Increase traffic and improve your sales conversion ratios in a day? Impossible… or is it? Take the next 24 hours to implement the following tried and tested tactics. Integrate them into your ongoing business and marketing plans, and, executed properly, they can have a significant impact on traffic levels and the browser-to-buyer conversion success of your site.
1. Signup with Google.com’s AdWords Program
Google.com is one of the largest and most popular engines on the Web today, due to the speed and accuracy of its search engine. Literally thousands of searches are conducted on Google.com every day using keywords related to your site!
And now Google.com offers a new advertising service, AdWords, which allows you to purchase specific search terms. When a user enters these terms, your text ad, which can be targeted to the user on the basis of language and country, appears on the search results page. The price you pay for your AdWords is based on the position in which the results appear on the results page. And Google.com determines this position according to how many users click on those particular words over time.
The trick is to buy highly targeted keywords, so that only very qualified users (those searching for specific information in a limited field) will be exposed to your ad. Exposing your ad only to those who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer increases your conversion ratios, and generates a greater ROI.
Because there are thousands of searches a day, Google.com’s AdWords could become one of your biggest sales drivers. For more details, see the Google AdWords pages – they have plenty of tips.
2. Pay-Per-Click with Goto.com
Goto.com is a powerful pay-per-listing search engine. The trick is to pay for a position within the top 3. Depending on your product, how much gross profit you make, and what your conversion ration is, you may be able to profit very well with the top spot. Why is the #1 position so important? Goto.com is actually a relatively small search engine compared to the others, but its power comes from search partners with which Goto.com is affiliated. Goto’s top search results reach 75% of all Internet users, through their affiliate partner network, which includes America Online, Microsoft Internet Explorer, EarthLink, Lycos, and AltaVista! But these partner sites only show Goto.com’s top one to three results for any search – so bid for the top spot if you can afford it.
The good thing about Goto.com is that you only pay when someone clicks on your link. Top spots can cost you anywhere from 0.01 cents to over $4, depending on the keyword, and your listing appears in around 3 days. It’s more effective to buy about 20 highly targeted keywords, than it is to have just one very expensive but more general keyword. So, with pay-per-click engines like Goto, it’s worth doing your homework and compiling a number of very specific and targeted keywords.
3. Listing with DMOZ
DMOZ.org, or the open directory project, actually powers the search results of several of the top search engines, and listing is free! It takes about 3 weeks for your site to be indexed once you submit it, and may take up to a couple of months for your listing to actually appear in the search results on engines that use DMOZ.
DMOZ listings are arranged in alphabetical order according to domain name, so the closer your domain name to the beginning of the alphabet, the higher your listing will be. And don’t forget to include your primary keyword phrase – the one most people use to find your site – in your Website name (title) and its description.
4. Register with Yahoo!
Yahoo!, the big gorilla of the Internet, has immense reach. Your Yahoo! registration is essential – it can deliver as much as 50% of your traffic â€“ or even more! Fortunately, you can now get listed with Yahoo! in 7 days for a cost of just $199. And you’ll earn back this investment in a matter of days from the traffic you’ll receive on a well-chosen keyword.
Again, it’s handy to have a domain name which starts with a letter that’s close to the beginning of the alphabet, and to include your primary keyword phrase – the one most people use to find your site – in your Website name (title) and its description.
Once your site’s listed, consider signing up to have it sponsored within Yahoo! This service costs between $25 to $300 or more a month, depending on the category. Sponsored sites appear in a separate, clearly demarcated listing box, located on appropriate category pages, which draws users’ attention and can mean more traffic for your site!
5. LookSmart Listings
LookSmart might not be used very much as an independent service, but Looksmart listings reach over 83% of Web users through its extensive partner network: its listings actually reach a much wider audience than even Yahoo! can provide! LookSmart currently delivers search solutions to leading Internet portals, 370 ISPs and 600,000 Web sites including the Microsoft Network, AltaVista, Excite@Home, iWon, Time Warner, Sony, British Telecom, US West, AltaVista, Netscape Netcenter and NetZero. Your LookSmart listing is obviously another essential traffic tactic.
Recent changes to the service mean that, for around $199, your site can now be listed on LookSmart in 2 days, and its partner sites will pick up your listing shortly afterwards – usually within a few days or weeks. As with many of the other search network services, it will increase your exposure if your domain name starts with a letter that’s close to the beginning of the alphabet. Again, remember to include your primary keyword phrase – the one most people use to find your site – in your Website name (title) and its description.
