Increasing your web traffic may feel impossible. You know it’s something you want and need to do, but it’s just such a dautning task. To make things easier for you, I’m going to post a 2-part series on increasing your traffic. Each post will give you a series of goals to accomplish for that week. Sometimes it may take a little bit of hard labor, but it’s worth it. We’re going to start off with proper keyword research, setting up a writing schedule, and creating and publicizing giveaways.
Starting Off on the Right Foot
Nothing can help your traffic if you haven’t got a foundation in proper keyword research.
The Wrong Way to do Keyword Research
Most people resort to the Google Keyword Suggestion tool. All you have to do is pop in a few keywords, see their competition/search value, and have to compete with all the leaders in the field that attract those keyword searches.
Some people look through tons of competitive keywords, searching for keywords that have low competition, and end up finding out that they’re just not used enough to build a viable business off of.
The Right Way to do Keyword Research
To properly value keywords, you really need to look at them deeply. Yeah they may be searched a lot, but are they really related to your site?
Generic words like “cheap flights” or “potatoes” are highly competitive and will probably not result in much of a traffic increase.
Look for keywords that might be a bit more obscure, but are more specific to and maybe even surprisingly pleasant to find for users. For example, “flights to New York below $600” or “organic Idaho potatoes” may be searched a bit less, but will make sure that people looking for your product find it. Your main goal should be to find keywords that hit that sweet spot between generic and specific.
Test Your Keyword Choices
Now that you’ve chosen keywords you need to test them on Google. Type them in and check out the top and sidebar ads.
There are a bunch of ads on the screen competing for attention, but certain ones are likely to catch the eye. The lowest price or the highest amount of reviews will likely attract the user’s eye first. The amount of ads in the top box tends to point to how well a phrase converts, while the amount of sidebar ads also denotes the search value.
I’m Not Even Ranking for the Keywords I Targeted!
Don’t worry. You may not have anywhere near the marketing budgets of sites like cheapoair or lowfares, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. It means you just need to be smarter, not necessarily harder.
Now you need you need to test the performance of your keywords through a AdWords or AdCenter campaign. You’re not trying to be the top of the field right now, you’re just trying to figure out if your keywords convert well. Set up a sample campaign and use “exact match” targeting.
Point your keywords to the appropriate page on your site and let the ad get around 200-300 clicks. Check your analytics to find the number of impressions (times the ad was displayed) and conversions (times visitors did an action on the site).
Ads may not lead every user to buy your product, however putting into consideration that if you had in 24 hours, let’s say, 5,000 impressions, had 250 (a very conservative estimate) visitors, and ultimately had 3 people do a transaction, and your product earns you about $200, then you’re still earning $600 a day. Not bad, especially considering most of the above figures were very conservative estimates. This ultimately means that each user is worth about $2.40 with that keyword. Looking at that from the view of a year, that’s quite a bit of cash.
Of course you don’t need to check every keyword you’ve chosen, but it’s generally a good idea to test out the most promising ones.
There are a lot of more detailed and helpful keyword research tools than the Google Keyword Suggestion tool available. It would probably be a good idea to look through those available, choose one, and use it to test keywords too.
Setting a Regular Writing Schedule
This may sound easy enough, but anyone that has had to deal with schedules knows that procrastination is a serious danger. You may just have writer’s block that certain day or you may keep making up excuses not to write today, or tomorrow, or the next day…
A good way to avoid both dangers is to use a tool like the Editorial Calendar plugin. The plugin allows you to keep track of your articles and when they’re going to be published. So if you’re inspired one day, you can take the articles you’ve written and drag and drop them into place on the calendar.
When planning your writing schedule, keep in mind that quality is better than quantity. If you can only write two good quality articles a week, only write two. Even if you’re having a bit of writer’s block, just sit down and write down your thoughts without concentrating on or editing them (yet). This will help you get the creative juices flowing.
What Can I Write About?
If you’re feeling stumped, here’s a few ideas to get you going:
- Write a List Post
- Lists are one of those types of posts that people continue to love. (Buzzfeed is a great testament to this)
- Life Lessons
- Lessons you’ve learnt throughout your life (especially in your profession) may sometimes sound like a given, but for newbies they can be extremely helpful.
