Blog SEO: How to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content in 2018





How do you know what matters and what doesn’t? What are today’s blog ranking tactics, and what’s considered “old-school”? How on Earth can you keep it all straight?

Click here to download our free guide on how to double your blog traffic and leads.

Confusion is a common issue facing digital content marketers — and we want to help. In this post, we’ll cover how to optimize your blog posts for the keywords you care about, along with a few other optimization tactics you should keep in mind.

Note that this list doesn’t cover every single rule under the sun. Rather, the following 10 SEO tips are the on-page factors to get you started with an SEO strategy for your blog in particular.

SEO can be confusing. Listen as HubSpot’s own Matt Barby and Victor Pan clear things up:

HubSpot customers: If you want to see specific SEO optimization tips for your individual blog posts, click the bar graph icon on the far left side of the blog editor when you’re working on the post to access the SEO Optimization screen.

optimize-hubspot-blog.png
If you’re not a customer, you can use these tips as a checklist as you blog.

 

10 Blog SEO Tips to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content

1. Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your ideal reader.

Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this actually hurts your SEO because search engines consider this keyword stuffing (i.e., including keywords as much as possible with the sole purpose of ranking highly in organic search).

It also doesn’t make for a good reader experience — a ranking factor that search engines now prioritize to ensure you’re answering the intent of your visitors. Therefore, you should use keywords in your content in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced.

A good rule of thumb is to focus on one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. While you can use more than one keyword in a single post, keep the focus of the post narrow enough to allow you to spend time actually optimizing for just one or two keywords.

Why long-tail keywords? These longer, often question-based keywords keep your post focused on the specific goals of your audience. Website visitors searching long-tail terms are more likely to read the whole post and then seek more information from you. In other words, you’ll generate right type of traffic: visitors who convert.

2. Include these 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post.

Now that you’ve got your one or two keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your blog post. Where are the best parts of your posts to include these terms so you rank high in search results?

There are four essential places where you should try to include your keywords: title tag, headers & body, URL, and meta description.



Title Tag

The title (i.e., headline) of your blog post will be a search engine’s and reader’s first step in determining the relevancy of your content, so including a keyword here is vital. Google calls this the “title tag” in a search result.

Be sure to include your keyword within the first 60 characters of your title, which is just about where Google cuts titles off on search engine results pages (SERPs). Technically, Google measures by pixel width, not character count, and it recently increased the pixel width for organic search results from approximately 500 pixels to 600 pixels, which translates to around 60 characters.

Long title tag? When you have a lengthy headline, it’s a good idea to get your keyword in the beginning since it might get cut off in SERPs toward the end, which can take a toll on your post’s perceived relevancy. In the example below, we had a long title that went over 65 characters, so we front-loaded it with the keyword for which we were trying to rank: “on-page SEO.”

Search engine result link with a keyword-optimized title

Headers & Body

Mention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headers. That means including your keywords in your copy, but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t go overboard at the risk of being penalized for keyword stuffing. Before you start writing a new blog post, you’ll probably think about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. That’s a smart idea, but it shouldn’t be your only focus, nor even your primary focus.

Whenever you create content, your primary focus should be on what matters to your audience, not how many times you can include a keyword or keyword phrase in that content. Focus on being helpful and answering whatever question your customer might’ve asked to arrive on your post. Do that, and you’ll usually find you naturally optimize for important keywords, anyway.

URL

Search engines also look to your URL to figure out what your post is about, and it’s one of the first things it’ll crawl on a page. You have a huge opportunity to optimize your URLs on every post you publish, as every post lives on its own unique URL — so make sure you include your one to two keywords in it.

In the example below, we created the URL using the long-tail keyword for which we were trying to rank: “email marketing examples.”

Search engine result link with a keyword-optimized URL

Meta Description

Later in this post, we’ll dive into meta descriptions a bit more. Your meta description is meant to give search engines and readers information about your blog post’s content — so be certain to use your long-tail term so Google and your audience are clear on your post’s content.

At the same time, keep in mind the copy matters a great deal for click-through rates because it satisfies certain readers’ intent. The more engaging, the better.

3. Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly.

Did you know more people use a search engine from their mobile phones than from a computer?

And for all those valuable search queries being done on mobile, Google displays the mobile-friendly results first. This is yet another example of Google heavily favoring mobile-friendly websites — which has been true ever since the company updated its Penguin algorithm in April 2015.

So, how do you make your blog mobile-friendly? By using “responsive design.” Websites that are responsive to mobile allow blog pages to have just one URL instead of two — one for desktop and one for mobile, respectively. This helps your post’s SEO because any inbound links that come back to your site won’t be divided between the separate URLs.

As a result, you’ll centralize the SEO power you gain from these links, helping Google more easily recognize your post’s value and rank it accordingly.

Pro tip: What search engines value is constantly changing. Be sure you’re keeping on top of these changes by subscribing to Google’s official blog.

4. Optimize the meta description, and use all the space.

To review, a meta description is the additional text that appears in SERPs that lets readers know what the link is about. The meta description gives searchers information they need to determine whether or not your content is what they’re looking for, and ultimately helps them decide if they’ll click or not.

The maximum length of this meta description is greater than it once was — now around 300 characters — suggesting it wants to give readers more insight into what each result will give them.

So, in addition to being reader-friendly (compelling and relevant), your meta description should include the long-tail keyword for which you are trying to rank.

Google result link with extended meta description
In the example above, I searched for “email newsletter examples.” The term is bolded in the meta description, helping readers make the connection between the intent of their search term and this result. You’ll also see the term “E-Newsletter” bolded, indicating that Google knows there’s a semantic connection between “email newsletter” and “E-Newsletter.”

Note: Nowadays, it’s not guaranteed that your meta description is always pulled into SERPs as it once was. As you can see in the above image, Google pulls in other parts of your blog post that includes the keywords searched, presumably to give searchers optimal context around how the result matches their specific query.



Let me show you another example. Below is an example of two different search queries delivering two different snippets of text on Google SERPs. The first is a result of the query “no index no follow,” and pulls in the original meta description:

meta-description-v1.png
The second is a result of the query “noindex nofollow,” and pulls in the first instance of these specific keywords coming up in the body of the blog post:

meta-description-v2.png
While there’s not much you can do to influence what text gets pulled in, you should continue to optimize this metadata, as well as your post, so search engines display the best content from the article. By creating reader-friendly content with natural keyword inclusion, you’ll make it easier for Google to prove your post’s relevancy in SERPs for you.

5. Optimize your images’ alt text.

Blog posts shouldn’t only contain text — you should also include images that help explain your content. But search engines don’t just look for images. Rather, they look for images with alt text.

Because search engines can’t “see” images the same way humans can, an image’s alt text tells them what an image is about — which ultimately helps those images rank in Google Images results. Alt text also makes for a better user experience, as it’ll display inside the image container when an image can’t be found or displayed, and can improve accessibility for people with poor vision who are using screen readers.

Technically, alt text is an attribute that can be added to an image tag in HTML. Here’s what a complete image tag might look like (bolding added for emphasis):

<img class=”wt-blog__normal-image” src=”image.jpg” alt=”image-description” title=”image tooltip”>

Adding keywords to your alt text may seem minor — and it isn’t going to impact your search rankings as much as other things on this list. But it is worth the extra minute it takes to change the name from “IMG23940” to something accurate and descriptive, like “puppies-playing-in-basket:”

puppies-playing-in-basket.jpg
Read this blog post to learn more on-page SEO tips for keyword optimizing the most critical parts of your website.

HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel will recognize whether or not you have optimized your images. Though these elements are not as important as some other optimizations, they’re still necessary (not to mention easy to add).

seo-panel-images.png

6. Don’t use too many similar topic tags.

Topic tags can help organize your blog content, but if you overuse them, they can actually be harmful. If you have too many similar tags, you may get penalized by search engines for having duplicate content.

Think of it this way: when you create a topic tag, you also create a new site page where the content from those topic tags will appear. If you use too many similar tags for the same content, it then appears to search engines as if you’re showing the content multiple times throughout your website. For example, topic tags like “blogging,” “blog,” and “blog posts” are too similar to one another to be used on the same post.

If you’re worried that your current blog posts have too many similar tags, take some time in the near future to clear them up. Choose about 15–25 topic tags that you think are important to your blog and that aren’t too similar to one another, and then only tag your posts with those keywords. That way, you won’t have to worry about duplicate content.

7. Use URL structures that help your visitors.

The URL structure of your web pages (which are different from the specific URLs of your posts) should make it easy for your visitors to understand the structure of your website and the content they’re about to see. Search engines favor web page URLs that make it easier for them and website visitors to understand the content on the page.

This differentiation is baked into the HubSpot blogs’ respective URL structures. If I decided to go to the Marketing section from this main page, I would be taken to the URL http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing. If we want to read the Sales section, all we have to do is change where it says “marketing” in the URL to “sales”: http://blog.hubspot.com/sales. This URL structure helps me understand that “/marketing” and “/sales” are smaller sections — called subdirectories — within the larger blog.

What if there’s a specific article we want to read, such as “How to Do Keyword Research: A Beginner’s Guide”? Its URL structure — http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-do-keyword-research-ht — denotes that it’s an article from the Marketing section of the blog.

In this way, URL structure acts as a categorization system for readers, letting them know where they are on the website and how to access new site pages. Search engines appreciate this, as it makes it easier for them to identify exactly what information searchers will access on different parts of your blog or website.

Get more best practices for URL structure from Moz here.

8. Link internally when possible.

Inbound links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. The same goes for linking internally to other pages on your website. If you’ve written about a topic that’s mentioned in your blog post on another blog post, ebook, or web page, it’s a best practice to link to that page.

You might’ve noticed that I’ve been doing that from time to time throughout this blog post when I think it’s helpful for our readers. Not only will internal linking help keep visitors on your website, but it also surfaces your other relevant and authoritative pages to search engines.

HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel automatically suggests linking to other internal resources on your website. Think of it as solving for your SEO while also helping your visitors get more information from your content.

hubspot-seo-panel-links.png
If you’re looking for more internal links to add to your post but aren’t sure which would be relevant, you can click “Explore some internal links you might use in this post” for a list of recommendations.

9. Use Google’s Search Console.

Google’s free Search Console contains a section called the Search Analytics Report. This report helps you analyze clicks from Google Search, and it’s useful to determine which keywords people are using to find your blog content. Learn how to use it by reading this blog post written by my colleague Matthew Barby, and by checking out Google’s official support page here.

If you’re interested in optimizing your best-performing older blog posts for traffic and leads like we’ve been doing since 2015, this tool can help identify low-hanging fruit.

Line graph showing keyword performance on Google Search Console
A lot of content marketers struggle with optimizing their blog posts for search. The truth is, your blog posts won’t start ranking immediately. It takes time to build up search authority. But when you publish blog posts frequently and consistently optimize them for search while maintaining an intent-based reader experience, you’ll reap the rewards in the form of traffic and leads long-term.

10. Use topic clusters.

The way most blogs are currently structured (including our own blogs, until very recently), bloggers and SEOs have worked to create individual blog posts that rank for specific keywords. The result is disorganized, and hard for the user to find the exact information he or she needs. It also results in your own URLs competing against one another in search engine rankings when you produce multiple blog posts about similar topics.

Here’s what our blog architecture used to look like using this old playbook:

Flowchart of HubSpot's topic cluster SEO model
Now, in order to rank in search and best answer the new types of queries searchers are submitting, the solution is to use the topic cluster model: Choose the broad topics for which you want to rank, then create content based on specific keywords related to that topic that all link to each other, to create broader search engine authority.

Using this model, this is what our blog infrastructure looks like now — with specific topics surrounded by blog posts related to the topic, connected to other URLs in the cluster via hyperlinks:

A set of topic clusters for SEO
This model uses a more deliberate site architecture to organize and link URLs together to help more pages on your site rank in Google — and to help searchers find information on your site more easily. This architecture consists of three components — pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks:

SEO model using icons for pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks
We know this is a fairly new concept, so for more details, check out our research on the topic, or the video below.

We don’t expect you to incorporate each of these SEO best practices into your content strategy right away. But as your website grows, so should your goals on search engines. Then you’ll be able to do some link building to get other websites to link back to your blog!

Once you identify the goals and intent of your ideal readers, you’ll be on track to deliver content organically that is always relevant to them.

 

Traffic Generation 2018: 32 Smart Ways To Drive 3x More Traffic To Your Blog





Have you ever looked at your blog’s analytics and wondered when the hordes of visitors are going to start showing up? You’re publishing great content and have something to say, but try as you might, those traffic numbers just don’t seem to be climbing as much as they should be. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way – you can get way more traffic to your blog and in this post I’ll show you how.With the use of just a few of these tactics, you could see a 425% increase in traffic.



Why the “right traffic” matters

Before we dive into discussing specific ways to increase your traffic, there’s something I need to mention.

More traffic won’t always get you what you want.

Your goal should always be to generate relevant and targeted traffic – which is exactly what all of the tactics and strategies included in this guide will help you with.

A big part of this is knowing what you want people to do once they arrive on your blog, it’s one thing to want more traffic, but there has to be a reason for it.

Once you have a clear idea of exactly what you want people to do on your blog, you can optimize your blog to improve the likelihood that it will happen – small tweaks can make a big difference with conversions.

How to drive more traffic to your blog

There are a lot of tactics listed below and when used in the right way they can have a huge impact on your traffic.

For example, I’ve seen people put only a few of these tactics into action and see a 400%+ increase in traffic. Awesome right?!

The key here is to focus on a single tactic, make it work and then come back to this post to try something else. If you try too many at the same time, you won’t see the traffic increases that you deserve.

Ready to get started?

Quick navigation

As this is a fairly large post, I’ve broken the traffic generation strategies into categories and added quick links so you can easily navigate. Just click on the link and you’ll be taken to the relevant section:

Switch up your approach to content

Plan content that can generate traffic

Traffic generation doesn’t start after you’ve published a blog post; it starts right at the planning stage.

There are two elements to consider here:

1. Topic selection

If you decide to write about a topic that nobody is interested in, you’re going to struggle to get traffic, no matter how good your content is.

So how can you get a good idea of which topics to write about?

Reading a lot of other blogs and forums can be a great way to start, but there are also a bunch of tools that will help you here, for example:

  • Google Trends – This will show you a graph of how interest has increased/decreased over time.
  • BuzzSumo – This tool will show you which topics are generating the most social shares.
  • SEMrush – With this tool you can find out exactly what keywords your competitors are ranking for in Google and get an estimate of how much traffic those keywords can bring in.

