Of all the marketing strategies to increase your customer base, there’s no doubt that inbound marketing has a major impact on the number of clients you receive from your website. Maximize the traffic your site receives by continually improving your website’s performance and adding additional sources of traffic.
Optimize for performance
There are hundreds of things to consider when you’re trying to rank your website. Running a site audit will uncover errors and performance issues that you can correct to make your site rank higher in the search results.
The ranking algorithm accounts for hundreds of factors in the overall placement of your website. It’s not just the large and blatant errors that will drag your websites ranking down. If your site errors only account for a small percentage of the performance of your site, correcting a large number of them can move the needle in your site’s ranking.
Improve site speed
The significance of the time it takes to load your pages can vary across industries. The retail industry is an example where site speed can play a direct role in the ranking of your website. A faster load time results in a reduced bounce rate, which on the first page of results is a metric that Rankbrain measures as a ranking factor.
The recommended time to load a page is around three seconds to get the first meaningful content on your screen. Many industry averages are still nowhere near the three-second mark. This presents an opportunity for a competitive advantage that results in an improvement in ranking.
Search engines absolutely hate duplicate content. There are penalties dedicated to reducing ranking for any type of content that is copied or repeated on your site.
The main concern is plagiarism but because the penalty is algorithmic, any canonical errors will trigger a Panda penalty. If one of your articles is being displayed on more than one of your pages without a canonical tag it will count adversely against your website.
The Panda update was initiated to address poor quality content. It targeted sites that had duplicate content, spun content and thin content. If your pages fall under any of those three possibilities, Google has penalized your site through an algorithmic filter and you’re suffering a demotion in the ranking.
It would benefit your site to update poor performing pages with more content to boost traffic. If the pages are not salvageable it would make your website more streamlined to delete them altogether.
Make video a regular part of your content
Over 87% of marketers would agree that using video is one of the marketing strategies to increase your customer base. The use of video increases the length of time visitors spend on your site. Increasing the average time on site is considered a ranking factor because it shows the level of engagement between visitors and your content.
Using video allows you to build a channel, subscribers and generate another stream of traffic from YouTube. Since 2017 video has experienced exponential growth in the number of shares, and the number of YouTube users creating a massive traffic opportunity from the number of searches performed daily.
YouTube is officially the second most popular website in the world, recently surpassing Facebook who formerly held the #2 position. People will search YouTube for product reviews and find out how to learn a skill or accomplish a task. By optimizing your videos on YouTube you drive traffic from a completely separate search engine to supplement your overall monthly traffic.
Capitalize on features being displayed on the first page of results
The emergence of SERP features (search engine results page) has been a controversial occurrence that Google has implemented over the years.
These Google products (ads, local listings, featured snippets, etc.) have steadily chipped away at the available traffic to organic search results by absorbing the available clicks. Your company can increase its customer base by optimizing the appropriate feature.
The features that appear in the SERP entirely depend on the search intent behind the keyword being typed. If a user searches for a product, the SERP feature that appears could be a product carousel of ads, a list of Google Ads, local listings and in most cases a People Also Ask Box. If a user types in an informational query it could trigger a featured snippet, knowledge panel and PAA box.
Companies can benefit from the different streams of traffic from each of these Google features, however, each requires a separate method of SEO to be featured in the top positions.
The featured snippet is a Google product in which your website can compete if it currently ranks within the top 10 results on the first page. By optimizing the HTML for the snippet that exists you can win the snippet position as well as be listed in the organic results. The snippet represents approximately an 8% gain in the volume of traffic your site receives.
The Local Finder is an additional source of traffic that can provide high converting visitors to your site. The finder will list the companies that operate within your city and display the company information you provide in your Google My Business profile.
By optimizing your website for localized search results you can not only place your business in the organic results but in the local pack as well. The additional position on the first page of results can make a significant difference in the quality of leads your company receives.
The PAA boxes are also a good source of additional traffic. To appear in the PAA boxes your content should be optimized to answer questions that are currently being displayed in your keyword search.
Increase your client base
A top position on the first page of organic search results is definitely the goal for your company. Improve the performance of your site to continue your upward climb to the top of the first page. No matter how small the improvements, nothing is too insignificant when every jump in ranking will increase the traffic your website receives.
Take advantage of every opportunity to implement effective marketing strategies to increase your customer base and provide more revenue for your company.
SEO requires addressing. many moving parts to get your website to rank on the first page of Google. Not only do you need to account for the most influential ranking factors, but you also have to publish pages to outperform your competition. As you work towards these objectives it’s imperative to avoid these 10 common SEO mistakes that could cost you time and money to correct.
No-indexing a page
Whenever you publish a page on your site, search engines need to index the page and make it available in a search result. A “noindex” command will tell search engines to ignore the page completely and exclude if from its index.
If you’re publishing content frequently or have granted multiple user access, it’s one of the common SEO mistakes to accidentally mark the page noindex in the settings or in the HTML editor.
