In everyday life, the last thing we want on the roads is more traffic. It slows up the commuter journey, leaving us frustrated and tetchy before even arriving at work. It causes road rage, overcrowding of freeways, and stops us from getting to where we need to be on time. Online, however, traffic becomes something incredibly positive and essential for the health of our business.
As business bloggers, traffic is the ultimate goal through which we measure the success of our online venture. Without traffic, our blogs are relegated to the lonely ether of the uninhabited World Wide Web, hiding sulkily in an unseen corner. Traffic means visitors. Visitors mean sales. Sales mean revenue. It’s safe to say that the more traffic we get online, the happier and more successful we will be with what we do. When it comes to generating the maximum amount of traffic, it’s impossible to have too much footfall through your site.
With so many sites available online for every single industry, it’s getting increasingly difficult to attract a consistent audience. Blogging is one of the most competitive ways to make an income as everyone has interests and passions that translate well to this type of communication. From topiary to train spotting, aardvark grooming to zoology, there is a blog out there that is focused upon gaining a wide readership through the regular posting of articles. That’s not to say it isn’t possible to get traffic to your site, it simply means that it is more challenging than it has ever been before to attract customers to your online presence, and then keep them there once they’ve arrived.
A secondary factor reducing traffic to sites is our expectations of instant gratification. The longer the World Wide Web is out there, the more we have increased our expectations of it. Customers no longer want to patiently wade through reams of information in the same way as they would approach a newspaper or magazine. When they browse online they want their requests answered instantly, their queries resolved in seconds, and the ability to navigate through a site quickly and efficiently. We have less patience as the Web has become more streamlined, and cumbersome navigation is a sure-fire way of deterring customers from visiting you again, and retaining the traffic that you generate.
There are loads of organizations out there who offer all kinds of deals to direct traffic to your site. While the benefits are pretty self-evident, it doesn’t do any harm to outline the rationale behind having a strategic approach to increasing visitor numbers. The law of averages dictates that the more people visiting your site, the more likely it is that you will make sales. Getting your products and services out there in front of as many people as possible gives you the best possible opportunities for selling.
The problem with signing up a company to “buy” you traffic is . . . it doesn’t work. You may get people who are conned into coming to your site through links, or adverts that mislead visitors into stopping by, but these are not potential customers. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure that not only does your online traffic increase, but it is generated by real, viable customers who are coming to you because they are actively seeking the services or products that you provide.
Luckily, there are lots of different ways to encourage people to come and visit your site. One of the best ways to open up communication channels and spread the word about your products and services is to take up regular blogging. By writing keyword-rich articles, you can invite the principal search engines to enhance your ranking, thus attracting visitors who are searching for exactly what you provide. The more content you add to your site each day, the more opportunities you will have of being picked up by search engines.
A good RSS service such as FeedBurner provides a really good-looking feed for your readers if they’re into that, and has the added advantage of providing you with accurate subscriber statistics to enable you to track your progress. It also gives people the option to sign up to email updates when you post new content.
A software package such as Google Analytics lets you take a look at the keywords that people searched on before they arrived at your site. It also allows you to check out what are the most popular articles that people view on your site, helping you to fine tune your own content production strategy. When you start to get more people visiting your site, give them a reason to stay involved, such as offering a free product.
If you’re looking for ways to increase traffic through WordPress, try the Subscribe to Comments plugin; if someone leaves a comment, the plugin notifies them when another visitor comments on the same post. In addition, mobile plugins like WPtouch can make your site instantly mobile-friendly, enabling people to use their smartphone to view your site.
Finally, incorporating a range of social bookmarking icons for sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and others on your site, can help new users to find you and encourage them to share your content with other people. Sociable, ShareThis, and AddThis allow you to make the most of your traffic by establishing an ongoing relationship and generating new, targeted traffic to your site.