No one will ever know your website exists - unless it is among the top search engine results, showing up on Google's first page. There is more than a billion websites on the Internet, and millions more appear every day. So what basic steps can you do to get more traffic to your site?
1. New & Updated Quality Content
The most important step is to create constantly new content, new pages or have a blog on your website that offers quality content. This is not only important to be found by search engines, but also a reason for visitors to return regularly to your website. Let your content write by a person who is trained to write for the Internet or learn it yourself. As web visitors don't really read, but rather scan the pages, it is important to place a summary on top of the article to give them the most important info right away. The first paragraph has to catch the readers eyes. Articles also need to be divided by sub headings and listings.
2. Links From and To Other Sites
To move up to the top of the search list, you need to have lots of links from other web sites to your page; submit your web pages to various sites that deal with your topic and encourage them to link their readers to you in return of the favor. All your external links should be set to open in a new window, leaving your site still on view.
3. Content is More than Text:
- Twitter stream;
- Video (embedded from YouTube or Vimeo, or self-hosted)
- Content feeds (from other websites, or from your blog)
Adding one or more images helps to build visitor's interest. When adding a picture also make sure to add an ALT tag to the image that describes the picture and has keywords that a search engine is also going to notice. Don't let your web designer ever add an image without proper naming it. This helps tremendously your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Instead of having this tag for an image: phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg.png - name it: Jon-Jones.png.
Another example: file593730.jpg or DSC_8405037.jpg is not helpful and totally meaningless to search engines who cannot "see" photos. Keywords in the photos name should be separated by hyphens, NOT underscores, and shouldn't be squeezed into a single word, e.g. Antique-Leica-Camera.jpg.
5. Sharing Plug-Ins
Visitors, who find your website or blog content valuable, can link it with one click to their own Google+, Twitter and Facebook site. They do not need to copy the post manually – and for you it is a great publicity! Your post might even go viral!
Make it easy for them to share what you have written with their social networks, so that others can discover your content – and forward it to their followers and friends, and these also forward it to their friends and followers …. Get your site more exposure and traffic: an info graphic shows that blogs and websites with a Twitter button, will get 7 times more shares than sites without!
6. Submit Your URL to Search Engines
An important step to get better rankings in Google is to submit your URL to search engines for free. Eventually the search engines will find your site, but submitting will help expedite to the process. It might take up to some weeks until your site is indexed. Factors such as other websites linking to your site can positively affect this time. You do not have to add all of your URL addresses for your entire site, just the homepage address. Posting on Google+ helps a lot too, as every post goes directly into Google's Search Engines.
7. Contact Buttons
Get more fans and followers for your social media sites on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social networks. Follow Buttons work on your site, blogs, and even newsletters.
8. Contact Form
Set up a comments box on your site for visitors to communicate directly with you through email.
Ensure your visitors, that their email addresses are only used to respond to messages, and not being sold or used for any other purposes. Don’t place your email address on your site, to avoid getting junk emails. Reply to every e-mail as quick as possible.
9. Sales Page
If you are selling your books directly from your site: is it fully secure, from the buyers perspective? Any web pages which require sensitive customer details, need to be fully encrypted. If your web page has no https in the address bar, it shows that it is not secure. Read also how to get lots of visitors and book lovers to your website.
10. Page Title
Most search engines use the title of your web page when displaying your site in their search results. Therefore, it is always a smart idea to put keywords into the title of each of your pages. However, keep the title short (at most 5 or 6 words), use words that a potential visitor may be searching for, and make the title understandable.
11. Avoid Long Pages
When first visiting a web page, most visitors do not scroll down. Keep the important and eye-catching information on the first viewable page. If your page has a lot of information, create bookmark links in the first section so visitors can jump to what interests them. The average view time on a website is only a few seconds, get the visitors attention immediately with a fast-loading page.
12. Web Statistics
In a great website planning article
Ben Seigel wrote: "Visitor statistics provide insight into how people use your website. Here are a few questions to consider:
- Where are visitors coming from?
- See search engines, direct traffic, ads, links from other websites, etc.
- Where do visitors live? Are they mostly local, regional, national or international?
- How long are visitors staying on the website?
- What is the bounce rate? How many users visit only one page on the website before leaving?
13. Google Analytics
is one of the most commonly used Web statistics apps, and you will find answers to these questions in the high-level data it presents. Other software should provide these answers as well."
There are many more creative ways to increase traffic to your website. Use at least those listed here. With careful planning, an SEO focused content strategy and engagement with customers and in communities you can increase the amount of visitors tremendously. If you create loyalty in your community you will rank well in Google Search Engines at the same time. For me, being on Google+ proved to be the best SEO technique ever! When I "google" something, I often find my own articles on the first three search results - the highest ranking one can wish for.