Driving Traffic to Your Website or Blog

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
Updated:
November 6, 2007

Do you want to drive more traffic to your blog or website? Are you getting the traffic you desire? What sites send the most traffic to you? Are you tracking the results? Do you reward the web masters and bloggers that send you readers? Have you ever commented on another blog?

Do you want to drive more traffic to your blog or website?

One of the things most webmasters are looking for is more traffic. What are some methods the average blogger can use that won't break the bank?
  • Paid Links
  • Google Adwords (PPC)
  • Banner Ads
  • Link Bait
  • Commenting on Other Blogs / Websites

Paid Links

You can use paid links on other sites. These are normally called text link ads. You pay another webmaster or blogger money so they will link to you. This would be a simple href anchor tag with a catchy title so qualified people will click to your site. Sometimes they will allow you to be a sponsor and will place the link on the left or right navigation bars. Other times they will have a separate page where all paid links are placed.

You might be placed in a web directory. But, one of the best places to get your paid text link is embedded into the article itself. If you have relevant content to the article you can pay to get a relevant comment in the article that links to your website as an authority to the article itself. This is very powerful.

Pay Per Click

You can do Google Adwords or other Pay Per Click (PPC) opportunities. This can be very expensive and can come with fraudulent clicks. So if you have a nice budget or deep pockets this can definitely drive more visitors to your website or blog. Imagine if your link is on the first page of every search engine result page relevant to your website?

If you decide to follow this route you want to be very disciplined in tracking results. If you aren't getting people to your goal page (checkout) then you want to re-evaluate this method of advertising.

Banner Ads

I have been running banner ads in the last couple of months. Right now I am using a company called AdToll to deliver my banner ads to qualified traffic. They allow you to pick geographic market, demographic market or even individual websites. You can control if you want to splash your banner across all websites or specific markets. A well designed (written) banner ad can bring highly qualified buyers to your website.

Link Bait

Are you a writer that can shock or can you write compelling articles? Then you might want to get into writing what is known as link bait. This is making a story so compelling that many people want to link to it. This is also known as viral marketing. You know how it works. You see an article and say, "My friend George will love this story." You forward the link to him and he does love it. Then he puts a link to it on his web site. And so do thousands of other people. Many people see and read the story and millions of people visit the site.

A couple of well written articles that get noticed will drive hundreds, thousands and maybe even millions of people to you. This is all free traffic. Friends telling friends. Some of the most powerful visitors you can receive.

Who do we listen to when we make decisions? We listen to movie stars and sports heroes. We listen to our parents. But, our most powerful decisions come when we listen to what our friends and peer group tell us. Your best friend Suzy tells you how she loves her new blender. You are very likely to at least look at that brand of blender. And if you are undecided on 2 or 3 models of blenders. You will decide to buy the brand that Suzy recommended.

Commenting on Other Bloggers' Blogs

I just learned how powerful a traffic generator is commenting on other blogs. I was reading my favorite blogs and there was an article by Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide that mentioned an article titled Do You Have a Blog Commenting Strategy by Caroline Middlebrook. Simply by commenting on other blogs Caroline's blog has been noticed.

She states she has received over 700 direct visitors from her comments on other's blogs. But, what she doesn't know is how many indirect visitors she has received. How many people will now go to her site from this link? How many from Search Engine Guide. But, you have to read her article. She gives step by step instructions on using commenting to drive new traffic to your blog.

What sites send you the most traffic?

One of the important things Caroline has done is track her results. How do you know if you are improving or making progress if you don't track results? Where is your traffic coming from? If you use Google Analytics you can get a great idea. They are able to split your traffic numbers up into a million pieces for you to analyze and digest.

You could probably get overwhelmed with the data. But, focus and remember. Your goal is to get more qualified visitors. People that have a need for the information you provide. Analyze the traffic and then do more of the things that is bringing people to your blog. Remove or stop doing things that will not. It is a simple business model, but very hard to do right.

Do you reward the web masters and bloggers that send you readers?

How do you reward these people? I am sure they would enjoy you buying their product. Or for you to click appropriate PPC ads on their pages. I am NOT suggesting you engage in click fraud. Click on links that are truly something you want to know more about. For me I see Google Adsense ads on my own site sometimes that I find interesting. I do NOT click those ads, but I do strip the web site URL and find out more information.

Give these webmasters some link love. If they write an article you enjoy. Then mention it in an appropriate article on your own website or blog. They would love more traffic. The little link above for Caroline Middlebrook will send her more qualified web traffic.

Have you ever commented on another blog?

Another way to reward these bloggers is by commenting on their blog. Many people in this industry love the attention that people commenting on their articles brings. They listen to the comments, provide more information, rebuttals to comments and makes the original article more interesting.

Do more than just write, "great article". Take the time to craft a well written response. How did the article make you feel. What experience of yours supports the article and the writer's take on the topic? Why do you think the blogger is completely wrong? How did you find out about the blog? Do not cuss out the writer or any other commenters. Do not flame the blogger. Write about your beliefs and just the facts to support them.

The Internet Marketplace

I hope these ideas will help you get the traffic you want and need. There is a lot of noise in the internet marketplace and sometimes it is hard to be heard. Last year about this time my wife and I were in a major marketplace in Istanbul, Turkey. I compare the internet to that marketplace. We were overwhelmed at times. The shops were all bunched together. Just 10 feet by 10 feet in most cases. Like an American craft fair.

You entered the shop in a large lane that would hold 20 people across. But, as you turned down aisles they began getting smaller and smaller. At times the aisle would hold maybe 4 people across. Some shopkeepers would just stand back and wait for you. Others were much more aggressive. I remember one guy walked with us for over 25 yards trying to make a sale.

The internet is very much like this. You have to find qualified people and drive traffic to your little shop front. Good luck!

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