It is important to scan the data of traffic analysis to find which keywords are more popular and which are allowing the site to receive more visits. Identifying them can then lead the marketer or business owner to optimize the use of this keyword to make it even stronger in its positioning. In addition, those less-popular keywords could be identified and then removed from the content, to allow more space for the keywords that should be optimized.
List of directories
This feature can enhance visibility and exposure on the Net. Listing with directories that target the same industry or field of the site can also enhance its placement on the web and in clients’ minds.
There are a lot of social networking sites on the web, as well as specific networks for an industry or niche. Find which networks cater to the sector of the market or industry your site falls in, and register with them. These networks usually allow the registered user to create a profile for himself. Use this profile to present your site, as well as the products or content offered. Where possible, and if the network allows it, feature a link to your website on your profile page. An intriguing profile coupled with a link to the main site will tickle many potential visitors.
Links work by providing paths from other places and platforms. Links to your site can be placed on industry-specific or product-specific sites. It is always a good idea to contact the big-name-websites to ask if they are willing to feature a link to your site. Exchanging links is also another good option. In return to featuring someone’s link, this person features your link too on his site. Links exchange programs also work upon the same premise. An aspect often overlooked is the ability to link to the site itself. This increases the likelihood of navigating within the site, thus enhancing page views. This can be extremely useful to content-based sites. Product-based sites can also use the same strategy to present other products that may interest a visitor.
Buying text links
Using such links on a page enhances its potential to be picked up by search engines.
Buying banner ads
Banner ads are now assimilated within the framework of what a visitor expects on a site. Buying banner ads on other sites provide exposure for your site. Doing so on industry-related or product-related sites further enhances the potential to generate traffic. Banners usually hold a link back to the site it is promoting. Also, it helps build brand recognition of the site being promoted. A banner is an advertisement in itself, and people usually pay attention and remember banners. This then represents a wonderful opportunity to brand and present a site.
Participating in banner exchange programs
This premise follows the same reasoning as banner ads and is the easiest effective option to follow. Banner exchange program increases exposure and visibility on the Net, as well as providing branding opportunities. Such programs work on a swap ratio of 2:1 usually. Typically, if a banner is being shown on your site, for every 50 views on your site, in return, your own banner will be posted on 25 other sites.
Participating in a WebRing
A WebRing allows a site to connect to other sites in its niche. Exposure is maximized and effective in this way as the ring is for the same industry/area of your site.
Affiliate programs allow for a site to register with them and refer customers to them. For every sale then that is triggered by a referral, the site that sent the customer earns a commission of the sale. These programs also work on the premise that your site can be associated with a big name and thus earn recognition. Affiliating in your own sector helps broaden the scope of your exposure. Furthermore, a site that sells products may set up is own affiliate
program, whereby other sites will affiliate with it. This is another very good opportunity to create presence, clout, and exposure.
Tags are an important aspect of search engine optimization. Photos search has increased in popularity lately. Almost all sites are expected to have photos on their pages. An undervalued aspect of this practice is not tagging the pictures. Adding tags to pictures allow for photo searches to generate the photo and the address of the site. Not to be underestimated, tagging photos can become another tool to increase exposure of a site. This works especially well for sites that sell products. Tagging the product pictures can help bring people to the site through photo searches.
Use smart PR approaches
A typical PR (Press Release) campaign can be worked for a site as well. News coverage and media exposure can make the site known, and thus create awareness and bring visitors to the site.
Using traditional marketing tools outside the virtual world can also create awareness. Promotion and advertising need not be simply in cyberspace. Business cards, written-support advertising, advertising on cars, etc, are all means that can and should be used to promote your website. This works better for sites that sell products, as these products can be advertised in such ways.
Hosting regular promotions
Store-type promotions can be applied to websites as well, especially those that sell products. There is nothing like the word ‘discount’ to attract people – make good use of it on your site too.
Publishing on other sites
Publishing articles and blog posts on other sites and newsgroups help to increase your visibility. Furthermore, writing articles and getting them published can also establish you as an ‘expert’ in your field. This is a very good tool to exploit for content sites. Another feature of articles is that it allows you to have a signature line at the end, which you can use to feature the link to your site. Product sites can also use publishing articles to make product reviews
and referrals, an aspect that shouldn’t be ignored.
