Website traffic takes two forms: targeted and sporadic.
Sporadic traffic comes from social bookmarking sites.
Targeted traffic comes organically through banner advertisement, text links, search engines, off-line advertisement and chatter.
Which form of traffic do you think is best?
Targeted traffic is good, sporadic traffic can be good.
People who use social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Twitter are like web-site ram-raiders: they swoop by, take what they want and give little back. Good for visitor statistics but useless for anything else unless…they can be “hooked” and gently lead (read “invited”) into the parts of a website that are profitable for its webmaster and useful to other visitors.
Websites fall into two main categories: commercial and non-commercial; and fill two purposes – to be informative and entertaining. Not all sites provide both entertainment whilst giving information. For example, an arcade site is entertaining whilst not being informative whereas an encyclopedia is informative whilst not usually entertaining. So unless you’re providing a dictionary, encyclopedia or games arcade then your website ought to give a bit of fun at the same times as knowledge otherwise visitors will leave as quickly as they arrive. Make your site useful if you want to attract and keep visitors.
Good methods to get sporadic visitors to stay and look around include providing nifty little apps, top-ten lists, instructions & cheats for popular games and short witty articles about something profound or current. These items are called “hooks”. They usually get people to look around but mostly are used to get people to bookmark and hyperlink a page which helps improve organic traffic through search engines. Search engines rank webpages and sites according to importance and relevance. The more links pointing to a site from different IP’s, the more important a site (or page) is deemed to be to its visitors.
As few webmasters are rich playboys and girls who can afford to spend money and time on their websites without spending sleepless nights worrying about hosting fees and other bills, most websites have some commercial element that visitors should be directed toward. Be it advertisements that provide an income per page impression or affiliate products that pay per sign-up or purchase, visitors have to view those elements otherwise they’re wasted and a website becomes an expensive burden.
There are many free ways to get targeted traffic to a site. The best thing about targeted traffic is that it consists of people who have an interest in your site and products. They’ve shown that interest by clicking your ads, text links, search engine results and by entering your URL into their web-browser.
Here are my favourite methods of usefully boosting traffic without incurring enormous costs:
- Link Dumps,
- Link Lists,
- Link Trades,
- Traffic Trades,
- Blog Posts,
- Forum Signatures,
- Banner Exchanges,
- Feeder Sites,
- Press Releases,
- Free Gifts,
- Off-line Advertisements,
And for adult sites
- Top Lists,
- Thumbnail Gallery Posts,
- Movie Gallery Posts.
Use banner exchanges to place your banners onto other websites. In return for displaying your banner you agree to display their banners on a rotational basis. Bear in mind that banners are geared more to create brand awareness than to bring in traffic; so make your banners do something that get people talking about your banner thus site.
Some people use directories for finding websites and businesses that provide services they’re seeking. Links in many directories are counted toward page-rank by search engines. They also appear in search results which can be a downside should visitors go to the directory then choose one of your competitor’s links over yours.
Link farms and Exchanges usually require reciprocal links that tend to be script based and automatically rotate links. Some of these are good for gaining back-links.
Link Trades are set-up on an individual basis and require requests to other webmasters of sites similar to your own.
Off-line adverts are very useful for getting people’s attention. It needn’t matter that your website only provides online services because the Internet has permeated so much of day-to-day life. Place ads in shop windows, post offices, news papers, magazines, in pubs and on bill-boards, t-shirts, pens etc… If you were so inclined, you could use graffiti too (not advocated though).
Whenever boosting traffic to a site, always take care to use the sporadic traffic of social bookmarkers only to increase brand awareness or to target “hooks” that compel bookmarking and site browsing; and use targeted ads to bring in visitors whom are pre-sold to the services of your site.