DirectHit/AskJeeves offers a paid text ad system similar to Google.com’s. Your linked ad appears alongside the search results for every search topic you sponsor on the AskJeeves site. Your ad also accompanies relevant search results on all Jeeves Text Sponsorship Network participating sites, including MSN, Searchalot, Bomis.com, SuperCyberSearch, and Direct Hit. Your ads appear within a few days, and a minimum deposit of just $25 will get you started.
7. Doorway Pages
There are still 11 search engines that drive almost 84% of traffic (especially new users) to Websites. Even some engines that use DMOZ and Looksmart databases also have their own index. They key here is getting your listing to appear in the top 1 to 3 pages of results for relevant keyword searches.
Two things determine where you will be ranked. One is ‘page factors,’ which refers to elements contained in your pages, and which you can easily control. The other is ‘link factors,’ which takes into account the number and quality of any other sites that link to your site. Obviously, this variable is harder to control.
Remember that it’s more effective to have many well ranked pages, than it is to have just one page which has a number 1 ranking. Read that sentence again. You’ll gain more extensive exposure and enjoy significantly more traffic if you have many well ranking pages, than if you have a single page with a number 1 ranking! So, create hundreds of pages for a large number of keywords, rather than just establishing one or two top ranking pages for just a few keywords.
Ensure also that your keywords are all related to your site content, otherwise you may be banned from important, more popular search engines, which would severely limit the traffic you’d easily be able to attract.
There are a number of services and software packages that can generate and submit your site to search services, with associated costs anywhere between $39 for a downloadable, DIY software product, to several thousand dollars for a consulting firm to create the pages for you. These firms usually charge a setup fee of between a few hundred, and a few thousand dollars, plus a fee for each click-through the doorway pages deliver.
Not all software packages or consultants will do the job well, so find out as much as possible about the service you’re considering, and its alternatives, before handing over your money. You should especially avoid a solution that creates these pages using templates â€“ this can result in duplication, which is frowned upon by the engines.
8. Write a Press Release
This is another great source of free publicity, though it doesn’t necessarily guarantee media attention upon release. A number of companies, like Xpresspress provide release-writing services, but you can also find tips for writing your own release on their Website.
Think carefully about who you’ll send your release to – you’ll need to make sure the publications you approach have a readership who will be interested in your product or service. Also, always include newsworthy information in your press release, so that the journalist or editor you’ve approached has a hook or angle on which to base their story.
9. Write Articles
This is a powerful tool! Write articles and submit them for publication in relevant ezines/newsletters whose readership fits your target audience characteristics. In all articles, make sure you carefully, and subtly, reference your site, and include a bio of yourself that contains your url. Obtain a list of ezines from EzineSource.com. Ezine Money is a popular and inexpensive writing course for those interested in writing for ezines.
10. Submission to Search Engines
Search Engine Commando is the product I use to submit my pages to search engines. But whatever package you use, be careful! Most search engines have very specific rules as to what they expect and require of submissions. And it’s up to you to ensure your submissions are responsible and in agreeance with the rules of each individual search engine.
11. Joint Venture
Begin research on potential partners â€“ teaming up on the Web can be really advantageous. Try to locate a firm who have a product or service that’s complimentary to your own, and who have a mailing list that’s at least as large as yours. Such potential partners provide huge opportunities for cross-promotion through product reviews, newsletter and site link exchanges, and content syndication.
12. Start your own Mailing List
Most of your revenue will come from repeat sales, and this is where a mailing list can be very worthwhile. Regular communications with your customers reminds them that you exist, and provides opportunities for dialogue with clients and prospects. Consider these hints:
- Think outside the newsletter. Use your mailing list for special announcements, invitations to valued customers to purchase in advance, and other value-add information.
- Offer your users something in return for their email address â€“ a chance to win a prize, for example, or a free product trial.
- Put in place processes that make it easy to expand your mailing list:
- Get email addresses from each customer upon purchase
- Request an email address before your provide prospects with free product trials, or as a mandatory on your site contact form.
- Be proactive about email marketing. Keep records of past purchases per customer, so that you can contact them when a new product that might interest them comes into stock. Or send seasonal greetings with a special offer attached at Christmas and Easter.
- The best email collection tools are those that automatically follow up your mailings, and allow you to send a mass email whenever necessary. Aweber is a great collection tool, and is affordably priced.
Tomorrow we reveal the remaining 12 secrets to increase qualified traffic and improve your sales conversion ratios. See you then!