HighlyStructured.com is a blog website run by Mike D'Agostino about search engine positioning, online marketing, php/MySQL, tae kwon do, and various other topics.

Online Marketing Plan To Increase Website Traffic

March 13, 2006

Long gone are the days when it was enough to stuff a keyword META tag with terms to get a website ranked on the front page of the major search engines. Long gone also are the days when a new "dot-com" venture could lure the curiosity of enough visitors to a website to keep it around for an extended period of time. Nowadays every serious Internet venture has a team of people working on their online marketing and search engine optimization plans. With so many sites vying for precious attention from possible visitors, it is imperative to have a solid marketing foundation to ensure steady traffic and good search engine positioning.

This plan is really just an outline of a technique I've used on a few sites of my own. I'm not telling you how to write your content, who to contact, or which programs to use, simply just a workflow to grab some kind of online market share with your website. There are really only two key areas: producing search engine optimized content, and broadcasting that content.

The first step to increasing website traffic is to produce a quality website that can be updated. Whether your site incorporates a blog, an articles section, or however you can do it, you need to have a constantly-updating website. This shows the search engines you are an active site and more importantly, you will be providing information to your visitors, which they will value. Blogs are a natural fit here since, by default, they are updated frequently and automatically contain opinions and editorial on relevant content. It is important when creating this content to optimize it for the search engines. This includes, among other things, a keyword-rich title tag, a descriptive META description tag, using keywords throughout the body text, etc. If you do not know the "ins and outs" of search engine optimization it would be worth investigating an expert for guidance.

Great, now you have a website being updated on a regular basis with search engine optimized content! This will help you gain exposure from the search engines, but you still need to get people to your site! It's now time that you begin to broadcast your content. This can be accomplished by creating your own email list. It may be tricky in the beginning since you may not have a list of email addresses to send out to, but you can acquire opt-in lists from a number of sources on the Internet. You should though have an opt-in email list form on your site and entice visitors every which way to sign up for your newsletters.

Once you have your list it's time to start sending out emails. Online services like Constant Contact or standalone programs such as Mail List King are good choices to start broadcasting your emails. I also suggest jumping on the bandwagon now before it gets too packed and incorporate an RSS feed on your site.

What do you actually send out to your email list? The content produced on your site! This plan is great because you are automatically developing content for your newsletter every time you post something new to your site. Your newsletter should contain a couple posts from your website and some other items of interest to your audience (poll questions, industry facts, a sponsor, upcoming events, etc.).

Once you get going you will have started a rotation for bringing steady and new traffic to your website. Your optimized content will help gain exposure from the search engines and add fuel to your newsletter. Your newsletter will keep people coming back to your site which will, in turn, show the search engines that you are an active site and, in turn, help even more with your search engine exposure. What you will have is a finely tuned traffic-producing machine which will form the foundation of a successful online marketing campaign.

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