Simple Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Web Site
by Penny Sansevieri
Internet marketing campaigns don’t have to be difficult, tricky, or complicated. Here are a few simple ways (18, in fact) that you can easily implement to bring traffic to your site right now.
Write articles. Well-written articles that relate to your book can draw quite a lot of visitors. Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words long, and you can send them to sites such as Articlecity.com, Goarticles.com, Submityourarticles.com, and Ezinearticles.com. Don’t forget to include your URL in your byline.
Use social bookmarks. Put them on each page of your site and each blog entry you post. While this might seem tedious, it’s worth it. You’ll see a strong increase in traffic.
Get your site listed in the best directories. Bear in mind that you’ll have to pay for submission to some of them. The four I find best are dir.yahoo.com, Business.org, Botw.org, and DMOZ.org.
Review. If you can review hot new products or books for your market, head on over to Epionions.com, Revoo.com, and Amazon.com and start positioning yourself as an expert. To do this effectively at Amazon, you’ll want to create an Amazon profile. At all these sites, sign each review with a reference to your URL.
Offer a freebie on Craig’s List. You’ll be amazed at how much traffic you get from a single Craig’s List ad. They key here is to send people to a page on your site and make sure they have to sign up for something (like your email newsletter) before they can grab their freebie. That way you’re not just getting traffic; you’re also building your list.
Create a “Recommended by” list on your Del.icio.us page. Once you have created an account at Del.icio.us, you can tag articles, blogs, and other content your readers will value and offer your list as a resource site. Then you can link to it in your email signature line and on your Web site. You’ll be amazed how many folks read email signature lines.
Lend a helping hand. You can be an answer person at Yahoo Answers (answers.yahoo.com) by spending a few minutes a week there. Be sure to include a link to your site in your answers.
Set up a social-networking site. Using Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, or Squidoo, this is free and easy. Don’t forget the all-important link to your site here too.
Make sure your blog has an RSS feed. Really Simple Syndication will help you capture readers even if they forget to bookmark your site or blog. It’s easy to set this up. [See “Why You Need RSS PDQ,” July 2007; and “A Practical Guide to the New, Live Web,” parts 1 and 2, December 2007 and January 2008.]
Join relevant groups. At groups.yahoo.com, you’re bound to find at least one group that’s interested in what you’re promoting. When you do find one, join and participate.
Podcast. You can start a podcast by going to a site where we’re an affiliate—AudioAcrobat (bookmkr.audioacrobat.com)—or using other programs. I love AudioAcrobat because it lets you record a podcast over the phone quickly and easily and then hit the “send” button on your computer once it’s recorded to have the system syndicate it to 27 podcast directories, including iTunes.
Start a blog. And once you do, start commenting on other people’s blogs, linking to them from your site or adding them to your blogroll.
Use inbound links selectively. Don’t squander your time (or a perfectly good link) on smaller low-traffic sites. Instead, go after high-traffic, high-quality sites—the ones with a PR (page ranking) of 4 to 6, depending on the market. You can find out what a site’s page ranking is by downloading the Google toolbar, which comes with a PR feature built in.
Publish an email newsletter. If your newsletter (like your articles) is interesting and relevant to your audience, you’ll find that it has a huge pass-through factor.
Take signup sheets. Never, ever go to an event without a handy signup sheet for the newsletter. Yes, you can even use offline events to drive traffic to your Web site.
Mention your URL in interviews. If you’re talking with a journalist, note that you have a Web site and that it’s a great resource on the topic of your interview.
Get a store on eBay. This site gets a tremendous amount of traffic and you’re allowed to list your URL on your sales page.
Load a video on YouTube and/or 57 other video sites. To see what these sites are, go to redhotinternetpublicity.com/blog/?p=43. And if you don’t have a video or don’t know how to create one, contact us and we’ll refer you to the book-video people we use.
Getting Activity on Your Site
If you’re going to go through all the trouble of getting traffic to your site, make sure the site is converting this traffic into something.
One conversion goal is book sales, of course. We find, though, that visitors generally don’t buy the first time they land on a site, so getting them to sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your RSS feed is a great way to capture them in your marketing funnel.
Remember: ifyou don’t make a sale the first time, thatdoesn’t mean you won’t make a sale when you go after people a second or third time. Once they’re in your marketing database,you can market to them again and again—not in a way that’s obtrusive, offensive, or annoying, but in a way that helps them reach their own goals.
Also, make sure you know what your traffic numbers are before you launch any Internet marketing campaign, so you can measure results.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., specializes in Internet book marketing, social media, and media relations. To learn more about the Internet book marketing campaigns her company develops, visit amarketingexpert.com.