Traffic is one of the essential issues you should think about and aim at solving upon launching a new website. I mean, you need traffic in order to render your efforts as being worth it, in order to render the website as being successful. You need traffic because otherwise designing, launching and managing a website would have been pointless.
A website is great for a company and becomes essential for personal branding. A professional with a blog has the unique chance to build an audience, become more reputable in his or her niche and grow in influence among peers and clients.
What can you do if you are not a SEO specialist, you have limited or none tech skills and everything you know about websites is content related only?
Can you build up traffic, attract a significant audience and be successful in your editorial process?
Well, of course you can, especially now, when search engine pay more attention to the quality of the content than to anything else.
Apart from writing really good and informative pieces, here are some of the best advice you can get your hands on at this moment:
1. Start building up your SEO skills
A lot of your incoming traffic can and should be based on organic search. For that to happen, you’ll need a good website and page ranking and the first thing you can consider towards this end is link building.
Links are an important part of an SEO strategy and implicitly, an important part of a website’s marketing strategy. They can grow your brand’s reputation, bring in new customers or readers, make your voice louder and easier to be heard in an overcrowded online market.
According to a study conducted by SemRush on over 600,000 keywords referring domains and backlinks continue to be among the most important factors the websites’ rankings depend on.
With this article, I will try to pinpoint some of the best strategies and help you achieve your goals faster and with minimal effort.
What do you need?
It’s quite obvious that the first thing you need to consider at this point is to acquire knowledge regarding the link building phenomenon. The things you need to know to depend mostly on your strategy, the type of your business and of course, the demographic group you want to target.
Besides that, you should also aim at building up your professional skills.
The better you are at what you are doing, the better your write about the stuff you like, the more likely is that some other websites will quote your pieces and give you backlinks.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to acquire some PR skills, just in case you need to develop relationships with peers and fans. You will most probably need this to communicate with your readers, to understand how media works and links back to their sources and of course, how to engage third parties in being brand advocates.
How do you proceed?
Start by studying all the materials you can get your hands on regarding link building. Start following the YouTube channels of Ahrefs and Siege.
Put everything you learn into practice and test your knowledge as much as possible. This is one of the reasons I always recommend my peers and my readers to start a side project and test their skills with it.
Why are these skills important?
SEO Skills – They help you understand the technical details of your link building strategy and the important things that you need to take care of when optimizing a website. It is important to understand what backlinks are and what they mean from SEO perspective, to understand how to attract links and the anatomy of a link as well.
Content Marketing Skills – In order to attract backlinks and build up your website ranking/optimizing it for search engines, you need content. You need good, valuable content and a strong brand, a brand built by trust and consistency. This is why understanding and learning how to properly create and conduct a content marketing campaign is vital in this context.
PR skills – While usually PR refers to “public relations”, I am going to simplify the idea and adapt it to this context as “press relations”. What I am trying to say is that you need to understand the press as a media channel and as a source of valuable backlinks. Learn how it works and why people link back to other websites, what a valuable source means and how to adapt your content to make sure you get cited. Also, developing PR skills means to learn how to tell a story that people would like to read and share with their friends and with their audience.
2. Build-Up Relationships
Relationships are important, especially if you are building them up with peers or people responsible for websites from the same or adjacent niches.
Well, this answer is easy to give. Relationships will help you get backlinks from relevant and valuable sources. Links coming from similar websites will give you more authority and as a consequence, will make your pages more visible as they will rank better on Google and other similar search engines.
People who know each other and have a relationship are more likely to link back to each other’s pages instead of other relevant sources. Plus, you get to be asked before they link back to you and as of consequence, they will not give you irrelevant links that could harm your search engine ranking.
One of the biggest mistakes content marketers make when it comes to building relationships is to fall into the trap of unrealistic expectations. They expect they problems to be resolved immediately. They expect people will love them and share their stories just because they are published. They expect people to help them without giving anything in return. They are wrong. Building relationships is similar to building friendships. It takes a lot of work and you can never take it for granted. Adjust your expectations and start working on building these friendships.
Tips from building up relationships:
Create valuable things for your community. And, by things, I am referring mainly to content. Regardless of its type, be it text based, audio based or video based, it is important to make sure it adds value to your audience. I, for example, use my personal blog to write about all the things I learn, the industry I work with and the news I read regarding my field of expertise. I try to offer quality content to my peers and connect with all my readers, share ideas and information etc. Another good example comes from Matt Navara. He connects with his audience via social media by distributing news and How To’s and engaging actively with them.
