Category Archives: Traffic Generation

What Will A Blog Do For Your Business?

Today’s post is by far the most popular on tonyseel.com, and it’s been vastly expanded to include 16 reasons why you should blog and 10 tips for maximizing your blogging impact.  It returns from May 2015.

A post on Warrior Forum, “Must you have a blog?” generated nearly 4,000 replies.   The question is framed in terms of affiliate marketing but it relates to product creators also.

Is a blog essential for an online business?

Dave O said, I don’t think a blog is necessary but it certainly can be helpful in building an audience or fan base.

I started with trying to build a blog about something I’m personally passionate about. After a few postings I realized that I had turned something I loved into work. I’ve killed off my blog and am now looking at other avenues.

icoachu replied, I tend to lean toward the MUST camp.

Why?

You do all sorts of branding online.

You do all sorts of things to get your message out there.

You need all the signals you send through links and content to have a BASE.

Your blog is the BASE of your brand.

Otherwise, you’re just a link spammer or squeeze page spammer OR you’re more than perfectly happy to sell all that work vanish into the ether after some time.

While that works (to what extent is debatable) if you’re just SIG SPAMMING on forums, if you want to do LEGIT types of marketing, you need to brand and a BLOG is a great home for your brand.

Clear?

Yes, that’s clear and I agree.  I believe that a blogging is essential.  You can do affiliate marketing without it, but how are you going to establish yourself as someone who your prospects can trust?  If you are creating your own products, where will you display them in a way that will convince prospects that you know what you’re doing?

You can try to do that through emails, and if they read them you can make some headway.  But with blogging, you can offer valuable content that demonstrates that you know your stuff.  Sure, they can skip that too, but with post after post, you can create a body of work that’s hard to ignore.

As icoachu suggests, your blog should be used to build your brand.  Your blog can be one of the most important ways that you establish with your prospects that you know what you’re talking about.  Your blog becomes your home base where people can see that you know what you’re talking about.

Marian says, “I can’t imagine my marketing without my own site/blog. There is so much more that you can do when you have it.. like promoting more of your and affiliate products, interacting with visitors, branding…”

I can’t imagine my marketing without my own site/blog either.  So, do you have a blog?   Are you putting valuable content on it regularly (regularly is important too!)?  Are you using your blog to brand yourself and your business?

Why Should Your Blog?

  1. 79% of online shoppers spend 50% of their shopping time researching products online.  Wouldn’t your blog be a fantastic place for people to research products in your niche?
  2. 77% of Internet users read blogs.  Isn’t that a good enough reason to have one?
  3.  51% of blog readers shop online.  If you want to reach buyers, blogging is a proven way.
  4. 45% of marketers say blogging is the #1 most important piece of their content strategy.  Yes, there are other ways to do business on the internet, but for many of us, this is how we build our traffic, leads, and sales.
  5. 25% of marketers report that their company blog is “critical” to their business (I’m one of them).
  6. 81% of businesses reported that their company blog is useful to critical for their business.
  7. Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages.
  8. 69% of businesses attribute their lead generation success to blogging.
  9. B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not.
  10.  B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those that do not.
  11. 89% of companies think blogs will be more important in the next five years.  If you’re not blogging, you may ask yourself what they know that you don’t know.
  12. This is one thing they believe: 56% of bloggers who maintain blogs for a business say that their blog has helped their company establish a position as a thought leader in the industry.
  13. Internet users in the US spend 3x more time on blogs than they do on email.  If your target are U.S. buyers, blogging is a great way to reach them.
  14. 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.  Again, wouldn’t it be fantastic if the blog they visit is your blog?
  15. 346 million people read blogs throughout the world.  Americans aren’t the only ones who read blogs – adding a blog to your website attracts many readers from other countries too.
  16. On average, Google gets over 100 billion searches a month. Additionally, more than half of those searches are coming from mobile devices.  How much of that traffic that your blog receives depends on your blogging and your SEO.  Start with great content before looking to amp up your SEO.

