Monday, January 1, 2007

10 Practical Ways to Generate Traffic

1. Submit to Search Engines
Make sure that you have submitted your site to all the relevant search engines. If lots of other sites link to your site – you have a lot of incoming links – then the big search engines will eventually find you. However, if you are just starting then chances are no one will be linking to you so submit your site!
  • Google
  • MSN Live Search
  • Yahoo
  • AOL Search is powered by Google
  • LYCOS Search is powered by Ask and Google
  • ASK You need to submit an XML sitemap to ask.

Page rank refers to how high up your pages rank in a search. Pages with the highest rank appear at the top of the first results page. Many search engines have different ways of ranking sites but a common theme is the number of incoming links that point to your site. This means you need other ‘well-respected’ sites to add references to your page/blog on their pages to increase your ranking. You can always write to webmasters of sites that are similar to yours and beg them to put a link to your blog on their site. This assumes that you have a worthwhile blog.

2. Submit to Web Directories

Web directories are different from search engines. Search engines basically return results based on keywords. Whereas web directories are a collection of links sorted under categories. Quite a few web directories are edited and maintained by humans. This means that you can submit your site and a human editor will decide whether your site is worthy of inclusion or not.
This process might seem a little tedious, but it's another way of getting your site out there.

3. Good Content

Everyone goes on and on about content. Unfortunately, this is the most important part of any site. Have interesting and frequently updated content. More content means more material for the web crawlers, which means more words associated with your site. Pick a topic you feel you can write a lot about.

4. Forums

Join forums and make comment leaving a link back to your site. This is great way to get people to visit your site. However, be careful not to spam. Which means you must leave meaningful comments that are related to the topic and only leave links that point to the related sections on your blog. Most social networking sites have forums or you can join special forums.

5. Emails and messages

Send out emails or post message on social networking sites. You must have at least a hundred friends on Myspace and at least another hundred in Facebook right? Send messages to them or post a message on your profile with a link to your site for all to see.

6. Webrings

Join a couple of webrings. Webrings are a collection of similar sites with links to each other. Most of these services are free. However, you might have to add some of their HTML/Javascript code on your website. Again webrings are usually edited by humans so it might take some time before you are actually in the ring. I’m not convinced of the effectiveness of these.
Be careful when using webrings. Some webrings are primarily used to generate links to the participating sites. Search engines such as google don't take too kindly to these kind of tactics.

7. Search engine optimization

Make sure that your site is Search Engine Optimised (SEO’d) – This basically means a well laid out site with clear links and a sitemap. More arcane and less useful forms of SEO involve special HTML tags such as ”META keywords” and “META description” etc. There are heaps of sites describing these tags in detail. Just search for “META keywords” or “META description” in google. Most popular search engines ignore META tags, but there might be smaller crawlers out there that still use this.

You can use scrub the web to check how far your site is Search Engine Optimized.

8. Sitemap

Have A sitemap. A sitemap can be an XML file that contains information about your site Visit for more information. Or, a sitemap can be a simple web page with links to all your other pages. This makes it really easy for the web crawler to trawl through your site because the links to every page on your site is in one place. If you have a blog, you might consider submitting your RSS feed as sitemap. Search engines such as Ask require XML sitemaps.

9. Blog Carnivals

Blog carnival can be considered an event blog or a magazine blog. A Blog carnival post usually contains links to other blog articles. You have to submit your article to the Blog Carnival manager who then decides whether to include you or not. Some carnivals are recurring with Posts every month or every week. Visit a couple of sites and see if you can match up one of your articles to a Blog Carnival. If it matches, submit it to the carnival and see what happens. You might become a regular contributer to that carnival. It’s one additional link to your blog, plus it might increase your authority on technorati.

10. Keep trying different things
Do different things and see if your traffic improves. Keep changing things around.

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