Tips and Myths About Getting Traffic To Your Website
There's a lot of "advice" out there on how to drive traffic to your website and some is great while other strategies are a waste of time. Below are some key myths as well as a few general tips on effective ways to drive traffic to your site. Click here for the Top Ten Mistakes you can make!
Myth #1 - Blind Submission or Free For All Programs
See those ads offering to submit your site to 100,000 search engines and advertisement pages?
Even if these claims are true, you will in fact get NO REAL TRAFFIC from these sites. How can that be you ask? The main reason for this is because if your site isn't optimized to suit the engines, you may get submitted to them all but your site could be rejected by many, or ranked number 3982 (for example). Either way you will never be seen. These services are in place to generally get you to provide an email address so that affiliates can send you offers and spam. Unfortunately there is no "magic bullet" for submitting to search engines.
Myth #2 - Link Programs
A number of link programs and web rings are out there that allow you to join a group of web sites that all link to each other, thereby increasing greatly the number of sites linking to yours.
These programs sometimes bring in a little traffic, but it is mostly untargeted traffic. That is, it's normally people who are surfing an unrelated site and simply clicked on your link. These kinds of referrals are less likely to be interested in your product and even less likely to want to spend money on your product.
Even worse, search engines don't like link programs, and will often penalize or ban your site if you are a member of them. This works against the best traffic generator mentioned in Tip #1 below.
Our experience is that these link programs bring in little or no traffic, and any increase in traffic they provide is far outweighed by the negative effect it has on your search engine ranking - particularly Google, which is one of the most popular search engines used.
Myth #3 - Purchasing Email Lists
A more and more common query we receive from local businesses is how to purchase an email list so that they can advertise via email. There are many offers around where you can purchase supposedly "opt in" email lists that you can then use to advertise to.
Purchasing these email lists is never a good idea. Apart from a large percentage of the addresses being out of date by the time you get the list, the remaining recipients are likely to either be uninterested in your product, or angry that they receive unsolicited mail from you.
Emailing people is often a good marketing strategy, but only to people who have willingly provided you with their email in the first place.
Tip #1 - Search Engines
You can't get away from the fact that around 80% of people first find a web site by using a search engine, and that over 1 billion searches are conducted on the Internet every day. That all adds up to massive amounts of potential traffic that you are able to tap into.
But it means that you need to be seen in the search engines, which means making sure your site appears on the first page of a search engine's results when someone searches for your product or service. Any of you who have tried to do this will know it's not easy, but investing resources into doing it properly can reward you many times over.
Our research has shown that search engine optimization brings in very high amounts of quality traffic to your site. The majority of our search engine ranking customers see their web site traffic double or even triple within months of starting, and continue to see similar increases over the following months.
Tip #2 - Inbound Links
The next best traffic producer is to build quality, inbound links to your site. By this we mean arrange with other appropriate web sites to link to yours. The links need to be appropriate, and at best should be on sites that are related to yours in some way. For example, if you sell outdoor furniture, arrange links from other outdoor related sites such as gardening sites or home improvement sites.
The more sites, the better. Our own statistics show that a very large percentage of our traffic comes from other sites where the visitor has clicked on our link.
And as an added bonus, creating quality related links will have a positive effect on your search engine ranking too, as most search engines take this into account when ranking your site.
Tip #3 - Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the perfect traffic generator for small businesses who don't have a lot of spare cash. The basic idea is that you get other people to promote or recommend your product, and you pay those people a percentage of each sale that's made.
For example, you may have an affiliate program where you will pay a commission on many of your services. This means that people are happy to promote you because they get money each time they refer a customer to you - without having to really do anything.