Traffic No-Nos: Spamming

Traffic No-Nos: Spamming

If you have a website, it stands to reason that you will want people to know about it. There is no way they can visit a site they don’t know about, so it is important to promote your site well. The problem for many people is one of practicality – how do you let people know about your website, and do so without spending too much money?

Traffic No-Nos: Spamming Online Forums

For many, the obvious answer is to use free sites with user-generated content such as online forums. If you are a member of a forum, you can contribute to discussions on the topic of the board and read what others are contributing, too. It is a reliable and often fun way to exchange opinions and just chat – and it often allows you to create a custom signature which will accompany your message to readers. This is an excellent place to put a link to your site.

Additionally, you can place links in the contributions (forum posts)  you make to the forum – but this is where you have to be careful. A lot of people make the mistake of simply “spamming” the forum by placing links in every post – often without contributing anything original to the discussion. This is a huge mistake. A forum will allow you to post links in context, as long as the post is not solely an effort to place a link.

If you have a reason to post a link – for example, another poster has asked for help which you can illustrate by pointing them to an article on your site – then you can generate traffic by doing so. What you cannot do is simply put a link in a post without any reason or context aside from promoting yourself. This will get you banned, and your posts removed.

Traffic No-Nos: Blog Comment Stuffing

It is well-known by most people with sites to promote that you can easily get a bit more traffic by being a contributing member of an online community. A forum or a social networking site would be one example – as is the readership of a blog. Most blogs on the internet allow commenting on posts, which allows you to discuss matters raised in the post and – hopefully – receive feedback from the blogger.

It is not rare to see comments on some blogs which contain a link (usually in the commenter’s name) and have no useful contribution to make. It may well be something along the lines of “This is a great post – I like when you talk about this!”. More often than not, this will be spam – the comment has no point to make, it exists solely to be there. The commenter hopes that people will click on his link and read his site. Chances are he hasn’t read the post, and his comment certainly does not show any sign that he has.

Bloggers are increasingly becoming wise to this – they have comments enabled on their site so that their posts can be a source of discussion – and this kind of comment will more often than not be deleted with little fuss. The shame is that if you just take time to read and make a valuable contribution, your comment will stay there, be read, and give you an opening to make further contributions. And if people like those, they will click the link.

Mailing Lists – A Reliable Source Of Traffic

The old saying “leave no stone unturned” is one with a lot of relevance when it comes to website promotion. There are so many things you can do to put your website in the mind of individuals, and it is wise to do as many of them as you reasonably can. For any webmaster, it is common knowledge that giving people a chance to get interested is the first thing you must do. Thus you must provide good content (articles, etc).  If you do, people will want to come back and read again. However, if your site is a blog, it will be frequently updated, often at irregular times.

In order to ensure that people come to see the changes when they are still relevant, it is beneficial to have a blog mailing list. Thus, when people read your site and enjoy it they can sign up for the mailing list – which will see them get an email every time you update the site, and carry a link to the update so that they can go there directly. When people receive a welcome email – say, for example, one from a favored blog – they are likely to click the link, and come through to your site.

Setting up a mailing list is not a perfect system. Not everyone who likes your blog will want to join a mailing list – it’s nothing personal, but some people simply have an aversion to giving out their email address. However, enough people will use it to make it worthwhile.

RSS Feeds – Feed Them With RSS Feeds

RSS Feeds are another way of enticing your visitors back, and it’s very easy and free to set up. You can use in-house RSS Feed software (which is installed into your website) or you can use an RSS Service such as FeedBurner to deliver your RSS to your subscribers.

Traffic No-Nos: Black Hat SEO

Traffic No-Nos: Black Hat SEO

Some people will stop at nothing to make their website popular, up to and including visiting numerous internet cafes and visiting the site from as many different IP addresses as possible. While that is an extreme example – it does happen, though – however there are other things that people will do under the impression that it will improve their SEO and get their Google hits skyrocketing, only to later find out in the fullness of time that this really is not the case, and in some cases will result in long-term damage to their website (such as being banned or penalized). So what are these traffic mistakes – and why should you avoid them?

