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February 3, 2009

Traffic Building Strategies That Work

I was up at a friends place the other day and he mentioned somewhat casually that he was closing his store down and moving to another location. Since he had operated at that location for about ten years, I was surprised by this revelation. When I asked him the reasons for his relocation he replied quickly, “Bill, if you want to make money in this business, you’ve got to go where the traffic is” While this statement may seem somewhat simplistic, it’s good sound advice regardless of what type of business you’re operating. It’s no different in the world of Cyberspace because without sufficient website traffic, your chances of success are slim and none. While there are numerous methods of building web traffic, the reality is that it takes time and effort to build a web presence and steady traffic. While many traffic building strategies cost money, the good news is that many site traffic builders are free. Some excellent ways to increase traffic that are low cost and even free are; reciprocal linking, traffic exchanges, writing articles and posting to forums.

One of the methods of increasing web traffic that many employ is linking to other sites. While there are a multitude of linking stategies, the one I’m referring to is exchanging reciprocal links with other sites. The first time I used this strategy was with an ‘Oldies Internet Station’ I had started several years ago. While our site was mainly about Oldies music, I was aware that there were many related sites such as collectibles, movie posters, CD and record sales, nostalgia sites, etc., that would be very interested in a reciprocal link exchange. After emailing several related sites, I received replies back from a few that were very interested in exchanging links. These savvy site owners quickly realized the advantage of linking to none competitive related sites. This has a been win-win situation for all of us, and I still receive targeted traffic from many of these sites today! If you decide to go this route look for sites that relate to what you’re about, but don’t try to link to sites selling the exact same thing. Linking to other related sites can be a great way to build long term traffic. The thing is, you just never know how much traffic one site can bring you over time.

Another method of building traffic is through the use of Traffic Exchanges. The mistake that many people make in using them is that they try and sell some product directly on the exchanges. A much more effective way to use traffic exchanges is to build a network of people who will continue to build traffic for you years from now. There are a couple of basic approaches to achieving this. First, you join numerous traffic exchanges and link one to another. For instance, you would advertise site A’s link on B’s site, B’s on C, etc. A more effective way to do this is to advertise one U.R.L. that has numerous exchanges intergrated into it so that by simply joining one site, your prospect could conceivably sign up for numerous exchanges under you. A couple of things to bear in mind; many of the people that sign up under you will do nothing. This is a fact of life, and you’ll have to have patience and understand that it’s simply a numbers game. You need to be persistent and understand that sooner or later you will sign up a go getter that joins all of your programs and actively works at building his and your business. It’s also a good idea to set-up your own unique pages. With so many people surfing the exchanges with the same affiliate pages, their effectiveness becomes quite diluted. Create a simple page or two and advertise them on the exchanges. Traffic exchanges can be a great way to increase web traffic but it does take time and patience.

Another one of my favorite ways of building long term traffic is writing for article directories. There are numerous benefits to be had by writing and distributing articles through Article Directories. First, is the direct traffic you receive from people who read your articles and click on the link in the ‘Resource Box’. But the real kicker occurs when a webmaster or some other person with a website decides to post your article on their website. Not only will your article be posted for all interested readers to see, but your article will also include your Resource Box with your links pointing back to your site. Finally, as your articles and incoming links increase, more weight will be given to your links since search engines often give added weight to sites with many revelant incoming links. Undoubtably, writing articles for directories is a real win-win-win situation!

Lastly, another great way to increase website traffic is through posting to forums. An online forum is a place where people come together to exchange ideas on subjects of interest. The way to use forums to increase traffic is when you sign up for a forum they will allow you to include a ‘signature’ at the end of your posts, which is usually three or four lines of text which allows you to advertise yourself and your website. The key is that everytime you contribute a post, you are literally advertising yourself and your business. Another thing to bear in mind is that Google indexes forums looking for relevant content, so if you’re a regular poster, you’ll receive lots of FREE advertising and traffic. A couple of things to keep in mind; when posting make sure that you’re adding something of relevance, don’t just add a ‘me too’ sort of post. Also, when joining a forum, make sure that you’re allowed to include your signature. Some forums require you to post 50 times or more before your signature is included. Be certain to understand the Forum’s rules before joining.

While building long term traffic takes time and effort, it will help lay the foundation that produces tomorrow’s success. Start today by using some of the free traffic builders, and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but…it was built.

Bill Thomas is actively engaged in Internet business pursuits. He also contributes articles on life, business and other topics. His current website is..Create Income from Home with your own Cash Generating Internet Business.