If you build it, they will come. Well, that may work for Kevin Costner and a bunch of baseball-playing ghosts, but it doesn’t really work in today’s competitive world of websites and blogs. You can build a great website, or start and maintain a great blog, and get traffic from word of mouth alone. But your chances of succeeding this way are not likely. You need to explore all avenues of getting traffic, and search engines are the primary way users will locate your site. So why aren’t you ranking in the search engines? Where is the traffic? Evaluate some of the common problems below and see if they help in your search.
Research Those Keywords
Put yourself in the mind of an Internet searcher. What would you type into Google or Bing to find what you’re looking for? Start with broad searches and narrow things down to niche searches. Remember, you want to find relevant keywords, but not phrases so common they’re bogged down by too much competition. Think outside of the box and be specific. Use a combination of your instincts and tools like Google Adwords to discover effective keywords. Make sure to include appropriate keywords in your headlines and titles.
All Hail the King
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before. But it must be repeated. Ultimately, great content is the most important factor when it comes becoming popular. Fill your blog with content that is entertaining and informative. Offer your readers and viewers something unique. Never use duplicate content. Google will punish you severely. Put the user first, before the search engine. Remember, the search engine is there to serve the user. Focus on the user and the search engine will work for you. Make your posts thorough but not long-winded. And update your site regularly. The more often you post great content, the more opportunities search engine users will have to locate you.
The more relevant the sites that link to your blog the better, at least to a certain degree. The keyword here is relevant. The days of spam back-linking are over, and if you engage in this behavior, you’ll actually be penalized by search engines. Focus on building relationships and building links with quality, trusted, relevant websites and your search engine ranking will skyrocket. Utilize press releases, register with directories, and use text link advertising. The best way to ensure relevant incoming links? Again, the answer is great content that people naturally want to share.
Optimize Your Images
Often neglected, image searching can generate a huge amount of traffic. Remember, people are generally visual creatures. Use a descriptive file name for your image that includes keywords for which you’d like to rank. Don’t make your image too large that it interferes with load times. Include descriptive captions that will entice searchers to stay on your page and lower bounce rates. Finally, include alt-text so search spiders can understand the image you’re posting. Just ad alt=”your alt text here” to your image tag.
Do you have any tips you use to attract search engine traffic? Let us know in the comments below!
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.