How to Draw People to a Websiteby Billy Kirk
There are a number of quick and easy ways to draw people to your website. The following tips will help you gain new users as well as keep your current visitors more entertained and more likely to click your links, driving up your page impressions.
Update your website constantly with original content. If at all possible, update with at least one story (news, editorial or other) once daily. When readers start to trust that your site will have new content daily, they will make a ritual out of coming to your site at least once a day.
Use keywords. Think about what search engine users are most likely to search for in relation to your website's topic--the exact phrasing that the average user will type into a search engine. Include these exact phrases within your articles wherever possible. A heavier keyword density will optimize your site for search engines. Also, usage of key phrases that Google recognizes in relation to your site's topic may make your site eligible for the Google Alert system, which automatically alerts users when articles on the Internet contain the topics and keywords of their choosing.
Establish community forums. Forums (also known as message boards) draw people to your website by allowing interaction. Boards allow registered members to post and reply to topics created by other forum members. One of the better pay-to-use forums is vBulletin, while both phpBB and Simple Machine Forums provide adequate free boards for use by all (see "References").
Create a highlight system for your site. Highlights are clickable graphic images that act as direct links to key content on your site, such as special features. Highlights are flashy, grab attention and immediately notify your readers of new content. Instead of having to scan your pages, visitors are greeted with new highlights that immediately let them know the content has changed since their last visit. Position these highlights near the top of your home page.
Offer prizes. People love to win something for free. Contests are a great way to draw people to your site and earn their loyalty. Additionally, news of freebies spreads quite fast on the Internet, so giveaways are great publicity and garner you new readers. Also, consider creating a giveaway that can further benefit your site via the requirements of the contest. For instance, make contests for which only registered members of your forums are eligible (thereby enticing new people to your site to register).