The Web has grown into a real jungle, and to find cool new sites these days isn’t always one of the easiest thing in the world. If you have a website of your own, you are dealing with the other end of this same issue. The questions always is “How do you get noticed online, and is there something you can do to increase your popularity?”
And there certainly are some ways! Here are our February 2013 top 5 ways you can use to strengthen your site and increase your online visibility.
1. Strong Hosting
Our first point is mostly important for those people who do not have their own Website yet, but eagerly want to have one. After you picked your domain name, the next step will be to choose a hosting plan that fits your needs. There are many good and affordable options, but what the professionals normally recommend is specialized blog hosting. This form of Web hosting allows you to create a professional-looking Website very quick. Why is this pretty important to mention when it comes to making your own site popular? Well, without a strong hosting, you will not be able to handle the traffic to your website, which means you will have no chance at all of becoming well liked.
Of course, finding suitable hosting is often easier said than done. The hosting industry has grown and became very popular in the recent years, and this lead to large numbers of companies offering a various range of hosting services. But do not be fooled by their tricky ways of making it sound like if they are the best in the whole industry. We would recommend you partner up with Godaddy. They have a strong reputation and are experience in the business.
When it comes to web hosting plans, you should compare the different features included in the plan. Make sure that you are guaranteed at least 99.9% uptime and that the customer support is easy to contact. You never know if you could need them in the future. Likewise, it is also good to know which kind of numbers in terms of granted disc space and bandwidth will you be allowed to use and manage for your site(s). Some providers also forbid their clients to directly upload music or video files to their servers even if it is for their own use. It’s very important to ask customer support to resolve such questions before purchasing a plan. Some other things you might want to consider asking are whether your domain name registry information will be protected/private and how many e-mail accounts will you be allowed to use as part of the standard hosting plan agreement.
2. Optimizing Your Website
In order to be really successful online, you will have to gain a high ranking in different search engines. To succeed doing this, you will have to learn as much as possible about search engine optimization (SEO). The subject of SEO is vast and can be quite daunting at first, but once you do figure it out a little, you’ll be able to see all of the benefits immediately and will probably wonder why you didn’t get started with SEO a lot earlier. A few things you can do to get started with SEO are to make sure you’re using the right keywords and to write content for your visitors as well as for search engines. Writing content for search engines is very important, since you want to get higher rankings, and writing for your visitors is essence because you want them to stick around – and return to your website.
When you are satisfied enough with all of the keywords and overall content on your site, it is time to start working with your link building. Search engines also determine much of good value of a certain page/site by looking at the total number of inbound links. Link exchanging is one of the most popular and still successful ways to get a higher ranking on search engines like Google, and it’s also really easy to do. Simply visit a website that you is in your niche and ask the webmaster if they are interested in a two-way link exchange – it really doesn’t have to be any more difficult than that.
3. Taking Advantage of Social Media Optimization
Even though SEO should be a the big part of your site optimization, but it definitely shouldn’t end there. Social Media Optimization is probably just as important next you your SEO, since it’s one of the strongest online marketing tools available these days. A social media optimization campaign should include just a few different things. First of all, make sure that the content on your site or blog is completely relevant to your topic and that it is not out of date. Visit similar websites and join their discussion in leaving comments on posts/pages/articles – don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Also make yourself very visible on Facebook. 3 other sites that can be very useful for social media optimization are for example: Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.
Obviously, don’t forget to include some outbound links to your own website from any social media site you utilize. Even if your link contains a ‘nofollow’ attribute attached to it (e.g. like in Facebook), you may still attract new visitors and potential customers to your own site.
4. Getting Your Visitors Involved
Another important point to make your site grow in the number of daily visitors is by getting them more involved. Try to write your content in a personal style, and do not be afraid to leave an open question here and there. If this shouldn’t do it for you, then why not hold a contest of some sort? This will most likely get some people talking about your site. The prize of the content doesn’t have to cost a fortune, since the majority of the people like to compete regardless of what the award is – it’s simply our human nature.
Other easy ways of getting your visitors a lot more involved is by including a discussion forum on your site or the possibility to leave comments on your posts/articles. Everyone has a opinion and also everyone wants to express their own personal ideas and thoughts on topics, and by allowing them doing this, you also increase the chance of visitors returning to your site to see how their feedback was appreciated. As an good added bonus, if the topic is getting popular, the discussion could attract interest from other sites as well!
5. Emphasize Usability in Your Designs
Investing in good designs is more important than some people may seem to think. With a attractive design, you will grow more trust among your readers/visitors. One important fact to remember is not to be over-designing the website. It really doesn’t matter how many hours you will put in designing the site, if no one really understands how it works. Let some non-Internet-savvy friends or family navigate through your Website before launching it for the public. If they think it’s easy, then so will the rest of your visitors.
It is pretty difficult to say exactly what really makes a beautiful and functional design. What looks amazing to one person might seem terrible for another. However, there are some basic trends in web design, and if you are going to follow these, you can be sure to please the most eyes of your visitors.
If you want to stay more on a safe side, then it is a good call to make the layout and features on the page easily accessible and simple to understand for everyone. Try to use standard coding/plugins and avoid over-the-top Flash animations and intro’s. Some people will have browser settings that prevent them from viewing Flash movies, which means you can lose valuable visitors. Try to understand how your visitor will think, and your site will grow more popular day after day..