Instead, in this instance, we started at wireframe stage, plopping in keywords and meta tags. Of course, the site really needed those things, and although it launched technically “optimized”, it wasn’t enough to provide a better product than our top competitor(s). A product that people want to visit, revisit, email to friends, share on social networks, and link to more than our competitors. It wasn’t even enough to move up in the rankings.
Spider-driven search engines such as Google®, Yahoo!® and MSN® use "robots" or "crawlers" to score websites across the Internet. Robots "spider/crawl" each site and "score" pages based on how relevant they are. A website's score or placement within a spider driven search engine is derived from hundreds of variables such as link popularity, density and frequency of keywords in page content, HTML code, site themes and more. You will want to focus many criteria in your SEO strategy to position yourself well among the major search engines. Here are two of the most influential factors:
Sorry for the long comment, I just am really happy to see that after all those years of struggle you finally made a break through and you definitely deserve it bro. I’ve had my own struggles as well and just reading this got me a little emotional because I know what it feels like to never wanting to give up on your dreams and always having faith that one day your time will come. It’s all a matter of patience and learning from failures until you get enough experience to become someone who can generate traffic and bring value to readers to sustain long term relationships.

Google Analytics comes with some of the most useful features from campaign measurement to track your site’s traffic properly, from website conversions to user activity, from audience report to know your users, from flow visualization graphics to monitor your website visitors, etc. Beyond that, you can set up custom reports, goals and monitor events to learn more about users’ engagement.


Laura,Great post.  This touches something I wish more SEOs practiced: conversion optimization. I think most SEOs think of what they do as a service for, instead of a partnership with clients.  The end result should never be raw traffic, but value obtained through targeted, CONVERTING traffic.You make excellent points about market research, product input, content creation, and other functions many SEOs and SEMs neglect.More and more SEO providers focus only on assembly line basics and worn out techniques instead of challenging themsleves to learn product marketing, usability, and conversion optimization.Your advice on market research is extremely valuable.Great start to a promising series.  I look forward to more!
Creating a standout resource. If you’ve invested heavily into creating a truly unique, standout piece of content that’s worthy of reputable websites linking to as a great resource—like my exhaustive roundup of the best web hosting plans for bloggers or my industry-leading blogging statistics—then it’s worthwhile to spend some time reaching out to publications and other bloggers that cover these subjects to see if they’d be interested in writing about your resource. If it’s something that’ll genuinely benefit their readers, then you can make a very compelling pitch about why they should cover your content. Now that’s how to drive traffic to your blog and attract high quality backlinks the right way.

Traackr primarily is an influencer relationship management software. Though it provides many other online management tools, the real focus of Traackr is helping small and medium-sized businesses to build lasting relationships with influencers. Using this tool, you can scale your influencer marketing campaigns with powerful analytics, valuable data-driven insights, and consistent monitoring.
Chatfuel is a bot-building software that offers individuals and enterprises a single and centralized platform to create AI conversational chatbots. Its features include simple editing tools, multi-user accounts, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) as well as seamless third-party integration and analytics technology. With Chatfuel’s editing tools, you can design chatbots easily without prior knowledge of coding or programming.
How to use Charlie: Intended as a tool to help you prep for meeting new people, Charlie gives you a full run-down of a person—social media profiles, biography, interests, big news, etc.—by looking at your upcoming calendar or running an email address. If you’re wanting info on a single person ad-hoc, simply enter their email address into Charlie, and they’ll tell you everything.

I’m considering a niche that I’m not sure I can find good influencers for – fundraising. School fundraising or charitable fundraising. I’m passionate about it but how would I get my articles shared by influencers? The non-profit sector is somewhat apprehensive about promoting commercial sites, unless it’s fundraising software. The name really says it all: “non”-profit.


I have been trying to produce more content because I believed the lack of traffic was to the small amount of content, but after reading your blog post, i’m beginning to doubt wether or not this is quality content. I will definitely do more research on influencers on my niche, now I have to figure out how to get their attention with my kind of content.
We now have a dedicated SEO strategist who, among other things, develops 90 day plans for our websites. 90 days isn't longterm planning, but at least we have a strategic objective for the quarter. He also works closely with our UX team to identify the target audience - the crew that does the persona research and focus groups prior to the wireframe stage.
BuzzStream gives you complete access to the influencer’s online presence including their social media and website activities. It also features an amazing email outreach option that lets you create email templates within minutes and send them to your selected influencers. It helps you to set up automated follow-ups after sending emails else you can choose to get follow-up reminders.
Laura,Great post.  This touches something I wish more SEOs practiced: conversion optimization. I think most SEOs think of what they do as a service for, instead of a partnership with clients.  The end result should never be raw traffic, but value obtained through targeted, CONVERTING traffic.You make excellent points about market research, product input, content creation, and other functions many SEOs and SEMs neglect.More and more SEO providers focus only on assembly line basics and worn out techniques instead of challenging themsleves to learn product marketing, usability, and conversion optimization.Your advice on market research is extremely valuable.Great start to a promising series.  I look forward to more!