    10 Tips For Maximum Impact From Blogging

    1. On average, compounding blog posts make up 10% of all blog posts and generate 38% of overall traffic.  Compounding blog posts are posts from six months ago or longer.  This post has continued to garner new views and it’s over two years old (but I added these tips to this posting).
    2. Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%.
    3. Once you write 52 or more blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 77%.
    4. 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.  When you create valuable content, shares will build your audience.
    5. B2B companies that blog more than 4 times a week see the biggest increase in traffic and leads.  In 2015, 66% of bloggers reported blogging daily.  70% of marketers indicate that they blog at least weekly.
    6. Use images – blog articles with images get 94% more views, so definitely use images with your blog posts.
    7. Use video -the average person watches 182 online videos per month.  By including video content in your blog, you can greatly increase your website traffic.
    8. The average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words.  If you want to rank highest on Google, create long copy blog posts.
    9. Once a site has over 300 indexed pages, traffic generation increases by 236%.  Blogs greatly increase the number of indexed pages a site has.
    10. Want to increase your website visitors?  Buying paid advertising to promote your new blog content is one way to build your traffic.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

Sources for reasons and tips: https://www.impactbnd.com/blogging-statistics-55-reasons-blogging-creates-55-more-traffic and https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/25-little-known-blogging-statistics-to-boost-your-strategy-in-2016.

What type of blogger are you?

Blogging has come a long way from the personal weblog days.  Sure, there are still personal weblogs around, lots of them, but entrepreneurs quickly understood how blogging could become a source of income.  In a blog post on the Mindler blog, Preena Gadra writes about four types of blogger.   To her four types, we’ll add a fifth.

  1. A hobby blogger.  The hobby blogger is the one who blogs out of a love of blogging, writing. or a particular interest.  There may be a passion for a topic, maybe something deeply personal, and they build an audience, maybe small, maybe large, around a common interest.  A hobby blogger may make a few pennies a month.
  2. A part-time blogger.  The part-time blogger may spend two hours a day or more to blog as a means to supplement their income.  The part-time blogger uses their blog to share their wisdom, knowledge, or expertise.  Gadra reports that there are part-time bloggers who earn a few thousand dollars a year.
  3. A full-time blogger.  For full-time bloggers, blogging is their job.  They devote the bulk of their days to blogging and can earn five to six figure incomes, or more.  Professional bloggers make their living from blogging through a multiple of income sources: website ads, affiliate marketing, personally created products, and for the superstars, speaking engagements at seminars and conferences.
  4. The corporate blogger creates content for a business either as part of their job or as the primary responsibility of their job.  Corporate bloggers create content to promote products and services, and to meet the public relation needs of the corporation through communication to the public, employees, and stockholders.
  5. The entrepreneur uses their blog as part of the marketing mix for their business.  The entrepreneur blogger can be a part-time or full-time blogger.

Problogger reports that most bloggers earn less than $100 a month with 30% making less than $10 a month.  16% of the 4,000 respondents said that they earn more than $2,500 a month.  Blogging is not the way to quick riches, but given time and the right approach you can build a business around a blog.

How can your blog become the primary source of your income or a source for extra income?

