The focus of most websites is sales of some sort or another. To generate sales, you need traffic. To generate traffic you need road signs pointing to your site and a billboard advertising it. We can have free giveaways to garner business.
The road signs are the content we spread around the web. Our articles, press releases, pictures, videos – anything we can do to spread the word about our site. We can mention it to friends and family, build links to it, start conversations in forums about similar topics and squeeze a mention in.
We can blog about it, and draw people in. We can start a wiki and encourage others to participate. We can go on YouTube and act crazy about it, or post an instructional “How To” video that sparks interest in what else we might have to offer.
All of these methods optimize our site for the consumer, the customer, the people who visit us looking for information, a product or just a good time.
The billboard is our spot on the SERPs. The nearer the road (or top of the page) the bigger our billboard is. We reach this coveted spot by doing all of the above, and by optimizing our site for search engines as well.
We build the links from sites with PageRank, and no-follow the paid links we use just for other traffic. We prioritize our main pages for crawling, and steer the spiders away from those extra landing pages and low content sections.
Keywords are carefully selected, and phrases combined to target specific searchers. Our titles, our sub-titles, our mega tags; Text surrounding pictures, synopsis of our videos – we have to optimize every aspect of our site.
This helps us get noticed by the search engines and work our way up the ranks. Without this, we may as well not bother. The competition is fierce, and if we don’t optimize, some-one else will.
Don’t forget that good content is what keep consumers paying attention. Consider offering an RSS feed if you update your site often; this is a handy way to get return traffic. If you have a regular day of the week for an article with a humorous slant, this can be a huge incentive for people to come back for the next installment.
Us your blog, forum or wiki to its full potential. You can get zanier there than on your main site, and let’s face it – controversy is good for publicity. Put link bait on your blog, and funnel to your main site. You can even have a doorway page welcoming the very special visitors that come to you by way of your blog. Give-aways, or freebies, can really be a draw. Have a nifty widget, a goofy gadget, or even offer to throw in a cap or a mug with a purchase.
Clear road signs to your site and all the advertising you can muster is the sound and sure way to get traffic to your site and keep it there.