51. Customize your 404 error page. Whether you like it or not people will get 404 errors on your website. Maybe they will misspell your URLs, maybe someone will link to an inexistent page inside your website, and so on. If you use a normal 404 error page, visitors will simply move on to another website. If you customize your 404 error page to include some useful links, however, you’ll channel these visitors to other parts of your site, thus increasing your traffic.
52. Interlink your pages. This strategy will increase your traffic in two ways. First of all it will allow your visitors to explore your website more easily, increasing the number of pages views per visit. Secondly, it will also improve your search rankings because your link juice will be distributed among all pages of your website.
53. Highlight your most popular content. People like to know “what is hot” when they are visiting a website. You can increase the number of page views you’ll get per visitor if you highlight your popular content and encourage them to read it. The easiest way to achieve this is to create a “Popular Articles” section on your sidebar.
54. Test your website in different browsers. If web users can’t visualize your website properly they’ll just move on to another site. That is why you need to make sure that your site works fine on the most popular browsers. There is an online service called Browsershots.org that can help you with that, and it is completely free.
55. Speed up your website. There are many research papers confirming that most Internet users will only wait a couple of seconds for a web page to load. If it doesn’t, they will close it and move to another website. On top of that search engines also use the loading speed as a ranking factor, so the faster your site loads, the higher your search rankings. The first thing you should do to improve your loading speed is to remove unnecessary elements from your site and to reduce the size of your images. You can use the Firebug extension for Firefox to perform a more detailed analysis of your loading speed.
56. Serve cached pages. A very efficient way to improve the loading speed of your pages is to serve cached versions to your visitors. This will also reduce the load on your web server, and make your site more responsive. WordPress users can install a plugin called WP Super Cache to achieve this.
57. Get a decent hosting plan. No matter how much your optimize your website, however, it will still load slowly if your hosting plan is mediocre to begin with. That is why you should stay away from free and cheap web hosts. Investment $10 per month to get a quality hosting plan is a must.
Search Engine Optimization
58. Create unique content. If you want to receive search engine traffic and only had time to work on one thing, you should work on creating unique content for your website. This is what Google and company values most. The more unique content you have, and the more frequently you publish new stuff, the better.
59. Build backlinks. The second most important thing you can do to improve your search rankings and receive organic traffic is to build backlinks. That is, you need to have as many websites linking to you as possible. The higher the quality and relevancy of these links, the better. If you have a tech blog, for example, getting a link from TechCrunch or some other authoritative tech site would do wonders to your SEO.
60. Perform keyword research. Search engines work around keywords, and if you understand the keywords that people use you can tailor your content to match that. For example, the term “funny pictures” is 15 times more searched than the term “funny images,” so you probably should use that in a post title . You can use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to discover the search volume of any keyword.
61. Optimize your title tags. The title tag is the title of your pages. It goes inside the <title></title> tags in the header of your HTML code, and it is displayed on top of the browser when visiting your page. This is a very important on-page SEO factor. You should make sure that you have a unique title tag on each page of your site, and that your main keywords are present there. WordPress users can install the All in One SEO Pack plugin to achieve this automatically.
62. Build an HTML sitemap. An HTML sitemap is basically a page inside your website linking to all other pages (and preferably being linked from all other pages too). The HTML sitemap helps search engines to crawl and index your website, thus increasing your search rankings.
63 Use images. Most webmasters forget that Google has a feature called “Image search,” which is quite popular. This means that by using images inside your pages you can increase the amount of search engine traffic you get. Just make sure to optimize the name of your images with relevant keywords, and always include an ALT and a TITLE attribute in your image tags. You can use the sxc.hu website to find thousands of royalty free images to use on your website.
64. Translate your content. Depending on the topic of your website, translating your pages into other languages could multiply your search engine traffic. In order to achieve this you need a plugin that will get your translated pages indexed by search engines. WordPress users can use one called Global Translator.
