Saturday, November 24, 2007

Top 5 Ways To Generate Low Cost Website Traffic

There is one hard and fast rule in generating income for your website: A steady flow of website traffic. If no one goes to your site, it hardly bares a chance of generating an income. Many sites have tried and failed in doing so, and these results to the sites demise. It takes money to maintain an income generating site; it also takes money to make money.

BUT, it doesn’t take a whole caboodle of cash to generate website traffic for your site.

Ever wonder how does big hit sites drive traffic top their site? Most of them are spending tons of money to drive the traffic to their sites, investing in many advertising campaigns and different forms of marketing schemes and gimmickries. This is all worthwhile because, well, they are what they are now, high earning, big hitting websites.

You don’t have to do this if you don’t really have their resources. There are many ways to generate low cost website traffic without having to spend what you don’t have or can’t afford. Many people have banked on high cost methods and have ended up losing their shirt over it.

Here I present to you the Top five ways to generate low cost website traffic that could help your site a whole lot. Even if you only get a small percentage of successful visitors in to client ratio it still works especially if you get a high number of website traffic.

Exchange Links

This is a sure and proven method. Rarely would you see a site where there is no link to another site. Many webmasters are willing to exchange links with one another so that they could produce more public awareness about their sites. You’ll soon see and feel the sudden upsurge of the traffic coming in to your site from other sites.

A major prerequisite in exchanging links with other sites is having the same niche or content as the other site. They should share a common subject so that there is continuity in the providing of service and information to what interests your target traffic.

Exchanging links also boosts your chances of getting a high ranking in search engine results. It is common knowledge that search engines ranks high sites that have inbound and outbound theme-related links. With a good ranking position in the search engines, you will generate more traffic in your website without the high costs.

Traffic Exchange

This is like exchanging links but on a different higher level. This may cost a bit more than exchanging or trading links but could be made cheaper because you get to earn credits. You can use those credits when viewing others traffic, while you earn credits when someone views yours.

Traffic exchange services are the viewing of another’s site or page. This is done vice versa where a site can use your sites contents and so can you to his or her site. You both benefit from each others efforts to generate traffic. The other sites visitors can go to your pages and know more about your site as well as theirs. Once again the public awareness of your sites existence is boosted.

Write and Submit Articles

There are many e-zines and online encyclopedias in the internet which provides free space for articles to be submitted. If you want to save costs, you can do the articles yourself. There are many freelance writers who are willing to write for you for a small fee, but to save money, it is wise to do those articles yourself.

Write articles that are themed along with the niche of your site. Write something that you have expertise on so that when they read it, they can feel your knowledge about the subject and will be eager to go to your site. Write articles that produce tips and guidelines to the subject or niche your site has.

Include a resource box at the end of your article that can link them to your site. Write a little about yourself and your site. If you provide a light, information-laden and interesting article, they will go to your site for more.

Make a Newsletter.

This may sound like hard work because of all the articles you may need to use to build a newsletter but on the contrary, this is not so. There are many writers and sites that are willing to provide free articles as long as they can get their name in on your newsletter. This will also provide free advertising for them as well.

As your newsletter gets pass around, you can widen your public awareness and build an opt-in list that can regularly visit your site.

Join Online Communities and Forums

This only requires your time and nothing else. You can share your knowledge and expertise with many online communities as well as your website. You can get free advertising when you go to forums that have the same subject or niche with your site.

Share your two cents and let them see how knowledgeable you are with the subject. As you build your reputation, you also build the reputation of your site, making it a reputable and honest business that could be frequented and trusted by many people.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gain Trust in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool that creates a win-win situation for online merchants and webmasters. However, with most good things, there are some potential problems if relationships are not handled prudently.

These potential problems do not doom affiliate-marketing to failure but do require a little extra dedication and attention to overcome.

Perhaps the largest potential problem of affiliate-marketing is caused in part by the remote nature of the affiliate marketing relationship between merchant and webmaster.

Remote or distant relationships inevitably require trust. While figures don't lie, liars do figure. The affiliate marketing system performs only as well as the depth of trust that exists.

