your advertising team, and they will do it for free.


Blogs
A blog, short for weblog, at a separate web address can provide an additional source of traffic.

  • WordPress.com - Consider creating a guide or directory that serves the same niche, or a narrower niche. Provide links to useful resources all over the internet. Include links to content that you have found valuable (website owners will love you for it), and also include links to free resources and content that you would like to share from your own website. While not every free blog provider will permit you to promote your own website, WordPress.com does.

  • WordPress.org - If your are interested in creating a completely new website, WordPress.org offers a free download of their software. To add a WordPress blog, all you need is a web host and a few minutes of your time. The WordPress software is completely customizable, and easy to use. If you aren't sure what to do with their free download, contact GoDaddy.com. You can purchase a hosting package from them, and they will load the blog for free!

WordPress.com is another important resource for driving traffic to my websites. I have 6 blogs and combined they drive 23,000+ new visitors every month.

Three of the blogs are directories that provide links to the best free resources I can find on the web. Two of the blogs are freebie blogs. I generously link to other websites, as well as my own. Sometimes I use the blogs for reciprocal links. I link to them from my blog, and they link to one of my websites. Each of us receive high quality one-way links, rather than the less valuable you-link-to-me-and-I-link-to-you reciprocal link.


Visual Marketing
Sharing images from your website on image marketing sites like Pinterest and Instagram can also generate significant traffic. Visitor's intrigued by your image will click through to your website to find out more.

  • Pinterest is all the rage. If you have a few great pictures or graphic illustrations to share, set up a free account and "pin" your images. Write a keyword rich description and include your link. Placing it in a "board" with a keyword rich description can't hurt either.

  • Instagram has also become a marketers dream. It's a mobile photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos. If you want to make a go of it on this site you can share your products, but you also need share things about yourself. It's very much a "personality" site - and a goldmine for entertainers.

Do you like easy? I sure do.

Pinterest.com delivers "easy" in a big way. I can add an image to Pinterest in less than a minute. Then I add the pin to TrafficWonker.com where it's repinned each and every week automatically for even more visibility. My pins currently drive 9,500 new visitors every month.


Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is the internet's homerun effort to give websites, of any size, visibility on the web. Best of all, marketing campaigns can be tailored to fit any budget.

The PPC model allows advertisers to set their budget, and continue to run their ads until their funds are depleted. It also allows you to run your campaign for as long as you want. When you want to, you can pause it and start it again when every you are ready.

It is important to understand that PPC advertising is performance based advertising. It is an advertising strategy that provides results, not exposure. If you are considering a Google Adsense driven website, this type of advertising is not for you. It should only be considered by website owners who are selling a product, or by affiliates who will generate a sufficient profit from referrals.

Google Adwords is the current market leader in pay-per-click advertising. It a recommended resource for affiliate and membership-based subscription websites.


by Andrew Fling

 

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