|⇐ Previous||Next ⇒|
December 7, 2009 by Steve
It’s funny, but if you’re patient, persistent and looking in the right places, you can pretty much find anything you want online for free. And today just happens to be no different. In this article I’ll show you 6 ways to increase your search engine rankings and get more traffic from Google.
Search engine traffic (also known as organic traffic) is good traffic. It’s good traffic because in most cases the people who came to your site typed in those specific keywords in the search engines. And if those keywords match what you have to sell, then you know your traffic is targeted – meaning you’re in a better position to sell more of what you have.
In the past 6 months my search engine traffic has been consistently increasing. Here’s a snapshot:
The other real benefit to organic traffic (regardless if it’s from AOL Search, Google, Netscape Search, Yahoo Search, etc) is what I call “residual traffic.” Once your blog starts to get ranked for those keywords, you can follow the same process over and over again to start more and more traffic.
That’s what I love about organic traffic. It’s sort of like doing the work once and getting paid over and over again. Who doesn’t want more of that?
So it being close to Christmas, I thought I’d send you an early Christmas gift. Here are 6 ways to get more traffic from the Google:
Get More Traffic Technique #1: Focus on a Keyword Phrase (not a Single Keyword)
Focus on keyword phrases with multiple keywords instead of just one keyword. I learned this the hard way when I started out blogging. The reason it’s more helpful to use a keyword phrase instead of a single keyword is because there is less competition.
Here’s a straight forward example. If you search for the word “guitar” in Google and look at the search results, you’ll find 167,000,000 competing websites. Just do a quick search for the word “guitar” in Google and look for the Results tab near the right and you’ll see what I mean.
This time take the keyword phrase, “lead guitar lessons” and search for it using Google. When you look at the search results, you’ll find 14,000,000 competing websites. Still a lot of competition, but much lower than the previous single keyword search.
The lesson? Use keyword phrases (otherwise known as long tail keywords) to increase your chances of ranking well with Google. You’ll have fewer sites competing with you and a much better chance of increasing your search engine ranking.
Get More Traffic Technique #2: Use Relevant Keywords in the Right Places
Once you know what keywords you want to use, start putting them in the right places. Here are a few places to start using your keywords:
- Heading Tag – Also known as the title tag for your article or page. According to Google, your heading tag is one of the highest ranked positions for keywords. Make sure to use the right keywords in your heading or title.
- Sub-Heading Tag – Probably the second most important location to use your keywords. It’s also a nice way to break up the text in your article by using sub-headings with this tag. WordPress has a built in sub-heading tag that you can use, but not all blogging platforms are the same.
- Alt Tags – Also known as the alternative description. You can use the alt tag feature in images and insert your keywords there. This doesn’t show up in your blog post or page but it’s a really nice way to increase the relevancy of your article or web page.
- Body Text – This might be more obvious to some people. You want to use your keywords as often as possible in the body of the articles you write. This will help you increase your keyword density and rank better with Google. Keep in mind that you don’t want to repeat your keyword phrase too often and lower the quality of your readers experience. My rule of thumb when using keywords in the body text is to write for the reader first and the search engine second.
Get More Traffic Technique #3: Build Your Keywords into Single Pages
Here’s another rookie mistake I made a while back. I tried to optimize all of my pages for the same 5-6 keywords. I figured that was the best strategy to get more traffic – turns out I was wrong.
A better strategy is to focus and build. Specify a unique keyword phrase for each page of your site. Start by choosing a single keyword phrase and then optimizing that specific page using those keywords.
Every time you build a new page using this focused approach you’ll find more traffic coming to your site. At first it will sort of trickle in and as you consistently publish new content to your blog, you’ll start seeing more traffic. As long as you’re consistent, you’ll start to build a nice funnel of traffic to your website.
Get More Traffic Technique #4: External Link Building
This technique has been extremely helpful for my own blog. There are two types of links that you want to focus on here: external and internal links.
External links are links that come from other websites. Every time an independent website links to your blog, it’s like getting a vote. These votes get tallied up by Google. The more votes you get from relevant websites and blogs, the higher you will rank in the search engines.
What you want to do is become a master link builder. You could do that by posting your content on article directories with links back to your website. The more often you do this, the more links you get.
One of the best strategies to attract links is to write high quality content. High quality content is content that is useful and valuable to your readers. I’ve had people link to my site just because they liked the content on my blog. That’s what you want to do to attract links.
Get More Traffic Technique #5: Internal Link Building
Internal links are when you link to your own articles inside your blog. This also helps increase your search engine traffic because these links are considered additional votes by Google.
Not all search engines work this way, but for some reason Google does. I’ve had articles on page #2 of Google go to page #1 when I added a few internal links to that article. When building internal links it’s important to use the proper “anchor text.”
Anchor text is the actual text you use when creating the link. For example, you may have seen something like this before, “Check out my latest and greatest lead guitar lessons here.”
In this case the anchor text is the word “here.” That’s not the best choice. A better choice would be to use the word, “lead guitar lessons.” Instead, you might say, “Check out my latest and greatest lead guitar lessons.”
That way the anchor text is a better match for the web url and title of the web page. Make sure that your anchor text matches the title tag of the page you’re linking to as well!
Get More Traffic Technique #6: Measure and See Who’s Coming and HOW
Make sure to use some sort of statistics package to measure your current web traffic. I use Google Analytics – they’re pretty good and it’s free.
Once you start capturing statistics, you want to look for something very specific. You want to see what keywords your site is getting ranked for. Once you find relevant keywords, you want to type them into Google and see where you show up.
For example if you show up on page #3 for the keywords, “lead guitar lessons,” then have a look at the websites ahead of you. What are they doing differently to beat you in the rankings?
Navigate through those sites. See what techniques their using and what’s working best for them. Pay attention to the suggestions I’ve already shared with you and see how you can integrate them into your web page.
Don’t try to re-invent the wheel. Use what’s already working and do more of it.
These are just a few of the tips I’ve found helpful to get more traffic from Google and other search engines. This is far from being a complete list. What other methods have helped you become recognized by the search engines?