If you’re a small to medium-sized business looking to develop or improve your existing website, your primary mission will be driving traffic to your website. This can be a daunting and formidable challenge given time, financial and skill limitations for most small business entrepreneurs. Growing web traffic is a highly competitive game, and you can’t expect quick and easy results without a dedicated investment in time, financial resources, patience, skill and drive.
What I recommend for my clients is to think about your website in terms of a virtual window that customers will use to do business with you. It needs as much attention and resource allocation (time, financial and people), as brick-and-mortar storefronts, and possibly more, depending on your particular business model.
Once you develop your site , you need to focus on keeping the site competitive, maintaining relevance to your target audience, ensuring it is easy to find on the web, and perform some level of consistent marketing for your site, which can include many free techniques such as SEO (search engine optimization), blogging, social marketing optimization, email and newsletter marketing, creating inbound links to your site and fully utilizing Google Local and Analytics services. Paid marketing can include SEO (if you hire an expert to do it), SEM (search engine marketing), PPC (pay per clicks), targeted advertising on Facebook, issuing press releases, creating affiliate marketing partnerships and BTM (behavioral targeting marketing.)
I’m going to share some of the most effective concepts that will help you increase your website traffic in 2010. You have three choices on how to handle development and execution. You can tackle it yourself, hire an external specialist or hire a full-time person or team to execute on your behalf. Your decision needs to be based on your resource limitations (time, financial and skill) and all three have pros and cons.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is defined as the process of optimizing the pages on your website to be more visible to search engine mapping, thus increasing your chances of appearing higher up on the search results page. Research indicates that only a very small percentage of people move past the first page of search results, so you must be on the first page to generate meaningful traffic.
SEO involves identifying and incorporating relevant keywords into your website text. Keep in mind that you want to think like a customer, and how they would search for you using a search engine. If you’re a local business, you can improve your results by geo-targeting. For example, if you operate a website that sells books in Portland, you want to include “books Portland” or “books 97219” or “books Oregon” in your keyword strategy. Avoid single keywords when possible, as they are extremely competitive, and you should focus on as many keywords with three to four words as possible, to optimize your results.
Also, keep keyword density in mind too. A good rule of thumb is to include your primary and secondary keywords in about 5% of your text per page. If you over-use keywords, most search engines will flag your site as a SPAM originator. Ensure your keywords are included in your URL, meta tags, headlines, second-tier text and body text. Include as much internal hypertext linking as possible to increase your SEO stature.
Another SEO technique is to add as many back-links, or in-bound links, as possible that directs to your site. You can accomplish this by linking with social marketing sites such as Facebook, affiliate link sites such as LinkShare or partner sites that are willing to include a link on their site. Keep in mind, that quality vs. quantity is your key to success here. You can start with including your business profile on professional directory sites such as BizNik or MerchantCircle. Another proven link-building technique is to take the time to review and read relevant blogs and articles and leave comments and a back-link to your site. These link-building techniques will increase your visibility with the search engine crawlers.
Once you have completed these steps, make sure that you submit your website data to the top four search engines. According to the ComScore 2009 search market share metrics, as of December 2009, Google owned 66% of the search market, followed by Yahoo with 17%, Bing 11% and Ask at 4%. These four search engines own 98% of all search.
Website Content & Marketing
Content is King on the web. If you don’t have relevant and frequently updated content, you won’t be able to increase your website traffic. You want to become the expert in your field or product segment and improve your communication techniques. Listed below are some suggestions to improve content, become recognized by your guests as an expert in your field and keep information flowing to keep your potential audience interested enough to come back to your site –
- Issue press releases (include keyword hypertext links to your site). Terrific national brand exposure and increased opportunity for new in-bound link traffic.
- Email marketing – leverage your guest database with relevant offers and information to your best guests. Make sure you have a place on your website to gather opt-in email addresses.
- Blogging – great prospecting tool and keeps you relevant within your business segment. Include a link to your blogs on your home page.
- Electronic newsletter and articles – Great way to keep your guests informed and interested in your business. You can include links to your partner sites, and hopefully they will do the same in return.
- Social Bookmarking – a bookmark is a stored web location or URL that can be accessed quickly and conveniently. Bookmarks can become social or viral when bookmark links are posted on popular web content sites such as dig.com or del.icio.us.
- Most importantly, update your website to keep content fresh and relevant. Update every three to six months.
Create new markets for your business. Affiliate marketing is simply paying others to help you sell your product. In return, you pay a commission to the entity that delivered the sale. Affiliate marketing has grown into a huge ancillary online business segment.
Here’s how it works – you solicit web partners that are interested in selling your product on their site, either with direct product listings or through a link (back to your website). Web tracking technology (cookies) is used to track your movements from the affiliate site to your site, so that the appropriate affiliate partners can be compensated appropriately. The best example of product affiliate marketing is with Amazon.com. They have mastered the business of selling other people’s products on their website (and make a profit). Once your products are listed, linked and searchable on Amazon.com, you’ll enjoy seeing new customers entering through this new window. The purchase is made through your website and Amazon takes a percentage of the sale as their commission.
Another affiliate technique is to drive traffic to your website through online coupons or links that are listed on partner sites, which simply serve as third-party traffic aggregators. Websites such as CouponCabin.com or Coupons.com generates tens of millions of visitors a year and you have the opportunity to be exposed to these visitors when they are ready to make a purchase. These customers are looking for deals, and if you have the right deal, you’ll win using this technique. Again, you pay a percentage of the sale which results from the coupon transaction or link to your site.
Utilizing Google Tools
Google is the absolute king of search and you should allocate most of your attention and resources to improving your Google search rankings. Google also has some terrific tools and free business applications that, surprisingly, aren’t always used. Here’s a summary of some Google applications that can help you increase your website traffic –
Adwords – target messages by relevant keywords. You pay for each click to your website that originated from your target keyword.
AdSense – generate a new revenue stream from accepting advertising on your website from non-competing and relevant advertisers.
Local Business Center – free business listing and can include address, phone number, map and directions, web URL, blog link, hours of operation, picture or logo, and you can even post a video.
Analytics – once you set up your account, you can access all kinds of traffic data. You can track daily website visits, unique visits, new visits, geographic source and type of visit (direct, referral or search). All these tools will help you better understand what’s working on your site and more importantly, what’s not and how you can improve your site metrics.
Grow your website traffic in 2010 with these key concepts
- عدد المساهمات : 10329
نقــــاط التمـــيز : 47466
تاريخ التسجيل : 08/04/2009
العمر : 25
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