Now that the Internet is used by roughly 70 percent of all ... just about everyone has a site or two they log on to ... Aside from search engines, some of the most popular sites on the W
Now that the Internet is used by roughly 70 percent of all Americans, just about everyone has a site or two they log on to regularly. Aside from search engines, some of the most popular sites on the Web today include eBay, Amazon.com, Google and MSNBC. Google, for example, generates millions of page views each month.
So what is it about these sites that draw such huge crowds? One secret lies in constantly evolving content. Internet users feel the need to check back throughout the day because new auctions will be added to eBay; Amazon.com will offer new products and sales; and MSNBC will add and update news stories. Many local newspapers and television stations around the country are on the bandwagon too, staffed with online editors who keep their sites updated throughout the day.
But the majority of sites don’t have the luxury of extra staffing or content to update. So what can they do to draw traffic? Webmasters have four key strategies at their disposal: search engines, traffic networks, links and articles. The best webmasters incorporate all four of these methods to increase traffic to their sites.
Offering quality content on your site is one of the easiest ways to draw traffic, particularly because of the way Web searches work. For example, if your site’s purpose is to sell tools, don't just post your items and hope they sell. Provide your users with articles that give them helpful tips on how to use your products, and valuable information on related topics within your industry. Original content is great, but you don’t have to generate the material yourself.
One popular option is to sign up for a free membership with Content Infusion, a syndicated feature article service that offers copyright-free articles on a variety of topics, including home improvement, business and careers, money and personal finance, gardening, food and entertainment and healthy living. All articles and photos are free of charge.
“We have hundreds of articles in more than a dozen topic areas available,” says Josh Madigan, product manager of Content Infusion. “The beauty of the service is you can pick and choose which categories are most appropriate for your site. Older articles are automatically removed, and new ones are added each week.”
* Search Engines
Getting your site recognized by the major search engines is another good step to take. The first thing you should do is make sure your site is search engine optimized, meaning the pages contain keyword rich titles and text. A good title contains the most relevant keywords, describes what your site is about, and is less than 80 characters long. Keywords should also appear within the body of the text, but don’t overdo it. The search engines will penalize you for excessive key wording. Once you think your site is ready, submit your site address or URL to the top search engines and directories on the Web: Google, Yahoo and Netscape, and in no time, traffic will likely pick up.
* Traffic Networks
Another way to bring people to your site is by joining a traffic network like Traffic Swarm. All you have to do to join is log on to www.trafficswarm.com , enter some basic information about the site or sites you want to promote -- a Category, the URL, a Title, and a Description, and the information will be used to generate targeted links to your site, which are then displayed throughout the Traffic Swarm network. A basic listing on this network is free. The beauty of traffic networks is that they bring traffic that is targeted to your primary audience.
* Adding Links
Adding links to your site is another way to grow your traffic. Some webmasters simply search the web and then e-mail related sites asking for a link swap, but this method can be time consuming. An easier way to do it is to search for web directories with similar businesses already onboard and join. Some sites will charge a fee for the privilege, but the majority of them are free.
“A Website’s ability to target and capture an audience is crucial to its success. It is audience retention that gives you a forum to further market, sell to and communicate with members of the community you’ve created,” adds Madigan.
To sign up for the free service offered by Content Infusion, log on to www.contentinfusion.com and follow the prompts.