Looking for More Organic Traffic in 2015?
:: Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO ::
For a long time people focused on optimizing only their website and doing so to rank in Google. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but if you haven’t learned by now, diversification is key if you are going to rely on organic traffic to promote your business. Generally when people talk about diversifying their online marketing, they are referring to using a combination of PPC, Social, Content Marketing, and SEO.
Today we are going to look at how you can diversify your organic traffic sources so you can rest easy, even after one of the many Google updates that are bound to come in 2015.
Why Do You Use SEO?
Traffic and Brand Awareness! If you are running an SEO campaign it is to get people to your digital properties, make them aware of your brand, and drive them into your sales funnel.
Why Not Just Use PPC or Social?
SEO is more cost effective than Pay Per Click, drives more traffic than social media, and converts more traffic into customers than nearly any form of marketing.
Where to Capture Organic Traffic
1. Local Directories – local directories are easy to submit your site to and they are great for use as a reputation management property and a direct traffic source. In order to get the most traffic possible from your local listings you should:
• Focus on high traffic directories like Angie’s List
• Be sure to completely fill out your listing, add images, and seek reviews
• Update your profile regularly and take advantage of any forum or blog options on the sites.
• Build links directly to your profile to improve its’ organic ranking, this is known as Barnacle SEO and is very effective.
2. Social Media – As a standalone marketing source, social media is capable of sending new customers to your business but when you optimize your profiles and combine them with SEO you can greatly increase this number. Here is what you need to do:
• Give your social profile a search friendly title and description. This is likely going to be your brand name and a keyword.
• When listing your site on local directories or guest posting, be sure to point some back to your social profiles.
• Regularly share links that point back to targeted lead capture pages, be sure to include images as well.
• As with local directories, Barnacle SEO is a good way to rank your profiles for keywords in Google.
3. Video Marketing – Using videos in online marketing is certainly not new but it is growing in popularity. When you create a video for marketing you want to take the following steps to gain maximum exposure:
• Upload the video to YouTube. Google Hangouts rank really well and are a quick and easy way to produce some videos.
• Give the video a descriptive file name, including your target keyword.
• Add the video to as many of your local listings as possible, this will drive up the number of views and embeds, both of which are ranking factors on YouTube.
• Share the videos across your social platforms to encourage views and comments.
• Add a unique 300-400 word description of your video on YT and include the tags from other videos ranking for your key terms, competitor videos can also be viewed to find the category to use if you are not sure.
• Comment on relevant videos to get referral traffic to your channel.
• You guessed it, build links to the video just like you would your website. This will help you rank in YouTube and in Google for certain keywords.
4. Slide Sharing Sites – Slideshare and other similar sites allow you to upload slideshows so they can be shared, embedded, or downloaded. Much like YouTube, the following steps will help you maximize exposure:
• Share and embed the slideshows in local directories, social profiles, and web 2.0 properties
• Comment on related slide decks to send referral traffic to your slide deck
• When creating a slideshow remember, the contents are transcribed below the upload to try to make it search friendly.
• When naming the presentation and writing the short description remember, that is likely the page title and Meta description for search engines so follow best practices when uploading
• Slide and document sharing sites are still able to rank very well in Google. Like the other listings, be sure to build links to your slideshow so that it can rank for your target keywords.
5. Link Building – link building has been a crucial part of how people navigate the internet since its’ creation. Over the past several years, some methods of link building have become far less effective in ranking websites but they are still valuable for referral traffic when done correctly. Some of these include:
• Blog/Forum Commenting
• Guest Posting
• Niche Specific Directory Links
• Press Releases
• Q & A Sites
On the other hand, there are still several methods of link building that do result in higher search rankings, here is a brief overview of link building from a recent presentation.
When building links directly to your website you should stick with the white hat methods mentioned above but when you are building links to third party sites such as profiles, you can be a be more daring since sites like Facebook are not going to get penalized for a few questionable links. The end game here is simple, rank as many properties as possible for terms you want to be found for and even if you lose a few spots when the next update rolls out, you should still have several traffic sources remaining without turning to paid traffic.
6. Bing/Yahoo – This article wouldn’t be complete is we didn’t touch on how to improve your rankings in Bing and Yahoo. While they are trailing behind Google in terms of search volume, you can still take advantage of these two search engines for some quick wins. Unlike Google, Bing and Yahoo are somewhat more forthcoming in how they evaluate and rank websites. Here are some of the factors that influence rankings in Bing and Yahoo:
• Social Signals including +1s, Facebook Shares, and Tweets
• On Page SEO, very similar to Google on page expectations
• Is the site for a big brand?
• Number of backlinks and originating country of back links.
If you want to see a complete list of Bing ranking factors, here is a study conducted by Search Metrics in 2013. Most experts agree that if you are optimized for Bing, you are also optimized for Yahoo, which is why you will find less information about Yahoo SEO.
Where to Start? The best place to start is by looking around at what you already have available to you. Do you have videos or slideshows that can be uploaded? Have you been slacking off on your local listings? When is the last time you left a comment on a blog or forum?
If you are still at a loss for where to begin, compile a list of frequent asked questions in your industry and answer them in a Google Hangout or with a quick slide deck.
What about you? What is one method you use to drive organic traffic to your digital properties?