65. Create a mobile version of your website. As more and more users start accessing the web through mobile devices, it becomes important to have a version of your website that works perfectly these new platforms. If you are using WordPress you can install a plugin called WPTouch to create a mobile version automatically.
66. Create an iPhone app for your website. iPhone is arguable the most popular smartphone around, and most of its users rely heavily on apps to consume their content. If you create an iPhone app to display the content of your website you could both get new readers and allow your current ones to read your stuff on their iPhones. There is an open source project that will help you do this for free.
67. Create an Android app for your website. Google’s mobile operating system, called Android, is quickly catching up, so you could create a website app for it as well. You’ll need some coding knowledge for this though.
69. Link to your articles from post threads. Apart from putting a link to your website in your signature, you can also link to your articles when writing forum posts. For example, if you just wrote a post that is useful to other forum members, you could start a thread letting them know about it, and asking for feedback. Just make sure to do this when your article is relevant, else you might get flagged as a spammer.
68. Join online forums and put a link to your website in your signature. Regardless of the topic of your website, you’ll certainly find dozens of related online forums to join. Most of them allow you to put a link in your signature, and you can use that to send visitors to your own website. If you need help to find online forums, check Big-Boards.com, as they have a database of thousands of forums divided by categories.
70. Join the Craigslist forums. If you browse on Craigslist (the most popular classifieds site on the web) you’ll notice that inside each city there is a “Discussion forums” section. You can write posts there, and include links to your website whenever relevant to the discussion.
71. Consider adding a Forum to your site. Once your website reach a critical mass of users (i.e., 5,000 daily unique visitors or more) you could consider adding a Forum to it. This will give your visitors a place to ask questions and contribute content, while increasing your traffic. phpBB is a reliable and free Forum software you can use.
72. Create “lenses” on Squidoo. Each “lens” on Squidoo is an overview page about a specific topic. Creating lenses is free, and you can include any kind of information on them, including links to your own website.
73. Create a “hub” on HubPages. A very similar site is called HubPages. You can create “hubs” about specific topics, and include links to your website there. Just make sure to read the site guidelines, to make sure your hubs will be published.
74. Answer to questions on Yahoo! Answers. Spend some time browsing the questions on Yahoo! Answers, and whenever you come across one related to the topic of your site, answer it. You can include a link to your website as an additional resource, or to a specific article inside your site that answers the question too.
75. Answer to questions on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Answers is another platform where you can answer to questions from other users and include a link to your own website or articles. Keep in mind that topics gravitate around career and business here.
76. Submit your site to web directories. The amount of traffic you’ll get from this tactic depends on the quality of the web directories that will accept you. If you submit to hundreds of them, however, the traffic might build up. Here is a list with hundreds of web directories, organized by Google PageRank.
77. Submit your blog to blog directories. If you have a blog, you can also submit to blog directories (i.e., web directories that only list blogs). This article lists 50 of them to get you started.
78. Submit content to article directories. Article marketing is a very common and effective way to increase your traffic. You basically need to submit your articles to article directories. Virtually all of them allow you to include a link back to your site, and that is how your traffic will increase. Here is a list with the 50 most popular article directories on the web.
79. Exchange links. The practice of exchanging links is as old as the web, but that is so because it works. You just need to be careful to only exchange links with sites that have unique content and are relevant to your visitors (else Google might get upset).
80. Use ad swaps. A similar strategy is to use ad swaps. That is, you use your unused ad space to promote the website of your partner, and he does the same with his unused ad space. The ad itself could be anything, from a banner spot to an email message to your newsletter.
81. Distribute a press release. Creating and distributing a press release can still send some traffic to your website, especially if you have something new in your segment. You can pay companies like PRWeb to do most of the work for you, or you can submit the press release manually (here is a list with 50 sites you can submit to).
82. Include your website’s URL in your email signature. Email is the most used communication channel these days, and as such you should use it to let your contacts know about your website.
