Advertise, advertise and advertise some more! This is still the one sure-fire way of getting visitors to your website.
By this I do not only mean paid advertisements that are expensive, what with hiring an advertising agency to conceptualize the advertisement, execute it, film it, print it and then the actual costs for publishing it.
Paid advertising is definitely worthwhile if you can afford it. However, you could also consider a few other forms of drawing crowds or crowd-sourcing for your website such as:
- Interesting content - Seriously, the one important factor for your website to be popular and regularly visited is that it should be interesting and should have something new for every visitor every time they visit.
- Clear and lucid presentation - Clutter never looks great and is never appreciated, except maybe when an artist is displaying it in a painting or photograph for dramatic effect. So, make sure your website looks as attractive as possible, is designed with the right colors and effects as may suit its content and is easily readable and accessible by its visitors.
- Alternate forms of popularizing - Get other people to visit your website and write reviews about it in online and offline forums such as newspapers, periodicals, blogs, mailing lists and discussion forums. Target all the discussion forums that relate to your website and write about your website. Contextually, draw attention of people to contents on your website. Once they're hooked on, interesting content should continue drawing them back. Then there are the various free Internet ad sites that allow limited display and description of your website. Take advantage of it. If your website offers any products or services, make sure to appear in all the yellow pages and any free publications in your area.
Create interesting signature boxes [preferably with a logo] and definitely a URL or hyperlink to your website. This should be appended to all email communications sent by you and your associates and employees' assuming it is a business or work related website.
- Social book marking and networking - Submit links to your website and provide meta-tags to its contents for featuring it on websites of friends, associates and online free listings. Besides free advertising, make use of the various social networking sites that have cropped up in the last couple of years. Here, you can create a page free of cost that could have links to your website and also provide snippets of introduction to it. Updation on your website should automatically be refreshed on the social networking sites. Anytime there is a change, it pops up on visitor's pages thereby drawing eye balls to your website.
- Use technology - This can include search engine optimization. This is a technique to improve the ranking of your website on popular search engines such as Google. Use effective key words in the contents of your website so as to get picked up in more searches. Soon, your website will be featured in the top ten searches. Offer RSS feeds to contents on your website; this helps friends keep track without visiting and alerts them every time you change content.
Lastly, provide adequate server space to handle the increased hits to your website.