16 Tips For Blogging For Fun and Profit

  1. Find a niche that you love and start writing.
  2. Pay attention to the design of your blog.  Does it look professional?  Is it easy to navigate?  Is it easy to read and otherwise use?
  3. Focus your writing on a target audience within your niche.  Create content that will help those in your target audience – meet their needs, wants, and expectations to build your audience.  This should go without saying, but always be truthful in what you write if you want to be trusted by your audience.
  4. Write valuable content.  Don’t be afraid to give away valuable content in your blog posts – you will be rewarded as you build your reputation as a go-to guy or gal in your niche.
  5. Write evergreen content.  Evergreen content is content that stays current no matter what changes happen in your niche.
  6. Write great headlines.  Great headlines get your audience to read your posts.  If this is difficult for you, get my free headlines report to discover the 10 ultimate headline formulas that will expand your readership (and sales).
  7. 300-1000 words is generally the range you want to shoot for when you are creating blog posts.  You need 300 words to get ranked by search engines, but too many words will scare away some readers.  Keep your writing tight – don’t just write to fill a word quota (that can be really boring for readers).  Don’t be afraid to ruthlessly edit your work.  Joe Pulizzi compares a blog post to a miniskirt.  It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.
  8. Put your own spin on everything you write.  There is little need to regurgitate other people’s content;  me-too content is not likely to draw a loyal tribe of followers.  Put your personality and viewpoint into your writing and those who like your voice will become your loyal tribe of followers.  People follow people more than they follow websites.
  9. Read others for inspiration and to stay current in your niche.
  10. Write frequently.  SEO rewards new content and the more new content you can put up, the better your SEO results will likely be.  This also gives your loyal tribe a reason to check in with your blog frequently.
  11. Have a consistent schedule for adding new content to your blog.  Blogger and internet marketer extraordinaire Neil Patel points out that keeping existing readers is a whole lot easier than finding new ones.  However, regular blogging will build your subscriber base as the following graph shows.
  12. Engage with your audience.  Social media announcements of new content can be one way for engagement, but certainly accept comments on your blog.  Encourage your readers to comment on your posts.  You can even solicit post ideas from your audience.
  13. Utilize your blog to let readers and email subscribers stay current on what’s going on in your business (if you are a business blogger).
  14. Use share buttons on your website and encourage your readers to share your content on social media.
  15. Use marketing, free and paid, to build your audience.  Ads, promotions, lead magnets, commenting on other blogs in your niche, and guest posting are ways to market your blog and business.
  16. Use your blog to build an email subscriber list.  Your email list is the best way to promote new content on your blog.  This list will also become the source of the bulk of whatever income you receive from your blog.

Those are my best tips for blogging.  What would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

7 Tips for Powering Up Your Business Website

Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from November 2014 and it’s been revised and expanded.

your website

Have you ever thought of your business website like a bricks and mortar store?  Your website can have a showroom, a salesroom, and a stock room. There can be a conference room, and a break room.  You can even put in a private office.

For internet marketing, your website can be the most versatile part of your business. People can find your business through many sources, including social media.  Once they come to your home page they will see your banner, which is like the signage of a bricks and mortar store.

With your banner, you introduce yourself and your business.  Everything “above the fold” is like looking into a store window to the showroom floor.  Everything “below the fold” is part of the showroom that isn’t as visible through the front window.

Other pages are salesrooms in the form of sales pages and landing pages. Thank you pages (also called content delivery pages) are in your stockroom.

You can set up your site as a blog and offer valuable content, the kind that businesses routinely present in conference rooms.  Your comments section is like a break room where you can exchange ideas with readers who become customers and friends.  Your private office is where you work on new elements of your business that you will shortly display on your website.

Your website is the most powerful element of your online business.  One thing that’s great about a website is that your overhead infinitely less than the overhead on a bricks and mortar store.  Use your website to full advantage and watch as it pays you over and over again!  Here are my best 7 tips for fully powering up your business website.

7 Tips for Powering Up Your  Business Website

  1. Start with your name as your domain.  The first thing in politics and business is name recognition.  You are your own personal brand, and your self-named domain identifies you as such.  If you set up your website as a blog, as I have done, you can use any business name you choose as a header.  In this case, my domain is my name, and my header identifies my business, Irresistible Influence Marketing.  Owning your name as a domain also ensures that you can protect your online personal identity.
  2. Keep your website simple so that prospects and customers can easily find what they’re looking for.  This means having just a few buttons in your navigation toolbar, not too many widgets, and a simple, uncluttered layout.
  3. Do have an “About Me” or “About Us” page where you introduce yourself.  Tell your story about how and why you started your business.  Help potential customers and clients get to know, like, and trust you through a page designed to introduce yourself to them.
  4. Make sure that the way to contact you is easy to find.  Is your email address easily found on your home page and other web pages?
  5. Keep your website fresh to keep people coming back.  If your website is set up as a blog, add new content on a regular basis.  On this website, there is generally new content at least once a week and a weekly Throwback Thursday post like this one.  Some business blogs with big staffs add new content daily.
  6. Feature a variety of content on your website.  This could include original content on different topics related to your business niche, guest bloggers, great images including infographics and GIFs, video, slideshare presentations, and free offers for lead magnets that are tailored to appeal to prospects in your business niche.
  7. Is your website mobile friendly?  Here’s why this is important:

