By Amit Raj
When it comes to trying to drive online traffic for any business – be it a large corporate, SME or a local business, most business owners know you need to leverage assets like search engine rankings or social media in some way.
The issue though, is the number of businesses that do it effectively enough to actually drive a significant amount of relevant traffic (and more importantly sales!)
If you do execute this bit correctly though, it can pay off many times over. But how’s it done?
Keep reading and you’ll find out!
Effective On-Page SEO
This is the somewhat boring, technical part. And most businesses usually do work on this bit first and it’s the first thought that comes to mind when it comes to SEO.
So it’ll essentially involve the following
- Making sure you know your valuable keywords.
- Targeting those keywords with specially created pages – using meta tags, titles and in content mentions.
- Interlinking effectively (whether that’s with a silo structure or some other setup) to make sure your “link juice” flows correctly.
So you definitely don’t want to ignore this part.
However, that isn’t the end of the road! Doing on-page SEO alone, is NOT going to drive serious amounts of traffic.
It’ll help – and acts almost like a “pointer” to the seach engines, indicating the kind of categories of keywords your site should be placed under. But it’s not a magic bullet that’ll solve everything.
Creating amazing content
Here’s where it gets interesting. This is a very often neglected part of most businesses, but if you want a truly effective, white hat SEO strategy – then creating useful content is a must.
And by useful content, I mean anything that your audience would find informative, interesting, funny, etc. It doesn’t matter if its an article, video, podcast, infographic or PDF guide – whatever is best suited to get the information across.
However, the key features of this content are that
- It should NOT be advertorial.
- It can’t be copy/pasted from other sites.
- It cannot be boring or overly short.
Bear in mind, this is a stage which is NEVER going to truly be over. You will have to keep on creating fresh, imaginative, useful content as long as your site exists.
That is both as part of growing your audience, but also to continually nurture and engage with your existing audience.
It also ties into the next stage, which is going to be the centerpiece of your content marketing strategy.
Building Links – the centerpiece
Now once you’ve got the foundations of your website, your on-page SEO and have some great content in place ( as well as a content plan going forward), the next stage is going to about leveraging this content in order to drive some super relevant traffic to your site.
Link building always has been an important part of online marketing, however, in 2018 onwards it’ll prove to be an ever more crucial piece of improving search engine rankings.
And if you want to outrank the competition and stand out from the crowd – link building is going to be ESSENTIAL if you want to reach that next level, and build a business which can drive a serious amount of online sales.
The main benefits of building links are:
- Driving direct referral traffic from that site, to your own. And the more relevant that site is to your own, the more likely they’ll become a customer.
- Organic search traffic. Links almost act like “votes” with search engines like Google. The more of those links that they see going to your site, the more value they’ll place on your site. I.e. your site will become increasingly more trusted and authoritative.
- Brand awareness. More important in later stages, but as you build more links, create more content and get your name out there over time, your brand will start to become a trusted authority to the audience.
How do you put it all together?
The most efficient and effective way of putting the content and link building together, is going to be using personalized email outreach.
And this part could be summarized into a simple four step process:
- Create valuable content that your audience would love.
- Finding other site which are related this content, using search engine operators.
- Approaching those related sites/blogs and asking if they’d like to link to your content piece from their site.
- Following up with them several times (but not too much!) Until you get a rejection or a link.
If you do this part correctly, you should yield a link in at least 5%-10% of cases.
However, the success of this is going ride mainly on just how good your content is, and then how effective your site targeting is.
If you are creating the wrong content and targeting the wrong sites – they won’t link.
This is just a crash course in what is actually involved in a solid content marketing plan, and I want to keep the article as succinct as I possibly can. However, even this should be enough to give you a head start on probably 95% of other sites out there.