Update content regularly
Viewers like to check back on sites where they received good information. However, if they fall upon the same information again, it is likely that they will write the site off and not come back. This is where updating content plays in. Regular, new content will keep visitors coming back as fresh content is found. This also shows that the site is being looked after. Search engines also regularly scout pages, and when they find updated content, they are more likely to keep a page’s listing or even move it further up as opposed to a site whose content remains the same since conception. For a content site, updated content means more pages, and this, in turn, can increase page views, which is its aim in increasing traffic.
Get reviews of your site. Ask at bigger sites in the same niche/area as yours. This increases exposure, especially if your site gets a very good review.
Write briefs on the site
This keeps content fresh and regularly updated. It sits well with search engines and viewers alike.
Having a newsletter
A newsletter keeps people informed about updates and other changes to the site. Offers can be showcased this way, and this is a very good opportunity for production sites. Furthermore, the newsletter can contain links back to the site, and in itself, a newsletter helps ‘refresh’ people’s memories that your site is still present and ready to deliver good content and products. The newsletter can contain teasers that will incite its readers to come
to the site to get their curiosity satisfied. Content sites can have classes or seminars featured or advertised on the newsletter, said classes which people can have access to on the site.
An e-zine works with the same concept.
Posting in chat rooms
This helps to increase exposure.
Giveaways, freebies, and polls.
All these are good ‘lures’ to get people to come to the site. Polls work on another level as it shows interaction. This ‘human’ aspect of the site can attract lots of people who are repulsed by mechanical sites that do not have a human touch. Content sites can hold polls and can also preview aspects of content that is to come. Small downloads can be offered for free, for example, an ebook on a specific topic. Product sites have more scope as they can offer prizes, rebates, discounts, and contests. Another tip for this side of the marketing is to offer a freebie for every purchase, thus enticing people to buy. Contests, promos, and polls can also be announced on various loops and in newsletters, helping to draw visitors to the site. Freebies, especially for content sites, can consist of the following: checklists for a task, templates for specific documents, text workbooks on the site’s topic, classes and seminars, a dictionary of terms of the industry/niche, a live advice chat room, plans for setting up specific things, email reports, as well as designed forms.
An awards feature
The site can offer links to other sites it deems worthy of giving them an ‘award’. This can work as the double-lane avenue as the awarded company can tell its visitors to check its award on your site. An option for content sites is to feature an ‘Additional Resources’ box where it offers links to other sites it deems worthy. In turn, the sites
on the list can mention that they are recommended by your site, providing exposure and link presence.
Respond to queries or comments left on your site
This feature can help both product sites and content sites. Nobody likes to be ignored - showing your visitor that you cared enough to reply to his query or comment enhances your goodwill and the feeling that you are a ‘human’ site. Robotic content and atmosphere is a deterrent for many Internet users, so showing that you are not like that can work wonders for you. For a content site, it shows that you are dedicated to providing information accurately and as people need it. For a product site, it may show tremendous customer support and willingness to take care of the customer.
Hold contests and promos
People generally love to play and win. Enticing them with contests is a good bet. In either case, a person who took part in the contest will come back to check the result. This can be built upon.
Have your own domain
This builds brand recognition and easy association with your content/product in viewers’ minds. The name can even become a brand in the long run.
Join places that are relevant to you
Associations that cater to an aspect of your industry, local chambers of commerce and other such organizations can provide a wealth of exposure when you are added to their directories. Being associated with them can also boost your name and enhance your reputation.
Create RSS feeds on your site
This allows easy access to your information and updates.
Offer free consulting
This works especially well for content sites. Free consulting can help establish your site as an ‘expert’ name in the field and bring more to you through enhancing your reputation. The option of obtaining free consulting itself can gear more people to visit you. Product sites can do the same by offering samples and trial runs or demonstrations of products.
A site that is easily accessible, easy to navigate and browse, doesn’t hurt the eyes, encourages more people to visit it than sites which are complicated and cluttered.
Good layout and color choice is vital.
Another aspect that shouldn’t be underestimated is spelling errors in page content. This can act as a big deterrent.
Give your visitors a unique experience and unique content and atmosphere. Chances are they will surely come back. A unique concept can also embed your site in viewers’ minds, thus allowing for recognition and easy association.
