How to Grow Website Traffic from 0 visits to 100,000 per month

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After being a webmaster for 15 years, I have recognized key ways to make a website successful. Though the knowledge comes from countless hours of effort and trial and error, I’ll share these secrets with you for free- simply for the satisfaction of helping others.

I’ve used the following steps to help multiple websites succeed in their own niches, the biggest one going from zero to 4.5 million visits per month, a laboratory site going from 10k visits/month to 100k visits/mo, a photo site from 0 to 70k/mo, a fiber optic site from 5k visits/mo to 50k/mo, a world almanac site from 0 to 50k/mo, and several others from zero to the lower tens of thousands of visits per month. Once you have traffic, you can monetize it and start making money. Then you grow it as much as you can, then start another website and try to replicate the success, but in a slightly different niche. Once your network of sites mature and earn links on their own merit, you can interlink them and see great power of sculpting link text and effecting search ranking. But that can be a long road for most people. This article is to simply help you with one website and grow it to be successful.

Follow these EXACT Steps to Grow Your Website:

1. Make sure the pages are perfectly optimized for search engines (SEO). Many people say they optimized their website, yet only do a 50% or 75% optimization. Web designers may think they know everything there is to optimize, but may be overlook key aspects of the keyword consistency or link strategy. So, how does one come to discover that they don’t know everything? …to know what you don’t know? This knowledge oversight is what causes most websites to not reach their potential. The best prevention is continual learning.

Since you likely Googled this page and read this far, this means you’re searching and are already on the right track. I bet you’re hoping to find something you didn’t know before. Well, even if you feel 100% confident you know and have done everything in SEO, let’s review the details of SEO anyway. A complete understanding and continuous learning in SEO is imperative to your site’s success and should not be taken lightly. (2 brief side notes: 1. I don’t claim to know everything, but have had success in building high traffic to multiple websites and will tell you how in this article. 2. This site isn’t selling/pushing any products, so no worries about bias or exaggeration).

SEO WARNING: Many people are told to just focus on writing good content and providing a great user experience, like Google’s SEO recommendations, and then you will magically be rewarded by increased traffic. This is false; good content is not enough! SEO is a game and those who don’t play it get left behind. You can have a great website, but if, for example, your URL looks like this: then you are letting the traffic go to your competitors who ARE optimized, like this:

It can be painful converting to make a site SEO friendly that wasn’t before, but that’s part of playing the game. The quality of the site from a visitors standpoint is the same, the user experience is the same, but you do it because that’s what Google and other search engines decided makes content relevant. It’s natural that Google wants you to think about fresh, original content and to not focus on the fact that their search algorithm has only limited signals they use to decide if a website is ‘relevant’. In fact, Google reveals many of these in the way it shows its search results. It bolds the keyword found in the search listings as though that is what makes the article relevant. So, without knowing anything about SEO at all, one look at the Google search results reveals that the keywords in the title, description, domain, URL (directory name) impact the search results. To summarize, play the game and do it right- take painstaking extra measures to make your site more optimized than your competitor and you will be rewarded greatly.

Here’s a complete break down SEO for you right now…

1a. Do keyword research! Use Google Keyword Tool to discover the phrases that are the most popular, with competition that is the least optimized and least prominent (in terms of links) and use it consistently across your site.

You don’t want to (and can’t) compete with Wikipedia, so scratch that competitor off the list. Lets say you want to compete for ‘Portland Oregon cars’, but someone already has and their page looks optimized for SEO and is prominent- then choose a different phrase! The keyword tool will allow you to discover phrases people type in and how many estimated people search it per month. You could assume that if you rank #1, you’ll get at least 30% of the traffic Google estimates through its Keyword Tool. Go after the low hanging fruit, so choose a phrase that’s more specific, but as general as you can with virtually no competitors with optimized sites. Once you find this, get the EXACT domain matching the keyword phrase. Like or something. If the .com is taken, but they didn’t optimize their site, then just get another domain extension (.org .cc .net .biz .co, etc.) and register it using godaddy or someplace. Then host it on a cheap host that allows unlimited add-on domains, like webhostingpad or hostmonster. After you build and optimize your site, you’ll likely be #1 soon after you complete the steps on this list. Simple as that. You’ll more than make up your investment of $8 domain fee + $72 hosting fee = $80/yr or $6.66/mo.