The important thing here is to ensure that the topics you choose fit with your content strategy and are focused on helping your target audience.

Matching your audience up with the right topic is a huge first step in winning the battle for attention online.

2. Pick a content type

Certain content types may get more traction than others.

A study by BuzzSumo (and published on Noah Kagan’s blog) found that infographics and list posts received more shares than any other content type.

BuzzSumo Chart

Credit: OKDork.com

On a personal note, the majority of my top shared posts are list posts and they are also the posts which generate the most referral traffic for me.

3. Add value

Now that you’ve decided on a topic and content type, it’s time to think about how you can position your content to stand out from all the rest.

The reality is that there are probably a bunch of posts on other blogs that are talking about something similar.

The key is finding that element that separates your content from all of the rest.

That might mean finding a unique angle, including more depth, adding more detail, improving usability or just giving away more information.

Write more engaging headlines

David Ogilvy famously said “On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

Even if this average isn’t 100% correct today, one thing we can be certain of is that headlines matter.

They can either make or break the success of each post you publish.

There are plenty of posts discussing best practices of writing awesome headlines but there are two important factors to remember:

  • Your headline is a promise and you should always deliver on that promise
  • However you write your headline, it should leave an unanswered question

There are also headline writing tools like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer which can help you but the one thing that will serve you best which is the one thing these types of tools can’t replicate.

And that’s … YOU!

Give your old content a new lease of life

It’s good practice to update your old content when possible.

Why?

It will improve the user experience and help you get more traffic.

When content becomes outdated, it becomes less helpful for users and chances are that it won’t rank as high in search engines anymore (freshness is a ranking factor).

It’s a good idea to prioritize which blog posts you update, so you could try one of the following:

  • Look in your analytics and identify content that doesn’t get as much search traffic as it used to
  • Check your Google Webmaster Tools account to find keywords you’re ranking for at the top of page two which could do with a boost

Don’t just update the information, also consider how you can streamline the user experience of the post and genuinely make it more helpful.

Once the post is ready you could simply publish it as a new post under the same URL or choose to publish under a new URL (and add a 301 redirect from the old URl to the new one).

Note: if your post is already getting traffic from Google you may want to stick with the existing URL and if you do change the URL, you will lose most social share counts (e.g. # of tweets won’t be visible).

It’s also important to ensure that you promote this post as much as possible; you’ll get more traffic from social media, search engines and other blog’s if you do.



Make your content more visual

Visual content is a big deal – fact.

And there are plenty of statistics on the web that highlight just how important it is.

Visual content will get you more shares, earn you more likes and ultimately get you more traffic.

So how can you make your content more visual? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Make Content Visual

The image above was created in less than 5 minutes thanks to the help of a free tool called Canva.

Mention influencers in your posts and let them know you’ve mentioned them

When you first start your blog, you’ll be starting from scratch but there are those in your niche that already have influence.

So what should you do?

When you write your next blog post, link out to other posts written by influencers that provide additional insight and complement your post, then you can let them know that you’ve mentioned them.

One important caveat: don’t mention influencers for the sake of it, only mention them if it will add value to your post and help your readers.

People love to share stuff that makes them look good. So when you say cool stuff about them in a post, chances are they’ll share it with their audience. Not always, but sometimes.

How you let them know is up to you, I’ve found Twitter, Google+ and email to work well.

The important thing is to just let people know you’ve mentioned them, don’t keep asking them to share your content.

Note: this can also be a great way to build relationships with other bloggers.

How do you find influencers in your niche?

There are a bunch of helpful tools you can use here which include the likes of BuzzSumo. This post covers influencer research tools in more depth.

Interview an influential blogger

From a reader’s perspective, interviews can be a great way to get another perspective on things as well as being a great source of inspiration.

There are plenty of ways to position these interviews. You could do written interviews or you could start a podcast. A great example is John Lee Dumas who interviews entrepreneurs with inspiring stories.

This is a great way of kick starting the relationship building process and chances are that the influencer will share the interview with their followers.

Put together a group interview

When done right, group interviews can be amazing.

It’s one thing to mention an influential blogger, but when you invite them to contribute; they are far more invested in the success of the post.

I’ve had some great results from this; a post I published last year received a few thousand shares and around 5,000 visits within a few days.

Group Interviews

Invite influential bloggers to contribute to your blog

Think of this as guest blogging, but in reverse.

It can be a great way of getting more content and expanding your audience at the same time.

A good approach for this is to find out who is guest blogging on other blogs in your niche and invite them to contribute to yours too.

The important thing here is to frame your pitch the right way, similar to how you would with guest blogging or any other form of blogger outreach – think “what’s in it for them?”

Monitor trends and write newsworthy content

Finding out what’s hot right now and writing about it is a great way to get more traffic.

The key here is to monitor for new trends and be one of the first to write about them.

There are a few ways to approach this, but one way that I see a lot of people doing is following larger publications, waiting for them to make a stir then publishing a post as a response.

 

Repurpose your content for another audience

Repurposing your content is a great way to gain access to another audience.

The reality is that we all prefer different mediums to learn. I prefer written content, but others may prefer audio or video.

It’s also worth considering infographics and Slideshare presentations too.

A great example of this in action is the post I mentioned as an example for group interviews.

With the help of 24Slides and Niall from TweakYourBiz, it was converted into an infographic and published by TweakYourBiz.

TweakYourBiz

What was the result?

The repurposed post on Tweak Your Biz received 2,500+ social shares and more than 21,000 visitors.

Improve your blog

Streamline your blog’s design

Design matters – when your blog’s design is clear and crisp, people will want to keep coming back to it.

You may find yourself being mentioned on other blog’s as an example to follow when done right.

The great thing is that you don’t need to be a designer or developer to have an impressive blog design.

So if you use WordPress, you’re in luck because there are so many impressive themes out there.

Sure, you could use a free theme and there are some decent ones about but the best tend to be paid.

Here are some resources to help you pick out a rockin’ theme:

  • StudioPress  – I’m a big fan of the StudioPress themes, I’ve used them on Blogging Wizard before and they have some great designs. StudioPress themes aren’t as customizable as others, but they have great support, extensive documentation and plenty of designs to choose from.
  • Divi by Elegant Themes – A great theme to start out with and because it’s by Elegant Themes you get a lot of value for your money. For $89/year you get access to over 80 themes and a bunch of impressive plugins.

All of these themes are mobile responsive too, which will become even more important as time goes on.

Remove unnecessary distractions from your blog

A big part of traffic generation is keeping the traffic you have, so ask yourself this question – are there any elements on my blog that I don’t need?

Everything on your blog must have a purpose that is focused around helping you achieve your goals.

For example, do you have any blog directory badges that aren’t really helping you? Or are you displaying CPC ads that aren’t performing very well?

Improve your blog’s loading time

Loading times are so important.

Slow loading times have proven to cause a huge drop in conversions.

While it’s true that page loading times are a ranking factor for search engines like Google, it’s only a small part of their algorithm so it may increase traffic but not by too much.

The real benefit here is in keeping your existing readers coming back to your site and providing an awesome user experience.

Tools to improve page load times

  • Load Impact – Checking your blog with this tool will show you how load times hold up with multiple simultaneous visitors. It will give you a clear picture of how your web host copes with traffic spikes.
  • PageSpeed Insights by Google – This tool will give you an idea of exactly how to improve page load times.

When using Load Impact, an ideal test should be similar to this:

Load Impact Test

The green line shows more virtual users and the blue line shows the page load time.

Resources to help you improve page load times

You may need the help of a developer, but if you’re a WordPress user, there are plenty of resources on the web that can point you in the right direction:

Add relevant internal links

When you add relevant internal links to your blog, you make it easier for people to find your best content and you also make it easier for search engines to index your content.

Don’t add internal links just for the sake of it; add them only when you feel it’s relevant and helpful to readers.

Add social share buttons to your blog

It’s important to make it easy for your followers to share your blog posts.

But adding too many social sharing buttons could potentially have a negative impact.

The key is to identify the most important social networks for your audience.

For example, Neil Patel offers the option to share to Twitter, Facebook and Google+ on QuickSprout.com:



Neil Patel QuickSprout

If your content is written for small businesses, it may be helpful to include a LinkedIn share button.

So how can you add share buttons to your blog?

Most blogging platforms will have their own options built in but if you use WordPress.org there are a wide range of plugins you can use to add uniquely styled share buttons.

Read this post to find out more.

Make it easy to share your visual content

Earlier we discussed the importance of visual content.

And while visual content alone will help you get more traffic, it’s important to make it easy for your readers to share your visual content.

This app will let you display share buttons as your readers move their mouse curser over images on your blog.

The great thing is that the app is free and can be used on any website with a small snippet of code. For WordPress users, there’s a plugin to simplify things further.

SumoMe Image Sharer App

Thanks to the Image Sharer app, I’ve received around 1000 more social shares (mostly to Pinterest).

 

Add “click to tweet” widgets within your content

This can be a great way get more social shares for your blog posts and in turn, more traffic.

For example, on some posts I add a phrase or quote that people can click to tweet.

It looks something like this:

Want to drive more traffic to your blog? Find 32 ways to increase your blog’s traffic here Click To Tweet

If you use WordPress, these are easy to setup with the help of one of the following plugins:

  • Better Click To Tweet – Free plugin which is easy to use but only comes with a basic design.
  • TweetDis – Premium plugin which starts at $27. It comes with a bunch of smart designs and other features.

Alternatively you could try using ClickToTweet.com but its more time consuming and you can only use regular hyperlinks instead of the funky widget in my example above.

Leverage email marketing

Focus on building your email list

Out of all of the other tactics in this post, the most dependable is this one.

Social networks may come and go but your email list will always be yours.

Growing your email list boils down to two things:

  • Make it easy for your readers to sign up to your list
  • Offer them a compelling reason to join your list

The truth is that there are a huge number of specific tactics you can use for this so it’s worth reading this post to find out more (you probably won’t need to read another post about building your list after reading it).

As your list grows, the more traffic you’ll be able to send to your latest posts.

Send one email with one goal

A lot of people tend to send out emails about their latest content which includes links to a few posts.

It works and that will get you traffic, but there may be a better way for you.

For example, I usually send each email with a single goal in mind.

If I want my subscribers to read my latest post, I won’t ask them to do anything else. Well, most of the time!

Recently I wanted to see what would happen if I sent emails asking my subscribers to read more than 2 or more posts.

What was the result?

Click through rates dropped by almost half!

I’m not saying this will definitely be the same for you and there are some circumstances where you have to email out links to multiple posts. For example, if you publish a lot of content and want to avoid emailing your subscribers too often.

But this is definitely something worth testing for yourself.

Create an auto responder to drip feed your best content to your list

If you publish evergreen content, it’s a good idea to setup an auto responder to get the word out to your new subscribers.

This ensures that your subscribers don’t miss out on some of your best content.

Include a link to your blog in your email signature

If you send a lot of emails, linking to your blog can be a great way of driving a bit of extra traffic.

You could also take things a step further by linking to your latest blog post – this is made easy thanks to tools like Wisestamp.

 

Leverage other websites

Avoid any potentially dangerous link building tactics

You might be thinking, how can this be a way to drive more traffic to your blog?

The simple truth is that in the long term, anyone who uses dodgy link building tactics will get less traffic from Google than someone who didn’t.

The best way to think about this is to ask yourself this question before trying any link building – “Would I still want this link if Google didn’t exist?”

For more advice on finding the right approach to link building, read this post.

Be present on social networks

Growing a presence on social media can be a great way to increase your traffic but it can’t be done without being present.

The more you venture out onto the web and engage with others, the faster your following will grow and the more influence you will have.

Setup your own tribe on Triberr and invite other bloggers in your niche

Triberr is an incredible social platform for bloggers.

The platform connects bloggers who have similar interests and makes it easy for people to share each other’s content.

It works on the reciprocity principle, so the more you share other peoples content, the more shares you’ll get.

 

Here’s how it usually works:

  • Sign up for an account and add your RSS feed
  • Apply to join some relevant tribes
  • When the head of a tribe approves you as a full member, other members will see your content in their tribal stream (note: until that point you’ll be a follower so you’ll only be able to share other people’s content)

Another great way to utilize Triberr is to setup your own tribes and invite other influencers.

Publish content directly to LinkedIn

A while back, LinkedIn opened up its publisher platform called the Pulse which means you can publish blog posts directly to LinkedIn.

 

Occasionally, articles will be picked up and featured on the Pulse so they can potentially be a great form of traffic.

If your content is written with businesses in mind – this is worth trying.

Find out more about how to leverage Twitterfor traffic in this post.

Write a guest post for another blog

This is one of the most effective ways to increase your blog’s traffic.

Let me be clear – you’re not going to get floods of traffic in most cases and the time required to invest in this tactic is pretty high.

But, what matters here is that guest blogging is a long term strategy and what matters more than traffic is building your online presence.

Building your authority and making yourself known is one of the main benefits. This will pay off in the long term.

You may need to start off on small blogs first and work your way up to the larger publications, so stick with it and your blog will grow faster.

What about selecting blogs to contribute to?

A lot of people use all sorts of metrics, including SEO related metrics like Domain Authority (DA) etc but the truth is that there’s only one thing you should look for…

…An engaged audience.

That means real comments and real social shares.

There are plenty of “top lists” of blogs within any number of niches which you can easily find using Google but it makes sense to leverage your existing contacts first. Instead of pitching random blogs, ask the bloggers in your niche whom you already have an existing relationship with.

How should I pitch other bloggers?

Connect with them first (via social/comments/email) and only pitch once you’ve got to know them and their blog better.

When you do pitch them ensure you frame your pitch in a way that makes it all about how your post will benefit them.

How to make guest posting do more for your blog

There’s one thing that I wish I’d done differently when I first started contributing to other blogs.

And that’s using them to build an email list.

So how can you build your list this way?

  • Put together a free download/lead magnet
  • Offer it on a landing page
  • Include a link to the landing page in your author bio

 

Leave genuinely helpful comments on other blogs

This is a great way to help you become more visible within your niche but it has to be done the right way.

You shouldn’t just go around commenting on blogs just to get a link back to your site or open with “hey you should totally check out this tool/site [insert link], you should add it to your post” – that’ll do more harm than good.

The reality is that you probably won’t get much in the way of direct traffic but that’s not what commenting should be about.

