May 16, 2010 Michael Bickerton
It can be depressing to do all the work required to build a great website, only to have no traffic. “Build it and they will come” does not apply online either. We offer up 5 relatively simple actions you can take you can do today to help drive traffic to your site:
We know blogging isn’t for everyone, but it’s a proven way to build relevant content at your site on a consistent basis. And remember, Google’s only reason for being is to “help X find what X wants, when X wants it” (X being every individual on the planet). So relevant content really helps Google point people to your site. It also gives your visitors / customers a reason and an opportunity to engage with you. A caveat though – please no “corporate-speak” Be real. Don’t be afraid to discuss your mistakes and what you’ve learned from them as well as your strong points and advantages.
Article marketing is, in essence, trading your words for links. It can certainly help with link building, but often the quality of the links are questionable. Having said that, it is free and we have certainly used it successfully for many of our clients. Here’s how it works: Write an informative article on your site topic (or something related). Include an “about the author” section as well as links in the article that point to your pages using relevant anchor text (preferably your sought after keywords). Then submit the article through one of the many article syndication services (such as EZineArticles.com). Anybody can publish your article on their website – provided they use the article in its original format including the “about the author” section. So when the article is published, any links you include back to your site are published as well.
Google (and other search engines) like it when credible sources link to your site. It is known in the Internet community as link building. Although it tends to be a long-term strategy there are some free listing as well as some very effective paid ones that would make a difference. Our friends at SEOmoz published a good list that remains relevant.
For new websites, with no history and few links, it is often a long tedious process to “ramp up traffic”. We have often used paid search campaigns to get a new site site in front of the right audience immediately. It also allows you to do your homework and find out which keywords work and which ones you should drop. We recommend that you start small, watch, listen, learn and build your ROI. Google has some great tools to help you do your keyword research to find lower-cost keywords to get you started. Cut your teeth on keywords that are not as sought after (therefore expensive) before going after the big traffic keywords. Take those on when you have more skill and feel you can risk some marketing dollars. It is more difficult to get a decent ROI on some keywords that are popular in your marketplace.
Google reports there are over a trillion URLs on the web, yet only 3% are optimized for search engines. Simple things like submitting site maps so the search engines know where to look on your site, through to setting up proper H1, H2 and H3 headings and filling out individual page meta tags. Many developers, don’t want to do the extra work, so most new sites get posted “as is”. More often than not, Google, Yahoo, MSN (or the new Bing!) do not even know your site exists. A little SEO goes a long way to generating traffic.
An extra bonus tip is to be sure to place Google Analytics on your site so you can track what’s working and what’s not. The data is almost instant and lets you know what’s really going on with your new site.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5, 2010