You may be thinkingâ€¦ 3 ways? Is that it!
Three does seem to be a pretty poor effort, but thereâ€™s a surprise hereâ€¦ And the surprise is that these three traffic generating strategies do not need you to rebuild your website, neither do they require you to redesign the look of your website, rewrite the content of a single page or invest in spamming, spoofing or generally attempting to trick search engines.
These three ways of getting more traffic to your website are based purely on the technology side of the Internet equation - the hidden foundation that makes up the web where search engines, bots, spiders and software lurks.
With these three strategies your traffic will increase.
1. Add Metadata to Your Pages
If youâ€™ve ever read, listened to or watched a presentation on SEO youâ€™ll be familiar with the idea of adding metadata to your website pages; usually in the form of a Title, Description and string of Keywords. For people using WordPress to manage their websites the most popular SEO plug-in for this purpose is All-in-One-SEO. Everyone else is likely paying a lot of money to an SEO expert who does this for you.
However, there is a lot more to metadata than just Title, Description and Keywords. In fact there are whole other types of information you can add to make your pages far more desirable to search engines. Specifically Rich Snippets and Good Relations, both of these types of metadata are intended to add additional information especially for search engines to your sales and product pages.
Our friends over at Semantia told us about one of their clients, who had contacted them for help in January 2011 (3 months ago) with this story.
After a couple of weeks they discovered that the web hosting company had put up a web page that had a few of the images from their website, but was filled with keywords some of which linked back to their website. Thinking nothing of it, promptly forgot about it.
However, within six months this web page was out ranking their own website on pretty much every term they had previously dominated and they began to notice a slow and steady decline in their visitor numbers. This page dominated the clientâ€™s analytics as a referrer (which was OK) however they were horrified to discover that their actual total visitor numbers had declined due to this middleman page.
A year on and with visitor numbers still dropping, they began speaking with traditional SEO experts who were recommending changing their website so that it had lots more occurrences of their keywords in the content. As a catalogue website for architects the client knew that this approach would severely impact on their reputation, compromise the information they provided and so didnâ€™t want to take this path.
Eventually they discovered Semantia, a company that specializes in Semantic Web technologies, and contacted them about their situation.
The guys at Semantia realised that the best solution for the problem was to add additional metadata to the website to help the search engines understand the value of the information that the clients website contained. The metadata they chose to implement was Good Relations because it allows both business and product descriptive metadata.
Within three weeks of the new metadata going in, the website was out ranking the middleman page on several of vital keywords. Semantia reported that as of now (end of March 2011) the website out ranks the page on all keywords for their clients business and has achieved over a 60% increase in traffic volumes.
The client is absolutely thrilled with the results. It has meant that not a pixel was changed to the look or content displayed on their website, they solved their problem with the middleman page and as a bonus are getting even more traffic than theyâ€™d got before they relocated to the new web hosting.
Unlike adding traditional SEO metadata, adding Good Relations metadata is still at the â€˜geekâ€™ phase and requires a little know how. Fortunately there is an online tool you can use to create Good Relations metadata, once youâ€™ve done this you need to get it into the pages of your website; so depending on your level of skill as a web developer you may need assistance with this.
Googleâ€™s Rich Snippets is an entirely different beast. There still remains a bit of a vacuum when it comes to easy to use tools for creating your metadata, although Google do provide a Rich Snippets Testing Tool and quite a lot of documentation.
If all this sounds ridiculously complicated and youâ€™d like someone else to get it done super fast for you, we recommend you contact experts like Semantia.
2. Submit Your Website to Search Engines
No matter what it is, if it werenâ€™t for search engines your website, web store, blog, squeeze page, video, ebook, podcast, photo, song, software app, webinar or slideshow would remain totally undiscovered, in isolation on a web server somewhere on the Internet.
Weâ€™ve had the luxury over the last 7 years of have just a few dominant search engines responsible for keeping track of all these web things, making them findable and as a result being in charge of all the online traffic.
If youâ€™re a follower of trends or believe in the cyclical nature of things, then youâ€™ll recognize that sooner or later things change radically, markets that are up suddenly fall or vice versa. The same applies to things online. Once upon a time Netscape was 'the' web browser, AltaVista was 'the' search engine and MySpace was 'the' social network.
With the current dominance of the Google search engine, itâ€™s hard to imagine that there could ever be anything that could ever replace it.
The IT departments of universities havenâ€™t stopped educating computer genius, so thereâ€™s always an opportunity for a game changer to appear, especially now that mobile phones are looking to be the next big thing on the web.
So rather than sit back and pretend that it could never happen, spend some time and make sure that even those weird currently unheard of search engines know about your website so that if there is a paradigm shift youâ€™ve minimized the risks.
