The A to Z Guide
to Getting Website Traff´c
By Shawn Campbell
In September of 1999, Brett Tabke wrote "26 Steps to 15k a
Day" in the Webmaster World forum. A lot has changed since
then, and now is the time to consider a new 26-step plan that
meets the current needs of webmasters in 2006. Some of the
old ones still apply (writing new content everyday, for example),
and some don't (submitting to the search engines is no longer
necessary), and we're here to tell you which is which! As
you probably already know, bringing in traff´c is not easy
- it takes hard work, determination and lots of elbow grease.
So if you're ready, roll up your sleeves and follow these
26 simple steps, and within just one year you will generate
enough traff´c to keep you busy for a long, long time!
Before you do anything else, use a keyword research tool and
do an extensive job researching the right keyphrases to use
for your site. What keyphrases are your direct competitors
using? Are there any keyphrases that create a potential for
market entry? Are there any that you can put a spin on and
create a whole new niche with?
If you want to brand your company name, then choose a domain
name that reflects it. If your company is Kawunga, then get
www.kawunga.com. If it's taken, then get www.kawungawidgets.com.
No dashes, and no more than two words in the domain if appropriate.
Avoid the Sandbox
Buy your domain name early, as soon as you have chosen your
keyphrases and your company name. Get it hosted right away
and put up a quick one page site saying a little about who
you are, what you sell, and that there will be more to come
soon. Make sure it gets crawled by Google and Yahoo (either
submit it or link to it from another site).
Create over 30 pages of real, original content on your site.
This will give the spiders something to chew on. It will also
give you more opportunities to been seen in the search engine
results for a wide variety of keyphrases.
Use the "Keep It Simple" principle. Employ an external CSS
file, clean up any Java Scripts by referring to them off the
page in an external file, don't use frames, use flash the
way you would an image, and no matter what, do not create
a flash site. Do not offer a busy site with lots of bells
and whistles to your visitors. Keep things nice and simple.
Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for and
they'll have no reason to look anywhere else.
The less kilobytes your page uses, the better - especially
for the home page. Optimize your images and make sure the
page loads quickly. Most people and businesses in the Western
world may have high speed, but cell phones and other countries
might not. If your site loads slowly, you may have already
lost your visitor before they've even had a chance to browse
Make sure that your site follows good usability rules. Remember
that people spend more time on other sites, so don't violate
design conventions. Don't use PDF files for online reading.
Change the colours for visited links, and use good headers.
Look up usability for more tips and tricks, it will be worth
On Site Optimization
Use the keyphrase you have chosen in your title (most important),
your headers (when appropriate), and within the text. Make
sure that your page/content is ABOUT your keyphrase. If you
are selling widgets, than write about widgets. Don't just
stick the word widgets into the text.
Globals are the links that remain the same on every page.
They are the reference for new visitors to keep them from
getting lost. Sometimes they are on the left of the page,
sometimes they consist of tabs at the top. Often they are
in the footer of the page as well. Make sure that you have
an old style text version of your globals on every page. I
usually create tabs at the top, and put the text versions
in the footer at the bottom of the page. Find out what works
best for you.
Use bold headers. On the Internet, people scan they don't
read. So initially, all they will see are the headers. If
your headers don't address their concerns, they won't stick
around long enough to read your content. Use appropriate keyphrases
when you can.
Build a site map with a link to each of your pages. Keep it
up to date. This will allow the spiders to get to every page.
Put a text link to the site map on the main pages.
Add a page every 2-3 days: 200-500 words. Create original
content, don't copy others. The more original and useful it
is, the more people will read it, link to it, and most importantly
of all - like it enough to keep coming back for more.
White Hat Only
Stay away from black hat optimizing techniques. Black hat
optimization consists of using any method to get higher rankings
that the search engines would disapprove of, such as keyword
stuffing, doorway pages, invisible text, cloaking and more.
Stick to white hat methods for long-term success. People who
use black hat optimization are usually there for the short-term,
such as in p÷rn, gambling, and V´agra markets (just look at
your email sp@m for more black hat markets). These black hat
industry sites are usually around just long enough to make
a quick buck.
Who is linking to your competition? Use Yahoo's "link:" service
to see the back links of your competition. For example, type
in "link:http://www.yourdomain.com" into Yahoo search without
the quotes). Try to get links from the same sites as your
direct competitors. Better yet, see if you can replace them!
Submit to five groups of directories:
Dmoz.org and Yahoo (local, such as Yahoo.co.uk, or Yahoo.ca,
etc... if you can).
2. Find directories in your field and get into them.
Pay if you must, but only if the price is reasonable.
3. Local directories that relate to your country or
4. Any other directories that would be appropriate.
5. If you are targeting the local market, make sure
that you are in the Yellow Pages and Superpages (because search
engines use these listings to power local searches)
Start a blog about your industry and write a new entry at
least once a week. Allow your visitors to comment or, better
yet, write their own entries. This will create even more content
on your site and will keep people coming back regularly to
see what is new.
to page 2 of this information
About The Author
Shawn Campbell is an enthusiastic player in the ecommerce
marketplace, and co-founded Red
Carpet Web Promotion, Inc.. He has been researching and
developing marketing strategies to achieve more prominent
listings in search engine results since 1998. Shawn is one
of the earliest pioneers in the search
engine optimization field.