10 Ways to Build Defensible Traffic for Your Website, Business or Blog

2007/07/06 |

Building defensible or alternative traffic sources for your website allows it to stay afloat, should any search engine algorithms negatively impact the amount of organic traffic you currently or are able to receive.

As these methods are generally not niche-specific, you can use them effectively for any type of website or industry. Links to similar articles on these topics are also included at the end of this list.
Characteristics of an Ideal Defensible Traffic Source

Let’s start first with a general idea of the type of defensible traffic you should be building. While the following points are ideal conceptualizations, they may help you to assess the value of your referral traffic sources.

The traffic source you are developing should:

* Promote your brand.
* Reinforce or build the existing community around your site
* Send targeted traffic (interested visitors)
* Work on both a long and short term basis.
* Connect your website with a broad audience
* Sustain itself over time, without requiring consistent active effort.
* Complement your overall site monetization strategy

Dosh Dosh’s 10 Ways to Build Defensible Traffic

Here are the 10 ways you can use to build defensible traffic to your website. They are not listed in any specific order and I’ve included a brief commentary as well.
1. Build a Community Around your Website.

The fastest way to grow a website is to amass a large regular audience who are likely to recommend and support your site building efforts. Not only can they offer valuable feedback to your website, this community can send you links, referral traffic and future subscribers.

It’s important to follow a clear community development strategy from the onset and one which involves active interacting/networking with your audience or target market.

2. Practice Social Media Optimization

Social media optimization involves educating your audience on social websites, occasionally developing content targeted at a specific social audience and facilitating interaction between your site audience and the social website in question.

This also includes promoting the usage of a particular social voting/networking website (e.g. Digg or StumbleUpon), which can then be gradually developed as a referral traffic source.

This process may involve personal use of the social website and active networking within the social community in order to set it up as a source of visitors for your website.

3. Focus on Growing Your Subscriber Base

Syndication of your content away from your website should be encouraged because it promotes viral dissemination of your content and brand. One of the ways to build a regular audience is to focus on the growth of RSS feed or email newsletter subscribers.

The benefits of building feed subscribers are many and one should primarily view them as people who are able to generate buzz or support for your website or brand.

Most of the time, subscribers are the also the easiest to convert when it comes to recommending new affiliate programs or income-generating schemes for your website.

4. Develop Linkbait and Remarkable Content

Linkbait is content that is created to pull in links and referral traffic from a targeted audience and is a very fast and effective way to create awareness of your website.

However, the only way your website can continue to attract recommendations and traffic over the long run is to develop several webpages or articles that are comprehensive, timeless and reference-able.

Linkbait is the hook that reels in the crowd and flagship or cornerstone content is the carrot that converts them into recommend-ers or future promoters of your website.

5. Industry and Niche Networking

Getting links and traffic from another website doesn’t only depend on the quality of your content, although it is a very important factor. Networking with the right people in your industry can not only get you links, traffic or sales but also one very important element: recommendations.

These recommendations vouch for the quality of your business and the integrity of your personal brand. There are many ways of networking within your industry and an visible online example of this is the creation of industry-specific ranking lists or awards.

6. Start an Affiliate Program

Creating an affiliate program for your website/business is an effective way for you to consistently drive more targeted traffic towards your websites. Affiliate programs create lateral traffic sources which develop simultaneously across a wide body of websites.

They allow you to expand your reach into demographics that are not targeted and is an effective way to consistently receive visitor traffic. For example, I use affiliate ads on Dosh Dosh’s sidebars and have literally sent thousands of visitors to websites such as Text Link ads (TLA).

A large number of websites are active members of TLA’s affiliate program and each of them send a great deal of visitors to their website. This traffic is cumulative and consistent because publishers have an incentive (commissions) to continue doing so. A good affiliate program will only do your website or business good and never harm.

7. Buy Advertising on Relevant Websites

Purchasing advertising for traffic is an old strategy used by almost all webmasters or online business. An ad on a high traffic and relevant website can send you a fairly large and regular amount of web traffic.

Paid advertisements can come in many forms: sponsored blog reviews, RSS feed advertisements, text links or image-based banner ads. They can be purchased according to a time-based, CPM or CPC arrangement and is a viable option to consider if you need to brand your new website.

8. Partnership and Joint Ventures

One facet of online marketing partnerships is banner exchanges, which are widely used by various types of websites. There are also many other types of partnerships available which can drive visitors to your website: some of these include collaborations on a new online project and co-advertising/branding for a popular product.

9. Offline or Traditional Media Marketing

Promoting your website offline is not an option that is often explored by many webmasters or bloggers but small business owners understand the value of offline marketing.

Selling your website in traditional media allows your audiences to connect with what you want them to see. When you list your site URL in a magazine ad, you are inviting them to explore your website further.

Entering your url, a visitor arrives at your website or sell page, which can be designed to evoke a specific response from the visitor in question. It is important to note that offline marketing also involves pitching your website to journalists and traditional media such as newspapers or industry journals.

While they may not send a great deal of traffic, offline initiatives are great for branding and complements your online marketing efforts.

10. Set up a Defensible Traffic Plan

Last by not least, it is very important to create a well structured defensible traffic development plan. Setting goals, to-do items and monitoring your website’s performance allows you to determine progress and discover what traffic-generating schemes work or not.

If you want to make money from your website, you need a clear idea of how to build traffic sources that will grow your website and brand over the long run.

Conclusion,In the next few articles within my web traffic building series, I will try to cover some (or perhaps all) of these 10 strategies in much greater detail, while providing examples of how you can use these tactics for your website.