How to drive traffic to a website, blog or online store?

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A website, blog or online store (e-commerce) is a great way to establish online presence for a company, organization, community or individual. In today’s ever changing business scenario, a website or blog serves as an online identity and promotes brand awareness and visibility. It also serves as a means to drive sales of products and
services and generates revenue from advertisements and associated offerings. Hence, it is apt to classify a website or a blog as digital real estate.

However, creating a site or online platform is only the first step towards achieving the goal of brand promotion and revenue generation. The most important determining factor behind its success is online traffic. Unless a website/blog has incoming traffic or visitors, it will neither create brand awareness nor will it generate revenue from online sales and advertisements. In the absence of traffic, a website or blog tends to appear like an island lost in the ocean of millions of similar websites and blogs. A piece of digital real estate then becomes a liability instead of an asset.

But how do we drive more traffic to a site? That is the pertinent question.

There are a lot of articles floating around on the internet which try to address this fundamental question but all may not be relevant and appropriate. With the evolution of technology and computing techniques, many suggestions have been rendered useless and obsolete. In some cases, certain old techniques, such as inappropriate usage of keywords, may even prove detrimental.

This article highlights the most important guidelines for increasing traffic to any website. The suggestions are based on actual experience and have been prepared on the basis of feedback and expertise shared by numerous webmasters and site owners.

1. Write good Content and ensure Quality Control.

The first and foremost criteria for any successful website or blog is quality content. If one can produce content which is useful and helpful for the intended audience, there shall an automatic and natural surge in visitors to the website. However, one must ensure quality and accuracy of the content being shared.

2. Continuous Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is essential for driving and maintaining a steady flow of traffic to any website. However, one must understand that this is not a one-time activity but rather, an on-going process. Judicious use of keywords, human-readable permalink structure and appropriate use of tags, hyperlinks and headlines are some of the most common but important techniques. It must also be noted that any description or text used in the site must be written in natural language and keyword-stuffing must be strictly avoided.

3. Engage in Social Media Marketing.

Promote the site on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, etc. This increases visibility and widens the reach to the target audience. One may start with free promotions and then upgrade to paid promotions in future.

4. Paid promotions in Search Engines.

Advertising is a good idea, especially in Google, Facebook and Yahoo. Opt for a mix of Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and Yahoo advertisements.

5. Create Inbound and Outbound links.

The number of links or url(s) pointing to and from a website or blog impacts its search engine ranking. Try to post references to the site or blog from social media platforms and other blogs and websites. In the absence of inbound and outbound links, a website tends to act like an island in the middle of the ocean with no connectivity to the mainland.

6. Reach the target audience where they already are.

There are numerous blogs, community sites and social media platforms on the World Wide Web and people across the world are using them extensively for commerce, knowledge sharing or simply as a pastime. It is a good idea to engage with the intended audience and encourage them to use the intended site or blog. One may post references to articles and content published on the target site as a means to drive traffic to the new site.

The above guidelines are just a few suggestions drawn from experience and are intended to help entrepreneurs and newly launched sites increase online traffic and visitors.

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