Getting a good placement on search engine listings can be a very effective way of bringing visitors to a web site.
However, if they were looking for something entirely different this is not going to help the visitor or the web site owner. A good search engine placement used to be just a matter of adding lots of keywords to the head of a page. The top search engines now take into account lots of other factors : the title, the description and more importantly the text within the page itself. A good site will have lots of other sites linking to it, and that is an important criterion for a search engine to use in the jostle for the top position. This is described in full in our companion guide on Search Engine algorithms.
Strategies that gave a good placement some time ago will not work, particularly as many of the search engines of yesteryear are rarely used. To get a handle on what search phrases people are using to reach your site may suggest that a specialist page concentrating on an item of interest will be worth adding to the site.
Site Vigil produces easy to understand reports on the referrals coming to a web site based on the search engine used and the keywords entered. The following screen shot shows that the terms IP and addresses are quite popular keywords and may justify being given more prominence on the web site. It also shows that Yahoo is the main search engine being used to reach the site.
A good way to bring traffic to a web site and thereby get links and referrals is to add a comprehensive reference section. A web site is only as good as the content it provides and ultimately the best content will win out. Our Site Vigil product has a Site Position utility that analyses web site position.