In the previous entry, we looked at some best practices of search engine marketing, and why it’s more important to link relevant content to build loyalty, rather than just click-throughs.
Today, we’ll finish the article by investigating a few tools at your disposal to build better page rank, and some thoughts on using emerging and social media in your campaign…
What Kind of Site Listings Will Help Drive Traffic to my Site?
Use a combination of these to get a boost. Some will require more effort than others, so pay attention at how much time you have to spend to get your desired results.
If it’s not obvious by now, just repeat out loud: This is the most important aspect of getting your site in front of people. A search engine uses automated programs to analyze web sites that are called spiders. You can choose which pages and page elements those spiders will see and record for their databases (more on that in an upcoming article). Currently the search engines that command the most traffic are Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Directories look and feel exactly like search engines except that they use humans to review sites and determine if and how they will be placed into their database. It can take a while for your site to appear on them, if it actually gets listed at all. It’s best to just submit your site and info, then forget about it. Some higher-ranking directories charge you small fees for being placed, such as JoeAnt.com and GoGuides.org, but they will help drive traffic to your site.
Feeds provide other users and sites your content based on categories and keywords. For instance, someone may want all stories that have to do with Internet Marketing from a site like Online Marketing Connect. If you create content about Internet Marketing, it’s a good idea to format it through an RSS tool like FeedForAll. Then you simply register your content feed at Online Marketing Connect, which will then spread it out to all of their readers interested in Internet Marketing.
You may want your site listed on a page of results based on certain key terms. You can pay search engines money to reside in their paid placement or sponsored ads areas. Be prepared to pay quite a bit if you place a link on a very popular search term, like “web design services.” Search engines will bill you one charge to get placed on the page (known as an impression), and another higher charge if anyone follows the link to your site (known as a click-through). This is known as PPC and may be one practice that might be better left to professional services, as it can get expensive very quickly if left unmonitored.
Meta Engines return results based on combining algorithms of other search engines. They are not built on databases. DogPile and MetaCrawler are good examples, even though popularity of these types of aggregators has been steadily falling. If you submit your site to search engines like Google and Bing, the meta engines will pick it up and display them, so you don’t need to recondition your site descriptions for these if your original submissions are strong.
Internet marketing professionals hear this from clients a lot these days, “Can Using Social Networks like Facebook and YouTube Help Boost My Page Rank?”
The short answer is “Yes.” There are popular social networks aimed specifically at collaborating with peers, such as LinkedIn, there are networks that can be used strictly for broadcasting news and opinions, such as YouTube and Twitter, and there are networks that are designed to announce and discuss news with potential customers such as Facebook. However, creating an optimized social network listing that performs well can involve lots of trial and error. You have to determine if you have the time and manpower required to engage your potential customers when opportunity arises.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. For example, Facebook can be incorporated into your site by installing the “Like” button code. Read the tutorial below to find out how to do it. This way your site content can still appear in a nice format through someone else’s Facebook feed if they read it and then click the “Like” button. Considering that nearly 25% of all web traffic either comes from or goes to Facebook, it’s a good idea to keep your site tethered to it in some way.
For something like YouTube, which is more like a broadcast to potential customers instead of a dialog, you can upload and forget. You can post material knowing that if it’s done correctly, it can create extra search engine result listings, as well as direct link referrals. There is a good tutorial listed below that helps you optimize YouTube videos for this purpose.
Beginning a push to get your site a higher page ranking is a long-term task, so don’t hope for too much at once. It’s a reward based on diligence, a willingness to try new things and strategy revision. You have lots of choices for tools, and how to combine them to get results.
The best policy is to get your sites registered at all the high-traffic search engines, post relevant content, and put effort towards finding niches of people online who will appreciate your contributions. You may wallow in low traffic and page rank for months, but it gets easier with time and effort.
If it all sounds like too much effort with too little payback, hiring a professional web marketing firm to do it for you might be the next step. You may be surprised at the boost from a manageable budget.