1b. SEO basics…Use your keyword phrase within:
a. Page title (make the title catchy for your real human users, and have your perfect keywords for crawlers. Try having them in ALL CAPS for getting more human clicks, or something engaging like 50 Most Dangerous Roads in Texas)
b. Meta title (update: some of these meta tags are supposedly ignored by crawlers now and are no longer w3c compliant)
c. Meta keywords
d. Meta description
e. Header tags: <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4>
f. <strong> tags and/or <b> tags
g. <em> tags and/or <i> tags
h. Three times exact in the body copy, and more with broken variations of it.
i. At least once in a URL link <a href=”link”>keyword phrase</a>
j. Make a folder with the keyword phrase as its name; use hyphens – between multiple words.
k. Image alt tags
l. Image filenames, e.g. Keyword-Phrase.jpg
m. Link ‘title’ text. title=’keyword’
n. Create multiple pages with similar variations of that keyword and inter-link those pages with the link text being the exact keyword phrase of the page title, etc. Once you’re done with internal linking, link each page (treat each separately) from social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and all other social bookmarking sites, with link text being the exact name of that page’s keyword phrase.

1c. Use a WordPress blog as your website. If you do this, a lot of the optimization is done for you, plus it ‘pings’ crawler websites and gets recognized more easily in blog searches. To quickly turn your WordPress blog into an SEO monster, follow these 10 essential steps for killer WordPress SEO.

2. Place links from Wikipedia to your website. I don’t care what anyone else says, Wikipedia links matter! Despite the fact that it has nofollows, Wikipedia is huge and if you get a relevant link to your site and it sticks (not removed), then you get 2 benefits: 1. A substantial amount of referral traffic, and 2. Even more external links from Wikipedia harvestors. That’s right, not only will you get a valuable link from Wikipedia to your site, but all the others that scrape and clone Wikipedia content may likely keep the external link to your site. So, when you put one link on Wikipedia, you may actually be getting 10 or more. Don’t listen to folks that say Wikipedia links are nofollow and don’t count. Uh, that’s bull. Wikipedia is gold and if you get a link on it that stays, believe me, you put yourself on the map and you will starting getting traffic. I have done this for many sites and works great every time. Remember that what works is usually what most others will not think of doing, or may disregard it, or say it won’t work. You can also submit your pages to bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, Buzz, Reddit, StumbleUpon and other bookmarking sites, but in my experience, your link will get easily buried and may never get crawled. You can always ping your links to force them to get crawled, by putting your linked page on pingomatic, but this is what spammers always do and I think is mostly a waste of time. Spammers also buy thousands of injected links (black hat stuff) from gigs on, but you risk getting your site banned by search engines. It’s a better use of time doing comment posts with your URL on government sites though- just search and you’ll find them- dozens of government agencies found through Basically start by getting the Wikipedia link.

3. Place links from Craigslist to your website. Similar to Wikipedia, Craigslist just has an enormous amount of traffic and you’ll again benefit from the immediate referrals, plus any other job sites or website portals that clone its content. If you’re even thinking about hiring someone for an odd job, consider placing a listing with a link to your website. It’s free. Or, advertise your products or services for sale under the ‘for sale’ ‘community’ or ‘services’ sections.

4. Offer something of value for free. Give away information or something intangible that is of value is a smart way to grow website traffic. It’s a simple business principle that always works and others will naturally want to link to your site. You can jumpstart the publicity of the free ‘thing’ you offer by writing a press release (you can hire someone on to write one for $5, the get it into Google News- which other publicists often crawl and will syndicate the press release or rewrite and submit a new version on it. How do you get your news into Google News? The cheapest way is to use and choose their cheapest $30 WebPost option- it will guaranteed be in Google News. Remember that you will be rewarded if you find a need and fulfill that need while using keywords consistently and effectively for SEO. Serve people and serve as many as efficiently as you can. You will then be rewarded at the end, given that you are doing all the other SEO recommendations.

