You can drive web traffic to your site with proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and not spend any money! SEO is the driving force behind getting Google and Yahoo! to recognize your site and list you prominently on their search engines. Without doing some basic optimization, your website or blog is unlikely to make the first few pages of any search engine. Let that sink in before reading any further!
Imagine you have a cool boutique in the center of town. It’s just off a highway ramp and at the main intersection with lots of roads in and lots of roads out. You should do well! But now let’s say your store is on a back road and the only way to get inside the store is from a single doorway in a back alley. What are your prospects like now? Can anybody find you? What about your website?
Now, imagine the web as if it were a bicycle wheel. Your website or blog is in the middle, near the axle. So there you are, ready to entertain and sell, sell, sell, and surfers are streaming all around the tire. That’s good. But when they do a keyword search for you, near the axle, they can’t find you, because all you have is a few pages with no links, no spokes. So, the search engine finds lots of websites near the axle, and the surfers go to those sites. Of course, the tragedy isn’t just that they don’t come to your site, but they keep clicking on your competitor’s site, strengthening their page ranking!
Want to Succeed?
If you want to succeed, you need more spokes. One or two spokes (links) to your site won’t get you many visitors, but if you can build those links and grow many, many spokes, your wheel will be strong and successful. The funny thing is that the better your website is, and the more links you build, the more will grow organically, and search engines love organic links!
Search engines crawl the web constantly using algorithms to quantify every web page and website they find. In the past, web traffic and keywords were two of the major ways to get a site ranked high in a word search, but no longer. You can’t fool the engines anymore. Sure, they still count your traffic, but then they ding you for having duplicate content, poor content, forced meta tags, keyword lists, and poor traffic patterns.
A poor traffic pattern comes from visitors that search, open your site, and click away, especially if they go back to the same search to find another site. Buying hits works like that – they only hit your site for a second, and that’s bad. Good traffic comes organically, through links on other sites or from word searches, and then stays on your site and uses your links to other pages if the links are to other pages on your site, so much the better!
Make sure you are optimizing your site and articles with keywords. Don’t call your website Fish and then do articles on whales with the title “Monsters of the Deep.” You’ll get nothing from that. If your website is called fish, do articles about fish, with the word fish or a kind of fish in the title. Make sure you get the important keywords into the first 60 characters of the title.
If you are staying with the Fish name, make a separate page for whales if you want, and for books on fish, and fish food, and aquariums, and other supplies. Use that page’s keywords in articles on that page and make sure you use links from your articles to other parts of your website and other websites!
If you want to succeed in improving your search ranking, you need to have fresh content added continuously. You need good content that people respond to with comments, you need links to high page rank sites, and you need back-links to your site, the higher the page rank the better. Follow these steps to create a site people return to, and that search engines will rate highly. If you are using great keywords, even other book marketing websites will notice.
Adding a Blog
Adding a blog encourages interaction with your clients. It gets new information out to the public and should allow comments by your readers. It also increases the chances that you will get social bookmarks (Goodreads, Facebook, Linked-in, etc.) from your readers, and you want those free links back to your site! Keep blogging and you increase your website authority, pages, and the number of links to and from your site. If you are an author, a blog is an important part of your author book marketing campaign.
Each of your pages should be unique. No, the background doesn’t have to be different but don’t use the exact layout, the same adds, the same size article, and for goodness sake, don’t use the same content. Don’t even use the same line of an article or blog to entice a reader to use a link – search engines can consider this duplicate content!
If your site allows a meta description, make sure you fill the space with something that makes readers want to click – and has your most important keywords in the description.
Use footer notes to link between your web site pages with plain text links using your specific keywords in the anchor text. For page titles, use action words that promise something like a solution to a problem or evoke an emotion (your questions answered, the tips you need, what you need to know, etc.).
When you get your blog or website optimized a bit, start commenting on other blogs. Your valuable insight is good for them, and with a link (on your name is best) to your site, it’s a win-win situation. Even if nobody uses the link, the search engines like it!
When you are ready, you might consider doing a more in-depth look at your site. Google Analytics is a free software program that can show you just how your site is performing in search engines. When you sign up for a Google account, you can also get their Webmaster Tools which can check keywords for you. Maybe you’ll find that shark is ten times more popular a search than fish. Now, what to name that new site?