You can check to see which pages are marked “noindex” by entering your URL in the dashboard Deepcrawl.com
This tool will crawl your site and report the errors your website is generating as well as report all of your pages marked noindex.
Failing to submit a sitemap
A sitemap is a list of all the pages that have been published on your website. Think of it as a blueprint search engines use to confirm the pages your site has on its index. Without a sitemap, you risk that your pages will not be indexed without any links pointing to the domain.
Search engine spiders find new content through a sitemap or by crawling webpages and following links on the pages to new pages. If you don’t have any internal or external links to your pages, you need to include those pages on a sitemap or they will never appear on Google-or any other search engine index.
To avoid this potential disaster, go to the Search Console and click on the sitemaps tab. You can submit your sitemap directly to Google to make sure it has all of your pages on their index.
Missing a canonical tag
If there’s one thing that will immediately get your website penalized-it’s duplicate content. This could get your website sandboxed however you can easily correct the situation and recover your ranking by deleting the duplicate pages.
The second option for posting content that isn’t original is to add a canonical tag:
<link rel=”canonical” href=https://originaldomain.com />
Place this tag on the page that would be considered duplicate content and it communicates to search engines where the original document exists.
Paying for links
It is against Google’s best practices to engage in any link-building scheme that manipulates ranking. Any website that is exposed to being in a paid link transaction will suffer a penalty that will reduce ranking, traffic and overall search visibility.
If you make the mistake of buying links from a website that gets exposed for selling links-both the site selling links and everyone linked to it will be penalized. Google has come down hard on sites that sell links and everyone involved.
Ask for the links to be removed or nofollowed immediately. If you don’t get the website to respond, your last option is to use the disavow links tool.
Overusing anchor text links
There was a time where your ranking improved by acquiring more backlinks with the keyword as anchor text This practice is no longer effective and when done in excess will trigger an algorithmic filter (commonly referred to as a Google penalty).
Use anchor text sparingly, whether you’re linking from within your site or from a referring domain. Too many anchor text links and your site will be deemed over-optimized and banished to the Google sandbox for that specific keyword. Keep in mind that little to no use of your anchor text may leave your page under-optimized.
Balancing your off-page and on-page optimization is a skilled practice that requires strategy back by analytical research of the what’s working for the top ranking websites for your keyword.
Not targeting a keyword
It shouldn’t come as surprise when your page doesn’t rank if you haven’t optimized for a keyword. When you’re publishing content you should target a keyword by improving your on-page optimization to target specific keywords(s).
Choose a target keyword and place it in the expected places on your page that enhance optimization such as the title, URL, within the first paragraph and in your image alt tags.
Your on-page optimization will help to clue search engines in on the keyword you want your content to appear for in the search results.
Choosing the same keyword on multiple pages
If two pages are optimized for the same keyword they compete with each other and search engines will more often than not rank both pages lower than what they could be ranked. This is known as keyword cannibalization.
Optimize every page on your website for completely different keywords. If you have separate pages that target the same keyword you can opt to consolidate the content from both pages on the top-performing page (the page with more backlinks and more traffic).
If you choose this option, you will need to redirect the URL that you’re deleting to indicate where the content has moved. This change to your website should get you a boost in ranking and an increase in traffic to the existing page.
Unnatural link building
Avoid unnatural link building, such as building too many anchor text links from the same website. Any time links that are deemed unnatural by Google it results in the loss of your ranking. According to Google’s best practice guidelines, links are supposed to be acquired organically, naturally and but without the intent to manipulate ranking.
If a brand new website that has been around for a month suddenly gains 10,000 backlinks, it’s going to raise some red flags.
Keep your link building looking natural to avoid any further scrutiny on your site.
Not sharing your content
If you haven’t built links or ways for people to find your content, your page won’t get any traffic and will never rank highly. When you publish content, get it in front of as many eyes as possible so it can be shared, linked and rise in ranking to drive additional traffic.
Post your content to your social media network for an injection of traffic to your site. The added boost of people can start the ball rolling if people are sharing and linking back to it.
You can also build links to your page to improve the ranking and ultimately the traffic it receives. The additional backlinks will improve the page authority, ass more ranking ability and create more entry points to your website.
Inability to satisfy search intent
Search engines will look for the best websites to display on their first page of results. One of the main reasons a page will rank is found in its ability to satisfy search intent. Failing to do so is one of the worst common SEO mistakes to make.
If you can keep a user on your page and your page ends their search, you have effectively satisfied search intent. If your content is thin and lacking information, your site will not rank highly because of its inability to satisfy search intent.
Identifying the true intent of a user can be logically deduced as well as researched to explore a wide range of options. Keyword research provides many clues to the related topics users will be searching, along with your keyword.
By identifying the topics and subtopics that the user will naturally be interested in you cover a wide base of intent. You can demonstrate this ability by publishing and linking related content on your website to form topic clusters. This is a basic model for creating depth in your topic and ranking highly for your main keyword topic.
