Why small businesses have such a hard time turning their website into a profit centre - and how you can fix it in no time flat!
With millions of websites out there and thousands of webpages competing for just about any search phrase you can dream up, how do small businesses drive traffic to their site?
And better still how do they convert traffic into profitable customers?
Site owners used to concentrate on building key word phrases into website pages, but with all the changes to search engines taking place over the past few months, concentrating on key word phrases alone is just not going to get you indexed.
It is now a constant battle between the major search engines, who want to keep searches relevant to their user's needs, and site optimisers who use whatever means necessary (often devious) to get sites listed.
While it is still important to use keywords and keyword phrases in your website pages, there is a lot more you can do to optimise your site and improve its chances of being indexed.
Lets look at it from the search engine's point of view - they want their search engine to be selected by users searching the internet, because the more popular it is, the more they can charge for pay per click ads and for the advertising that surrounds most search pages.
On the other hand users use the search engines seeking information for all sorts of reasons - maybe they want to travel to a foreign country and need information on the weather, seasons, hotels, cost of living, etc, or they may want to compare various types of products, or search technical information.
Whatever the reason, in most cases they are not searching for advertising, they are searching for information.
So, it stands to reason that if we provide targeted information sites, as against company brochure and advertising sites, then the search engines will be more likely to list us - and they do, they identify and index pages containing useful information for their users.
Here is how you can provide the information that will lead search engines to index your pages and drive traffic to your site:
Start by going to www.wordtracker.com
Wordtracker is a UK database that you can use to find out what people are searching for on the main search engines.
You enter key words related to your business, products or targeted audience, and it tells you how many searches have been done on each phrase over the past 48 hours, how many competing pages there are out there containing the search phrase, and calculates a KEI number for each phrase listed.
The KEI of a phrase is a good indication if the keyword phrase is going to be profitable for you, based on the number of searches and the number of competing pages.
Generally by choosing keyword phrases with a KEI of 100 or higher, you will be able to find profitable niches that will bring in traffic. A KEI less than 30 or 40 usually indicates a keyword phrase that is too generalised or too competitive.
The cost to use Wordtracker is approximately AUD $8.00 per day and you can do as many searches as you like. It is a once off cost.
When you find a highly searched phrase relating to your product or business, and it has an acceptable KPI, write an information article using that phrase as the title and include the phrase in the body of the article.
The article you write must be relevant to the keywords chosen, be informational based, and not blatant advertising.
Don't forget to include active links to your site within the body of the article.
For example, if you business is a winery and you specialise in high quality white wines, then you could write articles on the production or selection of white wines from your area, using plently of descriptive words, such as localty, country references (Australia, Downunder, Aussie, etc), and conditions found in your area that set your wines apart from wines from other areas, etc.
You could also write articles on interesting sites in your area, dining out, activities available, etc, and include articles from your local tourist centre.
Remember to find titles and subjects for your articles you should first use Wordtracker to identify highly searched keyword phrases that are relevant to your product or to your target audience.
I will go into finding suitable keyword phrases for target audiences in another article as it is best to take one step at a time and do it well, before moving on to another strategy.
If you use NOW Newsletter and Email System to write your articles, you will be able to upload your article to your website at the flick of a button, as well as distribute it to your subscriber list in HTML format.
Now when a searcher searches your keyword phrase, which you know they are searching on because you have identified the phrase through Wordtracker as one that is being searched often, then they will go to that informational landing page on your site.
If you impress the reader on the landing page you can be assured they will follow the links to your main site, explore your site further, and sign up for your regular newsletter.
So through placing information articles in your website you have driven traffic to your site, gained a subsciber to your newsletter, and raised the attention of the search engine spiders, with a good chance they will index your site.
Now keep it up, write an article a month on a different subject using a different keyword phrase. Before long you will be driving heaps of traffic to your site and your list will grow with each article pubished.
And here is another advantage you will have gained: search engine spiders get really excited when they discover regular changes in your website.
Think about it! What would you do if you got a newspaper delivered to your door every day and it contained the same news, but with a different date?
You'd stop getting the paper delivered, right?
But how many websites have you visited that never change from one year to the next, let alone month by month. Boring!
So when the search engine spiders visit your site they take notice of the changes. As soon as they see the site is changing, they visit more often, and your listings go higher in the search engines.
Whatever you do to generate new content on your site, it will go a long way to getting the site rated higher in the major search engines.
For even faster listings don't wait for the search engine spiders to visit, submit your information pages straight to the search engines on a regular basis.
And as mentioned in my earlier article on building your list "traffic builds traffic".
Remember, search engines love information pages and there is a very good chance your page will get listed under your keyword phrase providing the pages are well written and contain minimal advertising.
Of course there are so many ways to optimise your site for the search engines. What I am writing here is not intended to cover the subject in any depth, but to simply give you a feel for the issues involved.
And you don't need to be a professional writer to write interesting, attention getting articles that drive traffic to your site.
My next article will include tips on writing articles and finding free articles you can publish in your newsletters and on your website.
I will also discuss how you can convert the traffic you have created into sales.
After all that is why we are here, isn't it - to help you build your business.