Without a constant stream of people visiting your website, it may as well not exist.
There are mountains of ways to generate website traffic, which can be broken down into two basic groups: paid for website traffic and free website traffic.
Both have their advantages.
Paid for Website traffic
The most common type of paid for traffic is through advertising placed on a search engine, such as adwords campaigns on google or yahoo advertising. See the second article in this series for more information.
The advantage with paid for advertising is that if you set your ads up correctly you should start to get traffic almost instantly.
You can set a daily budget so can keep your costs down to a limit you’re comfortable with.
Free website traffic
There’s many ways to get free traffic, the main ones being through writing articles, building backlinks to your site from other sites, submitting your site to search engines, and a pile of other methods which I’ll cover in article three of this series.
Obviously the big advantage of free website traffic is just that – it’s free!
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
It takes a lot more time to implement it than just setting up an Adwords campaign. It will also in general take longer for traffic to reach your site when you use free methods.
Search Engine Optimisation
Perhaps one of the most advertised ways of getting traffic to your website is through search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines have special bits of software that trawl the web called search bots (Search Robots – get the geek talk), sniffing out websites they find attractive and moving them up in their page rankings.
In order for a search bot to look at your website and add it to their massive index of websites and rank it high in their listings, there are a few things you need to do.
You need links to your website from other high ranking websites (from the viewpoint of the search engines anyway).
These are known as backlinks.
Get Links From High Ranking Websites
By high ranking websites, I mean sites that are very popular. Examples are Youtube, ezinearticles, digg, delicious – pretty well any website you can think of that’s popular at the moment. Most of these sites are social media sites, and in a nutshell, it means that the users have complete control over the content of the website. This is done through interacting with other users, creating and sharing content, and passing that content along to other users who might be in their current circle of friends or contacts on the internet.
I’ll go into this in article three in this series, but essentially what happens is you put a comment, article or bookmark on one of these sites and it contains a link back to your site. Because the search bots rank these sites so highly because of their popularity, your site gets extra kudos because it’s got a link from one of the highly ranked sites.
One Way Backlinks
The best types of links you can possibly receive for your website are one way backlinks.
One way backlinks are links where the site that’s linking to your site doesn’t have a reciprocal link from your site to them. The reason why this is perceived as more value is pretty simple. If it was all about the number of links you had to other sites, and there was no limit on which sites linked back to you, then everyone on the internet would be linking to each other and you’d just get a complete mish-mash of links that had no meaning whatsoever.
As search engines are all about meaningful content, a one way link to your site is like one of the highly ranked sites giving you a badge of honour saying “If my site links to this site, then it must be a good site, as I found it worth linking to, and I’m darned popular”.
Don't Forget Your Mailing List
With any traffic generation techniques you should be building a mailing list of prospective clients. You achieve this through the use of an opt-in page, where the visitor gives you their email address in exchange for a free giveaway such as an ebook, free report, free video etc. The logic behind this is that if a person is interested enough to come to your website, they are a targeted customer and may (eventually) want to buy your products. If you don’t capture their details through an opt-in list, you’ll only get the visitor come to your site once, and you may never see them again.
As you can see there are a large number of ways of getting website traffic. Free website traffic and paid website traffic. Some are easy and some require a sustained effort but pay off in the long run.
Don't just concentrate on one type of website traffic generation method.
Some will get you more traffic than others, but in the end, if you have highly diversified ways of attracting website traffic, should one method fail, you’ve still got plenty of others to fall back on. Also some methods like advertising are only going to attract traffic as long as you’re advertising, while other methods such as writing articles, could attract more website traffic over a sustained period.
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