How to Get 10 Times More Organic Traffic to Your Website
This is a guest post – Huyen Truong is currently working as Search Marketing Director for Result Driven SEO in Sydney. She makes SEO and online marketing easy for business owners. From her previous experiences working with small and medium sized companies, she has accumulated significant experience in helping companies and organisations set up their online presence: designing new websites, upgrading existing websites, optimising websites for search engines, optimising conversion, as well as designing and developing digital marketing strategies to build their online presence and web traffic. Connect with her on Twitter to receive her latest articles.
It’s why we all do it.
This content marketing thing…
We want more organic traffic so we can generate leads while we sleep.
In the past 12 months, I have successfully increased website traffic by tenfold for my clients – New Cars Plus, Harley Finance, and Warranty Insurance.
Curious about how I did it?
It took extensive research and experimentation, but along the way I identified some sure fire techniques that will help grow your organic traffic too.
Let’s have a look at them…
1. Have a solid content marketing strategy
A content marketing strategy targets, creates, schedules and promotes content so that it achieves specific business goals.
But producing content without a well-considered strategy is a waste of time, money and effort.
Instead you need to:
- Have a specific target audience for every piece of content. This should include prospects/customers you want to attract – who they are, what their position in the buying process is (influencer, decider, existing user), what benefit they will derive from your content etc.
- Create a personality for your content that represents your character as a business. Give the content a unique voice that will engage your target audience. It can be funny, inspirational, motivational, research driven and so on.
- Devise the type of content that attracts your target audience
- Create a content calendar for 3 to 6 months
- Know how to promote your content
Popular types of content include:
- Infographics: An infographic is the presentation of information or data. They get shared more, viewed more and loved more than most other content.
- Videos: A good video communicates your message clearly and simply.
- Opinion posts: Everyone loves controversial posts that provide high-level breakdowns, forecast trends or deeply dive into new angles.
- How-to articles: The how-to is one of the more popular types of content. How-to articles have awesome long tail search potential.
- Product reviews: Every industry has its own products, software and services. When you engage key developers, manufacturers, or service providers, you gain recognition and respect. It requires you sharing your product experience and providing your recommendation.
- Case studies: A case study explains what your product or service is and how it helped a client. It explains, “what we did, how we did it, and the results we got.” See an example here:
- EBooks: An ebook is long content packaged in a different format, usually as a PDF. Ebooks are often a downloadable product, that is exchanged for an email address. Producing an ebook helps to strengthen your authority and is a great way to share your knowledge with others.
- Guides: A guide is a detailed and fairly long piece of content. It goes beyond an ordinary blog post.
- Podcasts: Podcasts are still growing in popularity, and they’re a great form of content. Plus, they’re not hard to create. Many people listen to podcasts during their commute or exercise.
- Lists: Checklists, resource lists, news lists and demonstrations are always popular forms of content.
- Interviews: Interviews with industry leaders or innovative companies can increase your credibility with your target audience.
- Research and original data: Sharing your findings with others is a powerful way to drive traffic, build trust, and establish your authority. When you do the research, which is hard work, people respect that. What’s more, people share it.
2. Build more pages
When you think of the best ranking sites on the web, which ones come to mind?
Sites like Wikipedia, The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Mashable, right?
The reason these sites rank so well is because they have thousands of pages with unique content.
In general, if you create more content, you’re giving search engines more keywords that will help them rank your site.
A website with 100 pages has greater traffic than a 10-page website, simply because it offers more topics that users could search for.
3. Implement long-tail keyword research
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific search queries that users type into a search engine. For example, if I wanted to go to Bali for a holiday, I might enter “tour to Bali”. This is a broad term or “short-tail” keyword. If I wanted to fine-tune my search, I would type, “all inclusive custom Bali tour”, or “best custom tour to Bali”. These two search terms are “long-tail” keywords.
Instead of going after commonplace keyword phrases, go after long-tail key phrases. Long-tail keyword phrases more closely resemble what an actual user would type into a search engine.
For example, rather than rank for “truck finance” create a more specific page about “no deposit truck finance” and “truck finance for bad credit people”. The chances of ranking for these long-tail keywords are much more likely.
Studies reveal that long-tail keywords drive better results due to greater relevancy and less competition.
Neil Patel, one of the world’s leading online marketers has pointed out the advantages of long-tail keywords over popular short-tail keywords in his article Steps to integrate long-tail keywords within blog posts. He says, long-tail keywords perform 2.5 times better than short-term keywords.
For example, my team has managed to rank Harley Finance at number 2 for the short-tail keyword “truck finance”.
With the long-tail keyword, you don’t have to do as much link building (getting other relevant sites to link to your site – one of important ranking factors by Google). It just naturally rises up to the number 1 position.
This article alone, has brought more than 9,000 new visitors to Harley Finance in the past year.
The image below is the number of sessions generated by this article:
4. Research popular topics and rewrite them from different angles
The first step in any content creation process is to identify popular topics.
There are two ways to do this:
- Use a tool called Buzzsumo to research popular topics in your industry – by number of social shares.
- Find existing blogs, perhaps by your competitors, with high engagement and create something even better on the same topic.
In other words, bring something new to the table. Find the content gap in your niches and fill that gap with amazing stuff. Don’t be afraid of giving away your great stuff. You’ll regain it in bucketloads down the road.
5. Write detailed, high quality content
Blogs are key drivers of organic traffic.
Just as you wouldn’t wish to offer the market a sub-standard product, you shouldn’t publish low-quality blog posts.
Search engines are bored with generic, sub-standard articles. If you write or produce content, write and produce awesome content. Aim to write and produce the best there is about a particular topic.
