If you want your startup website to be successful and to generate revenue then it needs to attract a large number of visitors (traffic), and ideally, those visitors should be qualified customers. This can be achieved by hiring a team of digital marketers who are specialized in content producing, online marketing and analytics.
How do you attract visitors’ traffic?
Google is the word
As most people know, Google is the world’s number one search engine with over 80% of desktop internet searches (netmarketshare.com June 2012). So if a business website comes high up in the results for relevant searches in Google, then that website is going to do very well in terms of traffic and, hopefully, converting that traffic into sales. Website traffic conversion is the subject for another day, but how can we get our websites high up in the Google search results?
As most people know now, Google uses two things to decide how to rank the results when someone searches for a word or phrase. The first is how relevant the words on the web page are to the search terms used by the searcher. The second is the number and quality of links from other websites to the various websites Google has found on the internet. It’s a combination of the web page content and the number and quality of external links pointing to the web page that determines the ranking of the pages in Google. By the way, Google ranks web pages, not websites.
Search engine optimization
Once it was understood how Google organized its search results an entire industry was established to optimize business websites for Google searches. This, as I’m sure you know, was called search engine optimization or SEO. This existed before Google became the dominant search engine, but the early fragmentation in the use of search engines meant that it didn’t seem to be happening to the extent that it has been in the last few years.
Manipulating search results
People have been attempting to manipulate search results right from the start of the World Wide Web. With its use of visible page content and external links to rank content, Google became the dominant search engine very quickly after launching due to its ability to produce results that were the most relevant to what the searcher was looking for. However, website owners continued to try to manipulate the results by, “keyword stuffing”, content and obtaining a large number of external links to their websites to boost rankings.
Google updates to avoid manipulation
Google has been very active over the years in updating the way it ranks results to prevent this manipulation. These updates often have strange names and that most recent in 2011 and 2012, called Panda and Penguin, are the latest attempts to avoid manipulation. These recent updates attempt to prevent website owners actively obtaining large numbers of external links to their websites to boost their rankings. This means that it’s now more difficult for website owners to obtain links to their websites without being penalized. This helps Google because now external links will be more likely to point to websites people think are useful rather than links bought or manufactured by website owners.
So how can we get quality links to our business websites now?
The most obvious way to get external links to our business websites is by writing high-quality content that will be the foundation of great SEO campaigns or offer valuable products or services. This will lead other websites to link to ours because of the value offered. We can request links from other websites, but often these requests are just ignored.
Guest posting on other websites
However, we can still produce links ourselves by guest posting on other websites, normally blogs. The way this works is that we write an article on an issue related to our website and send it to the owners of other websites asking if they would like to publish it. We include at least one link to our website, either in the copy or in the article footer. The idea is that if the content is of sufficient quality it will be published on the other website, so providing a link back to our website. Google is aware of abuses of this practice and can penalize these links if it is overdone. However, if done properly, this can be very valuable for website rankings in Google. The snag is finding websites that are prepared to publish the articles we have written.
Enter PostRunner – the guest publishing network
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites that are looking for articles to publish but finding these websites is not easy. PostRunner is a guest posting network where website owners looking for content can be connected with people who want to write articles for them. This is much more in line with what Google wants to see – website owners publishing content with links to other valuable content. The value is ensured because the publishing website owners won’t accept any articles that reduce the quality of their websites. Website owners who would like to promote their sites write articles that other website owners who are looking for content for their sites want to publish. Win-win, plus at the time of writing it’s absolutely free to use if you have only one website to promote.