I’m considering a niche that I’m not sure I can find good influencers for – fundraising. School fundraising or charitable fundraising. I’m passionate about it but how would I get my articles shared by influencers? The non-profit sector is somewhat apprehensive about promoting commercial sites, unless it’s fundraising software. The name really says it all: “non”-profit.
Here’s how to do it within your own niche: Do a quick Google search for a keyword phrase you’ve written about + the word “podcast” and see which shows turn up in the results. Consider reaching out to the hosts of those shows if you think they’d be interested in featuring you on their podcast—and you can certainly expect to drive traffic to your blog as a nice side effect of being featured.
If you’re looking for some extra help in the paid advertising field, you can add the Traffic Generator App to your Wix site. The app automatically sets up ad campaigns with Google and Bing. Plus, the intuitive algorithm automatically optimizes every campaign. The best part about it all? You don’t need any kind of marketing or online advertising knowledge to get started.
If you havent see it already, check out the links in shor's comment below - there are some great resources in there. In some cases you can also consider surveying your current audience or customers through email, on-site surveys or SurveyMonkey.  Be sure to ask for some profiling information that you can use for determining specific persona needs like age, sex, location, etc. (Probably best not to make it sound like a creepy text chat like I just did though...)  :)
Because your site likely has a really low score, you’ll want to do your keyword research to start targeting the most relevant terms and phrases—but don’t go for the big ones like “business ideas” because you’ll have an incredibly hard time ranking for those top-level keyword phrases early on. Instead, aim for long-tail keyword phrases, like “monthly web hosting plans” and you’ll have a better chance at ranking—fun fact: that’s a real example of a long-tail keyword I use for my blog.
Tagboard enables you to search and collect public contents from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using hashtags. It is a superb solution for individuals, agencies, brands, and marketers. It comes with great features that include; tagboard live tool, keyword filters, and superior Hootsuite, Eventbrite, and Google Chrome extensions.
Google re-targeting ads are a terrific way to get more traffic to your website. But not just any traffic. Re-targeting ads focus on people who've already visited your site and have left for whatever reason without completing a sale. This involves the usage of a conversion pixel for purchases and it's a great way to reach people who've already been to your site and aggressively market to them on Google's search engine shortly after they've left. 