5. Leverage social media. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube carry an enormous amount of traffic, so its important to get as much of it as possible. Create a fan page for your website, optimize it for your targeted keywords, stream RSS feeds into it if possible, add a like box and share box to your website. Make sure you also read these 7 advanced SEO techniques. You can hire a developer who knows Facebook API to write yourself a script to automatically post to Facebook pages, using a ‘cron’ that runs on an Apache server. You could potentially generate thousands to millions without any management of the page, except for pre-planning what you’re going to post in advance. Keep in mind that Facebook makes your less-relevant if you post more than 3 times a day. Many pages are making themselves irrelevant and ignored in the news feeds by posting 6-8 times a day or even every hour. This results in having many people dislike your page and Facebook’s algorithm will penalize you (I know this from personal experience in monitoring like stats from a 2 million-fan page.)

When you make a Facebook fan page, you might offer something for free to give them an incentive to become a fan. Services like Woobox can add custom tabs to Facebook to offer giveaways, coupons, polls, subscription signup forms, download user emails and comments, etc.

Examples of the 5 steps in practice…

By applying the above techniques, a particular family-friendly website of general interest was able to attain the following traffic levels:

grow website traffic

Google Analytics shows healthy traffic above 100,000 visits per month on a particular website. Yahoo! Site Explorer shows 4,505 incoming links from other websites.

Google AdSense

For this example website receiving 100,000+ visits per month, it receives several hundred bucks a month in Google AdSense revenue. I heard of another site with similar traffic received up to 10 times this amount, but the ads were ‘too prominent’, carrying the risk of losing repeat visitors. I believe sites that get too eager to cash-in on AdSense may end up destroying their revenue stream, as people don’t trust spammy ad-filled websites as much. I prefer to keep it minimal, to keep its credibility for making more money long-term.


The Google Analytics chart shows a growth pattern of how a website grew from 3 visits a day in Nov. 24, 2007 to nearly 7,000 visits/day in Sept 23, 2010. You can see that most of the growth was in a 1-year period of time from 2009 – 2010, from getting consistent external links and visitors returning for free, interesting content, such as in the strategies outlined above.

The spike in the middle of the chart was for 1 day when the BBC posted a link to this particular website, driving approximately 2,100 additional visitors to the site. The long-term value of the link is likely responsible for even greater traffic well beyond that level.

You can also see a dip in the chart where traffic levels plummeted down to next to zero. This was from using a terrible host, which was 3ix. They frequently got their server hacked and frequently ‘throttled’ bandwidth to websites, disallowing some users from even accessing it, or destroying the website altogether. In this case, they took down the website completely without contacting the owner. After limping along until December, switching hosts suddenly resulted in a surge of traffic- the traffic the website would have received previously, had the host not cut it down. The lesson here, is if you want your site to grow, be aware of your host and make sure its fast and has the bandwidth to scale properly.

Web Traffic Spike

This chart shows a different website showing a web traffic spike from 300 to 7,975 visits in one day, then back to around 300-400 visits per day. It was because something was offered free on the website and it did not gain any visibility on Digg, but gained great visibility on, a Spanish-language user-submitted news site, which referred 4,194 visits, and Delicious was 2nd source of traffic with 1,214 visits, along with a few other minor ones. None of the English-based sites would have recognized it, if it were not for the Spanish site, which once it made the front page, became posted to Delicious, StumbleUpon and a few others. It shows that even though something fails, it’s worth continuing to try, including translating your social media campaigns to posting to websites of various languages, popular outside of your own country.


If you apply the above 5 tips, your website will be on the path to success. I hope you too are able to grow your website traffic to 100,000+ visits per month. Keep trying and once you get there, you’ll enjoy the rewards.

