Posts Tagged ‘Search Engine Optimization’

Simple Ways to increase your site traffic

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Everyone wants to bring more traffic to their website but the $64,000 question on every business owners mind can be summed up in a single word – How? Unfortunately when it comes to website traffic there are no perfect answers but outside of your standard search engine optimization (SEO) and link submission there are 3 easy ways to help increase traffic to your website.

  1. Blogging – I have advocated business blogging for years for this very reason. One of the fundamental parts of search engine algorithms revolves around the freshness of content. And the way the spiders work is that the more often your content is updated, the more often they will come back to reindex your site. If you and your competition are on equal footing from a search engine placement standpoint then the site that is updated more often is going to reap the rewards of higher placement simply by natural attrition. With this in mind it is important to update your site as often as possible and the easiest way to do that is through blogging because it allows you to diverge from your normal marketing content and dive deeper into tertiary subjects related to your business or product offerings. And this divergence not only opens up a myriad of content topics but also adds another level of depth to your SEO footprint.
  2. Email – Email marketing is another way to drive new traffic to your site while also being a catalyst for reengaging existing customers. Sending out regular updates such as a monthly newsletter keeps them coming back and offers opportunities to increase your reach through secondary exposure to your emails. To increase your numbers just add an opt-in form to your site (with the appropriate free gift to woo them into providing info). There are a number of programs available for sending mass emails as well as online services that can all help deal with email setup, sending and list management. I personally prefer MailChimp because of its outstanding Forever Free account that allows you to send to a list of up to 2000 subscribers, sending up to 12000 email a month at no change. This is a perfect solutions for entrepreneurs trying to build a list because it does not cost anything while you get it off the ground and once your list hits the tipping point you can stick with all of the tools you are used to and just pay as you go to keep the party going.
  3. Social Media – Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the hundreds of other social media outlets to connect with clients and potential clients, they can all be used to drive traffic back to your site. You can even use the blogging and email marketing mentioned above to reinforce your social media activities. By making sure that you are posting often in your social media accounts with links back to your site or even if it is just to pass along a helpful article form a third party, it will increase your companies SEO footprint and ultimately drive people back to your site.

Other ways that you can increase traffic are through more old school means like print work (business cards and collateral materials that include your website). And when you absolutely positively need traffic overnight, you can always go with options like PPC (pay per click), paid blogging, banner placement and other paid services.

Putting in a little sweat equity with some of these easy steps (or actual capital in the case of the paid options) can go a long way toward building the kind of traffic your clearly awesome site deserves.

Keyword Research on a Shoestring

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The cornerstones of any SEO or SEM project are the search terms used to set your content apart from the crowd. These terms, commonly referred to as Keywords, are how all of your potential organic SEO traffic is eventually directed to your site. But how to you determine what keywords fit best for your site? That is a tough question with a number of answers but they may be simpler than you think.

The best place to start with any keyword research is in your own head and there are two ways to do it:

  1. Try to put yourself into a potential customers shoes and think of the non-industry specific, jargony keywords and keyword phrases that you would use as a layperson trying to find your product. Then begin writing your site content keeping those search terms and phrases in mind to be sure they are included


  2. Start writing the content for your site the way you think it should be written and let the keywords fall where they may.

Either way you decide to go, you are well on your way to where you want to be. The next step, once your content is complete and your site is up, is to consult one of the many Oracles that Google provides in the form of online tools. In this case what you want is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Although this tool was ostensibly developed to be used for Search Engine Marketing (SEM), it is still an excellent Free resource to use to help with basic organic SEO.

So how does it work?
Essentially the way the keyword tool works is that is looks at your site and then tells you what IT thinks your keywords are based on your content. Intrigued yet? I thought you might be. This now allows you to see how the other half sees. You think you are optimizing for one thing and it turns out as far as the spiders are concerned you are talking about something totally different but once you know what it is seeing you can begin make the adjustments that will ultimately help bring in those elusive customers.

From here you can fill out your list with keywords you may not have considered before and start breaking things down using some of Google’s built-in “Grading”. The grading allows you to see how many searches are done each month on a given keyword . You will see some amazing search numbers and be tempted to try to rank for words like “internet”, “Computer”, “Security” (or the like depending on your industry) but don’t get sucked in by really high numbers – remember that the broader the term, the more competition there will be for it. As a small business you need highly qualified leads and you can’t afford to compete with Fortune 500 companies for searches that will, in all reality, have nothing to do with what you have to offer. The best option here is to narrow the terms (or more specifically phrases because single terms will almost always be too broad) as much as possible.

Once you have done that you can narrow it down further by the number of searches (remember, the more the better, but within reason – lets not get greedy). And here is where you play the SEM card for your basic SEO needs. Along with showing the number of searches and a general competition ranking, this tool also shows how much Pay-Per-Click advertising is going for on each keyword or phrase. The more it is going for per click, the more the competition is likely to be for regular organic traffic as well. So when you find your balance between competition, search volume and cost per click, you have found your keyword. then as with everything else you just rinse and repeat until you have ten to fifteen strong keywords that you can use as a base for your site.

Then it is just a matter of optimizing the content on the important pages to make use of up to three of these keywords (and they can be different on each page) and then you can go back to your analytics and other tools to see how things work out and adjust accordingly.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is a reason why there are almost as many SEO companies out there as lawyers in this country, they have a lot of expensive toys and know how to really bend the search engines to their will. Depending on your needs it may make sense to work with one of these companies rather than trying to go it alone but for most small businesses, this tool is just one more example of the ways that individual site owners can take some measure of control over their web presence and enhance their organic search engine traffic without sacrificing any body parts to a deity not of their choosing.