Focus your comments around being helpful and building a relationship with the blogger. The results you’ll see will be more indirect than anything and take a while to build up but these relationships will open doors for you.

Leverage paid traffic

The truth about traffic generation is that while it’s easy to see certain tactics as being free, they aren’t really.

You pay, but with your time instead of money. And your time is valuable.

The great thing is that there are certain platforms that make it easy to get high-quality traffic, without paying through the nose for it.

Occasionally I use Outbrain and StumbleUpon Ads – I’ve had some great results with both platforms, but StumbleUpon is particularly useful because you get a chance to earn viral traffic that you won’t pay anything extra for.

Other ways to increase your blog traffic

Identify a problem and create a free tool to solve it

This is one of the most challenging tactics, but it can also be one of the most rewarding.

For example, Portent created a helpful content idea generator:

Content Idea Generator

I’m not sure exactly how much traffic this tool gets but the fact that it’s earned links from over 1,100+ referring domains and 1,000s of social shares leads me to believe it could be a huge amount.

This works because it solves a real problem that people are facing and it’s completely free.

Find out what’s already working and do more of it

With all the different tactics available for us to try, it’s easy to forget one of the most effective.

So open up your analytics tool and take a look at exactly which channels/websites are sending you the most traffic.

If you use Google Analytics, you will find it helpful to first look at which channels are sending you the most traffic.

To get to this menu, click the “Acquisition” tab, then “Channels”.

Tracking Channels

This will likely include (possibly more):

  • Organic search
  • Social
  • Direct
  • Referral
  • Email

You can then filter these results to find out exactly where your traffic is coming from.

Become an expert source for journalists

Using tools like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), you can find PR opportunities easily.

Help A Reporter Out

Journalists all over the world need expert sources for their stories and you could be one of those experts.

Just sign up for a free account and you’ll start to get emails with opportunities through. Keep an eye out for one that’s a good fit and send them a pitch.

Keep your pitches succinct and highlight why you’re a good fit.

In the past I’ve used this tactic to get featured on HuffPost, CIO and more – each response only took me around 10 minutes, not bad right?!

Ask your close contacts to share your post

If you don’t’ ask, you don’t get.

Sometimes you can get a great amount of traction just by asking your contacts to help spread the word about a post.

But, try not to use this too much – other bloggers likely have inbox’s full of emails from people asking them to do something to help them out.

So use this sparingly and be careful how you position your pitch.

This works best when you either help your contacts out first or offer to help them out with something. For example, if using email you could end your email with “let me know if you need my help with anything – I want to return the favour!”

It all comes down to creating good will and if you just ask for help all the time, it’ll run out.

Your next steps

You’ve now got plenty of tactics you can use to start getting more traffic to your blog, but it’s important that you pick the tactics that are the best fit for your blog and will provide you with the most relevant traffic.

If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve got an analytics tool setup. Don’t rely on stats provided by your web host, get a third party tool like SEMrush setup.

Once you’ve got the checklist, pick a tactic from the list and work on implementing it.

You could try multiple tactics but this works best if you focus on one.

So go out there and get started!

If you found this article useful please share it! Thx.

10 Little-Known Ways to See How Much Traffic a Website Gets





When the average person visits a website for the first time, their eyes follow an F-pattern. When I visit a website for the first time, I look at something else. In less than a second, I have a decent idea of how much traffic that website gets which helps me decide whether or not to stay. Knowing how much traffic a website gets helps you validate the website’s content and lets you know how much traffic you need to get to see similar results.Here are ten little-known techniques for figuring out how much traffic someone else’s website gets.



Advise

By the way, SEMRush is my favorite tool.

1. Alexa Ranking

The Alexa Ranking isn’t exactly “little-known,” but it is the best-known metric for ranking websites. This is the first thing I look at when I visit a site:

Alexa tracks stats for everyone who has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser, which accounts for less than 1% of internet users. So it’s not very accurate, but it’ll give you a rough idea of the website’s popularity.

  1. If you use Chrome, install the Alexa Extension.
  2. If you use Firefox, get the Alexa Add-On.

Alexa Ranking Icon

Alexa’s reliability is shaky – some argue that it’s worthless – so it’s important to consider other metrics.

2. SEMRush.com

My favorite tool for website-based keyword research is SEMRush.com. Here’s a screenshot when you search IncomeDiary.com:



Semrush gives you a lot of information on a websites search engine rankings, how much traffic they get for those rankings, competitors, paid advertising, backlinks and so much more.

As you can see from the screenshot above, IncomeDiary ranks 1st for “how to make money from a website,” 4th for “famous entrepreneurs,” and 11th for “business movies.” Those are highly competitive keywords that are collectively searched over 10,000 times per month.

As you go down the list, you can start to estimate how much traffic he gets for each keyword based on the position and search volume.

3. SimilarWeb.com

SimilarWeb is a website traffic checker that’s similar to Alexa, except, it’s got a lot more detail put into it, so it’s more accurate!

ID SimilarWebThe main takeaway is that it gives you a line graph with values for the number of daily unique visitors and the sources. You can see the countries that your traffic comes from, top referring sites, the top destination sites (sites people visit after yours), display ads, audience interests, and up to 10 organic keywords with the free version.

4. Ahrefs.com

Without a doubt, Ahrefs is one of the best tracking tools I have ever used! This software provides such a wealth of website traffic information. You can find out:

  • New, lost and broken backlinks.
  • Domains sending the most traffic to a site.
  • Search engine rankings.
  • How much traffic a search engine ranking is getting a site.
  • Pages from a site getting the most traffic.
  • You can compare website rankings vs competitors.

And so, so much more…

Not only is Ahrefs great for tracking competitor websites, it’s also a huge help when it comes to figuring out how to improve your own sites!

5. AuthorityLabs.com

AuthorityLabs allows you to track your competitors search engine rankings side by side with your own.

Like SemRush, it tells you how high you are ranking and how many people are looking at that search term. A great tool, that seems to be growing in popularity.



6. YouTube or Vimeo Views

If a website has a YouTube or Vimeo video embedded on the homepage, click to “Watch on YouTube.”

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Video
If the video is public, both YouTube and Vimeo will show the view counts. Also check the upload date to estimate how many people view it per month.

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Views
Just because the homepage Dollar Shave Club video has almost 4 million views doesn’t mean that their site had 4 million views. But it gives you some idea of how much traffic they got in their first month.

7. Blog Post Comments

Another way to gauge the popularity of a blog is to look at how many comments it gets per post.

With my sites, I’ve found that an average of 1 out of every 200 readers leaves a comment. So a post with 20 non-Nicholas comments was viewed about 4,000 times. This changes with every post and every blog, but again, it gives you a general idea.

8. Total Comment Counts

Immediately after you comment on a WordPress blog, your browser redirects you to where your comment will show up. If you look at the URL, you’ll see something that looks like this:

Total Comment Counts

The second half of the URL tells you that you left the 108,656th comment on IncomeDiary.com. This number includes spam comments. Assume that 75-90% of the comments are spam and you can get an idea of how many comments a site has had since day one.

9. Search for Interviews

A large percentage of successful website owners do interviews, talking about how they built their site and what works for them. Often, they will share not only how much traffic they get, but also where it’s coming from.

In my experience, a lot of people are more open about sharing traffic stats then you would think. You see this not just in interviews but if you peruse through the archived articles on a blog, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a “blog in review” or “traffic report” post. With those stats, you can start to figure out how much traffic the site is getting today.

10. Check “Advertise Here” Pages

By far, the most accurate way to figure out how much traffic a website gets is to go to their Advertising page.

If a blog is trying to sell advertising space, they need to tell you exactly how many unique views and impressions your ad is going to get every month.

If you sell advertising space on BuySellAds, you need to share your monthly unique and monthly impressions.

The Final Word

Unless the owner of the website reveals exactly how much traffic they’re getting, every other figure is a best guess. Most tools are surprisingly inaccurate when it comes to generating stats. They are good, however, for comparing yourself against others.

Do you know of any other ways to figure out how much traffic a site gets?

7 Best Website Traffic Estimator Spy on your Competitor Traffic

estimate traffic




Today we are going to look at different tools and resources for having insights into competitors’ traffic data. So, here’s the list of best website traffic estimator tools for you that will help you to get the number of visitors a website is generating or how much traffic you may estimate. We have taken care to include the best tools for spying on the website traffic of your competitors. We have shown their strengths and weaknesses, as well as look into the validity and usefulness of the data provided.



In fact, these website traffic estimator tools are great for competitor analysis as they help you to spy on the competitor website traffic.

Moreover, it is a helpful tactic to know how much traffic a top blog in your niche gets. By checking website traffic of your competitors, you can come to know what’s working and what’s not in any niche.

You can then go on to upgrade or amend your online marketing techniques so as to drive more traffic to your website.

Having said that, there are tons out there that do not have an exact idea of what website traffic is and what does it mean?

So, let’s see what web traffic is?

In fact, website traffic or web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a website. It does not include the traffic generated by bots.

Website traffic constitutes the largest portion of Internet traffic. It is calculated by figuring out the number of visitors and the number of pages they happen to visit.

For tracking web traffic of your website, you can use tools like Google Analytics. However, if you want to check out web traffic of other blogs or websites in your niche, you can use the tools that have been listed in this post.



These are the best website traffic estimator tools just for you. The best part is that they are free and easy to use. So, you can get website traffic report of any site easily.

Website Traffic Estimator

Why do you need to check your competitors’ website traffic?

Getting to know the website traffic of your competitors has some huge benefits. Here, we list out some of the benefits of estimating web traffic or unique monthly visitors of a blog or website.

  • First of all, you come to know the estimated monthly or daily sessions that your competitor site is getting.
  • You can figure out the top traffic keywords. You can then target those keywords for driving more search traffic to your website.
  • You get to know the traffic breakup of any website. So, you come to know the exact amount of traffic coming from different sources such as Organic, Social, Referral, and Direct.
  • You come to know website engagement details such as Bounce Rate, Time Spent on a Website Page, Page Views per Visit, etc.
  • Last but not the least; you can create “suitable content” for your audience.

So, checking out your competitors’ website traffic has some obvious benefits. Explore the post to know the Best Website Traffic Estimator Tools. Let’s get to know the tools now.

7 Top Website Traffic Estimator Tools

1. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is one of the most recommended tools for estimating the web traffic of any site worldwide. By using SimilarWeb, you can check the website traffic of any site for free. Finding website traffic details with Similar Web is very easy. You just have to launch SimilarWeb and type in your desired website URL and get the traffic levels of the site.

It not only furnishes competitive insights of any site but also goes on to show the ranking insights of any website. With SimilarWeb, you get a thorough competitor analysis. It shows you the traffic stats of any website, the number of page views, bounce rate, average time spent by visitors, referrals, social influence, etc. The best thing about SimilarWeb is that it delivers precise and detailed website traffic information and that too for free.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - SimilarWeb

2. Alexa

Alexa offers one of the best website traffic checker tools. Moreover, Alexa is quite popular with webmasters and bloggers as it enables you to get insight into the website rankings. Using Alexa, you come to know website traffic for any site for free. It is one of the best ways to know the details of other blogs including unique visitors per month, bounce rate, and average on-page time.

For using Alexa tool, you have to launch the Alexa.com website. Then enter the website address of the site (for which you want to know the results) in the Search Box available. Once you enter a website address and press enter, you will be shown important website metrics such as Alexa Traffic Rank, Page Views, Bounce Rate, Search Percentage, and Time on Site, as well as Traffic Rank in specific demographics.

Apart from showing these website metrics, Alexa also provides search queries for a website. These search queries are the best performing keywords for that site. It can also be used to compare your website traffic with four other websites of your choice. So, Alexa stands out as one of the best website traffic checker tools out there. The data provided is accurate, so you can instantly figure out the traffic numbers of a website after using this tool.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Alexa

3. SEMrush

SEMrush is one of the most recommended tools by most SEO experts. Using SEMrush, you can get the website traffic report of any website. Most importantly, SEMrush accurately tracks web traffic of any website. With SEMrush, you get to have the nearest level of visitor count of the website you want to spy.



Apart from providing website traffic details, SEMrush also lists out all the keywords that are helping your competitors in growing their search traffic.

For using SEMrush, go to SEMrush site and enter the URL of the website whose visitor count you want to know. The results are displayed to you showing organic search traffic, paid traffic, and backlinks.

With SEMrush, you come to know the high performing keywords to boost your overall organic search traffic. You can also analyze the backlinks of any site and much more. So, you can use SEMrush to spy on your competitors no matter what your niche is.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - SEMrush

4. Google AdWords Display Planner

Google AdWords Display Planner helps you to figure out the amount of traffic a website gets. In fact, Google AdWords Display Planner is a combination of the Contextual Targeting Tool, Google Ad Planner, and Placement Tool. Using the tool, you can check any website traffic for free.

Moreover, it is one of the most accurate tools to track website traffic. So, Google Display Planner comes out as a reliable web traffic checker tool.

This website traffic estimator tool shows important traffic metrics such as an average number of page views per visitor, unique visitors, total page views, average time on site, total unique visitors to a website in a month’s time, and much more.

For using Google Display Planner, you have to enter the desired website URL in the “Get ideas and estimates” section and then click on the “Get ad group ideas.”

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Google AdWords Display Planner

5. Quantcast

Quantcast is yet another very popular web traffic checking tool among webmasters and bloggers alike. In fact, Quantcast is a free website traffic estimator tool that delivers free direct audience measurement including information regarding web traffic, demographics, and many other details.

It shows a count of unique daily visitors as well as unique monthly visitors to a website. However, it is only useful if your website or that of competitors has decent traffic volume.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - QuantCast

6. Google Insights

Google Insights is a free traffic checker tool which is useful in getting general trends when it relates to regional information, a list of key phrases, and key phrase groups. It provides insights into a market than your competitors.

Google Insights is mostly used to know about the best key phrases and groups of key phrases regarding rankings. You also get to know which key phrases in a group are most useful in driving more traffic to your website.

However, this free traffic checker tool can get quite tough for many newbie bloggers due to the complexity of data which makes it difficult to read. Its figures are more geared towards search terms, key phrases, and trends. So, the search volume corresponds with the site’s traffic.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Google-Insights

7. Ahrefs

Ahrefs.com is another comprehensive tool to check site traffic. It is perfect for conducting link research. You get fresh and reliable data which is updated on their index every 30 minutes. Moreover, the site has a ranking database of about 45 million keywords coming from several countries including the United States. The results are shown efficiently, and you get to export data or filter reports as per your requirements.