What would you add to these 7 tips?  I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

How to Access 2.5 Million Visitors a Month

Kissmetrics reports that Digg receives 2.5 million visitors per month, has a PageRank of 8, and and their Domain Authority is 100.  Plus, Digg is more marketer-friendly than Reddit.  While Reddit is higher in Alexa U.S. and worldwide rankings, Digg is much more marketer-friendly. Digg also has a much more attractive look than Reddit, which can help your Digg marketing efforts.

There was a time when Digg was known for sending server-crashing traffic to websites, but that has subsided.  Digg’s been around for a relatively long time, it was launched in 2004, and it was once the biggest social news site on the web.   While other websites have surpassed Digg in popularity, it is still a significant player.  It was revamped in 2012, and this is what Slate says about Digg now:

 “Digg captures a snapshot of all of the Web’s hottest streams. Then it presents a smart, gorgeous, editorially coherent digest of what’s popular online. Other sites have attempted this, but the new Digg is the first place that does it well.

I agree. There’s a reason why Neil Patel, Jeff Bullas, Social Media Examiner, MarketiingLand.com and others in the internet marketing world are on Digg – it is an excellent platform to share your best stuff.  Neil Rodriguez says that Digg can deliver “anywhere from 1,000 to 1.3 million page views in mere days.”  What would that level of traffic do for your business?

If your wondering how many “Diggs” it takes to really get noticed, here are some relevant stats from  2016.  Last year, the top Digg “author” got 34 Diggs.  The top story got 144 Diggs, and the top video got 443 Diggs.

Digg is a social news site like Reddit, and also like Reddit, the community votes thumbs up or thumbs down on content.  The more positive ratings, the more likely your content will be seen f by others.  How do you get those positive ratings that boost your audience?  As always, it starts with great content.  Given that, here are my 12 tips for using Digg for marketing.

12 Tips for Using Digg for Marketing

  1. Create an account.  Go to digg.com, click on the sign in/sign up button and get started.  You’ll be asked to connect your Digg account with either your Twitter, Facebook, or Google account.  Then create your profile.
  2. Grow your tribe.  The more active you are on Digg, the more people will see your profile, connect with you, and be receptive to what you have to offer.  Digg other people’s content, submit posts, make friends, network and comment.  Being involved on Digg will help your chances of getting your content noticed by others.  By the way, unintelligent comments like “This is awesome” will hurt you.  Make thoughtful comments to build your credibility and audience.
  3. Pay attention to any comments that your submissions elicit.  Conversations build friendships and friendships can blossom into business relationships (but don’t be mercenary about this – always be genuine, authentic, real).
  4. Browse the Digg website to get a feel for what content makes it big on Digg.
  5. Like Reddit, the Digg community hates self-promotion.  Just as people don’t like pushy salespeople, Diggers don’t like to be sold.  Don’t do it!  Offer good, helpful information to get positive Digg community responses.
  6. Write a great headline.  Like advertising, email marketing, and your blog, great headlines are where to start.  Don’t write great content and think that people will automatically find it and read it.  A great headline is what gets readers.
  7. Use a great image to accompany your great headline.  Go to Digg and observe the quality of the images used on the homepage.  Match or exceed that quality in order to get noticed.  If you are fortunate enough to get into the Digg Deeper
  8. Don’t Digg your own posts – this is a Digg no-no.  And be smart about submitting your own content.  It would be better to ask a friend to submit your content.  Also, Digg checks IP addresses, so if your whole office likes your content it will be downgraded.
  9. Put a Digg social button on your website and encourage readers to share your content to Digg.
  10. There is a category on Digg called “Long Reads, but generally, short content is best.  You can see this when you compare the top story on Digg (144 Diggs) to the top Long Read (86 Diggs).  Keep it short if you want to really score big.
  11. What kind of content is popular on Digg?  Lists, how-to guides, tutorials, and videos (as you can see above).
  12. Connect with influencers in your niche.  Digg is a great place to connect with the tribal chiefs in your niche.  Digg their content and comment on it.  If they add you to their friends list, hopefully they’ll comment on your content, and that in itself will drive traffic to you.

