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Having a brand new website, even if packed with functionalities and bells and whistles, is not enough. One could say that a website without traffic is an expense from which you see very little return on investment. Here you can find a few things things to do to keep the traffic coming, and revenue streams flowing too!

1: Search

Search engines could be called the “librarians of the internet”. They offer a wealth of information for every search query that users make. Search engines can get you both free (also called organic) and paid traffic. The practice of coding and organising a website to favour search engines is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. As we learnt before, SEO isn’t that hard.

Search engines do not find your site unless you submit your site’s information to them. There are automatic and manual ways to do so, but it will need to be done! Search engines look for a number of things such as titles, headings and meta tags.

Search engine spiders, the programs that scour and index the web and ultimately determine what search results are returned, can’t search your site, fill out forms, or ‘make sense’ of Flash and graphics. Of course, you can still use these features, but some HTML must be present for the search engine to ‘make sense’ of the website.

You can make sense of what is happening on your site in terms of search engines by using any number of SEO tools, or having me help you out.

2: Keywords

Use keywords in the text area of each page on your website. They are especially important at the beginning of sentences and higher up on the page. This is crucial in making your site “SEO friendly“.

Furthermore, it’s best not to discard your current domain and start afresh. Google has an aging (or ageing) delay for new domains, so it may be best to use your existing domain.

If you regularly update your site and wish to be kept abreast of any broken links (which will impact your SEO practices), you should check your site’s links regularly with a free link checker.

3: Email

Many online marketers will tell you that the money is in the email list: that is, everyone who has subscribed to your newsletter. An email newsletter is an excellent way of forging customer relationships and keeping repeat traffic coming in.

Under current laws, a double-opt in is required to include an email address in your list, that is, the user confirms it twice. That means that they must be interested in what you have to offer. Your job is to keep them in that state. Write interesting, concise emails that are geared to sell and send them out to your list. Create a relationship with your list! It is, after all, an almost free medium of getting your message out to your user base.

You can get started on this right away. Promote your web address in your signature for e-mails and change it regularly to highlight something new you’re promoting.

4: Network

You are probably a member of one or more social networks. From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn and on and on, social networking is all around us.

If you wanted to promote something, would you stand in a dark alleyway at night, or in a city square during the lunch rush hour? Social networks are that lunch hour, in the world’s biggest city, 24/7. Getting acquainted with where people hang out on the web and getting on there yourself is of paramount importance!

Most social networking sites allow you to create a profile for free. You can create a Facebook page and push traffic towards your site from there. Of course, that’s not the only benefit. Apart from the huge amounts of traffic and exposure you will get from social networks, a two way dialogue between you and both your existing and potential clients.

BONUS: Add a “Recommend This Site” and “Share on Facebook, Twitter etc” on your site. If someone visits your business Web site and knows someone else who may appreciate it, this feature will e-mail the page’s link to a recipient, or allow the user to share the page on any social network of their liking. Addtoany is what it says it is, “The world’s best sharing button.”, although loads of other options also exist.

5: Write

Apart from meticulous code, your website needs content. Empty pages will not rank, and they hold nothing of interest for users.

Writing is an excellent way of getting traffic. The beauty of this free promotion strategy is if you get your articles published on popular websites they can sit there giving you free website promotion for a long, long time with no further effort on your part.

However, there are catches. You have to be able to write well on a topic or topics that other people will want to read and publish. You have to find the quality places for your articles to be published and persuade the decision makers to publish them. When you find them, send an email asking if they can use a piece, including your article so they can look at it right away. Be sure your email mentions that they may publish the piece for free. Also be sure that your piece ends with a resource box that promotes your website.

6: Blog

Creating a blog of your own is another free website marketing strategy. By blogging about your chosen subject you get the opportunity to become an active member of the blogging community, and build a web of relationships and links.

Of course, your blog will be keyword rich, increasing your Search Engine Optimization. You can set up a blog as part of your existing website, or give your new blog a site of its own and link it to your site.

7: Offer

You can also participate in online forums as an expert in your chosen field. This allows you to discreetly promote your business in your signature while offering schooled opinions and expert knowledge.

Furthermore you can offer a free e-book or e-report on your site. Its size doesn’t matter if you’re providing it for free and it’s well written by someone with knowledge on the subject. Allow the e-book to be freely distributed for personal use. Embed links to your website in the document.

8: Link

When other people put a link to your site on their site, you get free website promotion. You also get a shot at a better search engine ranking for your page. All of the big three search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) use inbound links as a central part of the formula that determines a page’s rank.

Be aware that this kind of free website promotion is not a numbers game. The quality of the links is what really matters. You need to focus your reciprocal linking efforts on relevant quality links. The standard procedure is to identify relevant sites that you would like to have link to yours and then send each webmaster an email requesting a link on their site, offering a link on your site in return.

Moreover, you can offer added values on your web site that make sense to your business and ideal client. These can include affiliate programs, books, and recommended links to web sites and resources.

And now you know, and have no more excuses.

These are 8 easy and logical ways to drive traffic to your website. They are by no means the only ways of getting traffic without too much pain, but they are certainly tried and tested and reliable methods of getting people onto your site.

Mark Debono

Author Mark Debono

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