I met for breakfast with someone who had read my Hard Truths about Easy Money on the Internet book and had some followup questions. Normally I'd do that by email, but he lives fairly close so we arranged to meet at my favorite diner.
We talked about a lot of things, but the item of most general interest was a client of his who has a specialized toy shop. He runs her website as a virtual domain on his hosted server and didn't understand why she gets so little traffic. He also complained that if he searched Google for the things she sells there were no results pointing to her and if he searched precisely for her business name he gets a hit in position 3, but it is somebody else's page with an old, incorrect address - not very helpful!
Well, honestly there's nothing to say here that I didn't already say in the book, but I went over it anyway. Google doesn't love her because she has a paltry 40 pages that haven't changed in four years and to top it off, some of those pages are inaccessible from broken links. It's old, stale and broken: Google isn't going to give that any love or respect.
The shame of it is that it would be ridiculously easy to post fresh, interesting content daily. There's always something new in the toy world to write about - it doesn't matter if the news is about something she sells or not; the idea is to help Google see her as a source of information about toys. The more she can convince Google of her authority in this area, the more her pages will move to the top for related searches.
Of course she shouldn't ignore her own lines: anything new there should get an immediate write up. Of course she also should be visiting other toy related sites and leaving appropriate comments when possible: she needs other people to see her as an authority also. Right now she has no comment system on her site at all; that is another area that needs to be addressed: community involvement also builds reputation and traffic.
I also suggested that there is no reason at all why she shouldn't be running Google ads on her site, especially on the editorial pages I'm suggesting she start writing. Her lines are very specialized: hand crafted and unusual toys. If she starts building Google referral traffic, not all those visitors will be looking for those kinds of toys. If they are great: drive 'em to the on-line store. If not, she might as well have a chance of getting something from them and Google Adwords will do just that.
These are simple things, but they can bring success quickly.
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