Those are my 12 best tips for using Digg for marketing; what would you add?  As always, I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares (especially shares to Digg!).

 

How to Build Your Business with Backlinks

What is a backlink?  A backlink is a link to one webpage from another webpage.  Backlinks not only provide organic traffic, they also help you rank higher on Google.  What matters is not so much the number of your backlinks; what does matter most is the quality of your backlinks.

Link juice is a term used to describe the value of particular backlinks.  Some sites do not positively contribute to your ranking.  You can ask website owners to remove links that hurt your SEO, but often they won’t reply and some will actually ask you to pay for removal.  In either of these cases, go to Google’s Disavowal Tool to take care of this: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

Here’s a tool to help you evaluate your link juice: http://www.ecreativeim.com/pagerank-link-juice-calculator.php

12 Tips for Getting Backlinks to Your Website

How can you get backlinks from quality and relevant websites?

  1. Create great content.  It always starts with your content.  Write stuff that others want to share.
  2. Cornerstone content for your niche will help you build an audience and make it more likely that you will get backlinks.
  3. Write “How to” posts (like this one!) and list posts (sometimes called listicles).  These two types of posts are among the most likely to get backlinked.
  4. Commenting on other sites in your niche while providing a link back to your site is a way that you can personally build backlinks.
  5. Submit your site to web directories.
  6. Submit blog posts to social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon (scroll down for a recent post on using SU), Delicious, Digg, Flipboard, BizSugar, Sharebloc, and Bundlr.
  7. Submit guest articles to other websites in your niche and always include a link back to your website.
  8. Post to Discussion Boards like Quora, and forums in your niche, and again,  always include a link back to your website.
  9. Ask questions and answer questions at Q & A sites like Answerbag, Yahoo! Answers, Blurt it, WikiAnswers, FunAdvice, Askville, and Friendfeed.  Mention your blog as a source for useful information on your q or a.
  10. Submit your blog information to blog directories.  Go here for a list of 131 different blog directories (by the way, the “Go here” is a backlink to useful information – that’s the kind of information that you want to provide – useful information that will get your content backlinked!).
  11. Use website review sites to promote your website.  Google your niche adding the word reviews to find suitable sites.
  12. Be active in groups like Google Groups and Yahoo Groups and use your engagement in groups to show your expertise in your field.

What would you add to this list?  As always, I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares (that’s one way that I get backlinks!).

12 Tips for Using StumbleUpon for Marketing

Interested in marketing to 25 million users?  Who wouldn’t be interested in grabbing even a portion of that vast number.  That’s how many monthly users StumbleUpon has and it is growing.  This makes SU an excellent source for traffic to your website.  Kissmetrics considers SU to be “the best traffic generator among the top seven social media sites.”

StumbleUpon describes itself in this way: StumbleUpon is a giant collection of the best pages on the internet!”

StumbleUpon is a website that recommends content based on categories.  The average page on SU receives over 180 views per month.

SU users (called stumblers) skew toward female and young (think high school and college students), but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a powerful engine for internet marketing even if young women is not your best demographic.  Over 43% of SU’s audience comes from the U.S., according to Alexa.com.  Nearly 16% comes from India.)

