While there are a variety of ways to increase targeted website traffic, every business owner should consider optimizing their website for the search engines.

Instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket, it’s best to drive website traffic through several sources. This way, you can cast a wider net, resulting in more traffic, and track the efficacy of each source.

Before you begin, you should understand the core concepts of Search Engine Optimization (aka Search Engine Marketing). In order to increase your website traffic and attract qualified prospects, you need to understand three things:

1. Everything related to SEO starts with an understanding of what a “keyword phrase” is.

Anytime someone conducts a search on Google, or another search engine, they enter some text to start their search. In SEO terms, the entered text is called a “keyword” or “keyword phrase.”

If you know what keyword phrases your prospects are entering when looking for the type of information, products or services you offer, you will know what phrases to optimize your web pages for.

2. Websites are not indexed or ranked by the search engines… each web page is indexed and ranked independent of any other.

This is commonly misunderstood but so vital to understand! Just because you have one web page that ranks really well in the search engines, that doesn’t mean that your others will also rank well.

Each page of your website must be uniquely optimized for a handful of keyword phrases… keyword phrases that are searched upon and those likely to attract your targeted audience.

If you pay close attention to the optimization of each page, you should see a dramatic improvement in terms of search engine placement.

3. Like it or not, you’re competing against others!

Some have a harder time with this concept than others but the truth remains the truth… in order to get your web page listed on page one of Google, you have to kick one of the currently listed web page’s off!

This is valuable information because it will help you understand what you must do to achieve the ranking you’re after.
Thorough analysis of the web pages currently listed for a particular keyword phrase will tell you how hard it will be to overtake one of them. You need to pay close attention to a number of elements including:

How well is their page optimized for the keyword phrase?

How old is their domain (the older the better)?

How many links can be found that point to the page (the more the better)?

While there are other elements involved, these three are of primary concern. If you find you can outdo your competitor’s web page in at least two of the three areas mentioned, you can probably kick them off the page and take their place.

After ensuring you are optimizing for a keyword phrase (or phrases) that are likely to bring you the kind of traffic you want, you’ll often find it is the quantity of backlinks that make the real difference.

Of course, the quality of the backlinks is important too but if you are going to concentrate on one objective, it should be the building of links. Ensure your text links use the keyword phrases you are optimizing for and you’ll find you quickly climb the ranks of the search engines.