Most web sites, even the ones created by people with big dreams, fail because no one can find them.
Most webmasters do not know how to drive traffic to a web site.
Picture a store sitting in some back alley where no one walks by. How successful do you think it will be if no one ever sees it? If you want to make money on the internet, you want a store on a major thoroughfare, where it's not only seen, but seen repeatedly.
How many stores have you driven by for weeks, months, or years before you finally thought, "You know, I think I'll go see what's in there"?
If you're going to make money on the internet, you need to drive traffic to your web site.
Today search engines are the number one way to drive traffic to a web site.
There are those whose brand will bring people to them: WalMart, Amazon, maybe even your city or state government web site. But probably not you.
For you to drive traffic to a web site, you have to create a "brand of one." You have to establish yourself. That means getting some customers in the front door of your web site and treating them well.
On the internet, search engines are the way to do this.
But how do you do this? Google says there are 56,200,000 web sites on how to train a dog. How in the world are you going to compete with 56 million web sites in your niche so that you can end up on the first page, or near the first page, of a search engine? Any search engine, much less Google!
Keep in mind as you read this that on my site, SBI! pings the four major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask) for me every day that I make any changes to my site. As a result, those engines, which make up 95% of search traffic on the worldwide web, know about every page I put up.
Further, when they get there, they have no problems searching my site because SBI! automatically creates a sitemap for them, something Google recommends. Creating a sitemap is a pain, and I've never done it for this site because of that. I don't have to at my SBI! sites.
What I'm about to tell you is not a secret. You can read it anywhere.
Thank God that even the people who read it mostly don't do it. Though the tricks for how to drive traffic to a web site are commonly known, the carrying out of them is rare.
The answer is keyword-focused content pages, and you accomplish that in 3 steps:
Let me give you an example. My wife is a doula, and I have several friends that are midwives. Thus, a web site on midwifery is something I might suggest to one of them if they needed money or had time to try to drive traffic to a web site.
Step one: Learning what people search for is easy. Google provides a free tool. I just type in midwifery, and I get a couple hundred search terms.
Midwifery, for example, is searched for 40,000 times per month. Google lets me know, though, that childbirth is searched for 246,000 times per month, and Lamaze is searched for 95,000 times per month.
Now I have a list of ideas for web pages.
Step two: Find out what's not being supplied.
Here's where you run into a problem with driving traffic to a web site. How do you find out what's being supplied?
Well, the free way would be to type each term into Google. There you can see not just how many web sites cover that topic, but you can look at how well the first few sites cover it.
For example, if your search term is midwifery, then is the subject covered by web sites with URL's like midwifery.org and midwifery.com? Is the topic central to the sites that are listed on Google's front page? You may have trouble getting good rankings on a search engine if these things are so.
But that's tedious and unrewarding. SBI! has had a robot do it for you.
When I punch midwifery into BrainStormIt! at SBI!, I get not only a list of keywords that is often better than Google's—and in the case of midwifery, it's much better—but I also get a "supply" rating as well. To drive traffic to my web site, I can sort my keywords by supply and see just what I'm competing against.
This is crucial for a subject like midwifery. Midwifery is well-covered by wikipedia, midwife.org, the American College of Nurse Midwives, and several other strong sites.
But "placenta previa" is not!
Unbelievably, 49 thousand people search for placenta previa every month, just on Google! Yet only about half of the front page results even have "placenta previa" in the name of the page, much less in the name of the web site!
The same is true of "mucus plug," which is searched for 33,000 times per month and sparsely addressed on the internet. Better yet, "mucous plug" gets another 12,000 searches!
There's a start for driving traffic to a midwifery site. A midwifery front page won't get much action on the search engines, but pages on placenta previa, mucus plug, and a number of others will have a shot at going straight to the top, even on Google.
Of course, I don't know how you're going to know that if you're not using SBI!'s free tools.
And, of course, you still have to write the page correctly to drive traffic to your web site..
Step three: Create pages that meet the unmet need
To make pages that drive traffic to a web site, there are two issues you must address:
I forgot that you might not realize that if you want to drive traffic to a web site, you're going to have to write pages!!!
