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There is no single most effective way to increase traffic to your website. You have to create a multi-platform ecosystem to bring your users to your website. Lets take it with an example - Your website sells fitness products.
Understand the value provided by your website and what is the intended segment/audience you are trying to bring in. In this case, you may want to bring people who are concerned about fitness.
Once you know which type of audience you are targeting, try to identify areas on web where you can find significant percent of that audience.
Use different marketing methods to announce that you exist and exist for a better reason.
Website traffic can be increased by various on page and off page activities. Various link building techniques such as guest posting, article submission, social bookmarks and classified ads help to generate good traffic. Social media optimization also helps to generate good traffic.