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Five ways to promote your website and increase traffic!

One of the top questions I hear is "How do I promote my website and generate greater traffic"? Many people new to the web seem to have the idea you simply create a site and the world rushes through the door. I think we all wish it was that simple!

Basically, you need to promote your website or pay others to do it for you. Methods of promoting your site can be best categorized for short or long term results. Often when you pay for promotion it will consist of short term traffic. When the promotion is over, the traffic levels will fall unless you devise a method to keep your visitors coming back.

To obtain long term results, it usually requires building a number external links to your site, more links more traffic. Most search engines rate your site by numerous factors and usually one of the most important factors is the number of sites that link to your site. This article focuses on obtaining external links to increase your site's value to search engines and to directly and indirectly increase traffic flow.

Here are five methods you can use to build external links to your site. These usually require a good bit of your time or those you hire to do it for you, but the results can continue for years.

1) Asking for links

Often the simple methods are overlooked. The first place to look for external links is to ask people to link to your site. This can include a "link to us" option on your website that explains how they easily link to your site. Be sure to remember to ask your friends and family if they will include links on their sites or blogs.

Spend a little time browsing the net looking for sites that fit with your site, those that would complement your site. When you find such sites, contact the owners and ask if they would be willing to place a link on their site. Sometimes people will do this for free, other times they will want a reciprocal link to their site. While a "Scratch my back I will scratch yours" mentality can work for many things, external links to your site are viewed by search engines as having a greater importance if they do not contain backward linking. While for some you might place a link back for them, try to negotiate for a one-way link. At times you may have to pay a little for a link, but if the site complements your site and they currently have a decent traffic level, it can be worth it in search engine ranking and traffic.

2) Public discussion forums - Good place to leave your mark

If you have the time, there are many places on the Internet you can tack the URL to your site which will usually add external links in the view of search engines and at the same time possibly bring you considerable direct traffic. These are public areas around the Internet that allows you to make public posts, in which you include your website as part of what is called your "signature".

For a good place to start, pick a topic of interest to you or can relate to your target website. Perform a search on the topic along with the word "Forum". You more than likely will have a long list of discussion forums available. Most of these forums allow you to join in the discussions and often permit you to include your "signature" when posting. Many of these forums are indexed by major search engines which mean they will see these posts as external links to your site.

There are hundreds of thousands of discussion forums such as groups.google.com, groups.yahoo.com, etc. Just remember though, you need to make sure they allow "signatures" with a URL, it is not a place to openly advertise your site, but most allow you to have the URL in your signature. Taking part in a group can be a bit of work, but down the road it can pay off, as most of the groups keep the postings for years to come. The more active you are in the groups the more likely you will gain traffic and not appear to be a spammer.

3) Articles

Depending on your business, writing articles on your interests and publicly posting them to online article archives, can give you a nice bump in traffic and external links. Even if you are not a writer, nor an expert in a field, you still probably have information that others would like to know and that can bring more traffic to your site.

Typically, you give the site to which you post your article full rights to reproduce the article and those same rights to anyone that obtains your article under the conditions that the article is not modified and the full author information is retained (that is where your URL and contact information is located).

Many sites that need content often use these article archives for various articles to fill out their websites or newsletters. Your article may appear on hundreds of websites over the long run and each of those could be an external link to your site not to mention the direct traffic they can drive.

If you search for "free articles", you should find a number of sites that accept them. One such site is:

http://www.ExpandingMyKnowledge.com

Maybe you do not think you have the time nor the ability to write compete articles.

Another option is to post tips on about any topic or recommendations about your site or others. The site:

http://www.HintsAndTips.com

provides a tip and recommendation archive, which is continually indexed by the leading search engines. With this site, you do not need to put your URL in your "signature", you simply enter it into your profile when you sign up (free membership) and your URL will be displayed as a direct link to your site on every tip or recommendation you make.

If you do not have any tips to post, you can quickly write a little blurb about each of your favorite sites on the Internet that are of special interest. Remember, your link is displayed when anyone reads one of your posts.

4) Directories can be your friend

Perform a quick search for the keyword "directories" and you will find thousands of different directories around the Internet (although you have to wade through all the online phonebook directories first). Most are free and can be helpful in generating those external links to your site.

To obtain the full benefit of directories, try to find those that relate to your specific site. While the more general directories still help your listing, if the directory is focused on keywords that appear on your site, search engines usually gave them greater power in your rankings, though you still want to list your site wherever available. The dmoz.org site is a good starting point.

One tip though, you might want to first focus your attention at the directories that have the greatest amount of traffic and then try to find those that better relate to your specific site.

5) Viral marketing / Entertainment

Boy does this cover a wide range of things. Viral marketing is providing something that everyone wants to share with friends. Some viral marketing has drawn literally millions of visitors such as a site that had a group of animated line dancing mice. Then there was the animated dancing baby, and then there was...

You really cannot limit what forms of media will work with viral marketing, it can be jokes, text stories, tricks, modified photos, goofy shots, and the list just keeps going. Most of the popular ones seem to entertain people. If you can find something that makes people laugh, they seem to spread quickly.

Recently, viral marketing is taking on the video media. With sites such as Google and Youtube allowing you to post video for others to view, there are wide areas of video advertising available for attention getting shots.

Summary:

There are a many ways to promote your site. I have listed only five methods here, but it is start for those interested in pulling more visitors. If you take the time to use the five methods above, your site should be zooming in the traffic. Just remember, it can take some time to build consistent traffic flow to your site.


About the Author: Rocky Moore
Entrepreneur, Software Author, Consultant
Rocky Moore has been in the computer industry since 1981 and involved in numerous businesses.
For more information, visit: http://www.RockyMoore.com




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