Larry BraunerSadly, very many potentially useful web sites languish in obscurity like proverbial trees falling in forests with no one around to hear them. While these web sites have excellent content, they have few readers to use or enjoy that content.

Good content needs to be consumed. I would rather publish marginally good material that is highly consumed than top-notch content that merely gathers dust.

Generating Ample Website Traffic to Your Content

More Website TrafficIf you are a blogger or webmaster, what you do before and what you do after you publish to create website traffic to your content are no less important than the creativity and effort that shaped your content.

Yet, most of us do too little of the preparation and follow-through that our content requires to succeed, as I explained in How to Hit the Right Mix of Website Traffic Sources.

Preparation can include website infrastructure design, SEO and community building. Your follow-through might include email, social bookmarking sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ning and other social networking sites. These types of activities are mandatory, not optional.

Bad things happen to good content when preparation and follow-through are inadequate. However, the right steps taken both before and after publishing your content will enable your website traffic and content consumption to soar. I know this from personal experience.

We’ve now reached the place in the article where people usually subscribe and leave a comment. ;-)

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A Facebook friend inquired about my top website traffic sources for 2010. I looked, and my sources for website traffic haven’t really changed much since I published My Top 10+ Blog and Website Traffic Sources in January.

My list of traffic sources is a good start for most web marketing endeavors, but it’s only that — a good start.

Hitting the Right Mix of Website Traffic Sources

Get More Web Site TrafficEach marketing initiative is different and needs its own mix of resources. Exploration is necessary to determine an appropriate mix of traffic sources for each project.

For example, StumbleUpon sent this blog 281 visitors in the past 30 days, but in the past 17 days alone, it sent the new Gevril Group web domain I’m building 991 visitors!

So far it appears that StumbleUpon may be more responsive to my luxury watches and watch brands content than it has been to my social media and web marketing content, an observation I would not have gleaned had I written off StumbleUpon based on past disappointing results.

Lists of traffic sources are easy enough to find, so too few traffic sources can’t be the cause for not hitting the right mix of traffic sources. A lack of proper experimentation, adequate traffic diversification and perseverance is a more likely cause for disappointing website traffic.

Too Little for Too Short a Time

Most new marketers do too little for too short a time to hit their mix of website traffic sources, especially with regard to SEO, a major website traffic source that requires substantial time to grow.

Check out my increase website traffic articles for many more tips and, by the way, in case you’re new, this is a good time for you to subscribe and leave a comment. ;-)

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Larry BraunerIn 8 Simple Ways to Penetrate Social Media Clutter, I recommended  that you leverage multiple traffic sources. In Looking for Traffic in All the Wrong Places, I gave you a partial list of the places I look to get more website traffic.

Based upon Google Analytics data pertaining to my recent blog visits, bounce rates and average time on site, I present my top 10 blog traffic sources along with some notes on each:

  1. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing - They account for 35% of my traffic. When my blog was new, I didn’t get any search engine traffic at all. Now, however, I get 5,000 visits from searches per month — including business people seeking precisely the types of services I offer. The credit goes to search engine optimization and to a growing reservoir of content.
  2. Entrecard, a traffic exchange for bloggers - Admittedly, Entrecard provides me with lots of worthless traffic. Fortunately, however, the site provides me with some great traffic too and an opportunity to build key relationships with other bloggers. One of my favorites at Entrecard is Gera from Uruguay, owner of the Sweets Foods blog. He and I are now also connected by email, Facebook and Twitter. As with all other traffic sources, to benefit from Entrecard you’ll need to make a long-term commitment to developing it.
  3. Twitter - I’ve written at length about Twitter. Read Twitter Stats Defy Measurement. I’m happy to have started with Twitter in 2008 when Twitter’s rules didn’t get in the way of building a large following. Today, different tactics are necessary to connect with your target audience. Start by encouraging your website visitors and friends on social networking sites to follow you on Twitter. Then gradually introduce new Twitter tools into your mix. My favorite tool, Tweet Adder, which I use daily, is worth the small investment.
  4. Facebook - I turned my attention to Facebook in June 2009 and experimented with the NetworkedBlogs application, which may have introduced new readers to my blog, but proved to be a poor source of ongoing traffic. On the other hand, profiles, fan pages and events showed themselves to be excellent traffic sources. It seems to me, so far, that Facebook fan pages are very effective as a form of web site subscription.
  5. Ning social network - I’m sorry to report that Ning has morphed into a host of unrelated niche sites. If you have your own Ning site, or a group or lots of friends on someone else’s Ning site, you can use that site to move traffic. As with Twitter, getting started with Ning is harder than it used to be, and the marketing benefits are fewer. I belong to many Ning sites and have several of my own. My primary Ning site is Small Business Network.
  6. Business Exchange - Discovered this social bookmarking site recently and wrote about it in 12 Tips for Using Business Week’s Social Bookmarking Site. I’m hoping that Business Exchange will help me generate a lot of high quality traffic in the year to come.
  7. Blog Catalog - If you have a blog and decide to use BlogCatalog, start your own group there; make many friends on the site and invite them to join your group. Those who join are interested in you and your group’s theme.
  8. StumbleUpon - Planning to learn much more about StumbleUpon and use it much more this year. I’ll keep you posted.
  9. LinkedIn - While well connected on LinkedIn, I’m not using it much at present. Most of my LinkedIn traffic is coming as a result of the Twitter LinkedIn integration.
  10. Ryze - Here I first encountered online social networking back in 2003. I  find Ryze very underwhelming in 2010. The traffic I get from Ryze comes from posting in groups, which are really forums.

