SEO

Increase Traffic and Exposure – Step By Step

Whether you are just getting started or have an existing business that you need to infuse some life and growth into, here is a good strategy that you should follow.

Whether you call this your blueprint or your cheatsheet or your To Do List doesn’t matter – just read it, absorb it and get to work on it!  J

While this blueprint/cheatsheet/action plan is based on solid and proven strategies – every industry and every site is different and you need to determine what works for you and then maximize your efforts on those areas to further maximize those results.  (Use a stats program to track your results!)

OK, without further delay, here is the plan….

Lay The Foundation First…

Optimize your site:

OUTSOURCE:

If outsourcing makes the most sense given your time and skill set (in other words if you don’t know how to do it yourself and don’t have the time) you want to start by requesting a consultation or proposal and make sure the firm you are talking to will tell you what they are going to do and what it will cost.  Get all the details, ask for references and make sure they will answer any and all questions until you feel comfortable.

DO IT YOURSELF:

  • Make sure you have clean code – which means  no “code bloat”  (put java script and CSS in external files) and make sure your code isn’t littered with excessive tags and old extraneous code.
  • Write compelling Meta tags that use your keywords well (do not stuff keywords or make a list of keywords, write in compelling sentence format)
  • Do your on-page optimization (bold instances of keywords, place links with keywords as the anchor text in your body content, properly compress images for page load time, name images with keywords, use ALT tags that are both descriptive of the picture but also use a keyword phrase [no keyword stuffing])

NOTE: This is not a license to run wild with the optimization – do all things in moderation and within reason – don’t overdo anything.  Your page should naturally use your keywords.  Focus on 1-3 related keywords per page – keywords that naturally go together.  Don’t spam or keyword stuff.

Set up a WordPress Blog:

OUTSOURCE

If you don’t know how to install or configure a Blog or you don’t know what marketing, SEO and social media plugins you need, you should outsource this step.  Make sure you give the company you outsource to all the details (access to your server – both control panel and FTP access).  Talk to them about the look and feel of the Blog and also let them know how you plan to use the Blog so they can pick a theme that will best meet your needs.

DO IT YOURSELF:

    • Install a WordPress Blog on Your Server as a sub-directory (example:  isellflowers.com/FlowerBlog)
    • Install and configure all SEO, Social Media and Marketing plugins (don’t forget to add your ping list)
    • Make sure your Blog, Twitter and Facebook are all connected so your Blog is feeding your content to your social media sites.
    • Make sure you turn on permalinks so URLs are user and search engine friendly.

Set up a Twitter account:

OUTSOURCE:

Talk to the firm about what they will handle and what you will do yourself.  Find a firm that will work with you and create a custom package to meet your goals and needs .

DO IT YOURSELF:

  • Create a compelling bio that uses one or two of your core keywords.
  • Design custom background that conveys who you are and what you do.
  • Plan your tweet strategy.
  • Start tweeting.
  • Build followers.
  • Don’t just tweet AT people, engage them in conversation

Set Up a Facebook Fan/Business Page:

OUTSOURCE: If you don’t know how to work with HTML and design graphics, you should outsource your Fan Page design to make sure you get a killer page.

DO IT YOURSELF:

  • Don’t just use the default tabs – build a killer FBML tab that allows you to collect leads and really engage users.
  • Add a feature that offers a coupon, or a free report that people get after they click the LIKE button.  Getting something they wouldn’t otherwise get is the biggest reason people become a fan of a page.
  • Start building your Fan Base.
  • In addition to your Blog feeding into the page, drop by and personally leave questions, comments and share info that they can’t get anywhere else to keep them glued to your page

Create a content addition plan:

Make sure you are working off of your keyword list and creating new content on a regular basis.  Try focusing on 1 or 2 keywords per page and write your content “article style” (which means useful, informative and not self promotional because you want to be able to syndicate this content).  Determine how often you can add content and calendar a plan to make sure it happens.

Now you are all set up and running and now the focus is on:  GROWTH

If you are already creating new content for your site or Blog, let’s make sure that you are following an action plan to get you more exposure.

Write articles:

OUTSOURCE: If you aren’t sure you can write compelling copy that will use your keywords well and establish you as an expert with something interesting to say, you should look into outsourcing your writing.  Ask to see samples of previous work and make sure you edit/approve all articles to make sure you are happy with them being out there representing you!