Ahrefs functions more as a link checker tool than a web traffic estimator tool. It shows the number of new links gained or lost in recent times. However, Ahrefs also shows the organic traffic which can be useful for competitive analysis. That said Ahrefs is not a free tool. It has a subscription fee. When you subscribe you get access to its various features such as Labs/Tools, SERPs Analysis, Site Explorer, and Report. However, it comes with a free trial offer of 14 days.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Ahrefs

We hope that the article on Best Website Traffic Estimator Tools has presented you with lots of options for easily accessing web traffic. If you liked the post, don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Please share this article if you found it useful. Thx.

7 Lessons From 50 Blog Posts That Send Me The Most Traffic





People ask me… “How do I get so much traffic to my websites… so easily?” It’s really quite straight forward. Create the best content possible. That’s what people want. People go to websites because they want something. It could be to buy something, to learn something, to be entertained by something, or any number of things. The better you are at giving people what they want, the more traffic you will get.



I don’t spend much time working on getting Facebook likes and getting top search engine rankings because it’s quite often the bi-product of great content.

Below I have outlined what you can learn from the 50 articles that send IncomeDiary the most traffic.

1. The articles that get the most traffic are lists… Shock!

Out of my 50 top articles, 35 start with a number. When I write, I write in a way, I would like to read. Being dyslexic, I like to summarize things, make it easy on myself to consume information. That’s why I think I do such a good job with lists.

Here’s 4 examples of top lists:

  1. 30 Most Influential People In Blogger
  2. 10 Christmas Gifts For Photographers
  3. 20 Health Experts To Follow on Facebook
  4. 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be a Young Entrepreneur

Here’s some examples of my favorite top list titles.

2. Mentioning famous people gets you traffic

9 out of 10 of our top articles mention people in some way.



Think about it this way:

If I wrote an article called: 10 Things Usain Bolt Does To Run Faster

I don’t need Bolt’s permission to write about him, but I get all of the benefits of having his name associated with mine and what it represents about what is written.

Usain is the fastest runner in the world. That means these tips must be the best tips in the world.

If I write about how to run faster, no one will want to listen.

3. Linking out can increase the time someone spends on your website

4 out of the top 5 articles on this website link out to over a dozen other websites. These articles also had noticeably longer visitor times.

Don’t be scared to link out and show some love. If you recommend something or someone and your reader likes where you sent them, then they will end up trusting you more.

4. The title can make or break an article

Something that is made really obvious when I look at my top 50 blog posts is… the title can really make or break an article.

If you are stuck trying to come up with a title of a post, go to the supermarket and look at the magazines. Modify titles of articles to make them relevant to something you want to write about.

5. Motivation beats inspiration and instruction

8 out of the top 10 articles on IncomeDiary are motivational. Here’s the breakdown for the top 50 articles:



  • Motivational: 24
  • Tutorials: 17
  • Inspirational: 9
  • Reviews: 0
  • News: 0
  • Interviews: 0

Motivational, is the type of posts that make you take action and start working.

Tutorials, are articles showing you how to do something. These can often be monetized well by recommending products required to do what you instruct in the tutorial.

Inspirational, is the type of post that gives you ideas.

Reviews, we review products and mention them in our customer autoresponders.

News, often something I would shy away from because it’s not evergreen (always relevant) content. If it gives me a positive ROI, then I will publish them.

It seems people value motivation higher than anything else. It’s not often lacking the skills that holds us back, it’s our work rate. Motivational posts help us focus more on our goals.

Although Reviews and News are not featured in the top 50 posts, they are still a relevant part of my blogging strategy. I just prioritize.

guest-post-submission

6. Have a content plan

I’m a systems guy. I like to follow a blueprint when I’m doing something because it’s tried and tested, proven to give the best results. I have a doc called Contest Strategy which I send to writers to make sure they have every required to do the best job possible. The better job they can do, the more traffic I get, the more traffic I get, the more money I make. This is some of the information I provide for everyone who writes for us:

  • Image sizes
  • About the author
  • Blog post template
  • Post publish time & date
  • Post title review
  • Post titles swipe copy
  • How to optimize post for search engines
  • PSD graphic files which writers can edit

7. Articles are worth paying for

A large percent of articles published on IncomeDiary are paid for.

One of the highest performing posts on IncomeDiary was published last year and has so far received 9,883 visitors in the last 30 days & 106,338 visitors in the last year. I paid $120 for that article.

I published a post in 2011 that cost me $100. In 2017 it makes me over $1000 a month.

The easiest way in my experience to get people to write for you is to ask. If asking fails, offer them money.

traffic-stats
In this screen shot, you can see that the article is now getting more traffic weekly then it did in it’s first week. I have done nothing to it since the day it was published. None of us are SEO experts. All we focus on is great content and let the universe do the rest of the work 😉

To Conclude:

To write posts that drive lots of traffic, make sure to:

  • Write it in a list form and number it.
  • Mention people your readers will know, it will draw them in.
  • Link out to other websites.
  • Write the perfect name for your article. This should be thought about.
  • Motivate your reader.
  • Keep to a plan & implement.

Search Traffic Statistics From 106 Of The Most Popular Blogs





We all love successful people — many of them are our heroes. We love hearing about how they achieved their amazing results. Now and then, we can use their success for our own purposes. And this post is going to be all about that. I’m going to teach you the secrets of search traffic, specifically in terms of popular blogs in the areas of marketing and blogging.



Thanks to the analysis of 106 of the best blogs, you’ll be able to:

  • find keywords with lower competition and create better content
  • find out what kinds of posts bring more traffic and why
  • understand the strategies of link building and use this knowledge for yourself
  • get the data on how many words you need to write
  • see a lot of other statistical data you’ll need to achieve success

I’m giving you the opportunity to download your reports now — for free! You don’t even need to become my subscriber to do so. Since this traffic is not mine, I feel a bit guilty about showing you the inner workings of other people’s blogs.

Get Access to the Google Sheet with the secrets surrounding 106 of the best blogs!


BLOG / ORGANIC SEARCH TRAFFIC * data by Ahrefs

HUBSPOT HUBSPOT / 1.4M
SHOUTMELOUD SHOUTMELOUD / 547K
SOCIALMEDIAEXAMINER SOCIALMEDIAEXAMINER / 384K
BPLANS BPLANS / 302K
WORDSTREAM WORDSTREAM / 200K
QUICKSPROUT QUICKSPROUT / 115K
MAKEAWEBSITEHUB MAKEAWEBSITEHUB 108K
UNBOUNCE UNBOUNCE / 92K
BLOGGINGBASICS101 BLOGGINGBASICS101 / 85K
NEILPATEL NEILPATEL / 77K
ENTREPRENEURS-JOURNEY ENTREPRENEURS-JOURNEY / 70K
BACKLINKO BACKLINKO / 67K
RYROB RYROB / 63K
AMYLYNNANDREWS AMYLYNNANDREWS / 57K
HOWTOSTARTABLOGONLINE HOWTOSTARTABLOGONLINE / 54K
SMARTBLOGGER SMARTBLOGGER / 51K
CONVINCEANDCONVERT CONVINCEANDCONVERT / 47K
SMARTPASSIVEINCOME SMARTPASSIVEINCOME / 45K
COSCHEDULE COSCHEDULE / 41K
JEFFBULLAS JEFFBULLAS / 38K
SHIVARWEB SHIVARWEB / 32K
MATTHEWWOODWARD MATTHEWWOODWARD / 30K
JONLOOMER JONLOOMER / 23K
EOFIRE EOFIRE / 21K
WRITTENT WRITTENT / 20K
PROCESS.ST PROCESS.ST / 18K
ALLBLOGGINGTIPS ALLBLOGGINGTIPS / 17K
MELYSSAGRIFFIN MELYSSAGRIFFIN / 14K
LEADPAGES LEADPAGES / 12K
SUMOME SUMOME / 10K
AUTHORITYHACKER AUTHORITYHACKER / 9.7K
THERISETOTHETOP THERISETOTHETOP / 9.9K
NICHEPURSUITS NICHEPURSUITS / 8.6K
SUCCESSFULBLOGGING SUCCESSFULBLOGGING / 7.2K
BLOGMARKETINGACADEMY BLOGMARKETINGACADEMY / 6.6K
BLOGGERSPASSION BLOGGERSPASSION / 6.0K
COPYHACKERS COPYHACKERS / 5.5K
HOWTOMAKEMYBLOG HOWTOMAKEMYBLOG / 4.6K
NINJAOUTREACH NINJAOUTREACH / 4.0K
GETRESPONSE GETRESPONSE / 3.5K
BECOMEABLOGGER BECOMEABLOGGER / 3.3K
CLAMBR CLAMBR / 3.3K
WEBRIS WEBRIS / 3.0K
ZACJOHNSON ZACJOHNSON / 2.6K
GROOVEHQ GROOVEHQ / 2.4K
CONVERTKIT CONVERTKIT / 2.2K
TRAFFICGENERATIONCAFE TRAFFICGENERATIONCAFE / 2.1K
AUTHORITYLABS AUTHORITYLABS / 1.9K
DESIGNYOUROWNBLOG DESIGNYOUROWNBLOG / 1.7K
COPYTACTICS COPYTACTICS / 1.5K
SMALLBUSINESSIDEASBLOG SMALLBUSINESSIDEASBLOG / 1.3K
BUZZSUMO BUZZSUMO / 1.1K
VIDEOFRUIT VIDEOFRUIT / 1.1K
SITEPOINT SITEPOINT / 975K
KISSMETRICS KISSMETRICS / 444K
BUFFER BUFFER / 363K
SEARCHENGINEJOURNAL SEARCHENGINEJOURNAL / 219K
MOZ MOZ / 139K
CONTENTMARKETINGINSTITUTE CONTENTMARKETINGINSTITUTE / 108K
COPYBLOGGER COPYBLOGGER / 92K
THEBLOGSTARTER THEBLOGSTARTER / 87K
MICHAELHYATT MICHAELHYATT / 79K
TWELVESKIP TWELVESKIP / 75K
BLOGGING.ORG BLOGGING.ORG / 69K
PROBLOGGER PROBLOGGER / 67K
BLOGGERSIDEAS BLOGGERSIDEAS / 59K
BLOGTYRANT BLOGTYRANT / 54K
NATELIASON NATELIASON / 53K
WEBHOSTINGSECRETREVEALED WEBHOSTINGSECRETREVEALED / 51K
WISHPOND WISHPOND / 46K
CONVERSIONXL CONVERSIONXL / 45K
TOPRANKBLOG TOPRANKBLOG / 39K
SOCIALTRIGGERS SOCIALTRIGGERS / 34K
STARTBLOGGINGONLINE STARTBLOGGINGONLINE / 31K
BLOGGERTIPSTRICKS BLOGGERTIPSTRICKS / 26K
SEMRUSH SEMRUSH / 21K
ONBLASTBLOG ONBLASTBLOG / 20K
RAZORSOCIAL RAZORSOCIAL / 18K
KOPYWRITINGKOURSE KOPYWRITINGKOURSE / 17K
DIGITALMARKETER DIGITALMARKETER / 16K
ENCHANTINGMARKETING ENCHANTINGMARKETING / 13K
CHRISDUCKER CHRISDUCKER / 11K
NICHEHACKS NICHEHACKS / 10K
BLOGGINGWIZARD BLOGGINGWIZARD / 9.4K
AMYPORTERFIELD AMYPORTERFIELD / 8.3K
BECOMEAWRITERTODAY BECOMEAWRITERTODAY / 7.2K
EXPRESSWRITERS EXPRESSWRITERS / 6.6K
AHREFS AHREFS / 6.1K
THESOCIALMEDIAHAT THESOCIALMEDIAHAT / 6.0K
MAKINGSENSEOFCENTS MAKINGSENSEOFCENTS / 5.5K
MATTHEWBARBY MATTHEWBARBY / 4.5K
ROBBIERICHARDS ROBBIERICHARDS / 3.8K
VIPERCHILL VIPERCHILL / 3.4K
BYREGINA BYREGINA / 3.3K
BLOGGINGTIPS BLOGGINGTIPS / 3.3K
SEOBYTHESEA SEOBYTHESEA / 2.6K
SUJANPATEL SUJANPATEL / 2.6K
GROWTHLAB GROWTHLAB / 2.4K
BLOGGINGCAGE BLOGGINGCAGE / 2.2K
THEBLOGGINGBUDDHA THEBLOGGINGBUDDHA / 1.9K
BLOGGINGFROMPARADISE BLOGGINGFROMPARADISE / 1.8K
ILOVEMARKETING ILOVEMARKETING / 1.6K
BLOGELINA BLOGELINA / 1.5K
TEACHABLE TEACHABLE / 1.2K
GROWANDCONVERT GROWANDCONVERT / 1.1K
MADLEMMINGS MADLEMMINGS / 1.0K

A Small Prequel — Why This Blog Post Was Brought to Life

I’m a regular person.

Sometimes I’m a marketer. Sometimes I’m a blogger. And sometimes, I’m an SEO specialist.

I’m not a guru, nor am I an influencer.

You’re a regular person too. (I know it!)

And we need help.

My biggest passion is helping other people by sharing my knowledge and experience.

To be honest, it’s quite difficult.

You need to know how to teach. How to write. How to communicate.

I’m far from perfect, as I’m only at the beginning of this road.

That’s why I decided to analyze the search traffic of the blogs I respect the most.

The basis of search engine traffic is keyword research verified by real data.

In the beginning, I only ever thought about myself.

Understanding what to write about in your posts is as important as the air we breathe. This knowledge should be supported by keyword research.

After many years of experience, I’ve found that keyword research based on real data is best.

Not on the numbers indicated by Google Keyword Planner (which has been experiencing some problems lately)…

…but on the real data based on the traffic you can get.

If you already have search engine traffic of more than 1,000 visitors a month, you definitely need to conduct an SEO audit and use Google Search Console.

If you don’t, then you may need to use tools. In fact, you probably should.

Initially, SEMrush was my favorite tool. (Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth the cost! + You can always use the free options.)

To estimate my probable traffic, I type a search query in Google. And then I attach some pages for analysis in SEMrush:

 

This way I can see roughly how much traffic I can expect (for example, for the post you’re reading right now).

Don’t fall victim to a widespread problem of many bloggers and sites.

My research will help you avoid the most widespread problem that bloggers face:

Lack of traffic.

The basis of getting search traffic is keyword research, content and links.

