I’ve given advice on Promoting Your Website as well as my Top Five SEO Tips before, but neither really address how to get the traffic coming in once you’ve followed the tips and suggestions. In this article I hope to give you a head start in getting those all important hits by providing you with the links to do so.
Write Articles, Case Studies, etc
I know, write write write, that’s all I ever talk about. I don’t just say it for fun though, it really is one of the best ways to get “organic” traffic. By organic traffic, I mean straight from the search engine — the kind of people who are actually interested in what you’ve said (which is why they searched) and not the kind that’s just browsing around aimlessly.
Anyway, back to writing. You must keep it easy to read, as interesting as possible but most of all: relevant. There’s no point publishing an article on how much George Bush sucks on a website that sells umbrellas. Likewise, writing about the quality of your shoes on a tech news blog is also somewhat silly. By keeping what you write similar to your niche or current topic, you’re laying the way for good keyword placement which in turn raises your Google position/rank.
Of course writing articles is all well and good, but if nobody knows they’re there, nobody is going to read them. This is where the next step comes in…
Submit to Social Bookmarking Sites
Some people refuse to self-promote because they see it as whoring themselves out. I think it’s ridiculous, and nobody is going to know and appreciate your website like you do so you’re the best person to get it out there. Once you’ve written your relevant, interesting articles you need to think up a quick description, pick out some keywords and then start submitting. Some of the biggest/highest ranking social bookmarking websites are:
- Digg — quite good for long term traffic but can get arsey about constant self-promotion. Choose your best stuff to add here.
- del.icio.us — rarely get much actual traffic from here but it can be another quality link back tool.
- StumbleUpon — can be excellent for long term traffic and is easily manipulable with “stumble exchanges” (but I recommend letting the users thumbs-up you the normal way personally).
For more, see this list of social bookmarking sites.
Join Forums, Post
Although I have both heaped praise and mocked the use of forums for traffic-gain before, there are some advantages to this method. Although forums don’t necessarily provide a great deal of click-through traffic, well established (old & popular) forums have high page ranks which can filter through to popular threads and as such, benefit the links in your profile/signature. Bear in mind, however, that joining just to plug your site will likely result in you being banned. Post a few legible and relevant topics before you plug.
One of best forums for gaining PR/traffic is the Digitial Point forums (if you can excuse the irritating site-selling and social bookmark manipulation.) I also recommend Googling for ‘”.edu” forums’, as educational links are “worth” more to Google and will benefit your search engine position.
Design for Traffic
With the wide array of CSS galleries popping up, I recommend designing well to try and get your site featured. It’s not actually as hard as it looks — because the smaller galleries are desperately trying to become as popular as the bigger ones, all it takes is some basic CSS skills. Keep submitting until you get listed and this will generally cause a chain reaction, publicising your blog on various medium-traffic sites. Lower quality/easy listing CSS galleries include: CSSGalerie.com, CSSclip and screenalicio.us
Comment on dofollow Blogs
There’s been another surge of people refusing the nofollow (
rel="nofollow") movement. It is possible to comment on these blogs for low-value links back to your site. However, it’s very important that you:
- Do not spam: I don’t know of any blog owner who wants to hear about ingenious methods for increasing your penis size. If you cannot think of something relevant to the entry, don’t say anything at all.
- Do not drag up old posts: commenting with “I agree” on a post from 2003 for the sake of an older, more established link is incredibly annoying.
- Check for nofollow: quite a few dofollow blog link lists are wrong. Be sure to check that the person you’re commenting on HAS removed nofollow and is open to your comments.