Driving traffic to your website is an ongoing effort that every website owner must do to become successful. Traffic equals money after all. Millions of websites have been abandoned long ago by their owners and sit out there in cyberspace, lost and alone simply because nobody knows they are there, and their owners were too lazy to work at driving traffic.
Backlinks are key to driving traffic to your website and they are often seen as the hardest part of building a website. Backlinks can be regarded as votes of confidence from other websites. The major search engines see those votes of confidence and move you up in the SERPs (search engine result pages) accordingly. Page ranking is also important. Simply put, a PR (page rank) 9 is as high as you’ll get and sites like Facebook, Yahoo and Google are PR9s. The scale steps down to PR0 websites, which is the lowest ranking you can get, otherwise your site is “unranked”. If you are a PR0 and you can link to a site that is ranked a lot higher than yours, then the search engines consider that a more valuable link. Aim high.
Set aside a certain amount of time every day to work on getting backlinks. A common aim is about 10 a day, but if you can get more you are doing well. It’s a tedious business, but there are many ways of going about getting backlinks, some easier than others.
One of the simplest methods is blog commenting. Find blogs that are on a similar subject to your own and leave intelligent and helpful comments. The site owner will reward you by allowing you to include a link, which hopefully readers will click on to go through to a relevant page on your site. Be a little particular about the blogs you choose, make sure they have lots of visitors and are up to date and are relevant “do follow” blogs.
Posting on relevant forums is much like blog commenting. Make sure you leave a comment that is valuable and helpful as many people visit forums for information. Leaving comments like “yeah, great post man” is not going to cut it, and the moderator will probably delete your useless post.
Sign up for RSS feeds when you find any blog or forum that you like. You will be quickly informed of other comments coming to those sites and you can react quickly by posting further useful comments.
Article marketing used to be a great way to get backlinks if you were prepared to write a few 550-word articles. Since the February Google Panda algorithm change, article marketing is not nearly as effective as it was but you can still post an article to your site, wait for it to be indexed by Google and post exactly the same article to the major article marketing sites such as EzineArticles. It is not considered duplicate content as it is your own content – just make sure it isn’t heavily promoting a product, as most eZines don’t like that. The duplicate content myth does not apply here – you can post articles that you have already posted on your own site to article directory site.
Posting well SEO’d articles on your own site regularly is a good way to get “organic traffic”. Knowing how to use the best keywords to find traffic is a knack you will learn over time. You will be able to discover what the best keywords are in your niche for attracting traffic, and you can write more articles around those keywords.
Adding social bookmarking buttons to your site will also help. When people enjoy an article they will share it with their Facebook and Twitter friends, sending you more traffic.
Many high-traffic site owners want quality content that they don’t have to write. If you find a site in your niche, simply approach the owner and ask if you can post an article from your own site on theirs. Google knows you are the original owner of the article because it’s already on your site. This method may take some persistence but if you can cultivate a relationship with the site owner and you write valuable content, then the chances are, he will get back to you with a yes. You could then become a regular contributor.
If you can write helpful, original, high-quality content – even if it is already posted on your site, you can recycle it and gain backlinks. Like I said, it will take some effort on your part but the rewards are enormous once you start the ball rolling.