“How do I drive traffic to my website” is one of the most common questions we get asked. I’m going to give you some simple tips, but first, I want to encourage you to think first about your goals (sell more books? establish yourself as a thought leader on a given topic?), and remember that the right traffic is better than having big numbers that don’t move to closer to meeting those goals.
While the following won’t give you BuzzFeed traffic, remember that BuzzFeed has a dedicated staff whose job it is to get clicks back to their website. Around the clock. And the big players have advertising budgets too. So be patient and keep sharing links to your website, your efforts will pay off!
1. Include a link to your website address everywhere you can online: in your email signature, on your social media bios, in your signature in forums/ review sites / commenting systems.
2. Add your web address to everything you can in your offline communications and promotional materials, too: business cards, promotional postcards/bookmarks, letterhead, car decals, pens, t-shirts… you get the idea.
3. Keep your blog on your primary domain, and share fresh content on a regular basis. If you’re hosting a blog on Tumblr or elsewhere, you may be missing traffic opportunities. The main benefits of hosting a blog as part of your primary website is to a) benefit you in search; and b) have the ability to share on social media so people “click back” to your website (where they’ll be invited to buy your books, learn more about you, etc.). If your blog has cobwebs on it, dust it off and commit to a regular schedule. It’s better to blog once per month than to blog twenty days in a row and then let it sit for months on end until you get a surge again. Use post schedulers to post at intervals if you’re a “I write a lot but only when I’m inspired” kind of writer.
4. Create the kind of content people will want to share: Is it funny? Useful? Insightful? Beautifully written? Think about the kind of content your audience will love and want to share with others. Well-done video, audio, and great graphics and/or infographics are all tactics the big players use to help their posts get noticed and shared on social media.
5. Create well-crafted headlines: This is what makes people want to click! Are they compelling? Descriptive? Great! Are they mysterious? Vague? People don’t like to click on things unless they feel confident they know what to expect on the other side of that click. Don’t be vague.
And one last bonus tip: Watch your stats. If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your website or some other stats program, you’ll never know what’s working and what isn’t. You will want to arm yourself with this information so you keep doing the things that are working and skip the stuff that’s not.