Getting attention on the internet is no easy task. You want to drive as many readers to your site as possible, but just how exactly do you do that? You may have excellent content, but if no one ever visits the site, the content isn’t doing you much good. You want your content to wind up on the first page of the results when someone does a search for your subject matter, but sometimes even the best information on the net gets buried. By utilizing several search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, you can boost the popularity of your website!
In order for your website to garner additional traffic, your content must get a high ranking on search engine return pages, known as SERPs. While meaningful content is key to elevating your SERP score, it can take months or years for the information you have provided to organically move up the SERP ranks—if it ever does at all! Making that all important first page on the search engines is where you want to be, and more than likely, you will need help getting there. Why is the first page so important? People are apt to click on the first few links they see, and if you are looking to cash in on internet traffic, more site visitors equates to more money. If you are in a small market and the competition is fierce, even being a few spots above your rivals can make all the difference in getting that all-important sale!
To make your website’s information stand out in a sea of similar topics and content, you need to have meaningful keywords scattered throughout your content. These keywords are the ones that are relevant to your topic, and to the search that someone on the internet performs. Each of the search engines, like Bing, Google, and Yahoo for example, use computer programs to analyze the content on individual pages and then index them based on the keywords used throughout. For example, if someone is searching for “ice cream”, sites that sell cigars would not show up on the first pages due to the indexed content. However, local ice cream vendors and restaurants may immediately pop up because relevant keywords are used on their websites. The search engines use programs called “crawlers” or “spiders” to look for websites with keywords—strategically placed keywords. Make sure your subject is featured on your title page—so “ice cream” should be placed prominently in the content’s title. Each page of content has content headers, and these should also feature keywords. Be wary, though; using a certain word or phrase too often is considered “keyword stuffing” and the internet police—the search engines—will flag your content as spam. Use various words that may be similar to ensure your website gets the attention it deserves.
Another way to boost your website’s traffic and to generate more SERPs is to link your page to other pages, or better yet, have such great content that other websites link to your page. The search engines use a process called link analysis to determine how many other pages link to your page to rate its popularity, and thus, up your ranking. If other high ranking pages link to your page, this ups your Q Score, also known as the Quotient Score or rating, a term relating to your popularity. These links from other well-known pages can mean the difference between a page 34 ranking, or the internet abyss, to showing up on page one, where featured websites get all the glory—and majority of the hits.
In addition to offering such amazing content that other sites want to link to yours, you can also offer “link exchanges” with other websites that feature similar content, in an effort to get more internet traffic. You’ll want to make sure your “ice cream” website isn’t linked to “cigar websites” or other irrelevant content or once again, the internet police, aka the search engines, will not rank you as high in the listings. This is considered “cheating the system” like keyword stuffing. Other people will stuff their keywords at the bottom of the page, where they will still be counted by the search engines, but not draw much attention to people reading the content. Invisible text, or text that blends in with the background, can also help with keyword stuffing, but the “spiders” or “crawlers” can detect it and eventually, the SERP ranking is affected.
You may have fallen victim to a website that had nothing to do with your search, but popped up on page one when you were looking for something. Some webmasters will research popular keywords and insert them into their copy, even if it has nothing to do with their subject matter! This gets the reader to their website, but when they find out the content has nothing to do with their search, they usually leave.
While keyword stuffing might work for a short period of time, so does page stuffing. A webmaster can create a popular website and then duplicate it in hopes of having two or more pages high in the SERP rankings. This pushes the competition out of the highest rankings in an unscrupulous manner, but eventually the “spiders” or “crawlers” are able to juxtapose the content of each website to determine that they are duplicates and they are dropped from the rankings. The worst practice for trying to undermine the system is to be affiliated with a link farm. Some webmasters will purchase web links that all interlink to raise a site’s ranking. The web search engines don’t look kindly at link farms and may decide to ban the websites from their indexes, creating virtually useless web pages. If you have someone manage or create your web page and he or she recommends going with some “black hat” measures to increase your website’s traffic, recognize that the short term gain will not last long and that building a site with quality material and linking with like websites in the best way to garner attention.