Dedicate some time to brainstorm all the different ways you can attract inbound links to your website. Start small –- maybe share your links with other local businesses in exchange for links to their sites. Write a few blog posts and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Consider approaching other bloggers for guest blogging opportunities through which you can link back to your website.
Thanks so much for this entry, Laura! I loved the way your post is so practical, straightforward, newbie-friendly - and most importantly, how it emphasizes the bottom line at all times. It's easy to get "lost in the fog" of SEO with so many looming tasks and forget the main purpose, so it's wonderful to have a straightforward outline of what to do and why certain tasks need to be done. I look forward to reading your future insights!
A great SEO setup out of the gate is like studying for a test you already knew you were going to ace. You’ll look good either way. Just remember that, like Rome, your website’s ranking won’t be built in a day. Although the tips are 100% sure, it takes time to apply and consistency in your efforts, by regularly uploading fresh and quality content to your site. Patience is the (key)word here.
Once you’ve created an amazing video to share on social media or your website, where will you put it? The default seems to be YouTube, which is quick and easy but comes with less control and potentially some unrelated ads or suggestions. Wistia is made for marketers’ videos because the player keeps people on your page—or sends them precisely where you want them to go next.
2. Targeted Keyword Discovery: Ideally you’ll want to do keyword research based on what the audience wants, not solely on what content the site already has (or plans to have sans audience targeting), which may be limited. I can do keyword research on health conditions and drugs (content I have on my site) and determine what the general population is searching for and optimize my current content, or I can cast my net wide and look at what my target audience wants first, then do my keyword research. You may find there are needs that your site is not meeting. Knowing my senior audience is interested in primarily in prescription drug plans and cheap blood pressure medication, I can first make sure I’m providing that content, and then further determine the top keywords in these areas (in the next article Step 2), and use those terms in relevant and high visibility areas on my site.
Why? Today, we're faced with a plethora of disinformation and misinformation, crafted and concocted by clever minds looking more to extract money from you than help you to earn it. That latest "proven traffic system" that you just plopped down $997 for isn't going to bring  you the results you expected. That new video series by the latest raving internet marketer on how you can drive "unlimited" traffic to your website? Nope. That isn't going to work either.
For example, if a swimming pool business is trying to rank for "fiberglass pools" -- which is receiving 110,000 searches per month -- this short-tail keyword can be the one that represents the overarching topic on which they want to create content. The business would then identify a series of long-tail keywords that relate to this short-tail keyword, have reasonable monthly search volume, and help to elaborate on the topic of fiberglass pools. We'll talk more about these long-tails in the next step of this process.
Facebook ads: lets you set highly-specific parameters to who your ad is shown to, like demographics, location, behavior, and interests. Get attention from your core audience, a custom one, or a ‘lookalike’ audiences that are like your existing customers. Targeting your ad doesn’t get much easier (or creepier, really) than this. Facebook ads may seem intimidating initially, but with the right insight, it doesn’t have to be. Luckily for you, we have that insight packaged up for you right here in a all you need to know about Facebook advertising guide.
As with life and love, if you want your business to get attention, you’ll need to “put yourself out there.” Also like life and love, you may have to make the first move before things start moving, which is where outreach marketing can come in handy. Simply put, outreach marketing is connecting with bloggers and other influencers in your industry, in order to increase exposure for your website and promote your products or services. The process will primarily consist of gathering your targets, (websites, bloggers, industry folk) and approach them via email to gauge their interest in a potential partnership and following up when necessary to create a lasting relationship. To learn more, we’ve got some great reading about the best outreach marketing tactics to promote your site.
You mentioned: "many times clients have already done this work.  Ask them for copies of their market research reports when you start a project.  It will save you a ton of time and effort!"  We do this with most of our clients, like you said we have found that around 75% of the have some kind of Market research done, that saves you a lot of time and helps setting up the right SEO Strategy. 
Great article, Brian. Like that you’re finally talking about Domain Authority (DA). It’s essential to make skyscraper technique work as well. Also, a great pointer on comments as I have personally seen articles perform well because of comments. Do you recommend closing the comments as well a few days after the article is published? Kinda like Copyblogger does now.
Wow, brilliant strategy! I am thrilled to learn something new and effective that isn’t “black hat”. And yes, this does require work, but that’s precisely what it should require. I would rather see sites ranking high because they contribute terrific content (i.e. useful/interesting infographics) to their niche vs. the person exploiting the latest loophole. But that’s just my opinion 🙂
Use your keyword list to determine how many different pillar pages you should create. Ultimately, the number of topics for which you create pillar pages should coincide with how many different products, offerings, and locations your business has. This will make it much easier for your prospects and customers to find you in search engines no matter what keywords they use.

Traditionally, defining a target audience involves determining their age, sex, geographic locations, and especially their needs (aka pain points). Check out usability.gov’s description of personas and how to do task analysis & scenarios for more details, or better yet, read Vanessa Fox’s upcoming book about personas related to search and conversion.
ReviewTrackers is an ideal solution for any business with multiple locations. It is a reliable and effective tool to manage online reviews published on popular review sites such as Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, etc. Besides collecting reviews, it also tracks the performance of every store location using enterprise-grade tools and powerful reporting features.
Some people will tell you that guest blogging is no longer effective, but with a strategic approach, guest blogging can still be one of the best ways to generate website traffic. The most important thing is to blog on sites that are relevant to your audience so that you generate high-quality traffic. Offer a lead magnet to entice new visitors over to your website, and return the favor by asking other writers to guest post on your site too, then share that content on social media. Don’t limit yourself to written posts either -- podcasts, Instagram takeovers and YouTube guest appearances are all highly effective in 2018 and beyond.