I believe that Blogger is sending me websitetraffic because of Google Friend Connect. Also, I heard a rumor that Yahoo! is dumping MyBlogLog. Will let you know about both of them.

You made it all the way down here. Why not scroll down a drop more and leave a comment? ;-)

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Larry Brauner

This is an article about how to get more web site traffic. Unlike most articles discussing how to get more website traffic, this article focuses on optimizing sources of website traffic rather than optimizing links or keywords.

I’ve had some success getting web site traffic. Admittedly, I may never catch up to Seth Godin whose blog currently ranks 6,028 in Alexa for traffic. However, my blog did recently pass 50,000 in Alexa after a couple of years blogging.

Get More Web Site TrafficFriends wonder what I’m doing that they’re not, and whether they’re looking for website traffic in the wrong places.

Hard work and consistency are certainly key success factors, and I am hard working and consistent. I’m also very hard thinking, and I’ve concluded that there aren’t right and wrong places to look for traffic, and that diversifying traffic sources is a critical strategy for achieving long-term success. Most web site owners don’t diversify enough.

Rationale for Diversification of Traffic Sources

It’s true that some website traffic sources deliver greater, higher quality and better targeted website traffic than others. It’s also true that some traffic sources are less time consuming and easier to use than others. Nevertheless, 80/20 rule notwithstanding, to rely only upon your best website traffic sources is a questionable strategy for at least seven reasons:

  1. Quantity - Obviously, using more website traffic sources tends to generate more web site traffic. While some website traffic sources aren’t as efficient to use as others, their website traffic is no less valuable.
  2. Stability - Using more website traffic sources reduces risk and increases stability. Putting all your social media eggs in one basket is risky, since social media is in a constant state of change. We often see social networking sites rise and fall in popularity and even disappear completely. Search engines are also unpredictable. They can revise algorithms or remove web sites at their discretion. My strategy has allowed me to adapt gradually to changes over time.
  3. Opportunity - Testing to uncover the best approaches is a widely accepted marketing concept. Using more website traffic sources, you find opportunities you would otherwise miss. You also increase your chance of getting lucky.
  4. Diversity - Using multiple traffic sources, you can reach audiences that are more diverse and richer from a marketing perspective.
  5. Frequency - Using many website traffic sources, you tend to reach people more often which helps you build your relationships with them more effectively and reinforces your messages.
  6. Synergy -Some website traffic sources complement each other and create synergy.
  7. Latency - Some website traffic sources require persistent usage before they yield results (e.g. search engines) or the source itself may not have matured (e.g. Twitter).

Places I Look to Get More Website Traffic

Without going into detail, a partial list of sources that have recently helped me get more we site traffic are: search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) Entrecard, Twitter, Ning sites, Facebook profile, Facebook page, Facebook NetworkedBlogs, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, BlogCatalog, Google Friend Connect, and other blogs.

While you can use my partial list of website traffic sources for starters, you’ll need to develop your own long list of sources that’s geared to your audience and your marketing strategy.

I’ve intentionally excluded video websites such as YouTube from my list for now, but in all likelihood it will be on yours. Furthermore, I don’t generally buy website traffic, but it might make sense for you to do so.

Okay. We’ve reached the point in the post where you usually comment. Please share your favorite traffic sources and ways you like to get more web site traffic. :-)

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Larry BraunerWe discussed in Why Doesn’t My Website Generate Sales? four different aspects of poor website performance: too little website traffic, the wrong website traffic, insufficient stickiness and poor conversion.