I recommend you write articles between 1,000 to 2,000 words. Short articles sound shallow and can not contain the necessary facts, data or examples to back up your points.
If you look at this image by Capsicum Mediaworks you’ll see that the average web page that ranks on page 1 of Google contains at least 2,032 words. The top three positions have web pages each with at least 2,400 words.
Using examples, images and screenshots to demonstrate and justify each point, strengthens your blog considerably. See Result Driven SEO for a clear demonstration on how to do this effectively.
Know who your target audience is and write for them. Answer the questions that you know they would type into a Google search.
For example, if you run a financial consulting service and your clients are mostly individuals and owners of small-sized businesses, writing an article about how to analyse a complex financial report with too much jargon, will be unappealing and difficult for your prospects to understand.
Instead, compile “10 Questions to Ask Before Applying for a Bank Loan ” or “5 Tips For Negotiating a Business Loan”. This will attract the right prospects to your website while providing them with useful information and advice.
6. Maintain blog frequency
Research on blogging by HubSpot shows that overall companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts:
This was reflected in lead generation too:
Overall companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.
Consistency is the key here.
Try not to get too caught up in what certain studies will tell you are the best days and times to publish a blog post.
Once a week is a good minimum to aim for. More is better, but if you’re running a business at the same time it’s difficult to publish more often than that without hiring writers.
When I explain this to my clients, they usually say, “There’s no way I could write that much!” and my feeling is that 99% of companies would give you the same answer. The point is, you want to be in the other 1%.
Search engines love frequently updated sites. But more importantly, users do too. A site that’s regularly updated, indicates that you’re serious about providing good content, which makes it worthwhile for them to invest their time in following you.
If you aren’t writing in-depth articles, your search traffic won’t grow that quickly. You will still gain organic traffic, but don’t expect miracles overnight.
Well over half (64%) of B2B content marketers claim that creating enough content and making that content engaging are their two biggest challenges.
7. Combine your great articles into a free ebook
After consistently producing blog posts you will accumulate a good stack of relevant articles that you can convert into an ebook. Then you can offer this ebook for free in exchange for a potential client’s email address.
Make sure that what you give away, is your most awesome stuff, otherwise don’t bother.
I have downloaded many ebooks but only found three or four that stand out from the crowd and offer great value.
You can promote the same eBook in relevant groups on social media forums to gradually build up your email list.
8. Guest blog for traffic, not SEO
Guest blogging for traffic is still an incredibly viable strategy. While that inbound link you get at the end of a guest post is not as SEO valuable as it once was, it still has the value of exposing your content to a new audience.
It also has the value of the traffic that comes from being published on a high authority site. Having said that, there are some best practices to keep in mind when guest posting:
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. Aim for authoritative websites with high quality content and decent traffic numbers.
- Guest blog on websites within your own niche. Guest posting on popular websites means little if you’re not reaching your ideal audience.
- Promote your guest posts as you would your own posts.This shows the other website you really value the opportunity to post on their blog.
- Check back regularly and respond to comments. Ideally you want their visitors to become your visitors. Responding to comments is a great way to get that relationship started.
9. Promote your content
Here are some helpful tips for promoting your content:
- Grow your email list by offering email-subscription on your blog and then email them when you have new content available. Good placement of an email opt-in is after a blog post, in the sidebar and through the use of pop-up calls-to-action.
- Increase the reach of your best content by making it more shareable. For example, you could include a ‘Pin It’ button on your infographics or a social media share button overlay on images in a blog post. SumoMe have made this easier with their Image Sharer tool. Also investigate the ‘ClicktoTweet’ tool to make a quote, containing critical information, shareable on Twitter with an easy click.
- Produce a number of snippets from one piece of content – from 15 to 20 – that can be shared on social media over several weeks or even months. If the content does well, continue using the snippets. A snippet can be; variations of the title, short statements from the content, short quotes from the content or statistics from the content. Here is an example on Facebook;
- Create an automated series of follow-up emails for new subscribers, that contain a compelling series of about 20 messages, sent out once every week or fortnight.
- Join content communities to share your content such as: Blog Engage, BizSugar, Triberr and TribePro
- Turn the content into a PDF and share them on sites such as: Scribd and DocDroid – Make sure you optimise the descriptions on these sites to get links back to your site.
- Add links in the text of old content that points to the new content. (This also helps with SEO)
- Put an advertisement in the sidebar or put a ‘related content section’ at the bottom of a page, like this (Other awesome posts):
- Contact people who have shared similar content in the past. Send them direct messages asking them to read and share your content.
- Join mentor/peer groups as a means of sharing your blogs within the group.
- Run a paid ads or remarking campaign. Consider promoting your blog posts by using the ‘Remarketing’ ad function on the Google Display network.
- Promote your content on social media
10. If you want it, work for it
Achieving exponential growth in organic website traffic involves science and persistence.
Most people fail on one or the other front.
If you feel you don’t have the time and resources to put the effort in, be assured that at least one of your competitors will, and that this ‘pull technique’ is still a lot easier than the old ‘push techniques’, such as cold calling.
Speaking of the 1980s, now might be an apt place to recommend you consider those immortal words of Rachel Hunter when she stated, “it won’t happen overnight but it will happen.”
Do you have any any other tips or challenges you’re facing in the quest for more organic traffic?
Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Huyen Truong is currently working as Search Marketing Director for Result Driven SEO in Sydney. She makes SEO and online marketing easy for business owners. From her previous experiences working with small and medium sized companies, she has accumulated significant experience in helping companies and organisations set up their online presence: designing new websites, upgrading existing websites, optimising websites for search engines, optimising conversion, as well as designing and developing digital marketing strategies to build their online presence and web traffic. Connect with her on Twitter to receive her latest articles.
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