Facebook is killing it relevance score + 6 other ad metrics:
– Offers Saved
– Cost Per Offers Saved
– Messaging Replies
– Cost Per Messaging Replies
– Mobile App Purchase ROAS
– Web Purchase ROAShttps://t.co/6t71FdxFkQ
Always respond to comments and to questions asked by your readers, customers and/or followers. This is one of the most important aspects of building a relationship: dialogue. If you are always open to communication and have solid proof of a good communication, chances are, you’ll get more customers than before.
Join Tweet chats, Facebook groups and other social media based communities, engage with your peers and speak your mind. Share your ideas, values and technical expertise.
Offer valuable feedback in private. For example, if you read an article and see a typo or another error, write an email to the website owner or to the author and give valuable feedback.
3. Start Creating Valuable content
Content is the most valuable resource when it comes to marketing, increasing web traffic and building a website’s branding. It is important for brand awareness, customer growth, and acquisition. It is also important for link building and I will tell you why:
Good content attracts readers. Some of these readers will prove to be writers as well, with their own blogs or their own content marketing strategies. If your content is relevant and valuable, most of your readers will link back to it. Other bloggers or marketers will cite your words, while regular readers will share your pages via social media.
The better your content is, the more unique/original and interesting is, the more backlinks it will generate. These backlinks will attract more readers and, if they come from relevant sources, they will also contribute to the growth of your search engine ranking.
Whatever your choice may be, make sure it is relevant to your audience and appropriate o what your industry is about.
You can also define “valuable” as problem solver. If you are always aiming at solving your readers problems, your content will add value to them and lead to backlinks and shares. What constitute a problem in this context? Well, lack of info on a specific topic is a problem that can be easily fixed with an article based on that topic. A technical difficulty is a problem that can be solved with an easy to understand tutorial. If your audience wants something, you solve that problem by giving them exactly what they want. It maybe text based, video based, audio based or a combination of these three.
Take for example Seth Godin: He writes daily, he publishes a podcast weekly, he creates video content once in a while and he manages to find time to write books as well. He understands his industry, he understands how his audience consumes content. He doesn’t use an Instagram account because his targeted demographics may not be there. He uses however all other channels that may help him build his brand and this is all that matters.
Tip: Use a lot of visuals in your articles and blog posts. They are quite powerful these days, especially if they are relevant to your text and add new information to it. They make your visitors spend more time on your page and attract more visitors as well. Graphs, charts, infographics and screenshots are ideal in this case. A featured image is also important, and it will help you a lot if you plan on sharing your articles on social media as well.
Well, guest posting refers to the process of creating and distributing content on another website. A simple search o Google or other important search engines based on “guest posting” query, will definitely provide you with some answers regarding the websites that allow you to register and distribute your own content. Select the ones that fit your industry and/or your strategy and write back in order to receive and learn their guidelines.
Once you have established a communication channel, based on the guidelines, create your own material and send it back to the editors of the website.
How can this help you?
Most of the websites that allow guest posting, will also allow you to include at least one backlink to your website in your personal description.
Some will even allow you to post more backlinks, as long as they are relevant to the content you publish. Either way, you get at least a free backlink to your website.
5. Build a strong personal brand
Finally, there is yet another important thing we need to discuss: the personal brand. Why?
Well, the better you are known in your industry, the better your peers value your expertise, the more likely is that they will cite you and link back to your posts.
For example, I did not understand the important of personal branding until I finally set up my own blog and started to write and publish articles. I did not just wrote and published, however, I also started to build relationships and help others with guides and studies. I had open dialogues with my readers and peers from the same industry and I finally got it: everything matters. And, a personal brand is dependent on the personal relationships and the value you add to them.
Tips for personal branding:
Start by studying a specific niche from your industry. With niche content you have better chances at covering all the essentials and become an expert in what you produce content about.
Document your learning process and transform it into valuable content that can help others. Document everything that changes in that specific industry and stay up to date with the phenomenon.
Experiment with new skills and techniques in your selected niche. Write about these experiments and let everybody know how they worked.
Help others even if they do not return the service. You have a lot to gain from a helpful attitude even if you cannot see it right away.
Create content not only for your website but for other websites as well. Search the most relevant blogs in your industry, find out who allow guest posting and pitch some of your ideas.
Don’t expect anything to happen over night. Take your time, make one step at a time and be patient. Rome was not built in a day. Learn from authentic stories such as Andra Zaharia’s. She is a freelance content writer, she has her own blog and a successful podcast. She developed her own podcasting platform and she uses it to help others who want to start podcasting.
Content creation, link building and branding are some of the most important steps in a website oriented marketing strategy. There are a lot of strategies to try and a lot of decisions to make should you want to be effective and build up traffic. With this article, I have tried to pinpoint some of the best decisions you can make based on the ultimate goal, which is a good search engine ranking and an increasing organic reach.
What do you think about these strategies? Are there any others that on the long run, you deemed as being effective?