Many webmasters have issues building decent amount of traffic to their websites and so let me share with you 25 ultimate traffic building tips that I have been practicing for years to generate more than a million page views each month for all my web properties.
Before I get started with my traffic building tips a note to my readers. This is one of those longer articles with more than 4000+ words (Sorry I couldn't help but have broken down into points for you to skip them if you want). If you are too busy reading this entirely now, you can bookmark it for future reference.
So let's get started.
- Memorable Domain Name
- A Reliable Host
- High Quality, Fresh & Unique Content
- Social Media
- Social Media Profiles
- Article Submissions
- Being Helpful in Forums, Groups and QnA Sites
- Niche Directory Submissions
- Internal Linking & Organic SEO
- Organic SEO with Images
- Keyword Research
- Pay Per Click
- Google Analytics to find Hidden Traffic Gems
- Videos: YouTube to build traffic to website
- RSS Feeds to Build Traffic
- eBook, Research Reports - Way to repeat traffic
- About us pages
- Press Release
- Have Your Own Product or Service
- Hot Topics or Upcoming Events
- Link Bait
- Prioritize New Without Compromising Old
- Usage Rather Than Users
1. Memorable Domain Name
Everything online starts with a domain name and having a catchy, memorable and an easy to remember domain name can really do wonders to site's traffic and brand building. Many webmasters prefer to have keywords in domain names but I personally prefer domain names which are easy to remember and not concentrate much on keywords because many a times keywords change or more often broaden with time and so very small niche specific keyword domain may not sound right to start with.
Some of you may know that I started about how to make forums and monetize them on one of my dead blog CodeItWell.com but soon I could not justify the questions from my readers Why CodeItWell and so finally decided to get a domain that is related, memorable as well as user friendly in Internet Marketing and Make Money Online nice aka IMTips.co.
I lost so many readers of my blog because not all would take the pain of unsubscribing from CodeItWell and re-subscribing to IMTips and also all My Feedburner readers were not converted and nor were the fans on my Facebook Page and so if you don't start well, you may end up getting those losses as you make the move.
2. A Reliable Host
Once you have your best name for your site, the next thing to focus on is to opt for a host that is not too costly for you to get started as well as is reliable and fast because site of the speed is what makes your users stay or bounce. Many experiments of user response to slow and fast pages have been conducted. Reports of experiments by Google, Amazon and Bing can be read here and I quote.
Google found that moving from a 10-result page loading in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20% (Linden 2006). When the home page of Google Maps was reduced from 100KB to 70-80KB, traffic went up 10% in the first week, and an additional 25% in the following three weeks (Farber 2006). Tests at Amazon revealed similar results: every 100 ms increase in load time of Amazon.com decreased sales by 1% (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007)
So your job is not only to get reliable hosting but also make sure your site is not very slow for your readers. I will recommend you to check out BlueHost (Affiliate link).
3. High Quality, Fresh & Unique Content
Any type of website needs to be updated and so you have to cater your website in a manner that it contains fresh and unique content for your visitors each time they visit your website and this makes users stick to your site. Apart from that it will also help build natural deep links to your sites internal content pages i.e. link to your content.
Whenever fresh and unique content idea is floated people think about blogs but that is absolutely wrong. Even site like Facebook needs new and fresh content pumped by users or else imagine how boring it will be to share the same old thing images and quotes over and over again to your friends.
Content is the base of any website to make it sticky for users, be it blog, forum, social media platform, or even a search engine.
4. Social Media
I have seen in many forums where social media experts claim making money with the social media traffic is really easy. All you need to be doing is get your website online. Add Adsense to it. Submit in sites like StumbleUpon / Facebook and you will generate tons of traffic and cash.
This actually never works or rather I must say I am yet to see it working for anybody.
Social Media marketing works if you can get the viral marketing going or else it does not make much sense. The important aspect of social media marketing is not about getting the person to your site and making the conversion but making sure he also brings his network of friends to your site as well. The process should start with you i.e. you should be able to get your friends to your site first, test things and work on improvement based on the feedback.
Very common social media marketing mistake that majority of social media marketers make is - they promote their social media profiles from their website but the idea is always to get traffic to your site from social networks and not the other way round that is your site promoting your social media profiles. So make sure you use your social media icons on your site are somewhere but not at the most prominent place that gets your user out of your own site to your social media profiles.
