Traffic is the currency of the web. The more traffic your website has, the easier it will be to achieve your objective, be it to make money, to spread your ideas, to connect with other people or anything else.
That is why we decided to create a compilation with 100 ways you can use to increase your website traffic.
Apply some (or most) of them and we are sure your numbers will go up!
1. Add a blog to your website. If your website is static (e.g., a corporate site or an online store), consider adding a blog to it, where you’ll write new content regularly. This will give your visitors a reason to come back, and your search engine traffic will increase too. If you need a blog software, check out WordPress (it is free and easy to use).
2. Leave comments on other blogs. Develop the habit of visiting blogs inside your niche and leaving comments on them. You can include a link to your website on each comment, and some visitors will certainly come through those links. You can use Alltop to find blogs in any niche.
3. Write guest posts. Most blogs accept guest posts. That is, they allow you to write a post for them, and usually the post carries an author byline with a link to your website. Simply send your article to the blog owner and ask whether or not he wants to publish it as a guest post.
4. Sponsor blog contests. Another common practice around the blogosphere are contests. You can sponsor one by donating products or money, and the blogger will link to your website from the contest page.
5. Join a blog carnival. Blog carnivals are online events where bloggers get together to write about one specific topic. The host of the carnival will them write a round-up post linking to all the participant entries, and participants usually link to each others’ entries as well. You can organize one with your friends, or browse for existing ones at BlogCarnival.com.
6. Network, network, network. Ever heard the saying “it is not about what you know, but who you know”? It applies to promoting a website as well. If you become a friend with a blogger or website owner, he will be much more likely to link to your website and send traffic your way. A good way to achieve this is to link to other bloggers first and to establish a relationship via email.
7. Publish an RSS feed. Once you publish an RSS feed your visitors will be able to subscribe to your website using an RSS reader. After that whenever you publish new content they will receive it automatically, which is a great way to keep these visitors engaged with your content and visiting your website regularly.
8. Use Feedburner. If you want to get the most out of your RSS feed you should sign-up for a Feedburner account. It is completely free, and you’ll get a wide range of features, including statistics about your subscribers, customization options and so on. Feedburner will also make your RSS feed compatible with most browsers and RSS readers, so you won’t lose any subscribers due to technical problems.
9. Offer email subscriptions. Many Internet users still don’t use RSS, so offering an email subscription to your content is a must. Fortunately it is very easy to do this once you have a Feedburner account. You just need to activate this feature under “Publicize,” and then copy and paste the subscription link on your website.
10. Create an email newsletter. You can take your email subscription option one step further and create an email newsletter. This will give you more control regarding the messages you send to your subscribers. For example, you could create an auto-responder sequence, sending specific messages at specific time intervals to your new subscribers. You’ll need an email marketing software to manage your newsletter, and you can use Aweber for that (it is a paid solution).
Content is King
11. Break a news story. If your website is the first to talk about a news story it will receive many links from other sites who will cover it as well, and your traffic will increase as a result.
12. Write a controversial article. If you manage to write something controversial, people will talk about and link to your article, either because they agree with you or, most likely, because they disagree. The result will be a lot of traffic.
13. Write a “Top 10″ list. Internet users love “Top 10″ lists, because they are easy to digest and contain useful stuff (i.e., 10 resources, 10 tips, and so on).
14. Write a “Top 100″ list. If “Top 10″ lists are good for traffic generation, “Top 100″ ones are great. This article is an example. People will bookmark and share your “Top 100″ list naturally because of the value it packs together.
15. Write a “Definitive guide” to something. People love to learn new things, especially if such things will solve some of their problems. Make sure to make your guide as complete as possible, and visitors will flock to read it.
16. Publish an interview. This strategy works even better if the interviewee has a blog or website, as he might link to the interview and send his readers to your site.
