Unlocking the Keys to Your Web Site Traffic - Web site promotion and search engine strategies

Written by Philippa Gamse


It is estimated that up to 60% of new traffic to your Web site will come from search engines. This means that unless you are already so well known that people will be using your name to search for your site, you need a search engine strategy. Thousands of new Web sites are created daily, sorepparttar axiom "Build it, and they will come" does not apply.

Effective Web site promotion requires a serious and continuing investment of time and resources, whether you do it yourself, or hire a professional. It is not a one-shot deal, but an ongoing process, meaning you should evaluaterepparttar 133620 return on your investment. You can collect a vast amount of crucial information about your traffic, and make strategic business development decisions, in ways that are unprecedented inrepparttar 133621 real world.

Setting your goals

We've all metrepparttar 133622 person who boasts of "thousands of hits a day" on his Web site, and maybe we felt a little envious. But let's debunkrepparttar 133623 hype . . . .

It's important to distinguish between individual visitors, and "hits". The latter refers to every piece of your site that is downloaded, and this includes all graphics files separately. Thus, one visitor viewing your home page, which contains text and four images, will generate five "hits". If that visitor explores your site further, he or she will generate more hits, but it's stillrepparttar 133624 same user.

You want to ask yourself whether you want every visitor that you can get - which could be thousands of indiscriminate, unqualified people, or whether you would prefer 20 highly qualified decision makers per day, looking for exactly what you provide?

There are no right or wrong answers, but you should have goals forrepparttar 133625 volume and quality of traffic that you would like, so you can measure results (more on this later!)

Designing keywords

The next step is to identify some keywords and key phrases that will differentiate you. Imagine if we all used "professional speaker" as our main key phrase. How many of us would show up on top ofrepparttar 133626 search engines?

Furthermore, there are too many results forrepparttar 133627 typical search. So, visitors will be combining "professional speaker" with something that narrows down what they are looking for - perhaps "customer service" and "banking", or maybe a location, such as "teambuilding" and "Chicago". You will discoverrepparttar 133628 keywords that work best for you when you run a log analysis - for now, make your best guess.

Think aboutrepparttar 133629 topics you offer, which industries you specialize in, which locations you serve, and anything else that sets you apart. Make sure that your keywords are inrepparttar 133630 language that your clients use, and not industry jargon - I have never seenrepparttar 133631 phrase "keynote speaker" in actual searches.

Then, build these into a set of keywords and phrases. Because ofrepparttar 133632 frequency of most single words, phrases often work better in narrowing a search. Include your name, common misspellings of your name, and any other key element of your site. Use both singular and plural forms, and mix capital with lower case letters, except for proper names (some search engines are case sensitive and will exclude lower case searches for words that you have capitalized).

As an example, here arerepparttar 133633 key words and phrases for my site:

Philippa Gamse, Phillipa, Games, CyberSpeaker, internet speaker, internet seminars, Internet marketing programs, internet marketing speakers, search engines, online marketing strategies, Web site promotion, traffic logs, internet consultant

Not an exhaustive list, but a good start ;-)

When you haverepparttar 133634 keywords and phrases, use those to build:

1. a page title containing your most significant keywords. It doesn't matter ifrepparttar 133635 title doesn't read well - it'srepparttar 133636 piece that appears inrepparttar 133637 colored bar ofrepparttar 133638 browser atrepparttar 133639 top, and very few people see it. Contrary to popular belief, titles are for search engines, not people!

2. a brief "knock their sox off" description. This will be displayed inrepparttar 133640 search engine results, and will attract visitors to come to you. Most search engines display 2 lines or less, so wording such as

"Welcome to My Company - a full service provider of . . ." is probably most of what you'll get - and you haven't said anything yet! So keep it pithy, and includerepparttar 133641 keywords.

Now - do this for every significant page of your site!

Your site is (or should be) more than your home page. The spider search engines that index every word on a page allow you to submit multiple pages. So do it! This increases by many times your exposure, andrepparttar 133642 angles that you can use to promote yourself.

For example, I have an article on my site about choosing an Internet Service Provider (if you want to read it, check out my list of articles). Many people searching for this topic find this piece as their entry point to my site. If they want to find out more about me, they can followrepparttar 133643 navigation aids back to get more information.

Reviewing and updating your pages

When you have your keywords, key phrases, titles and descriptions ready, it's time to insert them into every significant page of your site. You may need help from your Web designer to do this.

