5 Ways To Drive More Traffic To Your Website

“If you build it, they will come.”

If I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that this old axiom doesn’t always apply, especially in this day and age. Simply putting together a website with the latest technology platforms on top of a semi-clever URL won’t do the trick. There are, however, five simple things that you can implement to move the traffic needle up and improve your metrics.

Search Engine Optimization:

Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO for short, is one of the hottest topics in website development today. Not in the know? Here’s a quick rundown. According to Wikipedia, it’s “the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” or un-paid search results as opposed to Search Engine Marketing (SEM).” It’s like tidying up your website and filling out all of the appropriate forms so that search engine crawlers will get the most context from your site and reward you with a higher page rank.

The SEO game is constantly evolving and is a bit tricky, but there are a few basics methods you can utilize to get yourself started. Alex McArthur lined up “5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Search Rankings” right here. Looking for more? Search our blog with “Search Engine Optimization” and you’ll have plenty to go on from there.

Search Engine Marketing:

On the flip side, Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is the promotion of websites through paid advertisement placement on search engine results pages. You know, those little advertisements that show up on the right hand side of your search results. You pay for displaying those ads on relevant search queries, and you also pay for every time someone clicks through.

SEM is also a very complex yet powerful tool to drive high-quality traffic to your website from search engines, but you have to reach into your own pockets to pay for your campaign. One very useful suggestion: Before you venture out on your own into the world of SEM, consult an expert like one of the many on Elance. You’re spending your hard earned money here, so be sure to be smart about it.

Blogs And Online Content:

Weblogs, or “blogs” aren’t just for logging your daily musings – they’ve been known as an asset for increasing traffic for a number of reasons. One: Having great, fresh content on your website’s blog, whether it be new product announcements, site upgrades, breaking news, or hilarious anecdotes, is valuable to your reader and will be a vehicle that will bring in repeat visits from existing users as well as fresh new faces. Two: Publishing content on the web that is rich with pertinent keywords is great for search engine optimization. Three: Through the comments section, blogs are a great starting point to developing an online community based around your product or website.

If and when you decide to build a blog for your business, don’t focus specifically on getting results immediately. Concentrate on having kick-ass content on your blog, and the benefits will follow. Need more information on building a winning blog? Check out “10 Ways To Produce A Winning Blog”.

Social Media:

Social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Digg, are all of the rage for businesses right now, and for good reason. Developing a strong social media strategy can result in a healthy amount of supplemental traffic that you may have been missing out on and also help you develop a more intimate relationship with your customers and readers.

A Facebook Fan Page is a great place to build your online community and can also be a good source of traffic when you post links to fresh content or product pages on your site. Twitter is a source of traffic you shouldn’t overlook if used strategically, (remember to use those hashtags, people!) Want to learn more about Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter? Check these stories out: “The Business Benefits Of A Facebook Fan Page” and “Tweeting 101: How To Use Twitter Effectively For Your Business”.

Email Marketing:

Reaching out to your customers or readers via email can be very effective, but it can also backfire if not used properly. Email marketing campaigns are cost effective, easy to create and manage, and also can drive traffic from disengaged users and boost sales.

Now, before you go out and open up the spam can to your users, be sure you familiarize yourself with all the quirks of email marketing, like personalization, spam points and filters, opt-in vs opt-out, blacklisting, and more. Email marketing can be a complicated and time-consuming process, but an expert on Elance can take care of all of that for you.

Top 10 Best
Email Habits

Improving your email habits can drastically increase your productivity. Like any new approach, these take focus and practice. But after awhile, they will become habits that support you.

1. Check email only at scheduled times for a specified amount of time. Twice a day for 30-60 minutes works well for many. Unplug until the next scheduled time.

2. Unsubscribe relentlessly. Make sure you receive only the things you really want to—and do—read.

3. Reduce the amount of routed email (i.e., cc’d from coworkers) to only that which is essential.

4. “Slash and burn” on your first pass through your inbox. Use the second pass for replies and other follow-up actions.

5. Empty your inbox every day and keep it that way. Delete most and file the rest.

6. Include all of your contact information in your signature—phone, fax, website—so that others don’t have to hunt for this information.

7. One topic, one subject. Change the subject line when conversation turns to another topic, and break up multiple topics into separate emails for easy filing and recall.

8. Count to five before clicking “Send.” Make sure your email is clear and represents what you really want to say to avoid a lot of back-and-forth later.

9. Include in your replies the original context of the email so you (and others) don’t have to hunt for it later.

10. Resist the temptation to check your email more than your scheduled times! It’s a simple step but has a profound effect on productivity.

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