- Service/Product Roundup
- Roundups are collections of services or products that would be helpful for people in some way. Great roundups can go viral on social media.
- What is ___ Worth to You?
- You never know how good something is ’till it’s gone. Retrospective or insightful articles along this line remind people that your and their work are important, and how to spot good work from bad work.
- Mistakes that Even the Pros Make
- We all make mistakes. Sometimes it can be really reassuring to a newbie to hear that they’re not the only ones who make mistakes. It also helps to teach them how to not make that mistake.
How Long should My Posts Be?
There’s no real magic number for this. Really when it comes down to it, it’s the quality that matters. A few case studies have found, though, that 1,010-1501 word articles generally tend to perform better than the average 500-800 word article. It’s always best not to throw something together real quickly and not put a lot of focus into it. Devote some time to it, add some real nice quality content to it.
The Blog Post Matrix
Many times, newbies or people improving their site will try to think of an never-before-done, completely unique topic to write about. That’s really not the best way to go about it as you’ll probably be sitting there for hours trying to find something.
This blog post matrix from HubSpot will help you think of a topic and then customize it for your audience. The basic idea behind the matrix is that you think of a “general” idea than consider your audience’s skill level and the structure and format of the article. Doing this gives you multiple paths to achieve the same result.
Creating and Publicizing Giveaways
Free giveaways are usually used to build email newsletters. The problem is, giveaways aren’t always used correctly. Oftentimes, people don’t take the time to make well thought-out and useful giveaways. People don’t sign up to newsletters unless they’re going to help them somehow.
How do I know what they need?
Most people would probably say you should use a survey. That works if they’ve come to know and respect you enough to take the time to do a survey. The best way to figure out a problem to fix is to send them a quick email with this one, simple question:
What’s the biggest thing you’re struggling with right now when it comes to (your topic)?
Nowadays, every topic has some people asking questions. To solve their problem, a personal-sounding email asking about their problem can get rid of any barriers they may have put up against sales-y gimmicks and give them the opportunity to explain their problems to you.
After they respond, thank them for their time and let them know you’re working on a product to fix this problem and will offer it to them for free if they answer a few more questions to help you refine the product.
Very few people will take the time and effort to create a truly extraordinary product for free. While you shouldn’t go to extremes, the better the product, the more subscribers will think:
“Wow, if he’s giving this product away for free, his paid products must be incredible!”
What if I’m not selling my own product?
If you’re an affiliate, you definitely need to follow these instructions. Affiliate promoters will often give their prospects something free to hand out. The thing is every affiliate will be using this, so do what they won’t do; make it better.
If the affiliate product creator is giving out a how-to article on a product, make a step-by-step video. Also, all affiliate products have something missing or users who have questions to ask – make a comprehensive FAQ for those questions.
Publicizing your Giveaway
When it comes to getting your giveaway out there, you need to realize that all your subscribers are not going to be sitting at their desks, waiting for your email. As such, you need to make sure that you choose an email list provider that includes mobile responsive templates.
Most providers just give your subscribers mobile- or browser-friendly versions, adding an extra step for users. As such, it’s best if your email can respond to whatever environment it’s opened in. The most popular email list providers that offer responsive templates are:
So I’ve made my giveaway, now what?
Now that you’ve made your giveaway, you need to introduce yourself to subscribers in a plain text email. For example, you could link them to a sample issue and tell them how often you’ll be sending out an issue.
You may be wondering why you’re sending this out in a plain text email if you just set up your responsive email list service. It’s because plain text is the easiest format to display on any platform, so people can now what’s going on right after they join. For example, below is Sprout Social’s welcome email:
Notice that in the email, Sprout covers all the bases of an intr0duction email:
- They show you how to best use their services
- They include a quick list of the benefits of their service
- They include a way to contact them with any questions
After you send this out, you can send out your full-featured, responsive-design email within 24 hours, as a follow-up.
That’s it for this week. Next week will cover:
- Creating Social Networks
- Using Quora to Your Advantage
- Using Rich Snippets and Google Authorship
Source: Quick Sprout