How to Increase Website Traffic – Understanding Basic Traffic

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increase website traffic

In this post, we are going to have a close look on how to Increase website traffic. This post might be a little longer. You can consider reading another simpler post on traffic generation here, Getting traffic methods.

Traffic is one of the key metrics that will be used to measure success by any affiliate marketer or other web-entrepreneur. It is certainly not the definitive measurement, which is money in the bank, but before there can be money there must be traffic. The following overview is pretty basic, so if you have a strong foundation in the difference between paid traffic and organic traffic (free traffic) you can probably skim the next section.

UNDERSTANDING TRAFFIC: TYPES OF VISITORS

If you’ve ever glanced at an analytics program such as like Google Analytics or Mint you know there’s a lot more to traffic than meets the eye. We are going to start with the basics. Essentially there are two types of visitors: first-time visitors and return visitors.

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Image result for first time visitor vs returning visitor

First-time visitors are the number of visitors who are making their first visit to your site. Return visitors are people who have been to your site before. Consider the difference between first-time visitors and return visitors to be the difference between first-time window shoppers and repeat customers.

Not all first-time window shoppers will return for a second look, but those that do will probably be more likely to buy because they came back to a place that they already know.

Of course, it would be excellent (and certainly possible) for a significant portion of a site’s unique traffic to be converted into buyers. A healthy mix of first-time traffic and repeat traffic can help a site establish itself and continually add new members to its community, which will in turn continually increase the bottom line.

In reality you need to worry about two things when you are building a micro-brand online. The first is converting first-time visitors into repeat visitors. The second is finding more first-time visitors.

This distinction is pretty basic but when you think about building a micro-brand as a way of just finding more first time visitors, the task of generating traffic is much easier.

As far as converting first time visitors into repeat visitors, well that’s up to your content and site design, but we will cover that later.

This brings us to the obvious question: how can you increase traffic to or generate new traffic for your website?

PAID TRAFFIC VS. ORGANIC TRAFFIC

There are two general ways to generate traffic: paid traffic and organic traffic. Organic traffic is traffic that is earned as a result of creating content or other work and is the result of ranking well in the search engines. Paid traffic on the other hand is a result of buying advertisements.

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Advertisements include Google AdWords, CPM media buys, and paid links.
The idea behind paid traffic is simple: a certain amount of money changes hands in order for customers to be driven to a website via online advertisements. While paid traffic might seem like a great idea to jump-start a website, it is probably not the most defensible long-term strategy for someone just starting out. This does not mean that there is no place for paid traffic, but rather that paid traffic can be volatile due to other parties involved.

Many places on the Internet such as web hosts offer free advertising coupons for Google Adwords and other Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising, and thus learning a little bit about paid traffic might be helpful, especially if you spend your coupons effectively.

If you get anything from this section of the book realize that the most defensible idea is to use paid traffic intelligently and not to build your business solely around it. The success of any business venture is really determined by its bottom line and building a business only on paid traffic is akin to building a castle on sand. You never know when specific traffic sources may dry up, leaving you and your business high and dry.

That said, methods that boost traffic (and often trust and/or reputation) organically will be the focus of this text. This does not mean that paid traffic should be ruled out, it just will not be the focus of this post.

Some notes of advise:

One thing that I’ve done a lot of work on is building organic content. I’m not smart enough to do paid traffic well. I usually use the help of others when it comes down to buying ads. But I totally understand how to write good organic traffic.

The best description I ever heard about the difference between paid and organic traffic is that paid traffic is like steroids versus organic traffic being like natural weightlifting. The steroids will boost you up, but at a cost. Unlike steroids, they’re not damaging. It’s okay, good, and often recommended to buy some advertising traffic in affiliate marketing. But you should develop your organic traffic, too.

ORGANIC TRAFFIC IS GOOD

Generating traffic in an organic fashion is far superior to paying for traffic in most cases, but it is going to entail working for little or no immediate return. The primary ways in which organic traffic can be generated include social networking, ranking well on search engines, exposure on traditional media outlets, writing content for websites such as HubPages or eZine Articles, as well as writing content for websites with a similar focus and/or audience in exchange for links and traffic. It may also be a good idea to contact websites with a similar focus and/or audience and establish a relationship. Remember people often link to people they like and if our goal is ranking, we like links.

All of these methods of generating organic traffic are going to involve opportunity cost or the trading of ample amounts of time for traffic. That traffic will yield long-term results, but only so long as the time is continually put into the building your site’s audience. Realize that often it is far easier to continually add content and keep the site relevant than it is to regain lost momentum.

TRAFFIC = ATTENTION

Traditional media is all about attention and on the web traffic is attention. If you want to get people’s attention you need to do something awesome, or at least different from the crowd. There are too many mediocre websites. To separate yourself from the mediocre bunch, you need to do something unexpected or help people solve a problem. The easiest way to build traffic starts by looking at traffic from an attention standpoint. In short, what do visitors want to see?

