We said A-Z and we meant it. Here are 26 sure-fire ways to increase web traffic and site visitors to your website. Use some or all of them, and let us know which ones worked best for you.
- Optimize your site (SEO).
Win on the search engines when people search for keyword phrases related to your products or services.
(More about search engine optimization.)
- Get your site listed in directories.
Submit your site to all the major web directories. This will generate traffic directly from the directories themselves and will also help to improve your link popularity. That helps you win on Google!
(More about web directories.)
- Get listed in search engines.
Submit your site to all the major search engines.
(More about search engines.)
- Get links to your site.
Get people with complimentary sites to link to yours. You offer rental kayaks on the beach. Ask the local restaurant owners to link to you, and offer to link to them. Ask the local tour guides, the real estate agents, the night clubs, and everyone else. Links lead to clicks onto your website and help to improve your search engine rankings.
- Buy links to your site.
Buy text links on other websites. That means more spiders stopping by, more people clicking through, and better search engine rankings.
- Buy banner ads.
Buy banner ads on other websites. It helps to build brand recognition.
- Participate in a banner exchange program.
It won't cost you anything, and will lead to a few extra visitors. Plus, you're spreading your brand all over the place.
- Participate in a WebRing.
Connect your site with other sites in your niche.
- Pay for clicks to your site.
Pay for clicks or inclusion on the search engines so that people will see your site in the sponsored links section of the search results when they search for keyword phrases related to your products or services.
(More about pay per click.)
- Set up an affiliate marketing program.
With affiliate marketing, you can either pay per click, pay per lead generated, pay per sale, or pay per customer acquired.
- Use smart public relations (PR).
Get news coverage of your business and your site. Approach online and traditional media. This will often lead to others placing links pointing to your website, which leads to more clicks and also to improved search engine rankings.
- Use E-mail marketing.
Ugly, but effective for the cost. Blast out your special offers, but be nice about it.
- Use off-line marketing.
Promote your site. Put your url on all your license plates. Paint it on your car. Buy newspaper and yellow pages ads with your url. Put up flyers and stickers. Sponsor a little league team. Do anything and everything to spread the word about your website around your city.
- Run regular promotions.
Stage regular giveaways and spread the word about it.
- Get published.
Write articles for publication on other websites. The author profile will link to your site. The article will show that you're an expert.
- Publish yourself.
Write articles for your own site regularly. This will help you to win on the search engines and gives your visitors a reason to come back over and over.
- Ask for reviews.
Ask for reviews of your self-published articles on other webmasters' websites. Ask for reviews of your website, your products, your software, your services. These will usually include links to your articles.
- Write briefs.
Write daily or weekly news briefs focusing in on your industry or specialty area. This keeps your site "fresh" in the eyes of the major search engines and helps you to spread a wide net when fishing for top search engine positions.
- Create a newsletter.
Ask your visitors to sign up for your newsletter, and encourage them to send it along to people they know. Send a newsletter regularly with teasers or lead-ins to your in-depth new articles or with special offers and the latest products.
- Post in chat rooms.
Become active in bulletin boards and chat rooms focusing on your industry. Leave inciteful comments, and people will click on your profile, then visit your site.
- Give away free stuff.
Offer something people want at your site. Give them a reason to come back and get more. Offer free downloads and update them regularly. Offer coupons or discounts. Content content content.
- Give awards for excellent sites in your niche.
This builds more links back to your site and establishes you as a credible reviewer, an expert in your space.
- Run a contest and promote it.
Photo contests, essay contests, goofy contests, random drawings, anything. Example: Messiest Garage in America contest on OfftheFloor.com.
- Join your local business organizations.
Chambers of Commerce and other organizations will often add your site to their member directory. That's an added advantage over the obvious business-building and networking opportunities.
- Create an RSS feed.
Give people another way to interact with your content.
- Be accessible.
Build your site so that it is accessible to all browsers and to PocketPC and Palm Pilot users. Don't forget, people with disabilities buy things too. Make your site Section 508 complaint. Your competition probably hasn't.