5 ways to increase traffic to your website

First things first: Your website, whether it gets a lot of traffic or not, is an essential part of a strong author platform. It serves as your hub or command central for all online activity, and should give your readers, as well as the media, a way to engage with you.

Here are some of the methods of getting traffic to your website

Ways to increase traffic to your website

Make sure your social media profiles always link to your website. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks always offer as part of your static profile an opportunity to link to your homepage. Be sure to do so.

An advanced version of this strategy:

Send people to a customized landing page on your website. E.g., you may want to create a special introduction or offer for people who visit your website from your Twitter profile, Facebook fan page etc.

If you blog: Be sure to link to new blog posts on each social media network where you’re active. But don’t just post a link. Offer an intriguing question, lead in, excerpt, or explanation of why the post might be interesting to people on that specific social network. While it may be possible to automate postings across your social networks whenever a new blog post goes live, it’s often more effective to give each post a personal touch based on what you know appeals to that particular community.

Learn SEO for your content management system

SEO is search engine optimization. You want search engines such as Google to pull up your site whenever people search for terms relevant to you, your books, or your content. For most authors, the two most important SEO questions usually are:

  • Can people easily find my site if they search for my name?
  • Can people easily find my site if they search for my book titles?

Beyond these two questions, most authors don’t need to worry much about SEO. (It becomes more important if you’re trying to make money online or otherwise build a career based off your online content.) However, you should have a basic knowledge of how SEO works, and whether your site is meeting basic requirements.

Ways to increase traffic to your website

Install Google Analytics

If your site is self-hosted, then you should have Google Analytics installed. If not, get started today—it’s a free service and easy to set up.

After Google Analytics has collected at least one month of data, take a look at the following:

  • How do people find your site? Through search? Through your social media presence? Through other websites that link to you?
  • What search words bring people to your site?
  • What pages or posts are most popular on your site?

By knowing the answers to these questions, you can better decide which social media networks are worth your investment of time and energy, who else on the web might be a good partner for you (who is sending you traffic and why?), and what content on your site is worth your time to continue developing (what content will bring you visitors over the long run?).

Create a free e-mail newsletter

Whether you send it once a year or once a week, it’s time to start a free e-mail newsletter so you can stay in touch with visitors to your site who specifically express interest in your updates. Your e-mail newsletter, aside from having useful news or content, should link to your website. Your newsletter can point out:

  1. Popular site or blog content & conversations that readers may have missed
  2. Free information or downloads you’ve recently offered and
  3. Anything else that’s changed on your site that might have been overlooked.

Be a guest blogger or interviewee on other sites

Whenever you guest or appear on other websites, that’s an opportunity to have multiple links back to your own site and social network accounts. A meaningful guest post means pitching sites that have a bigger audience than you, but they should also have a readership that’s a good match for your work.

If you’re not the type to write guest posts, then consider proactively offering yourself up to be interviewed as part of other bloggers’ interview series. Whenever you make an appearance on another site, always promote the interview on your own social networks and create a permanent link to it from your own website.

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