Here are several lists of some of the current search engines that are available - some English language regions and some International ones, if youâ€™re interested in investigating new regions.
List of Search Engines
Abilogic - http://www.abilogic.com/how-to-submit/
Active Search Results - http://www.activesearchresults.com/addwebsite.php
Amfibi - http://www.amfibi.com/addurl/
Anoox - http://www.anoox.com/add_for_indexing_free.php
Antya - http://www.antya.com/antya.php
Beamed - http://www.beamed.com/search/AddURL.html
Bing â€“ http://www.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx
CoolFishy - http://www.coolfishy.com/SubURL.htm
CorrectSearch - http://www.correctsearch.com/common/register.php?ref=sub
DMOZ - http://www.dmoz.org/add.html
Duck Duck Go - http://duckduckgo.com/zero.html
Entireweb - http://www.entireweb.com/free_submission/
ExactSeek - http://www.exactseek.com/add.html
Famhoo - http://www.famhoo.com/suggestsite.html
Foovy - http://www.foovy.com/cgi-bin/addurl.cgi?cid=195
GigaBlast - http://www.gigablast.com/addurl
Google - http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl
Iconnic - http://iconnic.com/SubmitURL.htm
Igwanna - http://www.igwanna.com/submit.php
InfoTiger - http://www.infotiger.com/addurl.html
Jayde - http://www.jayde.com/submit.html
Lycos - http://insite.lycos.com/
MixCat - http://www.mixcat.com/addurl.php
NerdWorld - http://www.nerdworld.com/ww_add_a_link.html
Search Engine.com - http://www.searchengine.com/List_Your_Site/Basic_Submit/
Search-o-rama - http://search-o-rama.com/AddURL.asp
SearchSight - http://searchsight.com/submit.htm
Scrub the Web - http://www.scrubtheweb.com/addurl.html
Shoula - http://www.shoula.com/submit.php
SiteFind - http://www.sitefind.biz/index.php?action=add_site
SonicRun - http://www.sonicrun.com:8081/add
Spiffy Search - http://www.spiffysearch.com/addurl/
Tower Search - http://www.towersearch.com/addurl.php
TrafficZap - http://www.trafficzap.com/searchsubmit.php
Ultimate Web Search - http://www.uwad.com/search/addurl.htm
Walhello - http://www.walhello.com/addlinkgl.html
Web Squash - http://www.websquash.com/cgi-bin/search/search.pl?Mode=AnonAdd
WhatUSeek - http://www.whatuseek.com/addurl-secondary.shtml
Yahoo â€“ http://add.yahoo.com/fast/add?54397758
Yoozila - http://search.yoozila.com/about
List of International Search Engines
Abraham Search (Italy) - http://www.abrahamsearch.com/inserimento.php
Acoon (Germany) - http://www.acoon.de/addurl.asp
AdmCity (China) - http://www.admcity.com/search/addurl.shtml
Amidalla (Germany) - http://www.amidalla.de/add.htm
Aport (Russia) - http://catalog.aport.ru/rus/add/AddUrl.aspx
Baidu (China) - http://www.baidu.com/search/url_submit.html
DeepIndex (France) - http://www.deepindex.fr/webmasters.php
Fastbot (Germany) - http://www.fastbot.de/fastbot.php
Go.com (France) - http://utile.autre.net/a004.html
Gogo (Russia) - http://go.mail.ru/addurl
Guruji (India) - http://dir.guruji.com/misc/SubmitSite.php
Harmony Search (?) - http://hamo-search.com/regist.php
i-Gloo (France) - http://www.i-gloo.net/annuaire.html
Mouse Click (Germany) - http://www.mouse-click.de/search/index.php?action=add_site
Nigma (Russia) - http://www.nigma.ru/index_menu.php?action=click_menu&menu_element=add_site
Rambler (Russia) - http://robot.rambler.ru/cgi-bin/addsite.cgi
Rediff (India) - http://www.rediff.com/search/submit.htm
Search.ch (Switzerland) - http://www.search.ch/addurl.en.html
Seeknet (Poland) - http://www.seeknet.pl/strona_en.php?par=dodaj0
Semager (Germany) - http://www.semager.de/api/addurl.php
Seznam (Czech Republic) - http://search.seznam.cz/pridej-stranku
Zatka (India) - http://zatka.com/addurl.php
ZhongSou (China) - http://ads.zhongsou.com/register/page.jsp
ZooHoo (Slovakia) - http://zoohoo.sk/add_document.php
The following list of search engines are specialty search engines, they cater to special human as well as special technology needs. To register your website with these search engines you may need to jump through a few hoops first.