17. Leverage holidays and seasonal events. You can drastically increase your traffic if you publish content related to big holidays and seasonal events. Examples include Christmas, elections, Olympic games, the World Cup and so on.
19. Create a quiz. People love quizzes, and if you create an interesting one your traffic might increase as visitors both take the quiz and share the results with their friends. You can use ProProfs.com to create your quiz.
19. Create a ranking of people. For example, publish a ranking with the “50 Hottest Female Entrepreneurs.” Such rankings tend to get a lot of traffic because it plays with people’s ego.
20. Create a ranking of websites. A similar strategy is to create a ranking of websites, say the “25 Best Weight Loss Blogs.” The owners of the sites mentioned are likely to link to your article (especially if you contact them to let them know about it, thus sending your traffic.
21. Publish a funny image. At the end of the day, people just want to have a good laugh. Publishing a funny image is a good way to help them with that, and it might increase your traffic at the same time. Want some inspiration?
Check the Pics section on Reddit.
22. Create an infographic. If you are creative and like to research, then you should try creating infographics, as they tend to attract many links and traffic. Here is a tutorial that will help you to create one.
23. Release an eBook. This is one of the most efficient ways to generate traffic. Simply write a compelling eBook, and then release it on your website. Include a direct download link, and email bloggers and webmasters in your niche to let them know about it. The better the information in your eBook, the more people will share and recommend it, and the more traffic you’ll gain.
24. Create a free CSS template. CSS templates are very popular around the web, and if you submit yours to CSS directories many people will end up using it. Include a footer link to your website and you’ll surely get some traffic.
25. Create a free WordPress theme. You can also transform your CSS template into a WordPress theme (or create a new theme from scratch). WordPress is used by millions of users, and many people will download your theme if you submit it to directories (including the Official Themes Directory).
26. Release a cheat sheet. Cheat sheets are very popular on the web, and if you create one you’ll certainly see a bump in the number of website visits. If you want to see some examples, check this article listing 25 useful cheat sheets for web developers.
27. Create web design resources. The web design community is one of the most active online, and creating resources for them is a good way to increase your traffic. Examples include icon sets, fonts, textures, Photoshop brushes and the like.
28. Launch a retweet contest. You can launch a contest where people need to retweet the contest page in order to get an entry to the random draw. The prize can be either money or products and services from your sponsors. Depending on the size of your prize the retweets could go viral after a while.
29. Launch a comment contest. An alternative contest format is to ask people to leave a comment on your contest post in order to get an entry. This will increase your traffic because your RSS and email subscribers will need to visit your website to leave a comment, and it will stimulate them to comment on your posts more often.
30. Launch a review contest. If you want to increase your search rankings you could launch a contest where people need to write about the content in order to get an entry. The links you’ll get will send you both Google juice and new visitors. Keep in mind that you need a good prize to motivate people to write about your contest though.
31. Launch a voting contest. You basically need to create a contest where the winner will be picked with a voting session. Suppose you have a fitness website. You could invite your readers to submit their best fitness tip, and then a voting session would decide which tip gets the prize. This would motivate participants to link to the voting session and to encourage their friends to visit your website and vote.
32. Launch a traffic contest. If traffic is what you want, why not be direct about it? You can launch a contest where people need to send traffic to one particular page inside your website. It could be the contest page (for a viral effect) or a resource page (e.g., a page where you give away an ebook). After the established time frame (e.g., 2 weeks, 1 month or anything else), you’ll simply need to check your web analytics to see which websites sent you more visitors, and then award the prizes.
33 Experiment with video. As you probably heard, video is huge on the web right now. If you are not experimenting with it yet, you should. If you want to do something simple, just record yourself talking in front of the web cam (obviously what you are talking about should be interesting to your visitors, as opposed to some general rambling).
34. Create screencasts. A very efficient way to create compelling videos is to record your computer screen while you perform some task. For instance, you could use it teach other people how to use the computer or how to do things on the Internet. You can use a free software called CamStudio to create your screencasts.
