It's no secret that Google gets most of the traffic on the internet, followed closely by Yahoo and MSN back in third place. So if we're going to beat the next guy at getting some free search engine traffic what is required and where would you start?
Well first of all you have to realize that you are not likely to rank at the top of most keywords overnight, in fact it can take months of hard work to rank for high traffic keywords so the key here is to start with keywords you can target that do not have a lot of competition. This makes your job 50% easier before you even load a page to the internet.
Next lets look at the specific engines, Google takes the longest to rank for out of the top three so I like to look closely at MSN search because my experience tells me that even though they do not get anywhere the same amount of traffic I can rank higher and faster here. So my first port of call is to do keyword research specifically with MSN in mind. I use a few tools here but by far the easiest way to do this is to use the free keyword research tool at digitalpoint.com. Here you can check keyword patterns and traffic patterns for your desired keywords to see how many searches are performed in the major engines, and also to find spin off keywords you probably would not have considered before. You can also check both Overture and Wordtrackers results against each other here to get a feel for how the traffic patterns are going to be for a top rank with your selected keyword.
A rule of thumb I use for MSN is that the traffic for any keyword I search at digital point is divided by approx 3-4 to give me an idea of the traffic in MSN. So if my desired keyword had 1000 searches per day according to both Wordtracker and Overture then I can confidently say a number 1 rank in MSN should provide about 300 searches. This does not mean you will get 300 hits, in fact you may only get about half the searchers hit your site through MSN or any search engines for that matter even if you rank # 1. So it's most likely that a top rank for that keyword in MSN will provide approx 150 hits or visitors per day.
So now we have chosen a keyword that looks good whats next? the answer is to check out the competition on MSN. There's no point choosing words that you realistically will never rank for. The competition pays big money to be at the top so unless you have the same budget stay away from that game. Those so called gurus of the internet will squash you. My recommendation is to rank for terms that have less traffic and that makes it easier to get to # 1, especially in MSN
So what am I looking for when it comes to competition? Well we all know that relevant, theme related inbound, 1 way links from authority sites are the easiest way to rank # 1 or at least in the top 10.
In fact it does not take too many high quality inbound links to rank for thousands upon thousands of terms, so here is where the fun begins.
After you have uploaded your site and optimized the page with all the relevant HTML tags etc, gathering links to your page is the single most important task you can undertake to rank. I am not an authority on link gathering but here are a few suggestions.
Write high quality articles about your chosen subject or pay someone to write articles, then submit them to the free article directories, here your article will be picked up by other webmasters and placed on their site with your link on them. This can create many many 1 way links very quickly for your page.
Approach other webmasters in your chosen topic and request a link exchange (I personally do not do this as its borrowing and outdated and honestly is very time consuming) Use social bookmark sites like del.ici.us to get your content out there and also to get you links. The search engines love social bookmark sites, I use about 25 of them and they always provide high quality 1 way links, and often with very high Page rank.
Write a blog about your site and then link to your site from it, then feed that blog using RSS or other syndication methods, this will also provide 1 way links and better results in the search engines.
Buy links. Yes buy them, a few high quality, theme related links with good Google Page Rank will help massively.
These few ideas I use every day and many more to get traffic and beat the next guy in the engines, especially MSN.
So the only thing left to do after you have achieved a top rank for a number of keyword terms is to make money from them and here are my top two ideas for making money that I use everyday.
1) Google AdSense, Sign up free and place the ad code on your page and you will earn a share of each and every click visitors make from those ad blocks. There are dozens of other places you can earn on a "pay per click" basis but Google stands out head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion.
2) Affiliate marketing, if your site or page is about losing weight, then sign up free as an affiliate to any one of hundreds of sites that sell these type of products. Then place a link on your page which has your personal code embedded into it and if a visitor clicks on your link and decides to buy then you will receive a share of that sale. Sometimes as high 70% of that sale.
So there you have it, now go out there and make some money online, because if you do not I will do it for you.