So the very first question which comes in mind is “What Is Web Traffic?” – Web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a website. It makes up a large portion of Internet traffic, and it is determined by the number of visitors and the number of pages they visit.
Most websites monitor incoming and outgoing traffic to see which parts or pages of their websites are popular and to identify any trends—such as one particular page being viewed mostly by people in a certain country.
Now the second question which bugs you is “Why web traffic matters?” – It’s simple, No matter what kind of website you have, traffic is important to you. Even if your website is just a hobby, you still want your message to get out to the world. Some of you try to generate income online, and your product sales likely live and die based on how much traffic your website gets.
In the early days of the Internet, word of mouth was the primary method of getting traffic to your website. Along came search engines and a bunch of techniques— now ever-changing—to get high page rankings; now, anyone who searches for your website will see your information on the first page or so. A number of other methods of gaining the attention of the public are evolving, and many of them rely on paid advertising. One free method, search engine optimization (SEO), is still alive and well, as are the search engines.
Web traffic is important for all online businesses, not just those involved in affiliate marketing. There are numerous ways to generate traffic, but that isn’t the focus of this article. Be aware, though, that there isn’t just one way, or even a “best way”; you might need to implement several methods to have a truly effective Internet presence.
The importance of increasing web traffic to build your business cannot be over-emphasized. Without traffic, your website will just take up space and deplete your bank account. You can’t take it as a given that your website will automatically generate revenue for you.
I stress, as the experts do, that if you want to make most out of your website, then you must know the following:
Know the who, when, where, why and the cost of it all.
You can increase traffic by registering the website with search engines and by using various advertising techniques (bulk email, pop-ups, in-page advertisements, even offline and print advertising).
If a web page is not listed in the first few pages of search results, then the chances that someone will find it reduce greatly; very few people go past the first page of results, and the number of people who go to subsequent pages is even lower. Hence, proper placement in search engine results is as important as the website itself.
Increasing page views is often the priority for web developers, but there’s more to getting page views than registering your website with search engines and writing meta tags. You can do other things to improve your chances of being found, and here are 10 of them.
Create and maintain actual content on your website. If you’re selling something, it helps to have articles and information about it. If you’re providing information, make sure it’s more than just lists of links for visitors to browse. High-quality content that is updated regularly will make your customers come back often.
Follow leaders. If there are websites in your area of interest that get a lot of hits, visit them; what do they do that you don’t? If at all possible, mimic what they do to add the same value to your website.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns
Almost all major search engines offer some sort of pay-per-click marketing. This is a great way to bring targeted traffic to your website, and with some bids as low as $0.01 per click, it can be very economical. Google AdWords is the main players in the PPC market, but some good deals are to be found on a few smaller search as well.
Search Engine Optimization
Good old-fashioned search engine optimization: perhaps the most cost effective way to increase the volume of traffic on your website—because it doesn’t cost a thing. A website that holds the top ranking for even a mildly popular search term can get thousands of visitors per month. Visit any SEO forum or article database and you’ll find hundreds of effective search engine optimization tips and tweaks to apply to your website for free.
Newsletters, Newsgroups and Mailing Lists
Newsletters keep you fresh for customers. Even if the newsletter doesn’t entice subscribers to visit the website, it reminds them that it exists. Also, because it’s email, your readers can forward it to their friends, which could increase your customer base.
Newsgroups like Yahoo Groups, Google Groups and even “About” forums cover many topics—there is sure to be one related to your website. Get involved with the forum (don’t just post ads), and your website will get more traffic. Be sure to include your URL in your signature.
Traffic Exchanges and Link Exchanges
Traffic exchanges offer website owners an instant, free way to get traffic. They come in many forms and with many themes, but the underlying principle remains the same: “I view your website, and you view my website.” The ratio of the websites you view to the views of your websites is unpredictable and depends on the individual exchange, but I recommend looking for 2:1 or better. Traffic exchanges also come with a multi-tier referral program that gives you a percentage of traffic earned by affiliates that you bring into the program.
Link Exchanges are a fantastic way to increase traffic, and the benefits are twofold: not only will you receive traffic from the linking website, but you’ll get better search engine placement from every link that points to your website. Reciprocal linking has always been a major component of effective SEO, and more and more weight is placed daily on the quality and quantity of links pointing to your website.
Be sure your anchor text includes the keyword or words that you’re targeting. At the same time, periodically rephrase your anchor text so that all the links that point to your website don’t say the same thing. This will make your links seem more “natural.”
Running Online Contests
Contests spark people’s interest, and a good prize will generate excitement and curiosity. Be sure to post a page of official rules—and you’ll need to find out whether there are any rules in your state or country regarding contests; in Canada, for example, contest finalists must answer a skill-testing question before they can be declared winners.
Paid-to-Read (PTR) Campaigns
In paid-to-read campaigns, people are paid to view your website for a certain amount of time. PTR campaigns are extremely low cost and can get guaranteed visitors to your website quickly. It’s a great way to build an opt-in list or e-zine subscriber base inexpensively—but it’s not the most effective way to advertise because most PTR campaigns are not targeted.
Usually for only a few dollars, you can send an ad out to all of the members of a program. Find PTR programs that are well established and that have many members in their database. Most programs display the number of subscribers and other stats prominently on the main page of their website.
Invite someone fairly prestigious in your field to chat with your readers. If you run a chat room, you can hold the event there; otherwise, it can happen in a public chat room. If the guest doesn’t want to chat, perhaps they’d be willing to write a short note or post for your website. It never hurts to invite.
Banner ads and text links are important, but offline advertising works, too. Radio ads, ads in trade journals and so on all help to generate interest in your website.
Gift giveaways also promote your services. Purchase trinkets like pens and stress balls with your website name and URL to give away to your customers. Perhaps you could give them something if they fill out a marketing survey, or you could create a screensaver related to your area of interest and give it away to first-time visitors.
Analyzing Page Views
Use tracking software to stay informed about what is working and what isn’t. It doesn’t do any good to purchase a new ad and neglect to find out whether it actually worked.
Purchasing Web Traffic
We’re already at 10, but this one hardly counts; it’s a freebie. There is not a more “hands-free” way to get traffic to your website than to buy it. Accounting for quality and cost, targeted web traffic can vary greatly from provider to provider. Look for web traffic campaigns that provide real-time stats and that target your specific audience. This way, you can manage and track your advertising dollars.
Social Networking Can be Effective in Increasing Traffic
In the ongoing quest to increase website traffic, many website owners and businesses are learning the value of social networking; owners can attract new users to their websites through popular, user-driven websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr. Each day, millions of users gravitate to social networks, where they can connect with others, share entertaining content and build new relationships.
Social networking presents limitless opportunities to those who own and operate individual or business websites. Before anyone takes the plunge into this evolving medium, they need to understand how social marketing could lead to more page views.
With a little effort and not much money, you can bring quality traffic to your website right away. Not every technique is appropriate for every website, so choose a few that suit you and watch the traffic surge.
As long as you own a website, whether for profit or charity, one truth stands: your website needs traffic. Without it, nobody will find you.