Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Secrets To Increasing Web Traffic

It is no accident that some web sites have thousand or even millions of hits every day while others seem to be camouflaged with no visitors clicking on their sites. In general, there are 3 major areas of Internet marketing strategies.
Have a product or service that is in demand. The more unique and desirable, the better. If you're trying to sell something that lots of other people are also trying to sell, you're facing competition in two ways. It’s going to be a lot harder to get noticed on search engines, and the competition is going to eat away at the profits.

  1. Have a product or service that is in demand. The more unique and desirable, the better. If you're trying to sell something that lots of other people are also trying to sell, you're facing competition in two ways. It’s going to be a lot harder to get noticed on search engines, and the competition is going to eat away at the profits.
  2. Create a site that sells. A website sells product by design. It presents the product / service, builds trust, and then closes the sale. If people don't trust you, they won't buy from you. It doesn't matter how many people you attract to your website if they get turned off by an unattractive presentation or a half-built website.
  3. Draw a stream of potential buyers to your site. You can obtain first page rankings on search pages without using tricks. If you build highly optimized, search engine friendly web pages, you can score well on several different keywords or keyword phrases. This is called search engine optimization.

Let’s start by looking at what doesn’t work:

  1. Banner Ads: Click thru rates have now dropped to just 0.3%. This is not a cost effective traffic builder for your site. Banner ads that are tied to keyword phrases are more effective.
  2. Exchange Banner Ads or links. The downside is that you work hard to attract a targeted customer to your site and they end up leaving before you can close the sale. The upside is that links pointing back to your site improves your ranking with many search engines. My suggestion is that if you want to add links, do this on a separate links page.
  3. E-mail marketing: This is one of the most disliked forms of internet advertising. It violates one of the basic rules of the Internet…NEVER SPAM. The bottom line is that email marketing doesn’t work.
  4. Classified ad services: “Free for all” classified ad sites have popped up all over the web. This is how they work…first you sign up and receive your own classified ad site. Then you allow visitors to post their ads for free. In exchange, you get to send them your spam. The issue is that you are not dealing with targeted customers and you end up with zero results.

Search Engines

Search engines are a great source for new customers. Existing customers already know you and usually they usually don’t arrive thru searches. Since visitors find you by entering in search terms, they are new customers. These visitors are targeted…they create the search that finds your keywords. Since they found you, they are motivated and much more likely to buy. Properly targeted search engine traffic results in sales that could have gone to your competitors…and this goes to your bottom line.

Keywords and Keyword Phrases

This is a very important part of web page optimization. You need to understand how your customer thinks. People who use a search engine are looking for the product and its features. Remember, 3-4 word keyword phrases attract buyers, 1-2 word keyword phrases attract browsers.
Create a list of keyword based on common names, combining words into compound words, common misspellings, looking at competitor key words. Stay away from company name and brand names as keywords. Select keywords based on recent actual search usages. This information is available from the Internet.
In picking the best traffic building keywords you will want to end-up with 80% specific keywords or keyword phrases and 20% general keywords / phrases. Eliminate words that are unlikely to be used. Choose approximately 16 specific keywords / phrases and 4 general ones. Make sure that the words cover your entire product line.

Spiders on the Web

Search engine spiders are programs that follow links on web sites, gathering data for search engine indexes. The spider, robot or crawler goes to a web site and follows hyperlinks throughout the site. The spider reads the meta tags on the web pages. Meta tags are tags that appear in HTML at the top of each web page; these tags tell the spiders what's on the page in a fashion that is easy for them to index. The robot reads these tags and compares them to the content on the page. The better the tags add up with the actual content of the page the higher the spider will rank the page's TITLE, DESCRIPTION, and KEYWORDS. When the spider finds material in the tags that does not reflect the actual content of the page, it will give the page a low ranking or will not index the page at all.

Design your site to be spider friendly

The Meta Tags are important to getting good rankings, and on many search engines, the page title (often truncated) and the Meta Description tag are what gets displayed.

  1. Constructing your Meta TITLE tag. All your most important key phrases should be in the TITLE tag. Browsers only display the first few words of a title tag (whatever fits into the title bar of the window). So while the first sentence of your title tag should be readable by people the rest can be just a list of key phrases.
  2. The Meta Description tag should contain a short description of the web page. You've already written one for the TITLE tag! So just edit that to make it human readable (and perhaps a little shorter).
  3. Meta Keywords tag. Enter your key phrases in the order you think is most appropriate, separated by commas. Don't repeat a key phrase, and don't repeat any individual word more than 5 times.
  4. The first paragraph of your page should repeat and expand upon everything in your title and description meta tags. You need to have all those key phrases in it. However, since this is going to be read by people, it needs to be written with them in mind.

Don’t put up spam pages

You clearly want to have your important key phrases on your page more than once, because this is what gives the search engines a clue as to what your page is really about. However, you don't want your key phrases to appear too many times. This might make the search engines think your page is a spam page trying to rank highly for a particular phrase and will not list them.

RSACI Rating

Say that someone visits your page... but they can't! Their browser blocks it, saying that it's "not appropriate". This is probably because you haven't installed rating tags on your site. It's pretty simple to do, and it means that a lot more people will be able to access your site. See The Internet Content Rating Association at http://www.icra.org/ for more information.

Paying for hits

Pay-per-click is another way to increase the traffic to your website. Pay-per-click providers are simply a search engine where you can bid for the top positions for various search keywords.
Even if you have done everything right and you have a perfectly optimized web site for search engines and you have traffic flowing to your site, you can quickly lose your potential customer with a poorly designed website.

10 ways to design an annoying site that drives traffic away.

  1. Have useless or just plain bad content.
  2. Make your pages over 50K so the pages load real slow.
  3. Disable the back button so people can’t leave the site.
  4. Place blinking text and moving or spinning graphics to distract the reader from the other really bad stuff on your site.
  5. Don’t proof read what you do and have plenty of spelling and grammar “misteaks”
  6. Put in music…and make it really loud.
  7. Make your text unreadable by putting light blue printing over a medium blue 3D wallpaper or similar background.
  8. Put your entire site on one…long…long…long page.
  9. Clutter up your site and make it confusing so no one can figure out exactly what you are up to.
  10. Have plenty of pointless graphics or clipart for no real reason.

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