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Friday, February 24, 2006

How To Keep Your Website Traffic

If you've been following this series of posts, by now you should know almost everything I know about website promotion. We've talked about keyword research and placement, the importance of a sitemap, search engine submission and article marketing. But it's not over yet. There are still a few things you can do to increase and retain the traffic you've started to build up. Here are a few suggestions to keep those numbers on the rise.

Speak out

Join a few forums that are relevant to your area and post regularly. Like WritingUp, most forums allow you to customise your signature so that every comment you make has a link back to your site or blog. These posts are also indexed by search engines. I must admit that maintaining three blogs and growing a writing business doesn't leave me much time for forum posting, but the posts I made a few months ago are still appearing in search engine results.

Get a blog

This strategy also works well for blogs. The advantage of blogging is that that you can write more or less what you like and there's nothing to stop you from putting in affiliate links. This is perhaps the quickest way to get your content found as, for the time being at least, Google, Yahoo and MSN can't get enough of blogs and bloggers.

Network like crazy

Sign up with Ryze, a networking site where you can find people with similar interests. Most networks have promotion days where you can advertise your products or services. WritingUp members can go straight to the Vertical Blog Tunnel, which is moderated by Mitch Allen and is a good place to start.

Bookmarks on steroids

Make use of tagging. Posts or sites that are tagged by Technorati and del.icio.us (a social bookmarking service) are picked up very quickly by search engines.

Keep it fresh

If you've got your own site, you can keep the traffic coming and rise higher in the results pages by keeping the site content fresh. Add a couple of pages to the site or update something at least once a week. Better yet, add a blog to your site and update it regularly; this will keep the site fresh as far as search engines are concerned. You can then use a service like Pingoat to alert sites when your blog content has changed; there is also a blog directory where you can list your blog. One option I'm also considering when I finally get around to hosting sharonhurleyhall.com is to just have a blog with a few static pages. (I think this suggestion came from Ashok.)

Syndicate to accumulate

Finally, add an RSS (really simple syndication) feed for site updates and news (or include updates in your blog, which is likely to have its own RSS feed). Use the pinging service to alert people that your content has changed. See Haven's post on RSS for more information. If you then burn your feed with Feedburner, then you can make this happen automatically.

If you do all this, the traffic will keep increasing. Just so you know there's hope, this month I have had 700 unique visitors, more than 15,000 page views and 19,000 hits on my doublehdesign website.

In the final instalment of this series, I'll offer my quick-fix solution for increasing site traffic and a quick recap of the key points.

Related posts:
How I Put My Site On Steroids
How To Optimize Your Website: Keyword Research
How To Optimize Your Website: Keyword Placement
SEO: What's Under The Hood?
There's Life Beyond Google
Shameless Self-Promotion: An Article Marketing Guide

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