Any website owner, particularly a business-focused one, is usually keen on having more traffic generated by the site. Since the Web is now highly populated by various sites covering a diverse range of interests, getting a particular individual or target group to visit one site can be quite difficult.
A service or product seller will have more potential customers with more traffic. An advertiser will know that its message is reaching more people based on traffic, while a high number of page impressions means that an ad-supported site is getting more traffic.
The basic approach to driving more traffic is mainly by using other sites and search engines. However, search engines will be no good without the other sites. In addition, other sites with no relation to one's site, or which does not feature appropriate text for linking, will also not be beneficial at all.
The following are some steps that have helped build sustainable and quality site traffic:
Attractive content - without good content, no one will be able to set up a website. If site content is good enough and appeals to others, linking to the site is inevitable. People will also be more inclined to revisit the site if they find the content good and attractive.
Content should not only be good - it should also be focused. A site that covers both theme parks and software development will attract some people interested in both topics.
However, there would be software enthusiasts with no interest at all in theme parks, which would generally be more interesting to parents and children. Ultimately, focusing on two different ideas may not be as positive in terms of increasing web traffic.
Get exposed - For those just starting out, getting featured in high-traffic repositories would be good for jumpstarting interest in the site. However, this approach is only short-term; maintaining the initial audience would require more work.
Site owners would also benefit from placing ads on particular mailing lists and sites. This could involve LinkExchange and other automated banner programs, banner swaps or paid ads.
Keeping audience interest - People who have already visited the site are easier to reach. RSS and e-mail updates will help make these individuals remain interested and revisit the site. Press releases for companies and their site would also help drive traffic.
Update site content regularly - New content will naturally make people come back to check the site. In addition, a site that is frequently refreshed will also be spidered more frequently by search engines.
Clear code and naming conventions - A little bit of semantics will also help build traffic. The content of a site with clean title tags, directory structures or file names will be easier for search engines to interpret.
Go to Yahoo!, DMOZ and Google - Submitting to these search engines will deliver measurable results, or help a site build its traffic. These submissions must be repeated periodically. Additionally, a site can be adjusted to enhance search rankings following an analysis of how a search engine works.
Analysis and records of web logs - During web file retrieval, server software records the action and stores the data in text files as access, referrer or error logs. Key information about the person or company or group that accessed the file is recorded.
The owner will have a good idea of the site's success and boost traffic by maintaining accurate server logs. These log files should also be organized; doing so would ensure that site stats are accurate and data gaps that ruin reports are avoided.
Log analysis will help the site owner establish the most requested pages, or pages with the most hits; the least frequented pages; single access pages; and the top entry and exit pages.
For the more serious individual or entrepreneur and companies, log analysis software will help maximize use of the data as they are presented and compared in terms of total figures for the whole site.
These include free packages such as Getstats and costly options such as WebTrends Log Analyzer and Marketwave Hit List, which offer more customization and data presentation features.
Not all the traffic-building tips above would work the same way for all sites. The key is to establish which steps are most effective, and to focus attention on them for maintaining consistent site traffic.
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