Is your Internet business dying due to lack of traffic? Has every new scheme and trick failed to improve your search engine rankings? Has your search for truly effective internet marketing strategies left you stumped? If so, I know exactly how you feel. When I started my online business, I searched the internet for the magic formula that would give me the edge over my competition. Unfortunately, the only magic I found was how quickly unscrupulous sellers could make my money disappear.
But the time I spent searching was not a total waste. Along the way I learned that there are no magic strategies. However, there are proven marketing methods that continue to deliver fantastic results if you put in the effort. Below, I discuss six proven ways to drive targeted traffic to a stagnant website.
1. Keyword Research
Any discussion of internet marketing strategies starts here. Keywords are terms or phrases that people enter into search engines when searching for information. Keyword research is done to identify the best keywords to target for potentially high search engine rankings. The analysis involves isolating those that have good search volume with a relatively low number of competing web pages. Think of search volume as demand and competition as supply. Google’s free keyword tool is a good place to start your research. There are great keyword trading tools out there if you have a bigger budget.
2. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, involves the scope of techniques used to improve a website’s position on a search engine results page (serp). The higher a website ranks in search results, the more likely it is that the site will be visited. Internet search engines generally don’t click on pages and pages of search results, so a site’s ranking in a search engine greatly influences the amount of traffic the site receives.
SEO can be applied both inside and outside the website. On-page SEO consists of practices like using the keywords you’re trying to rank for in the title, header, description, and other meta tags. You want to use the keywords in the alt text for any video or image you place on the page. Also, use the keywords in the content of the page. But, be careful here. Excessive use of keywords in content may be considered spam by search engines and your site may be penalized. The keyword should represent between 2% and 5% of the written content on the page.
Off-page SEO refers to optimization strategies outside of your website, such as building backlinks from authority sites with content relevant to your keyword. Search relevance is a key determinant of your site’s ranking in the serps. Search engines use the number and quality of backlinks from reputable sites to gauge the relevance of your site.
3. Item merchandising
Don’t let anyone convince you that article marketing doesn’t work anymore. This is still one of the most effective internet marketing strategies. There are online marketers who continue to make great incomes by writing articles. The major article directories collectively receive tens of millions of visitors per month. They also have great tutorials on how to write effective, attention-grabbing copy.
Remember to respect the reader. You don’t have to write like an English teacher, but you do need to be mindful of correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Use the keywords in the title and body of the article and point some backlinks to your site. Each directory has a set of guidelines for the user. Follow them closely to ensure timely publication of your article.
4. Video marketing
Of all the effective internet marketing strategies, videos have the most potential to drive serious traffic. The best video sharing sites get hundreds of millions of viewers daily. I recently read that 13 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. To put this into perspective, Hollywood would have to produce 57,000 feature films every week to match that kind of output. That is awesome! No wonder Google spent $1.5 billion to buy YouTube. The folks at Google are pretty smart and they saw where video sharing is headed. In fact, YouTube is no longer just about sharing video clips. It is now a massive search engine in its own right. But, YouTube isn’t the only game in town. There are several smaller, well-visited video sharing sites out there that can send a very respectable amount of traffic to your landing page.
But, just like with article marketing, you must respect the viewer. Stay true to keywords. People looking for information on video sharing sites expect to get what they are looking for. Don’t let them down by leaving a message out of place. Deliver what you promised in the headline and you’ll increase the chances that they’ll click through to your site.
5. Blog Marketing
Blogs should be included in the discussion of effective internet marketing. You can create a blog, short for web log, on any topic imaginable. The most successful marketing blogs offer a range of products or services within a specific niche. Many marketers turned to blogs because setup has become so much easier and the blogger can build a community of loyal followers.
Blogging software has become plentiful and very easy to use over the years. There are many free and paid applications that make it very easy to quickly create and run a blog. Once set up, the software makes it easy for you to publish blog posts regularly. You can even add a video to your posts to strengthen the marketing impact of the post.
Blogs allow you to engage your audience by allowing visitors to leave comments on your topic. These comments are seen by other viewers, and if the topic resonates with the audience, a lively conversation ensues. Over time, your blog can attract a large number of repeat visitors. With RSS (really simple syndication) feeds you can keep your followers informed about new blog content.
An important point to remember is to provide useful information on your blog first. You can quickly lose your audience if all they get is one sales pitch after another. Again, respect them.
In order to rank high in search engines, you need to have relevant backlinks pointing to your content. For search engines, the number of backlinks indicates the popularity of a website. Google especially assigns more relevance to a site if it sees a good number of backlinks coming from trusted authority sites with content related to yours. A good practice is to include backlinks from .edu and .gov sites in your link building campaign.
Another important consideration is the link text. Link text, or anchor text, refers to the actual words you use in the link. You certainly want to use the keyword you’re trying to rank for in the text of some of your backlinks. But don’t overdo it. You don’t want to use the exact keyword in every link. A variety of link text related to your keyword looks more natural to search engines.
Build your links slowly. A new site that has two thousand low-quality backlinks overnight is a red flag for the engines. They prefer a gradual increase in relevant backlinks over time. This approach will prevent them from putting your site in the dreaded sandbox.