Having been in the web hosting business since 1998, we have been
asked the question "How do I get more traffic to my website?" more
times than I can remember.
More often than not, we are asked this question because a client of ours has
just received an e-mail containing great claims of how company "xyz"
can drive amazing amounts of traffic to any website. Of course this often comes at
a significant cost to the site owner and results are not guaranteed. The cost, however, is not always in dollars.
There are many different methods that have been used over the years and we
have even tried some of these services ourselves. Some of them do work for a
short time until the search engines figure out they are being manipulated. This
usually results in the sites using these services being de-listed in the search
engines, or worse yet black listed. This can be a back breaker for companies
relying on search engines to drive sales to their websites. Some other methods
of driving search engine traffic work marginally (but rarely justify the cost)
and some quite simply do not work at all. Now don't get me wrong, there
are success stories in this field too, but they have been the far and few between
in my experience.
So what is one to do to get more traffic to
their website? Easy. Follows some simple guidelines when building your
website and be ready to put time into your site several times per week.
Unless your site revolves around a topic that is very unique (or selling a
unique product – with a unique product name or number) you may be facing massive
competition. Do a Google search for the word shoes
and you will see what I mean. There are 605,000,000 websites containing the
keyword shoes. However, if you do a Google search for Dr.
Scholl's – Jubilee we are now down to just 54,900 competing sites and
the fourth site on that list is the one I want you to take notice of (ed. note: This was at the time of this articles writing). This is
a Google listing for this particular shoe on a site named Style
Envy. Style Envy is a site designed and hosted by Total Hosting. This site
generates natural traffic via the major search engines due to simple design
Style Envy uses the Joomla
Content Management System. It also uses search engine friendly links
using clear text instead of computer code that many content management
systems generate. This is a built in function of Joomla and needs only
be turned on. There is a free upgrade for this as well and can be found
at Open-SEF website (Style Envy uses this upgraded system).
Envy is updated several times a day. Not an easy task, but lets look at
the results. In less than one year this site has had more than 600,000
visitors, served up over 3.2 million pages and continues to grow month
after month without any paid advertising! So what does updating have to
do with it? Lots! By updating content on your site on a daily basis you
are giving the search engines a reason to come back, and come back
often! Sites that do not update content tend to drop out of search
engines over time and when they do, your sales will mirror the drop.
This frequent updating also means the Style Envy in not just found by
searching for Style Envy directly in Google but by thousands of other
keywords (taken by the search engines from the daily updates) as well.
Envy plans ahead. Search engines can be as much as 30 days behind. That
means you have to think about what people will be looking for not just
now, but next month. Then add what people will want to your
website next month, now.
Style Envy maintains a links section to
provide links to sites that are fashion related. They only ask for a
link in return. By linking only to fashion related sites, search
engines will see Style Envy as more relevant in the area of fashion.
following the formula above it is easy to have a successful website
without the use of paid search engine placement services, and best of
all, you will be using the same formula that Google is likely to suggest!
Total Hosting installs Joomla free of charge for our web hosting clients upon request. See the Total Hosting home page for more details.