How to Build More Website Traffic
Building Traffic with Social Bookmarking
While not one of the more popular methods, social bookmarking, if done properly, can boost your search engine ranking and traffic.
Social bookmarking is a way for users to store, manage and search for online resources that have been bookmarked. Unlike bookmarks you find in your regular browser settings where only you can see them, social bookmarks are ones you can choose to keep private or share publically with others. Sharing publically means that others searching for the same kind of information can see which resources you found useful and have bookmarked.
Tagging, sometimes called authority tagging, takes bookmarking one step further and allows users to organize their bookmarks and create tags or special vocabularies known as folksonomies. This is done through the social bookmarking services and can be quite useful. Using tags allows you to categorize your bookmarks into related topics which you can then attach RSS feeds to.
As we already mentioned, social bookmarking is a great to increase website ranking because of the back links generated. However, it can also bring you a good amount of traffic to your website.
If you work from multiple computers, it’s a great way to consolidate all of your bookmarks so you can access them anywhere. No more kicking yourself for forgetting to write down an important URL you saved on your work computer at the office.
In addition, you can choose to share bookmarks with private groups of people. This is great if you have a staff that regularly needs access to certain links for your company. You simply need to create a private group, decide which bookmarks to share with the group and then invite your staff to join your private group.
Five Steps to Bookmarking
Social bookmarking can be time-consuming, tedious and frankly, boring. However, once you’ve done it a time or two, you will find it really is an easy process. Once you go through the steps with one site and have your method down; you can easily outsource this task to an assistant.
You will be bookmarking three types of links; your website pages, pages that link to your website and other topic-related pages. It is vital that you include all three types of links if you want this strategy to work. In addition, you want to create a balance of links you bookmark. A good rule of thumb is for your bookmarks to consist of 30% your website pages, 30% pages linking to your site and the remaining 40% would be other topic-related content.
Your first step is to create an account at Delicious.com and install their browser add-on so you can quickly bookmark pages.
When you create a bookmark, be sure to fill in all of the suggested information. You will add a short description in the “notes” area and the tags are your keywords. Also note that the default title will be your anchor text so you may want to adjust that for higher key phrase ranking.
Step two involves bookmarking your website. You do not need to bookmark every page on your website. You only need to bookmark your best pages. Depending on the size of your site, this may only be a few pages or it could be several.
The third step is to bookmark pages that link to your website. These might include any press releases that have been published online, a few of your best articles that are published on other people’s sites, your best videos housed on YouTube, images on Pinterest, EBooks and so forth. If you have clients who have written about you and linked to your site, add those. If you have guest blogged on someone else’s site, add that. If you shared a PowerPoint presentation on SlideShare and someone picked it up, bookmark it.
If an item is published in multiple places, you only need to bookmark it once. So if you’ve written a guest blog series that is featured on more than one website, you can bookmark one post from site A, and a different post from site B.
Step four is straightforward. You simply need to find other websites that have good content on your related topic. You might use Google to see what is ranking well. You may want to go back to Delicious to browse topics that other people have bookmarked. Bookmarking just a handful of popular, high quality pages related to your topic can greatly increase your traffic. For these, you don’t have to change the title in the bookmark; just add a quick note and some of the recommended tags.
The final step, once you have everything bookmarked, is to either import or manually add these same links to the other social networking sites. This step should go fairly fast since you have all the ground work completed.
At this point, you can rinse and repeat for every site you want to increase SEO and traffic for.
While natural link building is the best method for climbing the search engine ladder, there is nothing wrong with adding a few forced links such as social bookmarking to the mix. Just keep in mind that this method should only be one small portion of your overall marketing plan.
Four Popular Link Building Strategies
In years past link building consisted of adding your site url to web directories, submitting articles to article depositories and posting comments on blogs. Today, those strategies are considerably less effective.
Instead, you should focus your attention on natural link building methods that search engines approve of. Here are four link building strategies that you can start today.
Deep linking is not a new method but it is one that many website owners overlook. Linking to a home page rather than your internal web pages is a rookie mistake. While you may feel your home page is the most important page of your website, search engines will question why most of your inbound links are going to the home page.