12 Tips for Using StumbleUpon for Your Business

  1. When starting with StumbleUpon, set up your user profile with interests that include a number of them that relate to your business.  This will help other users find and connect with you.  Include a photo for even better connection with potential followers.
  2. Write great headlines, a description of your content, and keyword tags to help people find your content through searches.  Tags can be an effective way to help stumblers find your content.
  3. Only feature your best content on StumbleUpon.  Your content is what builds your credibility, and if your content is poor, you will get a poor reputation that will hurt your business.  Through offering great content, you can build a following on SU that can transfer to your email list, website views, customer base.
  4. According to Kissmetrics, the best content for SU is tutorials, videos, images, and lists.
  5. Use StumbleUpon’s url shortener, Su.pr, to share your content as a status update, or post the Su.pr shortened url in your Facebook and Twitter feeds.  You can also share your content from SU directly to LinkedIn.  Using SU.pr is a proven way to increase website traffic.
  6. Short blog posts are particularly effective for StumbleUpon readers.  One of the great attributes of StumbleUpon is that readers are sent to your website, if you can get stumblers interested enough to click on your content.   Keep it short if you want to hold their attention.
  7. Use powerful images to get powerful results.  Images will get your content noticed and induce readers to click to read your content.  Listicles and Infographics are excellent click bait for StumbleUpon users.
  8. To get the biggest bang from your SU efforts, be sure to have well-placed invitations on your website to sign up for your email list.  I recommend top of the page, right sidebar, and possibly a pop-up.
  9. Do very little (if any) selling in the content for StumbleUpon.  StumbleUpon not only helps users find content, it also allows them to rate content.  Too much selling can result in people leaving your content, or even worse, giving you a thumbs down.
  10. As you do with other social media, interact with other users.  Interaction is the key to relationships, and social relationships can become business relationships.
  11. StumbleUpon has a paid advertising feature called “Paid Discovery,” and it costs only $.05 to .25 per click.  With this feature you can choose your category and target demographics.
  12. AskEustice recommends devoting 20 minutes a day (no more, unless you love it and want to do more) building relationships on StumbleUpon and sharing others’ content.

What tips would you add to the 12 tips above?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares!

 

From 0 to $100K By Blogging?

Today’s Throwback Thursday post on blogging returns from February of last year.

Jon Morrow went from 0 to $100,000 through blogging. Now that’s a $100,000 a month. With no ads on his blog (accept for his own free offer). As he explains, he simply takes some old models and throws in some rocket fuel. The rocket fuel is social media – people do need to know about your blog and social media is a cost-effective way to reach your prospective audience. That’s what Jon Morrow does to make $100,000 a month through blogging.

Emma Johnson grew her blog, Wealthy Single Mommy, to 50,000 visitors a month.  Emma’s strategy is to closely monitor her blog traffic and feature posts that are drawing the most interest.  When she sees a blog post getting lots of reads, she moves it to the top of her blog to create even more interest.  Like Jon Morrow, she features a free offer to build her email list.  Her email list has grown to 6,000 subscribers through this strategy.

Her free offer is “15 Secrets to Thriving as a Single Mom.”  Emma has also created a free forum where single moms can connect.  Emma gives value in her blogging, her freebie, and the forum she’s created.  This instills loyalty in her subscribers and helps her to build her business.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s been featured on The Today Show, NPR, CNN Headline News, Fox News and On Air with Ryan Seacrest. She’s also been featured in Woman’s Day, Forbes and the New York Times,

Once you understand that your blog is your showroom, also understand that the goal of your blog and business is to get email subscribers who you can contact regularly through your list(s).  Your blog is the conversation starter; your email list is where you have regular contact with your subscribers.

Your subscribers should be worth at least $1.00 a month to you.  This means that 1,000 subscribers can generate $1,000 (or more) for you every month.  Morrow reports that he is making $3 per subscriber per month.  Grow your list and you’ll grow your income.

Your blog and your freebies are the enticements that you offer in exchange for your readers providing their email addresses.  You can begin on blogger.com for free, but to be taken seriously you likely need your own domain and website.  That’s what Jon Morrow has done three times, and that’s part of what Emma Johnson has used to build her business.  You can offer products as an affiliate marketer until you have a full line of products in your niche. The combination that opens the vault is your blog, your email list, and the traffic that builds your audience.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

12 Proven Tactics To Drive Traffic To Your Blog

You work hard writing great content for your blog; are you mystified about how to get people to read your gems?  Join the club.  Here are 12 proven tactics to drive more traffic to your blog.  Most of these blogging tips are free and they are all effective.