If you want to build traffic to your site using social media marketing you should focus on relationships and not on traffic numbers and update your social profiles with updates that are uniquely different from your site updates. Just copying your site on social media is not social media marketing.
5. Social Media Profiles
You don't have to start creating profiles in every social media site possible. Just have a REAL profile on sites you prefer using them and then actually use them. It will make your profile popular over a period of time. This way you can get good quality incoming links as well as traffic to your site. Some links may be nofollow but it hardly matters because you will anyway be making those real profile(s).
6. Article Submissions
Submit articles to other sites like I occasionally do for EzineArticles and though it does not build lot of traffic to my sites but then the traffic generated out of those link is very sticky because they have gone through the content and have an eagerness to know more about the author or about the topic. Something where traffic numbers don't look handsome but conversion does.
I don' prefer submitting well researched articles on ezine as I prefer them to be on my blogs and forums and if you also don't prefer doing the same you can opt for article writing services at fiverr for $5. I have found permanent writers for my ezine needs.
7. Being Helpful in Forums, Groups and QnA Sites
Participating in related forums, groups, QnA sites or discussion lists has multiple benefits. Apart from SEO benefits for links generated from those sites, you may build reputation as well related traffic to your site. On top of that it also helps generate lot of topic ideas that you and your team can write about. Those are the hot topics users are searching for and posting them on forums.
Being a forum owner I always prefer adding a note. We are here talking about being helpful to other members and not spam forums, groups, QnA site with link to your sites.
8. Niche Directory Submissions
Yes I know that directory submission does not work anymore and so it better to be avoided but niche directory submission is something that still works, you don't submit your site to all directories but only to those directories that are related to your sites niche. Just make sure you don't submit your site yourself but get a cheap directory submission service in fiverr for $5 and get this done once. You will not regret spending $5 on this once.
9. Internal Linking & Organic SEO
There are many webmasters who relies on search engines for traffic and rightly so but then once they have those best content ranking in Google, they try to work on things to rank more content in Google. Instead focus should be on making those visitors landing on the content pages to become regular visitors of your site. As an example one of my article How to Get Adsense Blue Dart Tracking Number in Advance was (and is still but not at the same position) ranking very well in Google and I immediately saw that most of the visitors to those page are Indians and so I linked to one of my other related article for Adsense and Indians which says.
If you have queries related to Adsense Payment Schedule in India Check out Adsense Payment Schedule and Check Arrival Time in India.
This made users reading more of my content here and so it increases chances of getting more readers to my blog than to getting more traffic numbers in my stats. The internal link also started getting ranked pretty well in SEO. Could be a coincidence but that was not the aim.
10. Organic SEO with Images
If you deal with images on your website internal pages, make sure your image files are named relevantly. Relevancy does not mean all your images should be named with your sites main keyword but they should be named according to the content of the image and as and when you include those images into your pages, add the alt and the title tags with keywords related to your image and this will build good amount of traffic from Google image search.
What I just mentioned is pretty common for any SEO based traffic building tips and let me share with you a rarer traffic building tips where you can SEO with images. Your site logo is an image that can be uploaded to image based sites like flickr or picassa and tag them with keywords related to your site and if possible you may be able to link back to your site as well. Just make sure you do it as per the norms of the site and not over do this or make it looks like spamming. If you think linking would make it spamming, avoid linking to your site.
11. Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization but many webmasters tend to believe that keyword research is a one-time process that you do to select good keywords for your site and you are done. That is completely not true. Every page that you have on your site should have targeted keywords and this is true even for the new pages and posts that you add to your site.
See How keyword research on 100 articles for go4expert help me almost double the traffic - Keyword Research For SEO - A Complete Guide.
12. Pay Per Click
As soon as we see the term Pay Per Click or PPC we tend to think that PPC Marketing is for eCommerce site and not for free content sites like blog or forum but this is completely wrong. You don't need to be selling anything for running a PPC campaign. Just create a new Adwords account and grab a free Adwords Voucher.
Once you have a free voucher you can start a PPC campaign for as low as USD 0.01 per click and spend of 50 cents per day. At 0.01 per click would mean you have to find keywords that are very high in search but does not have too much PPC competition. General and broad terms like blogging or blog as I explained here have very low competition in PPC and you can find such terms for your site and use such general keyword to build traffic for people looking for information on those terms.
