The biggest challenge to building a successful website is getting people to visit it. While getting your page to the top of a Google search is everybody’s goal, there is so much content constantly being generated that even if you make it to the top, you might not stay there long. You need to be proactive about promoting your website. The best way to do this is by getting links to your site in places where people of your desired demographic will find them. As more users begin to click through those links to your website, the search engines will begin to take notice of your link popularity, and reward you with even higher search engine rankings. Here are a few ways to distribute links to your website in places where they will generate hits.
Read blogs that are similar in content and theme to your website. As you find conversations that are relevant, make comments and identify yourself. Most commenting systems allow you to leave your own URL when you leave a comment. If you have a website about model airplanes, then comment on blogs about model airplanes. People are naturally curious about those who they are conversing with and you will find that they begin to hit your website through that link. A best case scenario is that those readers then begin to provide your link on their own pages.
Myspace has become a great community for sharing links. As you do searches for, and become involved in communities that share the focus of your website, then you are able to make "friend requests." Once you have been accepted into these communities, your link will be listed on your friend’s pages. If we can go back to the model airplane example, find a community of Myspacers who share your interest. Let them know that you share that interest and ask if you can join their community. When they say yes, you will have a guaranteed link on the page of each one who responds positively.
You can use public information sites such as Yahoo Answers to leave a trail to your site as well. If you search for questions about model airplanes you will find the audience that you are looking for. Find a question, or series of questions that you are able to answer clearly and articulately and answer them. Cite your own website, with a link, in your answer. This will lead future readers to your website as they seek further information about model planes.
Communities that share bookmarks, such as del.icio.us, offer you yet another opportunity to drive traffic towards your site. Once you register as a user, you are able to bookmark sites that are of interest to you and others are able to browse them. Bookmark your own site about model planes and as other users stop by your page, they will be able to bookmark it as well. The more people choose to bookmark your page, the higher the number of hits you will receive.
If you can get your site linked from other sites that you know are drawing heavy traffic, then you should also see a dramatic increase in traffic at your own site. Sometimes, the best way to accomplish this is just by using good old fashioned interpersonal communication. If you read the blog of a major contributor the field, introduce yourself through a friendly email and gradually being to develop a relationship. Using the comments section of someone’s personal blog to advertise yourself can be a little tacky, but it you develop a sense of trust and community with this person, they may be willing to link you and write a post directing people to your page at some point in the future.
Keep in mind that the search engines look for trusted, text links to your site using your main keywords. By utilizing the above strategies you will begin to increase the traffic at your site, and as that traffic begins to increase, the search engines will notice. When the search engines begin to take notice then you essentially create a snowball effect as you continue to move closer to the top and to generate more traffic as you go. Many people spend hours optimizing keyword phrases within their sites in a unique way to generate search engine value. While this can be important, it makes just as much sense to use a link building strategy which allows you to develop relationships, generate visitors, and grows your site organically.