Website Traffic is the lifeblood of any website or blog. If no one sees your website or blog, it doesn’t matter how good it is, or how much time, money and effort you spend on it.
Getting traffic to your website or blog is part science, part art, but mostly knowledge. Knowing where and how to put your efforts is practically more important than the effort itself.
Google, Bing and other Search Engines (SE’s) use software to help a user find websites they’ll find useful and interesting. If you search for “Golden Retriever” they’ll present the sites they hope will answer your need. They use rules to sort them all out, and they never tell anyone their rules (otherwise, people would just “train for the test” and write pages that would rise to the top of the results, but may not be very useful to the searcher). Try making a page with the words ‘golden retriever’ in every sentence and they’ll punish you for trying to spam them. Your page must be interesting to an actual reader to get respect from the SE’s.
The bottom line for content is to write original and useful text, use photos, captions, image titles, page titles, headlines, etc. that will be likely to describe what the searcher wants. Make sure that you include related keywords to show that your page has relevance to the topic. A photo of your dog, with the caption “My Favorite Dog” and a filename of 20100831.jpg has no value whatsoever to the SE’s because it’s not descriptive. Change the caption to “Golden Retriever Dog” and change the filename to goldenretriever01.jpg and it’s much more useful – and interesting – to the SE’s.
Now for written content. Put the most important words (keywords, or KW) at the beginning of the page’s title (you might have to edit the HTML code or use a Code Editor for < title>My New Website< /title> to do this). The first line will, ideally, be a large headline, beginning with your KW. A sub-headline using the KW right below that will help, too. Try to get your KW in the first five words of the first line of the first paragraph. Use related terms throughout your page. To find a list of related terms that Google or Bing already likes, do a search for Google keyword tool or Bing keyword tool. These tools are different, free, and require you to sign up for an account. There are other keyword tool sites, also free, that produce their own related keyword lists.
Basically, this helps the SE determine if your website is about a “hot, dog-day afternoon while you were being dogged by thoughts hounding your every move” or “that old song by Three Dog Night was a real dog” is likely to satisfy a searcher looking for info on dogs or not. If the searcher gets your page instead of actual info on dogs, he’s likely to try another SE, which means he won’t see the SE’s advertisements any more. The SE compares all the words on the page to all the other websites that have similar content. So, if your page includes the words golden retriever, Labrador retriever, paws, puppy mill, shiny coat, barking, heel, leash, dog shampoo, fleas, training, vet, rabies, puppy, dog food, water bowl, and heartworm medication, it’s much more likely to relate to the searcher’s needs than one that doesn’t include any related terms.
Your final written results should be pleasantly readable to a real person. Don’t ever try to fool the search engines – whatever your sneaky idea is, it’s been tried before and they’ll slap you hard. Just write good, valuable, fresh content (ideally about a topic you’re interested in) and do the work to get the backlinks that will get your website noticed.
So, you’ve got your content down. Next, where to get inbound backlinks to your page from other, relevant webpages.
All links are not created equal. Some webpages are extremely valuable to your webpage, some have modest value, and many have no value at all (even if they’re valuable to a different topic). You want links placed on pages that are relevant to your topic, using content and related keywords that mean something valuable, on pages that are very popular with and trusted by other, relevant websites.
You want your link posted on pages with High Page Rank (PR). PR1 and PR2 pages are practically useless, PR10 is as great as it gets. A link from a PR7 site is many times more valuable than hundreds of links on PR2 or PR3 sites. Quality, not quantity.
What are High PR sites? YouTube.com, this site (EzineArticles.com), HubPages.com, Squidoo.com, YouTube, Blogger.com, many.org sites, any.edu site, any.gov site (although these last two are nearly unattainable for marketing purposes). You can install an Add-On for Firefox that will tell you the PR of any website you visit. When you write content on HubPages or Squidoo, etc., it must be overwhelmingly unique. If you just copy-and-paste the same content over and over in different places, the SE’s will use the first copy they find and ignore the rest.
It’s important that your content is a good match for a linking website’s content. If you can get a link to your Golden Retriever blog placed on a PR6 page about the movie “101 Dalmatians” that’s not half bad, since dog lovers might be interested in both sites. Getting the same link on a PR5 page from a popular, well-known breeder who writes daily about Golden Retrievers would be much better. (The SE’s like FRESH content, since searchers do, too.) Getting your link on a PR7 page about upcoming movies in general is of little use, since your content doesn’t match their content. Remember, the SE’s use software to present pages that a searcher will find useful, so your “dog” link on a general movie page will be a dud.
The Anchor Text is critical. Anchor Text is the words that the user sees on the page that describe the link.
So, if you get a terrific website to include a link to your page, consider, “If you want to learn more about Golden Retriever dogs, you’ll find everything you need right here.” Even though both links point to the same page, the first link is valuable, the second is nearly useless to the SE’s.
So, you have good content, you’ve found some pages that have good PR and are relevant to your page, and you’ve decided on the Anchor Text you want them to use. How do you get the links placed there?
For the sites I mentioned above where you can post your own fresh content, be sure and include a link to your website. One link is plenty — try to post more than that and your entry may get kicked back by the site owner.
The SE’s can’t look at your YouTube video to decide if it’s about dogs or airplanes or bookshelves, but the viewers will. If it’s off-topic, don’t expect anybody checking out airplane videos to click on your link about dogs.
For the popular dog-breeder site, see if there are links like yours already there. Some website owners want to include a link to your website if your content is good, because their readers will keep coming back to their site to find good links to new content.
Send the owner a brief email, asking if they’ll add a link to your page on their website. If there’s no ‘contact us’ link, look up their domain name at GoDaddy.com and click ‘more info’ to get the owner’s details. If they’ve chosen to hide their personal info, there should still be a cryptic email address you can use that gets forwarded to their actual address. You can offer to ‘trade links’ by putting a link to their website on your page, but don’t expect a very popular page to trade links on your unknown page — you’ll have to do some work first to make your page more valuable. Some may want money. Some may never reply. It’s a numbers game – just keep finding good sites and contacting the owners.
You can leave comments on sites that permit them. You can answer questions and solve problems for people who post their questions on forums. Work your niche. (Remember I said to pick something you’re interested in? If you’re not interested in the topic, it’s a lot more work to create content.)
That’s enough for now. Create some valuable content. Not just, “I like my dog” but something that other dog owners will find valuable and useful or entertaining, or info for someone considering a dog, or how to train a dog, or how to keep them clean, or… You get the idea. Then find some valuable places where you can place links to your page.
There’s more to getting website traffic than what’s in this article. You may choose to put advertisements on your page to generate some revenue. You might include links to products that pay you a commission for finding the buyer, or find other ways of monetizing your website or blog. In the meantime, for more website traffic tips and tricks check out Website Traffic Tips and Tricks.com to get more great information.