Wednesday, January 16, 2013

3 Tips to Increase Your Website Traffic

Traffic is the lifeblood of websites. Without traffic, your website isn't serving its purpose in life. Of course, the traffic you get should be focused - so it's often more a case of quality over quantity - but you still need it to show some sign of life!

1. Write good content

Written content is still the thing that the search engines index best. And, despite the rise in sites like YouTube and Pinterest, it's still a major part of what people do on the web.

Apart from anything else, it's usually quicker to read an article about a topic than it is to watch a video that takes 15 minutes or more to explain something you could have read and understood in less than 5 minutes. It's also a lot easier to scroll to the right place in an article or website page than it is to do the same thing in a video.

Write good, informative content in a way that people will want to read. By all means break it up with pictures and maybe even a video. But making it readable is well worth the time you spend on it.

If you're not a great writer, that's probably not too much to worry about. But if you don't like writing then you should find someone who does and who knows your subject to help you. There are plenty of budding writers on the web who can write well and don't charge the earth

2. Get good backlinks

This one isn't as easy as creating your own content but it needs to be done.

Most search engines take into account the backlinks pointing to your website as a sign of your importance and popularity.

Whilst you may not get the kind of quantity that sites like Wikipedia get, you can still get some!

The trick is to get a mix of backlinks. Google will notice the mixture of links you get and their diversity. Which means that you shouldn't be tempted to go for some of the link building packages that concentrate on pages that only have above a certain page rank or that only give "do follow" links or that are predominately educational pages. That just isn't natural.

The wider the variety of backlinks, the better. It also helps to have a reasonable number of backlinks from "relevant" pages. Interpretation of relevant varies but I tend to think that if the topic of the link is roughly in line with the topic of the page, that's fine. So anything to do with bathrooms and plumbling would be OK to point to a plumber but a page talking about the ins and outs of Windows 8 wouldn't be. That said, some natural links will be off topic so don't fret if a small proportion of your backlinks aren't strictly on topic.

3. Keep doing it

One thing that many webmasters do is stop doing work to keep their site alive in the eyes of users and the search engines.

The problem with that approach is that unless you're the only person ever likely to be in your industry in your location (the modern equivalent of a one horse town) then that's not good enough.

Some of the links you get this week will disappear over time as domain names aren't renewed or sites have a change of practice.

Competitors will arrive - maybe direct ones that you know, maybe new entrants in your industry, maybe just someone who thinks they can make money selling adverts or leads.

All of which means that if you stand still on your website, you're actually going backwards. Which is less easy to notice on the web than it is in the real world but will happen nonetheless.

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