First, you need to incorporate these elements intorepparttar 133644 header record for each page - in special places called "meta tags". These tags, which aren't visible to visitors, are used heavily by several ofrepparttar 133645 major search engines.

As an example,repparttar 133646 header record for my home page looks like this:

Internet speaker, Internet marketing speaker, internet seminars, online marketing programs

Also, make sure thatrepparttar 133647 text of each page includesrepparttar 133648 main keywords again - but don't spam - that is, repeat them incessantly. At best,repparttar 133649 search engines will ignore more than about 7 occurrences of each word, at worst they may even exclude your site.

While you are reviewing your Web site pages, look for any hidden roadblocks forrepparttar 133650 search engines that your Web designer may have unwittingly introduced. These can include:

Mining for Gold . . . in your Web Traffic Logs

Written by Philippa Gamse

Understanding your Web site's traffic patterns is a crucial component of your marketing mix. The information in these logs is collected as visitors find and move around your site at their own volition. So, it's "market research that cannot lie" - and therefore provides unprecedented insights that can help you to strategize not only forrepparttar future development ofrepparttar 133619 site itself, but also for your overall business and marketing plan.

I'll describerepparttar 133620 most important sections ofrepparttar 133621 log report when analyzing your site's marketing effectiveness. Often, deciding what's right and what's a problem is a gut feel that you'll develop by looking at your log reports over a period of weeks or months, by trying some new tactics, and observingrepparttar 133622 trends and results.

General Statistics

This introductory section showsrepparttar 133623 overall traffic torepparttar 133624 site, includingrepparttar 133625 number of actual visitors, as opposed to "hits". This is an important distinction - one hit is generated for every page and every individual image that a visitor requests (e.g. a page with some text and five pictures will take six hits to download). So,repparttar 133626 ratio of hits to individual visitors can be quite high.

Byrepparttar 133627 way, it's also important for you to appreciate this distinction if you are selling advertising space on your site. You may be asked by a potential advertiser to prove your traffic levels, and if you happily say "millions of hits", they may look suspicious!

This section also showsrepparttar 133628 average time spent onrepparttar 133629 site, which should give some indication as to how engaging it is. If your site is rich in content, butrepparttar 133630 time spent on it is relatively low, it may not be meetingrepparttar 133631 needs ofrepparttar 133632 visitors it is attracting, or it may be targeted atrepparttar 133633 wrong audience.

I had a client who earlier this year placed #1 in some major search engines. He was ecstatic! But his site had not been worked on for some time, and was very dry and boring. We discovered from his logs thatrepparttar 133634 average time spent on his site was less than two minutes - obviously indicating a problem. And to make my point again, without this evidence fromrepparttar 133635 logs, he would have continued to believe that his site was successful.

Most and Least Requested Pages

The most requested pages are a great barometer ofrepparttar 133636 "hot" areas of your site, and thusrepparttar 133637 most popular aspects of your online products or services. These may be different from your original expectations, and so this information can be very valuable for overall business development decisions.

Ifrepparttar 133638 least requested pages (i.e.repparttar 133639 ones that attractrepparttar 133640 fewest visitors) contain important content, then something's wrong. Usually, it's either that their content is not interesting to your markets after all, or thatrepparttar 133641 site is not driving your traffic to these pages in ways that are attractive.

Top Entry and Exit Pages

Ifrepparttar 133642 inside pages of your site are well promoted inrepparttar 133643 search engines, there should be a number of top entry pages (i.e.repparttar 133644 first page thatrepparttar 133645 visitor sees), in addition torepparttar 133646 home page. This is a good reminder to include clear navigation back to other areas ofrepparttar 133647 site from every page, to ensure thatrepparttar 133648 first-time visitor gets a complete picture of your offerings.

The top exit pages are also an indication of your site's effectiveness - if these are notrepparttar 133649 right places for most visitors to leave from, some adjustments are needed. Make sure that every page of your site has an objective, and that you clearly directrepparttar 133650 visitor torepparttar 133651 next page or torepparttar 133652 action that you wish them to take.

Single Access Pages

These are pages that a visitor views, and leaves without exploring any further. Typically, this will berepparttar 133653 home page, and I am often asked whether this is an issue. I usually giverepparttar 133654 standard consultant's answer: "It depends . . ."

Your home page should quickly showrepparttar 133655 different audiences for your site that they've come torepparttar 133656 right place for what they want, and where to go to find it. So you might have sections for members, prospective members, journalists, consumers, etc. The home page should do enough to engage them, and send them on torepparttar 133657 appropriate inside pages.

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