Widgets – What Are They?

Blogging has become a massively popular way of getting a message out to the people who may be interested in reading it. As a result, it has taken off into the mainstream in the last few years, and people who would have got all their information from newspapers and magazines five or ten years ago now add to this by reading blogs regularly. This has had the knock-on effect of making blogging profitable for people and companies who are internet experts.

On many blogs these days, you will see at the bottom of the post that there is a list of different icons which, if moused over, will give you a range of options. Among these options are the chance to add a post to one’s Facebook feed or to post a tweet on Twitter encouraging people to go and read it. There are far more options besides this, and each of them gives the reader a chance to alert other people to this site. You can add these options to your blog posts by placing what is called a “widget” on your blog.

There are various sources for widgets on the Internet. A quick Google search for the term will give you a vast range of options, and when you add a widget to your blog you will give yourself more exposure to Internet users. This can create a domino effect, too. If one person Tweets one of your articles, the people who read their feed are liable to read it and if they like it, they may continue the chain. In this way, a single click on a widget can lead to tens, even hundreds of visits to your site.

Do You Have A Newsletter I Could Subscribe To?

 

One of the most important aspects of attracting people to try out, and continue using, any product is to give them a constant reminder that it exists and it is enjoyable. If you have a website to attract people to, then this can provide a challenge. People have to take the decision to visit a website, and this makes for a tough conundrum. There are certain things that you can keep in people’s affections simply by putting it in front of them – but whether it is by clicking a link or typing a URL, people have to decide to visit a website.

One of the best ways around this is to have a regular newsletter. When a newsletter is sent to your inbox then, as long as you are interested in the subject matter, you are liable to open the email. Once you have opened the email, you are likely to keep reading as long as the content is brief enough to be read in the time it takes to read a standard email. However, if you want people to keep reading those newsletters, it is worth giving them a reason to do so.

Keeping the reason to open and read that newsletter in people’s minds is your challenge – many people choose to do so by continually having special offers. If each newsletter contains an order code that allows the individual to get money off a product, or tips to work on a specific problem, people will keep reading it – and if you include a link to your site, they are liable to continue visiting.

 

Incentivizing Traffic Every Way You Can

 

Many human instincts hinge on one phrase that we have probably all used and have certainly all heard – “What’s in it for me?”. This question is a powerful convincer. So many people are reluctant to do something unless they know it will be somehow rewarded. Indeed, most business training in this day and age for sales or customer service professionals is built around convincing the customer that there is a reason for them to do something – that they will benefit directly from doing it.

One of the major ways to attract people to a website is something that might be considered a “secondary layer”. That is to say, you are already promoting your site by requesting that people visit it. Conscious of the fact that people might not want to do something just because you say so, you may benefit from adding a reason for them to want to. This can be something as simple as offering a free ebook to everyone who fills in a form.

The importance of working to satisfy people’s instincts is a factor that is often overlooked. Of course you want people to be visiting your site on its merits but there is no harm whatsoever, and a lot of common sense, in backing this up with an appeal to their personal interest. Countless people have taken a decision to cash in a freebie and have stayed on board when they realized that they liked the product on its own merits. Playing the percentages – in this case, giving people more and more reasons to say “yes” – is sound business.

 

Traffic No-Nos: Spamming

 

If you have a website, it stands to reason that you will want people to know about it. There is no way they can visit a site they don’t know about, so it is important to promote your site well. The problem for many people is one of practicality – how do you let people know about your website, and do so without spending too much money?

For many, the obvious answer is to use free sites with user-generated content such as online forums. If you are a member of a forum, you can contribute to discussions on the topic of the board and read what others are contributing, too. It is a reliable and often fun way to exchange opinions and just chat – and it allows you to create a signature as your message to readers. This is an excellent place to put a link to your site.

Additionally, you can place links in the contributions you make to the forum – but this is where you have to be careful. A lot of people make the mistake of simply “spamming” the forum by placing links in every post – often without contributing anything original to the discussion. This is a huge mistake. A forum will allow you to post links in context, as long as the post is not solely an effort to place a link.

If you have a reason to post a link – for example, another poster has asked for help which you can illustrate by pointing them to an article on your site – then you can generate traffic by doing so. What you cannot do is simply put a link in a post without any reason or context aside from promoting yourself. This will get you banned, and your posts removed.

