It seems like the only advice you can find on SEO on the Internet comes down to this: create content that is worth sharing, content that is worth bookmarking to return to. So people naturally link to your site …
Well, it’s no more complicated than that… The problem is that EVERYONE says that, and there are very few case studies available on the Internet. In addition, the few studies that exist concern large websites that have invested several tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars, in content creation. What happens when a “regular” website tries to stand out on Google?
For these reasons, I decided to share with you some statistics from my personal website as well as strategies that I used to increase my organic traffic from 0 to 1000 visits per week in 25 weeks.
These numbers are interesting since it is not a homerun – anyone can do the same. When we start a website and we have more or less reference points, we are a little anxious and we wonder if we are doing our job well. This text will therefore give you some points of reference as to the results you should expect when you decide to do content marketing.
Here is a summary of the strategies that I will share with you:
- How to write texts that your audience (and Google) love!
- How to use social media to boost your SEO.
- The on-page SEO is not dead, how to optimize your page for the nice robots of Google.
bonus: at the end of this article, i will give my best tip (stolen from Neil Patel) to find out what are the 100 links to get to appear on the first page with any keyword!
Here is a graph of the organic growth of the blog.
Presented like this, it looks impressive. Only if you look at the variations in each month, you realize that this kind of graph is anything but erratic – this is the normal growth of any blog posting good content every week.
Now I’m not saying that you can achieve the same results with your fingers in your nose, I was very aggressive in my promotion strategies. Only, with the tricks I discovered (and all of which are in this article), I could easily do the exact same thing in half the time.
Above you can see a copy of the comparative statistics by month from August to February. As you can see, the growth ranges from 30 to 91%. Nothing a normal website can acquire.
I cut the month of July since with so few visits, I had an increase of 443%, which is impressive, but not representative.
This kind of growth is also possible if you already have respectable traffic, as demonstrated by Neil Patel’s studies with the Tech Crunch website.
To reach these figures, I didn’t no link building and this is my second Guest Post ever. I have also never done an outreach program. This is a very simple and fairly lazy content creation strategy!
So, are you ready to know the strategies that will double your website traffic without much effort?
Strategy # 1 – publish (at least) one epic post per week.
Well, a bit of context, my site is a personal blog where I talk about my passions: web marketing, motivation and productivity. I discuss my contracts there, such as how I won an independent political candidate with Facebook or what is the strategy behind the Voyages à Rabais Facebook page. You will see later if you are interested.
Since September, I wanted to start building my notoriety a little in order to find a job in the field and increase my client base. So I started writing a text a week of 800 to 1,800 words. However, when I saw this graph, I quickly changed my strategy to aim between 2400 and 3000 words.
The goal is not to make content just to make content, the text must be well written and interesting to read. Personally, I blog very seriously. For me, blogging = working. My strategy each week is to try to write the BEST article ever written on a subject. Fast food blogs, quick and easy to read, will attract a little traffic, but no retention. RETENTION is the key to building traffic to your site.
In addition to being super solid, your content should be easy and fun to read. Here is the kind of comment you should have on your site:
3 tips for writing epic blog posts
I’ve always been bad at French in school, I hated writing. To be honest, I was pretty bad. My texts were bland and boring.
While blogging, I discovered 3 super effective techniques that have completely changed the kind of comments received.
Tip # 1 – Curiosity is your friend!
Use the cliffhanger. A cliff what?
That is to say that you voluntarily create a voltage unresolved, a gap between what the person wants to know and what they know. Example: “you’re never going to believe what he told me! But before… ”
What I just did, to say that I was bad at writing before I discovered these 3 tips, is a form of cliffhanger. This stuff is essential, difficult to master, but very effective (but the other two tips are even better).
The more the person advances in a text, the more he must become “attached” to the text. That’s what cliffhangers are for.
Tip # 2 – Be funny, you don’t write an essay (unless you write an essay)!
Another important element is humor. Just because the container is serious doesn’t mean the content should be. Give funny comparisons. In addition to making your points clearer, you will make people laugh. This is how you can earn tweets or likes!
An easy trick to make your texts funnier, make unusual references to popular culture. In this article, I compare the popularity of Miley Cyrus to cats.
If laughing at Miley Cyrus isn’t your thing, try adding words like “ninja”, “epic” or “bacon”. Personally, I’m talking about scotch and world domination, everyone has their own angle;).
Using storytelling is also a good strategy for making a point clear while remaining funny and interesting. Be descriptive, just like in 50 shades of gray, people like the crisp details (yum, yum!).
Oh, and finally, old copywritting stuff, write as you speak – be informal. The tone of the text should be the same as when speaking with a friend. Want some good stuff to get there? Write your blogs thinking of one of your friends in particular, write it down for him! Which brings me to point # 3.
Tip # 3 – People read you for you!
We all have our own “voice”, tone, writing style. Refine your own style and let your personality appear. Share personal experiences sparingly, this will increase the retention of your blog.
You must publish a minimum once a week. The results I present to you could be twice as high if I wrote 2 or 3 posts per week. So if you are full time in your business, blog often!
Strategy # 2 – Social media
I mentioned above that it is important to make people laugh to have tweets and likes. But what does that do in an article on SEO?
Although not everyone agrees on the subject, some argue that social indexes (+ 1 / tweets / likes) have an increasing importance in search results and especially Google +1.
Be aggressive in developing your audience!
So I was ULTRA aggressive to develop my audience. I used 3 platforms: Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin. No! Facebook is not there! Why? Just because I find it “Douchebag” a bit of making a page in your own name!
