This is a great question. After all, what good is a website if it gets no traffic?
The answer can be long and complicated. I’ve heard the question many times and tried to give a simple answer. But it’s always hard to answer because there are many answers.
Here’s a list of ways, in no particular order, to get traffic to your website.
1. Promote your website on your business cards, sales letters, brochures, and other marketing material.
2. Promote your website on other forms of advertising such as radio, TV, and newspaper.
3. Promote your website to your existing customers on your billing statements and other material that you send them.
4. Promote your website online by making sure it’s entered into business directories, your chamber of commerce website, and other websites related to your business.
5. Write articles for both online and offline newsletters and promote your website there. This is called article marketing.
6. Buy advertising on other websites that will link to your website.
7. Use pay per click advertising such as Google Adwords.
8. Use search engine optimization (SEO) to get traffic from people searching for your type of product or service.
9. Use email marketing.
10. Use direct mail to attract people to your website.
Most of these methods are obvious. But let’s talk about how to really make this happen.First of all, getting traffic is one thing, getting any benefit from that traffic is another. There is good traffic and there is bad traffic. You can get traffic fast. Just use pay per click or another form of paid traffic. You can trick people into coming to your website but that has little value. What you really need is good traffic. You want website visitors who are glad they arrived at your website. So you must give those visitors what they are looking for. Otherwise it’s a waste of time and money.
Website visitors are quick to click the back button if they don’t see what they’re looking for right away.
Is your website search engine friendly? Is it free from errors that might prevent a search engine from reading and understanding what your website is all about. Your website should be easy to read and easy to navigate. For people as well as search engines. It must be optimized for both search engines and for human visitors.
Here are some recommendations for optimizing your website.
1. Use Google’s free webmaster tools to get insights into possible problems with your website. You can also get insights into how Google sees your website and how visitors both find and use your website. You should also use the Google Analytics tool along with websmaster tools to get even more detail on your website traffic. Be sure to correct all errors reported by these tools.
2. Create and use a sitemap. This is a file that tells search engines exactly which pages exists on your website. It makes it easier for them to find and index all your website pages.
3. Use unique page titles on all your website pages. And make sure they are descriptive and contain words that people use to search for your type of product or service. Page titles should be no longer than 68 characters.
4. Use plenty of text on each website page. People may not read everything you write but search engines will. And search engines need plenty of text in order to understand what your website is all about. Try to make each page about something specific. If a web page contains too broad of a subject the search engine won’t know how to categorize it. It’ll also be confusing for human visitors to understand if it’s too broad.
5. Use hyperlinks to link your pages together. This happens naturally through your menu links but you should also include links in the text of your pages that link to other pages within your website.
6. Use descriptive anchor text in your links. Instead of making a link say “click here” make it say something descriptive such as “painting services”.
7. Use pictures in your pages and use the “alt” tag to describe what the pictures are. A picture of a paint brush should have an “alt” tag that says “paint brush”. This tells the search engines what the picture is about and it helps optimize your website for search.
8. Get links from other websites. Besides having an error free website and specific, descriptive page titles this is the most powerful piece of search engine optimization. It’s also the most work. Each link from another website is a vote that tells search engines that your website is worthwhile. However, there are good links and bad links. An example of a good link is one from your local chamber of commerce. If your business is a painting service the link from the chamber of commerce should look like this: “Joe’s Painting Service”. Or it could just be “local painting service”. Another example of a good link would be a link from a painting supplier where Joe buys supplies. A bad link would be a link from a dating service in China. A link between two totally unrelated websites is not good. Links should be from websites that are related to your website.
So what’s the best way to start going about this? First, get rid of the errors on your website and make sure the search engines index it properly. Use the free tools mentioned above or have a website developer help you. Next, make sure your pages are properly interlinked. Add plenty of relevant content to your website and include pictures that are optimized with your keywords. Promote your website online and offline. Find other websites that are interested in linking to your website.
This is what it takes to get website traffic. Some of it is quick and some of it takes a while. There’s no getting around the fact that your website needs quality content and solid optimization. The search engines are looking for quality so you have to give them quality. Do this and you’ll get more traffic to your website!