List of Specialty Search Engines
CellNo (Mobile) - http://cellno.net/
Click4WAP (Mobile) - http://click4wap.com/xhtml_index.php
IndexCell (Mobile) - http://indexcell.com/
StopDog (Children) - http://www.stopdog.com/submit
Swoogle (Semantic Web) - http://swoogle.umbc.edu/index.php?option=com_swoogle_service&service=submit
TetterTotter (Children) - http://www.teetertotter.info/add/
WAP Elite (Mobile) - http://twilightwap.com/elite/go/submit
Yahoo (Mobile) â€“ http://search.yahoo.com/free/mobile/request
Because every search engine uses itâ€™s own system and algorithms for indexing websites, your rankings will vary. In other words, just because youâ€™ve bent over backwards to make your website appealing to Google it doesnâ€™t mean that it will make your website as appealing to other search engines.
Being findable is one of the most important things you can do for your online business and website today, so the more search indexes youâ€™re in the better your opportunities for traffic are.
3. Syndicate Your Content with a Datafeed
From a technology standpoint most websites are giant blobs of data and code that sit in a chunk on a computer connected to the Internet. All sorts of IT smoke and mirror tricks are used to make it appear dynamic and interactive, but in reality itâ€™s just a fixed collection of stuff.
Internet Marketers get around this idea of their content being a blog in one place by using strategies like article marketing, video marketing and social media marketing. Basically, theyâ€™re putting bits of their content in other places around the web that draw people to the centralized blob that is their website, web store, online offer, blog or whatever.
Syndication is another way of getting your content distributed to other parts of the web, but done using technology rather than having to upload, publish or post on someone elseâ€™s website.
Just like email is transported around the Internet and uses a different format to the content in your HTML web pages, with syndication the content that already exists in your website is translated into a different type of format and transported around the Internet.
The most common formats used for syndication right now are RSS and XML. When you use these formats to publish your content itâ€™s called a datafeed, or feed for short.
If youâ€™re into Affiliate Marketing you may have encountered datafeeds as a source of content to put into your websites thatâ€™s published through networks such as AvantLink, ShareASale and LinkShare.
Datafeeds are also used to provide real-time share market updates, weather forecasts and foreign exchange rates. Thatâ€™s what those synchronizations on your iPhone, Blackberry, Android phone and other smart phones is all about â€“ fetching datafeeds.
Alternatively, you can publish a datafeed from your own website that is used by other websites.
For example, using an RSS datafeed from your website together with tools such as HootSuite, Twitterfeed and Sendible you are able to automatically update your social media status on websites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace etc.
With an XML datafeed of your website products you can get your merchandise indexed in the Google Products Search Engine, previously known as Froogle.
A datafeed is a technological pseudo-automatic way of distributing your content around the Internet. It gets your content as broadly distributed as you can achieve with other strategies such as article marketing or video marketing.
To get started, you'll want to announce or publish your datafeed somewhere that understands the format and is already a distribution hub, often called a RSS Feed Directory. To get you started on your syndication journey, here is a list of places where you can submit your website RSS datafeed.
List of RSS Feed Directories
9rules - http://9rules.com/about/feeds/
Alltop - http://alltop.com/submission/
Blogaz - http://directory.blogaz.net/submit.html
Blog Collector - http://www.blog-collector.com/submit.php
FeedAgg - http://www.feedagg.com/add_feed.php
Feedage - http://www.feedage.com/promote_your_content.php
FeedAlive - http://www.feedalive.com/submit-suggest-rss-atom-feeds/
Feedburner - http://www.feedburner.com
Feedcat - http://www.feedcat.net/
Feedgy - http://www.feedgy.com/Submit.aspx
FeedListing - http://www.feedlisting.com/submit.php
FeedoOyoo - http://www.feedooyoo.com/
Feeds4All - http://www.feeds4all.nl/
IceRocket - http://www.icerocket.com/
Jordo Media - http://www.jordomedia.com/
MillionRSS - http://www.millionrss.com/add-my-feed.php
Ping-O-Matic - http://pingomatic.com/
Plazoo - http://www.plazoo.com/en/addrss.asp
RSS Buffet - http://www.rssbuffet.com/submit.php
RSS Micro - http://www.rssmicro.com/feedsubmit.web
RSS Mountain - http://rssmountain.com/register.php
RubHub - http://rubhub.com/main/add/
Syndic8 - http://www.syndic8.com/suggest_start.php
URLFan - http://www.urlfanx.com/
Wingee - http://www.wingee.com/submit
Xmeta - http://www.xmeta.net/users/
Using datafeeds means that thereâ€™s no need for trickery like article spinning; you donâ€™t even need to change your content or your website in any way.
And that really is the beauty of all three of these traffic-generating approaches. Not one of them requires you to tamper with, redesign, rebuild or edit your existing website in any way.
These strategies are about using the underlying technology, the hidden stuff, to get the job done as if by magic and having all of them bring you traffic.