Among the most common things that the uninitiated try in order to improve their traffic or other stats such as pagerank, Black Hat SEO is a fairly new one, but has already come to the attention of the search engines who have marked it out as a bad idea and as something that will get you falling down the list of rankings quicker than you can say “persona non grata”. Black hat SEO – the name comes from the old-style Westerns in which the “good guys” wore white hats and the bad guys wore black – is a style of  Search Engine Optimization that tries to trick Google and other search engines.

How do you trick Google? One Black-Hat SEO technique is to place articles which are artificially stuffed with (many) keywords on a site, so that it looks like keyword relevance is high (…a technique called “Keyword Stuffing”), in the hope that the search engines will list it much higher in their search lists. In some cases, the site will then redirect you to another page which has the actual content on it. This, along with other black hat tricks like “hiding” text by writing it in the same color as the website’s background (and just writing lists of keywords), will not work either – Google knows every trick in the book, and will downrank people who use them.

If you outsource your websites SEO work you should ensure that the SEO company or SEO freelancer does not use Black-Hat SEO methods (….ignorance is no defense –  Google will not care whether you knew or not…). Many businesses have also unknowingly allowed outsourced SEO “experts” to deploy Black-Hat techniques on their websites, only to regret it later. The same applies to any SEO software you might use – some SEO (& submission) software which was widely used in the past has since been banned by the search engines & others, such as web directories. Using an auto-submission software, for example, may result in your site being blacklisted & banned from future inclusion (only auto-submit to directories & search engines which allow auto-submission/ software – there are lists available on the internet) . And ALWAYS insist that any outsourced directory or search-engine submissions made on your behalf are submitted manually, by humans.

So you see, whilst there might be some temporary gains from using Black-Hat SEO techniques, in the long run it will end up costing you much more than if you played by the rules.

Know Your SEO

Know Your SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a real buzzword in the current internet business world. People who run blogs and other websites are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of search engine optimization and are using it more and more to attract floods of  (additional, free) visitors to their site. The many benefits of SEO are known to a lot of people, and a quick Google search for the term will return millions of results. For anyone looking to get more visitors to their site, SEO is one of those things that is considered indispensable. It is important to know as much as you can learn about SEO if you can, as it is quite costly to hire expert SEO consultants.

Knowing about SEO entails quite a bit of reading, but if you can stick with it the time you spend reading will be well rewarded, and can save you many thousands of dollars in the long-run. It also means you are not waiting around for someone else to do it. For many people, the important thing about SEO is using Keywords* in large enough quantities, but it is not all about quantity & using too many keywords (called “Keyword Stuffing“) can result in your site being penalized.

In fact, SEO relies almost as much, if not more, on where and when you use the keywords, as well as how you use them, & of course also which keywords & phrases you use. I find that Long-Tail Keywords ** work far better than the single ones. It will take an hour or two to briefly inform yourself on the bare essentials of SEO, but it can take much longer to learn it very well.  SEO is also dynamic – it changes over time as new methods are introduced, and as old ones are discarded (….often because the search engines, such as Google, introduce new bans and or penalties for their use). SEO Software which was widely used only a few years ago might get you banned if used today, therefore it is imperative that the  SEO information and tutorials you use are current or up-to-date with the latest methods, and check too that any SEO software you may use is not prohibited.

It is also important to realize that SEO is not an end in itself – you will also need to make sure that your website is optimized for loading and is not slow (Google began penalizing slow sites recently…), and ensure that your images are optimized in regards to their file-size size and also optimized for the search engines by including information and or your keywords in their image alt tags, etc. There are many small, simple SEO techniques such as these which, when combined, can make a substantial difference to the overall SEO of your site.

But in the end, the most important thing that you need to remember is the reason people why will want to visit your site – the content or product / service that people see when they visit your site. You need to make sure your website content, product or service is something they will want to read or buy now, and is good enough that they will want to come back to read or buy more in the future. Therefore you should make sure that what you put on your website is not just rich in keywords, but rich in interest as well.