Those of us who lack organic search traffic tend to make this mistake:

 

For example:

Sure, it’s cool that I know SEO.

But we already have Brian Dean, who has 7,000 unique referring domains!



Search Traffic of Brian Dean

It doesn’t matter how good of a specialist I am — I won’t be able (at least for now 🙂 ) to win the war of collecting the links to my blog.

So what do I do?

Be realistic about estimating the SEO possibilities of your blog.

Here’s what you need to pay attention to:

  • What rating your domain has (DR – Domain Rating by Ahrefs; DA – Domain Authority by MOZ)
  • The average amount of backlinks that your blog posts get (or are able to get)
  • Always evaluate the strength of your competitors based on the selected keyword:
    • What ratings your competitors have (domain and page)
    • How many unique referring domains they have
    • What type of content they create
    • How many words they include in their articles
  • If you see that the sites in the Top 10 search results have hundreds of backlinks, and you only get 5 on average, go searching for another keyword.
  • If their DA/DR is way higher than yours, go searching for another keyword.

Sure, there are many factors that might affect the rankings, but this basic evaluation will help you save a lot of time and act strategically.

Make sure to install at least one of these Chrome extensions:

MozBar or Ahrefs SEO Toolbar.

MozBar

Ahrefs SEO toolbar

They will help you make the right decisions.

For example, I can’t defeat Brian Dean by this query [keyword research]:

Keyword research of Backlinko

Even though I know that this query brings him a huge amount of traffic.

That’s because it’s doubtful that 500 unique domains will be linking to my article.

The ratings of my domain and page aren’t as high as of those who are already in the TOP 10.

Try to find dependencies in SERP and use them for your own purposes.

You can’t have too much search traffic.

It’s a constant rush for visitors who come from search engines.

Even though I have a great deal of experience in SEO, search traffic is still not the #1 source of traffic to my new blog.

I assume the same applies to you and your blog?

You’re not alone. There are a lot of us.

Even such experts as Bryan Harris and Mariah Coz get some miserable search traffic.

Bryan Harris' traffic

mariah-coz-traffic

However, they still earn hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars every year! (But trust me, they spend a lot too!)

250k-bryan-harris

mariahcoz-money

The point is that I’m conducting an experiment.

I don’t do link building.

I don’t use any of the most popular tactics. All the backlinks that I have so far, I’ve gotten thanks to my friends and the interviews. I don’t have a lot of them. (To be precise, I have 88.)

Links on iwannabeablogger

To be honest, I feel ashamed that as an SEO specialist, I still have such a small amount of traffic. (I need a bit more time to overcome my insecurities.)

But because I love analysis, it’s time to find out why everything is the way it is.

 

Here’s what you’ll need to get the search traffic:

First. SEO takes time. A huge amount of time. On average, it takes a link 10 weeks after it’s been created to take effect (data by MOZ).

link-building-time

Second. Correct keyword research. It’s really necessary nowadays. In my opinion, the main mistake of many bloggers is the wrong choice of topics for their posts and articles.

Make sure you can rank for your keywords.

Third. Estimation of competition.

It’s really not that hard to estimate whether you can get into Google TOP. The fundamentals of ranking will help you do this:

  • Authority of your domain. It’s influenced by quality inbound links.
  • Authority of your post, article, or page. (Links again — both internal and external)
  • Relevant content that answers the users’ questions
  • Social signals (Social shares)
  • Engagement (Comments, amount of time that a user spends on your page)

There are hundreds of different factors that affect your ranking. But these are the key indexes!

When choosing your keywords, look not only at their monthly search volume, but at your competitors’ too.

Fourth. Only create awesome content.

As you can see below, my research shows that high-traffic pages all have amazing content. (In most cases, they almost always have some long-form content!)

Experiment, and share your research and cases. Try to fully explore your topic.

Your readers will be grateful, and search engines will appreciate it too!

What do you do if you have something to say on a topic that interests you, but your competitors are too strong?

You have two options:

  1. Have a plan on who will link to your content (and how).
  2. Create some useful content in spite of high competition.

If you choose the first option, know that it involves a great deal of work.

Link building.

Many bloggers don’t do this because it requires a substantial amount of time and connections. All the techniques have been around for a long time and haven’t changed in years.

The problem is that link building should be worth the time you spend on it.



If you have your own product or an affiliate business, then these expenses will probably pay for themselves.

But chances are, you don’t have your own online course that you are selling for thousands of dollars just yet. (If you do, then you’re already doing link building.)

With enough search traffic, the only thing that these articles won’t bring you is internal links to other pages that are important to you (and we’re only talking about search engine traffic here, not traffic from social media). Isn’t that cool?

Many people tend to forget about the power of internal links.

My recent research has proven it.

On one of my niche blogs, I created 10 basic articles and 15-30 other posts that linked to those 10 articles.

As a result, I got the Holy Grail: search traffic for keywords with tens of thousands of queries.

Search traffic for an easy keyword

To be absolutely honest with you, I saw a small amount of competition and decided to seize the opportunity.

And this is in spite of the fact that I wasn’t doing any link building, and my pages got only 10-15 external links that were created naturally.

Always conduct experiments like these.

SEO is a wonderful area that requires some analytical abilities, patience, and impertinence.

Here’s the data that I got from my research:

Interesting data and statistics on the search traffic of 106 blogs in the area of marketing and blogging

First, I wanted to know how quickly these blogs load (as this gets a lot of attention nowadays).

Using GTMetrix, I measured their page load time.

gtmetrix-melyssagriffin

The average load speed of these 106 blogs was 2.17 seconds!

The average load speed of the most popular blogs - 2.17 seconds!

A lot of people also talk about switching to https, so I also wanted to know how many blogs followed this recommendation.

Only 30.47% of the 106 blogs had https.

Https vs Http

Do you need to consider switching? No, not if you don’t sell online courses or other products directly from your blog (when safety should be your first priority!).

For each of the blogs, I picked three pages that get the most of the traffic. (I was mainly interested in blog posts).

So I had 315 pages for further analysis.

The average blog post contained 4,772 words.

The average blog post contained 4,772 words

I wasn’t surprised at all, even though other research (by serpIQ and Brian Dean) showed data where the average successful content was approximately 2,000-2,400 words long.

The average content length

total-word-count

They conducted their research in many different areas, whereas my results are based only on the niches of blogging and marketing.

It’s hard to admit, but if you have a blog devoted to these topics, you need to focus on creating longer content. (I’ve started doing this with all of my recent posts.)

The average Title Tag length – 60 characters.

 

Everybody follows this advice on on-page SEO. You should try to abide by this habitual rule too.

But here’s what’s become the most interesting to me:

  • The average referring domains – 71
  • The average backlinks – 269
  • The average domain rating – 59 (*data by Ahrefs)

This makes the average traffic – 3,317 visits.

Note: to measure the word count, I used a tool called Bulk Web page Word Count checker. To extract the Title Tags, I used Meta Tag Extractor by Buzzstream. I highly recommend that you use these tools to quickly evaluate your competitors.

Why I gave away 40 hours of work, just like that:

The main task for me was to find golden keywords to write my articles.

The easiest ones, with low competition and high traffic.

In the process of analyzing Brian Dean’s traffic statistics…

Backlinko - organic traffic

…I realized how silly it would be not to share the results. Anyway, I still can’t write as many articles as he can. 🙂

I had a long list of 106 blogs! (My list is based on the blogs that I always read, and the updates I’m subscribed to).

The main topics of these blogs are Blogging and Marketing.

Download these reports to find easy keywords with high traffic.

For each of the blogs, you’ll get three reports. (The entire analysis was done using Ahrefs.):

  • Top pages
  • Organic keywords
  • Backlinks

Top pages. Here are listed the main pages that receive the most search engine traffic.

Top pages report

Organic keywords. Here you’ll find the keywords where the target website ranks for the top 100 organic search results, along with its current ranking and the amount of traffic each query brings every month.

Organic keywords report

Backlinks. Using this report, you can study the strategy of getting the backlinks. You can contact any of the owners and offer your resources. But I’d recommend that you just make friends with the most interesting owners of these resources. In my opinion, the future of link building lies in friendly relationships, blogger outreach, and networking.

Backlinks report

Note: Each of the reports has up to 1,000 rows. I limited the selection by keywords (at least 90 monthly searches); Dofollow links. Also, please know that those aren’t precise traffic numbers, and that this is the data provided by Ahrefs rather than Google Analytics. In my experience, these numbers can be multiplied by 3-5 for the blogging and marketing niche.

Access your reports here! (No opt-in needed.)

How to use search traffic statistics to find your easy keywords:

The main index that will let you filter the keywords is called KD (Keyword Difficulty Score by Ahrefs).

Here’s what Ahrefs says about it:

Keyword difficulty by Ahrefs

Let’s open the reports.

For example, you opened the Organic Keywords Report for the blog Writtent.com.

writtent_com-organic-keywords

By default, the data in this report will be sorted by the amount of traffic that the specific keyword brings.

I was interested in one keyword — newsletter ideas, its difficulty index = 8.

While the post is occupying the 3rd position, this keyword brings it approximately 170 visitors.

Let me check who else is in Google’s TOP 10 with this query:

newsletter_ideas-serp

If I see that the competitors are at approximately my level, and that other pages also have a small amount of referring domains, I move on to the next stage.

I look at another report (Top Pages) and see how much organic search traffic flows to this target URL.

writtent_com-top-pages-by-traffic

1,530. Awesome!

I get back to the Organic Keywords Report and locate all the keywords that this post is ranked with (filtering the data by URL).

Many of them can be employed in your content, but if they’re used organically, they will be helpful to the user in terms of understanding the topic better.

writtent_com-organic-keywords2

Don’t forget that this is not the precise traffic data, but only what is estimated by Ahrefs.

After that, I’m interested in the backlinks to this page.

Here’s where the report with the pages linking to this target URL comes in handy.

writtent_com-backlinksimilarlinks

This is how I created a list of more than 60 easy keywords I can use to write new blog posts. I will share them with you too!

To access this list, open the common spreadsheet with all the reports. (The sheet’s called Easy Keywords.)

find-easy-keywords-for-blogging-marketing-blogs

Conclusion

In the results of the analysis, we can clearly see the dependency of search traffic on the amount of received links and long-form content.

When we speak of high-frequency queries, chances are that you’ll have competitors you won’t be able to defeat in that domain.

You need to understand one thing:

To get more organic search traffic to your blog, you need to be at the same approximate link level as your competitors.

It doesn’t mean that everything is lost!

Newbies and semi-experienced bloggers can still achieve amazing results. Don’t forget to be scrupulous in analyzing your competitors and conducting keyword research!

I hope that you’ll find your golden keywords in my reports (no opt-in required!). That you’ll create your content and get some decent positions in the TOP search results.

I’m really looking forward to hearing your opinion on my research. Please write your comment and share this post with your friends.

Thanks for your help!

How Six Blogs Increased Their Traffic to Millions of Visitors





Mashable, ProBlogger, and KISSmetrics didn’t reach millions of people by accident. Their founders were smart, or more importantly, had smart strategies. In researching this article, I found out that Mashable wrote one article last month that generated more links and shares than 87 of their posts from 2013 combined. I found out how KISSmetrics systematically increased their weekly traffic by 18.6%. I also learned how unconventional strategies, such as building a blog in Asian languages, opened the floodgates to millions of visits in under six months.



This post is about effective blogging, and going beyond the 80/20 rule to reach the 52/1 rule, where 1% of your effort drives 52% of the outcome. Knowing your 1%, like these bloggers did, is one hell of a competitive advantage.

How Mashable reached two million readers in 18 months

Pete Cashmore launched Mashable.com at age 19 and grew it to two million readers within 18 months. In the first year, he worked 20 hour-long days writing articles about technology – with no advertisers. In 2012, Mashable was valued at $200 million.

Mashable.com had the advantage of being an early adopter in a rapidly growing industry that was becoming of mainstream interest. But what really stood out was how frequently Pete blogged from the very start. A look through their archives shows that in the early days Pete would write between 1-5 blog posts per day, usually averaging two or three a day.

Mashable Archives

In an interview with Inc.com, Pete explained that his persistence was fueled by an obsession over seeing his numbers increase, and a lack of desire to go to university or be employed.

“I would look at the stats everyday and say, “Have I beaten yesterday?” And almost every day I would have beaten yesterday in terms of the number of people who were reading the site. So, that kind of kept me going.” – Pete Cashmore

Within two years, Mashable established itself as the leading blog in technology and digital media and had built an audience of over two million monthly readers. Today, Mashable attracts 10x the amount of traffic it did back then, so how did they bridge the gap from 2m visitors to 22m visitors?

Mashable hired 43 editorial staff members, increasing their editorial output from 1-5 articles to 7-15 articles per day. They also shifted their focus towards infographics for a few years (they’ve posted over 900 of them), and started ‘utilising‘ their domain’s strength a little bit more.

Mashable infographics

While controversial (but not unusual), Mashable.com have been able to exponentially grow their traffic by ranking for the names of the brands that they write about. With over 35,000 indexed category pages, Mashable generates millions of visits from people searching in Google for brands like ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’ and ‘Gmail’.  In fact, the keyword ‘Facebook’ is the highest traffic-driving keyword to Mashable.com.

Mashable brand terms (SEMrush)



So what can we learn from Mashable.com’s growth?

To me, the key lessons here are persistance, frequency, and timing. If Pete launched Mashable.com today rather than in 2005, I doubt it’d be anywhere near as successful, his timing was great. But lots of other tech blogs were also launched in or before 2005 – that’s where frequency and persistance set Mashable apart.

How did ProBlogger reach millions of readers?

Since launching Problogger in 2004, Darren Rowse and his team have posted over 8,000 blog posts. What’s particularly impressive is that Problogger is just one of 20 or so blogs that Darren runs.

Darren puts his success down to a combination of being among the first to blog about blogging, writing actionable content, having authenticity, and sticking to it over the long run. Oh, and he also had a motivating ultimatum from his wife:

“You’ve got 6 months to make blogging full time” – Darren’s wife

So what did Darren do that worked so well?

Like Mashable, Darren grew Problogger by writing superhuman volumes of content (5-10 posts per day). Over the years, this accumulated to become an archive of 8,000+ individual articles. However, unlike Mashable, Problogger focused on creating evergreen content (content that does not go out of date), not topical news.