When people search your website, you want them to find exactly what they’re looking for. So the most valuable information is the content within your website – your articles, videos and so forth – not bits and pieces summarized on your home page.
Just as external links help build traffic, internal link building is equally important. Building this internal site structure will make it easy for visitors and search engines to crawl your site.
Remember to diversify your anchor text while still using relevant keywords when linking both internally and externally.
While social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Digg may not hold the weight that they once did, they are still looked upon as favorable by search engines. This is because a quality piece of content that ranks well on social bookmarking sites have reached that status through genuine links instead of forced ones.
Even more useful than social bookmarking is to leverage your followers. Facebook, Twitter and the likes are not just for posting random tips. You should also be posting updates each time you add fresh content to your website. Your followers can then read, like and retweet your messages, helping to naturally build links. If you use WordPress, there are plugins that can help automate this process.
Forced link methods are on their way out. They simply hold very little weight with search engines these days. This includes asking for reciprocal links, buying link space on other people’s websites and using places like web directories and article directories.
Websites that use this method were hit hard in 2011 when Google released its Panda update. Where once they may have been ranking on page one, they quickly found themselves buried on page 12 of the search results.
Today, you should focus your attention on building natural links from high-quality, relevant sites. Natural links are given freely based on merit rather than from getting something in return. In other words, you want to find high-quality websites and ask them to link to you for no other reason than because you offer good information that compliments their site.
This can be a tedious and time consuming process – one you might want to outsource if you have the money, but you’ll find your link juice to be much higher than reciprocal links.
Writing content on other people’s sites in exchange for a link back to your website is a great way to build links. If you can write high quality content, people will agree to publish it on their site and the resulting backlinks are both highly relevant and high in quality.
Before you contact random websites, make a list of at least 30 blogs that target the same group of people you do. These blogs should have high traffic, a large social following and lots of interaction with their followers. As you visit each site and create your list, make a note of topics that you can pitch to each one. Taking the extra time to do this will increase your chances of being accepted as a guest blogger.
These are four link building strategies that search engines approve of. Building backlinks can be a tedious and time consuming process, but it’s also one you can easily outsource if you have the money.
How to Incorporate Keywords into Your Website
Marketing your online business should start with search engine optimization (SEO); the process of including keywords or phrases that help your website rank well with search engines. SEO is oftentimes misunderstood and many overlook or simply ignore it due to not understanding how easy it can be.
Here are six places you can incorporate keywords into your website.
Metas – While these are not big factors in search engine ranking anymore, they do still hold weight and only take seconds to do so there’s simply no reason not to include them. Meta tags are inserted keyword into the header of individual web pages and essentially give search engines a brief summary of what the content is about.
– Meta keywords are key words or phrases used to describe the content on the page. A single web page may have up to a dozen meta keywords, depending on what the content is about.
– Meta descriptions on the other hand are short summaries of what the page is about. These summaries are shown in search engines and encourage people to visit your page.
Content – Search engines want to see high quality, relative content. When you provide this along with focused keywords, you’ll find your search ranking increase. The more relevant content you add, the higher your site will climb. You can add keywords to your headlines, subheadings, first and last paragraphs and even sprinkled out within the content as long as they fit naturally. You only need to include them once or twice so don’t stuff your content with keywords.
Internal Linking – Keywords often naturally fit in website navigation and when linking one web page to another. This internal linking can give your SEO a quick boost.
URLs – Web page urls not only give you a place to add your keywords but they also allow you to provide easy-to-read links for your visitors. If you’ve been online for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen web pages that look something like this:
This is simply a waste of usable SEO space. Instead, your urls should be named something related to the content such as:
Product Images – Often overlooked, these little gems are a great way to boost your SEO. Search engines not only look at content, they also look at images. So instead of calling your image ‘silver truck’ add a key word or phrase that describes the image and related content such as 2013 silver Toyota Tundra king cab truck. By adding a description, your image and resulting page will now be picked up when anyone searches for a 2013 Toyota Tundra or even a Toyota Tundra king cab.
SEO doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. You simply need to choose your keywords or keyword phrases and then add them into the places above.
