In many ways, being an in-house SEO is like working on your own site. You will develop a personal relationship with the website/s you are responsible for. Actually this is the only way to work. If you don’t feel at least a little passion for what you’re doing then you’re in the wrong job.
And speaking of passion, we need to talk about getting traffic. Now that may be what you consider ‘outside’ your in-house SEO duties, but since the art of true SEO will result in a huge increase in traffic, using any ethical tactics you can to bring more traffic will only make you more indespensable as a member of your company team.
The newer your website the more important it is to try and find other ways of getting eyeballs to your site, because:
- SEO only improves with time (meaning you may not get the traffic you need to begin with)
- Some of us (me included) believe that Google includes traffic as a metric when ranking sites.
Unfortunately though, many of the schemes for getting traffic (and there are thousands) include strategies that are, at best, ineffective, and at worst may get you into serious hot water with Google.
So here are some good ideas for getting more traffic–all ethical and above-board. Most of these strategies also have the added bonus of creating community (very important for successful business) as well as extending your brand reach.
Links into Your Site
I can hear groans here: yes we always come back to the issues of creating valuable incoming links for your site. But quite simply, you need links if you want to get out in front–including for traffic. A good blog is one way of creating links fast–especially if some of your content can be categorized as Link Bait ! Most of the strategies that follow create backlinks as well as traffic.
Create a Blog
If the company website is static, then it’s a really good idea to add a blog so that you have an easy way of adding fresh content on a regular basis. WordPress is by far the easiest and most rewarding system for allowing members of the team to add content simply and effectively. Creating a blog can take a boring website to a completely different level.
You may be thinking that this will be a lot of work–and there is work involved–but you can dramatically lighten the load if you invite other, qualified writers to guest post for you.
This one is obvious but it’s amazing how many people are not taking full advantage of their potential traffic from RSS. If you have a blog you need a way for people to sign up so they can be reminded when you post fresh content. Make sure it’s really easy (and obvious) to sign up for your site’s RSS feed.
Video and Audio Content
Video is all the rage now, and you may be wondering why so many websites are going to such great lengths to post videos on their website. The truth is, people love media files. Audio is fantastic but Video is simply out of this world for creating buzz, community and brand identity. If you have created a video for your website though, don’t just post it on your site. Post it on YouTube.com and other video hosting sites–and watch your traffic take off. If you have a video worth watching you’ll be amazed at how much extra traffic you’ll get from YouTube–not to mention valuable links back to your site.
Create a List
If you don’t have some way for people to sign up for a list on your website you’re wasting a huge opportunity. A list is a way of communicating with your target market, letting them know about developments and special offers, and getting them to pass the word on to people they know. Tip: offer a gift in return for a set number of introductions (say five signups in return for a valuable report or video).
Just about all truly successful websites have some form of members area where those who sign up can take advantage of resources and/or applications that are truly of value. The emphasis being on value. Offer your members something they’ll be able to use again and again and you’ll have a captive audience. You can get people to sign up to start with by offering them a free gift, also of value.
Launch Your Site
If you are planning significant changes and improvements on your website you can set a day for a launch, and provide a way for people to sign up to be part of the launch one way or another. Some of the ways you can make your launch special includes:
- Have a draw, offering free services or some other prize.
- Have some kind of a joint venture with another, compatible business. An example of this would be McDonald’s partnering with Pepsi or Coke.
- Offer coupons for potential customers via your launch newsletter (great way to get people to sign up).
- Keep friends and customers informed about your launch via social media, particularly Twitter. On Facebook, you can start a group and a fan page–this can result in a dramatic increase in traffic.
Creating sites that provide links back to your main website is a great idea for many reasons. Out of this you get backlinks, traffic, and you create a wider net to draw more traffic.
You can create your own websites as feeder sites, using keyword domains, or you can make use of free networks such as wikis (and if you’re not sure what a wiki is, here’s an explanation), Squidoo, and Spruz, to name just a few. There are hundreds of options out there.
Starting a forum for people who’d like to discuss ideas or anything about your niche can be a superb traffic-creation plan. Again, it needs a little work but once you have everything set up, you can appoint a few moderators and the thing might well need next -to-no upkeep. This is a wonderful way to build community as well as extend your brand reach too.