Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How to Drive Traffic to Your Website

I know the title of this has been used by thousands of people, over and over. But what I'm about to say may run counter to what some of my friends in the marketing/media/internet world have been telling you.

Most of the folks that I know that answer the question will tell you, you need S.E.O.

S.E.O. stands for Search Engine Optimization.

And while this may be important, I discovered a couple years ago what I believe is more important.

First, let's explore SEO and why it can be important.

Most people will find your business by clicking on a link on the internet.

And before they find a link, they will perform a Search, using a Search Engine such as Yahoo!, Google, or perhaps MSN. This chart shows the popularity of various Search Engines just three years ago in 2006:

Yet, times have changed. In a report for July 2009, Google now has grown to 64.7%, Yahoo has shrunk to 19.3%, Microsoft has rebranded its search engine and is now know as Bing and has an 8.9% share, Ask is at 3.9% and AOL is down to 3.1%. Click here for the details.

So Google is the king of Search, which means that websites need to be Optimized so Google will find them and send traffic (visitors) to your website. This is why there has been such a boom and push in S.E.O.

Problem is, S.E.O. is not cutting edge, it's just one of those things you probably should do because everyone else does it. However there is a new way to be found....

And it's not really new. I discovered this a few years ago, and it follows the growing trend of how and why people are using the internet.

The trend is current information. We want to know what is going on now, and this search for information will leave many (or most) current websites in the dust.

When I began blogging a few years ago, I was undisciplined, unorganized and not really focused. It took me awhile to develop a purpose and a strategy, but once I put those pieces into place, the rest grew.

The answer to driving traffic to your website that has been working for me the last few years and will continue for the foreseeable future is provide current content that people want.

I believe one of the easiest ways is to write a blog about a subject that you are passionate about and keep it fresh with a new, worthwhile posting at least once a week.

That's what I do on this blog you are reading now, however this is really my 4th blog.

My number one blog is updated 3 to 5 times a day/ 7 days a week and is also about Marketing, Advertising and Sales. It is currently one of the top 240 marketing blogs in the world according to a couple of different ranking services. This number one blog is titled ScLoHo's Collective Wisdom and you can find it be clicking here.

My number 2 blog is a fun, personal blog that I started as a way to post items that were not related to my business.
Last year I featured links to other blogs in my town of Fort Wayne, Indiana, then this year committed to featuring a Fort Wayne Site of the day, every single day which has garnered lots of attention, including requests to be featured. You can visit it by clicking here.

Blog number 3 is simply a collection of random pictures, a few personal, most were found on the web. It gets updated as I see fit.

The last one is a political blog which I use randomly to share some ideas of a political nature.

Here's why I know this works:

  1. I have tracking counters that show me how many visitors I am getting. Over 500 per week currently.
  2. I have received offers for work and projects for me and my company from these blog postings. This includes unsolicited speaking and seminar engagements.
  3. I have been recognized locally, nationally and internationally by various individuals and organizations that found me online via the blogs.
  4. It is paying off for me financially, yes real money.
Finally, Google is changing the rules.

Yes, the worlds leading Search Engine is preparing to revamp itself and make it harder for static websites to get noticed, even with S.E.O. in place. Click here for details and a preview.

And this also falls into my ongoing push to build your business through relationship based marketing. By engaging in current conversational practices online, you are providing what people are looking (searching) for.

It works. Now, and even more in the months ahead.

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