Posted Friday, October 22, 2004
Every Website owner would like to get more traffic from the Search Engines. But it's getting tougher and tougher to get a good listing these days. There are over 2.1 Billion other webpages and documents online right now. And that number is growing by 7 million pages per day.
Most of us don't have the time or expertise to carefully edit and reedit the keywords and meta tags for each engines specific criteria.
In the past I had spent many hours tracking the words and phrases that came up highest in the search engines. I then valiantly attempted to work my site content, key words and meta tags to reflect these words. The results were mediocre at best. It seems that there were thousands and thousands of other webmasters with exactly the same idea. It is extremely difficult to get a top 20 listing for a very popular search word.
Until recently I had pretty much given up on expecting traffic of any significance from the Search Engines.
DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on Search Engine rankings. The following information is strictly based on my own personal experiences and those of a few friends. Even though these techniques have worked well for me, it is possible that they may not be applicable to your particular site.
There is nothing for sale here. This is purely for your own education.
An Accidental Discovery
Quite by accident I stumbled upon a technique that brings in a LOT of Search Engine hits to my site.
I have created a small library of reports on Internet Marketing. The intention is to assist website owners with their marketing efforts. I wanted to provide a great source of relevant material that would bring them back again and again. Ezine publishers and other site owners were also encouraged to copy these articles and publish them.
This does work quite well on it's own, but I've been noticing that a lot of people are finding these reports from the Search Engines. The hits are happening from obscure search terms that most other sites aren't using. There's little competition for them so my site gets a very nice ranking. Sometimes it's listed in the number seven position, sometimes it's in the seventeenth spot. It could even be a number three listing. In some cases I've even achieved a number one ranking in a few of the major Search Engines. This has been a very pleasant bonus.
Keep reading, we'll be going into the specifics shortly. But before we go too much further, let me explain that this technique does not usually bring in thousands of hits. It can however bring in hundreds of extra hits that a site might normally not get.
What Web Searchers Really Want
When you go to a Search Engine, how many times are you looking specifically for something to buy or for an affiliate program to join? If you're like me that's not why you're at the Search Engine. You're there to find information on the topic of your interest - and it should be FREE!
Let's say that you want a Super recipe for Chicken Soup. Are you going to search for a cook book? Not likely. You want the recipe not the book. BUT, while you are reading the recipe it is possible that you could be tempted to look at a cook book for sale - or a cooking pot, or a set of oven mitts, or ..... well you get the idea.
Your local supermarket has been doing this for years. You go to buy a jug of milk and a loaf of bread and end up walking out with a couple of bags of extra stuff and $60 less in your wallet. They often price the milk at cost or less to get you into the store but they know that the loss will be more than made up for with your impulse item purchases.
Give them Content - and lots of it
If your site is about cooking, then put as much cooking information as possible on your site. Put cookware reviews, stove recommendations, healthy eating guides, microwave tips, interviews with famous chefs, etc. You could even offer other related information such as: wine recommendations for certain meals, calorie guides, links to famous restaurants, nutritional charts, etc..
Make it useful, relevant and valuable to your visitor. If they are impressed, it is likely that they will come back and even tell a friend or two about "that great new site that I just found".
Where can I get this Content?
No, you do not have to write all the information yourself. Although if you can put together original content it is even more effective.
Simply search around for top quality content by going to your favorite Search Engines, ezines, libraries, magazines, books, newspapers, etc. You can also get ideas for great material by tuning into radio and TV programs that specialize in your area of interest.
Always, always, always give credit to the source of the information. Plagiarizing will often get you the wrong kind of attention. For a good example of the ills of plagiarism check out this article...
Here are some tips that I have found to be especially helpful in drawing higher rankings for your content pages.
1) Use High Interest words in the page title and first few lines
Even if you come up with a top 20 listing, you still must compete with 19 other sites for that visitors attention. Give them a good reason to click onto YOUR link.
2) Name Searches
Many web searches are done for peoples names. Historical figures, modern day personalities, authors, big name marketers, etc.. These get thousands of search requests. If you can include in your site, book reviews and articles that use famous names, you will see more visitors that might normally never find your site.
3) Speaking of book reviews...
On my site I have a section devoted to selling books for Amazon. As far as it being a moneymaker the thing is a bust. It ain't working! Nobody is buying. So why don't I just take it down and scrap the bookselling business?
Well, it brings in tons of hits from people who are searching specifically for those books and authors that are reviewed on my site. Okay, so they don't buy the book (the odd one might though), but they do click through to other pages on the site and sign up for my ezine and other programs.
These 3 suggestions have worked wonders for my stats pages and ultimately the bottom line too. They certainly won't replace your other marketing efforts, but can provide a nice supplement to them.
About the Author
Chris Small is a cyber entrepreneur and host of several successful websites. If you would like to read more articles like this by Chris go to (www.worlddealcenter.com/reports.htm)