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How To Attract More Visitors To Your Website
By: Craig Binkley

There are numerous factors to consider when evaluating the potential commercial success (i.e. profitability) of a website. A few of these include content, quality of the content, items being marketed, appearance, etc. I could go on forever about the various website building blocks needed in order to be successful, but without traffic (visitors), no website is going to be profitable.

You may think that the site you have created is top-notch, but if the only ones visiting it are your family and friends then chances are very good that you?re not going to make many sales (or whatever it is your site is designed to accomplish).

So how, as a Webmaster, do you tackle the seemingly huge task of getting traffic (that?s so vitally important to your success) driven to your site? To answer that, we first need to look at two types of visitor categories:

Non-targeted: A non-targeted visitor is defined as a person that is not truly interested in, or searching for, what your site offers. They may have stumbled across your site while searching for something else. While they may or may not purchase goods/services from your site, it should be assumed that they were not actively searching for what you?re marketing.

Targeted: A targeted visitor to your website would be a person that found your page using some type of search parameter. This person would have been actively searching for the content that your site offers. This person is much more likely to purchase from your site than the non-targeted visitor. Obviously, targeted traffic is what a website owner needs in order to be profitable.

Now here is the dilemma of the day: How do you generate traffic and then how do you determine if that traffic is targeted or non-targeted? Below I have listed some of the major ways of driving traffic to your website along with the type of visitor to expect from each one.

Search Engines: If you have optimized your site correctly, visitors you receive from the major search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo (and many of the lesser engines) should be targeted to your site. These people have actively searched out the keywords that have led them to your page. The best thing about this traffic is that it is free.

The downside of generic search engine traffic is getting your site ranked high enough so that people actually find your site. Most people will not look much beyond the first three pages of search results. So if you are not in the top thirty results for a certain keyword, the chances are good that you?re not going to see much traffic from them.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Pay-per-click, much like the generic search engine results discussed above, should be highly targeted traffic. The basic premise with PPC is that you place your ad with the different search engines, directories, etc. and then they distribute your ad according to your selected keywords. When a person clicks on your ad, you pay a set price. When done correctly, PPC can be an excellent way of driving targeted traffic. The downside of PPC is that you pay for every single click. Though many of the top PPC companies allow you to set up a monthly budget, it can still become very expensive.

Cost-Per-Action (CPA): Cost-per-action works much like PPC. The main difference between the two is that you pay only when the visitor performs a required task at your site (purchase, sign up, etc.) Of course the cost for this service is much higher than standard PPC. Also, CPA services usually require that you place a piece of code on your ?Checkout? or ?Thank You? page which alerts them to the fact that the visitor came from their service in order for them to charge you accordingly.

Traffic Exchanges: A traffic exchange website (Traffic Swarm, etc) is based on the idea of ?You scratch my back, then I?ll scratch yours.? I.E. they will display your ad the same number of times that you?ve clicked to view someone else?s. Some offer ratios of 1:1 (meaning for every time you click on another ad, your ad will be displayed), while others offer differing plans. The downside of traffic exchanges is that most of the people clicking on the ads are doing it for the same reason you are ? to get their ad placed. Therefore, any traffic generated through a traffic exchange will more than likely not be targeted. It is possible to make the occasional sale or sign up through these services, but they will probably be few and far between.

Article Submission: Writing & submitting articles about a subject that?s relevant to your website content is an excellent way to receive targeted traffic. This can normally be done for free or at a very low cost. An added benefit is that each time a website posts your article you will receive a one-way link to your website-- which is highly favored by the search engines.

The process is really quite simple: 1) Write an article about a subject that visitors to your site would be interested in. At the bottom of the article place a ?resource box? that contains a little blip about you and/or your website along with your link. (See my example below entitled ?ABOUT THE AUTHOR?). 2) Submit your article to the many online article directories. This can be done manually or with software programs designed to automate the process for you.

If your article is well written, it may be placed on hundreds of highly visited websites. When a person reads your article and decides to click on the link you?ve provided in the resource box, you get the [usually] free targeted traffic. It doesn?t get much better than that!

Link Exchange: Once upon a time link exchanging was the BIG thing. I believe that has changed and no longer is as heavily-weighted by the search engines. The whole point of exchanging links was supposed to be because you believed your visitors would benefit from your link partner?s content. Link farms changed & abused all of that, so the search engine ?points? given for backward links have been adjusted down. Don?t count them out completely as a way to drive traffic to your site, but don?t count on them solely either. Exchanging links with like-minded websites can still deliver some decent traffic, which, in theory, should also be the coveted targeted type.

In conclusion: As a website owner, targeted traffic is the name of the game. You can have the best looking site with the coolest graphics, but if no one can find your site then all your work isn?t going to do you much good.

Seek out highly targeted traffic for your website. Optimize your site for the search engines and then choose a few of the options listed above to start driving visitors to your site today. Once you get the visitors there...well, that?s another article for another day.

Copyright 2006 Craig Binkley

Craig Binkley - EzineArticles Expert Author

Craig Binkley is a husband, father and home business owner. Visit his Work From Home Directory located at http://www.workfromhomehelper.com for legitimate work from home opportunities and ideas.

 


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