Avoid common SEO mistakes to make a first-page appearance
Considering the sophistication of search engines it always helps to get started in the right direction by accounting for the most important ranking factors. Learn from the common SEO mistakes that have been made by many and build your site a permanent residence on the first page of Google.
The difference between SEO and PPC is that search engine optimization is used to improve your position in the organic search results to receive unlimited free traffic, whereas PPC is paying Google for a designated spot on the first page and you pay for every click made to your website.
There are so many options to advertise your business online that knowing which way to go about it requires having clearly defined goals in order to develop the best strategy for your company. One major decision your company may be considering is whether to use paid advertisements or invest in search engine optimization.
On one hand, you have a paid version that puts you on the first page of Google immediately. On the other hand, you have a major portion of traffic that heads to the organic results. Which one is the right option for your company?
Related reading: 7 Tactics To Improve Your Pay Per Click Marketing Strategy
What are the organic search results?
The organic results are all of the websites listed as Google’s top choices, which they base primarily on a website’s ability to answer search intent. Websites compete with one another trying to earn the highest-ranked position in the organic results.
Investing in SEO improves the quality of your content, website optimization and increases backlinks to improve your website’s ability to rank. The organic results are everything that’s not a paid result or a Google SERP feature (local listings, featured snippet, knowledge panel, etc.)
What are the paid results?
The paid results are usually the first listings in a search result at the top of the page that is labelled “Ad” to the left of the URL. To be placed in this position companies will set up a PPC campaign (pay-per-click) and whenever a user clicks on the listing they pay a fee for a person to visit their site.
How much does PPC cost?
The CPC (cost-per-click) is determined through a bidding system. Your campaign is set up to pay within a certain range for every click made to your site. You determine the maximum amount you are willing to pay for each click.
If the keyword that you’re bidding on is making people money, the CPC will be driven up higher because people are willing to pay more for keywords with high commercial value.
It’s not uncommon to see CPC’s of $80 per click in the bail bonds industry due to the nature of the business. For keywords like “fidget spinners,” you could expect something less than a $1 per click.
PPC campaigns can be capped at a monthly limit of your choice. If your budget only allows $1000 a month then you will as many clicks as $1000 affords. If your keywords are $20/click you will only get 50 clicks to your website for the month.
How much does organic traffic cost?
Optimizing for organic search results represents a different approach to generating traffic. The initial cost per visitor starts higher because of the investment required to rank your site.
Let’s assume the average cost of SEO is $1000/month for one keyword and the average time it takes to see results in 6 months.
This means that by each month your cost per visitor start to declines as the volume of your site is increasing.
Advantages of organic traffic
- On average, 1 out of 10 blog posts are compounding posts. That means that the older the post gets the more links, the more shares, the more traffic it builds over time. (~Hubspot)
- The cost per visitor is constantly being reduced with the increase in traffic
- Organic traffic accounts for 60% of desktop searches and 40% of mobile searches so there are more available clicks to your site
- 33% of people will recognize paid ads and purposely skip over the ads to the organic results.
- Ranking your site organically increases your digital footprint within your industry and improves brand recognition
- A strong organic presence will influence the frequency of appearances in localized searches.
- Higher conversion rates from organic results
- People research companies from the organic results
- Traffic continues well after you stop SEO services
Advantages of PPC campaigns
- Puts your site on the first page immediately
- Places your listing at the top of search results
- Immune to Google updates
- Mobile search results have a growing click-through rate
- Mobile has a growing percentage of conversions
There’s no doubt that both strategies to drive traffic are able to increase the revenue your site produces.
If your strategy demands quick short-term results, a PPC campaign can provide that solution at a higher price than what you would pay for organic traffic.
If you’re interested in making more money in the long term, organic SEO has the potential to drive higher volumes of traffic at a much lower price.
For long-lasting results and high volumes of traffic that continues flow to your site even after you stop paying, choose SEO. Invest in the development of your website to appear in the organic results to receive a higher return on your investment.
Featured snippets are Google’s way of delivering what it perceives to be the most accurate response to a search query. Most would consider the featured snippet an improvement in user experience because it directly answers a search query with highlighted information.
Some consider it a negative feature because it provides the information a user wants directly on the result page resulting in a lower click-through rate to your website.
While in any given circumstance, both beliefs are true, the majority of snippets have proven to increase traffic rather than keep it on the SERP.
In 99% of all instances when the featured snippet is triggered in a search result, it appears at the top of the page. Since it appears ahead of the organic results, marketers often refer to the featured snippet as Position Zero.
Recently, Position Zero became the new number one organic listing on the SERP (although it is still referred to as position zero). The old version of snippets allowed a website to win position zero as well as have a position as a blue link in the organic results.
Now, the featured snippet repositions your website position from the organic results with traditional blue links to the top position as an enhanced search result (referred to as a rich result).
What are the advantages of a featured snippet?
Your listing holds the top SERP position
The featured snippet is a coveted position because of its prime location. Your website receives the highest click-through rate and therefore the most traffic from winning the position. This is especially dominant on mobile screens, where the feature takes up most of the screen.
