Lesson  - Marketing your site to get traffic
Ok, so that is your Website or Blog set up with a good name, good content and great revenue streams, but there is one very important stage to go!
'If you build it they will come' just doesn't work online! You will need to promote your website!
You could have the best Website or Blog in the World but if nobody can find it, then you will have no visitors and no visitors = NO MONEY!
But don't panic, there are many ways to promote your site. Some are FREE and some you have to pay for. I have devised a Marketing System which I have nicknamed 'The Marketing Solar System'.
I have called it a Solar System because just like a planetary solar system, we have many items revolving around one central point with each having an effect on the other. Whilst these are planets revolving around the sun in a planetary system, in my marketing system it is different marketing methods revolving around a Website/Blog.
It doesn't make any sense to rely on just one source of traffic. That would be the equivalent of placing one advert in the local press and hoping that your brand new International shop will be full of customers every day! It just doesn't happen. What you need to do is build 'Multiple Sources of Traffic' that drive visitors to your site.
So where does this traffic come from?
Warning! Before we answer that question, we need to set up our site traffic monitoring systems so that we can see exactly where our traffic is coming from. This will allow you to focus on the traffic source that is the most productive.
There are many traffic monitoring applications on the market, but I would recommend that you use a FREE one from ..... Yes, you've guessed it, Google. Google Analytics is a great piece of software. After you have registered free, you will be asked to enter you website domain and a few other details. Google will then generate you a small piece of HTML code that you copy and paste into your site HTML and as soon as you publish your site, Google Analytics will start to track your traffic. The statistics include, visitor numbers, location, unique visitors and returning visitors, keywords used to find your site, where they have been referred from and even how long they stayed on your site! Take some time to discover all of the features and get to understand the results.
Whilst you are using your free Google account, it would be useful to add another FREE Google tool, Google's Webmaster Tools. This will allow you to add a site map and see information about your individual web pages including if they have been included in Google's listings, when your site was last crawled by Google, how many of your pages are listed, identified keywords etc, etc.
Lets start to generate some traffic! Firstly you should submit your website/blog address to the main search engines. This is slightly controversial as some people believe that you should allow the search engines to find you, but I don't see why you should have to wait. I would recommend that you use a FREE Search Engine submission service such as Submit Express. This is simply letting the search engines know that a new website is available for searching. This can take a long time before your site is included so you will just have to be patient.
Next, try submitting your site to online Directories. Start with DMOZ which is a open Directory and also submit to as many other FREE Directories as you can find. Do a search for 'FREE DIRECTORIES' on Google. Again this can be very time consuming but it is necessary for the long term popularity of your site.
If you are looking for some fast website traffic, you could try Classified Adverts.
I personally like these Classified advert sites :- VivaStreet, Gumtree, Craigs List & BestWayClassifieds. You will need to register for your FREE account but after your account has been activated, Write a short, appealing advert and include a link to the relevant page of your website/blog. These sites have a large number of visitors and a well written advert can have loads of FREE traffic visiting your site within minutes of your ad being added.
WARNING - Remember that each page of your website is like a mini website. Treat it as a separate site, link directly to it rather than your home page.
Social Networking (or Web 2.0 as it is often referred to) can also have instant traffic flowing to your site. Make sure that you set up a Twitter account (follow us on Twitter here once your account is set up) and I would recommend that you feed your twitter account via an automated feeding site like Friend Feed. You should also add you site/blog RSS feed to Friend Feed so that every time you publish anything new on your site it will automatically be added to twitter and any other Web 2.0 sites you choose to use automatically. Facebook, Yuwie, Linked in, MySpace, Bebo, etc
Social Bookmarking - I would also recommend that you add any new pages or articles to social bookmarking sites like Stumble upon, Mixx, Propeller etc as these are not only visited my millions of people all around the world, they are also crawled often by the search engines and bookmarks added to these sites is another link back to yours.
Pay per Click - It can be argued that the fastest way of generating targeted traffic is by using Pay Per Click or PPC as it is known. Once again, Google is king! Google offers PPC advertising via Google Adwords. This is not FREE but can provide good value fast traffic to your site and may be worth considering. There are many other PPC alternatives like NetKlix (UK) and Bidvertiser (USA). Simply write a short advert, set the amount you are prepared to pay per click and your maximum daily or monthly spend and thats it! You will be able to log into your account 24/7 to see how many clicks have been generated and if you cross reference this with your site Analytics stats you will be able to confirm how much traffic has been generated and, more importantly, calculate your cost per sale ratio.
Articles - Another great way of generating free traffic is writing and submitting articles to blogs and blog carnivals and leaving constructive comments on other peoples blogs and forums. This way you can get a short message across whilst you also get a one way backlink to your site.
Traffic Exchanges - WARNING! If you are using Google Adsense do not use Traffic Exchanges! they break Google's Terms & Conditions! Traffic Exchanges can be a good source of traffic but they can also be a waste of time and effort. Basically they allow their members (normally FREE to join) to add a number of sites that they are looking to promote. These sites are added to an exclusive site rotation system. Members then surf the rotation system viewing each site for a period of time (usually between 5 and 20 seconds) in return for earning a credit. These credits are exchanged for a site view by another member. hence the name 'Traffic Exchange' You will view other members sites and they will view yours. There are usually two methods of surfing on traffic Exchanges, manually and Auto-surfing. Personally I wouldn't recommend using auto-surfing as you are not trying to generate 'hits' you are trying to generate real visitors to your site. Auto-surfing can be completed even when the surfer is not in front of their pc! on the other hand, manual surfing can only be completed by the user actually viewing each site, waiting for a timer to time out and then manually clicking to move onto the next site. A much better chance of a surfer wanting to click on your site and stay a little longer. These are my favorite Traffic Exchanges:- EasyHits4U, TrafficSplash, HitsBoosterPro, Hit2Hit, Terran Innerspace, ClickCrazey, ILoveHits, Dragon Surf & ts25
Long term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - We have covered SEO in details elsewhere on this site as it can be quite complex but it is crucial for the long term popularity of your site. Part of a good SEO strategy would include quality freash content, a good use of keywords on relevant pages, as many relevant inbound links as possible, a site map and an up to date site or blog.
If you follow these basic guidelines and keep your site updated with fresh well written content interspersed with relevant keywords and affiliate links and surrounded by unobtrusive advertising, you should be able to drive organic and targeted traffic to your site gradually building month on month.
Thank you for reading these lessons and I hope that you develop a great site or blog. If you need any further help, simply email me and I will see what I can do to help. Please also let me know how this information has helped you develop your site and I will add your testimonial to my site with a one way link to yours.
All the very best and enjoy the rest of this site.