Monday, September 12, 2005

20 Ways to Drive Traffic to your Site

Your web site is launched. But what are you doing to drive traffic to it? There are a lot of ways you can drive traffic to your site, though not every promotion and marketing route is right for every site. This list should get your wheels turning and generate some ideas for increasing that traffic!

1. Optimize your site. This means making sure that your site has keyword rich titles, headlines and content. Then submit your site to the search engines so all that good spider food gets indexed.

2. Write articles that you can submit to article directories and include a byline with a link back to your site.

3. Offer an opt-in mailing list on your site, and send out a regular newsletter with articles or tips, directing people back to your site for more info.

4. Hold a contest or drawing on your site, and have people sign up for your mailing list to enter. This could be a product giveaway, a period of services provided to the winner, a gift certificate - something that is appropriate to your site and audience. Better yet, set it up so that people can spread the word about your contest (and your site) effortlessly.

5. You know those things that people send you that are so cool you just have to send them to your friends? Create something "viral" that is so cool that people can't help but spread it around online - and make sure it has your site info on it. It's easier said than done to catch people's whims like that but there is no reason you can't get creative and dream up your own viral promotion.

6. Create an award program relating to your niche and require the winners to link back to you if they display the award. This only works if you're in an industry that hasn't overdone it already (like web designers!). You have to make sure you have a good reason to award honors to the site (ie., Pet Site of the Month - that's probably done but you get the idea). Use discretion in your award process and be sure that the award graphic that you have people put on their site (linking back to you) is of high quality. Otherwise, no one will take you seriously.

7. Participate frequently in discussion forums and include a link to your site in your profile and signature. Many of these discussion forums are indexed by search engine spiders and each post is a link back to your site.

8. Create a discussion board on your site and grow your own community. This can be a time consuming approach so make sure you know what is involved in moderating a forum.

9. Use pay per click advertising and pay for qualified visitors to your site. Just make sure you think about how you can make them repeated visitors to optimize the investment.

10. Have a poll or survey on your site and promote it in the appropriate communities. The end of the survey should lead back to your site. Better yet, put the results of the survey on your site when you're done - and announce the results only to people who sign up for your newsletter. Or, if it makes sense, write a press release for your survey results - that can lead to a lot of exposure too.

11. Create lots of great keyword rich content on your site. Write articles. Review products. Get all that content spidered in the search engines.

12. Make sure your site link is in your email sig.

13. Add a directory on your site and require a link back to your site to be listed there. For example, if you have a site that appeals to auto enthusiasts, you could build a directory of auto parts sites and retail locations to attract them to your site repeatedly.

14. Develop joint ventures and cooperative arrangements with appropriate products and service providers to promote each other to each other's audiences.

15. Similiarly, if appropriate, set up an affiliate program so that you can create a cadre of people and sites selling your products and/or services.

16. Write for print publications that reach your target audience and include a bio that contains your web site address.

17. Add a "send this page to a friend" script to your site.

18. Don't forget to write press releases about special developments, contests, awards and other news of note related to your site.

19. Your web site address IS on your business card and all other marketing material, isn't it? How about your cell phone and office phone voice mail outgoing message?!

20. Write free reports or tools that can be offered as giveaways, emailed around from person to person, added to your auto responder - always promoting and linking back to your web site.

In all these suggestions, a common piece of advice: be patient. Traffic building is an ongoing, deliberate and slow going process that builds over time. The more strategies you implement, the better - and don't think you'll EVER be done!

(c) Eileen Parzek, 2005

Eileen Parzek is an award winning graphic designer and writer providing digital and print graphic design and web design services. Always found at the intersection of information, creativity and technology, her business, Business Design Studio ( helps small businesses make a big impression, increase their reach and grow.

May be republished with full bio and credit link to