Back to the drawing board with keyword research:

  • If you have great rankings for some of your keyword phrases but little corresponding traffic, it could be that your keyword phrases are "low-hanging fruit." This isn't necessarily a bad thing. We have pages built specifically for low-hanging fruit. They don't bring us much traffic, but the traffic they do bring us is highly targeted and converts extremely well.

My suggestion would be to open new keyword windows by finding additional keyword phrases for your business. Go to Wordtracker ( and do some research. Don't ever assume you know how your audience is searching. Bottom line: you'll probably be wrong. Don't waste your time guessing when you can know for sure. Read this article to get you started:

Create new pages based on your keyword findings. These new pages should provide value to your visitors and the search engines. They should open new windows of traffic into the site. They could be information pages about your products, "how to" pages, tutorials, interviews, articles, or whatever type of pages you feel would be worthwhile to your visitors. Link to these pages from your site map and from any other pages containing similar content.

Additional brainstorming ideas for Example #2 (Online Retail Store):

  • Get some domain ideas from online retail stores like (How could we ever forget the 'O'?) or Unforgettable domain names, yet quite simple.

I just went to Network Solutions and played around, and I found these domain names for retail stores. They're currently available (at the time of this writing):

Any number of names would be easier to remember and possibly brand than

Get new graphics, and begin rebranding your Web site. I assume GJL are your initials. You can even use them if you can come up with a way to re-brand the site using your initials.

Increasing Traffic Exercise My Brainstorming Ideas

I chose the online retail store, since that's the example we've been using. The target audience is mainly women ages 25 and up, though there are some products for men. The company sells children's products as well.

  • I would analyze the site and make sure the site itself is compliant and all of the SEO basics have been covered.
  • If the site is "code" heavy, I would go with CSS. The design would look totally the same.
  • I would do keyword research through and create valuable new pages based on keywords through which the site currently is getting no visibility or traffic. I would add one new page of content every week.
  • I would look at the product line carefully. We know the site sells clocks. Are these unique clocks by a particular designer? I would set up an online chat session with the designer and promote it heavily on the site. Send out a press release through Have the designer autograph the clocks. Notify your customers by your newsletter about the autograph "party." Offer discounts. Make it a media event. Ask the designer to promote the autograph party as well. What other products do you sell that would fall into this same category?
  • Do you sell a particular product to where you could have an "Ask the Expert" area on the main page of your site? Your visitors can ask questions, and the answers can be archived elsewhere on your site. This is a great way to add new and fresh content to your site on a continual basis.
  • On the main page of your site, list your best selling items. You don't have to show their pictures just link to their interior pages. Psychology is such that if someone knows that an item is a "best seller," "I" should like it to, or at least give it a try.
  • Be sure to have a page of specials or discounted items, and rotate them out.
  • Give the customers enough ways to search through your products. For example, if the retail store sells bath products, the customers need to be able to search by fragrance, product line, product (bomb, gel, bubble bath, etc.), country, and what other variables might be important.
  • Hire a national celebrity to promote the Web site for short TV ads to help increase the branding of the site. Send out press releases, magazine articles, and newspaper ads for this national campaign. (I told you to brainstorm and be creative this is what I mean!)
  • Toning down the TV ad idea, look into how much it would cost to put on TV ads late at night. I've seen many Web sites put on TV ads on late night TV. is one that I see on a regular basis on national stations.
  • Put up a billboard in a prime location. Use memorable language. Drivers will have to remember your URL or a keyword phrase where you're #1 or you'll lose the business between the time they see the billboard and the time they get home to their computers.
  • Set up an affiliate program offering a 20% affiliate commission to anyone who promotes your product lines.
  • With the national celebrity, introduce a new line of products featuring the celebrity. 50% of the proceeds will go to a nonprofit cause that you'll determine and promote. Get the celebrity on national news shows, etc.
  • Send out press releases for all of the company's newsworthy activities.
  • Set up a blog to where your customers can post feedback on your various products. Link back and forth between your product pages to your blog. Offer a discount to your customers if they'll post to your blog.
  • Better yet, set up a blog with a purpose. Read this article to learn more:
  • Do you sell books on your retail site? Have the authors conduct chats. Have them link to your site. Offer autographed books (if possible).
  • What other products do you sell where the original creators could link to your site? Think "link popularity building" here.
  • Think "article marketing" now. What "how to," "top 10 lists," or "interview" articles could you write as a way to add content to your site? This may be a way you could get your authors or product creators to create some content for you.
  • With every order you send out, include a bumper sticker with your URL on it. Everything a shopper could want . . . and more. Visit

We're just getting started here. We could go on and on and on. Notice that we didn't cover some of the traditional forms of online advertising such as the PPCs, advertising in e-zines and lists, etc. Of course you'll want to consider those avenues as you see fit. We covered permission e-mail marketing in our first example.

I'm sure you were able to brainstorm many more ideas, and that's the beauty of creativity and idea creation. Let your mind flow.

Now, think about your own business. Compare my list to yours. Would any of the ideas work for your own business? Did you think of any other ideas to add? Can you change up some of the ideas to make them doable?

Some of the ideas may not work at all for you, and that's fine. Some may take some pre-planning to make them conform to your particular situation. Some you just won't like. But by brainstorming, you should have come up with some ideas for pulling in traffic to your site.

In Conclusion

Remember that Web site solutions don't have to come in the form of search engine optimization or technology. They can often come in the form of creativity . . . the missing element in search engine marketing.

Don't forget creativity, and please . . . have fun!

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

May 24, 2006

Robin Nobles is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops, where they teach "hands on" search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. They also provide a networking community for SEOs called The World Resource Center for Search Engine Marketers and have expanded their workshops to Europe with Search Engine Workshops UK.

Search Engine Guide > Robin Nobles > The Missing Element in Search Engine Marketing - Part 4