I thought I'd write a post with some ideas to improve and maintain traffic levels. Some of these are very quick and easy to get going on and some are a bit slower and require some programming skills, or access to someone with those skills. Have a look through and see if you can get started on one of these areas.#1 Read up on your subject and be an expert
Recently I heard that an editor of Lonely Planet was fired because they had never visited the resorts they had written about. This shocked me a little because I had done some work for a travel company and re-written some content about their destinations. Although I had never visited the tourist places in question, I had done extensive online research. This gave me insight into, the type of people that visit these places, whether they would be old or young, spending a lot of money or keeping a tight budget. Once you've read many facts and opinions on something, you build up a much more informed and detailed insight into it. You begin to filter out inaccurate or unnecessary
details, and you will be able to decide for yourself how accurate information on the subject is, based on your overall knowledge and opinion. Although in an ideal world I would have travelled to each and every destination I was writing about :) this was simply not possible... Unfortunately!#2 Get sneaky
Look at the traffic searching for your competitors, wouldn't it be nice to get their brand name driving traffic to your site? Make a comparison page where you can talk about your competition and where they are weak in service/product. The repeated brand names on the page will help your page rank for their brand name. Make sure these pages are of use to your users though, there is nothing worse than spam landing pages. All you are doing is "tailoring" content for other search terms. Consider setting up stealth websites on different domains/hosting where you can make comparison pages without it looking like you are criticising your competition. You then simply link through to your official site to drive the new traffic there.#3 Look at low risk high reward keywords
After some recent keyword research, I found that searches for a certain financial keyphrase
were high because of the current credit crisis in the UK. Although the searches were high, the bounce rate on the sites (in the top ten on Google) was high because no one had actually optimised for these terms that well, and basically users wanted financial info on something where there was no info... All I had to do was create suitable copy, make sure the landing page had clear calls to action to convert the users into customers and hey presto, a page ranking at #1 on Google for a time sensitive keyword which will grow and grow in searches! By spotting this opportunity early, a page is easier to get to number one than after 10 other SEOs
have seen it and start competing.#4 Put together new functionality for your site
Get talking with the programmers and look at ways to improve your site. I was looking around a clients recruitment web site and once a job had been taken the job page was removed from the CMS
meaning a page previously indexed on Google was now not there. Instead of 301ing
the URL to another page, I suggested keeping the page and add a "Job no longer available" message and placing links to similar job pages on that page. The current content will stay and drive traffic and the links will make it obvious where users should go. Just be careful that when a similar job is added new, you use content different to the page you are maintaining. Try to think about what your users want from your site and add functionality to suit.
Some other new functionality I've looked at is Rate and Review software from Bazaar Voice.
This, as I've explained in previous posts
lets users add product ratings and reviews to a site. This free content will help your site rank for a range of unique keyphrases
and because users are adding the content, you do not need to second guess what you think your users will search for, just look at the language they use in the reviews area!#5 Take a look at your stats
If you don't already have webstats
, get them (Google Analytics is good). Have a good look at your stats, decide on what does well, (visits referred from a certain site) and look to develop on what drives visits already. For example, I found that this blog generates significantly more traffic from my comments on other blogs. Referring sites got me lots more traffic than many other areas. So I put together a quick plan, add decent, useful comments to high traffic blogs. To find high traffic blogs I used Stumble Upon
. Once I have found a suitable blog (CSS
ideas, HTML tips etc) I added a comment. As most stumbled sites will have more traffic, there is better chance of users looking at the URL left by your comment.#6 Do some more research!
The Internet has plenty of resources, good and bad, so take a look around but don't believe all you read. A good source of SEO
info (as well as this site) is SEOMOZ
which has a range of different categories of SEO
info, from downloadable
beginner guides, a daily SEO
blog, a SEOmoz
users blog (YouMoz
) and some great SEO
tools, like page strength calculator and juicy links finder... Also there are various free guides, webinars
and more available, I'll post links to these whenever I find them.
Get started on these and add comments/feedback and say how you got on!
Labels: 301 redirects, Bazaar Voice, Google, SEO Blog, StumbleUpon, Web Hosting