So you’ve got a website. You’ve got links, a fancy homepage, and a stable of content providers ready to bolster what you can offer to your consumers. Unfortunately, like the city of Atlanta in an ice storm, you don’t have any traffic.
The solution to your problem might well be search engine optimization (SEO), best practices which improve your site’s position in search engines like Google and Yahoo! It’s absolutely necessary that you show up on searches, because unless you’re a company like Burger King or Coca-Cola, chances are good potential customers aren’t out there searching for you by name.
Sure, you can pay to have your results appear higher on searches, but that’s good money you’re probably trying to save. Should you decide to stop paying for it, your status in searches will drop accordingly, making it likely that you just sank your hard-earned cash into a temporary solution.
The better solution, as Inbound Marketing University suggests, is to build your traffic organically. There’s a few relatively easy ways to handle that, most of them involving SEO and similar best practices.
According to IMU instructor Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing, 63.7 percent of those using search engines on the Internet make use of Google, and a further 20.5 percent use Yahoo! Those are far and away the most important targets, and so we’ll focus on hitting them.
Critical to that is the use of keywords and links. Keywords are words mentioned in titles of blog posts and in the bodies of posts that help to draw a search engine your way. For example, if you’re selling suitcases, you would want to work in words like “luggage,” “suitcase,” and “travel” to improve where you show up on Google searches for those words.
The effort to find relevant terms doesn’t necessarily involve stuffing everything in one post, Odden noted. Instead, it’s best to provide a lot of quality content that hits as many keywords as possible.
“That might motivate you to create additional content, in fact, that’s almost always the case,” he said.
Links are critical, as well. If you can get larger sites with established audiences to link to your content, you’re bringing in a group of readers who you can convince to stick around by providing quality blog posts. The easiest way to get them is often to have keywords in place, but it never hurts to advocate—in the least obnoxious fashion possible—on behalf of your blog.
Mistakes To Avoid
There is such a thing as the wrong way to approach SEO. Writing a post that contains search terms that have nothing to do with the post might get you initial eyeballs, but it will surely anger visitors and ensure they don’t visit your site again.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re putting consistent links out there for others. If you type in three different versions of your homepage (say www.homepage.com, homepage.com and homepage.com/home), all three will show up in searches, weakening your position over the long haul.
Above all, keep track of how you’re doing through tools like Google Analytics. If you don’t know how traffic is flowing to your site and where problems exist, there’s nothing you can do to better it.
As always, please comment and share ideas in the comment section below. Let’s start a discussion.
Photo credit to newmediawords.biz
BizEngine Blogger Dave Choate is taking the 16-part Inbound Marketing University online course. He’ll share what he learns from each lesson with readers over the course of the next three weeks.