how_to_get_targeted_trafficOne of the most important questions new webmasters must answer is how to get targeted traffic to their website This can be a challenge for any website owner, but is especially true for new, or recently launched websites.

We’ve all heard stories of websites that consistently rank on the first page of Google for a large number of long tail keywords, but the truth is that this often takes months, if not years to achieve. While new websites can start ranking for keywords after just a few months, seeing consistent, scalable traffic from search rankings usually only comes after establishing a solid website.

Search engines rank sites according to a variety of factors, but one indication they use to assess your website quality is to look at how users interact once on your site. Do users spend a lot of time on the site, and visit multiple pages, or do they leave quickly, without reading more than a few lines? Do the users engage with the site, leave comments and subscribe to emails? These are the types of actions that show a dedicated user, and dedicated users are an indication of quality material.

The problem is that for new websites, it can seem extremely daunting getting that first bump in traffic, and there’s a bit of a chicken and the egg problem: if there are no users, how can those users engage with the site and prove the site has quality information?

Here are a few tips that have worked for me whenever I start working on a new domain.

How To Get Targeted Traffic

  1. Identify your Target Reader. Too many new webmasters start creating a site without putting any thought into what their “ideal” reader is looking for. While you might have more than one target demographic, it’s important to understand what the user is searching for and why. Then keep your content on point, and over time you will build a base of targeted readers.
  2. Identify Keywords, but do NOT Write for Them. In my opinion, keywords are one of the most incorrectly used aspects of blogs. Too often I see new bloggers trying to force a post to fit a keyword, rather than find a keyword that fits the post. Content should always come first, and SEO-friendly adjustments later. Finding a good keyword is important, but never sacrifice a natural post in favor of that ‘perfect’ keyword opportunity, because the perfect keyword should always come naturally.
  3. Social Social Social. Especially when a site is new, social media is extremely important. In the early days, the majority of your site traffic will come from links you post, so get your site in front of as many people as possible: friends, coworkers, that new Google group you just joined…anyone that you think can benefit from the content you’re producing. This early social traction can help you with the search engines later.
  4. Blog Directories. While I don’t waste much time backlinking, getting your site listed in a few key directories can make a big difference when getting over that first-traffic hurdle. Directories will not only generate direct clicks, but listing your site in multiple places online helps get your new pages ranked more quickly.
  5. Participate in Communities. This tip goes along with the idea that a lot of your early traffic will come from social channels. Don’t just put up a profile and start spamming your links out to people, but join and participate in communities related to your niche. Providing helpful information in communities makes you stand out to your target audience, as well as helps you understand what people are looking for and why.

At the end of the day, it’s important to understand that any new site will take time to start seeing significant traffic, so don’t stress if you’re not seeing unbelievable growth in the first few months. Stick with it, and readers will come.

What other traffic tips do you have for a new website? Do you have a specific process you use to get to your first 100, first 1,000 readers? If so, please share below!