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Drive Traffic to your Ecommerce Website

In brief: In Brief: Of course, there can be no commerce without customers and creating a flow of customers online is traditionally an arcane art performed with either lots of slime or lots of money. In this guide we're going to overview all ethical traffic sources and then narrow down specifically on building a steady flow of free (organic) search engine traffic to our content pages. In this way, our 'Content Oriented Website' will act as an expansive watershed, capturing many little visitor raindrops and funneling them into our mighty ecommerce reservoir. This is part two of a four-part 'eBiz QuickStart' guide for visitors of http://ezinedesginer.com.

Recap: The Three Pillars of Ecommerce Success

In the previous guide, we discussed the three pillars of a successful ecommerce company.

Pillar 1. Traffic Building Strategy : a steady volume of new visitors interested in your website and products

Pillar 2. List Growth Strategy : a steady stream of new people joining your "interest group" receiving newsletters and autoresponders

Pillar 3. Products and Services Stack: a growing set of related services and products that you offer to your "interest group" lists

We also discussed the idea of building a search engine friendly, content oriented website with high keyword clarity. Now we can build on that concept to create a steady stream of traffic to our website from the search engines.

Pillar #1: How to Drive Traffic to your Ecommerce Website

The big traffic secret is... Actually there is no big secret. But don't fret, there are many tiny secrets which we can throw together for your ecommerce pleasure. Let's start with a review of all the obvious methods of achieving traffic flow:

  • Search Engines Searches (people search keywords and get your page in the results)
  • Direct Links from Web Sites (including blogs)
  • Advertising Links (including banners, PPC and text-link ads)
  • Returning Visitors
  • Non-web links such as newsletters, newsgroups, bookmarks, word-of-mouth, name recognition

Although any traffic sources is good, the most effective traffic sources for the small business are 1) Search Engines and 2) Direct Links from other websites. As we shall see, both types of traffic are the result of proper link building.

Charming the Search Engines with Keyword Mojo

Before we proceed, you must understand one simple truth: search engines love links. Links are the biggest single factor which determines how important a page is for any particular keyword phrase.

Forget what you've heard about "pagerank" and "page reputation". All you need to consider is one thing: for any given page, how much "keyword mojo" does it have? The page with the most "keyword mojo" shows up at the top of Google when you search for that keyword.

Clear? Good. Now that we've simplified the entire field of Search Engine Optimization down to a single concept, we can more easily discuss how to achieve it:

Achieving Keyword Mojo

We've already discussed organizing your page and internal links to achieve "keyword clarity" on your site. This makes your site "search engine friendly". The next step is to ensure that you have lots of search engine friendly links coming to your site.It is important to understand that the secret to search-engine traffic is achieving "keyword mojo". In other words, achieving, for each page, "keyword clarity" in the mind of Google. Naturally, this is accomplished with links. Lots of search engine friendly links. What is a search-friendly link?

  1. links to the page's single URL with no parameters
  2. uses or includes the page's target keyword phrase

This is a good link:[a href="http://ezinedesigner.com/"]ecommerce tools[/a]

Typically, these links are not very helpful for keyword mojo:

  1. image links
  2. advertising links
  3. affiliate links
  4. javascript links
  5. links containing rel="nofollow"

This is not a good link: [a href="http://ezinedesigner.com/?cid=home&ssid=4EC45B38F8"]ecommerce tools[/a]

Once you get your head around this requirement, we can really start talking about how to automate the process. Perhaps I'll publish some more in-depth discussion later with tools to do this but for now, you just need to understand the idea.

Keyword Mojo for Many Content Pages... or Wagging the Long Tail

You often hear about webmasters paying huge sums of money to SEO gurus to get a few pages to the top of the search engines for highly competitive keywords. Unfortunately, that's just too risky for my taste. A real business should never put all its (traffic) eggs in one (keyword) basket. Whenever Google adjusts its algorithm, you can hear screams and gnashing of teeth from the poor webmasters that lost their coveted top position -- and their business with it.

What we want to do is to build a strong, broad platform of useful content that draws traffic from many, many keyword searches -- and also from direct links across the internet. That is a secure foundation you can really build a business on.

Sure, you'll eventually start winning over some major keywords -- but you won't be dependent on the "position" of any of your keywords. I would like to say that you won't be dependent on search engines at all -- but that's not totally true. You see, with a good linking campaign using principles of keyword clarity and search-friendly links -- you'll typically end up with a about 70% of you traffic coming from search engines.

And there's no way out of this ratio because, as you expand you link campaign, for every direct visitor you acquire, the darned search engines send you four others! It's diabolical! So remember: Steal candy from a baby if you choose, cheat on your taxes if you must -- but never, never piss off Google.

Enough Theory Already! How do I Actually Get those Keyword Links

Remember how we organized our "Content Oriented Website" so that each page has a main keyword phrase used for interlinking? And our titles contained the keyword? This is the cornerstone of keyword linking. There are many ways to get links but here are a few good ways to get many search-friendly links directly to your content pages:

1) First, publish an RSS feed of your content. Register the feed with the 50 or so feed services out there. This will get you hundreds of keyword friendly links to each page. Don't expect these links to bring a lot of traffic, but it helps get your pages "on the map". Re-register periodically as you add new content.

2) Add a "If you found this article helpful, please link to it..." box at the bottom of each content page. This is more important that you might think because you get to provide the proposed link code. Make sure to provide a short title that has your keywords in it. This helps guide the linking process so that people don't just link to you with words like "interesting article" or "cool stuff" when what you wanted was "ecommerce traffic strategies". Remember, we're after clarity.

3) Brace yourself; this will be hard to swallow: Give all of your content away. That's right, for every new article you write or commission, you should create a text-only version and submit it to the free article databases. At the bottom of each article, make sure to link back to your home page and to the article page. Published articles get reproduced all over the place which results in a good flow of traffic back to your site -- and more importantly, an excellent number of keyword links back to your article. Hard to believe? Sure, many slimy webmasters will strip out your links -- but enough will leave them in that you will get hundreds -- and often thousands -- of good keyword links to every single article. Now we're starting to talk "keyword mojo".

Link building is an ongoing part of doing business online and you will be wise to find ways to integrate link-building into your business process. Need some examples? Just send me your URL (and $1000) and I'll come up with some ideas for you. ;)

Summary, the Content Oriented Website as an Ecommerce Platform

In the last article, we discussed creating a "Content Oriented Website" using "search friendly" methods to achieve "keyword clarity". In this article we explored leveraging "keyword focused" content to generate "search friendly" inbound links resulting in a high degree of "keyword mojo"."Keyword mojo" means achieving "keyword clarity" in the mind of Google - which is naturally rewarded with traffic. The COW method naturally creates a wide base of traffic -- much more stable than the old method of using lots of SEO spam or PPC money to get bulk traffic for a few keywords.

Developing steady, dependable traffic is the first of three pillars of any ecommerce venture. Although developing web traffic is a challenge, it is not in itself useful unless you effectively funnel the traffic into an ecommerce mechanism. In the next section we'll cover the "second pillar": how to convert our flow of casual website visitors into a permanent customer base.

About the Author:

Chad is a seasoned consultant with a decade of ecommerce SEO experience. If your business is being dragged down by the ever-increasing cost of online advertising, consider asking Chad to take look at your site. He can help you find creative ways to integrate a link-building strategy into your business process -- resulting in a permanent growth trajectory.

Boost your ecommerce mojo, contact:
chad @ ezinedesigner.com
SEO Consultation




Ian

Great Article

Ecellent Article! Not only what to do but how to do it.

Keep up the good work.

Ian
www.SimpleEshop.com

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