83. Google AdWords. Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most efficient ways to buy traffic for your website, and Google AdWords is the largest ad network for that on the web. Creating an account is free, and then you’ll need to bid on keywords. Depending on your niche it is possible to buy clicks for as low as some pennies.
84. Facebook ads. The best alternative to Google AdWords is the Facebook Ads platform. You’ll be able to pay both per click and per 1,000 impressions, and you can also target very specific demographics, to make sure the visitors will be interested in your content.
85. StumbleUpon ads. If your content performs well on social media you could try StumbleUpon ads. Your website (or a specific page inside it) will basically be displayed to StumbleUpon users, with a cost of $0.05 per view. If many users vote positively on your content you’ll also receive some free traffic.
86. Reddit sponsored links. Another social bookmarking site where you can buy ads on is Reddit. You’ll basically create a sponsored link that will be featured on the homepage, and Reddit users will be able to vote it up or down.
87. Purchase banner ads directly. Virtually any website owner is willing to sell banner ads. If you find a website that is closely related to yours, therefore, you could contacts the owner asking how much he would charge for a banner ad. The return on the investment might be high here, because the visitors that will come will be likely to stick around and become loyal readers of your site.
88. Purchase banner ads through networks. There are ad networks that might also help you purchase banner ads, paying a flat monthly fee. BuySellAds.com is a large one with a really big inventory of websites.
89. Purchase sponsored reviews. Sometimes sponsored reviews work better for traffic generation, because your website will be featured inside a post (i.e., it will be exposed directly to the readers of the other site). If you want to buy a sponsored review you could either contact the website owner directly, or browse through the marketplace of sites like SponsoredReviews.com (make sure the sponsored links will have the nofollow attribute, else Google might get pissed).
90. Tell your friends and family about your website. These folks are certainly going to be interested in checking your website out, and if you put new content there frequently, they might keep coming back.
91. Tell your co-workers about your website. This is another group of people that will be interested in visiting your website at least one. If the content of your website is somewhat related to your work this strategy will work even better.
92. Include your website’s URL in your business card. If you give business cards away frequently, consider including your website’s URL there. Professional contacts might be interested in visiting it after all.
93. Print your website’s URL in some T-shirts. It is very easy and cheap to get custom T-shirts these days (just Google it), so getting some with your website’s URL could be a nice way to spread the word about it.
94. Create stickers with your website’s URL and spread them around. If you really want to go guerilla, get some stickers with your website’s URL and spread them around. Cars, windows, computers, you name it!
95. Put an ad at a local newspaper. Depending on the niche of your website, getting an ad on a local newspaper could be a good investment. For example, if you have a blog about local news or events an ad on the local newspaper could definitely bring you some new readers.
Out of the box Methods
96. Come up with an April Fools’ prank. The first of April is a very lively day on the Internet, where many companies and webmasters come up with funny pranks. If you come up with a funny or interesting one other website owners might link to your, sending you traffic. You can check TechCrunch’s summary of the 2010 pranks for inspiration.
97. Set your website as the homepage on any computer you use. If you apply this tactic consistently it might actually bring good results. For instance, you could set your website as the homepage of all computers in your school, work, libraries and so on.
98. Navigate to your website on computer stores. This might not bring you a lot of traffic, but it sure is a funny tactic. Whenever you go to a store with computers being showcased, open the web browser and navigate to your website, so that people passing by will see it.
99. List your website for sale. Even if you are not planning to sell it, that is. The interested buyers will visit your website to check it out, and that is how you’ll increase your traffic. If you list your site on popular marketplaces, like Flippa.com, you might actually get thousand of visitors (and possible some good offers!).
100. Fake a hacker attack. The community of bloggers and webmasters gets in turmoil every time a website or blog gets hacked. If you fake such an attack (i.e., by putting a weird message in your homepage) you’ll certainly receive many backlinks and a bump in traffic. People might get pissed if they find out it was a prank, though.
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