Do you want to attract more visitors to your website? Follow these simple, effective tips to increase your site traffic.
1. Post only well-researched, high-quality content with proper sourcing (reference lists, in-text citations, etc.). Google and other search engines are increasingly seeking ways to penalize sites featuring poor-quality content that is churned out to make money.
2. Don’t go for cute or clever article titles. Use titles that clearly state what the article is about because straightforward titles are better for search engines and for those seeking information. Think about what someone who is searching for the information provided in your article would type into a search field. Try to make your title as close to this as possible.
3. Do some online research to see if there are topics in your field of interest that are not well-represented online. Are there questions being asked on forums or Q&A sites that you could answer? Answering popular questions (especially those that are not being answered by other high-ranking websites) will help you get more search traffic. You can also use Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool to find low-competition, high-demand keywords in your field of interest. These are keywords that lots of people use in searches but for which there are not many articles online. Don’t go out of your way to stuff your articles with keywords though. Put them in your title and subtitles, but write naturally. Keyword stuffing is a sign of poor-quality content farm articles.
4. Don’t do link exchanges with any site that asks. It’s better to have incoming links from a smaller number of high-quality sites hosting content that is compatible with that of your site than to have lots of link-farm links from random websites.
5. Promote your site strategically. Spamming random sites with your link is not helpful. Try to get your link posted to sites where people are more likely to be interested in what you have to say. For example, if you write about dog care, go to dog-related forums and Q&A sites, provide helpful answers to posted questions, and add your link to your posts. This is a good way to attract the right target audience for your content – people who will find your articles interesting and thus be more likely to spend time on your website and perhaps even tell others about it.
6. Track your website stats using Google Analytics. This will help you determine which content on your site is bringing the most traffic so that you can focus your efforts accordingly.
7. Make your site interactive. This could involve answering questions posed by readers, holding contests, or even just allowing comments. Search engines often bring traffic based not only on the content of a particular article but also on comments posted by readers. It’s also a good idea to add some social media buttons to facilitate easy sharing.
8. Add images and use keywords in their file names, titles, and captions. Many people search for images, so having plenty of images on your site can help drive traffic, particularly if they’re captioned appropriately. For example, if you have a photograph of a puppy for an article about puppy training, name the image file “Puppy” or “Puppy Training” and use that or something similar as the image caption when you upload the picture to your site.
9. Interlink your related articles whenever possible. For example, if you have written an article about puppy training and another on dog obedience schools, you can mention and link to each article in the other (this can be done as part of the main body text or at the end of the article as a recommendation for further reading). Internal linking can significantly improve your site’s overall ranking, as well as encouraging visitors to stay on your site for longer and enabling them to discover more of your content.
10. Add fresh content to your site at least once a week. This will improve your search engine ranking and increase the likelihood that visitors will return to your site regularly.
11. Make sure that your site is user-friendly. Your design should be clean and easy to follow. Many webmasters make the mistake of bogging their sites down with fancy graphics and effects that create usability issues. When people come to a website, they want to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly. If your site is confusing or very slow to load, they’ll move on to a competitor’s site. Provide clear navigation options that make it easy for your visitors to find the content they’re seeking.
12. Increase your credibility and the likelihood that people will click on your articles in the search results by setting up a Google+ profile and linking your written content to your profile (there are instructions here). Once you’ve done this, your name and photo will appear beside your links in the search results, which will make your content stand out. Adding author information will increase the visibility and appeal of your articles to searchers, giving you a competitive edge.
To read more articles for writers, see the main Writer Resources page.