When I think of an internet marketing plan, I think traffic. Plain and simple. In this article, I’m going to break down the one I know best- search traffic. It’s going to address how to select keywords, what I do to build backlinks, and how to scale the effort. The biggest challenge is in affect the scaling.
Why Search Traffic
From my experience so far, this has been the best way to bring in new visitors. Think about it. Do you search for the same things every month? I certainly don’t. So when I see that a keyword gets 3000 searches each month, I see that as 90% new visitors each month. And being able to rank on Google (even just on the first page) will get you new visitors. Let’s say with one keyword, your site is able to get 200 new visitors each month (an example of one of the keywords that TBF ranks for).
What if you had 100 keywords? That’s 20,000 unique visitors to your site each month just from search traffic. Not bad.
Why #1, Not #135890034323
The following graph says it all. It’s almost a “winner takes all”. Unless you are ranked on at least page 1, your site will get next to 0 search traffic. A good resource to understand this is from seobook.com.
Use the Google keyword tool to find keywords that you can go after. Let’s take an example.
For TBF, one of the keywords is “teen business”. Putting that keyword into the tool, I get a list of related keywords. I don’t want the “broad” match type that the tool gives you by default. I change it to “exact” match. The reason for this I’ll explain later. Essentially, the exact match not only gives you the real number of searches that the keyword will get but will also tell you how difficult it will be to rank for it. After I find another keyword in the list that is related to my niche, I’ll add it to a spreadsheet.
Remember, I want a list of over 100 keywords, not just 5 or 10.
There are certainly keywords that I will not go after. These are ones like “entrepreneur” that shows up as related keywords. Those are too difficult to get ranked for. Typically, I look for ones that have searches in the range of 1000 – 5000.
There are a ton of ways to find the competition for a particular keyword. But the one that I like is SEO Firefox from seobook.com because it’s free. It’s something I use to get a quick snapshot of how hard it will be to get a particular keyword to rank on the first page of Google. The SEO Firefox tool gives you a ton of information of each site ranking on Google when you type in a keyword. The most important thing I look at to get a quick glimpse is the PR of the link. There are other things to look at as well but I focus mainly on the PR. The other thing I look at is the title. I look to see if the keyword is in the title. Here’s what goes through my mind:
- What’s the PR of the top 6 sites listed for the keyword? Is it 3 or lower? If so, I think the keyword is ok to go after
- Is the exact keyword in the title of the link? If not, it’s another positive sign. The exact keyword points back to the “exact” match type when searching for the keywords. Google gives more weight to a link that has the exact keyword you want in the title.
It comes down to this. If the top sites on the first page of Google have PRs of 4, 5, 6 or even higher, forget it. Go after another keyword.
Oh yes, the fun part. This is the part where if you do it correctly, you’ll see results. Do it half-ass and you’ll say that you rather pay someone to get you search traffic (but if you did that, you wouldn’t know if they’re doing it correctly or not). There is a lot of ways to build backlinks. One that I find scalable is guest posting. That means, you write an article with the keyword that you want to rank and post it on someone else’s website. The anchor text of the keyword needs to be linked to the page that you wanted that keyword to rank for.
Let’s say I want the keyword “teen business” to rank for the TBF homepage, whenever I have that keyword in a guest article, I will add the URL of the TBF homepage to the anchor text of “teen business”.
But why do you write for someone else when you can write content on your own site? Well…
The way Google works is that your site is reputable if and only if other sites in your niche says so.
It goes back to their original algorithm where It took the research paper reference model. A research paper only had weight if other research papers in the similar field of study cited it as a reference. So that means for example, TBF is not very reputable unless other business and entrepreneurial sources cited it as a reference. And in the beginning, that will be very hard to get a reference from other highly reputable sites. But Google cuts you a break (sort of). A reference from a lesser reputable site but in the related niche is better than a reference from a highly reputable site that is not in the related niche.
So do I ever try to get a backlink from a cooking blog like FoodNetwork? No, and you shouldn’t either (unless of course you were in the cooking niche).
How To Scale? That is the question
So if you need to write both content for your own site and others, how can you make it scale? The short answer is to outsource. Outsource someone to write “backlink articles” but write the content you’re going to put on your site yourself. But where to find the outsourcers and how do you hire a freelancer? Elance.com. The going rate is about $5 per 400 word article. This strategy frees you from a ton of writing and thus saves you a ton time.
A number can’t be place on how many guest posts it will take to get a keyword ranked. From experience, it changes and the best way to get it ranked is just to keep writing.
So you start with $5 an article if you only have a budget of $50-100 a month. But after a while, outsource to other countries. The one that a lot of internet marketers are going to right now is the Philippines.
Because their education is based on the United States. Because the dollar goes much much further there, getting someone to write content for you will cost you about $100 PART-TIME a month. Yes, you’re reading that correctly. $100 for 80 hours of work. That comes out to $1.25/hr and most can write a 400 word article in about a hour. Don’t believe me? Put a job post on onlinejobs.ph and see your inbox get flooded.
Where To Put Guest Posts?
The final part is that once you have the writer, the keywords, where do you put these “backlink articles”? Two ways. One is to find bloggers and put a guest post on their site. For this, I recommend writing all the guest posts yourself (I do) because you build a relationship with that blogger. The other is a not-so-well-known system that was developed by the guys over at TheKeywordAcademy.com. Their entire course is built off the the strategy of getting search traffic by guest posting.
So… they developed a network of blogs that allow people to submit “backlink articles”. Wow.
And the course also goes through a lot more in detail about searching for keywords and looking at the competition.
Let me be clear. I am a paying member but only because I highly value what they’re doing. I understand that it is a tremendous time saver to be able to have an outsourcer write an article and know it will be posted somewhere without much effort.
C’mon, Does It Really Work?
Exact question I asked many months ago. So I tested it. I spent about $100 to test the strategy, hire outsourcers and pay for a membership to TKA. After about 3 months, I got TBF ranked for a keyword I was testing with, “successful entrepreneurs” and this is the thread that proves it. It’s at page 2 at the moment, so that means I have to do a little more backlink building work to get it back to page one. But again, that’s just one of a over 100 keywords.
- List of 100 keywords
- Unique content for each 100 keyword
- Backlink articles (preferably outsourced) written for each page of content with keyword on your site
- Put guest posts on other sites
- Estimate “backlink article” strategy for each month