Everyone wants more traffic for their website. Here are some ideas for generating more visits. We'll be adding more over time. The best part is that they are all free and only require an investment in time.
1) Update your website, regularly
When was the last time you added content to your website?
If you don't update your website, at least on a monthly basis (preferably
weekly), the search engines (and your visitors) will notice. And you will drop
in rankings and in customer mindshare. If you want to increase your ranking,
the first step is to make sure your site is updated regularly.
This can be through adding a Blog tool like WordPress for
a "News" section to your static site, or using a CMS (Content
Management System) like Joomla to manage your entire website. Total Hosting
Customers can install these types of great tools for free via their CPanel Website
If you sell products on your website, you should have a
changing Specials section, as well as the ability to manage your site's front
page. Adding/pruning products, brands or categories should also be done
Allow for comments and feedback, as well as the ability
to promote your articles through social bookmarking services, such as Digg,
del.icio.us or Technorati.
What you say should be relevant, informative and interesting.
How do you decide what to write about? The best source of
inspiration is your customer base/site audience. Simply listen to the questions
they ask. It can be something you have heard often or a new question you have
heard recently. Add a brief answer/article about it to your website. Then tell
your visitors/customers about it.
Another source is from your site data. Look at your site
logs and see what keywords people are using (or not using, but should) to find
your website. If you have site search on your site, look at the logs to see
what people are looking for once they reach your website. Write a few relevant articles
with liberal use of these keywords or phrases. Or write a few articles with the
keywords you want people to use to associate with your website.
Don’t forget to promote your content. Put it in your
company newsletter. Mention it on the phone to your customers, suppliers and
prospects. Send out an Email. Include a link on your site for your RSS feed.
2) Build a community of your users
Developing an online community makes it easy for your
company to provide cost-effective customer service. It also allows for users to
help each other, as well as provide a channel of constant feedback from the
people that matter the most to your organization, the users.
Add a forum to your site with a tool like phpBB. It's a
free script written in PHP and uses the MySQL database to store all the entries
online. Total Hosting Customers can instantly install phpBB via their CPanel Control
Panel . Once installed, follow the instructions on how to
make a few sections and categories and then put a few lead-off questions or
posts to the forum. These can either be popular opinion-oriented questions or specific,
frequently asked questions about your products or services.
Promote your forum to your customers and your site
visitors. Put a prominent link in your site navigation. If you have the
ability, you can even display links to the latest posts in your forum to
Your website is your most cost-effective means to service
your customers. The answers are not only an immediate solution to a customer’s
issue, it’s also left behind for posterity, so it can be found by another
customer or prospect. It’s the easiest way to generate custom content to grow
Think beyond just having an online brochure for a
website. Look at your competition. What community functionality do their
websites have? Do you need to catch up or would this put you ahead of them?
3) Join a community of your users
For all the reasons listed above, and more, there are
plenty of sites that have their own user forum. If you sell someone else’s
product, and that manufacturer has a user forum, join it to offer free “advice”
about the product or show your knowledge by answering customer questions, even
if (or especially if) they didn’t buy the product from you.
Some sites that have forums are independent projects that
are either ad-driven commercial sites or just fans of a specific application
for which the product is used. They exist to share their love of a subject,
sometimes as part of a larger site. Join as many relevant user forums as you
wish. Then start answering the questions. Build a reputation as someone with
knowledge about a subject. Make sure you have good signature that includes your
How do you find these forums?
Check the sites of all the manufacturer’s whose
products/services you sell
Fire-up your search engine of choice and start
searching for the products or applications for products and see what pops up. Very
often the keywords you are searching with have been posted in a forum somewhere.
Look at the search results for any hints in the URL to speed up your research.
Visit the sites of any trade/special interest
Check your site logs for referrals to your
website from sites other than search engines
Hopefully you will find these basic tips and hints
useful. What works best for you? Let us know.