Your search listing becomes and enticing, attractive rich result
What’s more, your website is featured as a rich result. The added markup to displaying your page makes for a more attractive search engine listing. Look at how much more your attention this feature demands compared to the organic blue links.
The featured snippet is considered to brand your website as an expert since Google is featuring you as the top result. This is something that no other feature can do for you regardless if you pay or not.
Organic results are the most trusted in comparison to paid results and so acquiring this position is a major benefit to branding your company as an authority in your niche.
Increased likliehood of being selected for a voice search result
Voice search and featured snippets are linked because the results from voice are often displayed from featured snippets.
In fact, 80% of Google home results are pulled directly from featured snippets. Snippets are considered to be the best answer to a search query, so it makes sense that they would be the first choice in a voice search. The use of structured data also makes it easy for voice assistants to pull information quickly and provide quick and accurate answers.
The different types of snippets
There are four major types of featured snippets that have become regular features on the SERP.
The most common is the paragraph snippet that is seen in approximately 70% of all featured snippets.
The list snippet is the second most common type and accounts for 19.1% of all snippets:
Table snippets account for roughly 6.3%
And videos have slowly been gaining ground, but are still only around 4.6% of all featured snippets.
How do you win position zero?
A function of SEO content writing is to make content “snippable.” It helps to know whether a snippet appears for the keywords you’re targeting. The most common searches that trigger a snippet are searches that begin with can, how, what, who, when, why.
Rather than search manually for every possibility, it’s best to use software to streamline your efforts when researching keywords. When you’re assessing the potential of a keyword you can see what features appear on the SERP and make sure your content is optimized to appear for the question.
Another way to go about identifying opportunities is to search the keywords in which your website holds a position in the top 10 results. You can then toggle the filter to show which of those search terms display a featured snippet on the SERP.
Analyze the current snippet holders content
Although no one has the exact recipe for how Google decides what website to place as the featured snippet, the best practice is to include the major characteristics common among snippet holders.
Secure Socket Layer
It should be a given that your website uses HTTPS. If you haven’t got onboard yet, you’re way behind. Google has made it clear that HTTPS offers a slight ranking advantage over HTTP. Regardless of search engines, consider the fact that users don’t want to visit a website that is marked as “not secure.”
Chrome labels domains not secure whenever the SSL certificate is missing. In order to get to the site, you need to click on the advanced setting, and then click proceed to the website. This definitely plays a role in how users perceive your website and will contribute to higher bounce rates and a decrease in traffic.
Depth of content
The content on your page should have some substance to it. The depth of your content should be adequate enough to pass as authoritative. If you have a flimsy page with 200 words there’s no chance you could cover any topic in depth or detail. The average word count on pages with featured snippets are over 1100 words.
Always use headings and subheadings to segment your content and highlight the most important aspects. This provides clarity to the content your page covers and is often used in snippets.
Tag your titles and subtitles in the proper hierarchy and if possible, provide a summary answer to your h1 title tag with the subsequent subheadings (h2-h6). The average number of headings on a page that has won the snippet is 14.
The images that are featured in a snippet are not always taken from the page whose answer is being featured. Using images in your content gives your page context and enhances optimization. Let’s face it, content with more images is considered to provide a better user experience and therefore considered higher quality.
The average snippet holder has 8 images on their page with the alt tags completed.
Duplicate the optimization being used to win the feature
To win the snippet, you’ll need to understand what Google likes about the content that’s already being featured. Here are a few major characteristics that are common among the different types of snippets.
A featured snippet in paragraph form is most commonly found to have between 40-50 words explaining the snippet question.
Tag your snippet question and provide the most detailed, comprehensive summary of the answer immediately following the heading.
Keep in mind that Google will use subtitles to form a paragraph in a featured snippet.
Always analyze the snippet holders’ content to see the best way to optimize for the featured snippets. The list snippet can be won by using an ordered list but it can also be displayed as a collection of subtitles from your content.
The best practice is to create lists with 9 or more lines in order to increase the click-through rate to your website. There’s less incentive for a user to click-through to your website if a full list is displayed that answers their intent for the search.
Give your table a title and make sure you phrase the heading using your keyword. Tag the title using h-tags to highlight the questions your table can answer.
Use your snippet question in the title of the video. All YouTube videos are already marked with structured data, however, you should include a transcript of your video in the description. This gives search engines the exact content in the video (which is more than most people provide) creating a competitive ranking advantage.
Increase your traffic with the featured snippet
Featured snippets have become extremely common for answering questions directly on the SERP. Aim to improve the traffic your website receives by winning position zero when your content ranks in the top 10 search results.
The effect of branding your company as an authority combined with the additional traffic will be worth its rewards in new clients and increased revenue.
Want to get your site featured in position zero? Speak to a consultant about including featured snippets in your SEO service package for additional traffic to your website.
Scholarship link building is a widely practiced link strategy to acquire .edu links from schools and universities by offering an outside scholarship to students.
The strategy became extremely popular because of the success that websites were experiencing ranking for competitive terms from the links they received from universities.
