How to boost website traffic and sales

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The first step to boosting website traffic and sales is to get listed in the search engines. Unsurprisingly, Google dominates this field, and is likely to yield the largest amount of traffic to your site.

Google accounts for 49% of global search engine usage in April 2006 while Yahoo accounted for 22% and MSN 11%. (source: Nielsen NetRatings)

The good news is that it is still free to submit your site to Google but free submission can be very slow and even when your site is added it is unlikely to get within the top 10 or first page of search results.

Getting listed is only the first hurdle. Getting high rankings that can deliver relevant, appropriate prospects, which will convert into new clients should be your main website goal.

This is where Google AdWords can help. It's a way to advertise your business on Google, a site that's used over 150 million times a day.

What is Google AdWords

AdWords is a pay-per-click online advertising service that lets advertisers post text ads for their sites targeted for specific keywords. You may have seen some of these ads on the far right side of Google’s search results and also shown in the “Ads by Google” banners seen on sites all over the Internet.

Google AdWords can guarantee you a page one position and put you in front of targeted potential customers. Plus you only pay 'per click' which means you do not pay each time your ad appears on a web page, rather you pay each time a visitor actually clicks through and visits your site. So you are paying for actual real live visitors.

Once Google AdWords puts your website in front of your potential customers it is then up to you to convert them into business with smart copy and an easy to navigate website which prompts for a call to action.

How does it work?

The way this unique advertising service works is quite simple: Advertisers will type in keywords that they want their ad to appear on when searched. For example, Jim sells bed and breakfast accommodation in the Yarra Valley. In order for Jim to reach the right audience, he must use specific keywords such as “bed and breakfast, yarra valley accommodation” and words of that nature. Then, whenever regular users like you and me go to search for “yarra valley accommodation” on Google, Jim’s text box ad will magically appear on page 1.

Benefits of Using AdWords

Fast Results - AdWords can deliver quick traffic and fast feedback. You can have your ads up all over the Internet and begin testing products and marketing strategies in minutes.

Target Audience - find people who are searching for the same keywords you specify to advertise your product or service.

Budget Control - you maintain total control over ad budget. There is no monthly minimum spending limit. There is a $5 set up fee and then advertisers can choose how much they will pay per click from five cents to $50(US). Advertisers can set up a daily allowance and when the budget for the day is spent their ad will be removed, so there's no danger of overspending.

Productivity - you can benefit from the reports and statistics that help users determine which ads, keywords, and prices per click are the most productive. This helps advertisers get the best return on investment possible.

I can highly recommend Google AdWords Pay Per Click service. It is the ideal way to drive targeted traffic towards your website.

Melissa Norfolk is an Internet expert who speaks to business, school and community groups about online marketing, email newsletters, effective use of the Internet, finding what you need online and Internet safety.

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