Step 11. Getting Traffic to Your Website

You will notice this section is not called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  While that is an important part of getting traffic and a good search ranking, it is only part of the story.  You really need to look at all aspects of marketing your website or blog.

Understanding Search Engines

Other promotional methods

Don't stop at just submitting your website to the search engines!  That's just the first step!

You also should:

  1. Join forums, discussion boards and newsgroups that are related to the topics in your website.

    You can answer questions and refer people to your website, as long as it is relevant to the answer, and not too obvious.  Each group is different, so you'll just have to learn what amount of promotion is considered to be acceptable.  It is best to observe the discussions for a bit first, to get to know the personality of the group.  Many of them are... well, not very pleasant and be real jerks about the merest mention of a website, even when it is highly relevant to the topic! But despite this and all the "flaming", it can be a good way to get the word out.

  2. Link to and ask for links from websites of related content.

    Simple "link exchanges" and "webrings" are generally a very poor idea and often cause the search engines to rate your website even lower, since they add no value.  BUT, if you link to websites that you're site's visitors are likely to find valuable, and similar websites link back to your website, that will help your your ranking and also bring in customers who wouldn't ordinarily hear about your website.

  3. The Media

    Did you get an interview on Fox News? That would certainly help your website, wouldn't it.  But that's not very easy to do, either.  More practically, you can contact local newspapers and related magazines to offer your help.  Using our hobby website example, if you are making a knitting or model railroad, you could contact the "Living" section of your local newspaper to see they would be interested in doing a story about knitting.  You could offer to write an article for the model train magazines.

  4. Word of Mouth and Viral Marketing

    Don't underestimate the power of just telling everyone you meet about your website.  Handing out business cards (with a description of your website and the address on them) at hobby events also helps! See this page for some great, free sharing tools.

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