When a business owner is working hard to grow their traffic, it’s easy for them to get sucked into using services that are either ineffective or potentially harmful to the business. Creating bad habits is another thing people tend to do when they’re overworked or short on time and which can have a negative impact on business.
Running a business is hard enough without these self-sabotaging things. This is why it’s so important to scrutinize our business methods and traffic opportunities carefully while keeping the following things in mind.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone says they can get you thousands of visitors for little money, it’s not worth your time. There is value to traffic and someone who is selling advertising or traffic for a small amount of money isn’t likely producing quality traffic.
People get stuck in old habits. Many website owners do things just because they’ve always done them or someone told them they should. Times are changing and many traffic methods are no longer effective so it’s vital to stay up to date on what methods are and are not working.
People don’t track their traffic. In addition to getting stuck in old habits, the average website owner doesn’t check their traffic sources carefully to see what works and what doesn’t. They have no idea which browser their visitors use, what pages traffic is coming into or leaving from or where visitors are clicking while they are there. So when you’re taking advice from others, make sure to track things carefully, so you don’t fall into the same trap.
With those cautionary notes in mind, here are a few traffic methods to avoid:
1. Low quality link building. With all the changes in search engine algorithms lately, chances are if you’re consciously trying to build your own links directly, it probably isn’t going to benefit you all that much. People will tell you that you need other websites linking to your website in order to gain favor with search engines, but search engines are sophisticated and they can recognize natural links and popularity.
2. Buying traffic from bulk providers. Just don’t do it. Even if it’s cheap, it could potentially harm you because you have no idea what these sellers are doing to grow your traffic. Add to that, the traffic they provide is very low quality.
3. Thinking “if you build it, they will come.” Unless you have a built-in audience, sitting on your laurels, expecting people to find your content isn’t going to do you any good at all. You have to be proactive in your efforts.
4. Getting bogged down in stats about your content. Starts are important for evaluating where you are and where you want to go, but frequent stat checking isn’t going to change your results one bit. Get out there and work instead.
Now that you know what not to do, you can focus your efforts on methods that will naturally increase your website traffic.
Confused About Social Media? How to Interact With Your Followers to Build Loyalty and Sales
Social media efforts can feel a lot like trial and error, mostly error sometimes. You post and post and like and share and re-tweet and…Nothing happens. Sure, you might get a few “likes” but your sales aren’t increasing and your traffic is stagnant. It can be downright frustrating and confusing. The secret to building a loyal, and profitable, following is to interact effectively. Let’s explore a few tips and tactics to help you do just that:
Provide a Consistent Stream of Value. It’s not about linking back to your site. It’s about providing value. Many people make the mistake of thinking they always need to link back to their site to have an effective post. That’s not entirely true. The goal should be to provide value to your readers and followers.
That may mean simply posting a tidbit of information without a link. It certainly means sharing valuable information. For example, breaking industry news is always appreciated. Yes, you do want to increase traffic to your site. However, first you need to build a reputation as someone who provides consistent value. Make that your primary focus and the rest will follow.
Respond and Listen. Have you ever had a conversation with someone where it feels like they’re not listening, they’re waiting to interject? They’re thinking about what they’re going to say next rather than being 100% involved in the conversation? Many social media interactions are just like that. People talk and talk, and promote and promote, but they don’t really listen. The value to your social media interactions is in the listening. Pay attention to what your audience ahs to say. Answer their questions and go back to #1 and provide value when you respond.
Get Them Involved. Invite your followers and prospects to join the conversation. Ask questions; take polls, request stories, experiences, and insight. You’ll not only gain a ton of information about your audience, you’ll bring them into your fold. People enjoy being asked for their opinion. They enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience. When you ask for their contributions they will gladly participate. Acknowledge their contributions and invite them to become part of your blog and business.
Social media can be a powerful marketing tactic when it’s thoughtful. Priority one should always be to provide value. Before anything is posted answer the following question for your readers, “What’s in it for me?” If you cannot answer that question, don’t post it. Embrace your audience as people rather than numbers. Get to know them and they will become the loyal customers you seek.