When a business starts a website, one of the most important considerations is how to drive traffic to it. Traffic is what leads to conversions and ensures survival of the business over the long term. It takes a great deal of work and dedication to drive traffic to a site, and there is a large industry involving a lot of money and research devoted to the task. The traffic that flows into a website is either organic or paid. Both types are vital, and a business should learn how to make the most of each in order achieve the best results. It should be noted that both methods require ongoing effort and monitoring in order to be completely effective.
A business that is just starting out on the web can benefit immediately from the pay-per-click (PPC) method. A PPC approach starts working within a few hours and can get a site properly indexed and ranked on search engines. It is also a very efficient way to get a brand in front of people and noticed very quickly. Basically, PPC is a good way to jumpstart a site and gain traffic through word of mouth and social media, as well as clicks. The drawback to PPC is there is no guarantee the traffic generated by it is specifically targeted to what the business is offering, and the business will have to pay for those visitors even if that is the case. In that respect, PPC can be very expensive and unsustainable as the primary method of bringing in traffic and growing a business or brand.
The more recommended way of getting traffic is the organic way, through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a set of strategies which helps search engines find and rank your site according to a specific search query. Organic traffic can take a long time to materialize, so the method requires patience and perseverance. The best results are obtained from a professional SEO company that can provide a steady stream of targeted visitors for a fixed fee. Although building organic traffic is a slow process, it is more sustainable in the long run.
One traffic method should not be favored over the other, as both are equally important to build a solid foundation for success. A business should always take advantage of all the traffic-building tools available to it as the web market is extremely competitive. Sometimes the only difference between one online business and another is the quality of the SEO that is used. It is a common misconception that utilizing a PPC service, such as Adwords, will result in quality, perfectly targeted traffic. A business needs to optimize its efforts even with the use of PPC. This often means an investment in PPC management on top of paying for the actual traffic, which leads to more and more spending as the business grows and other sites are started in the same niche.
The best practice is to use organic methods to bring in the primary stream of visitors. Paid schemes such as PPC should be used only to bolster the traffic being generated organically. Following a balanced plan for traffic growth is the practical path to success.
Search Engine Optimization has been around nearly as long as the Internet itself. In the mid-1990s, search engines began working to catalog websites by sending “spiders” to crawl them. Webmasters quickly became aware of the value of having their websites not only visible in search engine results, but ranking highly. Thus, the birth of both white hat and black hat SEO techniques and practices were born. In the Infographic below, we’ll explore the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization.
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One of the most essential components, if not THE most essential component, for brand marketing is a well-optimized website. With so many factors to consider when optimizing a website, where do you start? One excellent starting point is obtaining tools that will help you optimize the site and ensure that your site utilizes search engine algorithms to maximize exposure and minimize the potential of losing page rank.
Below are 6 powerful resources to help optimize your website:
SEOmoz is a suite of tools to help you monitor, track and manage your site’s keywords and overall optimization strategy. In addition, the SEOmoz suite of tools includes social media marketing management and analysis software to help you stay in touch with your brand’s reputation on social networking sites. Membership provides access to the SEOmoz suite of tools. Membership levels are SEOMoz Pro, Pro Plus and Pro Elite. Tools included in the SEOmoz Pro package are:
- Link Building and Competitive Analysis tool
- Keyword Research and Ranking tool
- On-Page Optimization tool
- Social Media Monitoring tool
The On-Page Optimization tool will examine pages on your site and provide suggestions for improving optimization. The SEOmoz.com site is continually updated with interesting and usable articles and posts that will keep you well-informed regarding the latest trends and changes in SEO.
RavenTools provides web-based SEO analysis software that generates one-click reports. RavenTools tracks SEO efforts, social media conversations and even PPC campaigns. RavenTools is a great resource for marketing professionals to generate easy to understand client reports. RavenTools provides one dashboard for quick access to summary data. The RavenTools suite also includes an On-Page Analysis tool that is mainly useful for analysis of Google AdWord campaigns, as the tool does not yet support Bing AdCenter.
3.) Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO is a great tool for management and analysis of the quality of inbound and outbound links. Because major search engines rely heavily on the quality of inbound links, or “backlinks,” Majestic SEO is a useful tool for optimizing the quality of backlinks to your site. Majestic SEO, however, doesn’t stop at analysis of backlinks. The tool also provides an analysis of the quality of anchors, which is another important consideration in site optimization.
The most appealing feature of SheerSEO is that the application gathers all optimization factors into one place for easy analysis. Backlink analysis, page ranking, mentions on social media sites and social bookmarks are all provided in one easy-to-use interface with SheerSEO. The generous 60 day trial period allows users to try the full software package to experience all of its benefits. No download is required as the tool is completely web-based.
DIYSEO was created for use by small business owners to optimize their websites. This ingenious little tool analyzes site metrics and provides the user with daily tasks to complete to maintain and improve their ranking. DIYSEO is a tool that attempts to live up to its name – a Do It Yourself SEO package that provides powerful analytic tools and strategies to improve site optimization.
HitTail is generating a great deal of buzz as users of the product are quickly converted into HitTail product evangelists. As with DIYSEO, HitTail provides the website owner with a lists of top priorities they need to address to effectively optimize their site. In addition, HitTail provides an analysis of localization, showing where the majority of the site’s visitors are geo-located. As localization becomes increasingly more utilized by search engines, this feature provides value to the analysis, particularly for the site owner who seeks to maximize localization efforts.
As a webmaster, you constantly have to be aware of where your traffic is coming from and how you can get more of it. After all, traffic is the most important factor in your success online. One of the best ways to get traffic is to get free traffic from the search engines. If you can rank highly in the search engines, you can get highly targeted traffic without having to pay anything for it. While the idea of being able to get traffic from the search engines may be appealing, it is easier said than done. In order to rank in the search engines, you need to do things in a certain way. Here are a few tips on how to rank higher in search engine results.
Before you start thinking about how to attract search engine spiders to your website, you need to make sure your pages are in top shape so that the spiders won’t have any problems in understanding your site and what it’s all about when they index it.
Your site may look great, but if it’s difficult to navigate or if your keywords aren’t in the right places, then the spiders won’t give you a top ranking.
You need to make it as easy as possible for them to index you. The spiders aren’t smart and they can’t see pictures or videos—they can only read text (in your HTML code and in your copy). If you put your keywords in the right places then you are leaving a trail that will lead the spiders where you want them to go. Here are some easy strategies you can employ to optimize your website and make your pages as spider-friendly as possible
Pepper Your Copy and HTML Code with Keywords
When it comes to using keywords correctly, there are only three things you need to remember: location, location, location! Spiders are looking for keywords in your text and HTML source code when they come to categorize and rank your website. If you use the right keywords in strategic hotspots on your website, then you can give search engine spiders an accurate picture of what your site is about.
Some keywords are so popular though, that it’s difficult to get a good ranking for them since there are so many other websites out there competing for them. You can cram your site full of these in-demand keywords and still not see any results.