Once you have identified what your visitors are looking for, you need to think about how they’ll find your website. If you don’t have massive budgets for advertising campaigns, you probably thought search engines would be your primary source of traffic. If this is the route you want to take, you will more than likely need some help achieving the rankings you want.

Let’s face it, modern search engines take more into consideration than just keywords and title tags. If I’ve lost you already, don’t worry – I’ll bring you up to speed later. While these items are still very important, if you want your website to rank well, you will need links. By links, we mean links from other websites referring to your website. In the Search Engine Optimization or SEO industry, these are often referred to as “backlinks” or “inbound links.” Now without going in depth into the different types of links, you should realize that as a general rule, links are good.

Now that you’re familiar with the importance of links, the next question you should be asking is: Who wants to link to me and what type of content do they want to link to? Well the short answer to this complex question is other webmasters, and these webmasters want to link to quality content.

The term “quality content” is extremely overused and is really just another way of saying “Well, it depends.” Good content depends on the niche you are in, how you are planning to make money, and other variables that will be unique to your specific situation. Instead of just saying create quality content, let’s look at how to intelligently plan out your site content around what is known as “core content.”

Some notes to pay attention:

Someone said to me the other day, “I noticed that almost every blog post you write is ‘evergreen,’ meaning that it is useful but not time-sensitive. I replied, “Why write a hundred posts when I can write 10 that last forever?” It’s not only important to create really useful content (and often, when *I* say content, I mean blog posts and the like, but remember that apps and info graphics are content as well), but that you create content that isn’t a bear to manage.

KNOW YOUR CONTENT: CORE CONTENT

It would be fair to ask the difference between core content and regular high-quality content, and the answer is simple: Core content is high quality content that is too difficult or expensive to reproduce by other sites, and so these sites will often choose to link to your content instead.

For example, if you were to become an affiliate marketer for Green Mart, you could certainly add value to customers by posting reviews, but so could anyone else. Why would one affiliate marketer want to share their piece of a larger pie with a new affiliate marketer just offering reviews? Mere reviews are easily replicable and everyone has their opinion of a product.

Things would be much different if you could get some exclusive interviews with Green Mart’s corporate officers regarding the company’s future plans, commitment to the environment, operations in economically challenged regions, or other areas that might interest Green Mart customers. Or perhaps if you created a site that had a large grid of products compared in a complex way that nobody else could replicate.

When it comes down to it, anything that is difficult or not cost effective to reproduce could be considered core content, but realize it has to be something the potential customer is interested in.

To think about it another way, what would you say if someone were to email you about you linking to their website? If their website was an affiliate for Green Mart and covered similar products in a similar way, what would you say?

It would be reasonable to assume that the average person would probably answer such a question with a polite (or resounding depending on their level of tact) ‘no’ unless there was some good reason to say yes.

Core content gives other webmasters and bloggers and other interested parties a reason to say yes to your request.

PUT IT INTO ACTION: HOW TO GENERATE TRAFFIC

To generate traffic, you need to leave digital breadcrumbs for visitors to find. If you want to be found by people searching, they need a way to find you. Your job is to make it easy for them to find you.

More and more, people are relying on search engines to find websites relevant to their needs. In order to rank well in search engines, you will need to have relevant content and links. While keyword-dense content may help you rank better, it is generally a good idea to start producing content that addresses the needs of people you want to attract. To do this you should be focusing on generating core content; content that is hard to reproduce and valuable to your potential customer. Core content will naturally generate links, thus helping boost your search engine rankings.

To further leave a digital breadcrumb trail, you could start producing content on websites such as eZine Articles, Squidoo, Hub Pages, and other article directories. Content placed on these article directories should address the needs of consumers while linking to your core content. Alternatively, it is possible to start branching out to other blogs and websites in the same field or an adjacent field and ask to guest post. As you guest post, ask the host blog to point traffic and links to your core content.

Another great way of getting links and exposure is to leverage traditional media. Remember our talk about value chains? Well newspapers and traditional media have needs too. They need news, they need experts, they need to entertain their audience. What can you provide that will help them? Are you willing to be an expert or create something to help them entertain or educate their audience?

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HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO GENERATE TRAFFIC:

  • Ask for guest blogging opportunities on blogs in your field. This can be difficult to do sometimes, but tenacity pays off.
  • Post articles on blogs in adjacent market segments. Do not expect immediate compensation, but remember that affiliate marketing is about the long game.
  • Post on forums related to your subject. Forums that allow links back to your content are valuable sources for generating traffic.
  • Try to find sites that will exchange links to reviews and other content. A mutual exchange is generally a fair trade but be willing to talk up the other site if you expect them to do the same.
  • Write content and submit it to popular article directories linking back to your website.

Look for any type of traditional media exposure you can get. Sign up for Help a Reporter Out (helpareporter.com) and volunteer to be interviewed or cited.

When guest posting, remember quality content often has the following qualities:

  • Is well written and error checked
  • Is formatted versus being presented in plain text
  • Comes with media or other artwork to draw attention
  • Answers a common question or addresses a concern
  • Provides a new way to view a complex problem
  • Offers useful advice

to be continue..