Traffic is one thing that people strive for. Whether it’s using the pillar technique of building traffic over time, or a spike technique to create bursts of heavy hits for a day or two, traffic rules not only the way your website is seen, but it can affect how likely repeat visitors are.
People are like sheep. Lemmings, if you will. People go where other people go. It’s like having a favorite sports team. You either choose it by location, or because someone else, or a group of people have already. You might hear a lot of people saying, “If you have less than 50 subscribers don’t display the number“. I don’t personally go by this theory, but it’s true. If someone likes the content, but sees only 10 other people read it regularly, they’re less likely to subscribe themselves.
Same goes for traffic. You’ll find the less traveled sites need to virally build up traffic to get going. Other sites prefer to use pillar traffic to start up.
Pillar Traffic is when you write quality content over time and your stats and traffic rise slowly but surly. This is more of a ‘sticking it out’ method, but is more likely to work in the long run than any other method.
Spike and Viral traffic are when you get massive bursts that last for a day. This can happen when one of your pillar articles gets a lucky break on a social bookmarking site, or other aggregator. Things return to normal very quickly.
Another option that I’ve seen quite a bit of lately is buying traffic. This simply consists of paying a company/person who will send you a guaranteed amount of visitors your way, everyday. You can get 250 unique hits a day which is very good by any standards, or you can pay the extra buck for 10,000.
The problem with this however is that this traffic is very thin and the visitors do not convert to readers/subscribers, ad clickers, clients/buyers or comments. It’s just dummy traffic that you can do absolutely nothing with. It’s great if you’re trying to sell a site, until the potential buyer asks for your referral logs.
So how do you build traffic, or Pillar Traffic?
There are a variety of ways. But remember: this is not a short term solution. If you’re itching for 50,000 hits a day and now, you better start writing bad stuff about Microsoft and Reddit hoping to get on Digg.
- Use search engines to generate organic traffic. Organic traffic is the most likely to come back, or convert. Certain search terms, where people are looking for an answer convert well for ad clicks (contextual), and the new reader will likely come back later to read some of your other content. But…
- Make sure the content is there. Don’t even try to get good traffic without good content. This is what I mean by pillar articles. People don’t come back for no reason. You need to give them a reason to come back. It’s like moving away from home. If you move out and make a better life for yourself, then there’s no reason to go back to where you won’t be as happy. (Weak, I know :P)
- Getting Spike Traffic is OK. No one will look at you differently for trying to throw in some Digg-bait with your good content. If you get on Digg and receive 50,000 hits that day, at least 50 are going to come back, most likely more.
- Get links from sites on the same topic. Who’s most likely to subscribe to Devlounge: someone from a webmaster site like DigitalPoint or a stray HabboHotel player?
The quality traffic that you build is better than thin traffic that you buy. 100 hits of quality visitors will do you more good than 1000 hits of bots and 1 second visits.
In the end it’s all up to you: do you want 10,000 hits today, or do you want to be getting 10,000 hits everyday in a year? Sometimes its better in the long run to forget about the stats now. You’ll also be surprised how fast these pillar techniques work.
- Write good content.
- SEO for organic traffic.
- Contextual links.
- Pillar over Spike.
- Spikes are OK every now and then.