Youíre all pumped up! Youíve been working hard on a new layout and have tons of ideas and wonderful miracles to show online world. One problem, how do you let people know you exist?
When I first started Pixel2life.com back in January 2004, I already had a large amount of friends in gaming community that I knew would visit my site to check it out, but I wanted to get a targeted audience of visitors. People that would be interested in content I had to offer them. I love my friends in gaming community (some of which Iíve known for over 6 years), but only a small portion of them really cared about design. So through trial and error, Iíve found ways to increase my traffic by targeting proper audience without having to pay for it. These methods donít compare to buying targeted traffic, but itís next best thing. P2L is not a profit oriented website, so I donít exactly have tons of cash to spend on Ad campaigns.
First off, I must stress importance of a quality design and quality content. You can draw as much traffic as you want, but without a quality website that will interest your guests, youíll never make it to their coveted Bookmarks. In case of design oriented websites for example, there are millions of personal websites that have a few wallpapers, a personal portfolio a shoutbox , and loads of spelling errors. What makes your site better than rest that would warrant someone to re-visit? Be original, provide quality content, and update often. Itís that simple. If youíre not willing to commit to those rules, donít bother trying to be next DeadDreamer or Shiver7. I may write an article in future regarding this topic in a bit more detail, but for now, Iíll assume your site is a smoking gun and ready for eyes of world.
Before you start anything, optimize your site for search engines. You should have a title, meta keys for keywords and description, and nice full sentences in body of your site. Keyword density is important and with proper SEO techniques, hits from search engines will grow quite a bit. Make sure you customize each page as required. A page about 3D Modeling should not have same keywords as a page about your graphic portfolio. And remember to include main keyword(s) in your title. If youíre not sure what exactly to do, check out these results on Google for keyword optimization: http://www.google.ca/search?q=keyword+optimization&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&meta=
For Pixel2life.com, our first month of operation (January 2004) yielded about 200 hits from Google. After spending a week or so correcting my lack of meta keys and keyword density, I received well over 28000 hits from Google in June. This isnít simply because I worked keywords, but it had a large hand in it. The other part of puzzle is reciprocating links.
Now I donít work for an SEO, nor do I pretend to be an expert in field, but in my experience, more reciprocating links to Pixel2life.com on other websites, higher my Google ranking climbs. In some of my main keywords, I wasnít even in top 1000, but after a few months of affiliating and spreading word, I place in top 5 in many principal keyword searches. Examples include:
http://www.google.ca/search?q=cinema+4d+tutorials&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&meta= http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=swift+3d+tutorials&meta= http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=photopaint+tutorials&meta=
You can check your google rankings for your choice of keywords at http://www.googlerankings.com
AFFILIATE! Itís important to affiliate and get word around about your site. Do a search on Google for sites similar to your own or have something to do with topic your site is about and ask webmaster if they would like to exchange 88x31 pixel banners or text links. If you have a good site, then many webmasters wonít care about your traffic, because they know it will climb in fairly short order if your site is obviously a quality link. I have affiliated with many sites that do not get same traffic as I do because I love their site and I think my visitors will enjoy it too. So donít be shy - just ask! Itís not like theyíre going to sue you for asking. The worst that will happen is you wonít get a response or youíll be declined. Iíve been declined many timesÖ it doesnít hurt, trust me. Donít send a generic cut and paste email to webmaster either. Send an email addressed to them personally and let them know youíve actually checked out their site and why you think you could mutually benefit from exchanging links. Be polite, check your spelling and make sure you send them your details including a short description of your site, current traffic, URL and how you can be reached.