Saturday

The A to Z Guide To
Getting Website Traffïc



In September of 1999, Brett Tabke wrote "26 Steps to 15k a Day" in the
Webmaster World forum. A lot has changed since then, and now is the time to
consider a new 26-step plan that meets the current needs of webmasters in
2006. Some of the old ones still apply (writing new content everyday, for
example), and some don't (submitting to the search engines is no longer
necessary), and we're here to tell you which is which! As you probably
already know, bringing in traffïc is not easy - it takes hard work,
determination and lots of elbow grease. So if you're ready, roll up your
sleeves and follow these 26 simple steps, and within just one year you will
generate enough traffïc to keep you busy for a long, long time!



A) Keyword Research
Before you do anything else, use a keyword research tool and do an extensive
job researching the right keyphrases to use for your site. What keyphrases
are your direct competitors using? Are there any keyphrases that create a
potential for market entry? Are there any that you can put a spin on and
create a whole new niche with?

B) Domain Name
If you want to brand your company name, then choose a domain name that
reflects it. If your company is Kawunga, then get www.kawunga.com. If it's
taken, then get www.kawungawidgets.com. No dashes, and no more than two
words in the domain if appropriate.

C) Avoid the Sandbox
Buy your domain name early, as soon as you have chosen your keyphrases and
your company name. Get it hosted right away and put up a quick one page site
saying a little about who you are, what you sell, and that there will be
more to come soon. Make sure it gets crawled by Google and Yahoo (either
submit it or link to it from another site).

D) Create Content
Create over 30 pages of real, original content on your site. This will give
the spiders something to chew on. It will also give you more opportunities
to been seen in the search engine results for a wide variety of keyphrases.

E) Site Design
Use the "Keep It Simple" principle. Employ an external CSS file, clean up
any Java Scripts by referring to them off the page in an external file,
don't use frames, use flash the way you would an image, and no matter what,
do not create a flash site. Do not offer a busy site with lots of bells and
whistles to your visitors. Keep things nice and simple. Make it easy for
them to find what they are looking for and they'll have no reason to look
anywhere else.

F) Page Size
The less kilobytes your page uses, the better - especially for the home
page. Optimize your images and make sure the page loads quickly. Most people
and businesses in the Western world may have high speed, but cell phones and
other countries might not. If your site loads slowly, you may have already
lost your visitor before they've even had a chance to browse around.

G) Usability
Make sure that your site follows good usability rules. Remember that people
spend more time on other sites, so don't violate design conventions. Don't
use PDF files for online reading. Change the colours for visited links, and
use good headers. Look up usability for more tips and tricks, it will be
worth your while.

H) On Site Optimization

Use the keyphrase you have chosen in your title (most important), your
headers (when appropriate), and within the text. Make sure that your
page/content is ABOUT your keyphrase. If you are selling widgets, than write
about widgets. Don't just stick the word widgets into the text.

I) Globals
Globals are the links that remain the same on every page. They are the
reference for new visitors to keep them from getting lost. Sometimes they
are on the left of the page, sometimes they consist of tabs at the top.
Often they are in the footer of the page as well. Make sure that you have an
old style text version of your globals on every page. I usually create tabs
at the top, and put the text versions in the footer at the bottom of the
page. Find out what works best for you.

J) Headers
Use bold headers. On the Internet, people scan they don't read. So
initially, all they will see are the headers. If your headers don't address
their concerns, they won't stick around long enough to read your content.
Use appropriate keyphrases when you can.

K) Site Map

Build a site map with a link to each of your pages. Keep it up to date. This
will allow the spiders to get to every page. Put a text link to the site map
on the main pages.

L) Content
Add a page every 2-3 days: 200-500 words. Create original content, don't
copy others. The more original and useful it is, the more people will read
it, link to it, and most importantly of all - like it enough to keep coming
back for more.

M) White Hat Only
Stay away from black hat optimizing techniques. Black hat optimization
consists of using any method to get higher rankings that the search engines
would disapprove of, such as keyword stuffing, doorway pages, invisible
text, cloaking and more. Stick to white hat methods for long-term success.
People who use black hat optimization are usually there for the short-term,
such as in pörn, gambling, and Vïagra markets (just look at your email sp@m
for more black hat markets). These black hat industry sites are usually
around just long enough to make a quick buck.

N) Competition Analysis

Who is linking to your competition? Use Yahoo's "link:" service to see the
back links of your competition. For example, type in
"link:http://www.yourdomain.com" into Yahoo search without the quotes). Try
to get links from the same sites as your direct competitors. Better yet, see
if you can replace them!