Although some of the criteria have changed offering scholarships to schools and universities can be an excellent way to brand your business and acquire powerful links to your website.
What makes a quality backlink?
The best backlinks are those that come from trusted sites from within your niche. That’s it, bottom line. Preferably those sites will have high domain authority.
Domains that have a strong backlink profile will pass on more authority to your site than that which has a low domain authority.
Before search engines could determine the context of the content, a link from any high authority domain would improve the ranking of your site-no questions asked.
Today search engines are extremely efficient at establishing the relationship between pages that are linked making the relevance of your links a much stronger ranking signal.
Establish link relevance
To illustrate this further let’s use two websites as an example. The first is the iron chef’s blog with a DA of 83 and the second is a local web development company that has a new website with a DA of 23.
If you’re a software developer, the link from the newer company within your niche will count for more than from a cooking blog-no matter how juicy its metrics are. The relevance of the link is the most important aspect of link building.
When a link has no relevance to the content it points to search engines will assign low value, ignore it completely, or devalue your websites domain authority if there is obvious evidence of link manipulation.
Are all links are created equal?
There has been a long-standing assumption that .edu links hold more inherent value than a regular link. This dates back to a time before search engines had the ability to determine context. A .edu link was considered an incredibly powerful link because they are from schools and universities and were typically hard to come by.
John Mueller made a statement that busted the myth that .edu links were better than other top-level domains.
The underlying truth to this misconception of .edu links being higher quality wasn’t just because they were “.edu” but because they were from trusted websites. A link from a .edu was associated with great metrics.
Universities tend to have thousands of links and are high authority domains. Although the domain extension is not the reason, there are massive amounts of high-quality links in the education industry that will provide a competitive advantage because of great metrics.
Use scholarship link building to acquire high-quality backlinks
The strategy is to offer scholarships to universities who in return post your offer on their website with a link to your site. This tactic emerged when companies were able to successfully acquire .edu links for a reasonably cheap price. This tactic is still working to provide a safe and competitive link building strategy when it is from a site that will benefit your own.
The concept is simple. Your company offers a $1000 scholarship to a student. The scholarship is awarded to the winner of a competition for who can write the best essay for a topic in your niche.
How to make a scholarship offer
For example, if you were in the software business, a page would be built on your site specifically detailing your scholarship offer. The offer would be sent to schools that offered tech-related courses to compliment your industry. The offer might read like this:
“Software Tech believes that the best solution to living a good life is through secondary education. We are awarding a $1000 dollar scholarship to the student who writes the best essay for how accounting software is changing the way we do business.”
If a university accepts your offer, it will be listed on your site as an outside resource that provides financial assistance. You get a link from their page to your scholarship offer and your site receives a boost in ranking from a link related to your industry with great metrics.
Keep in mind that before you offer any school this offer, you will need to vet each website. The same rules apply to .edu sites just as they would to any other website that you would consider as a link opportunity.
For example, the number of outbound links that are on a page will affect the link quality. Pages that look like low-quality directories might be under fire and closely scrutinized by search engines so they would need to be avoided.
Scholarship link building is still an effective link building strategy
Finding quality school websites that will agree to a scholarship offer has become more difficult but there are still many link opportunities that exist that will add value to your backlink profile.
Scholarship link building can be used as a way to brand your business and create newsworthy information your company can use for press releases, which will provide additional links to your site.
When this strategy is executed according to the best practices, you acquire powerful backlinks that provide a competitive edge in the search results.
Related Reading: 9 Effective Backlinking Strategies FOr 2020
Imagine you fell from Google’s good graces. What then? Would your website be doomed to a life of mediocrity or are there alternative traffic sources you could use to bridge the gap?
Luckily for all of us, Google isn’t the only source of traffic for finding streams of interested visitors. It does however account for 86.86% of the global search traffic making it the largest source of traffic available.
Can a business survive without tapping into Google at all?
When you take into account the options available, you may be surprised at how effective these alternative traffic sources are for driving high-converting visitors to your website.
Although it’s been a top choice as a marketing tool for many years, the momentum YouTube has gained in the last few years has been formidable. YouTube officially passed Facebook and is now the second most popular website in the world, with approximately 2 billion users.
YouTube is no longer just a way to supplement the traffic to your website, it’s now become an entire business model.
Image source: https://www.businessofapps.com/data/youtube-statistics/
Here are a few stats that prove the value of using YouTube for traffic:
- 96% of people between the ages of 19-24 use YouTube (~Statistica, 2018)
- Traditional TV is on the decline down 12% with 18-34 year-olds (~Marketing Charts, 2018)
- 1.9 Billion logged in users every month (~YouTube, 2019)
- During 2017-2018 people have watched over 50000 years of product review videos (~Think with Google, 2018)
Search engines are listing videos more frequently as the best solution to answering search intent. This presents opportunities in driving traffic from both Google search as well as YouTube.