Because of this, Problogger has been able to reduce their posting frequency to 3/4 articles per week, while still maintaining traffic growth. Using tools like SEMrush, we can clearly see that Darren’s highest performing content is nothing but actionable and helpful resources that will remain relevant for a long time.

Problogger top content

So, there we have another strategy for building a 7-figure blog audience. By being helpful and providing other bloggers with actionable tips, Darren’s slow and steady approach ultimately attracted millions of visitors, and established him as one of the most authoritative bloggers in the World.

“The key to success in blogging (and in many areas of life) is small but regular and consistent actions over a long period of time.” – Darren Rowse

How a Japanese blog reached 1.4m readers in six months

To mix things up a bit, I thought I’d shine the spotlight on a really fascinating case study, by Nick Eubanks, on how despite not speaking Japanese, he built a Japanese blog that almost broke 100,000 visitors in the first month after launch, and reached 1.4 million visits in just six months.

Japanese website traffic

While the identity of the website is undisclosed, we do know that it targeted the Japanese market.

Traffic by Country

Nick’s strategy was based on a mathematical approach of building an algorithm that weighted the opportunity and difficulty of over 50,000 Japanese keywords. From there, Nick’s team identified the top 100 keywords, and then calculated which ones would generate the highest returns in a short period of time.

In other words, he applied the 80/20 rule to the 80/20 rule of SEO to find the absolute minimum amount of work needed to generate huge results, and it worked.



While this may seem very different to the other strategies we’ve deconstructed, it’s not all that different to be honest, just more precise.

Nick knew that a high frequency of posting was important, so he posted 2-4 pieces of content per day. He also capitalised on topical content, but not by writing about breaking news, but instead by writing about events that were sure to happen, in advance.

The result of Nick’s planning strategy meant that he was able to achieve an amazing result in very little time by working smarter, not harder, than his competition.

How GetRichSlowly.org reached one million readers per month

Since launching GetRichSlowly.org in 2006, JD’s become a TIME Magazine Top 25 Blogger and has grown his blog to receive over one million monthly visitors.

What’s interesting about JD is that he’s the self-proclaimed “worst marketer in the World“. In an interview with Maneesh Sethi, JD admitted to never paying much attention to SEO or any of the trends that his blogger friends used to tell him about. Even today, GRS’s design is out-dated, the site’s SEO is mediocre, and there’s loads of room for optimising sign up rates. But none of this matters to JD – because his strategy is simple. His strategy is content is king.

Get Rich Slowly

For years, JD posted 1-10 posts per week, offering excellent personal finance advice. A deeper dig into what spurred on the blog’s success suggests that his most shared and linked-to content is, similarly to Problogger, actionable evergreen content. Not one-off viral hits or infographics, just fairly dull topic but incredibly helpful articles like ‘Best High-Yield Money Market & High-Interest Savings Account‘.

So like the Problogger story, JD succeeded by being useful for long enough that his blog reached a tipping point and became the authority in his niche. Best of all, JD debunks the myth that you need to be a good marketer to build a popular blog.

How ConversionXL reached 1,000,000s of readers

ConversionXL is one of my favourite blogs about conversion optimization. It took Peep Laja just over a year to get ConversionXL past the 100,000 visitors / month mark.

Similar to Nick’s approach, prior to launching ConversionXL, Peep did a considerable amount of planning and research to identify what niche he wanted to write about, and what kind of content would generate results. He concluded that there was a gap in the market for an evidence based, data-driven marketing advice blog that focused on conversion optimization.

What’s interesting about Peep’s approach is that he didn’t post frequently. For the first year, he averaged one post every 4.8 days. Then it slowed down to once every two weeks.

Peep’s success came from picking an interesting niche, writing highly linkable and shareable content, and getting lucky with a few viral hits.

ConversionXL Traffic

Peep’s case once again highlights the benefits of planning ahead and working smart.

How KISSmetrics reached 2.5 million+ readers in 20 months

It took Neil Patel twenty months to get the KISSmetrics blog to over 100,000 monthly readers. According to a write-up on his blog, Neil started by writing two posts per week on KISSmetrics – but the blog didn’t really see any significant uplift in traffic until he increased this frequency to five posts per week.

From there he experimented with six posts and noticed an 18.6% increase in traffic for writing one additional blog post per week.

While this growth isn’t as aggressive as some of the earlier blogs reviewed, it’s worth bearing in mind that Neil also runs Quicksprout and CrazyEgg, both of which have blogs with a 7-figure readership.

How has Neil repeatedly built 3x blogs with millions of readers?
Well, there’s the recurring theme of frequency and consistency. Neil’s also seriously hard working – the guy’s output and energy is borderline superhuman, so we should probably take that into account. Besides these intangibles, what specifically made KISSmetrics so successful?

Like Mashable, KISSmetrics had a lot of success with infographics. In two years, they created 47 infographics, which generated 2,512,596 visitors and 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domains.

On top of this, KISSmetrics receive 6% of their blog traffic from emailing subscribers about new posts.

I have no doubt that the lesser mentioned ‘secret sauce’ to Neil’s success is also the compounding ease and quality / magnitude of cross-promotions and partnership opportunities. By owning two digital marketing technology companies, an agency, and his own marketing blog, i’m sure there’s a lot of leverage between the various lists, client relationships, and case studies.

What we can learn about building a 7-figure audience

What I found so fascinating while researching this post was how varied the approaches were for each of the blogs, yet how many similarities they shared. It shows how the opposite of what works can also work.

While everyone will take away something a bit different, this is what I took away:

But the most difficult and upraised step that all of these successful bloggers took is getting started. If you want to follow in the footsteps of these successful bloggers and haven’t yet started – I urge you to do so today. If you’re not sure how to do so, you can follow our guides on how to find the best web hosting, and then a guide on how to start blogging.

Best of luck.

6 Powerful Ways You Can Use SEMrush to Crush Your Competition





SEMrush is a must-have tool in your SEO toolkit if you’re serious about increasing organic traffic for your website. What started as a simple keyword research tool is now the preferred online marketing tool of marketing professionals around the world. SEMrush is the ultimate SEO tool which helps you get deeper insights into your competition, identifies your top organic keywords as well as paid keywords, allows you to do backlink analysis, and much more. In this article, we’ll examine 6 ways you can use SEMrush to instantly improve your site’s SEO and crush your competition.



Note: You’ll need an active SEMrush account to try the techniques listed in this article. If you don’t have an SEMrush account yet, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of SEMrush Pro here (worth $99.95). 

 

6 Ways to Use SEMrush to Supercharge Your SEO

1. Identify your Competitors

One of the key aspects of SEO is to identify the competitors in your niche. It doesn’t matter which industry you belong to, you’ll have plenty of brands to compete with and learn from.

There is no better tool than SEMrush to map your competitors. The only tool that comes close is Ahrefs. Even with Ahrefs, the data obtained can sometimes be inaccurate. SEMrush provides you the most accurate data on your competitors so that you can start working on your strategy right away.

A quick search on “apple.com” on SEMrush search bar shows the following competitors:

SEMrush provides you the most accurate data on your competitors so that you can start working on your strategy right away.

You can now click on any of these competitors to unravel data from each site and improve your own site’s organic SEO strategy.

2. Identify your Competition’s Top Content

SEMrush also allows you to extract your competition’s top ranking content.

Open up the Pages section on SEMrush to generate a report on your competition’s top ranking content.



This report shows all the pages your competitor has ranking in the top 100 Google search results.

SEMrush also allows you to extract your competition's top ranking content. Open up the Pages report on SEMrush to generate a report on your competition's top ranking content.

Click on any of the posts/pages that is generating a massive amount of traffic for your competition. SEMrush will provide a further estimation of the organic search traffic, cost of that traffic, the total number of keywords that piece of content is ranking for, and additional data on backlinks and paid keywords.

Export the list of keywords onto an excel sheet for manual review and sorting. These are all the keyword variations you should use while creating your own content. Make sure these keywords are a part of your on-page SEO elements such as title tags, headings, body copy, alt text, URL, etc.

RELATED  SEMrush vs MOZ: Which is the Best SEO Tool?

3. Identify your Top Ranking Organic Keywords

Yet another SEMrush feature which is beyond useful.

Organic traffic is going to be one of the major drivers of traffic to your website. This feature allows you to review the top ranking organic keywords for your site and helps you determine how your organic SEO strategy is being executed.

SEMrush - Top Organic Keywords

Type your domain name in the SEMrush search bar, pick organic research and examine the results. Don’t just focus on the list of keywords. Pay special attention to the first four columns on the right to determine how each keyword is performing in SERPs.

  • Position
  • Volume
  • CPC
  • Traffic

This will show you how your site is performing in the search engines and whether or not you need to tweak your organic SEO strategy to focus on a different set of keywords.

4. Find News Ways to Monetize Your Website

If you’re a blogger driving decent traffic to your site for certain topics, you’re probably always on a look out for new ways to monetize your website.

There are several sites out there who are willing to pay for the traffic you are driving through organic results.

As such, if you’re able to identify these sites and offer them advertising options on your website, you could earn an extra few bucks. SEMrush makes this incredibly easy.

Here’s how to use SEMrush to find new ways to monetize your site:



1. Go to Organic Research –> Competitors and enter your domain

2. Scroll down to the Organic Competitors table and select one of your competitors

There are several sites out there who are willing to pay for the traffic you are driving through organic results. SEMrush makes this incredibly easy.3. Check out the Ads Keywords column. For this example, let’s pick moz.com as it has 3.5 k ads keywords

4. Next, click on the Common Keywords metric next to Moz

5. You’ll be taken to a Domain vs Domain comparison report. Set the filters so that you are returning the keywords that you rank for organically and your competitor is bidding on in paid search:

SEMrush Feature - Domain vs Domain

SEMrush will generate this report:

6 Awesome Ways to Use SEMrush to Supercharge Your SEO & Crush Your Competition

As you can see, the first result is for “seo tools”.

This indicates that while Moz is currently ranked #1 organically in SERPs, Backlinko is willing to bid for the phrase in order to rank #1 in paid search results.

So in order to make full use of this feature, reach out to some of the companies who are bidding on terms you’re ranking for and see if they are interested in placing ads on your site. Negotiate an ad fee and start monetizing the organic traffic on your site.

RELATED  Link Building in 2018: 14 Proven Techniques to Get High Quality Backlinks

5. See the Breakdown of your Competitors

We already know how SEMrush helps us identify our top competitors. You can go a step further by reviewing your competitor breakdown.

Why is this important? Because when you do a competitor research on SEMrush, it produces a report which has hundreds, even thousands of organic competitors. The amount of data available can be overwhelming. As a result, it’s important to first consider your top 5 or 10 competitors and review their strategies individually.

SEMrush Competitors - 6 Awesome Ways to Use SEMrush to Supercharge Your SEO & Crush Your Competition

The report on organic competitors is filtered by:

  • Domain
  • Competition Level
  • Common Keywords
  • SE Keywords
  • SE Traffic
  • SE Traffic Price
  • Ads Keywords

With a detailed report from SEMrush, you’ll get a deeper understanding of what your competitors are doing, how you’re stacking up, and what you can do to improve your ranking in SERPs.

RELATED  10 Best SEO Tools to Supercharge Your Marketing

6. Find High Quality Link Building Opportunities

You can use SEMrush to not just to review your backlinks, but your competitors’ backlinks as well.

Find High Quality Link Building Opportunities with SEMrushBacklink analysis on SEMrush reveals the following data:

  • Total number of backlinks
  • Follow/nofollow backlinks
  • Referring domains
  • TLD (Top level distribution) distribution
  • TLD Authority (.com, .net, .edu, .gov, etc.)
  • Referring domains by country

This feature allows you to get a deeper understanding of your competitors’ link profile and highlights new sources you can tap into to build new backlinks and referral traffic.

Once you’ve reviewed your competition’s link profile, use these link building techniques to build new backlinks for your site.

Over to you

Now that you know how to use these features on SEMrush, it’s time for you to test drive the product and see the results yourself.

If you haven’t used SEMrush yet, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

SEMrush vs MOZ: Which is the Best SEO Tool?





With tools such as SEMrush and Moz, you get to take your SEO game up a notch and come out with truly astounding results for your blog, business, and clients. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably deciding whether to invest in one of these SEO tools. You may have tried the free version of one of these or both these SEO tools and are now considering whether it’s worth it to upgrade to the full version. Well, you’ve come to the right place.



Even if you’ve never tried any of these SEO tools, please read this post to learn more about their features and how you can leverage the power of these tools to improve your site’s search rankings.

In this post we will compare two of the most popular SEO tools and see how they compete against each other on features, ease-of-use, and pricing.

 
Basic Plans (Comparison) SEMrush Pro Moz Pro
30 Days Free Trial SIGN UP NOW SIGN UP NOW
Pricing $99.95/Month $99/Month
Users Included 1 2
No. of Sites to Track 5 5
Total Pages to Crawl 100,000 250,000
Tracked Keywords 500 300
PDF Reports 5 5
Tracked Social Media Profiles 50 NA

SEMrush: Overview

Just giving a search on Google with the keywords “SEO tools” will show you exactly how complicated and crammed up the SEO world is. There’s a tidal wave of resources out there and while most of these tools are loaded with features, they can make our lives complicated. But most bloggers, SEO gurus, and agencies will agree that SEMrush probably provides the best bang for buck.

I use SEMrush for pretty much everything I do. I use it to find new keyword opportunities, do backlink analysis, and to spy on competitors’ keywords. (To learn more about how SEMrush can help you crush your competition in search rankings, read this post)

If you know the current state of SEO, you know just how important long tail, low- competition keywords are. And that’s exactly what SEMrush allows you to do. Paired with Google’s AdWords Keyword Research tool, you can truly obtain a few very lucrative low competition keywords and create/optimize content that ranks well in search engines.

How to Use SEMrush

If you’ve never tried SEMrush before, then you can read this section to know how to start. Others can skip this part of the post and move on to the next section to read the rest of the article.

To get started, you’d need an SEMrush account. If you don’t have one, you can register for a free SEMrush account using the link below. This will give you 1 month free access to SEMrush PRO (actual value – $99.95).

