So, you've spent hundreds of thousands on a state-of-the-art
website. Your client is happy, and your hard work has paid off.
The site goes live and the telesales team is standing by for a
flood of enquiries. Nothing happens. Why?
It is easy to forget that the key aim of any web marketer is to
attract visitors. They must not only bring in the visitors, but
also keep them there, and encourage them to return on a regular
basis. It doesn't matter how good your site is, if nobody
There are many myths surrounding the art of traffic generation,
often created by unscrupulous web marketers who claim they can
'double your site traffic for just $99 per month' or 'submit
your site to 1000 search engines and watch your traffic grow'.
Such bogus claims should be ignored if you are serious about
In reality, building site traffic is far simpler than you may
think, and inexpensive. In fact, you can build a sizeable
community for your site at no great cost.
From initial web page design to traffic generation, there are
several key stages which should be followed to attract visitors
to your site. We have expanded on each of these topics in
articles on http://www.trafficgeneration.com
Configuration of your web pages
Time spent configuring the code in each of your web pages prior
to search engine submission will pay dividends in the long run.
Not only should the META TAGS in each page be optimised for each
key search engine, but care an attention should be paid to the
ratio of 'keywords' to page content, and the use of 'ALT' and
'Header' tags for example. Search engines use complex algorithms
to determine how high your pages should rank for the keywords
you specify in the underlying code. Good code configuration will
lead to good traffic.
Submission to search engines and indexes
There may well be over 1000 search engines and indexes on the
internet. However, there are only a dozen engines with any real
clout. Google and Yahoo dominate the web in terms of traffic,
followed by a raft of medium sized search engines. Ignore the
ads claiming to 'boost your site traffic'. Just concentrate on
these key sites (most importantly, Google), and submit to the
smaller sites if you have time.
Reciprocal links / Link Popularity
Not only will links to your site from others increase your
ranking on some search engines, but also they will ensure a
constant stream of targetted traffic to your site. You want the
right visitors for your product or service, not random visitors.
It is worth exchanging links with sites with a similar theme to
your own. You won't lose traffic, if your exchanged links are
bringing the same amount (or more) back to your own site. More
importantly however, Google measures your site's "link
popularity" (the number of sites which link to yours) to
determine its page ranking, so effort in this area is essential.
The more relevant these links are to the content of your own
site offering, the better. Also ensure your site is well linked
together, since internal links also count towards your site's
Maintaining your traffic
Traffic building is not a one off process. It is a permanent
activity. Search engines may drop your pages when they re-index
(which happens periodically), or may not index your pages at all
during busy times. Search engine submission should be an ongoing
activity, with each page resubmitted on a monthly basis, as a
general guideline. If your pages do not rank highly first time,
you will need to revisit the source code in under performing
pages, and resubmit.
These initial steps deal with the physical process of initial
traffic generation. Following these steps will bring you
visitors, then it is up to you to keep them coming back for
more. Good site content, structure and positioning are key to
building a lasting web community.
About the author:
James Leckie is founder of http://www.trafficgeneration.com, the
search engine portal, and http://www.bytestart.co.uk, the UK
small business portal.