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Showing posts with label traffic. Show all posts

Getting Web Site Traffic

website traffic
Getting people to visit your Web site can often be a difficult task, especially if your Web site is small. There are several main things you need to consider, and things you need to do, if you are hoping to get some traffic to your Web site. These are not the only things you can do to get traffic to your Web site, but they are a good start.
  • Keywords - Every page needs a keyword or keyword phrase. It's best to choose that keyword or keyword phrase before you start writing the page. Decide what your page is going to be about and write the page around that keyword or keyword phrase. If your page is going to be about cat collars, then make sure you use the phrase "cat collars" several times while writing the page, especially in the first couple paragraphs.
  • Title & Meta Tags - When considering a title for your page make sure to use the keyword or key phrase of your page in the title. If you are using HTML, then you need to be concerned with meta tags. Make sure to use your keywords in the meta description several times, and the title tags at the top of your HTML at least twice, and put the keyword in the meta keyword area too. Meta tags for a page that is about cat collars would look something like this:

    <title>Cat Collars - Cat Collars for your Precious Kitty</title>


    <meta name="keywords" content="cat collars, collars, cats">

    <meta name="description" content="Cat collars for your cat. Your cat will really love these cat collars. My cat tried these cat collars and really loved them.">

  • Good Content - If your page is about something important, is written well, and includes the right keywords it will probably do well in the search engines. On top of search engines, other sites will also link to your page if it is well written.
  • Search Engines - Submit your pages to the most popular search engines. Go to each of the search engines and submit your pages to them individually.
  • Similar Web Sites - Find Web sites that are similar to yours and offer to link to their site in exchange for a link back to your site. If they have a page for links they will probably do it.
  • Forums & Message Boards - Go to forums and message boards that are about your site and answer questions or offer advice or even ask questions. Create a signature under your name for your message posts that links back to your site. If people like what you wrote on the forum, they may click on your link and visit your site.
  • Update Regularly - If you don't add content to your site, then why should someone keep coming back. Update your site regularly with new content and watch your traffic grow.

Spend the Time On Your Site So You Can Win Awards

There is an interesting phenomenon on the web called awards. What happens here is that a webmaster agrees to visit a site and review it based upon certain criteria. If the site passes the review, it gets a graphic known as an award. In return for the time spent on the review, it is understand that the winning site will link back to the award site.

site awards

Many webmasters feel that awards are nonsense, they just take up time and bandwidth for no good reason. If you hop onto a newsgroup and post the question, you will get this response. They will patiently explain (and point out that they've explained it a hundred times before) that award programs do not build traffic and thus are useless.

Well, in my humble opinion, this is blatent nonsense from webmasters who do not understand what award programs are all about. While they do not build huge amounts of traffic, they do have a huge number of advantages and benefits which should not be overlooked.

When a webmaster applies for an award, he is asking for his site to be reviewed by a third party. Usually this third party will check the site for a number of factors, including load times, clean graphics, good navigation and so on. So one immediate fall-out from the awards process is better sites. In order to win any "real" award (as opposed to awards just blindly given out), a webmaster has to clean up his site to a certain degree.

Of course, if that webmaster continues submitting his site to awards he will eventually run into one that he does not win because it requires a really good site. Now the webmaster has a challenge - really clean up his site and make it very good indeed! Thus, this causes even better sites to be created.

Okay, so one benefit is awards lead directly to better sites. Are there other benefits? Of course. Most award programs of any value have a list of winners - thus you get a link exchange. And since you link back to the awards site, they also get a link exchange. This raises the popularity of both sites in the eyes of some of the major search engines, perhaps improving the rankings of the sites.

Oh wait, but won't this increase the traffic to a site which has won a number of awards? It can lead to quite a few more hits to a site. Hmm.

On top of that, if you win any of the big awards such as those put out by any of the major PC magazines, you will see a very large increase in traffic.

What an award really is, at it's base level, is not a traffic builder. What an awards program is is a way to get some peer review going on the web.

And that makes it a wonderful thing.