So I used this questionable technique to gain 10,000 Twitter followers in 6 months and I basically did the same technique to get 2,200 followers on Google+ in 2 months.
Use Linkedin groups as well as Google+ communities. It feels a bit like a spammer when you do that (and with good reason), but if your content is epic, you shouldn’t be ashamed to promote it!
Make people pay with a tweet!
Next, I developed a “social padlock” that unlocks certain information when people click on like / tweet or +1.
In this way, I could greatly increase the sharing rate of a publication, especially if the gift of the end is worth it.
You can also do this without notifying your readers. It’s like working conditioning, but random. People are surprised and happy when they have their extra for the first time. Whenever they go back to your site, they will click on Like out of pure curiosity.
Pop-ups are as unpleasant as they are effective
If you’ve been to my site, you’ve probably noticed the phenomenal amount of pop-ups.
The first time you arrive on my site, you have a pop-up prompting you to join my newsletter. The second time, you have one that makes you follow me on social media.
I grant you, it’s very unpleasant and it offends some. However, I would be a bad marketing preacher if I didn’t use them because it works!
If you want to have a lot of social media sharing, your headlines must be awesome! I can’t stress the importance of the title enough. The title is very important.
So important, the UpWorthy website reached 6 million visitors just by changing the title of existing articles elsewhere on the internet. If you speak English, it’s worth it!
In an article, I try to explain the secret recipe for their titles a bit. I found three important elements: contextualize, tease and create emergency.
I used this formula for an article on Google+ which brought me an incredible number of shares (901 to date).
Here’s the headline: How Google+ is about to change SEO forever. 4 reasons why you should jump on the train now, before it’s too late!
- Context: Google+ will change SEO forever
- tease: 4 reasons why you should jump on the train
- Emergency: now, before it’s too late!
Another technique that I love is to make it clear what the person is going to have in exchange for what they have to give.
- “Give me $ 47 and I’ll show you how I made an e-book that sold 20,000 copies. “
- “Give me 15 minutes and I’ll show you how to have 4 romantic outings a week.” “
Finally, I also love titles that have an implicit call to action. Example: I never seen someone gain Google traffic so quickly!
The use of verb in the first person suggests an implicit action. People don’t always like being told what to do. By putting a implied call to action, people are more likely to click on your link.
Make your website sexier to share
When a website link is shared, Facebook will automatically take any image on your page. Ideally, you want to control what appears when you share your website.
You must optimize the cover image as well as the meta description of your site to encourage them to click.
To do so, you must create OpenGraph and TwitterCard tags. You’ll also find all the documentation you need to make sure your friends’ friends are sharing your content on social media!
Activate Google Authorship
Whether you believe in the power of Google+ or not, there is no doubt that linking your Google+ account to your website is the quickest and easiest thing to do to increase Google traffic. Why? Look at the following image:
I just don’t understand why someone would want to click on the second link. According to Google statistics, having an image like this increases CTR by around 43%!
In addition to having a picture, Google shows how many people follow you on Google+! So I made audience acquisition a priority. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to trust someone who has 33,000 people in their circles than someone who has 33. These three “0s” make all the difference when talking about SEO.
Strategy # 3 – the on-page optimization is not dead.
Just because the rules have changed doesn’t mean you should no longer optimize your pages for SEO. You should always optimize your text for a particular word or phrase, however feel free to use as many synonyms as you want. The important thing is to write for people, not for search engines, while giving Google a little bit of ulterior motive.
How to choose the expression for which you optimize? Simple, start a sentence in the search bar, and let Google tell you the rest!
If you write a text on LinkedIn, you are likely to attract traffic by writing “How does LinkedIn work? A quick and simple guide to… ”
Cite your sources!
Another rule, you must send links to sites with good reputation. Google interprets this as being a reference to a reliable source and will automatically interpret this as if you knew what you were talking about!
Optimize your meta descriptions
It’s not new, we have to optimize our meta descriptions. However, it is not only a question of writing unique descriptions for each of your articles, it is necessary to go further. If you haven’t already signed up for the Google Webmaster Tool, do it right away!
Once done, go to the left menu under “Search traffic” and select “Search queries”.
In this menu, sort your queries by quantity of impressions and look under which expressions you have a good number of impressions, but a low click rate. Then go to the search results in incognito mode (ctrl + shift + n on Google chrome) and compare yourself to the others. How can you stand out and make a difference?
Bonus – how to rank # 1 every time?
I have not done any link building for my website, but if you are serious about getting a lot of traffic, here is what you need to do.
Go to Google and enter the keyword you would like to reach first. Here, the first 10 pages represent the 100 most relevant websites on which you should acquire links.
If you have a quality resource on your website, this is quite easy, you just have to contact the web masters saying that you have invested a lot of time and effort in building a guide / resource / others and that ‘it would be very useful for his audience.
Personalize your email and highlight what the audience can get out of the product. Keep it short, between 100 and 200 words max!
Not all webmasters are going to want to, but you can expect to have at least 10% of them who are willing to send you a link. The more quality your offer, the higher the proportion of people willing to help you.
The era of directories is over. Quality links must be on relevant pages. Fortunately for us, Google tells us exactly which sites to target!
Growing site traffic is a process that takes a lot of patience, but it’s so rewarding to see your organic traffic double every month. It may seem impossible to do, but believe me, if you currently have less than 1000 visits per week, doubling this number is less difficult than you might think!
No need to be an SEO expert, only need to have something interesting and an audience ready to listen to you.
Do you have any tips, tricks or comments? Let me know below or via Twitter @Olivier_Lambert!