Effective Ideas for Driving Traffic to Your Website

These are things you'll need to do to drive traffic to Your Website

Driving traffic to your website is one of the most challenging and important tasks you will face. There`s a lot to learn and think about but there`s no need to worry. Once you understand the key principles and if you are willing to put the time and commitment into designing and executing a well though through online marketing plan, you will be able to drive more traffic to your site than ever! The following are some basic concepts and some simple steps that are worth taking on board for starters.

Page Rank

Page Rank is a system that Google uses to assign importance to websites based on how many other websites link to them and on the quality of those links. The more relevant, decent quality websites that link to yours, the higher your page rank should be and, all other things being equal (see below), the higher your website should appear in Google`s natural (unpaid) search listings. Page Rank ranges from 0 to 10 and is displayed in the form of a green bar on the Google tool bar if you have that installed with your browser. Very few sites reach page rank 10 - only truly global portals such as yahoo.com and certain Google pages. In reality, the vast majority of sites are at page rank 3 or below. Webmasters can become rather obsessed with the `dreaded green` bar. It is in fact only one of many hundreds of measures of the importance and relevance of your site. Visitors don`t care but other site owners may factor page rank in when deciding whether to link with you or not so it can matter from that perspective.

Alexa Ranking

Alexa is owned by Amazon.com and records traffic rankings and some useful graphical information on search trends. This makes Alexa useful for comparing the traffic your site is getting in comparison with other websites in your sector. Some text link ad companies use Alexa rankings to decide how to price the adverts on a given site. Alexa is only as good as the data it received which is harvested via the Alexa tool bar for those who have this installed. Alexa is quite revealing: the traffic levels required to get within the top 100,000 are not immense but if you run into a site in the top 20,000, be impressed! To increase your own Alexa ranking, simply install the Alexa Toolbar. It will register a hit whenever you view your own website. Next, encourage your friends to install the toolbar too, you`ll get an Alexa hit from each of them. Finally, put an Alexa Rank Widget on your website, this will help Alexa to log hits from people who don`t have the toolbar installed.

Key Traffic Driving Tips

Online marketing is a vast, multi-disciplinary subject. Broadly speaking it can be divided into 3 main areas:-

Paid Search

Pay Per Click or PPC is a means by which to drive traffic to your site, paying for each visitor at an agreed rate depending on the keyword involved. Most PPC traffic is driven through the major PPC search engines, Google and Yahoo. The key to success with paid search is in identifying the right keywords or search terms. the PPC engines display your adverts whenever users enter those terms into the main search engine search boxes. If you choose the right terms, balancing between the broadness of the term, a broad example being "mobile phone" and more specific or so-called longtail terms such as "Nokia 6110", you should be able to find a "sweet spot" where you can drive sufficient quantities of relevant traffic at sensible unit costs. For many people, despite the higher costs, may not yield traffic that will actually convert into sales or enquiries at a sensible rate. On the other hand, make the terms too narrow and there will be insufficient searches to drive the desired traffic. PPC campaigns require constant adjustment and refinement as they progress.

Search Engine Optimisation

Where a PPC campaign can start driving traffic to you in a matter of minutes once you switch it on, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is focused on achieving good positions in the search engines` natural (unpaid) listings. These are the results that people trust the most. They are also the hardest to achieve and SEO success is measured in months rather than weeks in most cases. A decent SEO campaign starts in the same place as a PPC campaign: identifying the right search terms, Indeed many webmasters use the results of PPC campaigns and the refinements they make to the PPC terms in identifying the terms at which their subsequent SEO efforts should be directed as the principles involved are very close indeed. With keywords identified, you need to optimise the code on your site in accordance with best practice and use it to its fullest effect to promote the site for the terms you want. You must then add rich, fresh, regularly updated and most importantly unique content to the site. Content is the lifeblood of the search engines and also motivates others to link to your site, all of which reinforces your position as a valuable resource or the search terms in question.

You will also need to work specifically to attract links from other sites. By this we don`t mean paying other websites to link to you which is rightfully frowned upon and punished by the search engines. We mean offering value in return for a link: perhaps a reciprocal `you scratch my back and I`ll scratch yours` arrangement (becoming less popular) or something else of value such as offering to write content for a site in return for a link; offering affiliate commissions and so forth: there are many innovative and complex approaches to link building. With decent, constantly updated content and links regularly added, you should see your site rise in the search engine results over time but it is a huge amount of work.

Social Media Optimisation

Social Media Optimisation or SMO is a relatively new discipline. As with most online marketing activities, it has its share of charlatans and poor practitioners. That said, creating and maintaining a decent blog around your subject areas; adding company profiles to MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites has become more prevalent in many a corporate marking strategy in the last couple of years and has been held to yield results. Perhaps more importantly, focus on creating high quality "link bait" on your own site and don`t be shy to post pointers to it on relevant industry forums and blogs. Others who find this useful will also link to you, further increasing your link equity and search engine rankings.

Ultimately, fresh, regularly updated content, on a site properly optimised and structured for the right keywords and backed by building inbound links from other websites and social media sites is a powerful combination. Very few people manage to get all of these elements properly under control.

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