If you build it, they will come – right?! Unfortunately, what works for Field of Dreams doesn’t work nearly as well for our websites, and with good reason. According to Mashable, nearly 150,000 new URLs are added to the web each day, which means that you’re up against some pretty stiff competition to get your site noticed!
What this means is that, instead of sitting back and waiting for people to come to your site, you’ve got to be proactive about bringing visitors to your page. In this article, we’ll look at a few of the best ways to generate traffic to your website, as well as the action steps you need to add each of these strategies to your web promotion arsenal.
Strategy #1 – Blog Commenting
Blog commenting is a truly underrated tool when it comes to generating traffic to your website. Although it’s a little more hands-on work than other traffic generation strategies, it can be incredibly useful in both improving your SEO and sending visitors to your site.
Basically, blog commenting consists of visiting other blogs in your niche and leaving comments on other peoples’ posts. When you leave a comment, you’re able to leave a link back to your site as well. This means that if you comment on high quality sites, you’ll get a link back from each of these sites (improving your SEO), as well as traffic back from other readers who see your comment and click through to your site.
There are two keys to getting the most out of blog commenting – choosing good blogs to comment on and leaving good comments. When looking for blogs to comment on, choose high PageRank authority sites that have active comment sections. Remember – if you’re the only one commenting on a site’s posts, you won’t be picking up any traffic from people reading your comments!
Once you’ve identified good sites to comment on, be sure to leave good comments. This means taking the time to read through the post and come up with something insightful to say. You don’t need to write a novel in response to a post, but asking a related question or sharing your own opinions on the author’s post are good ways to get your comments approved as often as possible.
Strategy #2 – Forum Marketing
In general, the best way to generate traffic to your website is by putting yourself in front of your target audience – and forum marketing is one of the easiest ways possible to do that. Think about it – where else are you able to interact directly with your target market and convey your authority in such a meaningful way?
As you might expect, the first step in getting started with forum marketing is to find forums in your niche to participate with. Look for forums that are as active possible – just like with blog commenting, it doesn’t make sense to go to all the effort of setting up a forum profile and posting topics if there’s no one else around to see your work!
Also, keep in mind that forums are especially sensitive to being marketed to, and you risk getting kicked out if you’re too self-promotional. Instead of using each post to blatantly advertise your website, provide helpful, substantive advice. Eventually, people will begin to perceive you as an expert and will want to know more about your business naturally.
Strategy #3 – Guest Posting
Guest posting – or, the process of authoring articles for other websites in exchange for a link back to your site – is another great way to drum up traffic for your site. As long as you choose good sites to submit guest posts too, you’ll benefit from increased exposure and the implicit endorsement of the blogger or site owner who runs your post.
To get started with guest posting, you’ll need to identify the best possible sites to share your content with. Again, the best sites for this promotional strategy are those that are high PageRank, with good traffic, active readers and high rankings in the search engines. You might need to do a little research to uncover your sites, although if you’ve been active in your niche for sometime, you probably already have a good feel for who the acknowledged experts are.
Once you have a few potential guest posting sites, contact the authors to see if they’d be interested in running your guest post (some site owners have pages on their sites to share their guest posting terms, so check there first!). Spend some time on the target site determining what type of posts perform best so that you can share a proposed topic that you feel will resonate with their readers in this initial email.
Then, once you get the go ahead, draft a good piece of content and submit it – with HTML markup intact – to the site owner and get ready for the traffic to start flowing in!
Strategy #4 – Press Releases
Depending on what niche your business operates in, you may find that releasing notifications to the press about new developments or new achievements is a good way to drum up visitors to your site.
To write a good press release, it’s important to first have something noteworthy to publish. You don’t need to have cured cancer or launched a rocket to put out a press release, but to get picked up by the best news agencies, you’ll want to save this technique for actual milestones in your business’s growth.
When you do have an event occur that’s worthy of a press release, Google “press release format” to find the accepted structure a press release should follow and then submit it to sites like PRWeb, PRLog and PressExposure.
Strategy #5 – Organic SEO
Truly, the best source of traffic for your website is to earn a top ranking in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs) for your target keyword. According to a study cited by Search Engine Watch, the sites sitting in the top three spots of each Google results page account for 58.4% of clicks from all users that land on that particular SERP.
So how do you get your site ranked in the top spot? Well, answering that question isn’t easy, as Google and the other search engines don’t release the exact factors that go into their ranking algorithms. However, it’s widely accepted that the number and quality of the backlinks pointing to your site, the quality of the content on your site and your site’s load times all affect where your site winds up in the SERPs.
As you might have guessed, incorporating any of the first four strategies discussed in this article is a good way to improve not just the amount of traffic flowing into your site, but the backlink profile as well – both of which can have a dramatic effect on your standing in the SERPs.