You've optimized your meta tags, submitted your web site until your fingers are tired, and tried banner exchanges. But even though these have helped, you still aren't getting the kind of web site traffic you hoped for. What else can you do?
Doorway or Gateway pages are a technique that used responsibly can boost your chances of being found in the upper 30 returns from a search using your keywords. The key words here are "used responsibly." These pages are designed to optimize your chance of being found using a specific keyword or phrase. This is not a technique to spam, but a way to make it easier for search engines to correctly index your site. Create single pages that focus on individual keywords that you are promoting. These pages can then be linked to anywhere within your site. This can be especially useful in framed sites or sites that rely on dynamically generated pages. These types of sites are often difficult to get indexed properly.
If you look at the top keywords used in search engines you will usually find "free" listed among the most popular. Offering something for free on your web site can be a great way to attract more visitors. This doesn't have to be a product that costs you anything but time. You can offer free articles or tips, a free-for-all link page, or free samples of your product. This works just as well if you are offering a service and not a product. Offer a short free trial. Once people try your service, they may find it is just what they have needed. Try something like free holiday graphics. You might receive a fair number of repeat visitors because of this.
Contests and awards also attract a lot of visitors. If your contest relates to your business you tend to attract the type of people who are already interested in what you have to offer. If you give them the chance to sign up for your newsletter when they enter the contest, you are also building a good base of email contacts. A newsletter can be used to let subscribers know about new services or products you offer and keep your business fresh in their minds. Presenting a well-designed award can also help to build contacts and networking.
The Internet is no different than the "real" business world. You need to constantly work at building contacts, offering fresh content, and giving your visitors something to keep them returning to your site.
Beverly Miller is a free-lance designer, developer, artist, and author located in Grand Marsh, Wi., USA. She is co-founder of Silverleaf Design.