The fact is that YouTube is being used as a search engine for people looking for “how-to” videos and product reviews. For many businesses, this aligns perfectly with building brand recognition and driving traffic with visitors who are already in the buyer’s journey. Tapping into this market to generate more leads is an option that cannot be ignored.
Most shared form of content
As the most shared form of content, videos can generate traffic from YouTube itself as well as be shared on multiple social platforms and websites.
This is a powerful quality for driving traffic and getting your content in front of a larger audience. If someone likes your video and shares it on their Facebook network, you’ve exponentially increased the reach your video has just from one person.
YouTube is a search engine itself
With over 2 billion users on YouTube, there is already plenty of traffic on-site that you can take advantage of. People go directly to YouTube to learn more about a brand, watch a product review or even just to learn how to do something.
The fact that there are fewer videos than web pages also makes ranking on YouTube considerably easier for a lot of keywords. You can optimize for non-competitive phrases and begin ranking for those terms in less than 24 hours.
How many words is a video worth?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth? The truth is many people prefer video to any other content type. There’s more descriptive value, brand recognition and users can digest a lot of information with less effort than reading.
Gen X and the Millennial generation have traditionally leaned towards watching videos as a personal preference. This should be enough for publishers to reconsider their marketing strategy when videos will continue to play a larger role in driving traffic and conversions.
An influencer is a person who has the power to influence a large audience to make a purchase decision. By simply reviewing a product provides a company with added exposure to drive traffic. A mention on a video or social media post can lead thousands of curious followers to flock to a website. With power like this, influencers have become a viable option as a source of traffic and conversions.
To illustrate the power of influencers the royal family serves as a perfect example. When Prince William and Kate Middleton presented their baby to the public for the first time, the baby was wearing a swaddling blanket from Aden and Anais.
Neither Prince William nor Kate had any monetary motivation and didn’t mention the blanket and yet Aden and Annais went from 14k searches to 70k searches within a month. The increase in traffic was so sudden that it crashed their servers on several occasions.
The one event with their product on a major influencer has made millions of dollars for the company Aden and Anais.
How to get mentioned by an influencer
For the most part, influencer marketing requires money in the budget to pay for a post or mention. Generally, the bigger the influencer, the more money they ask for since they have more people in their network.
Take a look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s followers sitting at 204 million. One mention from him could send your sales through the roof, however, it probably costs quite a lot to get your product in his hands and in front of his audience.
A more cost-effective strategy is to approach micro-influencers in your niche. A micro-influencer has around 10-15K followers and is a lot more accessible than a celebrity or major influencer. They also cost a lot less than those with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers.
Mention influencers in your content
It’s not always feasible to pay influencers for a mention but if you’re smart about your posts and strategically include them in your content, you’re more likely to get mentioned.
For example, Jetish Patil was able to get a mention on Twitter by simply quoting Robbie Richards and then tagging him in the tweet. Robbie happened to notice it and retweet his quote to his audience. Bam! Now he’s in front of Robbie Richards massive social network.
Measure the impact influencers have on your traffic
It’s important to have a way to measure and track the success of influencer marketing. It’s hard to know whether your success is directly coming from the influencer’s network without having a system in place for measuring results.
One way where you can save money on the cost and measure direct results is to pay Instagram influencers to publish a story on your company or product. An Instagram story only lasts 24 hours but if people swipe up they are taken directly to your website.
This approach can give you an excellent idea of the success of your campaign since it only runs 24 hours. Any additional traffic and conversions that you receive during that time can largely be accredited to the impact of your influencer.
#3-Guest post with a Personal Influencer Network (P.I.N.)
Guest blogging can land you some high-quality links on high traffic websites. This strategy alone is ideal for generating referral traffic when your content is being featured on websites that generate large volumes of traffic.
Combine guest posting with a team of partners to multiply your guest posting efforts and generate more traffic than if you were doing it all yourself.
The simplest approach is to reach out to the authors that have already been published on top sites in your niche. You want to make sure they’re publishing quality work on websites that have a good readership and are writing about topics directly related to your business.
The deal is to provide a mention for a mention. Keep track of the links you’re giving and receiving on a shared Google spreadsheet so you can monitor how much weight everyone is pulling in comparison to yourself.
With five people in your network, every article you publish is worth 6 links. The link you include on your guest post and the five links that are coming back to you because you linked to your partners’ websites.
Not everyone will hold their weight so when you find partners who are active and do keep up their side of the bargain-take care of them. A good team is hard to find.
#4-Paid ads & retargeting
It’s not the cheapest source of traffic, but using paid ads with retargeting can be a powerful way to drive converting visitors to your website. You don’t need to use Google Adwords, when you have other options such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and even other search engines to choose from.
Paid advertising is a way to instantly get your website in front of an audience in a top position. You will pay to get the traffic to your site, but if you’ve managed your campaigns widely, there is still money to be made from these programs.
Cut costs and increase conversion with retargeting
Use a retargeting pixel to reduce the cost per click and increase your conversions. If you select this strategy in your campaign setup, you can get your ad to appear in front of anyone who visits your site a set number of times.