Too many URLs is a Good Problem for SEO

If you ever receive an email from Google that says: “Googlebot found an extremely high number of URLs on your site,” then you’re probably doing something right. If you have an “extremely” high number of URLs in Google’s index, that is very good. Sometimes you may have a large website and may not get Google to even crawl all your URLs, so the fact that Google liked your site enough in the first place to crawl a high number of URLs, then you’ve done something right. Of course, it may also indicate a faulty URL structure that allows bad URLs, but it might also mean your site is just plain huge.


The more URLs you have in Google’s index, the more ‘chances’ you could say you have to rank for something. Maybe it’s like buying more lottery tickets, and thus, increasing your odds of winning.

The alert emailed to me above was for a site that has around 12 million pages indexed so far. The trick is that all 12 million pages are generated from only 1 page. That page has a few MySQL database queries which produce the content and uses an htaccess file to make the URLs SEO friendly.

It queries a table that has 100,000 cities in it and gives distances to different cities in the same 100,000-city list. Since 100k x 100k = 10 billion, that means there’s 10 billion pages/URLs generated from that single page. Even though Google crawled 10 million of them, it’s still only a fraction of the 10 billion total.

Generating a high page count from database content is a highly recommended technique for getting search traffic.

SEO Interlinking

SEO Interlinking
SEO Interlinking Strategy

Here’s a free tip to SEO pros who want to grow website traffic:

Do more interlinking of pages within your site.

In some situations, making more relevant links within your own site may have more impact on search engine ranking than getting a few more external links to your site. Link all of your related content together as much as possible, and if your site is weak in content for certain important keyword phrases, make new pages for that content simply to create more connections.

Let’s say I want to target the phrase ‘grow website traffic’ on this page, for example. Notice the URL, the H1 tag, links, and body copy all say that phrase currently. But if you do a Google search, you’ll notice grow website traffic dot com is nipping at the heels of this site at #2. If they did a few more things, they would be #1 above this site, since a keyword domain has more weight than a folder keyword like I have, agree? ( VS. But, if either I or the owner of this domain were to do more interlinking, it would likely improve the ranking and may influence the order our sites appear in Google. Or, if you’re already #1, it may further solidify and distance yourself from the competition.

Interlinking: instead of just 1 page. You make 3 (or many more) pages within your site with those targeted keywords.

This site only has 1 page currently:

But it would be more effective to make more pages like this:

Write a few paragraphs of original text, then interlink them. by linking A: to B and C, then link B: to A and C, then link C: to A and B.

Real working example: – notice it links to BOTH category level pages, such as Birds, AND links direct to regular Bird pages.

Notice the Bird page links to BOTH other category pages AND other bird pages. One could make even more interlinked pages for birds and continue optimizing around those keywords. Basically, the more pages you add around a keyword idea and the more interlinking you do, the better you will rank. So, if a keyword phrase is really important to you, don’t give up after making only 1 page. Keep making more and more pages around it, and fill the page with unique text about the subject. If ou don’t have time, try paying a writer $5 on to write it for you. Easy way to get content.

TIP: One effective way to create more links within your site is to make a glossary or dictionary. Then on EVERY PAGE of your site, you query the dictionary/glossary and where it finds a match to your keyword(s), it will show a link to the glossary entry (which should be its own page optimized for that keyword). THEN- from that page, make sure you link back to the page(s) related to that keyword. Where do you get a dictionary database? Search Google for public domain .csv files, then upload it to MySQL. Anything published before 1923 in the United States is legal to put on your website and even sell. That is a valuable piece of information!

If you use a database-driven website, like MySQL, it can be even more effective in helping interlink pages. For each content page, you can do a query of your database, or glossary, etc. for matches, and whatever matches, display a link to that content. This is a big reason for how these behemoth sites like,, or seem to rank so well. They have massive databases, and the may have dozens of pages along the same keyword. Links upon links and links. A huge spiderweb of a site. If you were to draw a sitemap on paper with arrows, it would be a total mess. Many of these sites are gaming the system to rank well. Come on, we all know it’s a game. If you start maximizing the links within your site, you’ll be a few steps ahead in the game too.

