Friday, September 11, 2009


Great, you got your website up and running and it looks great. Now you can sit back and wait for the sales to start pouring in or the clients to start e-mailing and calling all day, Right?

oops! you forgot that there are millions and millions of other websites across the world and you forgot to create a strategy for getting people to visit your site....

Ok now you have lots of visitors and now you can start planning your retirement because of all the sales that are going to start pouring in, Wrong again....

Once you have people visiting your site you need to figure out how you can get them to hit that "Buy Now" button. There is a saying that I have run across many times while doing research on the web, "Pretty Doesn't Sell Blue Widgets". In other words, you can have the most beautiful site on the web but if you you don't take some steps to get traffic and conversions then all will be for not. This blog will discuss strategies for getting traffic and after getting it how to get the almighty conversion and I hope it can be a forum for people to discuss new ideas or pose questions about SEO and Web Marketing.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one way to get traffic to your site. Optimizing your website so that the spiders or crawlers that the search engines use can find your site and figure out what it is all about. This is an important consideration before and while you are building a website. I am talking about getting a better position on search results that are called "Organic Results" these are the results that a search engine returns without the website owner paying to be listed in the results. "Sponsored Results" are the results that you will often see at the top of the results page and are often labeled as being sponsored. These are the websites who's owners have paid the search engine administrators to be listed in the results for a specific keyword or phrase.

Step 1 Keyword Research

It is a good idea to research your product or service and start writing down a list of words or phrases that relate to that product or service. This is the beginning of the phase of development often called "Keyword Research" . Keyword research involves finding relevant keywords and phrases that describe your site, using resources like seobook or google trends which are free, or other applications that can be very costly, to decide which keywords to use, then using those keywords in your website. Sounds simple right? Well there is a lot more to it than that. Your SEO strategy and SEO is never finished on a site due to the search engines constantly changing there algorithms that decide what sites are most valid for any given keyword and the administrators of those engines keep those algorithms a secret. In my Next post I will discuss the basics of keyword research as well as using that research decide on metadata, descriptions tags, and copy content of your page

Part 1.5 Keywords

SIDE-NOTE- Make sure that the list of keywords that you come up with are valid for your site. There is no point in getting the wrong traffic. In other words there is no point in having a visitor who is looking for wrenches come to your web design site. All they will do is see it and click the back button within seconds. Be aware that search engines track the amount of time that visitors stay on your site. They use this as one of their factors in calculating the validity of your site. This is called the "Bounce Rate" and if it is to high then your rankings will be effected.

After you have chosen you keywords it is time to figure out which ones are best to use. Sometimes you have to pick your battles.

OK, now it's time to take your list of keywords to the computer and go to a tool like
google adwords and start trying out your words in the search box. This too will not only tell your how many people are trying to search for this word, but it will also give you ideas for other words or phrases to optimize your site for. Remember that it is common for people to use phrases while searching and often they include a state or city name in this phrase. If you find that your word is only being searched for 2 times a day, then you may want to scrap that word. Especially if what I describe in the next section shows that there are lots of results for that word or phrase.

Next start typing the into various search engines and record the number of results s well at the url's of the organic results that show up on the first and maybe the second pages of the results. If the keyword generates hundreds of thousands or millions of results then you may want to reconsider trying to use that keyword.

After you get all of that done it is time to start researching your competitors. One of the things you do during this process is to find out exactly what percentage of the competitors website is made up of the keyword that you want to optimize. This is called keyword density.

To do this you can go to a free tool like the ones on Seo Chat and type the url of the site you are going to be competing with. This will tell you a little bit of what the spiders and crawlers see when they come to that site. The trick is to then get the content of your page to equal the density (percentage) of the keyword that the competitors site has. For now you can just keep track of all of this information and you will use it when you are considering copy, titles and tags.

Now we are rolling but there is a lot more to do because the almighty algorithms look consider a lot more than just keywords and bounce rates. I will discuss this next week.

Remember also that search engines are just a source of small portion of the traffic that you can get to come to your site.