Save $49.97 on SEMrush PRO with our Exclusive 14-day Free Trial

SEMrush Dashboard - How to use SEMrush

Once you’ve registered and logged into your free account, you’ll find the default search bar like the one shown above. From here, select Organic Research from the left sidebar. Next you can type the domain name of your competitor to see the keywords they are ranking for. For this example, I used SEMrush website to check the keywords they are ranking for. The results for your search should look something like this:



SEMrush vs MOZ

The next step is to set filters to find the top 10 keywords for which your competitor is ranking for (this is just an example. You can set any parameters you deem fit for your competition analysis). Make sure that the monthly search volume for these keywords is at least 10+. Once you’ve applied the filters, the results page should look something like this:

Which is the best SEO tool: Moz Pro vs SEMrush

Once you have the data for top 10 keywords that your competition is ranking for, you can optimize your own keyword strategy and content to make sure your website ranks well for each of these 10 keywords.

In some cases, your competition might be already a big player in the market with several backlinks and other SEO factors to back them up. In this case, what you can do is chase ‘low hanging fruits’ aka long-tail keywords with low-medium competition. These are the keywords where the search volume is low, but the traffic is high since there is little to no competition. For example, instead of trying to optimize your site for the keywords ‘meditation retreat’, you can optimize your site for keywords ‘buddhist meditation retreat in singapore’ which is a long-tail keyword with low search volume, but good traffic.

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With your free trial account, your searches are restricted to 5 per day and the results are limited to 10. The best part about SEMrush is that you can check not just Google ranking results, but also Bing (US). You can also check how your website and your competitors are ranking in 26 countries. Below is the list of countries where you can do competition and keyword analysis.

SEMrush vs MOZ Pro: Best SEO Tool

With the paid version of SEMrush, you get the following features:

  • Site Audit: This is one of the best features that SEMrush offers. You can do a site audit to find and fix the issues with your website. SEMrush offers ‘health percentage’ of your site and notifies you via email whenever the health percentage of your site is at risk.
  • Position Tracking: With the pro version of SEMrush, you can select up to 100 keywords and see how your website is ranking on search engines for these keywords. You can frequently monitor your site’s performance and do the necessary optimization to make sure you rank well for all these keywords.
  • Backlink Audit – You can conduct deep link analysis of your own site as well as your competitors’ site. By doing a deep link analysis of your competition, you can uncover a few backlink opportunities. The more relevant backlinks you have, the better will be your search ranking.

You can do all these and more with a PRO subscription of SEMrush. My suggestion would be to first try their free 30-day trial and use all these features yourself. You can click here to get a complete list of their features.

Verdict: SEMrush is the best SEO tool which is highly recommended by most SEO gurus. If this is the first time you’re investing on an SEO product, then SEMrush is the tool you should opt for because it that allows you to do organic keyword research, spy on competitors’ data, and build powerful backlinks. Is it worth the $69.99 per month? Yes and it’s worth every penny. When used to its potential, the ROI is pretty strong with this one.

 

MOZ: An Overview

Started way back in 2004 by Rand Fishkin, MOZ first started as an SEO consulting company before they developed their first SEO tool. Fishkin has established himself as a thought leader in the SEO space and is one of the most resourceful and respected marketing gurus you can follow on Twitter to learn some very important SEO and content marketing skills. But when it comes to their flagship SEO tools, I’ve mixed feelings.

To get started, let’s talk about some of the good things that Moz offers. The best part about Moz is that pretty much everything good about it is FREE. So if you’re on a shoestring budget and don’t want to invest on SEO tools yet, but still want to ensure that your site ranks well, then the free services offered by Moz are industry standard.

All of these tools below are free and you can use them to improve the search visibility of your site:



  • Open Site Explorer – You can track your link profile and uncover link building opportunities using this free tool
  • Keyword Explorer – Helps you find the best keywords in your niche
  • MozBar – Perhaps the best among the free tools offered by Moz, MozBar is a Google Chrome extension offers you a glimpse into your site’s Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA), both crucial metrics, on a regular basis. Your site’s PA and DA change on a monthly basis, so it’s important to keep a watchful eye on how your site is measured in these terms. Moreover, you can perform keyword research and link analysis of the sites you visit right from the browser bar (like shown below) without having to access the dashboard. You can get your Moz Bar Chrome extension for free here.

MozBar: SEMrush vs Moz

If you’re using Moz for free, then you can give up to 3 searches per day. For the example below, I gave a search on Moz.com to find their DA and PA and to get a fair idea about their backlink profile.

Moz vs SEMrush: Which is the best SEO toolNow to the part that isn’t that good. Having been impressed with the free services offered by Moz, I decided to take the plunge for paid subscription and found myself a little underwhelmed.

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I didn’t mind paying the $99 per month price for standard subscription as long as the tools offered were worth that sum. Being a fan of Rand Fishkin, I so wanted to like Moz Pro, but it fell short of my expectations. I found myself using it less and less and cancelled the subscription to look for better and cheaper alternatives.

Having said that, Moz by no means is a bad SEO tool. I still use their free tools such as Open Site Explorer and Moz Bar for SEO to keep a track of my sites’ PA and DA. Moreover, Moz has some incredible SEO and content marketing resources which you can download for free from here. If you’re a beginner, then Moz has some of the best resources which you can read to familiarize yourself with SEO tactics. Their Beginner’s Guide to SEO is perhaps the best SEO guide I’ve stumbled upon in recent times.

They also have an amazing blog which I visit regularly. Whiteboard Friday, a video series featuring Founder/CEO Rand Fishkin, is something that you should tune into every week.

But if you were to ask me if I’d ever subscribe to Moz Pro for $99/Month, my answer would be No. I’d like to emphasize that this is my personal experience with Moz. There are people who swear by Moz and they may be able to elaborate more on the paid services offered by Moz. Perhaps they have been able to find time to use it to its full potential. For me, everything good offered by Moz is free and if you had to invest in an SEO tool, it’d be SEMrush.

Try Moz Pro FREE for 30 days

 

SEMrush vs MOZ: Which SEO tool should you buy?

(Update: SEMrush revised the pricing of their plans in Jan 2017. Their standard plan which was priced at $69.95/month is now worth $99.95/month, Guru plan which was priced at $149.95 is now worth $199.95, and their business plan which was priced at $549.95 is now worth $399.95)

If you were to compare the free tools offered by each of these, both have their own strengths and limitations. However, MOZ offers a free 30-day trial which is akin to Moz Pro’s full version.

With SEMrush, you are required to register an account to get your free 30-day trial which has several limitations. Your searches as well as search results are limited to 5 and 10 per day respectively. But if we were to compare the features offered under paid subscriptions, then I’d highly recommend SEMrush over Moz.

I use SEMrush for pretty much every SEO task that I do.

The sheer amount of data available on SEMrush can be overwhelming at times, but they have excellent training materials and product guide to help you every step of the way. Their support team is really helpful and they organize weekly webinars which you can participate in to hone your SEO skills.

Moz, on the other hand, is expensive for the features it offers. The best thing to do would be to try the free 30-day trial of Moz and probably then decide to take a plunge if you like the product. Like I said, your experience with the product may differ and you may find value in the paid services which they offer. On the other hand, if you had to invest in a powerful SEO tool, then SEMrush has all the features you need and more. Give it a try!

Moz Pro Pricing

These are the Moz Pro pricing plans as of October 2017. You can save 20% by switching to annual pricing.

Moz Pricing: SEMrush vs Moz

SEMrush Pricing

These are SEMrush’s pricing plans as of October 2017. You can save up to $800 by switching to an annual plan.

SEMrush vs Moz - SEMrush's pricing plans as of October 2017

Links to register free accounts with SEMrush and Moz:

Click here to get 14-day free access to SEMrush PRO

Click here to register your free account with Moz

So who is the WINNER ?
SEMrush or MOZ ?

If you ask me go with SEMrush if you want to go PRO !
It gives you the most for the lower price !

SEMrush 

 

 

How to Build Backlinks to your website or blog: The Definitive Guide 2018





How to Build Backlinks:The Definitive Guide

Every online marketer worth their salt knows what a backlink is. It’s an incredibly simple concept… You, as a website owner, convince another website owner to include a link on their website that points back to your website. Like I said, simple right? Well… Yes and no. While backlinks in and of themselves are simple, understanding how to build backlinks the right way is not. With the constant updates to Google’s algorithm and best practices, the very same tactics that once landed you on the first page for your target keyword can now result in massive search engine penalties. All in all… Building backlinks can quickly become a minefield of mistakes and mishaps for the uninformed SEO. Luckily, we have put together this guide to show you the step-by-step process on how to build backlinks the right way in 2018.



Interested?

Then read on…

 

A Few Things to Understand Before We Get Started

Before we can dive into the tactical tips and tools that you can use to build links and shoot your website to the first page of Google, there are a few key terms and concepts that you need to understand.

Anchor Text and Anchor Text Ratios

Whenever you build a backlink, you will use what is known in the industry as an anchor.

For example, in the following link, “Check out this link building case study”, the words, “Check out this link building case study” are the anchor text.

Anchor text can take a number of different forms from keyword related anchors, to branded anchors, to normal URLs.
And while I will explain in detail the 13 types of anchors and how to use them effectively, you need to understand that when you are conducting a link building campaign, the anchor text ratios that you use (e.g. how often you use different types of anchors) matters!

Many experts will tell you that anchor text optimization is unnecessary and ineffective.

Afterall, they argue, by trying to make your anchor text profile appear natural, you are actually manipulating Google’s algorithm instead of just building links that are natural.

And this is true… If you have a huge website with hundreds of thousands of monthly views.

However, after years of working as an SEO and running several 7-figure agencies, I have come to the conclusion that, for small to medium sized websites, anchor text ratios matter… and they matter a lot.

Keep this concept in mind as you move through this guide because optimizing your anchor text ratios is one of the cornerstones of any effective link building campaign.

 

Dofollow vs. Nofollow Links

Before you can understand dofollow and nofollow links, we need to first take a step back and take a broader look at how Google ranks websites and a brief history of their algorithm.

At the most basic level, Google looks at inbound links as “points” on a website’s scoreboard.

The more links that a website has, the more points they have on the board.

But not all links are created equally.

With its current algorithm, Google pays attention not only to the quantity of inbound links that a website has, but also the quality and relevance of those links.

This means that one link from a website like Forbes or the New York Times is far more valuable than even 10 links from a low authority niche site.

Dofollow links are basically any links that put points on the board and boost your page’s ranking within their algorithm.

These links are typically earned through guest blogging and creating high quality content that actually deserves to rank.

Nofollow links, on the other hand, do not count towards a page’s ranking, do not effect the anchor text ratios, and don’t do anything to boost a website’s authority.

Using a simple HTML tag websites can signal to Google that the link in question should not be considered relevant to a website’s rank.

Now some of you are probably thinking, “Crap! That’s kind of a mean thing to do… Why in the world would someone want to prevent a website from getting credit for a backlink?”

Well, there is a reason behind this… And a damn good one if you ask me.

You see, a few short years ago, Google’s algorithm was almost entirely based on the quantity of links that a given website had pointing back to it.

And this lead to some serious problems…

Website owners and SEOs (blackhat and otherwise) realized that all they needed to do to get on the first page of Google was generate enough backlinks to their website regardless of the quality or relevance of those links.

This lead to an era of rampant comment spamming and link buying as low quality websites fought amongst themselves to rank in the search engines.

Eventually, it got so bad that Google realized they needed to make some changes.

And thus, Nofollow links were introduced to cut down on spam and create a more user-friendly algorithm.

  • Today, the nofollow attribute is usually used for:
  • Paid links
  • Comments
  • Forums
  • “Untrusted Content”

And while these links do not directly count towards your ranking, they are still an important part of any link building strategy.

“Real” websites generate nofollow links, and quite a few of them.

They have social profiles, citations, and plenty of purchased links.

Why?

Because there is more to link building than anchor text optimization.

Nofollow links play a pivotal role in building trust and driving traffic and to ignore them simply because they have no relevance to your anchor text percentages would be a huge mistake.

 

Indexed vs. Non-Indexed Pages

In addition to follow and nofollow links, you also need to understand the concept of indexed vs. non-indexed pages before you can effectively begin any link building strategy.

Google’s robots will scan or “crawl” the internet to find web pages and relevant content to serve up in their search queries.

Typically this is done when a Webmaster submits a sitemap.xml file to webmaster tools, but Google can also use backlinks and internal links to crawl through a website.

Then, once the crawl is complete, Google will index the pages that it finds.

However…

Just because you have a web page does not mean that Google will index it.

And this is actually a good thing.

There are certain pages, like blog categories, author pages, pages with 404 errors, and duplicate content that doesn’t’ need to be indexed by Google.

However, some webmasters have made mistakes with their sitemap or content that prevents Google from indexing relevant pages.

This is important to note because Google does not count backlinks that are located on non-indexed pages.

Meaning that if your website or a website where from which you are trying to earn links have crawl errors on important pages, none of the links that you build or the anchor text that you use will have an effect on page’s rank.

Got it?

Good.

Now with that out of the way… Let’s get to the good stuff.

 

The 13 Types of Backlink Anchors and Their Categories

Now that you understand the importance of anchor text ratios and the potential roadblocks that could prevent Google from counting new backlinks, of the types of, it’s time to discuss the different types of anchors that you will be using for your campaigns.

Keyword Related Anchors

Keyword related anchors are exactly what they sound like.

They are anchors designed to help rank a piece of content related to a specific keyword.

So, for example, if you wanted to rank on the first page of Google for the search query “How can I build a natural anchor text profile”, you would likely build a link using the anchor text “build a natural anchor text profile”.

Here are the different types of anchors you would use if you were building links to rank for the above query.

Title Tag:
“How to Build a Natural Anchor Text Profile and Rank Your Website on the First Page of Google”

Exact Keyword:
Build a natural anchor text profile

Keyword + Word:
How to build a natural anchor text profile

Only Part of Keyword:
Natural anchor text

Brand and Keyword together:
Outreach Mama’s guide to build a natural anchor text profile

 

Signs of a Strong Brand

The second type of anchor text is branded anchor text.

This is one of the most important categories of anchor text as Google has become very brand centric in recent years.

Using our brand as an example, here are the different types of anchors included in this category.

Just Natural:
Check out this blog

Branded:
OutreachMama’s blog

No Text:
This is an image link with no alt text

Totally Random:
Any anchor that doesn’t explicitly match the anchor included in this list

 

URL Related Anchors

URL related anchors (once again) are exactly as the name suggests, anchors that are related to the URL of your website.

Here are the different types of anchors within this category.

Naked URL:
https://www[dot]very-good-idea[dot]com/

Websitename.com:
very-good-idea.com

Homepage URL:
https://www.very-good-idea.com

Naked URL Without http://:
www.very-good-idea.com

If you want to gain a deeper understanding of what anchor text is and how it’s used, you can check out our definitive guide on anchor text best practices in 2018.



