Four Simple Ways to Kickstart Your Website Traffic

Four Simple Ways to Kickstart Your Website Traffic

Published by Mike Gingerich |

“How can I increase traffic to my website?”  We hear this question all the time.

In order to give some quick guidance, we’ve created this post to help you look at 4 simple ways to kickstart your website traffic. There are a number of easy ways to begin improving your website traffic effectively through these free online services. Professional profile sites, social networking sites, online directories, and map listings are ideal places to start.

Professional Profiles

Professional profile websites like LinkedIn are designed for business-related networking and allow users to post a detailed professional resume or a business profile, along with website links, contact information, and more. If you already have a well-written resume on your computer, setting up your own professional profile shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Once you have an account set up, you can then use the site to invite your business associates to connect with you and set up their own profiles.

While it can be nearly impossible to keep close tabs on everyone you know through standard means of communication, professional profile sites help keep you up to date with the changes happening in your network. Whenever a member of your network updates their profile with new information, you are passively notified through the site and can easily stay on top of your associates’ career changes and other important developments. As you make valuable new connections in the real world, you can connect via LinkedIn as well, and create a lasting tie between you, your associates, and your website.

As I mentioned, the most popular professional profile and networking website in the United States is LinkedIn. Other sites of the same nature include Doostang, ZoomInfo and XING.

Social Media

Just because a resource isn’t designed for business doesn’t mean it won’t bring qualified traffic to your website. Social Media sites like MySpace and Facebook are used by millions of people every month. Photo sharing site Flickr and video sharing site YouTube are other places it doesn’t hurt to open an account and create a profile, especially if you enjoy creating and sharing these types of media. Research your industry and you’re sure to find a few niche social media networks that are being used by your customers.

If your website happens to feature a blog, there’s a practically unlimited number of communities and social media networks you can join and contribute to – sites like Technorati and Blog Lines are useful places to make yourself known. If you listen to a lot of music, LastFM and iLike are fantastic tools for profiling your tastes in order to find other similar music.  If you’re on the web for a fair portion of the day, and StumbleUpon can both help you keep track of what you like and then discover new websites related to your interests.  As well, Twitter, can help you share your views on another platform and learn things from interesting people, as well as connect with persons interested in your services.

The list goes on, but the point is there’s a social media network – or ten – out there for everybody. Think about what you enjoy and consider what would benefit you the most, both personally and professionally, and find ways to start contributing.

Online Directories

Online directories are the closest thing the web has to yellow pages, and therefore, they have the potential to drive a ton of relevant traffic your way. That said, there are two main types of listings you’ll want to seek out – regional directories and industry directories.

First, find your city or region’s primary online directories and get your site listed. The easiest way to find these is to search for some basic services based on location.

Second, your specific industry is also likely to have some online directories of its own, which you should seek to be listed on. Creative Hotlist is a perfect example of this in our industry, but depending on what you specialize in, it shouldn’t be particularly difficult to find some for your own industry. Like I said, the easiest approach is to just start searching Google using the terms you’d like your own site to be discovered with, and see if any directories pop up that can be used to your advantage.

Finally, the web itself used to have its own directory, the Open Directory Project. Visit the site, read the criteria for being listed, and apply to have your own site added. The true value of DMOZ lies in the fact that a huge number of other, more specific directories pull directly from its database, meaning a single listing on DMOZ can actually generate hundreds of other listings on the web for your site.

Map Listings

The final resource – one many forget to consider – is a map listing. If you have an office, don’t forget to open an account and get your business listed on the major online map services like Google Maps and MapQuest (Google signup is easy to find on the left side of Google Maps front page. MapQuest signup is here).  As of the date this article was published, queries for Internet Marketing Goshen and similar search terms return Digital Hill as the second listing on the map, which appears above even the first organic search result.

In the end, the point is to bring qualified traffic to your site via well placed links in appropriate places. As you can see from this quick overview (and believe me, I only scratched the surface), there’s a huge number of web-based communities and other resources that can be used to your advantage, no matter what your individual interests happen to be. Your job is to seek out the ones that match your business and start participating. As you contribute, you’ll not only begin to increase traffic to your own website, you’ll also develop a deeper knowledge of your favorite subjects and an even greater appreciation for the community you are connected to.