If you’ve tried to start a website recently, you’ll soon come to know that two things are apparent. Firstly, it’s now easier than ever to build a website but secondly it’s also harder than ever to promote it. Applications such as WordPress with all its in built features, theme functionality and vast array of plugins at its disposal means that anyone of any skill level can create and launch a fully functional website in a matter of hours. But with so many people online and such easy ways to get your foot in the door these days, it also means there is a hell of a lot of competition. To make a dent, in any industry you need to go that extra mile and offer something of value to your would be reader. Mediocre builds and content will no longer suffice so if you’re serious about generating traffic you’re going to need to know specifically how to go about it.
I recently read this great article which goes into the specifics of how to market a WordPress blog but this one will be more of a general guide of the fundamentals. You can also apply this information to any site on any platform as the principals are pretty much the same.
Content is King
You’ve probably heard this phrase banded about for a few years now. People used to disregard it and think all they needed to do to get traffic was to trick Google. That is most definitely no longer the case. To get people to read, to get shared and ultimately to rank – you need strong content. Generating guff that is solely intended for the consumption of Googlebot is not going to score you any points. Your content needs to be your primary focus. Whatever you do with regards to your marketing, everything will be derived from your content. It can make your job easy, or hard and can make or break your marketing efforts.
Gear up for Sharing
Social sharing is a huge part of online marketing. It can drive traffic directly, it can grow a regular reader base and it can help you rank organically so you can gain some of the free search engine traffic up for grabs. Obviously to get shared, you need good content, the sort of thing people want to read (and share) but you can also make it a little bit easier for your visitors too. Prominent sharing icons either to the side, below or above your primary content is a necessity and is so common now that people automatically look for it if they want to share rather than doing it manually.
If you’re a WordPress user in particular you’ll have no doubt seen all of the weird and wonderful plugins out there that are designed to assist in the marketing of your blog.
To optimise your packages in terms of page titles and meta descriptions, t need look no further than the All in One SEO pack.
For social sharing, you should consider installing Social Warfare. This is my favourite of all of the social networking tools. You could also consider SumoMe if you want something slightly different. A site I found here has a great list of the top social plugins around at the moment.
Retaining Your Audience
Once you’re lucky enough to get some kind of audience you need to do your best to retain it. Create a mailing list and try and get as many people as possible to join. If that doesn’t work, make sure your social elements are prominent and try and get as many likes/followers as you can. Traffic is a precious commodity these days so for each user you get you really need to find a way to get them back to your blog at a later date. Whatever you can do on this front should be done as a priority.
Whilst there is a lot of competition out there for sure there is room for everyone. If you’re willing to put the time and effort into your website and the promotion of it then you will most definitely reap the rewards. It’s only the poorly built sites littered with poor content which tend to fall at the first hurdle so if you can avoid falling into those traps and ultimately create something of value you’ll be in good stead.