Today we shall examine the all too common problem of too little website traffic and answer three important questions:

  1. Doesn’t my website deserve to get traffic?
  2. Why doesn’t my website get traffic?
  3. How can I create traffic to my website?

Doesn’t My Website Deserve to Get Traffic?

If your website offers useful information or creates value for visitors in some way, it deserves traffic.

It’s really that simple.

Why Doesn’t My Website Get Traffic?

Deserving web traffic is one thing, and getting it is another. I believe that most websites deserve traffic. They were put on the web to present information or create value for visitors in some other fashion. Nevertheless, most websites sit and collect dust to the disappointment of their owners.

Here are a few reasons for the lack of traffic to deserving websites:

  • Lacking web marketing savvy - Most website owners do not know how to market their websites and generate traffic to them. This is alright as long this shortcoming is adequately compensated for which is usually not the case.
  • Assuming that web developers know marketing - Many website owners hold the mistaken belief that web developers will optimize their websites to attract traffic from the search engines. When the site is finished, there is often a keyword expression such as the company’s name that shows up on the first page of the search engines, but that keyword expression is trivial and doesn’t bring much traffic if any. This mistake is pretty common and very sad. It’s a major cause of the following problem.
  • Negativity - Too many website owners don’t appreciate the great marketing potential of the web or don’t believe that the web’s suitable for their business. This is a good example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How Can I Create Traffic to My Website?

Here are four ways to generate website traffic:

  1. Buy advertising - Your best options are print, radio and Internet. You may need a copywriter to develop an effective ad for the media you choose. Before you spend much on advertising, satisfy yourself with an experiment that your ad works and that your site can convert visitors into buyers. If you don’t take this precaution, you may end up throwing away money on advertising that doesn’t produce results.
  2. Connect with your target audience on the web- Online social networking is a path to free website traffic. Building your audience and your brand online is the main focus of this blog. Find the time to explore my site map and read a whole bunch of my articles. Use comments to ask questions. Social networking sites can be very useful, or they can be a very big waste of time. Knowing how to use networking sites effectively makes all the difference.
  3. Learn search engine optimization - You can read some books and optimize your website by yourself, just as I have done. There is an SEO learning curve, but in my opinion, it’s not as steep as the social media learning curve. Good website content and good SEO can attract thousands of free search engine visitors to your website.
  4. Get marketing help - find a web marketing consultant to guide you or do everything for you. That person could be me, or it could be somebody else who’s knowledgeable.

This is your website traffic road map. It’s up to you to choose the route and destination that are best for you.

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Larry BraunerCould it be that your website looks nice but fails to help you meet your web marketing objectives? Too often that is the case.

Lots of effort and expense went into building your site, but your return on investment is marginal or non-existent.

Here are possible reasons why your website isn’t generating leads or sales and some ideas that might help you correct the problems.

Too Little Website Traffic

Perhaps you lack an effective strategy for driving visitors to your site.

You set up your storefront but didn’t tell potential customers that you were in business, a mistake I often see both online and off.

Lack of traffic leads to lack of exposure for you and your offer or message.

Don’t assume that traffic will somehow find its way to you through word-of-mouth, search engines or otherwise. It rarely happens that way.

Generate exposure for your website offline via print advertising, direct mail, radio, etc. and online using social media, search engine marketing, search engine optimization and so forth.

Think big. You can dominate your niche, so don’t settle for less.

The Wrong Website Traffic

You have website traffic, but either your website traffic is not targeted or it’s poorly targeted, the result of using bad copy, selecting the wrong media, or choosing the wrong keywords.

For greater and more targeted website traffic, employ a good mix of research, analysis and experimentation.

Direct marketers have been using this approach offline since before you and I were born, and it works like a charm online as well.

Insufficient Stickiness

You have plenty of visitors, but they leave your website too soon.

Consider these questions:

  • Are you targeting the right website traffic?
  • Are your branding and message clear?
  • Are your pages too cluttered, or do you give your visitor too many choices?
  • Is your font hard to read? Try to avoid white on black in all your media, since it slows down your reader.
  • Is important content “above the fold?” Can visitors see your most important content without scrolling down?
  • Is your content up-to-date, relevant and interesting?
  • Do you use social techniques on your website to engage your visitors?

Poor Conversion

You have plenty of visitors who stick around but nothing happens.

Here are more questions to ponder:

  • Do you have a conversion strategy?
  • Does each of your pages have a call to action?
  • If not ready to buy, can your visitor join, opt-in to or subscribe to your site?

If you don’t have a lead capture mechanism and follow-up strategy, you’re leaving lots of money on the table.

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