Provide useful resources
Be an expert in your field and also aim to help the people who visit you. Product sites can provide links to related items, or guides such as maintenance for the product they offer. This also helps create goodwill in your name. Content sites can do so through their content itself, by providing accurate information and becoming the one destination for their topic. Again, replying to queries and comment add to the helpful experience.
Especially useful and vital for production sites. Following up with clients will create a good impression of your site and place you in your clients’ good books. Auto mail and responders also work and can be used by content sites.
Providing exit popups
When a viewer exists your site, a window pops up where he is taken to another address. This takes place in an exit popup program where sites can register. As a window pops up from exiting your site, your site can pop up the same way on another website that is part of the program. This helps to increase your visibility, and clients who may not know of your site can be exposed to it in this way.
Use trackback links from blogs.
Ask viewers to bookmark your site
Bookmarked sites are more visible to a viewer, as the links are right there in front of him when he opens his browser. This can entice a viewer to visit back when exposed to the site’s presence in his favorites list.
Be active on discussion boards
This can generate awareness of your site and provide exposure. Furthermore, having your own discussion board on your site enhances the interactive, human feel viewers look for on the Net. People who have had a good experience on your discussion board will think of it when they run into a problem again, and some may even come back just for the social aspect, to meet new people in a setup that is familiar and pleasant to them. Product review boards would work well for a product site, further working as a tool to promote the products. Content sites can make use of the board as a platform to help others and provide insight and further information about their topic of predilection.
Encourage viewers to spread the word
If viewers are satisfied with the experience and content/product you provide them, ask them to tell others about their experience. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective promotion tools even in this age, so make use of it.
Have a blog
This allows for easy updates and an added ‘human’ touch to your site. Blogs also provide features that can generate traffic and exposure even more. Features pertinent to blogs, for example, pinging, allows for each update to the blog to be pinged and updated on blog directories that are scouted by lots of people. There are other, very effective methods of generating additional traffic to your site. These methods, which will be mentioned in the coming paragraphs, have gained lots of popularity recently and as such, will be considered in more detail.
Forums allow you access to industry/sector specific areas where you can comment and interact with others. Interacting on forums is a good way of getting your name out. Topic-specific forums can allow content site owners to provide helpful and judicious advice on forums posts, thus helping to present them, and in turn, their site, as ‘experts’ in the field. Most forums also allow the one posting to have a signature attached at the end of a post. This signature can be used to provide links back to the site and specific pages if it is content-oriented. Always make sure whether signatures are allowed though.
Products can promote themselves on forums too. However, it is wise to refrain from spamming and even too-obvious promotion posting on forums. Aim to offer relevant and accurate content, and offer your help wherever possible. This established goodwill already allows your reputation to precede you before the person even goes to your site. There are many forums out there, and finding one or a few pertinent to the sector your site specializes in should not be too hard.
Pay Per Click or PPC
Pay per click is the process whereby a site pays for every click generated from its advert on a specialized page or a search engine results page. This process works on the premise of selected keywords. The site selects its keywords and states the amount it is willing to pay or bid, for every keyword. The highest bid for this keyword then earns the
best placement in the sponsored links section of a search engine’s results page. If a viewer clicks the link to the site, the site owner then has to pay the search engine the amount it was willing to pay for the keyword. Thus the site only pays for a ‘clicked’ visit.
PPC is basically a new form of paid advertisement that is getting more and more exposure and popularity as site owners are not reluctant to pay to earn traffic. However, the process doesn’t work just like that to ensure good results. Even landing a prime spot in the sponsored links section, people may simply scan the ad and discard it.
The key then is to have a very good ad copy to present for your link. Something that is intriguing and catchy and which covers what the viewer will find at your site is bound to work better than a general description of your site offerings.
Using varied keywords for better exposure is also another way of ensuring broader scope. It pays to note that the ad should be linked to the specific product/content page it is advertising. Another requisite of PPC is that links should constantly be checked to see if they work. Also, testing can allow the site owner to find which keywords are earning him the best placements and consequently focus his attention and money on those keywords.
