How to Get People to Visit Your Website
If you want to make money in any sort of way with a website, you have to get people (and lots of them) to visit. Whether you have paid advertising at your website, or products to sell, or just information designed to generate leads or orders, it’s all a numbers game. The more people you get to travel through your website, the more income you’ll make. Thus, it’s crucial that you do two important things with your website: provide content that people will want to make the effort to see, and get the word out about your website.
PROVIDE IN-DEMAND CONTENT
Let’s suppose that you want to make money not by selling products or services from your website, but by selling advertising space to other businesses. You could easily create a classified ad website, or even a website with display ads. Big deal. Would you visit a website that was only classified ads more than once, out of curiosity? Probably not, unless…
A. It’s devoted to a particular special interest.
There are many websites with general classified advertising, very little focus. I don’t look for many of these to generate a lot of long-term income for the person(s) who runs them. There are a few websites, however, with highly focused specialized advertising. These will, more likely, be successful (as long as they cater to a large enough group).
For example, you could start a classified ad website devoted to buying and selling musical instruments. This would greatly interest any musician, who would tend to visit from time to time. The average person will, by nature, visit websites that cater to their individual interests more frequently than a generalized website that may or may not hold anything of interest to them.
But, if the website only contains ads, just how often would they visit? Once a week? Once a month? You want them to visit as many times as possible. So, you need to provide…
B. Free worthwhile content.
If your website is only ads, nothing else, then the only time people will want to visit is when they want to buy or sell something. That’s ok, but wouldn’t it be better if they wanted to visit ALL the time? You can accomplish this by providing good FREE informational content on your website, in addition to your ads. After all, this is how a traditional printed magazine or newspaper works: they provide information with the ads interspersed.
So, for the Musical Instrument Buy & Sell website, you could include relevant how-to articles written by yourself or others (put plenty of notes in your website requesting articles from readers – you’ll get submissions you can use, in return for free advertising or some other remittance that is low cost or no cost to you), short items of interest, etc. Change these frequently (and note on your website how frequently they change – this is important for drawing people back), so your visitors will have a reason to keep coming back.
To sum this section up, in order to have a website that people will want to keep returning to, you need to gear it towards a specific interest that appeals to a specific group of people (called targeting), and you need sprinkle it liberally with solid information that changes frequently. This will help take care of getting people to return. Now, how to get them to visit in the first place?
GET THE WORD OUT
When you want to find a plumber, where do you look? In the phone book, of course. What if you want to find websites that have information about a subject you’re interested in?
Luckily, the web has many phonebook-like databases which are relatively easy to get listed in. That way, when your potential visitors consult the phonebooks, your website will pop up in the list of their choices.
The process of getting yourself listed in a search database varies from database to database. Usually, though, it’s just a matter of filling out a form with information about the content of your website, the URL (address), your name, etc. Each database is fairly clear about how to do this, with a link on their opening page to their respective how-to instructions.