  1. Understand your audience.  What makes them tick?  What content will be most appealing to them?  How can you best help them achieve their goals?
  2. Be constantly learning.  If you are growing in your knowledge of your niche, you will have fresh, new ideas to share with your audience.  Very few readers want to consume the same old content – in fact, regurgitating the same basic information will turn off your readers.  Give them something truly valuable that comes from your growing personal knowledge base.
  3. Write about what your niche cares about.  It’s not just generating more traffic – it is about generating traffic from the most likely potential buyers.  You can get some good ideas about what is hot in your niche from Google Trends, and BuzzSumo.  If you need help with keywords, Semrush is a great place to go.
  4. As you begin to approach your topic, consider how you can create content that stands out from the crowd.  How is your content going to be better than everything else that is out there?  Offer your own unique perspective on the topics that your cover.  This will build your brand as you develop your voice, your unique take on what you’re blogging about.
  5. Write better headlines.  Headlines are what drive much of your traffic to your blog.  If your headlines (or subject lines for emails) don’t interest potential readers, you are not going to be able to drive traffic to your blog.  If you need help with this, get my free report on THE 10 ULTIMATE HEADLINE FORMULAS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR PROFITS.
  6. Your email list can and should be a regular source of readers for your blog.  Not only your subject lines, but your content also needs to interest them enough to make them regular readers.  This is a corollary to “the money is in the list.”  One of the ways that you draw the money from your list is demonstrating on your blog that you are an authority to be trusted in your niche.
  7. Are you using social media to drive traffic to your blog?  I’ve got some help for you on this: click here.
  8. Use images to boost interest in your blog.  We live in a visual world culture.  Put pictures, infographics, videos, graphs and charts into your posts and watch your readership and shares grow.
  9. Speaking about shares, do you have social share buttons on your website?    You’ve got to make it easy for your readers to share your content if you want them to do so.  Nothing is easier than social sharing buttons.
  10. A “click to tweet” widget inside your blog posts is another great way to encourage your readers to share your content.  Pick a great quote, set it up with the “click to tweet” widget, and you’re good to go on this.
  11. Is your blog design holding you back?  An amateurish design can signal to potential readers that your blog isn’t worth their time.  My next post will go into depth on this.  Right now, consider whether your blog design is serving your business goals.  Does it generate leads?  Does it generate sales?  What can you do to your blog design to generate more leads and sales?
  12. How is your blog’s loading time?  We live in an impatient world and if your blog takes a long time to load some potential readers that you want to drive to your website will likely go elsewhere.  You can check your blog’s loading time at loadimpact.com.  To find out what’s slowing your website down, go to Google Page Speed Insights.

Those are my twelve best tips on driving traffic to your blog.  What would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

How Using Keyword Intent Can Build Your Business

Keywords are one of the most essential elements of search engine page ranking and understanding how they work can improve your business. Get your keywords right, and your page ranking will improve.  That should lead to more visitors and sales.  Get them wrong and you will be buried.

When you understand the intentions of searchers, you can craft your content with keywords to reach them.  There are four main keyword intent, and when you fashion your content according to the right keyword intent, you will attract the best traffic for your website and business.

Here are the four main keyword intent categories:

1. Informational Intent

Most searches are looking for information, and your keywords can help others find your content.  If you want people to find your content, make sure you’ve focused on keywords that lead people to your content.  This post is on keyword intent and as I set up the SEO for this post I will list it under “keyword intent.” I use Yoast SEO on this WordPress site, and I recommend it.

2. Navigational Intent

Navigational intent means searches looking for a particular website.  If people know about your site and want to find it, this is the kind of search that they would do.  This kind of search would include your brand name, or what the searcher remembers about your website url.

