“If you don’t know your starting point, how will you know how far you’ve come? “The same is true for the internet. If you don't measure your web site's current traffic and traffic sources, how will you know whether anything you did made any difference?Traffic Analytics
Traffic Analytics is a standard tool in our Online Business system. Use it to track your online visitors. The simple reporting graphs are all you need to understand where you are on the internet. Just let a couple of weeks go by and use the data to set a baseline. Use that time to prepare your search engine management plan.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is what ensures that your web site is set up in such a way that the search engines can easily index your web pages and will have little trouble figuring out what each page is about. Although the search engines have gotten much better, they still index your web site pages by following a sequence of instructions.
First, make sure your code is W3C compliant. Fill out all the tags for each HTML element. Pick one or two terms that your page is about. Make sure those terms show up in H1 tags somewhere on the page. Make sure the terms are included in the meta title, keywords and description tags. Make sure that the terms are repeated in various forms throughout the article. Above all else, make sure the content on the page answers a specific question and would be considered good content if you were to find it on the web yourself. This can't be stressed enough.
Once you have gone over each page and made sure they are great technically as well as content wise, you need to make sure your site has a legal statement, privacy statement and a site map. While search engine optimization can and does get much more involved than this, simply doing this basic stuff will get you 70 to 80 percent along the path to increased traffic and sales.
If you are not sure about the technical health of your web site, try our Website Health Checkup.
Search Engine Submission
Once your SEO for your website is complete, go ahead and submit your site to the search engines. Start off with the big three. Google, Yahoo and Bing. These account for almost all internet traffic.
Now that the search engines are crawling your site, make sure that your site is in all the directories. Start with Google Places, Yahoo Local, Hot Frog, Yellow Pages, Yellow Book. Use keyword infused descriptions that accurately portray your services. Make sure you fill the profiles out completely. You will rank higher if your profile is 100% filled out. Get ready for the sales calls as each of these free directory listings comes with a sales person trying to sell you SEO and PPC services. It is the trade off for visibility on the internet.
Pay Per Click Marketing
Now you have your company site optimized, submitted to the search engines and listed in every directory in town. Now what? If you want traffic, you can utilize pay per click. Pay per click has one simple rule. Never pay more for new business than is feasible to spend. This may seem obvious, but many people get involved in pay per click without really understanding it as well as they should and end up spending more than they have to in order to get a sale. If there is one area of your plan that you should outsource, this is it. With that said, there are plenty of resources online for this topic. Start small, get one product or service going in a profitable manner and then duplicate the effort. Track everything including inbound phone calls and you should be okay.
Social networking includes sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and YouTube. How your company can benefit from these resources varies greatly from company to company. Never attempt a social networking project without a specific, trackable goal in mind. Also, try not to think too linearly when thinking of uses for social media applications. For example, say your company is a dry cleaning service. A Facebook fan page about your particular business may get some fans that you are related to, it probably will not be a big hit for people that do not know you personally.
Now think about this. What about a fan page that lists coupons and deals from all businesses for your local area? Let others post to your page. Now you have a resource that people in your area may like. You can add your coupons whenever you like and you are utilizing social networking to build a relationship with people in your target market.
Articles and Blogging
Now that you have the perfect site that is submitted to the engines and you have people clicking on pay per click links to view your products and services, you want to show those visitors that you are an expert in your field. There is no better way to do this than by writing articles that address specific problems that your customers may be trying to solve. Posting these articles on your site will eventually get them indexed in the search engines. Also, you can post these articles on other sites that already have a large amount of traffic.
Most of these sites allow you to have a link in your profile page that provides your contact information and a link back to your site. These links are great ways for potential clients to find you. In addition to article writing, you can also search through blogs using an engine like Technorati to find topics that are related to your industry. Posting comments and providing value in these forums will over time help you develop relationships with additional potential clients.