 

* Keywords – single words which describe your particular website or blog. So for example,  keywords for this particular site would be; Traffic, Website, Targeted, Untargeted, Marketing, etc,

** Long-Tail Keywords – same as keywords, but they are multiple words  / phrases. So for example, our long-tail keywords for this particular site might be; Web Traffic, Web Traffic Services, Buy Web Traffic, Buy Web Traffic Services, Cheap Web Traffic, Cheap Web Traffic Services, Targeted Web Traffic, Untargeted Web Traffic, Fast Web Traffic, Website Traffic, Buy Website Traffic, Cheap Website Traffic, Blog Traffic, Buy Blog Traffic, Cheap Blog Traffic, Fast Web Traffic, Fast Blog Traffic, etc.

TIP:
To find the best keywords for your particular website, write down all the different combinations of words that someone might use if they were searching for a site, product or services such as you provide (You can also use software to assist you in finding the best keywords for your site), We ended on the first page of Google search results for multiple articles using this method for our very first website, so it can be very effective – Admin.

Do You Have A Newsletter Visitors Can Subscribe To?

Do You Have A Newsletter Visitors Can Subscribe To?

One of the most important aspects of attracting people to try out, and continue using any product (or website) is to give them a constant reminder that it exists and it is enjoyable (….but don’t overdo it – too much and you risk annoying them & then possibly unsubscribing). If you have a website to attract people to, then this can provide a challenge. People have to first take the decision to visit a website, and this often makes for a tough conundrum. There are certain things that you can do to keep it in people’s attention simply by putting it in front of them – but whether it is by clicking a link or typing a URL, in the end people still have to decide to visit a website.

But when a Newsletter is sent to your inbox then, as long as you are interested in the subject matter, you are liable to open the email. Once you have opened the email, you are likely to keep reading as long as the content is brief enough to be read in the time it takes to read a standard email. However, if you want people to keep reading those newsletters, it is worth giving them a reason to do so.

Keeping the reason to open and read that newsletter in people’s minds is your biggest challenge – many people choose to do so by continually having special offers. If each newsletter contains an order code (coupon) that allows the individual to get money off a product, or tips to work on a specific problem etc, then usually people will keep reading it – and if you include a link to your site, they are liable to continue visiting.

Another tip is to make sure you use good titles for your articles – you would be surprised what a difference this alone can make. Try to make the titles catchy or interesting, or even witty providing you can pull it off  (…humor is actually the most difficult thing to successfully achieve in advertising and marketing campaigns….). Your titles should also be appropriate for your target audience & corporate image (….so a smutty or crude title would not be suitable for a business website. That said, one of the most popular & visitor-attracting articles on one of our other websites was titled “Business-In-Site.com gets caught with it’s pants down!” – it was about how we went live before the website was actually finished due to advice from a hired “expert”,  who’d assured us that we’d be fine to go live with an unfinished website because no-one would even find us/bother visiting the site etc – advice which proved to be hugely wrong…)

As for which Newsletter Software to use, that will depend on your budget, your needs and perhaps also the type of website or CMS (Content Management System) you choose for your website. There are plenty of free Newsletter plugins available, and even free Newsletter Services (such as “MailChimp” although there will be limits with the free services, such as the number of subscribers allowed).

You also need to decide whether your server environment can handle the D.I.Y. newsletters – if you have a large number of subscribers it could cause problems for you & your web host, in which case you will need to use a Newsletter Service, such as AWeber, Get Response, or some other similar paid newsletter / mass-mailing service.

Using a Newsletter Service also has other benefits too – in your Newsletter Service dashboard you will likely have many tools at your disposal which can help make your job easier and or faster than is otherwise possible, and any bounce-backs and other problems should also be easier to identify and manage. And if you have multiple websites, or many subscribers, then it will also be much easier to manage your list(s) all in one place by using a paid Newsletter Service.