Getting traffic, particularly SEO traffic, is one of hardest parts of owning an online business and getting the right traffic is even trickier.
While traffic acquisition may seem like a science, it’s really just an industry like any other.
Just like a brick and mortar storefront needs foot traffic to succeed, online traffic is the lifeblood of any digitally based business. As such, traffic generation, especially search engine derived traffic, has become an industry unto its own.
Search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing are constantly on a mission to find the best content for their users. Content that ranks higher in their search results will receive far more in the way of organic traffic. If you’re aspiring for higher blog readership, a better search ranking is the way to go.
To better understand how Google (and other search engines work) I highly recommend watching this video from a Google engineer which discusses the nuances of how search engine function before reading further.
[video_player type=”youtube” width=”640″ height=”360″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]aHR0cDovL3lvdXR1LmJlL0JOSFI2SVFKR1pz[/video_player]
To make blogs and online businesses more visible on search engine, a strategic technique is needed.
Enter Search Engine Optimization, more commonly referred to by its abbreviation SEO.
Though there are hundreds of employable techniques to increase traffic, it all comes down to SEO and site indexing at the end of the day.
The two SEO Categories you need to worry about to get traffic
If all of this SEO stuff is starting to seem complicated, let me try and explain it in the easiest way possible.
Think back to the video you just watched from Mark, the Google Engineer. He mentioned two specific things:
1. The keywords quality of your site
2. The links pointing to your site
These two things represent Onsite and Offsite SEO.
In short, Offsite SEO basically boils down to inbound links; all the other blogs, websites, etc. that link back to your site. Truth be told, this is really the most important factor of SEO. It rapidly increases Page Rank in keyword search which will dramatically improve the amount of traffic driven to your site.
Want to know how to increase the number of external sources that link back to your site?
It all starts with content! Producing quality content is absolutely paramount to your success. It’s the only way to ensure that, when someone finds it, your site is readily distributed and back linked. Get a few people to notice you and watch your readership naturally grow.
Also, be willing to read and comment on other blogs and sites. A willingness to comment on other blogs is a great way to attract readers and post links to your site. However, make sure any comments you share are thoughtful and intelligent. Don’t spam the comment page. If you link to your site, make sure to do it in a valid and on-topic way.
Consider the use of a blog directory. There are several out there, so chose the one that best suits your needs. Some examples of directories include Technorati.com and Daypop.com.
As it’s name suggests, onsite SEO is more in your control as the operator as it involves customization made directly to your site.
Optimize content by injecting specific keywords. Believe it or not, keyword optimization is the most important topic when it comes to SEO because the keywords are what search engines rely upon most when indexing sites.
Now you may be wondering what, exactly, keywords are. In layman’s terms, keywords are words or phrases that people use when searching the Internet.
It’s what John and Jane Doe type into the search bar when using Google to find something.
Now, selecting the right keywords for injection can require a bit of research. Consider doing an advanced keyword search to find the keywords or use Google Keyword Planner to aid your cause.
Be sure to avoid over using your keyword as well. As strange as it may sound, using the keyword(s) too frequently can actually do more harm than good.
Apart from intelligently using keywords throughout your content, be sure to include images and Alt Tag with your keyword. Also use some of the keywords in your meta tags.
Create interlinked posts on your site, allowing search engines to crawl as many pages of your content as possible across the entire website.
Finally, maintain your natural writing style. Don’t keyword-stuff, force awkward phrases or get redundant in your messaging.
Built-in traffic tools – RSS
By default, all blogs have a built-in tool called a “Real Simple Syndication” which is commonly abbreviated as “RSS”, or an “RSS Feed”.
RSS works as a channel for distribution and delivery of content. It automatically sends notifications regarding new posts or site updates, allowing you to avoid sending out cumbersome, manual notifications.
An active RSS Feed is one of the easiest ways to acquire traffic and allow your readers to follow your posts.
RSS Feed Readers are available as desktop downloads or as web-based applications. and many are freely available, including Feedly.com and Newsblur.com.
Using RSS is a better way of syndicating your content than e-mail because RSS goes beyond e-zines.
And if you were wondering how to manage your blog’s subscribers, check out Feedburner.com.
As the best member management tool in the business, Feedburner.com provides the detailed stats about your blog subscribers, giving you the necessary edge to improve blog’s performance on demand.
Wrapping it all up…
Bear in mind, this is only an introduction on how to how to drive traffic to your blog or site. There are, undoubtedly, hundreds of niche methods or techniques, but these are the basics.
The undeniable fundamentals you need to know as a business or blog owner.