It takes an average of 7-12 points of contact to get a person comfortable enough to purchase from you without knowing who you are. Retargeting allows you to hit these numbers by uploading a cookie into your visitors’ browser whenever they visit your website.
If someone shows interest by clicking on an ad and visiting your site, your ad will continue to appear whenever they search to continue to remind them of your brand.
This form of marketing is proven to reduce the cost per click in your PPC campaigns and increase the number of conversions.
#5-Provide expert solutions on forums and discussion groups
Although Google has become somewhat of a knowledge centre, there are still many forums that attract visitors who are looking for niche-specific answers based on other people’s experiences. Be the expert who answers people’s questions and drop links to your site strategically to further explain topics that your site already answers.
Considering that over 300 million people use Quora every month, it stands to be that you can find a considerable number of questions to answer to brand your business and drive referral traffic.
Look for questions that are already followed by at least 15 people so there is an audience for your response.
People who follow questions receive an email whenever a new response comes in. If your answer is upvoted it moves up ahead of other responses.
If it has the most votes, it’s featured at the top of the list of responses that have been submitted by other users.
Drop your links strategically, which is whenever it makes sense to link to additional content for reference. Avoid directly promoting a product within your answer. You risk being banned if your responses are overly promotional.
At 430 million users a month, Reddit has a lower number of users than Google or YouTube, however, it still represents a large traffic opportunity if you play the game right. Build an audience for your content by joining niche groups and sharing quality information about your expertise.
Take note, that Reddit is known to be stricter than Quora or other sites about self-promotional content. It isn’t uncommon to be kicked out of a group or banned for linking to your website to promote products or services.
Be a contributor when you’re participating in discussions. Establish yourself as such by commenting and contributing to discussions before posting any links to your site. People will be skeptical if you’re new to a group and come in with your guns blazing, posting links to your website left, right and centre.
When you do post links, make sure they’re relevant to the discussion and provide value to those involved. As a valued Reddit contributor your input will be granted an audience and you can pick and choose the moments where it’s appropriate to post a link to your website.
This also falls under the same guidelines as posting in forums and discussion groups. Join industry-related groups to discuss niche-specific content and promote your business along with other members’ content.
Aim to join smaller groups that don’t hit the million mark with the number of members. This way you have an easier time getting noticed. When there are too many members in a niche-group, your posts tend to be drowned out by the millions of other posts, making it hard to build any traction.
#6-Comment on new articles on high-authority websites
Every niche has an established list of top websites that are well known in the industry and drive a lot of traffic. Whenever a new article is published there are thousands of people that read the article within the first few weeks. Be the first person to read and comment on the article to drive referral traffic to your website.
Be the first to comment
If you’re among the first to leave a comment, you’re in the best position possible to be seen by the most visitors who finish reading the article.
When you comment, make sure you leave a response that is insightful or provokes thought. You want to grab the attention of those reading or at the very least make an impression on their minds so they click-through to your website.
Attach a link to your website from your name
Most websites that have the option to comment on articles will allow you to attach a link to your website to your name. If people like what you’ve posted they’ll end up clicking on your name and landing on your website.
As the first comment on a high traffic website, you divert a small percentage of the thousands of visitors reading the article to your website for the life of the article.
#7-Get listed in relevant, high-quality directories
Every industry operates differently than others and in the same respect, people will search differently. A high-quality niche directory provides users with niche-specific businesses that have been qualified and vetted as legitimate businesses. This gives users more confidence in choosing a business from their directory.
An excellent example of this is Clutch.co that vets companies they list on their directory. Not only do they make sure you’re a legitimate business, but they call your clients (with your permission) to obtain an original and legitimate review of your services and products.
Apart from high-quality directories, there are major directories that people use (even if it’s from old habits) like Yellow Pages. It wasn’t too long ago that Yellow Pages was handing out those huge yellow books to homes and businesses for people to find each other.
That’s ancient history now, but many will automatically search for a local business using yellow pages because they are so well known.
City directories and major directories all represent streams of referral traffic that can be used to direct visitors to your website. The following is a visualized ecosystem of how information was shared across the internet in Canada.
#8 Alternate search engines
With so much emphasis on Google, the other search engines are so easily forgotten. Google dominates the global search engine market, but there are still pockets of opportunities that exist.
Bing, for example, owns more than 10% of the desktop search traffic in the American search engine market and 9% of the Canadian.
Yahoo! Is the third largest search engine but consider that even companies that DuckDuckGo have a very small share in terms of the global market, 1% of billions of searches are still millions of searches being made every day and is worth the attention.
#9-Social media networks
There’s already been discussion about YouTube and influencer marketing but we haven’t touched on the topic of being your influencer on social media. There are so many social media users that you have several options to choose from that are more appropriately suited to your niche.
It’s obvious that Facebook offers the largest number of users, but there should be more focus on what type of social website your ideal client is using. If you’re selling high-ticket items or are a B2B service provider, LinkedIn is a good match for finding an audience that is more suited to what you offer.
