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traffic

Posted on 2004-07-30
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in your opinion, what are some of the best ways to build traffic?
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Question by:testn1
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humeniuk earned 2000 total points
ID: 11681707
The first and most important way to build traffic is to create an attractive, easily navigable website with high-quality, fresh dynamic content.  If you provide something worthwhile, people will use it and use it again.  There's no traffic like repeat traffic.

If your website is related to a 'real world' business (rather than an exclusively online business), you should use every opportunity to share your URL.  It should be on all your print ads, email signatures, letterhead, business cards, signs, etc.

Links are great.  You can get people to link to you simply by creating an excellent site as outlined above.  Additionally, you can exchange links with other quality sites that have content relevant to your content.  Exchanging links is related to Search Engine Optimization (below), but something you hear more often is 'link for traffic, not for search engines'.  That makes some sense.  It seems to me that search engines are placing increasing value on the qualitative elements of websites anyway, in part because there are so many different ways of generating meaningless links.

Three articles about links & exchanging links that I like:
Content - The Ultimate Link Building Strategy  (www.sitepronews.com/archives/2004/feb/4.html)
You Are Being Lied to About Reciprocal Links! (www.sitepronews.com/archives/2004/feb/13.html)
7 Steps to Build a Powerful, Reciprocal Links Directory (www.sitepronews.com/archives/2004/feb/27.html)

(I know duz duzn't like post that contain a lot of links to other info you have to search for, but there's too much to write here, so I hope he forgives me)

I also like the Google AsWords program (www.google.com/ads).  Essentially, they use their website indexing to place relevant text ads on the sites of people who participate in their AdSense program (www.google.com/adsense).  Not everyone likes it, but I think it works and I like that your ads are well-targeted, you pay for clicks, not impressions, you pay as much as you want per click, and you pay for as many clicks a month as you want to buy.

Following is my standard response re. Search Engine Optimization - the best way to build traffic from search engines is to optimize your website for search engines.  Some of it may be redundant to, but it's a good starting point.  Feel free to ask more specific questions.

SEO is a complex enterprise and far from an exact science.  A good place to start is to read Google's Webmaster Guidelines at http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html.  Search engine traffic is good because it brings people to your site that are looking for you, rather than people who show up through banners, popup ads, etc. who tend to be less engaged and interested once they get there.  This is particularly important if you're selling something.

A great site to start learning SEO that Kohashi recommended in a different thread is www.highrankings.com.

Some basic concepts:

Keywords - come up with a list of keywords that people looking for a site like yours would use to search.  First, include these keywords in a meta-tag inside the <head></head> tags of your page.  Some search engines don't look at meta keywords anymore, some still do.

Example:
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="keyword, another keyword, more keywords, you get the idea">

Make sure you don't use too many keywords, just the best ones.  Which keywords you use depends entirely on what your site is about.  Make sure your keywords appear early and often in the text on your page.  You can also use your keywords in the alt tags of your images, just make sure they are relevant.  If you throw them in just to include them, many search engines will consider them keyword spam.

Content - most search engines are biased in favor of good, relevant content.  Make sure you provide lots of it.

Links - search engines like lots of quality incoming and outging links.  By 'quality' I mean links to and from sites with information related to the information on your site and sites which have lots of traffic and good search engine position themselves.  A good idea is exchanging links with relevant websites.  Avoid using link farms - websites of little or no merit that exist merely to provide links and traffic - as most search engines (esp. Google) frown upon them.  (see www.southwestecommerce.com/library/linkfarms.htm or
www.searchengineguide.com/krause/2002/1219_kk1.html for link farm info)

You can find numerous SEO articles at www.sitepronews.com.  You can find their 2004 article archive at www.sitepronews.com/archives.html.

Some good EE threads to look at:
www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21028745.html  (general SEO)
www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21038192.html  (general SEO)
www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21047966.html  (keywords)
www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21060097.html  (link exchange)

There are lots of SEO companies for hire.  Many of their websites include lots of basic info and tips.  See www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=search+engine+optimization.

As mentioned, this is just a starting point.  The best thing to do is (1) start reading, research is key and there is a lot to learn, and (2) see what works - try things and see if it improves or hurts your ranking.  Over time, you'll start to get the hang of it, though things change over time.  You have to be always learning.

I hope this is the kind of thing you were looking for.
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by:testn1
ID: 11682769
thank you! very helpful information.
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