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SEO Success - Step Two is Attracting Search Engine Attention
by: Chesa Keane
Once the website has been created and published, many new website owners think that the web development project is finished. But in reality, the real work is just beginning. In order to create a money-making site, traffic must be generated and driven to the website. There are several effective methods that can be implemented in Tier II of the SEO strategy to create this web traffic. While all methods may not be required to realize successful traffic generation, some combination of most, if not all, will probably be needed to create traffic, maintain traffic and finally, grow traffic to your website with long-term, lasting results. Consider implementing these strategies:

- Dynamic content is necessary for search engine recognition, and by updating the website frequently, the search engines see your website as an active, not stagnate, website. How often should changes be made? At the very least, monthly. But the more frequent the changes, the better. There are some tried and true methods you may want to employ:

- Monthly newsletter (or weekly)
- Tip of the day that rotates to the page using a script from an existing database of information at your site
- RSS feed to public news feeds that update hourly or daily at the least
- Changes to contact information, staffing, clients, etc.
- Checking the links frequently to make sure that they are active and valid, and changing the link text from time to time will register as a change to the page
- Simple modification of content from time to time should be done in between these regular maintenance tasks which will update the website

- Good links management will result in a stronger weight given by the search engines for search positioning. The algorithms used for weighting one page over another require link popularity assessment for successful traffic to your website. Link popularity is also one of the main considerations for Google and Alexa Page Rank. How do you achieve link popularity? It can be tedious and requires careful attention to the selection of the links, but there are several means that can be employed:

- Reciprocal Links - Search for relevant and desired web pages with which to trade links
- Purchase Page Rank-based links - boost your relevance and weight in the eyes of search engines by purchasing links for a period of time, three to six months until you have achieved a better ranking
- List with directories - paid or unpaid directory listing that are relevant to your website will give your website additional exposure
- Anchor text - create the links with link text in mind, utilizing relevant keywords where possible
- PageRank consideration - link only with websites that have decent PageRank (PR); i.e., PR of 3 could be a minimum but a PR of 4 would be a better minimum requirement from those pages who want to exchange links with you
- Blogs - web logs linked to your site or posting to popular blogs with your links included to point traffic back to your site; a good strategy is to employ pinging with the blog posting
- Forums - forum participation that allows you to leave your link with the intent of attracting traffic back to your site can get traffic back to your website, however, take care that you actually offer something of value in your posting so you are not accused of spamming
- Search engine listings - listing with the few free search engines and directories is an essential step, although you won't see any results for months
- Gather opt-in email addresses - utilize an email list subscription function on your website with the intent of sending e-newsletters and announcements on a regular basis. This subscription list can be used for several other campaigns, including the sale of advertising space on your newsletter.
- Advertise on ezines - purchase sponsorship on other email lists where you can promote your product and/or services as well as links to your website in the process.

- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns with Google and Yahoo Search Marketing where you purchase advertising space based on keywords that are popular for your website if you are not in a saturated market. If your business operates in a saturated internet market, seek niche keywords for your PPC advertising. Determine your budget first and from there, you will know how much you can afford for the positioning you desire. It's all mathematical:

- Price Per Click = monthly budget/number of clicks or
- Number of clicks = monthly budget/price per click

Some suitable combination of price and number of clicks based on your own budget will result in a campaign you can monitor and adjust as necessary. The important result to watch for is the conversion rate. How many paid clicks convert into the desired result; i.e., new contract, sale of product, sign up for e-newsletter, etc.

Remember that the website is only the first step. Driving traffic to your site is the next important task. Layout a plan of action and follow-through. You are not going to realize success until you spend the time and energy - or pay someone else for their time and energy - to get the job done.

(c)2005. TAO Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author:
Chesa Keane of TAO Consultants has been involved with the internet for 10 years through internet consulting, web development and search engine optimization. Go to www.computergoddess.comfor a free Search Engine Optimization Checklist.

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