DO IT YOURSELF:

  • Create a compelling bio with calls to action and links to your site (tip: use different bios on different articles and tailor the call to action and the page you link to on your site to the topic of the article)
  • Post your content on your Blog (if you are properly configured, that will feed your content to Facebook and Twitter [which should also feed to LinkedIn] and it should also ping your Blog automatically). Make sure you are using tags and categories and make sure you are either adding Meta tags via All in One SEO Pack or have an SEO Configuration that automatically generates GOOD Meta tags when you post.
  • Submit your RSS feed for more exposure

Comment on other industry Blogs:

  • Skip this step unless you plan to truly add to the conversation and include real useful and thought provoking comments.
  • Link back to different pages on your site.

Continue all social media activities:

  • Don’t just rely on your content being fed from your Blog, you need to personally interact as well.
  • Make sure you have a plan in place to maximize social media sites and grow your follower/fan base as well as engaging them.

After your post is crawled and indexed, submit to article directories:

  • If you are going to submit manually, make sure you compile a list of directories that will give you the most benefit.  Rather than submit manually, you should either outsource or use a submission service.

Bookmark your post at various social media and bookmarking sites:

  • Keep in mind: different social media/social bookmarking sites are for different topics and audiences.  Only submit to appropriate ones!
  • A few to consider:Social news – Propeller, Digg, Reddit

    Social hosting – Weebly, Squidoo, Hubpages, WetPaint

    Bookmarking – Diigo, Mr. Wong, Delicious, Google, Mixx

    Sitemarking – StumbleUpon

Write another article and start the process all over again!

 Increase Traffic and Exposure – Step By Step

Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for www.EcomBuffet.com – a full service SEO, Web Design & Development and Social Media Firm. Since 1998 Jennifer’s expertise in marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue. Jennifer has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer Horowitz is the author of Twitter Quickstart Success Training System, Blogging For Dollars, Optimization Step By Step: 2010 and more. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter at @ecombuffet. For more information on SEO, Twitter training or killer Facebook Fan Pages, contact Jennifer at jennifer@ecombuffet.com.
 Increase Traffic and Exposure – Step By Step

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21 thoughts on “Increase Traffic and Exposure – Step By Step

      1. No, I pretty much knew all that, but with so many “experts” pontificating out there, to read something that gives people what they need and is not just some self-serving crap deserves accolades.

  1. Good Points mentioned here, looking at at it from both points from user side and as an SEO consultant. Thanks

  2. This is very useful and can actually be copied to be an action plan for every business that wants to have traffic on their site. If they can do it right from step one, they will not only increase traffic but also they search ranking tremendously.

  3. Well this is an easy step by step guideline! No reason a person cannot be successful if they just follow it. Wonderful work Jenn

  4. Jennifer,
    Fantastic post! As an SEO professional I am constantly working at increasing my client’s web traffic. Your thoughts are re-affirming my process already so I appreciate that very much. Do you think certain products or services lend to higher web traffic?

    1. Thanks for the kind words!

      Do you mean do certain industries tend to be able to get more traffic than others? Or do you mean can using certain products and services help increase traffic? Sorry, my brain is a little slow waking up today. Just clarify for me what you meant and I’ll share my thoughts. I guess either way, the answer is yes. I think you were asking the first one though – so… Some industries get more traffic than others but with good keyword research and active campaigns, I’ve never found a niche where I couldn’t get traffic and increase things.

  5. We’ve so gotten used to everyone blogging that one questions comes to mind: what about those businesses that don’t have a blog, how do you suggest their grow their traffic/exposure without much of a content strategy to begin with? Are they doomed or do they still have a chance?

    1. You can still use a lot of the strategies with content posted on their site but I would question why they wouldn’t get a Blog? It consistently improves results when added to the mix so I would definitely advise it. But no I won’t go as far as to say they are doomed without one. There are lots of sites without Blogs that use other creative strategies to get results. I just like to use all the various tools at my disposal and if you can get success without a Blog, you can surely increase it that much more with a (good) Blog.

  6. Great post i really appreciate this .. i will definitely implement to get the traffic.. such a great post.

  7. Every company that wants to get traffic to your site. If they can not do it just one step, not only increase traffic, search ranking, but also enormously.

  8. This is a must read post for all the business holder on the internet. Sometimes we just run after a good web designer and in that case we forget about the traffic. It is the traffic which is everything on the internet, otherwise all our efforts will have no effect at all