One solution to this dilemma is to have regional and national affiliate marketing trade events and conferences to enhance the level of education and interaction between merchants and affiliate webmasters.

People who have a personal relationship tend to be more honest with each other. They also tend to work harder for each other. The benefits of a real relationship far outweigh a faceless ID on a spreadsheet or in a database.

The educational benefits of such events are also many. Merchants can learn about tools to enhance their fraud detection and prevention arsenal, strategies to more effectively recruit and retain affiliates, and ways to better motivate and reward existing affiliates.

Affiliate webmasters can learn new uses for the datafeeds and other tools provided by merchants, industry-best strategies for ad placement and landing page design, and other ways to enhance their click conversion rates.

Educational and social events of this kind reinforce the win-win relationship that is essential in an Affiliate Marketing program. Besides, it makes a pretty good tax deduction as well...

Plus it's nice to every once in a while to be around people, who understand what affiliate marketing is and what you do for a living, and who also take you seriously.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Improve Your Search Engine Ranking Potential

The basic "out the box" WordPress SEO settings are not enough to fully optimize your blog, but there are a number of plugins you can use to enhance your WordPress blog further:

1) Make a decision - to use, or not to use, the www. prefix in your blog URL's...

If your blog uses URL's which include 'www.' and others which do not, the search engines will index two versions of your blog and aside from the possible waste of bandwidth from double spidering, one of them will be filtered as duplicated content. While this problem might be real or just a storm in a tea cup, being pro-active seems to be the wisest option. You need to decide which system you want to use and stick to it, always!

The Redirections plugin by John Godley allows you to specify which system you want to use and will automatically create '301 redirection' for other URL's. For example, if you decide to use the 'www.' prefix any link to your blog that does not contain the prefix will automatically be redirected to the correct URL which contains the 'www.' prefix. The major advantage of using this plugin is that it also creates re-directs if you choose to change a post slug (used for the post file name). It also creates redirects if you decide to change your permalink structure and already have posts indexed in the search engines using the old permalink structure.

2) Create Optimized post title tags

The SEO Title Tag plugin by Stephan Spencer is an essential plugin. By default WordPress places your blog name, a separator and then your post name in the title of each page (i.e. between the 'title' tags). The SEO Title Tag plugin reverses this and places your post name before your blog name in the title. From a search engine optimization stand point this is advantageous, because:

- It gives the keywords in your title more prominence.
- It provides more meaningful search engine listing results.
- It provides more meaningful browser bookmark names.

One of the major advantages of this plugin is that you have the ability to create a unique title tag for your blog index page and separate title tags for your category pages. By default, WordPress just uses the blog name for the index title and category names for the category page titles.

3) Include description and keyword meta tags in your blog's 'head' tags...

Including meta keyword tags in your blog's header is not a necessity, most search engines ignore them, but including them won't harm your search engine optimization chances on some of the simpler search engines.

Some search engines will use your meta description in their search listings, others like Google will display all or part of a sentence which contains the first instance of the keyword or phrase being searched. The most obvious thing to do would be to add your keyword phrases into the meta description tag, but these must contain a call-to-action (e.g. make the reader want to read your article).

Creating a compelling meta description which includes all your keyword phrases makes it somewhat difficult for programmers to build a plugin for creating automated meta description tags... The most common meta description solutions are plugins which take the first 100 or 150 characters from the first sentence to include them in the meta description. The most effective meta keywords plugins are those which also handle the tags you add to each post. Here are two plugins for you to consider:

i. The Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin by Christine Davis is the ultimate tagging solution for bloggers, but it can also include the tags you add to your posts as meta keywords. This plugin can be used for a number of different features on your blog, so it makes sense to use it instead of different plugins for each feature.

ii. The Head META Description plugin by Kaf Oseo takes your post excerpt or if you don't enter one, the first 20 words of your post content and includes them in a meta description tag. To get the most out of this plugin you need to get into the habit of writing an attention grabbing post exert (or first sentence) for all your posts. This is a good article writing habit to get into whether you use the plugin or not.