Letting Customers Know You Exist
No matter what type of business you come across, making people aware it exists and getting them to visit your business is fundamental when it comes to keeping a business alive and active.
For brick and mortar stores, getting people coming into a store to look at what you have to offer and selecting an item to purchase happens when people know about the store; or they were walking by and were drawn into the store because of a window display or the prominent placement of products near the entrance of the store.
Websites unfortunately do not have the ability of benefiting from passing trade in the same way as stores.
So, what methods can websites use to get their site found on the web?
There are quite a few ways to use in getting traffic to a site. Some are ethical, some bend the rules and some completely break the rules.
All methods used fall into 3 broad categories and deciding which method to use in getting a site found and driving traffic to your site is completely up to you as the site owner.
The 3 broad categories have been named White, Gray and Black Hat; and the way in which each method gets traffic to a site varies.
Deciding which method to use tests how comfortable you are with doing things that may or may not be thought of as being totally ethical.
This method may take longer to work, as it really is a long term strategy, however it is the method most favoured by all search engines.
It uses ethical SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) methods in the form of having good content people want to read and share with others, using relevant keywords and getting backlinks from activities such as guest posting.
It mainly relies on human interaction with your content, where content is created to be read by people.
This method may get traffic to your site faster than using white hat methods and even though it is not totally unethical, it does have some questionable SEO activities that may or may not see your site violating search engine published guidelines.
The risk to a site caught using this method is having your site deindexed, meaning it won’t show up in search results. An example of a gray hat method is the creation of a private blog network, with the sole purpose of getting a new site to rank quickly.
Black hat methods use aggressive techniques to get sites to rank. The focus is on getting search engines to find your content rather than people. This method also goes openly against search engine published guidelines.
You may be able to identify sites that use these methods as the content may not match the topic it appears under when searching a search engine and you may be redirected to an irrelevant site when you click on a link.
Most people more than likely would not want to use black hat methods in gaining traffic to a site, as it blatantly goes against guidelines search engines have published.
Gray hat methods can be used on occasion, however if you do not know what you are doing, your site could get penalised. Gray hat methods do not go against a search engines published guidelines however, they do things that the guidelines imply, but may not explicitly say, should not be done.
Using white hat methods is the ideal one to use as it doesn’t open up your site to being penalised by search engines.