Every website owner’s goal should be pretty simple: Get traffic to your website. Traffic doesn’t generally happen its own unless you are fortunate enough to be a well-established company that’s already in the public eye. Even the biggest of the well established companies want more traffic! One of the biggest pieces to the traffic puzzle is search engine ranking. Below you will find several ways to generate a higher search engine ranking, and thus bring more traffic to your website.
One of the most important ways your website is ranked with the big search engines is through link popularity. Plain and simple, the more your website is linked from other websites the higher your search ranking will be. Search engines want relevant websites at the top, and your websites popularity helps give it the credentials it needs to make the cut. It’s more than just a simple link to your site. Search engines look for links coming from reputable sources.
In the earlier stages of web browsing, you could simply pay to have your link put on junk sites. These “directories” were really just that. The content of what was on your website didn’t matter as long as you paid your bill. As a result, I’m sure you can imagine how skewed the results would be. Google especially penalized paid links in effort to prevent people from buying their way up the search rankings. There are still a few ways you can put your dollars to good use, and we will outline three of those below.
If real people run a directory, you have a much better chance of that link not being considered a “bad paid link” by the search engines. These human run directories will require approval from a real person to see if your link is relevant. Basically, some person at the directory will physically click your link and look at your content. If they feel its good enough, they’ll add your link to a relevant category. Only a very small fraction of online directories are like this. If you find them, they are generally a safe bet for your advertising dollars.
Obviously your widget costs you money to make, and shipping is not free. So the idea of giving some random person your widget for free might seem appalling. There is an upside to this however. If you find a blogger that specializes in type of widget you produce and has a good solid following to their blog, sending a free widget to said blogger can be a huge asset. If you believe your widget is good enough to get good reviews (and remember, most times these bloggers are not paid so they can be brutally honest) then sending one off is a great way to not only generate relevant links, but also help redirect that blogs followers directly to your website.
Running a generic “link to my site and you’ll be entered to win” contest likely won’t benefit you much in the way of direct traffic. But consider seriously running a relevant contest. Have your readers write in a story to win a prize, for example, and you are likely to create more buzz and get more direct traffic as well as links back to your website.
While these three suggestions might cost you a little out of pocket investment, the money will be well spent when you see your search ranking improve and your direct traffic numbers increase.