If you browse the internet’s hundreds of forums and bulletin boards, you’ll find dozens of threads discussing the lack of website traffic. All of the remaining threads lament the difficulty of retaining visitors long enough to make a purchase. Then there are threads discussing the difficulty of being listed and ranking well in major search engines.
All of these problems have a common solution: CONTENT. A website’s “stickiness” is determined by its content being relevant to the site’s subject and being updated on a regular basis. Sticky sites attract and occupy all the visitors you can handle. Search engines drink from the fountain of fresh, interesting content created by astute webmasters who benefit from increased rankings and sales.
You, too, can reap these benefits with minimal effort and expense if you create or acquire content relevant to your topic. By including some or all of the following types of content on your site, you can increase traffic and encourage visitors to return frequently.
Articles – Without a doubt, the best way to populate websites is through free reprint articles. You can maximize the value of articles by either writing them yourself or charging writers a small fee for customized versions of their most popular articles.
Quotes – A collection of relevant quotes will assist in motivating and inspiring visitors. Quotes should be added and deleted on a regular basis to keep your site fresh.
People adore games and puzzles. All of your visitors will reward you with their time and attention if you appeal to the child within them. Consider investing a small sum to commission the creation of a custom crossword puzzle for your website.
Forums – Emulate successful websites by including free forums on your site. Solicit the assistance of devoted visitors to act as moderators for specific topic threads.
Allow visitors to ask questions or leave comments on an issue raised on your site or blog via the feedback/guestbook feature. Make this information accessible to the public (as long as it is tasteful) and searchable by visitors.
Reviews – Aesthetically pleasing, unbiased reviews are universally popular. Add reviews of books, software, hardware, scripts, films, television shows, schools, and spas to your site, and visitors will return repeatedly.
Case Studies/Success Stories – Everyone enjoys hearing about someone else’s success. Conduct customer interviews and incorporate their stories into your website to bolster your credibility and meet your content needs. Make certain that your success story is both interesting and motivating, rather than commercial.
Jokes – On the internet, a sense of humor is frequently lacking. Consider how taken aback you would be if an attorney had such a good sense of humor that he kept all the best attorney jokes on his website. Following in the attorney’s footsteps will ensure that visitors look forward to visiting your site.
Newsfeeds – Does your website cover a subject that generates a lot of breaking news?
Consider adding a resource directory to your site in lieu of the standard reciprocal link campaign. This will direct your visitors to valuable websites that complement your own. Include only the sites you want and avoid incurring search engine wrath by requiring reciprocal links. The directory’s links should all open in a new browser window.
Newsletter & Archives – You are not required to reinvent the wheel by attempting to build a massive list for your newsletter. Provide regular updates to current and prospective clients via e-mail or blog, including links to pertinent articles or resources. Keep archives accessible to the public, and search engines will frequent them.
Blogs – Why should you join the blogging trend? Search engines adore blogs and frequent their visits due to their frequent updates. You can use a blog to replace your e-mail newsletter and to showcase product or service reviews and other pertinent information that does not warrant a separate e-mail to your customers.
Job Listings – Consider adding relevant job listings to your site. For instance, if your site’s theme is “work at home,” you could highlight telecommuting jobs. Ensure that you have the employer’s permission before posting their job openings on your site.
Testimonials – Collect testimonials from current and previous clients and incorporate them into your website. On a regular basis, delete out-of-date testimonials and replace them with new ones. Include live links to your clients’ websites (which will open in a new browser window) within the testimonial.
The internet was envisioned as a means of communicating with people all over the world. If we all return to these roots by populating our websites with topic-relevant content, search engines will reward us. Forums dedicated to lamenting the lack of website traffic will be phased out and replaced with recommendations for interesting websites to visit.