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It's well known that a page-one search placement on Google, Yahoo, or MSN for your keywords is imperative for driving organic traffic to your Web site.

If you're not in the first position, or on the first page at all, your click capture and organic Web-site traffic goes down significantly. But if you're already in the enviable top spot position, is there something more you can do to gain even more traffic?

There is, and the really aggressive web players are implementing the strategy effectively. The strategy: owning more real estate on the search engine results page.

The strategy has been put to use by countless other industries and companies, none better than by Starbucks.

Walk down any street in downtown Seattle, and you're almost guaranteed to encounter a Starbucks. And if your Starbucks is on a busy street corner, you can often see another Starbucks location just outside the window.

Strange, sure, but from a business perspective—shrewd. Those two locations combined do more business together than a solitary store on the busy street.

The same principle holds true for search engine results pages. If you "own" more of the real estate, you'll end up driving more traffic to your Web site. So the trick becomes... how do you do it?

The best way to gain search engine real estate is to have several related Web sites. Most importantly, those Web sites should be outside the "walls" of your current web presence. Like the adjacent Starbucks locations, these Web sites have the ability to work together to earn the most search engine real estate. So how do you do it?

Many companies are turning to their most passionate and loyal fans to help them expand their Web site real estate. They are launching branded presences in sites like Facebook, MySpace, Second Life, and corporate blogs, which give their users an ability to interact in a meaningful way with the company.

More recently, many companies are choosing to launch entire wiki Web sites built around their brand.

The new wiki destination site is a social network, forum, and blog rolled into one. Users can create and contribute fresh content using text, images, audio, and video, and engage in online dialogues with others who share their interests. Relevant content is naturally optimized, and frequent changes by various users, give search engines good reason to index it.

To execute a wiki strategy that will gain more share of search engine real estate, be sure to...

  1. Partner with a wiki technology company that has a successful track record.
  2. Develop a solid concept for the wiki site and a compelling destination for consumers.
  3. View it as a valuable communication tool with your customers and participate actively.
  4. Utilize it for information-sharing, dialogue, and presentation of unique content.
  5. Trust your customers.

While concerns about brand-slamming or diluted marketing messages may give some pause, companies are often surprised about how a wiki can bring out the best in their customers.

Consumers often know more about the brands they love than we may realize, and they generally join wikis to share their knowledge and passion about a topic—i.e., your brand—which can also lead to increased loyalty.

Are you ready to take the plunge?

Continue reading "Wiki Your Way to More Search Engine Real Estate" ... Read the full article

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Ben Elowitz is the CEO of Wetpaint (, a developer of wiki technology for collaborating and publishing online.