In December of last year, I embarked upon an experiment to see if I could leverage a website with a blog combined with social media tools to increase traffic to a site. In that month, my sandbox site had a grand total of 670 pageviews. In the month that ended yesterday, I had a total of 15,985 — an approximate 25 fold increase in traffic! This morning I got 670 pageviews by 10:00. Here are some other statistics…
- Total pageviews on the website in 2008? 5,904 [the blog was launched in May]. Total pageviews on the website in Q1 2009? 29,494.
- Average pageviews per day December 2008: 22. March 2009: 516.
- The website was ranked most influential in the State of Wisconsin 4 times in one quarter.
- My Alexa rankings jumped over 13 million during that timeframe and are currently at 977,803.
What’s the secret sauce?
I don’t believe you have to be incredible in any one area in order to generate this kind of traffic, but it does help if you have…
- Good data
- Good design
- Good content
- Good connections
- Good execution
Good data? Know your audience and your subject matter. Understand the value demands of your readers and feed them what they want.
Good design? I am not a graphic designer, but I use a tool called Artisteer to design sites that makes me look like I am. A simple, good looking site is much better that showcases your content will go a long way and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Good content? I used Google Reader to find topics for my blog. If a topic I find is interesting enough, I incorporate it in a blog post. Sometimes I simply save a summary or a site in FriendFeed where it is also displayed on my site. The key is to make the site a destination packed with resources to which readers have a reason to return.
Good connections? This may be the most important part of all. Each time I post, the site updates 4 major search engines and 5 social media sites automatically. Those updates draw people into the site with links to my content, thus driving traffic.
Good execution? The key to drawing people in is to change the site content frequently. I have a simple, repeatable process that makes it easy to post and I do it a couple of times a day, but it only takes a couple minutes each time. I estimate that I spend about an hour a day on the site so it definitely takes a bite out of my day, but chipping away a little bit at the goal of increasing traffic has made a huge, measureable difference in traffic. The best part is, I can teach it to anyone and the tools I use in the process are all free!
If you’d like more data on the results, you can download my Google Analytics here. If you’re a thinker that would like to be a thought leader, click ‘where to contact me’ I can help you achieve similar results on your site…