I apply the same method for my Indian Recipe Blog where I am spending â‚¹100 i.e. $2 per day to bring new Indian audience to the site who read and share the content. This gets the ball rolling for the site.
Remember you have to be doing the PPC Marketing to get your site off the ground initially but if you can find the right mix of keywords that drives users (not just traffic numbers) to your site with as low as $0.01, you can run those campaigns for an elongated period of time as well. You don't always have to be paying top dollars to Google for traffic. At least Facebook Doesn't.
As you are not selling anything online and so you are avoiding the competitive terms and focusing on more informational general terms. You are avoiding the auction and on top of that the terms are so general that they have lot of traffic to be able to spend your daily budget.
People focus mainly on Search Engines and Social Media Marketing when it comes to building traffic to websites but I always prefer email to search engines because of one simple reason that email marketing really boosts user engagement and traffic to new highs.
As an Internet user and not as Webmaster answer the question. How many websites you remember by name that you visited today. May be 2 or 3 or 5 or if you are good in memory may be 10 but what if there is a website that you really liked and just subscribed to it. You may forget what site it was in a day or two but if you see an email from that website, you will recall that yes this was one of those site where I found this which was really useful and so let me see what they have for me in this email. It not only builds traffic numbers to websites but you have users who really like to read what you are saying and that is priceless.
14. Google Analytics to find Hidden Traffic Gems
You have done all the hard work and you see that some of your content is driving traffic to your site but then those articles are not in the top 3 positions of Google. What you can do is write more content that is related to the content that is driving traffic but is more tailored to the keyword that users are searching for.
WordPress SEO was driving traffic to IMTips but not for the main term "Wordpress SEO" but for related term like "Best WordPress SEO Permalinks". So I added an article explaining Best WordPress SEO Permalinks and now it is on top of Google's search result.
15. Videos: YouTube to build traffic to website
There is no doubt that Google is the most used search engine but the second most used search engine is not Bing or Yahoo but it is YouTube. Yes you heard it right it is YouTube.
A new experiment to add some videos for my Technical Analysis Blog to YouTube and the results are extra ordinary. I managed to rank on top for one of the terms in YouTube without me doing anything fancy about it.
It builds views to my videos as well as it drives traffic to my site (though very small as of now) but I see that it has the potential to scale up and I will be working on it very actively.
You don't need anything fancy like Camcorder or Digi-cam. I used screen recorder and even a web-cam is good enough to create videos. It's just that we tend to think too much when we are able to see our self on screen. Creating a video on technical ground is lot easier then you can think off. It is just a mental barrier.
YouTube videos have other advantages as well. YouTube videos can rank easily in Google for competitive terms and you can add links to your sites in description of YouTube videos. Somebody searching in Google for competitive terms can watch your YouTube video and end up on your site using the links in the description.
Mini course works perfectly well with blogs where user may land up on one of your articles like for example, you have landed on this article and definitely I have made all efforts to link related articles as and when I can from this article but then there is a limitation to how many articles I can link and make you read all of them today.
What if I could overcome the limit and make users read some of the best content of my blog?
Mini course is the solution and I don't think I can give a better example than my free course on How to be an Online Entrepreneur? Over a period of time I have shared lot of ideas and posts that have helped me become an online entrepreneur and earn money online and I share those content in my free course. You are free to copy the idea. 😀 I use AWeber (Affiliate Link) auto-responder for my Course.
17. RSS Feeds to Build Traffic
RSS Feeds notifies subscribers every time there is an update on a website with new content. For blogs this works perfectly fine where user can subscribe to blog feed and as and when new content is published, subscribers are notified of the new content and can read the published content in their favorite RSS readers. Feeds can be a good traffic builder for your site on day's new content is being published. Apart from that there are many tools that can convert RSS feeds into a beautiful email that you can send to your email subscribers as newsletter. I use AWeber (Affiliate Link) on my blogs and forums for converting RSS Feeds into Newsletter.
18. eBook, Research Reports - Way to repeat traffic
Offer users an incentive like a free eBook or White papers or research reports to subscribe to your site. Apart from a subscription incentive you can also offer your users such reports or research paper from time to time to compel them to coming back to your site. It not only helps building traffic but also helps establish an authority of your site in the subject.
A free ebook to subscribe user to blogs and then updating them with content of blog by converting RSS feed to an email newsletter is very common among bloggers.