Whenever your products are image-based, retail items, Instagram and Pinterest are undoubtedly among the most powerful websites to attract high converting visitors.
People like to interact with their favourite brands. They remain more loyal and are more likely to purchase from your company once they’re following you.
Choose 1 to 3 social media websites at most to build a presence where you can interact with users regularly.
Posting content once a week isn’t good enough. To successfully build a loyal and interested audience you need to comment, respond and share relevant content with your network.
How could we end a list without including email marketing. This is one of the oldest forms of online marketing and yet it is still among one of the most effective.
Did you know that the average conversion rate from an email list is 3%, while paid ads are somewhere around 0.9%? This means that if you’re getting people to opt into your email campaign, you’re collecting a group of people with more interest in your content than the average person who clicks on a paid ad.
As an alternate source of traffic, you are in complete control over when you send people to your website. Even if Google blew up, with a big enough list you would still be able to get people reading your content and buying your products.
An email list is the perfect Google-proof solution to maintaining high volumes of traffic as well as increasing the sales and revenue you generate regularly.
There are more sources of traffic than just Google
As you can see, there are a lot of different options when it comes to driving traffic. Google owns the lion’s share of searches, but it doesn’t mean you can’t operate a business with a full-time income through alternate sources of traffic.
The way people search and interact with brands online has evolved dramatically over the years and will continue to do so. Make sure you have your hands in a few different cookie jars to maximize the traffic your website receives regularly.
Although alternative traffic sources exist, it’s nice to have the best of all worlds and keep your website in Google’s good graces.
The key performance indicators found in the reports from your SEO consultant should be assessed for how visitors are responding to your site.
The information your site generates can be used to determine whether you’re on track in achieving specific campaign goals as well as indicate its strengths and weaknesses in achieving specific goals.
Google Analytics is a commonly used tool to track the performance data of your website. An analytics report will indicate where your website is falling short and how you can improve in those areas.
Sources of traffic
The traffic your site generates comes from multiple channels, which are separated, into paid, organic, social media and referral traffic. When assessing the traffic your site is receiving it’s important to understand how each channel performs individually to evaluate the effectiveness of each source.
Monthly search volume
When you’re engaged in SEO you should be aware of the traffic your site is generating. Are you getting the monthly traffic from the right channels? Is your monthly search volume declining or rising each month? Is this in line with the expected results of your SEO campaign?
Keep in mind that if your campaign targets low volume keywords that convert higher than it would be expected to have a lower search volume. In this case, the volume isn’t a KPI in your campaign, and you would want to see improvement from your engagement statistics.
Average time spent on page
The time a user spends on your page can be a good indication of their level of interest. If the overall time of your average user is increasing, this is a sign your visitors are spending more time engaging with your content.
The longer you can keep a visitor on your site, the more likely you are to convert them to a client. This is why the average time spent on a page, or dwell time is statistic your SEO consultant will try to improve.
Average pages viewed per session
A higher value indicates that your visitors like what they are finding on your site. If they are exploring page after page, your content is obviously on track in providing user intent.
When there are fewer pages viewed per session this could mean your internal linking strategy and navigation needs improvement. Connect your pages with links to related content to see an improvement in this metric.
Make your content accessible and easy to find starting on your homepage. If your visitor has topic options to choose from they are more likely to explore more pages on your site.
Conversions are the goals you set up that you want visitors to accomplish on your website. The conversions you set up in Analytics can be anything from calling your business, filling out a contact form, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading upgraded content or making a purchase.
Your conversion rates give you insight into the flow of your content and how you funnel your visitors. Are you gently urging users towards your goals? Are you using an effective call to action for completing those conversions?
You can see where your users are exiting your website to make changes to pages that are not effective in guiding or converting your visitors to achieve your on-site goals.
New users vs. returning visitors
This is a useful metric to know whether your campaign efforts are reaching new users and driving traffic that will help to grow your business. Growth through new clients and more sales is the end goal, which means your site; needs to be attracting new users in order to contribute to the bottom line.
When a user lands on your site and backs out, this increases your bounce rate. Analytics will measure the bounce rate based on whether a user clicks on any other pages on your site.
Although this indicator can show how well your site is being matched with your traffic, it won’t indicate whether you are providing exactly what the user needs-making there no reason for them to click further.
The lower your bounce rate, the better indication of higher levels of engagement. Keep your bounce rate under 50% and you’re in the average bracket for most websites. Here is an infographic from Crazy Egg showing the average bounce rate by industry.
The statistics in your search console will vary from your Analytics account. Here you can find stats and information that can provide you with more insight on how your website is performing.
Impressions vs. clicks
It’s important to know how many times your website is being displayed for specific queries. In the search console, you can see what keywords your site is being displayed for as well as how many clicks it’s receiving.
Understand your key performance indicators
In order to know how your website is progressing, you need an awareness of what it is doing now. Get familiar with the key performance indicators that apply to your campaign goals. Take the next step to increase the size of your business with our SEO services.