Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Generating traffic to your website.

Generating traffic to your website is no easy task at all. Ask me I should know. I have been struggling for 5 months already! Finally I have listings on Yahoo, MSN, HotBot, AltaVista and Google. Unfortunately on Google the site is listed about 150th which is not where I would prefer it to be. The others are not too bad at all, considering some of the other search engines have listed my site on the first page! Problem is that most people these days use Google! I find that I get a bit of traffic from Yahoo and MSN late at night from the USA. Obviously the best way to get traffic to your website is via a high placement on a good search engine such as Google or Yahoo.

Problem is… how to get there? Well it is not easy, takes time and patience! Here are a couple of things I have learnt so far:

First rule to remember is that Google wants to have quality and content. This is what makes them the best search engine. When you do a search on Google, you will only get the best quality sites listed in order from best to worst. So remember the quality and content of your site!

Second rule to remember, it’s very tempting to jump on some forum and tell all the members there about your site. Be careful here! The initial idea is a good one, make no mistake. The pro’s to doing this is yes you get immediate traffic to your site depending on how big and how active the forum is, and how long your post stays on the recent discussions. No problem… you post again, and again, and again! Bad move! Search engine spiders are constantly crawling the web. So they find your site url listed in the forum so many times they see it as a type of SPAM. This is no good for the possible listing you might have had on Google. It is a good way to get a spider to find your site through a forum, but remember to be careful here. Don’t go over board. Another thing to be careful of in a forum is which subject you are posting in. Don’t go posting in a rocket forum your site which has to do with bikes! All that happens there is you get traffic for a short while and no one bought a bike. Rather post in a bike forum. In the bike forum the spiders will also see keywords related to your site, and of course your web site url will be associated with this. Now this is a good thing. Leave it at that!

Third rule to remember, spelling! For goodness sakes, a spelling mistake is very easy to make while typing away on the keyboard. One sli[p of the fingers and you have a great spelling mistake which eventually disappears from site while you are happily typing away at the keyboard with so much enthusiasm not even the car accident outside can drag you away. I was enthralled when I was finally listed on Google’s top first page on a search for my site. I was ecstatic! My heart was pumping and I though “THIS IS IT!” The thrill was very short lived when I realised that the reason my site was there is because some of my keywords were spelt incorrectly!
I was mortified to say the least! There was my site listing all bright and shiny on the wrong bloody place! It will take about another 4 months before that gets rectified by the search engines after I have corrected the mistakes!

Forth rule to remember. Forget all those sites and companies which promise to drive huge amounts of traffic to your site! I have spent money on lots of them. THEY DO NOT WORK! Ask me I have the experience. I have paid some companies for traffic and saw zero!
There is one that does work and it is Google Ad Words. It is what I use to get traffic to my website in the mean time until my listing gets higher ratings on Google. I see this as a good marketing tool to get your site out there for a start run. If you want to pay for traffic: “Remember if it’s not Google traffic it ain’t traffic at all.”
By the way, if you do somehow miraculously find one that does drive traffic to your site, it is most likely to be traffic which has little to no interest at all in your site. Fat help that does for you, that helps a much as bulls running through a china shop!

Fifth rule. Get other sites to link to your site! This also helps the web spiders to find your site and get it listed. This is not easy to do and takes time, e-mailing webmasters pleading with them to link to your site. Obviously you will have to put a link to their site from your web site as well. But be careful here in selecting who you want linking to your site! Try to get highly rated sites to link to your site. If you can get some of them to link to your site Google spiders will associate your site with the highly rated site. In other words, if the Google spiders spot your site listed on an important high quality site, they would begin to think that your site must be important too. “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Rule number six. Be Patient! Refine your content! Make sure it is of the best quality!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Forums which pay members for posts!

I belong to a forum (MyLot) which pays it's members for making and commenting on posts made by all it's members (don't give up your day job though). I did not realise this when I joined up though and only found out a bit later on. They pay you out when your credit reaches a certain limit via PayPal or ikobo. It does work and you do get paid, I received my ikobo card via Fedex. This card can be used in any VISA ATM or speed point for the purchase of goods.

Now here is the interesting part. You will be asking yourself how does a forum manage to pay all it's members? Well the concept is pretty simple. MyLot has Google Adsense ads all over the forum. So... visitors and members click on the Google Adsense ads which earns the forum money. Out of that money they pay their members (like me). They currently have over 8000 members and climbing all the time. Pretty clever!

Ok so this got me thinking a bit. MyLot depends on people clicking on the ads, all well and fine. In my expereince on the MyLot forum, I think I clicked on one ad over a time span of 2 months! I also noticed that I was pretty blind to the ads even if they were about the subject! Now if I was pretty blind to the ads, how many other members are also blind to them? I even saw posts where a discussion was about say "employment". To the right of that discussion were ads about employment and no one seem to notice or mention them! I seem to remember a post which actually mentioned the ads, but only to find out how many people actually clicked on them. I think most of the replies were "not clicking on the ads - here for the forum" sort of thing.

So my question is how long will these forums last? Time will tell.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What a mess!

These days when I have a look at CNN to see what's going on outside my world, I can't help shouting out aloud - "WHAT A JOKE!" What the hell is wrong with everybody? A cartoon that causes total mayhem some time back, unbelievable! President Bush, well need I say more? Last weekend there was a big deal because the Pope said something which clearly upset alot of people. What is with that? Chill out for heavens sake! To all those people who make a big deal out of someones words or some stupid picture - deep breath and don't go doing anything stupid!Do that and the world will fast become a better place to live for everyone.