Generating More Search Engine Traffic | WebReference

Generating More Search Engine Traffic

Generating More Search Engine Traffic

By Robert Spadinger

Cultivating the major free search engines (SE's) is a great way to boost your Web site traffic - especially for small online businesses operating in a narrow niche. Getting traffic can be fairly expensive, but with the help of the search engines, you can generate free and highly targeted traffic.

Don't worry, you don't have to know anything about complex search engine optimization. The principle to boost Web site traffic with the major SE's is simple: you create valuable content pages that match the theme of your site.

Each of these pages is optimized for a specific keyword in order to rank high on the search engine results pages.

Is there a drawback? Generating traffic from the search engines takes some time and work but once the necessary legwork is done.... well, you know it already — free, targeted traffic for many years to come, without the need to invest much more time.

The big advantages of SE traffic:

  1. Visitors from the SE's are actively searching for what you are offering, which means that they are motivated and open to buy.
  2. They are new prospective customers — a great way to build your list.
  3. They found your site by searching for specific keywords, which means they are highly targeted, open-to-buy visitors.
  4. You don't have to pay anything for the visitors arriving at your site.
  5. Once you've done the legwork, the SE's will give you a steady stream of targeted traffic for many years. Even if you stop working on your pages, the traffic to your Web site will continue.

Help the Search Engines to Find Your Pages

Why do people use search engines? They are looking for products or services with certain features and benefits and they are typing specific keywords into the search box of the engines in order to find what they want.

No one is looking for you or your site. What the Web surfer wants is an answer to his question or a solution for his problem and he doesn't care if it's you or someone else who provides the solution.

So, what does this mean for you? In order to boost Web site traffic, you have to get many of your Web site pages on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERP's).

But how do you get there?

  • Create a list of specific keywords and keyword phrases with high demand and low supply.
  • Make sure that each of these keywords matches the theme of your Web site.
  • Be careful not to dilute your theme — keep it as narrow as possible. The key to success for small businesses is to target a narrow niche market.
  • Create content pages for each of these keywords. Each page has to focus on a single specific keyword and it has to be optimized in order to get a high ranking in the SE's.
  • Build many of these pages — create a theme based content site (TBCS) that consists of at least 60 - 80 keyword-focused content pages.

That way, your site becomes an indispensable resource for your niche and your pages will start moving up in the SERP's — a sure way to boost Web site traffic. It takes a bit of time and work to build all those pages, but on the other hand the huge pay-off is well worth the effort.

How do you find highly profitable keywords?

  • Pretend you are your customer — What would you call your product? How would you describe it? What are the features and benefits of your product? Think outside the box.
  • Check out the competition: verify the sites of your competitors and make a note of the keywords they are using.
  • Do a right mouse click and "View Source" on the pages and search for the keyword META tag in the HTML document. Copy and paste all the keywords into your keyword list.
  • Use the Overture Search Tool to find tons of great keywords and to evaluate their demand.
  • Use Google to verify the supply for your keywords. Type your specific keyword in the search box and check how many search results are returned (indicated on the upper right corner). Focus only on keywords with relatively low supply, because it's very difficult to get a good search engine ranking for high-supply keywords.

    The best keywords are those with high-demand and low-supply — these are the ones that really boost Web site traffic.

  • If your site theme is very competitive, it's a good idea to concentrate on less-obvious keywords. Those ones have relatively low demand, but usually also very low supply. That's a clever way to win the search engine positioning race. Create many of these pages and you can generate quite a bit of traffic — even in a very competitive market.

Optimizing Your Pages for the Search Engines

Each of your pages should be optimized for a single specific keyword. Use your keyword several times throughout the body text of your Web page and also in certain strategic places — the HTML META tags and other tags.

Never dilute the content of your pages — don't introduce more than one subject on a single page.

Important tags to get a high ranking

  • The TITLE tag: This is one of the most important tags. Make sure to use your keyword at least once in this tag. The SE's display the provided information as the title on the search engine results page. It shouldn't be longer than 60 - 80 characters — some SE's might cut longer strings.
  • The META-Keywords tag: Contrary to what many people believe, the importance of this tag is fairly low nowadays. Provide only your most important keywords and maybe one or two synonyms.
  • The META-Description tag: The SE's display this information as the description in the search engine results page.

    Your description acts as an ad for the searcher, so it's a good idea to mention the most exciting benefit of your product. Use your specific keyword at least once and keep the description under 200 characters.

  • The H tags: These are the headline tags — H1 is the most important, H2 is second, and so on. The H tags are fairly important for the ranking of your pages — try to use your specific keyword at least in the H1 tag.
  • The BODY tag: Use your keyword throughout the body text — especially in the opening and final paragraph. Also, try to use synonyms together with your specific keyword.

Follow these simple rules and the SE ranking of your pages will definitely improve and that will automatically boost Web site traffic.

Submitting to the Search Engines

Did you ever get an ad like "Submit to 5000 search Engines for only $49" ? Don't bother! First, there are not 5,000 SE's, and actually there are only a handful of Search Engines that really count.

Here are the most important search engines:

You cannot submit to the following SE's — they have to find your site. The best way to get listed with these SE's is to build high quality inbound links.

What about AOL, Netscape Search, and Lycos? You will be listed in all of them automatically, if you are in the engines above. These SE's get search results from one or more of the above SE's, or from DMOZ.

No doubt, working the major free search engines is a fantastic way for small online businesses to boost Web site traffic. They deliver free, targeted traffic for many years to come.

The key to achieve high rankings is to optimize your pages for keywords with high demand and low supply. Create many of these pages and focus on only one keyword per page.

Additional References