Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Value of Organic Traffic and Clicks

My Mom believes that most "organic" foods are over-priced and not necessary.

She claims you're paying more for someone not doing the work of "chemically" caring for the plants. Of course, she doesn't really mean it, and eats it when she can get it, but is frustrated to have to pay more for something smaller than normal.

However you perceive it, we are learning there is great value in organic food.

Another "organic" of great value are organic clicks. Just what are "organic" clicks? These are the clicks that come to you direct from searches in the search engines. In other words, by and large, you've paid nothing for them. (Mom would love that!)

My long-term goal is to receive 80% of my traffic organically.

Here's how I plan to accomplish that. Since all of my income generating sites are created using blog software, I don't have to worry much that they get listed on search engines. They are currently all there, except for the newer ones.

My challenge is to get them ranked more relevant for the keywords I have built them around. As I've discussed, at least in Google, website ranking has everything to do with how relevant your site is for the keyword presented. So, for example, when someone types in "rental cars", they don't get a listing of sites on the Internet that use the phrase "rental cars" in their text, and list the site that uses it more as number one. Keyword stuffing and subsequent ranking is what put search engines like AltaVista and Netscape out to pasture.

I've also talked about high quality inbound links. These are worth a lot because this is a major part of the ranking formula at Google. However, in building sites for great reading and using contextual ads to monetize the pages, the last thing you want is a leak.

A leak, you say? Yes. A leak is anything on your page that would allow a visitor to leave without generating something positive for you. A leak could be an 800 number. It could be an off-site website. It could be an e-mail address. And a leaky site will cause you to lose traffic.

If you ask someone to link to your site, they expect a reciprocating link. A reciprocating link, especially to another quality site with a similar topic is a sure sign of a major leak.

Okay - so what do you suggest, Dave?

There are a few options. First, address your friends - anyone with any page rank. Ask them to help you out. If they have more page rank than you, your site will gain ranking in the search engines.

Next, post in forums that relate to your topic. I don't believe the search engines would be dumb enough to include inbound links from "groups" to count for anything - but private forums are another issue. Look into these and post on them actively.

And, lastly, take a look at eBay for listings on websites that have a page rank higher than yours. Try a few cheap ones first - but wait at least 90 days before you swear it doesn't work. That's how long Google's Page Rank takes to update. (Sometimes sooner.)

Do programs like Web Position or SubmitIt work? Yes! Invest some time in submitting your site to smaller search engines - ones not typically spidering your site. Make sure you use the schedule feature so you constantly submit (within the limits of the search engine).

I leave you with something that will help you more than anything, and that is praying. Simply pray and believe that God will increase your territory and your ranking. He knows all and when we converse and trust in Him, things happen.

Work it like a business - and go out and buy some organic. You'll live longer, and in better health.

Dave Jackson

No comments: