Every webmaster’s goal is to maximize web traffic. It’s not easy to generate traffic – there are thousands of blogs/websites and competition is stiff. I have added some tips which can help in increasing traffic. Most of the users will come to your site directly (via a bookmark or they will type your URL directly.. like I check cnn.com every few hours) or via search engines (most likely Google). Improving ranking should be number one priority for every website owner
1. Add share buttons
Sharing buttons from free service providers like ‘AddThis’, ‘ShareThis’ are very helpful. Try to put them on every page of your website. A lot of people will print your page or email link of that page through that service. Bookmarks, any mentions of your website in a social network is a very positive sign.
2. Do I need to advertise?
Not really – if you have a low budget, I will not recommend in investing on advertisements. It’s not worth it. Try to spend the minimal amount in Google Adwords (first preference) or Facebook (second preference). If you have an e-commerce website, then you might have to invest a little more. Based on my experience investing in an advertisement will not improve your page rank.
3. Add images/videos
Adding images, videos will attract more users. Make sure you have original images. Images must be clear.
4. Cellphone/mobile friendly
Make sure your website works on cell phones and tablets (the number of users accessing via mobile devices is increasing). If your website is not user-friendly for those devices, then your site may not get a good ranking on search engines. Every search engine is pushing for mobile-friendly websites.
5. Check page speed
Make sure your website loads fast. If your site’s users are in Asia and you are hosting in the US, then it will be slow for Asian users (which in turn means it may be ranked poorly in google’s Asian engines).
6. Spend time on quality content
Write good content, you must have read this suggestion on too many sites… here are some additional details – make sure content is not thin (i will recommend at least 500 words article, 800 – 1500 is preferred range). Divide content in several subsections with some bold titles. Don’t publish too many pages (if the site is new).. increase page publication as you get more traffic. Don’t copy content from 10 websites to create a new page. Whenever you write a page assign a category to it, Treat the whole category as one book and optimize at category level (not at the page level). If any of your website’s page is doing good, then invest working more on the same category. If a category on your site is not performing well (in my experience you can yank it, Like you have a category with 50 sub pages and even after two years traffic on those pages is really low). Having too many pages in a website (which are not performing well) is not a good sign.
7. Don’t put too many advertisements or links
Too many links on each side of the page is not a good strategy. You should be able to read page easily. Pop-ups are strongly discouraged. People don’t like advertisements in the middle of the content. Too many advertisements is an indication that a website is made for monetization and not for users.
8. Branding, authority
Try to build authority, a brand of your site: Following things will have a positive impact:
- Link to your profile, about us page, contact page should have physical address etc.
- Quality content with examples, showing some research work done on the content.
- The website’s user interface should be attractive.
- Social media presence where you have followers etc.
- Any patents, copyrights, trademark is a very good sign
9. Fresh Content
There are many blogs which keep publishing same information, for example, if I want to add another two tips on SEO or traffic increase I will prefer to add on this page instead of creating another page. From my experience publishing, too many pages having similar content is not a good idea. You should target each page to be complete in itself. Try to update content with new suggestions/tips or information. Freshness is a ranking signal. Instead of writing five new pages, invest time in updating or adding more information in 5 pages.
10. Tools – Google Analytics, Google webmasters, Alexa
Use above tools to monitor web traffic, keywords which are working for you and use Alexa to check how are you performing as compared to other sites (Alexa may not be a very good indicator, but it helps). Google webmaster is quite important to check which keywords are working for you… I have seen sites with 900 pages but 5% of the pages getting 90% of the traffic. Make sure you have proper navigation on your website. Structure your site by dividing pages into categories.
Below are some items to avoid!
- Link sharing
- Scraping content / generating content automatically
- Thin content (these days we would recommend content to be greater than 1000 words per website). We don’t think adding 10,000 words will help. Do you read a page with 10000 words?
- Advertisements all over the place. Some websites have too many advertisements but they are not too attractive for users.
- Adding links all over the place (in blogs, quora, forums etc)… be natural.
- Changing domains, redirect links (we have seen in most cases you will lose traffic).
- Buying followers, likes etc
- Copying images from other sites. If you copy put a link to the original site (it’s ok to link to other websites, wikipedia has many links to other websites!)
- do not crease subdomains for everything… according to our research subdomains are good for things like forums, private / user restricted areas etc. Do not create subdomains for each category (we believe it’s not going to help and it will dilute the authority of your site)
- PR news distribution etc is no longer a magical thing (it can have negative impact, unless you are a brand and have something new like new research or news etc)