YouTube is a great resource for driving free organic traffic to your website. Maybe it's because Google loves YouTube, and considering that it's the second most popular search engine in the world, gaining exposure on YouTube could be huge. Create useful tutorials and videos that add an immense amount of value and be sure to link to your content through the description.
I have been trying to produce more content because I believed the lack of traffic was to the small amount of content, but after reading your blog post, i’m beginning to doubt wether or not this is quality content. I will definitely do more research on influencers on my niche, now I have to figure out how to get their attention with my kind of content.
Smooch is a software development kit that aids you to add chat features into applications and webpages. The flexible SDK and Smooch’s REST API allow you to build customized messaging tools for your website efficiently. Smooch features dedicated SDKs for iOS and Android devices. Smooch acts as a chatbot connector that bridges your business apps with your everyday messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc.
I’ve always been one to create great content, but now I see it may not necessarily be the right content. Can Share Triggers work for all niches including things like plumbing companies, computer repair, maybe even handy men that have a website for their business? I would say I’m estimating half the views a month as I should. Hopefully some of these strategies will help.
Search engine advertising (Google Adwords, Bing Ads): When you hear PPC, there’s a decent chance that it’s referring to search engine marketing. The process is similar to others, in that you bid for a specific phrase so that your website will appear in the results when they search the phrase. When they click on your ad, you pay the bid price that you set when you first created the ad.
Traditionally, defining a target audience involves determining their age, sex, geographic locations, and especially their needs (aka pain points). Check out usability.gov’s description of personas and how to do task analysis & scenarios for more details, or better yet, read Vanessa Fox’s upcoming book about personas related to search and conversion.

When I first wrote this post I recommended the Google Keyword Tool, but now it's been renamed to the Google Keyword Planner, but is still THE indispensable tool alongside the Google Webmaster Tools integration now that The Growth of Not Provided keywords means we can't use analytics reliably to find referring keywords.  Here's the original. The latest version shows mobile estimates too.


I’ve just taken the SEO role at my agency full time and, whilst it can be difficult at times, I am liking the challenge. I wonder if you had any suggestions when it came to finding “opportunity keywords” for term/subjects that don’t necessarily have massive search volumes associated to them? I use a few tools and utilise Google’s related terms already, but wondered if there were any tricks for finding new markets?


Because your site likely has a really low score, you’ll want to do your keyword research to start targeting the most relevant terms and phrases—but don’t go for the big ones like “business ideas” because you’ll have an incredibly hard time ranking for those top-level keyword phrases early on. Instead, aim for long-tail keyword phrases, like “monthly web hosting plans” and you’ll have a better chance at ranking—fun fact: that’s a real example of a long-tail keyword I use for my blog.
Each organic search engine ranking places emphasis on variable factors such as the design and layout, keyword density and the number of relevant sites linking to it. Search engines constantly update and refine their ranking algorithms in order to index the most relevant sites. Other variables that have an impact on search engine placement include the following:
Just a few short years ago, Google began rolling out their new Discover feature that surfaces relevant, typically news-worthy content (that tends to have very healthy on-page SEO) to users of Google’s Chrome browser application on both mobile and desktop. The best (scary) part? They use your search data—the things you’re typing into Google on a regular basis—to try and highlight new content they think you’ll want to read about. As a blogger and content publisher, this is a major opportunity to drive traffic to your blog from an extremely targeted source.
There are a number of LinkedIn plugins available that allows you to connect your readers to your LinkedIn profile. Some plugins allow you to connect readers to your personal profile page; some connect readers to your LinkedIn company profile page, and some plugins share content from your WordPress site with your LinkedIn community. For example, WP-LinkedIn, LinkedIn Profile Badge, LinkedIn Auto Publish, LinkedIn for Companies, etc. are a few of them.
There’s definitely a lot you can experiment with when it comes to generating more traffic! My advice would be to take it slow, focus on just testing one or two channels at a time and working hard to get some results with them… only move on to new traffic experiments as you exhaust strategies that’ve previously worked well for you too. Right now I’m focused on helping students through my blog content & courses, and not taking on new hands-on projects with other bloggers at the moment—just advising 🙂

This tool will run a search query in the selected search engines and then graphically compare the results. Users can compare the keyword position on each search engine. A line is drawn between search engine results for matching URLs. From these results, you will notice how each search engine gives different ranks for different pages by comparing their appearance order. Mouse over the dots to see the URLs they represent. Click on them to open the URL in a new browser window.
Oh, and by the way, as of writing this post, my answer there has received almost 29,000 views and gotten 341+ upvotes from other readers on Quora. Not too shabby for a little experiment, and I’ve continued to use Quora as a platform to engage my readers, provide answers related to what I write about on my blog—and use those teaser answers as a way to drive traffic to my blog (where I then cover the topics in more depth).
Thanks for the very, very in-depth article. I am a real estate agent in Miami, Florida and have been blogging all-original content for the past 21 months on my website and watched traffic increase over time. I have been trying to grow my readership/leads/clients exponentially and have always heard about standard SEO backlink techniques and writing for my reader, not influencers. Recently, I have had a few of my articles picked up and backlinked by 2 of the largest real estate blogs in the country, which skyrocketed visits to my site. Realizing what I wrote about, that appealed to them, and now reading your article, I am going to continue writing in a way that will leverage those influencers to help me with quality backlinks.
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