19. About us pages
Check your traffic stats for most viewed content. You will be amazed to see your that your about page is high on the list of "most viewed" content and yet the referrer to about page is never from Search Engine or Social Media or any other referring site. Chances are that your best traffic sources have no referrers to your about page and yet it is one of those pages that is high on list of most viewed content. The traffic to that page is mainly from users landing on your site and then willing to know more about you or your company and so it is important that you have the right kind of content on your about pages.
Your about page should focus on building credibility and trust and should focus on what you or your company does. You can check out my blog's about page for sample as well my article on What to Write in Your About Pages
20. Press Release
I have been in the Indian Newspaper couple of times - Once in Times Of India and then in LiveMint. Though there is no direct benefit with traffic to my sites for being in newspaper, I got calls from investors willing to invest with me which has helped me build contacts. If I am looking for any investors in future, I have options to get started.
Never underestimate the offline advertising but remember it does not work if you need to pay for it. On top of that if you have been in the news, you can add those information in your about page to help build credibility and trust like I do.
21. Have Your Own Product or Service
You may not always find the right quality product that fits into your target audience and so instead of promoting crappy products to your site audience; it is better to create your own product. Having your own product or service has other benefits.
- List of customers is a gold mine and if you have a product you can create a list of your customers who have purchased your product. If you come up with something related in future, they will be more than happy to get it from you.
- You can list your own products in affiliates directory or can even hire affiliates to sale your product. 30% of my traffic to DIYTechnicalAnalysis is by affiliates and 10% of my total sales in last 6 months are by ClickBank affiliates.
22. Hot Topics or Upcoming Events
If you know the niche you should focus on what is hot and upcoming events and topics . Write about them well in advance. This will give your site a time frame to rank well in Google as well as build links to content and rank well when the event actually occurs. You can get huge traffic boost.
Niche where this works perfectly is when there is some upcoming product release like cars or bikes or phones or new mutual funds and IPOs for my technical analysis blog.
23. Link Bait
As per Wiki
Link bait is any content or feature, within a website, designed specifically to gain attention or encourage others to link to the website.
Link baiting (or linkbaiting) is a way to natural link building, which means you create something that naturally attracts links by making people to talk about it. It can be anything like
- Well researched, informative content or infographics
- Contests where users get free things and people always like to talk about free contest.
- News. Cracking any news would mean authority blogs may link to your content like TechCrunch Linked to my blog here
- Supporting controversial. This can lead to lot of people linking to your content saying something negative about your support.
- A free application or tool that you can distribute for others to use for free. It can generate links to your tool as well as your site.
Many of us knowingly or unknowingly do link baiting and from now on we can do it knowingly. For more link building options check out Link Building Strategies that Actually Work.
24. Prioritize New Without Compromising Old
Priorities keep changing but they should not change to an extent that you tend to ignore your all time favorite sites. New products, ideas, blogs and websites excite everybody but that does not mean you can ignore the older ones.
Ignorance may be on many fronts and most of the time it is like not having a marketing budget for the old site or reducing on the marketing budget on the old site for trying new things on the new site or personal time dedication to the new site is so much more that old site starts suffering the quality. This is the case with lots of bloggers who focus more on new projects so much that they leave their old blogs in the hands of guest authors and slowly but surely loose the readership. You can see that I have stopped following many such blogs
So remember it's good to prioritize new but not at the cost of old ones.
25. Usage Rather Than Users
We have come to the last point of my traffic building tips and if you have read this far, it does mean you are serious about building traffic to your site and so the real traffic building secret I have kept for the last which really works for me.
You should not have a product or website which can get handsome number of users to your site but you should focus on things which your users want to be using on your site.
As an example you may have very handsome set of traffic from Google where users coming to your site and have a bounce rate of 80% because what they are looking for in Google, they find on your site and its all done but you may not have very handsome set of traffic numbers for a referrals from a small site where bounce rate is as low as 20%. You are gaining lot of repeat users who are getting converted into members from those niche site and so you should not focus more on getting handsome numbers from Google but handsome numbers from those niche site.
You can also have an option for user feedback and features that they want to see on your site and you will be amazed to see how many people request things that you may not have imagined and getting those feature added would make your site being more liked by users and generate not only handsome traffic over time but also users over time.
Identify what works - no matter in what quantity and Do it Again... and Again... Improving each time from the feedback of users.
More traffic means better earnings opportunities and keep building traffic and keep earnings. Share your views about this article in comments below.