Commenting on blogs, especially industry-specific ones, allow for a broader scope of networking and exposure. Blogs have literally exploded in recent times, and as such, should not be dismissed. Blog commenting helps to increase visibility, and the great feature with blogs is that the one posting the comment can always link back to his site, since, on top of signatures in the comment, signing-in for commenting allows one to provide the link back to any site. Blogs also help to increase the exposure of your site, especially for content sites. These comments can be seen as preludes to the in-depth content offered on the site.
Commenting can also further help to brand your site and your own way of responding can be a unique experience people look for. In a way, by reading your comment, readers may be intrigued to know more and thus head over to your site. This can work well with product promotion. It is a good idea to remain brief and concise on comments and to comment on blogs and topics that relate to and are pertinent to your own sector of operations. Also, links should not be added to the comment itself but kept to the signing-in name section, where your name can link to your site.
Joint ventures have garnered increased popularity lately as networking sites started to abound and everyone could connect on the same platform. Aspects of joint ventures cover links exchange, banner swaps, referrals, and reviews.
MyBlogLog (www.mybloglog.com) is a social media-networking site that builds communities of bloggers and allows those bloggers to have a MyBlogLog calling card featuring their own avatar or picture. Featuring the MyBlogLog widget on blogs is a good way of knowing who dropped by your blog, and also allows others to see you when you leave your calling card somewhere. The widget further helps to determine who dropped by and thus have an idea of the audience visiting your blog and site. It is advantageous to have a very good and accurate profile set up if you are planning to use this opportunity to promote your site and this way earn more traffic. A catchy avatar also intrigues and garners attention and a second glance. The username you allow to have displayed could be set up to give the name of your site or your domain name, further increasing awareness.
For this feature to work though, one needs to remain logged in the project. Surfing lots of blogs and leaving relevant comments to allow further exposure. Leaving comments also encourages people to do so on your page, and by returning visits to those who visited you, you encourage them to notice you as a ‘good’ presence out there.
A press release can help generate increased awareness and provide avenues of immense professional distribution. As such, it should not be overlooked, and it also helps provide a reader base. Contrarily to the press releases of the past, the ones that are drawn up now are also featured on the virtual world, and as such, are search engine optimized with keywords too. The press release can also use links to your hubs and the fact that it allows feed subscriptions ensures that any update to the information will immediately be communicated to anyone subscribed to the feed, thus allowing for instant updates.
Giving away freebies is another way of generating additional traffic to a site. Product sites have more scope as they can offer prizes, rebates, discounts, and contests. Another tip is to offer a freebie for every purchase, thus enticing people to buy. Content sites can offer the following: checklists for a task, templates for specific documents, text workbooks on the site’s topic, classes and seminars, a dictionary of terms of the industry/niche, a live advice chat room, plans for setting up specific things, email reports, as well as designed forms.
Facebook is another social networking site that boasts high levels of activity and membership. As such, in itself, Facebook is a great opportunity to increase your contact base by ‘friending’ many people. The network allows you to customize your profile and page and making effective use of the layout boxes can provide better awareness and exposure for your site, its content or products. The Marketplace widget/plug-in is a good tool for showing your products. Additional features that can help generating traffic pertain to activity on the site. Commenting on walls increase exposure, and the profile name links back to your page which can in itself be a window as to what your site offers. ‘Friending’ people with extensive contacts lists is another way of making yourself seen out there.
Other options to generate traffic from Facebook would be to create applications and widgets that the network can support. These can then provide glimpses as to what your site offers and is a wonderful opportunity for content sites.
The update status feature should also not be neglected, as it can trigger curiosity as to what your profile is up to.
Twitter (www.twitter.com) is another site which allows social networking, but the difference here is that Twitter is more a ‘talk’ site and more social in its approach, by allowing users to ‘follow’ others’ moves and updates (auto updates) and to leave short messages (twits). Good options to generate traffic from Twitter would be to post questions or ask questions at the end of your posts. This generates attention and encourages people to reply.
As with all networking sites, using your signature and linking back through it to your site is the thing to do to create a buzz around your site. Twits can also be about your content, products, or the updates that just happened. In this light, twits can act as teasers to encourage visiting the site.
Participation is key at this site. Visit, reply, and return visits and comments for those who came by yours – all these help to create a presence and goodwill for you and your site in people’s minds. All the above-mentioned avenues to help gain more traffic quickly and on a daily basis work. It is up to you now to find the best possible combination and strategy to make it work for your site.