Google PageRank Update November 2011

It happened. Google updated their PageRank again. Are most webmasters cheering or crying?

Of the 61 websites I manage, most went up. Some went from PR1 to PR3, one from PR4 to PR5, others stayed the same. One blog went from PR3 to PR0, for no particular reason. It’s true that I haven’t posted a while in it, but it’s total post count and original content quality is superior to the others. It has more links to it than the other PR0 blogs that today jumped to PR2 and PR3. I really see no rhyme or reason for it.

What is odd to me is what is considered an ‘incoming link’ according to Google Webmaster Tools. I actually have blogs that I have done zero with that now apparently have incoming links. I checked it out and it is getting credit for links only because a webpage uses filenames that are the same compressed word as my root domain. Weird, huh? It’s true. I’m sure it’s some kind of glitch Google needs to work out, because these sites did not and never linked to me, but I got credit for a similar use of name. I wonder if Google tried to make some kind of tweak to consider use/talk of trademark or brand names as one of their indicators. If so, people could surely use that to their advantage and get incoming link credit without actually having links. What a weird concept.

Another aspect of the update I noticed is that some of my autoblogs with generic, non-unique content now have higher PR than the more stagnant, manual post blogs with unique content (both with the same # of incoming links). What does this mean? Maybe Google favors sites that continually update content, even if it’s duplicate content that’s already on the web. If you think about it, with Google crawling billions of web pages, there’s a ton of duplicate phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc. How possibly could Google know which content was first and which is simply an editorial quote, and which is more important than the other. It’s really a guessing game. We’ve already seen how the numerous Wikipedia clones manage to rank well with duplicate content- like Facebook pages,, etc. So, perhaps keeping a blog updating somehow (so it pings pingomatic), is probably worthwhile to keeping Google interested in your site.

One observation about the update is I no longer see as many PR10 websites that I remember before. Facebook is PR10. Adobe, Apple, Amazon, YouTube, Baidu = PR9. Ebay is PR7 = ouch. I can’t tell what the main Craigslist PageRank is, because it keeps redirecting to Las Vegas.

Sites like FBI, CIA = PR8. is PR9. Wikipedia ( is surprising it’s only PR8. We all know how much Google loves Wikipedia. Twitter is PR9, LinkedIn PR9.

Other than that, I see no massive changes in the November 2011 Google PageRank update. (keyword plug) We all wish we had the rationale behind the changes and what factors caused the sites to move up or down, but we can only speculate.

7 Advanced SEO Techniques

Once you have your own website perfectly optimized, you may consider reinforcing your targeted keyword phrases by using external websites. In this post I’ll refer to ‘targeted keyword phrase’ a few times which means the phrase you want to rank well in search engines, such as ‘portland web marketing’ or ‘red toyota pickups’ or ‘bay area real estate’.

1. Facebook.

Facebook ranks high in search engines, so leverage that buy starting both a personal profile account and a fan page using your targeted keyword phrase. One you create them, you may then click the following URL on Facebook to make the URL SEO friendly. Note: there are certain requirements for being eligible to change your URL- it may involve having more than 100 friends and 100 fans, but you should confirm with Facebook.

The URL where you change your account URLs to be SEO friendly:

Example before:
Example after:

Once you have those pages, link to them from your website, and link back to your website from your Facebook profile and fan pages. Make sure you link to the specific page matching your targeted keyword phrase. For example if is my phrase, I’m going to link it to a page on my website like, or  then link back to the Facebook page. Each time you link, you use the link text Big Red Balloons, of course. It also helps to have an image on your page named Big-Red-Balloons.jpg and alt text ‘Big Red Balloons’. You get the idea.

2. YouTube.

Do the same thing as above (but they don’t let you customize the URL though). Make an account with your username as your targeted keyword phrase. Link to your channel page and link it to your website with that keyword text. Every video you upload, use certain keyword text in the title to attract attention, but also use consistent words with your username and targeted keyword phrase(s) for your website. Example page:  . When your username is taken, of course, just come as close as you can, and limit the # of characters you add to the name.

