I Need Real Visitors, NOT Search Spiders!

The answer to the first question is simple, the difference between spiders and visitors is dollars. Good old fashion sales, cha ching! ring the cash register. Without quality visitors all of your SEO, website analysis, and keyword ranking nightmares, not to mention the 1000's of hours you spent changing and tweaking the look of you website, everything, was a waste of your precious time.

Don't get me wrong, you do want the spiders to visit your website and without all the work mentioned above they wouldn't stay very long or come back. But remember search spiders are very, very small and hopped up on caffeine go pills. They are faster than an F-16 and make more stops in one hour than Santa does on Christmas Eve. They have no time to stop and shop. Even if they did where would they carry the plastic? They don't have any pockets or purses to carry a wallet. Their only job is to take a quick look at your site and split to the next URL in the queue. They are mindless robots with one mission.

Secondly, Even if you do your SEO job as good or better than 95% of the webmasters out there you still aren't going to make the first page! Figure it out, do the math. Between Google, MSN & Yahoo there are only 30 first page spots per given keyword or phrase. That's out of what? 6 quad trillion pages! The shear size of the web spun by these spiders is staggering! MSN alone reported today it has 6 billion pages of data in there "three month old" search index. Add to that Google, Yahoo and AOL and, well you get the picture. For you or me to get to the first page is almost impossible. Can you change the way things are? No Way baby, it isn't a reflection on your optimization work it's just the way it is.

To quote a true expert in the field, Dean Philips

". . . Because when you stop to consider that Google, DMOZ and Yahoo! have millions and millions of pages in their directories, you'd really have a better chance of winning the lottery, than getting high enough in the results pages where it's going to make a significant difference in your traffic."

The answer to the second question, "How do I get more visitors to my website?" is a little harder to give a definitive answer to. There are as many opinions available as there are SEO websites and so called "Experts". But the bottom line is there are ways.

You have the tools, use them

If you are a website owner and/or you have a good webmaster you have the tools at your disposal already. Most people would think that link exchanging is one way but it's as old and worn out as that pair tennis shoes you have stuffed under your bed that your wife has been telling you to throw away. Paying for banner ads on other "same type content" websites will work to some extent but the best website choices are usually your direct competitors and giving them your hard earned money makes no sense at all. Google AdSense blocks seem to be on everyone website maybe that will work to bring in some income. Maybe, but it doesn't move your stock off the shelves and it won't pay your employees or truck payment. Lastly, you could try Google AdWords advertising, I know first hand that it works to bring in traffic. But watch out, if you don't manage it right it will get expensive quick.

Heard enough? All of those ideas at one time or another were very good and a couple still work if used sparingly in conjunction with a good overall marketing plan. The spiders have spun this web so big and so tight that if you don't have a good marketing plan you will get stuck and lost. You simply just have to have a plan and find alternative ways to attract real traffic to your website. More traffic will turn into more sales and that is what we all need.

If you have been looking around the web for an SEO expert to help you bail the water out of your leaky dingy I am sure you've noticed the same trends I did. Virtually everyone, not all but close, has taken the Lemming approach to there SEO work, "Follow Google". First its "we need to fill your meta tags with crap" then its "you need a Reciprocal links index" no wait "now you need only one way links" Enough already. That's fine for the big corporations, they have huge advertising budgets and enough bank to finance $10,000 per month, go in every direction optimization projects. That's fine for those SEO firms that currently have these big bucks corporate clients under contract. What about you and me? How do we get our fair share of the visitors and give us a fighting chance to make a living?

The answer is "Forget everything you've read and go back to what you know!"

The reason you got into your business in the first place was because you had a product that you knew a lot about and had good success selling it to the neighborhood. In fact, before you mortgaged your house and spent your kids' first year of college tuition to get involved in the WWW you knew EVERYTHING about that product. You were the Guru, the expert. I've got news for you friend, you still are. No matter what Google says.

Now all we have to do is prove it. I say we because from this point forward we're partners. You're still in charge, you still pay all the bills and spend all the profits, but together we are going to get the word out about your great website.

That's great Michael, but how?

With a great overall marketing plan using today's SEO techniques coupled with the old school marketing that you used for so many years. Add that together with a few new ideas and we will be back on top in a few short months.

First off you need Content! Anyone who has known me for long knows that I believe Content is King. Even if you are a product sales website with 1000's of sku's you still need good solid content to bring your customers in and keep them on your site. Long enough to hear about your products and see your great prices. In fact if you have half that many products the content articles are the most important part of the equation. Content holds the key to breaking free of the cocoon and making the spiders pay attention to your website again. So many good things can be said about content that I hardly know where to start.

Well written product articles, featured reviews, test drives, product comparisons, almost any written content will give you untold opportunities to flood the spiders data bank with keywords and phrases. Not just 10 words or 30 words but hundreds of keywords and phrases. Articles will help educate your customers before they buy saving your customer service reps countless hours. These educated customers will come back and tell their friends about your great site. Other webmasters will hear about your website resulting in links and possible affiliates. The benefits are endless.

Discussion boards used to be the big thing. Now, unless you have a tremendous amount of traffic they aren't worth the time it takes to maintain. Blogs or weblogs on the other hand are reasonably new and easy to maintain and a great way to pass on information to your prospective customers and the search engines love them. In fact if you start one, your product weblog may be the first of its kind, I don't think I have ever seen a blog about widgets?

The point is you have the knowledge to make this work. You don't need someone to do all the work you. Like Santa you just need a good helper. If you are not a good writer then practice or hire someone who is. If you need help getting this project started give me a call. Just do it!

Michael Klasno is an Assisted SEO Marketing Specialist and CEO of Net Performance Group Inc. Net Performance specializes in fishing and outdoor website design and marketing. For more internet marketing articles by this author please visit: http://www.netperformancegroup.com/A rticles/articles.htm

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