So what is my advice to any webmaster, good or bad, beginning or advanced? Apply to at least a dozen awards a week! If you don't hear back within a couple of weeks, review the criteria again with an eye towards determining why your site might have failed (you won't hear back from any award if you lose).

For example, if the criteria are "quick load time", "good graphics" and "good navigation" you should check all three. Get on a modem and verify your load time. See if your pages have dozens of tacky animated GIFs and double check your navigation. If you have to fix some of these things, feel free to resubmit to the award when you have finished. Be sure to let them know you have make major changes so they will review your site again.

You see how it works? If you don't get discouraged and simply take a non-response as a way of saying "do better and try again", you'll do great.

What's the long and short of it? Awards programs are excellent! They cause peers to review sites against posted criteria, which improves the state of the whole web. They do increase traffic, and last, but not least, they cause webmasters to start communicating with each other.

Isn't it grand?

Wanna Build Real Traffic? Then Exchange Links!

Okay, so you've created a web site. I'm sure it's a great web site, but no one seems to be visiting. What do you do?

build traffic exchange links

Well, the first thing to do is to check your site over again. Make sure it's finished (or at least there are not under construction signs and gaping holes), that all of the links work, spelling and grammer checked and so on. In other words, put a little polish on your masterpiece. Oh yes, be sure you have metatags and a title on each page.

Now what? Submit to all of the major search engines - BY HAND. There are only ten or so engines  and a few major directories (primarily Yahoo.com) so it's not that much work.

Search engines take anywhere from a few days to a few months to get your site listed. DO NOT resubmit more than once a month or you may get dinged for spamming.

While you are waiting, it's time to build a link exchange network. This is a way to build a large amount of traffic to your site - steady traffic from interested audiences.

To begin, add a section to your web site for your link exchange. This could be just a single web page or it could be a real directory with categories or topics. My own web site has over 80 categories and a submit link to allow people to add their own sites. Get as fancy as you want, but please avoid the temptation to make this all automatic using CGI or a free service. Why? Because you most definitely want to censor your list.

What's this about censoring? Be aware that many people will use this (as well as guestbooks) to try and get advertisements posted and you don't need to advertise someone else's affiliate program for free directly on your links pages. On top of that, you will get some submissions for sites you don't like - pornographic sites, for example. So it's a good idea to take a look at each submission and decide if it's appropriate.

Once your page or pages are set up, go surfing. Find your favorite site which is somehow related to your own site. See if you can find his links page or link exchange section. Most really big sites will not have one, but perhaps half of the other sites will.

If you find a link exchange page, follow the directions and submit your request to exchange links. A politely worded email stating your name, the purpose of your site and your URL is all that is usually needed. Now, surf all of the sites in HIS link exchange page. Do the same thing for any site which is related to your own topic.

Don't include any advertisements or anything else in your link exchange request. Personally, I don't even include a signiture line. And be careful not to send more than one request (at least no more than once per month). Why not? You don't want to have any appearance of spamming. You want to appear like what you are - a webmaster who wants to exchange links.

Believe it or not, you will get positive answers to most of your requests. Be sure and add them all as appropriate to your links pages, and always send a thank you message.

What does this buy you? I mean, it's a lot of work. Well, first of all, you are going to generate a lot of traffic just from the webmasters who visit your site to check it out. Since they all presumably have similar interests to your own, they may stick around, sign up for your newsletter and even purchase products. So just by asking you are getting traffic - very targetted traffic.

You will also get a few hits from each link that other webmasters create. Some sites may only generate one or two hits a month, others may create hundreds.

Ah, but there is yet another advantage. This will dramatically increase your search engine ratings, thus giving you a higher listing in some of the major engines. Don't expect that result right away - this can take months, but it is a definite benefit.

On top of that, you will be surfing sites similar to your own. This should give you lots of ideas of things that you can do with your own site. Don't steal anything! But for example, sometimes I'll find an article on a web site which I don't agree with and write my own article rebutting it. Or perhaps I will create a new article which has a different slant. In these instances, you can even propose to the other webmaster that both of your articles reference each other!!

What happens is your site gets better, you build a lot more traffic, and you get to communicating more with people who have similar interests to your own! It's truely a great way to get people to visit your own web site.