Even the best website in the world is nothing without traffic, and to drive traffic may seem like a daunting task. Your hard earned website deserves to get the recognition and profit that it deserves! However, many beginners wonder how they can attract more website traffic without compromising the quality and value of their website. There is a whole field dedicated to this topic, called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. This subject focuses on simple ways to make your site soar to the first few search engine results, increases peopleâ€™s chances of happening upon you. Here are ten easy ways to apply SEO principles to your own website to drive traffic.
Choose your keywords.
If a person were looking for services and products that you offer, what would they search for? Are there any common misspellings or grammatical errors that you can capitalize upon? Itâ€™s important to choose words that are commonly searched for as well as less common onesâ€”remember that everyone in your field is after those few top terms, so there is a lot of competition for them.
Place keywords carefully.
You may think that the most important keywords will come up naturally in your text, but this is actually where they have the least impact. Keywords are most powerful when they are placed in titles, headers, urls, and image names. The page header and title tag are the two most important places, so use these wisely. Keywords should also be present in your text, but this is more of a supporting role when it comes to getting search engine results. However, keep in mind that there are consequences for putting too many keywords in an article. Search engines will ignore your site altogether and the customers who do happen to visit will be annoyed. As well, and just a little trick, the search engines like to see your main keywords in the first and last sentences.
Arrange your website for easy access.
The easier a search engine crawler can access different pages, the higher their rank will be. Use a site map, which is a page linking to all of the pages on your website, as well as a logical organization pattern. Link frequently from new content to relevant old content. If your links are appropriate, this can build SEO ratings from within and drive traffic internally in your site. As we said above, name these pages with keywords to make it clear what they are about.
This will increase your rank on different search engines, but it will also give your readers a reason to return and a reason to link to your site. Having related web pages link to your site is one very valuable way of increasing your search engine ratings. Stick to your main topic, but explore different areas of it and try out different keywords to see if they attract a lot of traffic.
Use images cautiously.
The major search engines are looking for ways to make images searchable, but this is still in experimental stages. Until they figure it out, images are not searchable and therefore should be used sparingly. However, image tags have a huge impact on your SEO results, so marking each image with descriptive text and keywords can make up for any loss of text. Captions and the text immediately surrounding your images also have a sizeable impact. Itâ€™s okay to use imagesâ€”in fact it makes your website infinitely more readableâ€”but use them sensibly and in a way that will bring up your page rank rather than sinking it.
Flash and Ajax both have a common problem: they do nothing at all for your SEO and thus are almost a waste of space. The same goes for frames. Search engine crawlers donâ€™t know how to read them, so nothing gets registered. If you really feel strongly about having Flash or Ajax, use them sparingly and surround them with relevant texts and navigation links. Avoid frames altogether; they do nothing for your site except making it virtually invisible to search engines.
Cross link with related websites.
Find the big, highly ranked blogs and websites in your field, then contact their webmasters and ask them to link to you. They might say no, but many will surprise you. Reciprocate with a link to their site. This will bring up the page rankings of everyone involved. However, avoid link farms and link exchanges with non-relevant sites. Search engines watch for this behavior and will drop your page ranking to nil.
Go social to drive traffic.
Your website should be linked to your social networking sites and vice-versa. However, you also should link to specific pages and info and even re-tweet or otherwise redistribute some of your sites information. This will bump up your search engine visibility and also increase traffic from the social networking sites in question. You may even want to start a blog, as this gives you the double whammy of fresh content and plenty of new stuff to link to.
Watch your website traffic stats.
The only way to know if your hard SEO work has paid off is to watch your website stats. How many unique visitors are you getting now compared to a few months ago? Where are they coming from? What is your page rank with services such as Alexa and Google? Even more important, what search terms are taking people to your site? These investigations will let you know whether your SEO is working and also why certain people are visiting your website. You can use this information to adjust your SEO strategies and find the ones that work best for you.
One of the major benefits to linking in Social Media is the ability to promote. You will want to take your best pieces of content and continuously promote them again to your Social Media sites. This in turn will drive traffic to your website, and happy readers.