Also, always put your URL in the description of your video so it shows up.

3. Twitter, and all other social media.

You’re getting the idea by now to leverage every account you create with keywords in the phrase and link them to your website to add leverage or reinforcements to your current search engine ranking. It will really help you. Google can still crawl via URL shorteners, such as those used on Twitter, but where possible, try to keep your posts short enough to use your real, direct URL to your website.

Other accounts you may consider for this technique: stumbleupon, digg, wikipedia, craigslist, buzz, yahoo answers

4. Free Hosted Websites

Even if you already have a website, such as a WordPress blog, create another blog hosted on, then syndicate some of your content and merge it with other RSS feeds into your blog there. The purpose is to get the benefit of link juice from the domain to your own website. You should also create other blogs on blogger,, etc.

When you use WordPress, always add Post Tags for each derivative of your targeted keyword phrase. Use the whole phrase, then different word combinations of it and different synonyms. When self-hosting, make sure you change the setting under Permalinks to customize the ‘category’ and ‘tag’ keyword to words that are also consistent with your targeted keyword phrase. For example, if I have a car related blog, instead of the word ‘tag’, I will change the it to say ‘car’. Makes sense, right? And of course, follow the 10 essential steps for a killer WordPress blog.

Also, create a free Google webpage, hosted on their server:

Another example is this: so you get:, then link it to your website.

Look out for many similar free website hosting accounts like this you can leverage to get more optimized link text pointing to your website.

So, how do you get content on all these sites? You can syndicate your own content, then mix it up with other RSS feeds to make it semi-unique. You can accomplish this with Yahoo Pipes. One thing you can do is use public domain content- such as that from the federal government and publish, or you can take public domain feeds from other countries (other languages) and use Yahoo Pipes to translate it into English. You can get 100% fresh, original content that way. If you have it automatically posted on all your websites and blogs, it shouldn’t be too long before those miscellaneous sites get some Page Rank credibility to it, where your link back to your original website will mean something.

5. Company / Website profile sites

It’s also wise to leverage existing profile sites. Avoid the spammy ones, but focus on the ones that have already reached critical mass. Within the profile, you enter your company details and links to your website and use as many targeted keyword phrases in your description. For example, create a profile in AboutUs (, Google Local (Google Maps), and CrunchBase.

6. Articles, Wikis, and user-submitted pages

Post articles and content in sites like Knol (, or Ezinearticles (, and sprinkle in your keywords and links to your website.

Other sites you need to make pages for:

Here’s someone’s list of related sites:

Sometimes Google and Bing don’t recognize the pages you’ve created right away. So, you almost have to link build for THEM first, so your site gets credit for the links. As an example, I made a WordPress blog on ACL Surgery then created a Squidoo lens for it: , but Yahoo Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools don’t show any links to it yet and there have been virtually no visits, but the page is Google-indexed, as it comes up in a search for Squidoo ACL surgery. So, it needs a little link juice to be crawled and for links to be recognized. So, by linking this blog post to it, that helps, but it will need even more. Interlinking the above user-submitted content pages helps in this effort. And remember when signing up for these sites to always choose a username that contains keywords you want to target.

Advanced SEO Tip: Once you’ve made all your articles, wikis, and user-submitted pages in English, translate all of them into Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese and submit them to each site that supports the language. For example, Wikipedia is in multiple languages, so that can be done. Even better is if you translate your own website into multiple languages and the links from your Spanish Wikipedia page links to your Spanish web site. That’s right- that may take some time.

7. Forums

Post in forums and include your URL as a footer of your profile, for those forums that allow it. Some forums have high Page Rank value, so it is worth researching and creating an account for it. For example IBM, Apple, and Adobe have user forums that have great PR and link juice.

For continuous learning you can also read and contribute to SEO forums like Digital Point. I hope this helps you. Best of luck in your journey for top search rankings.