If you want to learn how to increase website traffic for free or otherwise, you have to change the way you think about traffic.
I could easily set up a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign on Adwords or Bing and get a whole bunch of people to my website. After about $500 spent, maybe I'll get 2 or three people to sign up to my list or buy something from me. Unless my product costs over $250 per person, it won't take long before this breaks the bank.
The entire problem with the scenario I just described is that the mindset on getting traffic to my website was completely out of whack. If you don't get people who actually want to be at your website, you are going to become frustrated, irrespective of the traffic methods used.
Which would you rather have, thousands of visitors to your website or 50 really targeted visitors? I'd even take 25 targeted visitors over the thousands. Why?
"I'd even take 25 targeted visitors over the thousands"
Because targeted website visitors want to be at your website. You enticed them with something they were looking for. Now that they found you, they are looking to you to provide them with some kind of information that they can relate to.
Think of Web Traffic as a Living, Breathing Organism
"Think of Web Traffic as a Living, Breathing Organism"
No, I don't mean that traffic monsters are going to invade the earth. What I do mean is that the reason that people visit your website is because you related to an actual person, not some button that somebody pushes to get people to magically appear on your website.
When you understand this distinction, traffic generation becomes easier to manage.
So how do you go about creating traffic all while shifting your mindset to treating traffic as if it is a living, breathing organism?
It all starts with creating better content. I know this term is getting beaten to death lately all over the internet. And people will coin the phrase and leave it at that. They never really tell you how to go about creating this wonderful, beautiful, awe-inspiring, traffic-driving content.
Therefore, I want to impart onto you some tips and techniques that have helped me improve my content creation efforts. Here are some of the key components to help you create a better content strategy (click on each arrow for more details):
Keep Your Topics Tightly Focused Around the Subject of Your Website
Think back to the last time you were trying to find specific information online. Suppose you were looking to buy a new car, for example. You search for some information about cars and find one of the results that looks relevant to your search. You click on it and find the blogger talking about how his cat got stuck in a tree and took him hours to get her out.
Maybe it was a fluke and you'll find more relevant information in other posts by this blogger. So you try other posts. Nope. The next post is about how drunk the blogger got when hanging out with his friends the other day.
If this were a personal website or a website about cats, you would understand why this information was appearing. But in the context of your search, it shouldn't have even appeared in your results.
If your website is about cars, keep the topics focused on cars.
Develop a Plan for Your Blog
Most bloggers think they should just wing it and blog about whatever happens to pop into their head. Even if they keep the focus around the main topic of the website, without a plan, they will simply keep floundering with random posts.
The way you plan a blog is to do some research about what people are looking for within your market or niche. If you have a fishing blog for example, get your butt reading other fishing websites, blogs, forums, videos, and magazines, etc. People discuss at great lengths on these places about all kinds of topics related to the niche.
Imagine someone discussing some kind of problem they are having within the niche and you create a blog post that helps solve that problem. Then you simply hit up the place where you discovered the problem and let the people know you found a solution. You then point them to your blog post that contains the answer.
It's Nice to Share
It is so easy to share content these days. With social media and email lists (opt in) your content can be distributed to several thousands of people at the push of a button.
Although sharing on social platforms is beyond the scope of this article, you will find plenty of strategies online to help you create a focused social strategy. In fact, I am in the process of putting a new information pack together that addresses this.
One immediate suggestion I have is not to bombard hundreds of social sharing platforms with every single blog post that you develop. Remember that part of the social sharing concept is to interact with others withing the particular networks. You won't be able to do that if you are flooding the channels with all your posts. It will be less effective as well because no one will really know who you are if you are not engaging with the networks.
Try to Avoid Being Overly Promotional
People are either on the web to connect with others (think Facebook) or to find out information about products they are thinking of buying, or services that they are looking to sign up for. They also look for information about personal or medical issues that they hope they can find answers about.
But no matter what they are looking for, the last thing they want to see is a page filled with advertising or promotional links. What do you think about when you see these types of pages? Most people will leave them quicker than they enter them.
Think of it this way. When you first start a blog, there won't be any visitors initially going to your site anyway. It's only after creating content consistently over time that you will start to appear in search results, etc. So why even bother with promotional items in the beginning when they have little to no effect - other than to upset people into leaving your site?
A better approach is to keep promotional materials completely out of the equation until your traffic starts to increase significantly. Even after your traffic does increase, that's not an open invitation to bombard your readers with promotions. It's a delicate balance, one that you need to experiment and test with to get the right mix.
Become to Go To Person within Your Market
If you focus on helping others by offering answers to problems, or help with reviews for products, etc., it will only be a matter of time when people start coming to you for answers. If you hang out in forums and answer peoples questions in a genuine manner, they will start directly asking you for help.
One technique is to create a blog post that answers the questions and then partially answer it in the forum and point them to your post for a more complete coverage of the solution. As long as your blog posts are not overly promotional (discussed previously) the moderators of the blog should not have any trouble with you doing this.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of things to do to improve the quality of your content. But I can guarantee that if you start implementing just these tips, you will find that your content will get shared more and your chances of gaining targeted will increase significantly.
Doesn't Paying For Traffic Get You Faster Results?
Yep! Paid traffic will often generate almost instant results. But most people don't have a clue how to implement paid traffic strategies. They end up spending hundreds (and even thousands) of dollars and get negative returns on their investment. That's not good!
I'm not suggesting to never use paid traffic. I have successfully implemented strategies that bring me positive returns on my investment. But if you go down that road, make sure you know what you are doing.
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