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Getting Free Search Traffic

Getting free search traffic is not that difficult if you follow some basic guidelines.

These days the Web is a combination of free traffic and paid traffic. A balanced Web marketing campaign includes both paid and free methods. In this issue, I outline how to set up a page to get a good ranking on free search engines. Don't try to get a high ranking on 15 or 20 terms with one page; just pick one or two important keywords that are a central theme of the page, and seek ranking on them.

A good first step you should take is to make sure that your site has incoming links to it. Google and other search engines consider incoming links, and the importance of those sites, when they make decisions about the order of results to present to searchers. For a small company, if you increase from none to 20 incoming links, that will make a significant difference in the search engines' assessment of your site's importance. A longer term goal for links might be to have 50. Once you've accomplished that, and your pay per click campaigns are well organized, then it's time to go after free search.

Understand that you're not paying for this, which is good, but in another sense it's bad, because you can't hold anyone accountable for feedback on how you are doing, and you won't get any help or any notification when your rankings improve or get worse. And it may take two to three months for your efforts to result in improvements in your position in search engine results.

Start with the keyword that your analysis of the site log shows have been most effective for you. If you're tracking conversions, use the keywords that give you the most conversions; or the keywords that cause visitors to stay longest on the site. Or keywords that cause visitors to visit a page where they buy, or sign up for a demo.

Choose a page that is quite focused on the keyword you want to get free search ranking on. For our discussion, we'll say that our keyword of interest is keyword. Here's what you do to that page:

  • Make sure that keyword appears near the start of the text on the page, a couple of times throughout it, and near the end.
  • Change the filename to keyword.html. If there are several related pages, put them all in a folder called keyword.
  • Make sure that all images on the page have alt tags. Keep the alt tags to six or fewer words, and incorporate keyword into each of them. Start each alt tag with keyword.
  • The title is the tag that's most important for Google, so it needs special attention. Make the title meta tag the first entry in the header. Start the title tag with keyword, and keep the whole thing short.
  • Focus the keyword meta tag to keyword. Limit the meta tag to no more than three keywords.
  • If there are any links from the page to related other pages, be sure to work keyword into their link text.
  • If there are links from other pages on your site to this page, work keyword into their link text.
  • Have some headings on the page that include keyword. Make sure you use title tags for them, so that the search engines have a cue that this use of the word is important to the page.

The Bottom Line: Organizing a page for free search is not much more than simply focusing the page on a keyword that we care about.

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Dave Roberts provides expert Web marketing services to help you meet your business goals. Subscribe to his newsletter at: DaveDoesItAll.com


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