To help secure readers, add a favourites or bookmarks option so visitors can add your Web site to their reading list. Along the same lines, add an “e-mail this” and “share” tab at the bottom of each post. You might also try creating a weekly newsletter that highlights your best content. Blast it out to readers who sign up.
Comment on online forums and blog posts and link to your Web site each time. Make sure your comment adds to the conversation. Do not spam. Also add your blog or Web site to your e-mail signature, Twitter, Facebook and other online accounts. Look into submitting content on StumbleUpon and Delicious. Also, create a “lens” or page on Squidoo.
DON’T WAIT ON GOOGLE
Be proactive. Send your site to Google and other search engines. If you rely on them to crawl your content, you may be waiting a long time.
WRITE USEFUL, ORIGINAL CONTENT
This sounds obvious, but it bears mentioning. Attract readers by writing well and regularly. Then keep them interested by continuing to do so. When you’re building a base, try to post new, original content at regular intervals. Use blogging software that lets you set an automatic publishing time so you don’t have to physically get up early in the morning, for example, to manually post your content at that time. Also pay attention to your headlines. Use simple keywords to describe the subject of your posts.
BRING ON GUEST BLOGGERS
Another way to increase traffic is to use an established name to bring the desired traffic to you. Find someone who writes well on your topic and ask them if they’d be willing to contribute to your Web site or blog.
Don’t just rely on text to attract readers. Use video, podcasts, slide shows and other multimedia to create dynamic content.
LINK AND TAG
Link to other sites within your post and ask other blogs to link back to you and add your Web site to their blog rolls. Another option is to submit your site to blog directories.
Use headers, title tags and meta tags to optimize your site for search engines. Use keywords to describe what your Web site is about. Also make sure that your site’s content matches your meta data and other tag phrases. HitTail is one service that helps you home in on key words. Don’t forget about your images. Make sure they, too, are search-engine optimized.
ENGAGE THE READER
Respond directly to e-mail and comments. Even a short mass e-mail message will begin to open a two-way dialogue. Showcase your personality by sharing personal anecdotes where relevant so that you can establish a rapport with your audience. Another option is to conduct a reader survey or poll so you can improve on your site based upon your readers’ preferences. Tracking and analyzing your statistics also helps. You might also try joining a syndication service such as BlogBurst.
Remember, the Internet spans the globe. Even if your Web site is local in nature, it can still attract readers in another country, so don’t limit your base. If you’re able to add language options to your site, all the better.
DON’T FORGET THE OFFLINE WORLD
Sure, the Web is great for spreading the word about your site, but so is in-person communication. Use word of mouth and, if you can afford it, a well-placed print advertisement.
Building traffic takes time. Set short-term goals for yourself, but understand that this is a long term process.
What have I missed? What other ways can you get more people to check out your site? Comment away.