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How to Get Search Engine Traffic

by by Jim Daniels

Of all the traffic my Websites have generated the past few years (literally millions of visitors) ONE traffic source stands head and shoulders above the rest:

Search Engine Traffic.

Specifically, traffic from google.com and yahoo.com—the leaders in finding things on the Web. The traffic is top quality. These people are finding my sites on their own, so they are my best potential customers. And the traffic flows continually regardless of my advertising budget.

Considering the highly targeted nature of this traffic and the fact that it flows to me virtually without cost, search engine traffic simply cannot be beat.

So today, I want to discuss how YOU can maximize traffic from search engines. And no, I do not have a trick or overnight solution. If you are looking for that, you can stop reading now. But what I will share with you today WILL increase your search engine traffic. It will take some time, but believe me, it is well worth it.

So let's go...The first thing to consider is how the best search sites determine where to send their clients--the searchers. It does not happen by accident. In fact, all search engines have complex algorithms that determine how they rank sites.

But after all the smoke clears, I can point directly to ONE essential component that leads to ever-growing traffic from the major search engines:

QUALITY.

Or more precisely, this equation (my formula) for success with search engines:

Quality Content + Quality Links = SE Rank, Traffic and Sales.

Quality is what matters most to top search sites like Google and Yahoo. They want quality results for their searchers...and this ultimately translates into YOUR providing quality to them.

Read that again. It is important to understand. As a Webmaster, quality is something you need to be very concerned with.

There are two specific areas where quality really counts:

a) Quality of Content AT your Website
b) Quality of Links TO Your Website.

Let's talk about this in a bit of detail.

Quality Content AT Your Site

A quality Website with solid, reliable, and substantial content will always do better than sites trying to "trick" their way to good ranking. That's why the major search sites have such a huge market share—they provide quality search results. Websites that qualify as such are usually the first sites presented in their search results.

There is no secret to this, and providing quality content takes work. I do it by writing articles like this. And you can do it by writing articles for your niche market. If your site focuses on collectibles, then write an article about a specific collectible every week. In a year, you will have 52 keyword-rich Web pages (or more) that will help grow traffic to your Website. In two years you'll have 100+, and this content is the cornerstone of your Website.

I've been writing about this aspect of Web marketing for seven years now; I can remember a few years back when all those single page sales letters were blooming all over the Web. "Who needs content?" these new experts were writing. Where are they now? Sure, some of them are making a few dollars but most have fallen by the wayside. Why? Because they do not contribute to the very nature of the Web—information.

Let's face it, nearly ALL people online are here to get information. Not many people want to pay for it either. After all, you can find in-depth information on any subject imaginable. Sure, you sometimes have to pay for the best quality information, but if you surf long enough you can get to the truth of any subject using the World Wide Web.

If you are a Website owner, the paragraphs above translate into a simple strategy. Feed the search engines that provide this valuable content. Create content for your niche market. Grow a Website that is information rich and the visitors will come. It may take time but they will come.

Of course, there are ways that you can move the process along a bit. The best way is to show search engines what your content is about and how important it is. This is done by building...

Quality Links TO Your Site

You may have heard of the importance of getting other sites to link to yours. So let's cover this a bit. Yes, getting lots of links coming to your site is important. But the QUALITY of those links is even more important.

I will not get into Google's page rank or any other specific algorithms on any search engine. The fact is, NOBODY is privy to that specific information. But I can say for sure, based on experience, that the quality of links coming to your site is VERY important.

When it comes to the actual links, quality is measured primarily by these two factors:

a. What sites link to your site
b. Exactly how they link to you

The first one is the toughest nut to crack. Getting quality sites to link to yours is not easy. Naturally, the first step is to have a quality site yourself—more proof of my advice above. And once you have a quality site in place, you can start building links to it. I'll get into exact strategies for that in a minute. First I'd like to cover (b) from above: exactly how sites link to you.

For sure, text links seem to be better than banner links. And text links filled with your best keywords are better than any old text link.

For instance...

If you were trying to build links to, let's say, your fishing-related site, how other sites display links to yours is extremely important. To decide what you want those links to say, you need to research keywords a bit. The word "fishing," would seem obvious, but it undoubtedly has a ton of competition. So a better idea is to find more specific words. You can do that by entering your main keyword into the tool at www.WordTracker.com or at Overture's keyword suggestion tool at inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/. You'll get a list of related keywords. This particular test showed me that the keywords "fishing tackle" or "fishing lure" get used quite a bit by online searchers as well. So those would be a better choice of keywords to use in your incoming links. (If your site does not offer such equipment, you can still offer "information" on these topics.)

But how do you decide what those other Webmasters will write when they link to your site? That's easy. You do it by giving other Webmasters the exact code they can paste into their sites. I'll show you how at the end of today's tip.

Now back to actually getting those links to your site...