Traffic No-Nos: Comment Stuffing

It is well-known by most people with sites to promote that you can easily get a bit more traffic by being a contributing member of an online community. A forum or a social networking site would be one example – as is the readership of a blog. Most blogs on the internet allow commenting on posts, which allows you to discuss matters raised in the post and – hopefully – receive feedback from the blogger.

It is not rare to see comments on some blogs which contain a link (usually in the commenter’s name) and have no useful contribution to make. It may well be something along the lines of “This is a great post – I like when you talk about this!”. More often than not, this will be spam – the comment has no point to make, it exists solely to be there. The commenter hopes that people will click on his link and read his site. Chances are he hasn’t read the post, and his comment certainly does not show any sign that he has.

Bloggers are increasingly becoming wise to this – they have comments enabled on their site so that their posts can be a source of discussion – and this kind of comment will more often than not be deleted with little fuss. The shame is that if you just take time to read and make a valuable contribution, your comment will stay there, be read, and give you an opening to make further contributions. And if people like those, they will click the link.

Mailing Lists – A Reliable Source Of Traffic

The old saying “leave no stone unturned” is one with a lot of relevance when it comes to website promotion. There are so many things you can do to put your website in the mind of individuals, and it is wise to do as many of them as you reasonably can. For any webmaster, it is common knowledge that giving people a chance to get interested is the first thing you must do. Thus you must provide good content. If you do, people will want to come back and read again. However, if your site is a blog, it will be frequently updated, often at irregular times.

In order to ensure that people come to see the changes when they are still relevant, it is beneficial to have a blog mailing list. Thus, when people read your site and enjoy it they can sign up for the mailing list – which will see them get an email every time you update the site, and carry a link to the update so that they can go there directly. When people receive a welcome email – say, for example, one from a favored blog – they are likely to click the link, and come through to your site.

Setting up a mailing list is not a perfect system. Not everyone who likes your blog will want to join a mailing list – it’s nothing personal, but some mailing list software will mean that their email address is shared with more than just yourself. A lot of people simply have an aversion to giving out their email address. However, enough people will use it to make it worthwhile.

 

Traffic No-Nos: Black Hat SEO

A fair number of people would stop at nothing to make their website popular, up to and including visiting numerous internet cafes and visiting the site from as many different IP addresses as possible. While that is an extreme example – it does happen, though – there are other things that people will do under the impression that it will get their Google hits skyrocketing – only to find out in the fullness of time that this really is not the case. So what are these traffic mistakes – and why should you avoid them?

Among the most common things that the uninitiated try in order to up their traffic, black hat SEO is a fairly new one, but has already come to the attention of the search engines, who have marked it out as a bad idea and something that will get you falling down the list of rankings quicker than you can say “persona non grata”. Black hat SEO – the name comes from the old-style Westerns in which the “good guys” wore white hats and the bad guys wore black – is a style of SEO that tries to trick Google and other search engines.

How do you trick Google? Well, the theory goes that you can place articles which are artificially stuffed with keywords on a site, so that it looks like keyword relevance is high. In some cases, the site will then redirect you to another page which has the actual content on it. This, along with other black hat tricks like “hiding” text by writing it in the same color as the website’s background (and just writing lists of keywords), will not work – Google know every trick in the book, and will downrank people who use them.

Controlling The Traffic

 

A good build-up of traffic is important for so many reasons if you are a website owner. You can have all of the best content in the world, but if you can’t get people to see it then there will be limited reason to bother. You can spend a lot of money getting a website that looks good, but you may be throwing money away if you don’t have anyone visiting the site. It is important to get good traffic to your website, if you want to get the best out of it, but this isn’t always easy.

By far the main sources of traffic on the Internet are the search engines, particularly Google. If you can get a ranking on the early pages of a Google search for a particular term, then you can have a powerful flow of traffic to your site. The most effective way of doing this is through using SEO – Search Engine Optimization. This is a system whereby you use the most popular keywords used in Google searches on your particular topic often enough to make search engines take notice.

