Your Secret Ingredient to Better Website Traffic

  • AUTHOR: Amanda DiSilvestro
  • DATE: 11/30/2011

When it comes to food, every family seems to have their secret
ingredient. In my family, that secret ingredient is ketchup. My grandpa
takes it a little too far with the ketchup and ice cream combination
(yes, that’s really true), but nonetheless it seems to help
outsiders enjoy my mom’s cooking. This led me to consider
other types of secret ingredients—straightening my hair up
instead of down; aiming for the arrows in bowling instead of the pins;
creating songs to remember everything on your study guide.
   

So what is the secret ingredient to generating high-quality, loyal website visitors? Many companies consider it to be
newsletters.   

If you have a blog or website, you’re probably
interested in building a larger community of readers, and the more
invested they are in what you have to say, the better. A committed
audience means more potential for growth, and more influence among those
who look to you for information or guidance. No matter what kind of
niche interests you, a newsletter is a great way to jumpstart your site
towards a more dedicated readership. Consider a few of the reasons why a
newsletter is important and how to get started:

The Benefits to Starting a Newsletter

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If you’re already writing for a regular audience, you
may be wondering how a newsletter would improve things for you. After
all, it’s more work, and you’ll have to start
corresponding with people more directly than usual. However, the payoff
is very much worth your while for a few different reasons:

  • Subscribers—You’ll be able to
    send your newsletter to whoever subscribes, and that number will only
    grow as time wears on. If you have great content to provide on a
    consistent basis, it’s a wonderful way to get it out there and
    make sure people get the chance to read it without having to directly
    access your site.
  • Linking—Once they have it in their
    inbox, they’re also likely to click on any links you include,
    so your traffic is likely to increase dramatically.
  • Quality of
    Visitors
    —You’ll be getting readers who
    are more fully invested in your work and who will build habits that will
    lead to a strongly committed, regular audience.

Many companies actually send out a newsletter full of already
published content. If you do not think you have the time to create an
original newsletter, consider creating a newsletter full of your blog
posts. This will be easier for people who enjoy reading your blog (since
newsletters come right to their inbox), so you will get many of these
same benefits.

Creating an original newsletter, however, urges visitors to
sign up because you’re offering something special. Consider a
few of the things you should include in an original newsletter.

What You Should Include

It’s important that your newsletter contain all the
relevant links you’d like people to visit, and it’s
helpful if you have eye-catching leads to those links. Build your
newsletter towards an exciting reveal that will motivate them to
continue on to your site, and make sure to do so as quickly as possible,
with clear font cues to let them know the key points.

You may want to enrich the brand of your website by including
graphics or slogans in a prominent header so that your audience knows
it’s you right away. Sending out emails to a growing
subscription base is a great way of getting those recognizable brand
markers out there, so that when people link back to your site they build
the kind of familiarity that will lead to greater traffic, greater
influence, and ultimately, greater profits.

4 Simple Ways You Can Get Started

Getting started creating a newsletter is actually very easy.
Follow a few of these simple steps to help make sure you create a
successful newsletter:

  • Content—Have your content ready to go before you
    begin laying out a newsletter. Your content should be similar in tone
    and length to the content on your website. This will give your entire
    website consistency. After all, if someone signed up for your newsletter
    it is because they enjoy your website, so that is the type of content
    they enjoy.   
  • Creation Tools—There are many online tools that
    make building and managing a newsletter quick and simple. Some of the
    most popular tools used amongst companies are Aweber and Constant Contact.
  • Create the Template—You’ll want to
    make up a template that’s recognizable, clear, and
    eye-catching; then build your list by asking your readers to
    subscribe.
  • Frequency—Make sure you keep writing and sending
    the newsletter out on a regular basis. If you can handle the workload
    of a weekly newsletter and have enough content to provide, make sure not
    to skip a week. Your readers will appreciate knowing that
    you’re not going anywhere, and that you’re
    professional enough to keep up what you’ve started (and how
    you’ll build a larger audience of subscribers over time).
    It’s much better to be reliable about sending out a monthly
    (or bi-monthly) newsletter then to bite off more than you can chew and
    find yourself overwhelmed.

Newsletters are a fun and easy way to build up your readership and
increase your brand recognition. Whatever your field, if you have
content you’d like to publicize and a readership
you’d like to increase, you should consider getting started
right away. People always check their email, and if you make yourself a
regular presence in their inbox, they may well pay a lot more attention
to what you have to say.

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amanda DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small businesses and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO Company, HigherVisibility.com, which offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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