Getting Links

Earlier we talked about the importance of having quality sites link to your Website, and that's not an easy task. In fact, getting quality sites to link to your site takes a bit of originality. You can't just slap up a "link to us" page and hope the job gets done.

Many Webmasters simply search the Web and then e-mail related sites asking for a link swap. In my opinion that is too time-consuming and tedious.

There are lots of other ways to grow the number of links into your site. There are many automated solutions available such as link farms and the like, but be careful with those. Many such networks are not search engine friendly and using them can actually hurt your site. You have to be careful when selecting a link strategy.

Your link strategy should include a way for people to get a link from your site to theirs, as well as create a link from their site to your site. If you can automate this entire process, you'll save lots of time.

With all this in mind, I set up my link strategy using a type of directory. You can see it (as well as grab a high-profile link) at linksmanager.com/bizweb2000/.

What you'll find is my "Internet Marketer's Resource Directory." Basically, it's my link swap strategy, and it works quite well. It generates a few dozen quality links for me every week, which would take quite a bit of time and energy if I were to do it manually. The hundreds of link swaps it has helped me gather has resulted in lots of traffic to my site, not to mention improved search engine ranking. I wish I had set it up when I was first getting started online.

Building a link strategy at your Website is an important step that will help you more than you realize, especially as time goes on. So make it one of the first of your Internet marketing steps.

Once your link-building infrastructure (something like the above example) is in place, you'll need a few ways to get fellow Webmasters linking. Below are a few strategies I use. I invite you to emulate these strategies at your site...

1. Pre-license all your best stuff.

As you create your own tips, articles, or content for your Website or e-mail newsletters, consider pre-licensing it to others. Pre-licensing is as simple as including a short footer after your work. It looks something like this:

"You have permission to reprint what you just read. Use it in your e-zine, at your Website, or in your newsletter. The only requirement is including the following footer: *Article by YOUR NAME, visit www.YourWebsiteUrl.com for more original content like this."

Getting the idea? This takes no extra work on your part, since you already wrote the article. A simple footer like that lets you pre-licensed it to the entire Web. Your links will be growing continually with no extra effort. There are lots of Websites in need of decent content. Supply it and you can benefit greatly—if you do it right!

Note: If you need to see this strategy in action, visit my Internet marketing articles archive at www.bizweb2000.com/articles.htm.

2. Bribe Webmasters into linking up.

The next strategy that can work very well is the "bribe." In a nutshell, you simply give something of value away to anyone who links to your site.

When done correctly, this strategy can be extremely powerful. All you need to get started is a few text links that people can use to link to your site, and a way to automate all aspects of the "bribe." Again, my implementation of this strategy is tied in with my link building directory mentioned above. That link-generating tool bribes my visitors into linking to one of my sites by offering two distinct rewards:

a. Marketers can secure a link from my site to THEIR best Internet Marketing Resources in my high-profile directory.

b. When they reciprocate with a link to my site, they get a free book just for participating.

Note: The tool that automates my link building strategy is called LinksManager (www.linksmanager.com/). It allowed me to create my directory in a few hours and it automates the entire "get links" strategy for me. It sends automated e-mails to all new submissions, checks their sites for reciprocal links, sends e-mail reminders if they don't reciprocate, and even gives away my book when reciprocal links are verified. When visitors link to my sites, their links are set up directly and not through the system, so it is search engine friendly. I've been using it for a few years now with great success...and no, I'm not an affiliate. ;-)

Feel free to fill my directory with your best Internet Marketing resources right now. You're sure to get lots of visitors from the directory as well as from BizWeb eGazette subscribers. ;-)

Oh yeah, and after you submit your listing, pay special attention to the page that pops up. It is where I give other Webmasters the exact code they can paste into their sites to link to mine. You should use a page like that at your site as well. It makes linking very simple, even for new Webmasters. In fact, feel free to copy the layout of that page and customize it with your own keywords and links for YOUR site.

In Closing...

OK, so is everything in this article all you have to do to move your site up the ranks of the major search engines like Google? Well, not really. There are lots of other considerations, such as the title of your site. Your title needs to include your best keywords as well...and so does the text of your pages. But I'll save the details on these for another day. For now, get busy building quality content and quality links. They are two keys to the success of your Website.

If you take one lesson from this, remember: QUALITY CONTENT AND QUALITY LINKS will bring you lots of targeted Website traffic.

P.S. How Often Do You Find Yourself Saying: "I Wish I Knew How To Make My Living from the Internet." (There really is no lifestyle like it, unless you were born into riches.) I can show you how to... make a living online www.make-a-living-online.com/.


Article used with permission from Jim Daniels. Jim's free guide to Website marketing (www.make-a-living-online.com/) and his Website promotion (www.bizweb2000.com/) site show you how to get low-cost Website traffic and make money online




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