O) Submit
Submit to five groups of directories:

1. Dmoz.org and Yahoo (local, such as Yahoo.co.uk, or Yahoo.ca, etc... if
you can).
2. Find directories in your field and get into them. Pay if you must, but
only if the price is reasonable.
3. Local directories that relate to your country or region.
4. Any other directories that would be appropriate.
5. If you are targeting the local market, make sure that you are in the
Yellow Pages and Superpages (because search engines use these listings to
power local searches)

P) Blog
Start a blog about your industry and write a new entry at least once a week.
Allow your visitors to comment or, better yet, write their own entries. This
will create even more content on your site and will keep people coming back
regularly to see what is new.

Q) Links From Other Sites

Simply submit your website to appropriate sites, asking that they link to
your site as a reference because it will benefit their visitors. Don't spend
too much time on this, if your content is good and original, they will find
you and link to you naturally. Remember that Linking is Queen
(http://www.redcarpetweb.com/promotion/0409.html#feature).
Stay away from reciprocal linking, links farms, link scams, and any other
unnatural links. They may not necessarily hurt you, but Google tracks when
you get a link, how long you have had a link, who links to the site that
links to you, where you live, what you had for breakfast, and more (not
really... but kind of).

R) Statistics

Make sure your server has a good statistics program. Use it! If you don't
have access to a good program, then pay for one. Without the knowledge of
who is coming to your site, from where, and how often, you will be missing
out on some essential tools to improve your site.

S) Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Sign up for Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing. Spend money getting
people to your site. Use it for branding too. This will create a steady flow
of visitors to your site, and will make your site more accessible to your
potential clients. You don't have to be #1, you don't even have to be #5...
just make sure you are on the first page of search results for most of your
keyphrases, when the cost is right.

T) Look Ahead

Stay informed of what is coming up in your market. If a new product will be
out next season, write about it now. Take advantage of being a first mover.
The search engines, and linkers, will reward you.

U) Articles

Write an article once every week and get it published in as many online
publications as you can (with a link back to your site). Include the article
on your site. Not only will this create many links to your site, but it will
also get people to click to your site, and most importantly you will become
an expert in the eyes of your visitors. They may even begin looking for your
site by querying your name!

V) Study Your Traffic

After 30 to 90 days you will have enough results to analyze in your
statistics program. Go over them with a fine tooth comb. Get the answers to
these questions:


a.. Where are your visitors coming from?
b.. Which search engines do they use?
c.. What queries do they type in?
d.. What pages on your site do they visit the most?
e.. What are the entry pages on your site?
f.. What are the exit pages?
g.. What path do they follow when they browse your site?
Use this information to tweak your site.


a.. Use the most popular page to encourage the visitors to make you money.
b.. Adjust the paths they use to send them where you want them.
c.. Figure out why they leave from the exit pages.
Also, see what search terms people use to find you, and fine tune your
keyphrases. If you targeted "green widgets", but your visitors are finding
you with the query "green leather widgets", then start creating content
about "leather widgets"!

W) Verify Your Submissions
After 3-4 months, check that you got into Dmoz.org and all of the other
directories that you submitted to. If you have not been included, then
submit again, or better yet, write a polite email to the editor and ask why.
Also, find any new directories that would be worthy of your submittal time
and submit to them.

X) RSS Feeds

RSS (Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) is becoming a powerful
tool for Internet marketers. You can quickly and easily add fresh content to
your website. Article feeds are updated frequently, so you can give your
visitors (and the search engines) what they want - fresh content! You can
use RSS to promote any new content, such as new pages, articles, blogs,
press releases, and more!

Y) Press Releases

A press release is a written communication that you submit to journalists in
the media (newspapers, radio, television, magazines) which are used to make
announcements that are newsworthy. Create press releases announcing
publication of any new articles or new company information or products. If
it is interesting/original enough, a journalist may pick it up and write an
article about it. Before you know it, your website address may get published
in the NY Times.

Z) Keep Your Content Fresh
Remember to write a new page every 2-3 days. I only mentioned it briefly,
but it is probably the most important point in this article. Keep writing!
Without fresh content, your site will gradually drop in the search engine
results. To stay on top, your content has to be the most up-to-date,
freshest, and most interesting and original content in your field.

Follow these 26 simple steps and I assure you that within one year you will
call your site a success. You will bring in a massive amount of traffic from
within your industry and watch as your business grows!

So start writing, and write yourself to the top!

Shawn Campbell

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