Posts Tagged 'WordPress'

Free Resources to Increase Website Traffic

traffic_light_greenRecently I’ve been asked by several people for advice on driving more traffic to websites, without spending a lot of money. Given the current state of our economy, I thought this would be a good topic to cover here on Search Matters. Some recommendations focus on search marketing, others don’t, but all are online marketing resources that will get traffic moving in the right direction.

Google Analytics

The first step in increasing the number of visitors to your website, is to know how much traffic you currently have…and how they got to your website…and the search terms they used to find you…and much more. Google Analytics is a robust web analytics application and it’s free. Create your Google Analytics account tied to a URL and add a small line of code to the pages of your site. You’ll be able to see the positive changes your traffic-building efforts will have. Learn more about using Google Analytics on their YouTube channel.

Google Webmaster Tools

Use Google Webmaster Tools to improve the performance of your site. Webmaster Tools will ensure the crawlability of your site. It will show you the keywords Google found in your site. It will even show you all the sites that are linking to your website. And more. Even if you don’t know anything about search engine optimization (SEO), you should set up Google Webmaster Tools on your website to see any areas where you can improve.

Keyword Research

To get people to your website, whether from search engines or social networks, you need to know the related keywords. Keyword research can be a very complicated, scientific process. But here are just a few high-level tips to get you headed in the right direction.

Check your website logs to see what search terms people are already using to find you. Visit several competitors’ home pages and view their page source. (Right click on home page and select view source). This will show you the HTML of the page. Look for their listing of meta keywords and see what they consider to be their keywords.

Use a free keyword research tool to see what the estimated search volumes are for terms and to uncover additional or alternative terms. There are several available, but here are two of my favorites:

The goal with keywords is not necessarily to try to be at the top of organic search for the “obvious” keywords — generic terms like industry, product, or service categories. Rather, try to find “long-tail keywords” –  multi-word terms that get more specific, including a location, an action verb, or a descriptive adjective. For example, “swine flu” (40,000,000+ results) vs. “swine flu vaccine” (13,000,000+ results) vs. “swine flu symptoms” (4,000,000 results) . The higher the number of web pages indexed for the term, the more difficult it will be to compete in organic search. If you’re a real geek and want to learn more, check out 10 Steps to Advanced Keyword Research.

LinkedIn

Depending on your product or service, LinkedIn may be an effective social network to reach prospective customers. LinkedIn is the top social website for connecting business people. If you do not already have a profile, set it up. Then create a Group for your product, service, or brand. Invite people to join your group. Post news updates, interesting articles, and discussions. LinkedIn also has company profiles. Conduct a search to see if LinkedIn already has your company listed. If you find it, you may edit the profile. If it’s not there yet, add your company’s profile. There are a number of other ways to market your personal or business brand on LinkedIn.

Facebook

Your customers are on Facebook and so should your company or brand. Create a Facebook Page for your company, product, or service and build a community. Post updates, announcements, and share links. Invite friends, families, and colleagues to become a fan of your page. Start discussions. Not only will Facebook help you connect with your customers and potential customers, but it’s fun! Read more about marketing on Facebook in this article.

Twitter

Get on Twitter and connect with people who are interested in your related field or topic. On twitter you post little “status updates” – like on Facebook – but you are limited to 140 characters at a time. Follow people who may be interested in your service or product. Post valuable information and people will start to follow you back. The more followers you gain, the broader the audience your “tweets” will find.

To find targeted followers on Twitter, go to http://search.twitter.com and conduct a search using your keyword(s). You will be presented with all of the conversations on Twitter that mention that keyword. The key is to connect with people of similar interests, and begin interacting. You may also try to connect your followers with your website and/or other social media communities like Facebook. Just be careful not to use Twitter to just put out little “ads.”

YouTube

Another effective resource is YouTube. Open an account and upload some videos. The videos do not have to be expensive or professionally produced. Potential topics are how to’s, or product demos, or even video newsletters. Be sure to use keywords and add tags to the videos with your keywords. Google will often include video results on page one of organic results. So if you get some videos on YouTube for your keywords, it increases your chances of being on page one of organic searches.

Blogs

Blogs are also very good at building web traffic…providing you are publishing stories on a regular basis – at least weekly. Center your blog’s theme around one subject or topic and publish helpful information about that topic. This builds your authority in the industry and helps to increase your website traffic. WordPress and Blogger offer free hosting for their blogging applications, but are not necessarily as search engine optimized as downloading the WordPress free software and hosting on your own server. Blogs are more of a long-term solution because they take 6 months to a year to build traffic, so don’t expect overnight results. Once you get started, you will see a steady increase over time. If you are interested in starting a blog, here’s an article that goes into more detail.

