Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Getting Website Traffic

As you know, there are any number of ways to get more website traffic. While it can be helpful to talk about some of the specific ways to do this, it can be difficult to decide where to spend your time. There are only so many hours in the day, so you want to make your website promotion efforts count.
Where do I spend my time (and money)? If you read all the emails and sales letters from the gurus and wanna be gurus, everyone is trying to sell you the answer to exactly that question. If you fall into the hype trap, you’ll buy everything they sell. I mean, many of the ideas they have sound like good ones, right? What to do?
Well, on that note, I’m developing a free series on "more website traffic" showing you how to make the right decisions on which methods to use to increase your traffic. When confronted with the question, "where should I spend my time developing free traffic?" you can use these concepts to make your decision. We’ll start with the concept of diversification.
Diversification, as applied to getting more website traffic, comes in two forms. First, is the diversification of keywords, and second is the diversification of sources. These concepts are pretty simple to understand, but often people ignore their importance when determining what steps to take to increase their audience. Understanding these concepts will help you spread what I call your traffic risk.

Diversification of Keywords: Diversification of keywords is pretty straight forward. How many keywords is your site found for in a given month? 1,000? 10,000? More?
At the most basic level, if your site is found for at least 10,000 keywords in the search engines, then that’s at least 10,000 visits (assuming one visit per keyword search) per month. What if your site is found for 20,000 keywords? 30,000? And so on.
The more keywords your site is found for, the more stable your traffic will be. If you’re relying heavily on a few keywords to get the majority of traffic to your site, then what happens if your site stops ranking so well for those words? A majority of your traffic is at risk.
I’ve said this elsewhere before, but traffic has a personality. Until your site is found for a certain number of keywords (what that number is may be different for each site, and even each page), the full personality of your traffic is not developed. As you get more traffic from a more diverse set of keywords, your visitor base improves, and so does your income.

Diversification of Sources: Diversification of sources deals with how many different traffic sources you have. We can divide traffic source into major categories.
The first category division is free vs. paid.
Imagine a site that gets little to no free search engine traffic, and little to no traffic from referring sites. In order to succeed, this site will have buy traffic. Having to buy traffic will significantly increase costs, and therefore decrease the bottom line for this site.
Imagine instead a site that gets thousands of visitors a month in free traffic. That site is, by and large, going to be less expensive to operate, and therefore have a better bottom line. It also is more saleable because traffic that you don’t have to buy is worth money in the bank to a prospective website buyer.
The next category would be search engine traffic vs. non-search engine.
Imagine a site that gets traffic from 3 different search engines. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the traffic is divided evenly among all three. What happens if one of those three decides to reduce the rankings of the pages on that site? Catastrophy, right? One-third of your traffic is gone in a flash.
Imagine instead, a site that gets traffic from 2,000 different sources. While taking a hit from Google or another search engine will hurt, diversifying your traffic sources will take some of the sting out of it. The ironic thing about this, is that the more you reduce your dependence on Google by diversifying your traffic sources, the more traffic Google will send you.
The next category is type of site. This would be directories vs. blogs vs. content sites, or niche-related vs. more general, and so on. These can be broken into many sub-categories, but basically the idea is to go out and get more website traffic from different types of sites. That way, if say, directories or blogs take a hit with respect to search engine (this happened to both of these types of sites in Google in the past), you won’t take as a big a hit to your traffic.






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