As you probably know, traffic is the key to success in any business. What you do with that traffic can make or break you, but for the sake of this article let’s focus on how to get traffic in the first place. Sound good? Let’s get started.
First things first. What the heck do I know about traffic? If you judge me based on this site it doesn’t look like I know much. RichKent.com generates barely any traffic at the moment – although I plan to change that shortly. The vast majority of my time is spent building traffic to ‘money sites’. Those are the websites that enable me to eat, sleep under a roof, and travel.
My most successful site generates around 10,000 visits a month, but I have many more sites that generate anywhere from hundreds to thousands of visits a month themselves. Nothing earth shattering, but I make good use of my traffic. So how do you get the traffic in the first place? It takes 3 steps:
Step 1: Keyword Targeting
Put simply, if you’re writing about stuff that no-one is looking for, then it doesn’t matter how good a job you do, you’re not going to get any traffic! So how do you know what people are looking for? Fortunately Google helps us out. The Google Keyword Tool is free and a great way to see what people are looking for.
Let’s say you’re in the air mattress business, and you want to get more traffic from potential air mattress buyers. Simply go to the keyword tool, and enter a few variations of your keyword and let Google do the rest. I entered ‘air mattress’, ‘camping air mattresses’ and ‘air mattress reviews’.
As you can see, there’s great traffic for all 3 words, but ‘air mattress reviews’ has more than double the traffic at 9900 monthly searches as camping air mattress at only 4400.
That means that if I focus my content on ‘air mattress reviews’ I’m targeting a larger source of traffic – and it’s actually a better ‘buying’ keyword too, as people who are looking for reviews are usually interested in making a purchase.
[notice]The search numbers you get from Google are approximate of course – and I pay more attention to global traffic than local, as I’m just as happy to make a sale to Australia as California. Also, the competition bar is a measure of how many people are trying to buy the keyword through PPC. Higher competition usually equals better buying keyword!
Step 2: On Page Optimization
This is critical if you want to rank for a keyword. Let’s say that we want to rank for ‘air mattress reviews’ from Step 1. Here’s what your page should contain for best results.
- Keyword in your URL: www.yoursite.com/air-mattress-reviews/
- Keyword in your Title: This is the text in blue that appears in Google search results. You can control it with wordpress plugins such as Yoast SEO
- Keyword in your Meta Description: This is the black text that appears under you title in Google search results. Repeat your keyword at least once!
- Keyword in title tags – at least <h1> <h2> and <h3> tags
- Keyword in the first and last sentence on the page
- Keyword in the ‘alt’ tag of the first picture on the page
Just to be clear on title and description, you can see what they are in the image at the left.
I wouldn’t worry about ‘meta keywords’ anymore. The vast majority of search engines stopped paying attention to them years ago, and cramming dozens of keywords in the keyword box is a waste of your time.
If you’re looking for a WordPress plugin that makes the onpage optimization stuff really simple, check out my SEO Pressor Review.
Step 3: Backlinks
This is what driving organic traffic via SEO is all about. Backlinks are simply links back to your site. When a website links to your site, that’s one backlink. Got it?
If your site has been online for a while, chances are you’ve got some links to your homepage, but if you’ve just added a page for your air mattress review – www.yoursite.com/air-mattress-reviews/ – it won’t have any links yet.
There are 3 main ways to get links to your website.
- You can wait for people to naturally link to your site
- You can build links to your site yourself
- You can pay someone else to build links to your site
This is tricky stuff, as the search engines prefer that you stick to option 1. Unfortunately, unless your site is already hugely
popular, option 1 can take a LONG time to work – if it ever does.
This has lead to the rise of huge Search firms that charge thousands of dollars to help you rank for keywords. They do lots of the on-page optimization stuff, but they also build backlinks to your site. The difference is that they charge you thousands of dollars to build backlinks, and pretend that they’re doing some behind-the-scenes magic.
I’m here to tell you that organic SEO doesn’t have to be expensive – but the one thing it does take is time, especially if you’re targeting a competitive keyword like our ‘air mattress review’.
The 4 Best Ways to Build Backlinks
#1 Press Releases – I recommend having a press release written for you – although if you’re a good writer go for it. You can find press release services on Warrior Forum that write and submit press releases for you.
Press releases are sent out on the news vine and include links back to your site. This can generate hundreds of links for less than $30.
#2 Article Writing – If you like to write, this is for you. Sites like eZine Articles, Go Articles, and even Squidoo and HubPages will give you links in exchange for quality content. Just make sure you link back to the page you’re trying to get to rank, and use your main keyword as ‘anchortext’:
<a href=”http://www.yoursite.com/air-mattress-review”>air mattress review</a>.
This will give you a link that looks like this: air mattress review going right back to your site. This can get you visitors from people who read your article, and will help your search engine rankings at the same time.
#3 Blog Comment Links (spam?) – If you’re posting on an active blog, it’s rude to link to anything other than your homepage – and chances are your comment will get flagged as spam and deleted. An alternative way to get comment links to deep pages is to use a service such as One Hour Backlinks which uses a list of auto-approve abandoned blogs to build you links.
Cheesy? Yeah a bit, but you’re not hurting anyone, and these links are necessary if you want to rank. One Hour Backlinks is very inexpensive and fast too!
#4 Profile Links – These are generally built on forums or Web 2.0 profiles. If you belong to some forums and haven’t been using your signature for links, then now is a good time to start. Be respectful and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Otherwise, this is a good one to outsource again. On places like Warrior Forum you can find people with either bots or overseas virtual assistants that will build you anywhere from tens to thousands of profile links. These are fairly inexpensive and a good way to improve your search engine rankings.
[notice]Don’t go too nuts with any one type of backlinks. Your goal is to make the backlinks look fairly natural, and that means a wide variety of links from a wide variety of sources. Yes this is a grey area of web marketing, but a necessary evil for current search engine algorithms.
I hope the information on this page helps you understand what goes into generating web traffic. This is what I work on every day – and if you want to generate web traffic, so should you!