Just Add Time

While all these resources are free to use, they do require an investment of time. If you are short on time, prioritize your efforts. Start with the one-time tools like setting up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools. Then select one social network where you will find the largest number of your potential customers. There are planty of stats availble on the demographics of social networks. Do a little homework, get involved online, and give website traffic the green light.

Related Articles

The Easy Way for Agencies to Do SEO
Is Your Client Doing Keyword Research Without You?
Options to Get Your Clients to the Top of Organic Search

Options to Get Your Clients to the Top of Organic Search

man-on-mountainYour client wants to be on page one of Google’s organic search results. But you and your agency have not yet entered the wonderful world of search. What should you do? Here are 5 options for obtaining top organic search results.

Optimize the client’s website for search engines – Otherwise known as search engine optimization or SEO. Requires making changes to a website’s code, design and content to follow the search engines’ recommendations for SEO best practices. The good news is that search engine optimization done well usually delivers long-term organic results. And you own the site, you have complete control over it and the content is exclusive to the company. However, the cons with search engine optimization are that you must make changes to your website, which is not necessarily inexpensive or painless. And SEO can take six to 12 months to see the organic results. But perhaps the biggest barrier for an agency is that SEO requires specific expertise and experience. Agencies without experience with website SEO should find an SEO consultant to hire or to bring in as a partner. To learn more about optimizing a website, read this article.

Launch a company blog — There are plenty of blogging platforms, even free ones like the one used for Search Matters from WordPress. Most are extremely easy to use for the non-technical and have many search engine optimization features built in. However, be prepared to write and publish often, and to invest time to market your blog. It takes about six to nine months at the least to build the authority of the blog to the point of realizing seo benefits. But the long-term benefits of a blog are great. Here’s an article to help you get started with a blog.

Add the company to online directory listings – There are countless online directories for companies. These range from online yellow pages, business listings, and map listings to industry, product or geography specific directories, and more. Advantages for directories are that they do not require special expertise, many listings are free, and most only require a one-time submission. But, the challenge with directory listings is that you are usually along side your competition fighting for attention. And, you are limited to just the company name. To get rid of ads on the page or to get above your competition, you will have to pay for a premium listing. Although it is a good idea to make sure your client is listed in the major online directories and targeted directories, it is not necessarily a long-term strategy to get your client to the top of organic search – with the exception perhaps of the company name. You may read more about directory submission here.

Submit articles to online sites – Also known as article submission or article marketing. You write articles around the topics of your business integrating targeted keywords and submit them for publishing on various article sites. It is important to publish articles with quality content, providing educational information. The biggest sin of article marketing is just writing a sales pitch. Article submission allows you to extend your message across the internet as well as search engines without making changes to the company website. It helps the company build itself as an authority in the industry. However, some of the article sites review articles prior to publishing and deny those deemed to not meet their article standards. And like blogging, there is time involved in writing the articles as well as the submission process. Here is an article that further discusses the benefits of article submission.

Become an Ecordia Reseller Partner – Ecordia is the proverbial “all of the above” option for agencies because it combines the search engine optimization best practices and advantages of websites, blogs, directories and articles. At its core it is a super-charged directory of  landing pages. It is a non-technical way for agencies to publish content  for its clients onto pages custom styled according to the client’s brand identity. Ecordia integrates a keyword research tool and an automatic SEO analysis for the content. So you’ll know prior to publishing how optimized the content is, and what you can do to improve the findability of the page. Simply put, Google loves Ecordia pages. To learn more about Ecordia, visit the website.

These are just a few of the ideas for search engine optimization. It really is becoming easier than ever before for the non-technical to conquer the top of mount Google.


Welcome

There are approximately 12 billion searches conducted on the internet each month. And that number continues to grow. As more companies look for ways to gain an advantage in an increasingly competitive environment, marketers seek to integrate search engine optimization (SEO) into their marketing communications. And with the advancement in non-technical online tools, SEO is not just for programmers and search marketers anymore. Search Matters is specifically for marketers who want to learn about organic search and how to integrate SEO into their integrated marketing communications programs.

Online Profiles

KatyBarrilleaux.com Katy Barrilleaux on LikedIn Katy Barrilleaux on facebook Katy Barrilleaux on Twitter        Join My Community at MyBloglog!

Twitter

Archives