Here is a fantastic article written by another webpreneur on the various aspects of marketing. Link included for source.
How To: Increase Traffic and SERPs
I first want to make a statement. All these tips are from the 6 years I've been building my site and that I have found to work best for me. Depending on your niche, these may not be relevant but I hope you can at least take something out of this. And for some of you, these may be "DUH" tips but I'm seeing too many topics about some of this so I'm hoping to clear the air. So for sake of argument, this can be considered to be for beginners.
Just a little bit of my background/qualifications. My site gets 40,000+ uniques a day. At one point (before summer), we had it up to 50,000+ uniques a day. My site ranked on the first page for many of the SERPs (if not all) that I was targeting. You also have to realize that I have years behind my domain which is said to help with rank, while others will say it doesn't matter much at all. Be it as it may, there are many factors that go into getting better SERPs so see what works for you.
Seems like this is the hot topic right now. People are blaming social media for taking traffic from their sites. I wish I wasn't so stubborn. I knew about Twitter 3 years ago now (almost 4 years coming up) and I hated it. I saw the revolution toward social media like Twitter and Facebook and I resisted it the WHOLE time...until this year. What I want to tell you guys is, DON'T RESIST! These sites are people waiting for a community to join and partake in. So take advantage of the masses those sites attract and get people to come to your site.
I'm not an advanced twitter user, I leave that up to my users and people that find us but I know how to get those people to my site. One of the first things you want to do is have a link to your Twitter page on your site. People need to know you have a twitter page. Make sure the link to it is easily visible. Mine is at the very top of the site.
I don't recommend getting an automatic topic poster especially if you have a lot of activity. I guess it could be a good thing for smaller sites but I still think users would rather know that there is someone behind the tweets. I have a widget installed on my computer so I don't have to go to the webpage to post. When posting, be sure to take advantage of the tags (not sure of the real name, as I said, I'm not advanced lol I just use it for traffic). I'll show you what I mean:
"#Miami #Heat just picked up King James [link to your site's article]! #NBA"
When you use the #, people can search for those terms and they will see your post.
For me, I post important announcements, tutorials, guides, videos, or topics that either cause a stir in the community or something that seems like a hot topic at the time.
Similar to Twitter. Create a page for your website and link to it on your site. Recommend it to all your friends to "like" it. I use a separate account for my members to add me on so it stays separate from my personal.
You can either connect your page to your twitter account with a facebook app, or you could just copy and paste your tweets to your fb page wall. I recommend at least 3 posts/tweets and no more than 15 a day (this is personal opinion, I just don't like to spam my users with useless crap - if they feel you are spammy, they will just remove you but do what works best for you).
If you can get videos up for things on your site, this is also a great way to generate traffic. You get 3 chances to get people to your site with this method:
1. GOOGLE: Your link comes up on first page and they click yours
2. GOOGLE: Your youtube video comes up on first page, they click it, and then click to get to your site from the description:
3. YOUTUBE users searching for videos or finding it through a friend that fav'd it.
Youtube is my number 3 and 4 source of traffic. 1 being google and 2 being organic. If you can utilize youtube and you aren't, you are missing out on a big source of traffic.
My number one favorite site to do advertising on is Yahoo Answers. I didn't know whether to put this in traffic or SERPs because this one with help with both. Most of us (admins) are advanced users, so we know how to use Google but we never put ourselves in the users shoes. When they get to Google, they are asking themselves a question which they then type into Google. So why not advertise to target those questions? And where is a more perfect place to do that other than Yahoo Answers?! The user already asked the question all you have to do is answer it!
Better yet, get a team going (you or one of them will need to be a Level 2 to vote - the more the merrier) and have one person ask a question that you know people will search for and then another one of you answer it and you vote it +. It's a bit of cheating, which is why I don't suggest doing it often (refer below about my article on not getting banned).
I have my own secret tips on how to do well with YA, but one of the tips involves a bit of "cheating" and patience and I would rather not get it patched so I can continue with it. I will hint that you should look at all the "In Voting" questions that you answered some time back
Here's an article I had written for my site that no longer exists and it's about not getting banned from YA:
Ok, I'll stop talking about YA now. I may just create another post about it and link to it in here instead of this huge chunk here.
So we've already discussed YA and how it can help. This is when I like to use social bookmarking sites, signatures and some sites have blogs for profiles.
Rather than describing each of the sites, I'll just list a few of the ones that I use. I know there are a lot more but being as busy as I am, I try to keep it to a minimum. I like digg, reddit, and propeller. Again, I know there is a lot more out there and there are tools that you can have submit to a whole bunch of sites, I'm just lazy and don't try to over do it.
I don't use these sites to get traffic from. These are great sites to get PR juice from. I notice that once I link to my site on a new thread that it's almost instantly indexed in Google. And for me, being the first to be indexed for something means that I'll be at the top in the SERPs. So when submitting, you want to be sure to put in the title what you think people are going to be typing into Google. This is where good research and knowing how people think and search come into play. In the description, be sure to slightly repeat your title, just in a different fashion.
Don't expect to get much "diggs" because you have to be on digg 24/7 and be well known for any of your articles to hit the front page. It's a corrupt system so I don't stress myself out and just use it to help my SERPs.
Signatures - If allowed by the rules on other sites, in your signature, link to your article with good anchor text.
Profiles/blogs - Some sites give you great options in your profile and some even give you blog type profiles. In there, link to your site with anchor text you are targeting.
Become active on other sites - How I started my site was posting some of my guides on other sites and linking back to my site simply by putting "SOURCE: [link to my site]" at the bottom of the guide. I didn't want to make it seem like I was advertising because I essentially was, but I was helping their users and slowly getting some extra traffic from them.
Another thing I did with those guides was at the end of them, I would have a section for "Other helpful/related guides" and all those links would be linked back to my site. This greatly helped my site. I even did that on my site. So when people would come and just copy and paste my guides onto other sites, I would still have 5-10 links linking back to my site. Any time you can link to threads on your site through your article, do it. For me, I was able to do it through the "Requirements" section in my guides as well as the "other helpful guides".
Buying links - My least favorite thing. Google doesn't like it and I don't like paying people to do it Get good information and people will link to you. But if you have a competitive keyword that you want to rank up a few more results with, then I wouldn't buy more than 3-5 in a day and no more than 15-20 in a week. These are just my rules for myself as I'm sure someone is going to come in here and state otherwise. Again, do what works for you; that's what works for me.
On site SEO - Make sure your coding is good, your forum categories are search able/keyword filled, small page sizes with good content:code ratio and good page loading times. Also, utilize your footer to link to threads that are very useful and try to change the links every month or every other month.
To me, this stuff seems like common sense but I really hope this helps at least one person. I remember what it was like not knowing what to do at the start. Reading countless articles and just feeling dazed and confused. I want this to at least be a small budge in the right direction, if anything, in the direction of utilizing all the social media out there that all of us are oh-so-reluctant to use. Don't stop your reading here, there are much smarter people out there that have much better information than this!
Post your results when you start seeing some! I'd love to see you guys do well!