I'll bet you thought that you'd just put up a store on the internet, and folks would stop on by and make purchases.
That may work for a person with a real brick and mortar store who's driving traffic with his store. But for those of us who don't own businesses, we have to create the traffic, and we have to do it by writing pages … the more of them the better.
We do keyword research so that we make sure each page is worth our effort to write and drives traffic.
SBI! walks you through finding a topic that you really are an expert in. Any parent of a child has changed at least 1,000 diapers, and that's if you shared the load equally with your spouse. There are other areas besides diapers that are like that in your life.
Write pages that answer people's questions.
Answering people's questions isn't hard. There are very few topics nowadays that can't be researched right on the internet. SBI! has a tool that helps you research a topic, but it's unnecessary. Google any topic, spend a little time at several web sites, and you can become enough of an expert to answer the questions most people have.
Writing the answers is hard.
Here, SBI! has provided one of the best tools I've ever seen. You don't even have to sign up to get it! It's free to anyone right on their web site.
It took your school teachers most of twelve years to convince you that you can't write.
Everyone who can talk can write. Even if you had to talk into a tape recorder, then transcribe what you said, the truth is … if you can talk, you can write.
SBI!'s free book will teach you how to unlearn what school taught you, and it will release you to write pages that will drive traffic to your web site.
Write pages that make your topic clear to the search engines!
There are some standard methods for writing pages that please the search engines, and they work to drive traffic to a web site.
SBI! double checks your page to make sure it meets those criteria before you load it. That's one of the many benefits it supplies to help drive traffic to a web site.
I have described to you how to get started driving traffic to a web site. From experience, I can tell you it works.
To this day, informationdojo.com gets no more than about 10 visitors per day. In fact, you probably came here linked from one of my SBI! sites. In contrast to this site, here's how christian-history.org is doing so far this month, just shy of a year into building it:
I apologize for the quality of the image. For some reason my screen capture worked pitifully on it. It was easier to read on the original web page.
Nonetheless, you can see the numbers. The average pages per day right now is 677. (As of January 26—10 days later—the average is up to 693 because I had my first 300 unique visitor day and my 2nd over 1000 page day yesterday. SBI! keeps getting better and better!)
How well does that compare to others who have tried to drive traffic to a web site the SBI! way? Well, my Alexa rank is 1.9 million (today, it fluctuates). That puts my site in the top 2% of web sites because Alexa ranks about 100 million sites.
On sitesell? It makes my site average. 53% of SBI! sites are in the top 2% of the web.
How popular do you think church history is? I assure you that I have no topics that are searched for 40,000 times per month on Google, like people do for midwifery, placenta previa, and mucus plug. Nonetheless, I'm getting 279 visits per day!
If you check out the truth of my "no 40,000 times per month searches on Google" claim, make sure you choose "exact" under the "Match Type" on the right side of the results screen. That's what I did for the midwifery searches, too. If you choose "broad," then midwifery gets 246,000 searches per month.
There are other ways to drive traffic to a web site, but they should happen AFTER you've written good, strong, keyword-focused content pages.
One other thing Sitesell does for me is provide recommendations for how to use these other methods. Most of these can't be automated, so Sitesell provides advice and forums where all SBI!ers can learn together. The best forum advice gets added to SBI!'s advice pages for their members.
SiteBuildIt! is all about helping their members succeed because this is what makes Sitesell succeed.
Other ways include:
One of the other major ways to drive traffic to a web site deserves special mention, and that is exchanging links.
Once again, SBI! makes it easy. At the link I just gave you, you can simply sign up—once again, for free—to exchange links with SBI! sites and others who use Value Exchange.
This is a great thing because as I've pointed out, over half of all SBI! sites are in the top 2% of the web. Exchanging links with an SBI!er is an excellent value. Google gives you extra credit when a popular site links to you.
If you're like me, then driving traffic to a web site can be enough. My site is on Christian history. The purpose of my site is to convince people that Jesus meant what he said, that he's alive and can fulfill what he said, and that the only way to follow him is wholeheartedly.
As a ministry, it's sufficient to me to drive traffic to my web site.
But this section is about making money on the internet, not just driving traffic to a website.
So let's talk about the right way to monetize your web site.