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Simple Tips for Increasing Traffic to Your Website
You've built a beautiful, well-designed and easy to use website, so why aren't people visiting your awesome creation? The truth is that with the tens of millions of websites out there, the old phrase ‘Build it and they will come’ is no longer true. Fortunately, a few simple techniques can help you start to spread the word, attract traffic and improve your performance in search results.
We’ll explore some simple, practical things that you can do right now to make people aware of your site, get people to visit it and send some Google love your way. We’ll focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and split it into two main areas, onsite SEO and offsite SEO:
- The content of your website (onsite SEO)
- Building links and authority (offsite SEO)
The content of your website (onsite SEO)
Search engine optimization or SEO, is the art and science of building a website and content that ranks highly in search engine results. There are thousands of businesses, articles and experts out there that can help with SEO, but here are a few of the basic principles to get you started:
- Keywords – Think about the search terms (keywords) that you want your website to appear for when people search. Then, make sure that those keywords are included in the content you write, the title of your webpage, the webpage address (URL) and at least one of the headings on that page
- Headings and titles – Make sure that you break up your content in an understandable way and use appropriate, logical, descriptive headings to help your visitors. The title of your webpage is very important as well; keep it short and to the point
- Interesting, unique content – Write content that is interesting and shares unique information with your visitors. Provide something of value, that’s worth their time to read. Google and other search engines love original, well-researched content
- Relevant, engaging content – Your content needs to be fresh (or ‘evergreen’) and should make people want to find out more. After you’ve created some content, try to look at it from a reader’s point of view and see if it would meet their needs. If not, it’s time for some editing
- Page descriptions – Have good page descriptions of up to 150 characters for each of your pages. These descriptions should clearly and accurately describe what people will find on your webpage
- Images and other media – Where appropriate, use images and other media such as video to enhance your webpages. You should also create good ‘alternative text’ for your images and ensure that you have permission to use any media that you publish
Building links and authority (offsite SEO)
Another critical part of SEO is having other people link to your website and also building up your authority and expertise in your chosen field. There are many ways to do this, including:
- Create great content that people want to link to – If you write engaging, interesting and informative articles, people will naturally start linking to and sharing your work. This tells the search engines that your site is credible and worth showing in their search results
- Get involved in communities – Posting to forums, discussion groups and other online communities is a great way to build up a positive reputation. Just remember to learn and follow the rules of the community, don’t post spam and be an asset to the other people there
- Share resources and answer questions – As you become involved in communities, share resources, useful information and answer questions. As you build up a reputation, people will start to visit your site. You can also answer questions on a site like Quora or Yahoo Answers and drive more people to your own webpages that way
- Be active on Google Plus – Google Plus is one of the newer social networks, but it is rapidly becoming very popular
- Commenting on blogs – You probably read blogs in your areas of interest, so leaving good comments and getting involved in conversations can be a great way to generate interest
Learning about and using SEO is one of the best time investments you can make. There are thousands of great SEO articles available on all of the different aspects of getting your website to appear in search results.
Above all though, if you write great content, make your site easy to use, think about your keywords, use proper HTML and build up your online authority and link profile, this will only help you rank better.
Remember too that SEO is changing all the time; Google are continually updating their search algorithm, so it’s always worth reading the latest from experts in the field and applying it to your own website. If you get it right, you can have hundreds of visitors to your website in no time.