It is important to be conscious that Google will not put you at the top of its rankings if you simply post articles on your website that contain the word over and over, with no context linking the usage. It means that you need to concentrate on providing quality content that is readable on its own merits, while also including the right keywords often enough.

 

The Myth Of Link Banking

Early on in their internet promotional career, a lot of people hear of the importance of link bank sites for ensuring that your site is given the exposure it needs. Many people religiously follow this advice thinking that that kind of exposure will make their site a well-visited place, but the truth is that this just isn’t the case. If you want to make sure your site is visited, then link banks are about as much use as writing your site’s URL on a random wall.

Link bank sites are almost never used as a way to find sites. Their major use is as a place to dump a link so that Google notices there is a link there. The more links there are, according to received wisdom, the higher Google will rank you. But this is at best half the story. If you really want Google to notice you, active links are far more important than volume of links. A link no-one clicks is of minimal value. It certainly won’t get you a first-page ranking.

Yes, you want your link to be out there on the Internet, and there is no harm in having it in as many places as possible. But an orphan link without any context to encourage someone to visit it is a wasted link. There will always be other places you could put it. Instead of joining a link bank site, it is much better to join another forum and put the link in your signature, or read someone’s blog and comment productively.

Word Of Mouth – The World’s Driving Force

There are many things in this world that become successful without an initial marketing boom. It is often felt by companies that unless they really throw money at a campaign, it is doomed to failure. One can only estimate as to how much money is wasted in this way, not least because in a bizarre safety-first approach, it is considered vital to make sure you have spent enough so that no-one can say you didn’t try your hardest. You would be surprised how things can gain a momentum of approval without a big campaign.

Getting people to your site is often not a case of telling a specific number of people, but rather ensuring that the right people know. You could go online with a new site and think “I will publicize this in x number of forums, on these social networking sites and on every blog I can think of”. The chances are that it won’t bring in as much traffic, and certainly not the same level of repeat traffic, as posting on the right forums, the right social networking sites and the right blogs.

Word of mouth can do much of the work once the right people know. Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code was not popular with the critics, and was not the subject of major instore campaigns when it was first released. But when people read it and liked it, they recommended it to friends. Before long, it was top of the bestseller charts and a major Hollywood motion picture. Other books with much bigger ad campaigns have sold much less.

The First Rule Of Traffic Directing

A lot of people get into a real flap about not having enough visitors to their site, but fail to concentrate on other matters of importance. The truth of the matter is that if you want to ensure that people focus on something, you have to first give them something to focus on. It should go without saying, but in matters of website popularity, the first and most important thing to concentrate on is that there is a reason for your website to be popular. As the line from the famous movie Field Of Dreams goes: “If you build it, they will come”.

Nothing succeeds like success. You will definitely get more traffic through to your blog if you give people reason to “sell” it to their friends. The surest way to do this is to make it something people will want to read. A great number of people surf the Internet in the same way every day. They log on, read their email and then check on their favorite sites. For many people, their favorite site is a blog – something written by a person with a similar profile to them who writes in a funny, interesting way.

Of course there is more that you can do to get your site in people’s minds in addition to making the site good. But nothing will guarantee a build-up of traffic like writing things that people want to read. The first rule of website traffic directing is to have a website that is worth directing traffic to.

Driving Traffic Every Way You Can

There is divided opinion over the best way to drive traffic to a website. Webmasters the world over have their own ways of doing it, giving particular prominence in their plans to the ways they think will work best. If you are trying to create as much traffic as you can, it is in your best interests to not spend too much time thinking about which is the best way and instead concentrate on using a combination of different ways in a manner which suits you.

Bringing traffic to a website is something that relies on you taking the right measure in your approach. Social networking is important, as is forum posting and various other ways of driving traffic. What you need to do is use each medium in a way which complements the others. There is a real advantage to realising that you can take a lot from using these media for more than just placing links. A presence on Twitter or on online forums will expose you to other people’s tips and philosophies, and will give you the chance to learn things you didn’t realize could help you.

It is also important to realize that just being on a forum, or having a blog, will not drive traffic to your site. Equally, mentioning your site at every given opportunity will switch people off through sheer boredom. It is important instead to use the different media in a way which makes you interesting – it is much better to have people say “Oh, I see he/she has posted a thread” than for them to say “Oh God, has he/she posted again?”