Thursday, September 29, 2011

(You Can) Drive Traffic To Your Web Site

Building a web site is only the first step, and some say the easiest step, when it comes to generating online traffic. Just because you create a destination doesn't mean people will flock to it. In fact, with millions upon millions of web sites to choose from, your web site will languish in anonymity if you don't have a plan to bring it the attention it deserves.

With all the attention being paid to social media marketing these days some folks have completely forgotten the importance of search engine optimization. SEO is still a crucial tool for generating web site traffic. If you expect web surfers to find your web site based on their interests then you need your site to be well placed in search results.

Making best use of SEO means having a good grasp of the message your web site is trying to get across and who you are trying to reach. Making good use of keywords people use to search for your topic is also a good idea. Google has a great set of keyword search tools that can help you accomplish this.

Once your site is set-up, design looks good and SEO is in place, then you can start using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube to help drive even more traffic.

In the end it is not the destination which makes for a successful web site--it is the path you build to it that really matters.

Check outside links

As part of optimization of content, a company needs to look at “inbound links,” which are created whenever another site links to the company’s site. These types of links can improve page rankings for a site, but they can also be detrimental if the links are from disreputable sources. Flint recommends that executives take some time to follow search engine results and look at where links to the company lead. In some cases, it can be wise to request that other sites take those links down.

Conversely, encouraging other sites to link to your page can have a beneficial effect. Links can come in all forms, such as linking to the company site from a press release that appears on a news service, or including the company page link whenever an employee posts a comment on a blog or other site.

Consider paid search

Another option for increasing search results is to pay for it — often called “sponsored search.” These are the listings on the top and side of Google and other search engines, and companies pay on a per-click basis. These accounts can be set up through services like Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter.

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