So you've just spent months building an amazing website and now you're wondering what is wrong. Your site is great but you aren't making sales and people aren't showing up. No matter how many visitors you have you are probably always on the lookout for ways to increase traffic to your website. While there are many traffic purchasing programs and SEO companies that promise you instant traffic, I'm not trying to sell anything. Here are honest ways to generate more traffic to your website no matter your technology level.
Build links. No, this isn't the fun part of being a webmaster but it's essential. Look for blogs that have a dofollow comment policy. Most blogs add a nofollow link in the comments to prevent spam. Some kind webmasters remove the nofollow tag if you leave a certain number of helpful comments. It's important not to spam blog owners. Over time if you build enough quality links your search engine ranking will improve and you'll get more visitors.
Explore social networking sites. Sites like Stumble Upon and Digg are great ways to get massive amounts of traffic. Read the rules of the site carefully before you submit a link, you may not be able to submit your own link. You may want to be prepared for big growth. Look for a webhost that can handle large amounts of traffic so that when your big break finally does come people will actually be able to access your site. If your article becomes popular on a social networking site you may receive thousands of visitors in a few seconds.
Evaluate your purpose. Search Engine Optimization can help you drive traffic to your website. However you'll enjoy the process a lot more, and get returning visitors, if you enjoy the topic that you write about. You may have chosen a niche based on how much money you thought you'd make. This means that your content building will sound forced and even phony. That means it's a lose lose situation both for you and your visitors.
Make sure that you have an audience. As fascinating as writing about your cat who can juggle ping pong balls may be, people won't know to search for it. They will probably think that it's cool once they find you, but those visitors may be few and far between. Use keyword tools to find phrases and words in your niche that people are actually searching for. Work the phrases into your articles and even use them for future article ideas. This lets you know what the people want and how to get it.
Let people know that you visited or linked to their site. Leave a comment on blogs that you frequently visit so you can build relationships and let the webmasters know that you were there. The webmaster may direct traffic to your site and will probably stop by for a visit.
Increase your content. This is especially important if you are running a store or your focus is on photography or video. You'll need to provide enough written content that the search engines will know what you are all about. You might want to start a blog that you can frequently update with posts. Write informative articles about your topic and place them on your website using keywords.
Take care of the traffic you already have. You probably like to be noticed and appreciated so return the favor. Keep the current visitors to your website by responding to all emails and questions. You can also return any comments you receive on your blog to build relationships and keep your customers coming back. Give customers who sign up for your newsletter an incentive such as a coupon or insider information. Just make sure that you provide an easy way for users to unsubscribe so you don't get marked as a spammer.
You can sit and wait for people to find your website or you can go out and find your big break. This may mean contacting better established sites and traditional media outlets such as TV, newspapers, and radio. Write a cover letter letting the outlet know what is in it for them. You can also set up an affiliate program where other people will promote your website for you. This will generate a lot of passive traffic to your website but you'll also need to share your profits.
Wait it out. This can be the most frustrating part of trying to increase traffic to your website. Sometimes you can do everything right but you still just need time to rank well and get the word out. Keep writing and building your credibility. Eventually you'll be considered an expert in your field. This isn't an excuse to stop working, but you need to have realistic expectations as a webmaster. Don't just quit your job and expect to make money on the internet. Build your site over time, focus on SEO and links and you'll get traffic to your website.
Write quality content and write it often. Even if you know all the ways to increase traffic to your website it won't matter if there is nothing to keep visitors there. A good website should spread word of mouth and provide useful information. You may want to include a link on your website where your visitors can email the link to their friends. It will take awhile to increase your website traffic so the important thing is not to give up. Seeing all those single digit numbers on your traffic counter can be discouraging day after day. However if you stop updating your site and quit learning about how to make it better, it will just stay that way. It can take months to get a site to rank well so you really need to stay on top of it. Reward yourself with website anniversaries to keep yourself going. Save a file full of praise, awards, and nice comments that your site receives to help you through the tough times when it seems like no one cares.