Just like owning a Ferrari with no motor, a website with no visitors is absolutely pointless. All too often, business owners spend thousands of dollars on a fancy website with the notion that - “If I build it, they will come”. Well, this simply isn’t true. Generating traffic for a website can cost a lot of money, or no money at all. In the next few paragraphs I’ll explain how we grew ZeroZen Design’s website from a lonely outpost on the internet to a website that has thousands of unique visitors a month.
Free Website Traffic is King
Soon after we launch a website for a client it is often followed by half educated questions from our client about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how much they should spend to start seeing visitors on their website. Unfortunately, SEO is usually the slowest way to generate buzz and traffic to your site. Instead, start thinking about places where your target market lives and visits on the internet. Forums, blogs, craigslist, social media and sites like Mosaic Hub can all be great places to siphon free internet traffic from. As a business owner, or manager of the online presence of a company, your job is to first pick the low hanging fruit. Once you’ve gained traction, then move onto more expensive traffic generating options.
I’ve found that some of the best ways to generate traffic for your website can simply be leaving thoughtful, rich comments on blogs and industry forums. Create a spreadsheet with direct links to each blog or forum that you create an account for and check in daily. Each time you leave a comment, post, or response, copy and paste the link where you made your mark. Make this a regular habit and you will see the traffic to your website grow at a steady pace. The best part about this is - that comment, post or response will remain in front of your target audience for as long as that website is online… and it’s all FREE!
SEO Website Traffic
With free website traffic in play, it shouldn’t be long before you are seeing a return on your time invested. Now it’s time to start playing with SEO. For you beginners, Search Engine Optimization is basically making your site more attractive to Google. In other words, it is the virtual makeup that makes your site pretty enough to show at the top of searches performed on Google by your target audience. The Google monster really takes a handful of things into account when they rank you.
- What is your website about?
Can Google easily decipher what your website is about by analyzing the written content and images on your pages?
- Do people enjoy your website?
When people visit your website, do they look at it with disgust and leave immediately or do they find what you have to say and share useful?
- Do you play well with others?
Are you the type of person that never wants to link with anyone else on the internet? If so - you're screwed. Google likes to see that you are interested in linking to useful resources elsewhere. If your website is useful, other people will likely link to you as well. Sort of like a giant website orgy, in a way.
The easiest way to optimize your website’s content so the Google monster is happy and can easily find out what your website is about is to start by doing a little research. There are some great paid and free tools out there. Here are a few simple things to get you started down the road of keywords and SEO without totally overwhelming you.
To find out who your top competitors are, ask your friends to use Google and type in what they might search for to find your business. The more friends you have, the more successful your research will be. You will discover what actual people might be typing into Google to find you. Besides, this is what friends are for.
With your list of keywords, search each keyword yourself to discover who is standing in your way from total web domination. Open this link to use SEO Centro’s keyword density tool. Type in your competitor’s website addresses to discover what keywords they are using on their website. This will start to give you an idea of what you need to be including in yours. Simple as pie.
Another great thing to do for even more keyword possibilities is use Google’s recommendation feature. Go to Google and type in a keyword or phrase to see what other top searches are being performed by people in your area.
Now that you have a good number of primary keywords and secondary (long tail) keywords to use in your website. It is time to start creating smart content. Here are the magic rules for generating SEO traffic to your website:
- Target 1 primary keyword for each page with a few supporting keywords.
An example: Primary keyword is Puppies. Supporting keywords are: puppy training, puppy food, puppy classes.
Of course you could also have a page that talks about Puppy Training as a primary keyword and use various supporting keywords like: puppy training tips, puppy classes, etc.
The goal is to make the page primarily about your main keyword, with supporting keywords spattered throughout the content.
- Include enough of your main keyword to make the content’s purpose obvious but don’t over-do it!
When creating content for SEO you have to serve two masters: Google monster and humans. Google wants to understand what your content is about so you need the keywords. At the same time, humans read and perceive content in a different way. The content needs to flow naturally. This video helps explain this better.
Make sure you include videos and images too!
Did you know that video can help SEO and so can images? Remember the #2 thing that Google is looking for when they analyze your website? Do people like it? A video is great for keeping people on a page longer. Google sees this as:
“Oh, someone typed in puppies and spent 3 minutes on this page. This page must be about puppies… rank it better than others”.
So there you have it. Creating and driving SEO generated traffic to your website isn’t that difficult. Most “professionals” make it out to be some sort of chemistry or science, but it isn’t. They likely want to overcharge you for some sort of monthly service that you simply don’t need. Start with the basics and see where that gets you.
The best way to generate traffic to your website is really… any way possible. Start with the free traffic generating methods I mentioned and then, after you’ve picked the low hanging fruit, grab the ladder and climb up to the SEO method. Once you’ve started mastering your content and ranking naturally for SEO, invest a little money in social and Google ads. Doing it this way means you are not dependent on ads for traffic. At ZeroZen we generate about 110 leads per month right now… all organic… all free. We are just now, after 5 years, going to start investing in Google Ads just to spike our lead numbers higher.
You can do it!
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