Written by Sarah E. Needleman

Everyone who has a website with low or moderate traffic doesn’t necessarily suffer because of a bad site. You can have a great online product with no visibility. So, what are the secrets of sites that actually see success? We’re not sure how much websites actually game the system, but it doesn’t last.

Just recently, the Wall Street Journal posted an article about making your website more visible to search and social magnates like Google. Today, we’re going to break that article into some points that you should follow as guidelines to online visibility. Below are some pointers:

Add more keywords to your SEO strategy. This is probably one of the most important steps to getting noticed. Your SEO strategy should include more keywords. For example, if you’re selling hard drives, be sure not to only use “hard drive” as a keyword. Try using “storage device,” “hard disk,” and the abbreviation: HDD.

Find out what people are calling your product. To put things into perspective, let’s use our last example. Some people call it “hard drive,” and others call it “my disk.” Some people call a “jar” a “container.” Find out what people are calling your product when they come to purchase at your store, and you’ll know what to zero in on. You have to follow the search behavior of your customers.

Follow trends. A keyword you’ve been using for months might not be relevant anymore. Keep track of the changes in how products are called so you can stay on top of the game. You must constantly revise your content. Do this like once or twice a month.

Don’t underestimate the power of social media and referrals. Everyone focuses on pleasing the Google gods, but if you’re doing that, you’re missing out on one of the greatest opportunities to be visible. You might not notice it, but some sites receive up to 40 percent of their traffic from social media and referrals. Try to communicate with sites and be socially active. You won’t believe how this could pay off! I personally post comments all over Facebook and other sites that integrate social network accounts. This scores me a lot of likes on my business page, and generates a lot of genuine interest. Sure, you might not get a lot of attention, but it’s more focused and genuine. Be sure to discuss something meaningful. This isn’t a marketing effort. It’s a way to get people’s attention by saying something that adds to discussions.

Take this advice to heart, and remember not to game the search engines. Many huge sites have fallen because of this, and Google absolutely hates it. The moment Google finds out you’ve gamed its system; it will unleash a wrath on you the likes of which you have never seen before. Keep going in the right direction, and you’ll reap the rewards slowly but surely!