An example of this could be someone trying to find the website for a retail store.  They might just type in bigstore.com and see if they got it right.  If they got it wrong, Google or another search site might say, “did you mean bigstore.us?”  They might just type in bigstore and see what the search engine comes up with.

3. Investigational Intent

This kind of search goes after comparisons between businesses and products.  Maybe someone would like to see the options for t-shirt printing in their town.  This would be an investigational intent search.  Perhaps someone else wants to do an analysis of their competition.  This too would be an investigational intent search.

4. Transactional Intent

This has been called “the Holy Grail of search marketing.”  Typical key words in a transactional intent search would be “buy, purchase, best price, coupon, or discount.”  People doing a transactional intent search are ready to buy.

As you set up your blog posts and landing pages, keep in mind the four types of keyword intent.  These could help you gain more views, followers, and buyers.

The following graphic illustrates how different keyword intent fits different stages of the buying process.

What would you add to this?  I invite your comments and questions, your likes and shares.

Improve Your SEO, Build Your Business

Do you know the three main factors that Google considers when ranking results?  Factor in these three factors and you will build your website’s audience.  Those three factors are relevance, authority, and trust.  Since Google is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the search world, let’s focus on this behemoth.

Relevance

Relevance measures the content on your site.  The more closely your content matches a particular search request, the more relevant your site is.  Exact matches of words will score highest, while synonyms and key phrases that Google recognizes as also relevant will also help your relevance ranking.

Simple, right?  Yes, but the next two factors are a bit more complicated.

Authority

Authority has to do with the trust with and influence over others that your website and/or content generates.  There are hundreds of factors that search engines consider, but here’s the most important one: how many links there are to your content – this is numero uno.  Also, the authority of the websites that link to your content can improve your authority.

Say someone wants information on 21st century widgets.  If the top website in the 21st century widgets niche links to your content, your authority will rise.  But if links come from less relevant sources to the widget field, say your content is linked in a blog post about canaries, your authority will increase less.

Other authority factors include how many mentions you get, how much your content is shared, how any fans you have… In essence, authority is a popularity contest.  You can have the greatest content in the world, but if no one sees it, you will not be building your authority.

How do you build your authority?

A. Use more keywords.  Keywords are king when it comes to SEO. Keyword stuffing is a practice than can boost your SEO. This refers to loading up a website with keywords that will improve a website’s SEO ranking.  Be careful with this – Google penalizes sites that they believe are doing SEO manipulation.

The following infographic illustrates two newer SEO practices and it comes from kissmetrics.com:

Keyword intent refers to the intention of the searcher.  The following infographic from Wordstream illustrates three search intentions:

Commercial intent keywords are those that attract potential customers. This topic will be the subject of an upcoming blog post here at tonyseel.com.

Long tail keywords refers to keywords and phrases that are more specific to your product and niche.  Long tail keywords will typically draw a smaller audience, but will result in higher sales.

Yoast’s Marieke van de Rakt compares long tail keywords to a jukebox containing 10,000 songs.  Only a small segment of those tunes may be regularly played, but over time, 98% of them will be played at least once.  Only a small subset of internet users may be interested in a long tail keyword, but when the pool of internet users is over 3 billion, that small subset can be quite large.

B. Use social media to boost your authority and your SEO.  Your site’s popularity on social media can boost your SEO and your authority.  Be sure to communicate regularly for your business on social media and this will positively affect your SEO and authority.

Trust

Trust is difficult to measure, but Google does rank pages with longer articles and unique content that is regularly updated higher than sites without these factors.

One indication of a site’s trustworthiness is a simple check to see whether they have Privacy Policy, Terms, and Disclosure statements. Seems simple, right?  As simple as it is, it is a measure of whether a site can be trusted.

External links to other trusted sites also improve your trust ranking.   Video content will encourage visitors to stay on your site longer, and this will increase your trustworthiness.

Social media also affects your trust.  How many Facebook likes and other signs of social media approval are you garnering?

This is just touching the surface of these three key factors in SEO.   What would you add?  I invite your comments and questions, your likes and shares.