After publishing an article about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies in the Fall 2011 issue of Resume Writers' Digest, I've been getting more questions from resume writers about how to get traffic to their resume website.
First, a caveat. You're not Amazon.com. You don't need 10,000 visitors to your website each week. If you need 3-5 new clients a week, you probably only need 100-200 qualified visitors to your site weekly. If you can get 10-20% of them contacting you (10-20 calls or emails a week), you can convert a quarter of those into clients.
So keep in mind that those "traffic fuel" or "traffic explosion" courses aren't necessarily a good investment of your time or money. They're geared at driving tens of thousands of visitors ... and can be costly, or contain potentially questionable tactics.
However, a link-building strategy can be a good way to generate visitors to your site ... and, depending on the links, they can be highly qualified prospects. (Even better!)
Getting other websites to link to yours is perhaps the best way to increase the amount of traffic you receive over time. Not only will you gain more traffic when people click on those links and come to your site, but as more websites link to yours the ranking of your website will improve on Google and other search engines (which will lead to additional traffic).
First off, see what sites are already linking to yours. You can check this with Bing Webmaster Tools.
You can also do a quick search on Google for link:www.yourdomain.com.
Keep in mind that Google syndicates its search results, so you'll also see links for sites that use Google results (i.e., AOL, Alexa, etc.)
It's important to recognize that proper link building takes time -- but this shouldn't scare you away from the process. In fact, it should probably be viewed as a positive. Rather than disrupt your other business tasks by requiring you to focus exclusively on building links for a day or week or more, proper link building will require you to dedicate a small amount of time to the process on a regular basis. Ten minutes a week is sufficient.
The first step is to identify where you want to build your links to. Do you want to build traffic to the home page of a your resume business website, to different articles (or a blog) within your website, or to some other online presence -- might be your Facebook page, your Google+ profile, or even your LinkedIn profile.
One of the best ways to build links is organically. To do this you need to become active on other websites that relate to your business. Identify the blogs and community websites that have active discussions and to which you can substantively contribute. When you're commenting or making other contributions, avoid the temptation to promote your resume business or resume writing services directly -- a "soft sell" approach is usually more effective in the long run. Just being available to answer job seeker questions is a good idea.
Whatever your strategy, make sure your links go to a page that exists (and will exist into the future) on your website. This is important because if you change the way that you structure your website, the URLs or web addresses for your existing pages might change. The last thing you want to happen is for someone to click on a link to an article on your site, and instead get a "File Not Found" error. Chances are they won't make the effort to try to find that article by searching your site -- they'll simply leave your website.
If you do restructure any of your websites, or switch to a new blogging platform, then make sure that you have redirects in place so that old links will be forwarded to the new location automatically.
Also make it easy for your readers to share links to your website by ensuring that each page of your website has appropriate "Share," "+1" "Like" and/or "Retweet" buttons for Facebook, Google+, and Twitter (and any other sharing buttons for other social networks).
Finally, you can also generate links by writing articles for sites like ezinearticles.com and including a link to your website or blog in the "resource box" at the end of the article.
Note: Do NOT even consider services that offer to sell you dozens, or even hundreds or thousands, of new links to your website. Many times these links will come from spam websites or spam blogs that will generate very little (if any) quality traffic. Plus, it won't take long for Google and the other search engines to recognize the "spammy" nature of these link farms, so there is a distinct possibility that your web site ranking will actually be punished if you are listed on too many sites. Buying links is a no-no.
But by taking just a few minutes each week to post on websites, commenting on blogs, and writing and posting unique article content, you'll be able to grow a nice stable of links to point to your website.