Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), rather than HTML table-based layout, is a fundamental part of giving visitors an experience on your site that they’ll want to repeat, giving you more website traffic. CSS benefits site visitors by helping to create consistent sites, decreasing page-loading times, and providing easy methods to adapt the site for different size and resolution monitors, handheld devices, cell phones, etc., as well as for screen readers used by visually impaired site visitors. For more on CSS, see the article “Benefits of Using CSS.”
SEO for Page Rank
There are a number of search engine optimization methods that will help increase your page rank on search engines, putting you nearer the top of search results and increasing your website traffic. Of course, there are black hat methods to increase website traffic, but we recommend that you only use white hat techniques, such as those described here and in our other articles.
Submission to Directories
Directories are useful as listings in themselves for increasing website traffic and also because they are relied upon by search engines. DMOZ, also known as the Open Directory Project (ODP) is a volunteer-staffed, categorized directory of “useful to users” websites, that is interested in being known for value rather than inclusiveness. It is the largest directory, but many find it difficult to gain a listing.
DMOZ is used by search engines such as AltaVista, AOL, Lycos, MSN, Google, and Yahoo! Along with Yahoo!, ODP is suggested by Google Webmaster Help Guidelines as a directory that every webmaster should submit to to help increase website traffic. For more about submitting to directories, see the article “Getting Listed in DMOZ.”
Another standard practice for search engine optimization is to pay attention to keywords on your page, good keywords will help drive more website traffic to your site. Keywords appear naturally in good writing because they are one of the basic language tools to help writers keep the focus on their topic. Important elements include keyword density (frequency) on each page; the appearance of keywords in prominent placements, such as in the page title and description as well as high up in the body text; and the proximity, or closeness, of keywords to each other.
There are black hat methods of using keywords that should be avoided, such as keyword stuffing. But there are plenty of white hat approaches to use your keywords well. For more information about keywords and how they will increase website traffic to your site, see the articles “Understanding Keyword Density” and “More About Keywords.”
Use Tags to Your Advantage
A page’s tags are used to communicate with search engines and browsers. Tags in the head element of the page can inform a search engine of the content-type and character set, which can decrease loading time, as well as providing description and title elements that may become part of the search engine results, and in turn bring you more website traffic. For more information, see the articles “SEO with Title Tags,” “HTML Basic—<meta> Tags,” and “Making <meta> Tags Count.”
Pay-per-click advertising such as Google AdWords, and joining an affiliate program are standard methods of increasing website traffic with in influx of visitors who have a focused interest in your site topic. Also worth considering is e-mail marketing and programs that circulate your web address, which range from billboards, television advertising, bus panels, and imprinted pens and mugs. For more information on advertising possibilities to increase your website traffic, see the articles “Using Google AdWords,” “Affiliate Program Basics,” “Email Marketing with Opt-in,” and “Affiliate Marketing.”
Although used with discrimination, link exchanges may still be valuable for increasing website traffic, they are now carefully viewed by search engines with an eye to their legitimacy. The latest recommendation of the head of the Google Webspam team, Matt Cutts, is to fill your site with “linkbait.”
Now, that may have a black hat sound about it, but what it boils down to is having your content—whatever it is—so attractive that it garners a wealth of one-way links coming to your site, boosting returns and your search engine ranking and in turn your website traffic. To read more about links and linkbaiting, see the articles “Links: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” and “Successful Linking.”
By employing a combination of these techniques that fits your site and its goals, you can increase your website traffic.