Feb 2, 2010

How to Get Website Traffic

Website traffic proves to be an extremely difficult task for webmasters looking to get the word out about their site. I bet almost all webmasters would agree that their site would be successful or their idea would generate a ton of money if only they had enough web traffic. Well today is your lucky day because after you learn these five tips you will be on your way to generating web traffic to your site so you can make money or provide your visitors with what they want and expect from visiting your site.

Tip #1: Article Marketing
To generate traffic to your site write a minimum of 300 word articles that explain your site and how it will benefit the visitor or if you are selling a product set up the article to provide advice or techniques similar to those explained or facilitated through your product. After your articles are written, submit them to article directories (like ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com, articlesbase.com). You should write at least 5 articles initially then follow up with an article a day for the highest level of efficiency or at least a new article a week.

Tip #2: Backlink Building
Getting links on sites outside of your own is a strong way to move up search rankings which subsequently leads to traffic increases. There are services such as those on submitedge.com that will submit your site to link directories to get links built up, but keep in mind that a ton of links in a short period may cause search engines to penalize your site’s rank for link spam.

Search for websites similar to your own and propose a link exchange to their webmaster because search engines love when similar sites link to each other. Also, type in Google “link:http://www.competitorssite.com” replacing “competitorssite” with the address of top sites for your site’s topic on Google to see what sites link to them. Once you see what sites have links leading to a competitor’s site, seek to get links on those sites as well, copy the competition and do better.

Tip #3: Search Engine Optimization
This is the best method for those without a budget who want to get traffic without spending a lot of money or using services to submit your site to an assortment of directories. The first thing is to set up meta tags on your site. Search Google for a meta tag generator and make sure you use targeted keywords in your description, title and keyword tags in your html head.

Once that is done seek to have 5-7% of your site’s content including targeted keywords, this is known as your page’s keyword density. Follow tip #1 and tip #2 which will boost your website’s rank along with bringing in traffic. This is a time consuming method but once you get on page one of Google, your site will have countless traffic.

Tip #4: Social Bookmarking
This is a relatively new method of obtaining web traffic and can be extremely effective when done correctly. There are a variety of sites that provide “social bookmarks.” Social bookmarks are simply enough when a visitor to your site likes your sites content and goes to a social bookmarking site (like digg.com, del.icio.us, etc.) and they tag your site’s content with keywords in which others can then find your site through that tag.

The best thing to do to get social bookmark tags from visitors is to place bookmark scripts to your site which can be obtained at the Digg website and addthis.com for delicious bookmark buttons. Your site can initially be submitted to Digg.com yourself and to many other social bookmarks through onlywire.com, which is a site that allows you to submit your site to a dozen or more social bookmarking sites.

Tip #5: Pay-Per-Click Advertising
The last tip of the article is paying for web traffic. This can be very expensive, but if done correctly can produce revenue far beyond your advertising costs. The leader in PPC advertising is Google AdWords. AdWords allows users to set up a small ad set up around keywords that are displayed as sponsored links when a user searches for a topic on Google. Keep in mind that the higher your budget the more traffic you will get, and that low budgets make it very difficult for your ad to produce conversions.

Secondly, keep in mind that extremely broad keywords likely have a lot of competition for ad slots and would be very expensive, so seek to have highly targeted, tightly targeted keyword phrases that target visitors that have the highest potential of becoming customers.

No Keyword in URL: Google Analytics Site Search

Google Site Search tracking is a valuable tool, however it requires that your site search keyword is contained in your URL.  What if your website platform doesn't support this?

There is a solution.  It's not pretty and its even a little bit technical, but it's possible.

Firstly, you need access to your websites template files, and in particular the template that displays search results.Secondly, you need to be able to "inject" the search keyword into the template file.

If you are confident with the above, forge ahead.  If not, talk to your web developer as these changes should be relatively straight forward for someone with experience.

Step 1

The first step is to add the following line of code to your existing Google Analytics tracking code:


Your tracking code should look something like this:

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
<script type="text/javascript">
try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-635744-1");
} catch(err) {}</script>

Step 2

Next, we need to replace [keyword] with the actual keyword being searched for.  The method in which you do this will vary depending on the website platform you use.  A PHP platform might handle it something like this:

pageTracker._trackPageview('/search?q=<?php echo $keyword; ?>');

Where $keyword contains the keyword string used.

Step 3

Lastly, we need to tell Google Analytics to look out for the query string used, which in the example above is simply 'q'.  This needs to be placed into the "Query Paramater" box in the Site Search section in your Google Analytics profile:

Step 4

Run a test search yourself and then view the HTML source to ensure your keyword is being inserted into the pageTracker javascript call.

Check your Google Analytics reports (Content > Site Search) over the next fews days to make sure search data is coming through, and then start analysing and acting!

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