The recent, stringent changes in Google's ranking policies and the exploding numbers of websites (50 billion web pages in 2012) have made competition for traffic fierce. To survive, you must develop an effective plan that courts the search engines, captures traffic, and keeps visitors coming back. It pays to research what really works now, based on current search engine updates. Here are some proven strategies to increase your website's traffic.
10 Strategies to Increase Your Website's Traffic
1) Become familiar with Google's expectations. It is really important to understand what Google looks for to reward a site with a high rank, and also what will cause you to lose rank. Fortunately they publish a webmaster's blog, and you should familiarize yourself with the articles there, and make it a regular habit. This is their link: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/
2) Research your audience. Spend time observing, even participating on forums populated by your target audience. Read other blogs in your niche. Post surveys. Learn what their problems are, what they need, and what sets them on fire. When you reach out to their real needs with a real solution, you will draw in targeted traffic.
3) Learn SEO. There are many excellent resources online that are free and will teach you current SEO practices. Take the time to understand basic SEO strategies. Even make yourself a checklist or chart of techniques to apply to your website and its content. And then implement what you learn.
4) Optimize what you already have. Once you have mastered some basic SEO strategies, then go back through your already published content and tweak it to bring it inline. Take a look too at your blog's internal structure and setup, such as internal and external linking, permalinks, tagline, pingbacks, SEO and social media plugins, and optimize them all to be compliant with Google's expectations.
5) Join an auto-responder company. They are not expensive and some like Aweber and Getresponse offer a trial period. An auto-responder is invaluable for establishing and maintaining a connection with your visitors. They allow you to easily create an "opt in" form, into which your visitors enter their names and email addresses. The auto-responder automatically collects their data and stores them for your easy access. Failing to use this service means you lose the opportunity to build a lasting relationship with your visitors.
6) Offer a unique freebie in exchange for an "opt in." Create a valuable freebie to give away to your opt-ins. Write an eBook, make a video series, anything related to your niche that is of real value to your targeted audience. Set up your auto-responder to automatically give them a download link when they complete their opt in process.
7) Learn how to write attention getting headlines. Your article headlines are your one chance to entice you reader to slow down and actually read. Create a "swap file," that is, collect great headlines from top selling magazines, newspapers, and online news and product sites. They pay professional copy writers big money to write those few word phrases. Learn how the pros do it and mimic their techniques. Of course, don't just copy, but use them to learn the psychology of a great headline.
8) Practice spelling and grammar perfection. Always run your spell check the last thing before publishing. And if you feel your grammar leaves something to be desired, hire a proofreader for a few dollars. Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than bad spelling and poor grammar.
9) Publish a newsletter. Keep your readers updated on your site. With your auto-responder service, you can set up a blog broadcast that will automatically send out an email to all your subscribers with a summary and a link to your latest post. Keep your readers involved and be sure every newsletter offers real value.
10) Be generous! See yourself as an absolute fount of giving, and use your blog to pour out all you know and all you have to offer to your readers. Generosity is an attitude of true service. When you genuinely want to help, people will know, and they will come.
Use these strategies to increase your website's traffic and easily satisfy the newest requirements of the search engines for granting high ranking. There is a wealth of updated information about all of these strategies available online. Employ them all together to produce a high quality, genuinely helpful website that will bring in your targeted visitors.
Article Contribution: Written by Patty Thompson. I work mostly on local search optimization projects. I am eager to learn more about Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing.