Search Engine Optimization 101
I love my traffic. I spend a good portion of my time just watching traffic pour in with my mint stats tracker. Up until now I have pretty much exhausted every avenue for gathering traffic except SEO. Search Engine Optimization is the delicate art of optimizing your website so as to be search engine friendly. Through the application of several rules of SEO thumb, one can gain a higher ranking in search engines and gain more indexed pages. Currently, search engines provide this site around a third of its traffic but that's mostly people searching for my misspelled name to find my domain (I really need to get paul.com). That equates to anywhere from 600 to 1000 hits just from search engines everyday.
After a brief scour through some of the new 9rulers, I found Neil Patel's blog Pronet Advertising (very slick design btw). Going through many of his posts I learned a ton about how to increase my traffic through SEO and the whole marketing 2.0 concept. Things like properly using alt tags for pictures and title tags for links can dramatically help the search engines let people find you. Using dynamic meta names for each post, enabling permalinks, utilizing XHTML valid code and putting titles in headings tags (h1, h2..) instead of bolding them can boost your traffic over time.
I also learned of things such as keyword density within posts from the Pronet blog. In a nutshell, if you have a post about a PDA you will want to say the PDA's name and related terms a few times. The search engines can tell what words are related to PDA and will index your page and rank it higher for PDA searches. Just don't say the PDA's name too many times or the search engines might think your site is some kind of splog. Also, you will want to pay attention to the title of your pages. The SEO way to configure your titles is to have the name of the article first, then the name of your site. This way the search engines don't have to go all the way to the end of the page title to see what the page is about and you're more likely to get accurately indexed.
Neil, whom I've met recently, has told me it can take anywhere from a few days to several months to see the effects of any SEO work. Some extreme SEO results have doubled traffic, so I'm anxious to see if and how my traffic changes. It has only been a few days, but I think my work is paying off. I haven't been linked by any major sites today and am already at 2,300 uniques which is unusually high for this time (4pm). If this trend continues I might beat my own record for traffic last month; 138k page views and 74k uniques. If you want to pick up on some tricks of the SEO trade, definitely subscribe to Pronet Advertising's feed. Also, 9ruler Thomas Silkjlr has some SEO tips for WordPress users. Update: take a look at the SEO for Firefox extension.