Build Better Website
Every webmaster faces the same challenge. How to drive traffic to their website. Traffic, after all, equates to sales revenue in the case of commercial websites: whether you are selling goods and services, or just relying on advertising like Google AdSense. It is also the most common source of frustration. Especially in the light of increasing competition. The old adage applies: build better website, and they will come. Never has this applied so much to the web. But if you can tackle the challenge to drive traffic to your website, then you have hit a home run.
Many webmasters, in their frustration, steer towards “black hat” strategies. In search engine optimization (SEO) terminology, black hat refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience, and usually does not obey search engines guidelines. In general, they are strategies which are often underhanded and obtrusive. They are highly unrecommended, and they will not be discussed. Instead, we will focus our discussion on “white hat” strategies. Further, we will discuss SEO strategies at a later date.
The obvious strategy is link building. In simple terms, link building is the process of getting external pages on other websites to link to a page on your website. There many ways to accomplish this. One way to do this is to contact similar sites or sites who draw a similar audience, and ask to exchange links. Another way to promote your site is to link to your site in blogs and message boards. Just make sure to not spam or post inappropriately. Post meaningful and relevant content, with a simple link to your site in the bottom. Another option is to purchase advertising spots on the sites that offer it. Again reserve your link building to sites similar to yours in content, or related sites that draw the same audience. Link building is something you should be doing daily. It is an exercise which will draw huge dividends if done correctly and performed on a regular basis.
Another strategy relates to return traffic. There are two types of visitors: unique and returning. Unique visitors are those who have never visited your site before. The link building strategy goes a long ways to draw uniques. However, you must also work on keeping traffic coming back. Giving visitors a reason to return: return traffic. How? Good question. Build better websie, and they will come. Building a better website will not only entice visitors to bookmark your website and come back later, but also entice unique, first-time visitors to fully explore your site. The longer a surfer stays on your site, and the more of your site they see, the more you stand to gain: whether to generate sales or spread your message. And, the greater likelihood that they will bookmark your site. And, the greater probability they will refer your site to others. “Word of mouth” advertising is the best. It costs you nothing. But it can be disastrous if they say bad things. Build a site that has people saying good things about it to others. Your site is the last chance to advertise your content. Build a better website.
How can I build a better website? For one, build a site that is interesting, and which appeals to an audience. You should build a site which taps into a passion, pastime, hobby, or interest of yours. Something which interests you. Something you are experienced in. Even something you are educated in. You need to be connect with the subject. Only then will it be expressed in the content, and draw the audience (traffic) you desire. And, have fun doing it.
And as important as that, update your content on a regular basis. Daily updates are preferred and highly recommended. Setting a blog (like WordPress which we use) is an excellent way to accomplish this. Setup a discussion board (like phpBB). Having surfers contribute content will go a very long ways to increase your ranking with the search engines, and keep surfers coming back. Your site will get bigger and more content rich. Allowing people to contribute gives them a sense of empowerment and involvement which will have them return in large numbers.
This list is not all and inclusive. I’ll touch on other strategies in future posts. However, it is an excellent start. The take home message is to build an interesting and engaging website which draws surfers, and gives them a reason to stay and to return later. Once you do that, and you build better website, you are on your way.