35. Submit your videos to multiple sites. Once you have your videos ready to go, you should spread them on as many video websites as possible, and not just on YouTube. Luckily there is a site that can help you do that without spending too much time at it. It is called TubeMogul.com, and it automates much of the submission process for you.
36. Launch a podcast. This could be a good traffic generator for one main reason: there isn’t much competition out there as far as podcasts go. In other words, as long as you put some effort into it, your podcast could become the leader inside your niche quite fast. All you need is a USB microphone to start recording.
37. Release audio interviews. We already mentioned that interviews are good for traffic. Apart from text interviews, however, you can also release audio interviews. Skype makes it really easy to record one. You’ll just need to use a software to record your Skype conversation. PowerGramo has a free version that works well.
Social Bookmarking Sites
38. Get people to stumble your articles. If you have friends using Stumble Upon, ask them to stumble your best articles. This should get the ball rolling, and if other Stumble Upon users like your content it might receive a lot of traffic from it.
39. Try to reach Digg’s front page. Reaching Digg‘s front page is quite difficult, but it is worth a try, because once you manage it you’ll receive tens of thousands of visitors. You should start by becoming an active Digg user, trying to make as many friends as possible and to understand the kind of content that works there. Once you have these two things, get a friend to submit one of your best stories, and get your network of contacts to vote on it.
40. Submit your content to Reddit. If you fail to get success with Digg, try Reddit. It works in a similar way, but it is smaller and has a more friendly community, so your content might do better there. Funny stuff, technology and politics are topics particularly suitable for the site.
41. Get your visitors to bookmark your articles on Delicious. If you publish many how-to articles and tutorials, Delicious could be a good traffic generator for your website. Simply add a Delicious icon below your articles, try to get some friends to bookmark your articles as soon as they get published. If you get enough bookmarks in a short period of time your article might get promoted to Delicious front page.
42. Include social bookmarking icons on your site. You can increase the number of votes and bookmarks you’ll get by including social bookmarking icons on your site. You can use this generator to create the icons automatically and paste the code on your website.
43. Try niche social bookmarking sites. The four social bookmarking sites mentioned above are the largest ones on the web, but there is also a wide range of smaller, niche focused bookmarking sites that can send you some traffic. Here is a list with 83 of them. Simply join the ones related to your niche and check how much traffic they can send you.
44. Create a profile on most social networks. When you create a profile on a social network, you are usually able to include the URL of your website. Guess what? This is a link building opportunity, and it might increase your traffic (both because of the visitors you’ll get and because of the link juice). Mashable has a list with over 350 social networks, so use that to get started.
45. Start using Facebook. If you want to generate social media traffic, you must have a presence on Facebook. The very least you should do is to create an account there and network with as many people as possible. After you’ll be able to generate traffic by posting links to your website on your Facebook stream.
46. Create a Facebook fan page. Another great way to leverage Facebook is to create a Fan page. This is basically a page dedicated to your website, where your visitors can become fans, leave comments and so on. Here is a tutorial to help you create your first Fan page.
47. Include a Facebook “Like” button on your site. Facebook recently introduced the “Like” button, which you can embed on your site to let your users share your content through their Facebook accounts. Getting the button is just a matter of copying and pasting some lines of code. Here is the page where you can get it.
48. Start using Twitter. Another must have social network is Twitter. You can create an account for yourself, or one for your website directly, where you’ll post updates with links to your recent posts and related content from around the web.
49. Include a Tweetmeme button on your site. By including a Tweetmeme button on your website you’ll allow your visitors to retweet your posts and pages with a single click, which can increase the traffic you’ll receive from Twitter.
50. Explore niche social networks. You problably won’t get as much traffic from niche social networks as you will from Facebook and Twitter. But you should still give them a shot, because the traffic will be much more targeted. Here is a list with 233 social networks divided by niche.
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.
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.
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.