 

Anchor Text and Their Natural Backlink Types

Now that you understand the different types of anchor text that you can use, let’s discuss the types of backlinks that are commonly associated with each anchor.

Citations (Nofollow) & Directories (Dofollow)

Directory links, while less authoritative than other links, still provide webmasters with a great opportunity to build basic anchor text and generate a healthy number of natural backlinks.

Citations, on the other hand, will help you to build authority within your niche and drive new visitors to your site.

With these types of backlinks, I recommend that you use the following types of anchors.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Branded

Naked URL

Naked URL without Http://

Just Natural

Totally Random

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Organic Contextual Links (Dofollow)

Organic contextual links are the hero that most webmasters need but not the one they deserve.

These are naturally earned links that are the result of a fantastic content creation and marketing strategy.

Basically, another blogger or webmaster in your niche reads a piece of content, loves the content, and then decides to reward all of your hard work with a freely given backlink from their website.

These links are a rarity in 2017, but they do happen.

Since you do not have any direct control over these backlinks, you also have no control over the anchor text used with the link.

This means that the “natural” anchor text for this backlink type is “Whatever the hell the linking website wants.” (to put it in scientific terms)

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Title Tag

Just Natural

Branded

Naked URL

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

No text

Homepage URL

Naked URL without Http://

Totally Random

Manually Acquired Contextual Links (Dofollow)

The second type of contextual link that you can build is a manually acquired contextual link or “earned” link.

These are the links that you earn from creating a kickass piece of content and then doing everything in your power to convince other bloggers to link to that content.

Since contextual links (as a whole) will make up the majority of your backlink profile and will be the driving force behind nearly all of your SEO efforts, it’s important that you understand how to effectively anchor earned links.

Here’s a list of the types of anchors you should use when building manually acquired contextual links.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

Branded

Naked URL

No text

Homepage URL

Naked URL without Http://

Totally Random

However…

Even though you can use any of the above anchors, it is important to realize that any anchor you use when creating earned links should appear natural.

Typically, I recommend that most webmasters and marketers stick to keyword related anchors and just natural anchors most of the time.

Why?

Well, think about it like this.

If you are a webmaster who prides yourself on the quality of your content are you going to accept guest posts from a fellow blogger who is clearly using your platform for promotional purposes?

Probably not…

However, if that same guest blogger reached out to you with an excellent article that happened to have a backlink to their website anchored into the article in a natural way…

You probably wouldn’t throw too much of a fuss.

And that is the most important thing to remember when building manually earned backlinks.

Yes… The ratio is extremely important.

However, if you are more concerned with the ratio of your anchors instead of creating anchors that seamlessly fit into your content, you will likely have your links stripped by anyone and everyone that you pitch.

Blog Comments (Usually Nofollow)

Blog comments, while once the most misused (and overused) method of link building have begun dying out ever since the inception of Google’s “nofollow” tag.

However, there are still a number of authoritative websites out there that offer dofollow backlinks for commenters who are offering real value to their audience.

Most blogging platforms do not allow anchors within their comments (with good reason), so whenever you are building these types of links, you will need to use naked URLs in the body or name field of your comments.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Branded (When adding your website and name to the comment form fields.)

Naked URL (When adding your website link in the comment body itself.)

No text

Homepage URL

Naked URL without Http://

Totally Random

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

Profile Links (Usually Nofollow)

Profile links are easy to build and while they won’t rank your website on the first page of Google anytime soon, they will help you increase the number of referring domains pointing to your site, round out your anchor ratios (if dofollow) and give off healthy branding signals to Google.

Here are the natural anchor types you can use when building profile links.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Branded

Naked URL

Naked URL without Http://

No text

Homepage URL

Totally Random

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

Web 2.0s (Dofollow)

Web 2.0 links are links contained in socially hosted platforms like WordPress.com, Weebly.com, and Blogspot.com.

Before we go any further discussing this topic, I want to make it very clear that building web 2.0 links is a very difficult task.

Not because these links are hard to create (they aren’t) but rather because they have been so misused by black and grey hat SEOs that Google is quick to penalize any site that goes overboard with these links.

In a later section of this guide, I will show you how to use web 2.0s effectively but for now let’s take a look at the kinds of anchors you can use when building these links.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Keyword Plus Word

Only Part of Keyword



Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

Branded

Naked URL

No text

Homepage URL

Naked URL without Http://

Totally Random

Press releases (Nofollow)

Google has slowly been squeezing the life out of press release backlinks, through strategic penalization.

Therefore, it’s important that you tread with caution when building these links.

That being said, a well placed press release delivered through a high quality service can help give a new website a little kickstart in terms of branding. There are very few services that provide dofollow links with press releases, but regardless of what type of service you employ, stick to these anchor text recommendation.

Usual Anchor Type Used

Sometimes Used

Not Used Often

Branded

Naked URL

Naked URL without Http://

No text

Homepage URL

Totally Random

Naked URL without Http://

Only Part of Keyword

Brand and Keyword Together

Exact Keyword

Title Tag

Just Natural

 

What Pages Should These Links Go To?

Optimizing your anchor ratios and link type is only half of the battle.

The second half is making sure that your newly built links point users to the right content.

Luckily, there is a simple formula for you to follow that will all but guarantee your SEO success.

Profile Links, Directory Links, and Citations

When building profile links, directory links, and citations, you should always, always, always point the link to your home page.

Period.

Since most people who arrive at your website through these links are looking for new brands and websites, not specific products or content, there is no reason to redirect users to pages that they may find irrelevant.

Quality sites generate these types of home page links repeatedly – a pattern that Google has recognized.

Therefore, as link builders, it’s the type of pattern we want to create.

Link to your home page and you can’t go wrong.

 

Manually Acquired Links

Whereas you will always want to point profile, directory, and citation links to your homepage, there are very few instances in which you would do this with a manually acquired link.

Whenever you earn a new contextual link, you will generally do so within a very specific context, e.g. guest blogging on a relevant niche website.

Therefore, you want to make sure that these links are as applicable to the context as possible.

Let me show you what I mean…

Imagine that you operate a website dedicated to men’s fitness.

After weeks of email outreach, you have finally earned the opportunity to create a guest post on one of the top websites in your niche and you are chomping at the bit to get your backlink.

You decide to use the anchor “build muscle fast” and now you are deciding where to point that anchor.

At this point, your primary motive should be serving relevant content/offers to the readers, you really only have one of two options.

#1: Point the link to a relevant piece of content on your website about building muscle fast.
#2: Point the link to your 12-week muscle building program

The reason for this is simple.

In addition to building up your “SEO Juice”, contextually earned backlinks give you an opportunity to engage new people and potential leads.

At this point in the relationship, you want to offer as much value as possible, and you do this by anchoring content and low dollar offers that are hyper-relevant to the content from which you are linking.

And while there are certainly instances where you can and should build links to your homepage, such as daily roundups, listicles, and being quoted, they are the exception, not the rule.

 

Blog Comments

When building blog comment links, you are typically at the mercy of the website’s moderator.

This means that it is 10X more important to serve up relevant content than ever before.

With this in mind, I recommend that you use the following rules when commenting on other people’s blogs.

When leaving a comment, enter only your homepage URL into the website field.

If you are going to leave a link in the actual comment, link to your blog article content and not to your homepage or commercial pages.

If your comments are engaging and “non-spammy”, most moderators won’t have a problem when you link to a relevant piece of content that you have created.

However, if you are constantly trying to push your products and services on someone else’s website, you will likely be banned from the thread and have your comments removed.

 

When building press release links, the page to which you will link depends largely on the nature of the release.

From my personal experience, I have found that you should link to your home page most of the time.

Although the links are mostly nofollow, you can still run of the risk of some dofollow’s getting into the mix.

In that situation, you are perfectly fine if you used branded anchor text to your homepage, but if you used a keyword rich anchor text to a blog article or to a service page and that content is syndicated across dozens of PR sites, you get dozens of backlinks with the same keyword rich anchor text.

That type of signal looks like spam to Google and can get your content de-ranked.

 

Simple Link Building Strategies and
Services to 10X Your SEO

Are you still with me?

Great!

Because this is where things get exciting!

Now that you understand anchor text ratios, types of anchors, and where those anchors should point, you are finally ready to start crafting and executing a badass link building strategy.

If you heed the information included earlier in this guide and follow these next steps exactly as I prescribe, I can all but guarantee that you will be able to rank your website on the first or second page of Google for almost any keyword you choose.

Let’s get down to business.

 

Creating “Link Worthy” Content

The first part of any link building campaign or strategy is always creating high quality content that is worthy of a backlink from relevant sites.

After nearly a decade of experience in the SEO and content marketing game, I have found that there are only 4 types of content that can predictably generate and earn high quality backlinks.

Visual Content

Visual content, like infographics and charts, are a great type of content for a number of reasons.

One of their biggest strengths is that visual content, when built properly, tend to distill otherwise complicated concepts into an easily digestible and visually appealing guide.

If you are using infographics, you can create a simple embed code that will allow other bloggers to share your content on their website while automatically generating a backlink.

 

List Posts

List posts are a fantastic type of content for one primary reason.
People are friggin lazy!

Most people don’t have the time or the attention span to sit down and read a mega-guide (like this one) and they prefer to find content that they can consume in a matter of minutes.

List posts provide readers with easily skimmable and digestible content that they can use whether or not they read all of the text beneath each listed point.

In fact, when BuzzSumo analyzed more than 1 million blog posts, they found that list posts generated more backlinks, social shares, and had more viral potential than any other type of content.

Need I say more?

 

Mega Guides

I know, I know…

I just finished saying that most people don’t have the patience or the desire to read 5,000+ word mega guides (like the one you are reading).

However…

By creating the “Go-to” resource for a specific problem in your industry, other bloggers and companies can defer to your content whenever one of their readers or customers asks a question that they cannot answer.

 

Primary Research

This is possibly one of the most difficult types of content to create because of the massive amount of leg work required to actually generate your own primary research.

Primary research requires access huge amounts of data or a large email list filled with people who are willing to answer questions and provide feedback.

However if you can generate enough relevant data on a specific topic in your industry, the rewards are huge.

Statistics and data driven research provide massive amounts of value to other marketers and will allow you to compile an easily linkable resource that will generate a metric crapton of backlinks.

 

Finding High Quality Links

As I have already stated in this guide, not all links are created equally.

And as you embark on your quest for link building domination, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of where you should be building links.

With the slew of Google updates designed to eradicate spammy link building practices, it’s more important than ever before that you only generate links from high quality sources.

But what constitutes a high quality link and how can you find them?

Look at the Page and Domain Authority of the Website

One of the most important factors when searching for high quality links is the authority of the linking page.

For example, a link from The Huffington Post will be ten times more valuable than five links from a no-name blogger with a piss poor WordPress site.

When I am analyzing websites to determine whether or not they are worth the time required to earn a link, I base my decision primarily on their Domain and Page Authority which can be found using Moz.com’s free Open Site Explorer tool. Personally, I recommend looking for sites with a DA and PA of at least 40.

Remember, however, that this is an arbitrary number and does not always indicate the quality or trustworthiness of a website. Plenty of great websites have lower DA and PA, and plenty of shadier sites are quite strong, having a Domain Authority of 60 or more.

 

Is The Linking Domain Relevant to Your Industry?

Equally as important as the domain authority (if not more so) is the relevance of the linking domain.

Google’s algorithm is rapidly evolving and in recent years, they have increased their focus on the relevance of linking sites.

What this means is that whenever you are looking for websites where you can earn a backlink, you want to make sure that the site in question is relevant to your website in a meaningful way.

Let’s go back to the example we used earlier about the men’s fitness site.

Imagine that you are working on your link building campaign and you are debating between trying to earn a link from two different websites.

The first is a website about Monster Trucks with a DA of 70.

The second is a more niche website devoted to hormonal optimization for men but it only has a DA of 35.

Which website would you want a link from?

Well, according to the experts at Google and the most recent data, you should always opt for the website that is more relevant to your specific niche.

Bye bye monstertrucks.com.

 

Is the Link Editorial or Not?

The next question you should ask yourself is whether the link will be editorially placed or not.

An editorial link is any link that has to be approved by a website moderator or owner (think guest posts, resource pages, or organic contextual links).

A non-editorial link is any link that can be created without the approval of the website owner.

For example, creating a profile on another person’s website and dropping a random link.

According to Google and every real SEO expert out there, you should always seek editorial links.

…creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.”

 

Using Email Outreach for Link Building

At this point, the pieces are starting to come together.

But many of you are still wondering.

“How in the hell do I actually convince these webmasters to give me a link?”

Well, I’m glad you asked because that’s what I am about to show you.

Find People Who Already Link to Similar Content

Before you ever create an email draft, or pitch a guest post, you should first make sure that the prospect in question is actually likely to give you a backlink.

Sometimes, you can find the answer to this question with a few clicks on their website.

Many blogs do not allow guest posts or any sort of third party linking (with the exception of organic contextual links).

Other websites have a very easy process for submitting guest posts and earning backlinks.

If it is not immediately discernable whether or not a specific website allows backlinks, don’t worry…

You can still find a list of possible link targets using a simple reverse engineering exercise.

First, you are going to search your target keyword in Google.

Once you have your results, copy the URLs of the top 3 results and plug them into a tool like Ahrefs.

Then you are going to hit the “Backlinks” tab on the left hand side and… voila!

You now have a huge list of websites who are likely to reward badass content with an equally badass backlink.

 

Find Their Email Address

Now that you have found someone who is likely to link to your website, it’s time to track down their email address.

Under most circumstances, you can easily find this under the “Contact Us” tab of their website.

However, since some of the bigger websites make it difficult to connect with authoritative members of their business, you can also use a tool called Voila Norbert to find the email address associated with a specific domain.

Simply input the person’s name and domain and you will normally be able to find the right email address to reach out to.

 

Reach out With a Hyper-Personalized Script

Look…

Most authoritative website owners receive hundreds if not thousands of guest post and backlink requests on a monthly basis.

And if you want more than a snowball’s chance in hell at actually connecting with them and earning a backlink, you are going to need to stand out from the masses.

The only way to do this is by creating a highly personalized email script for each prospect.

Brian Dean from Backlinko.com has a great script that you can use for this purpose.

Hi [First Name],

I was looking for content on [Topic] today, when I stumbled on your article: [Article Title].

Good stuff! I especially enjoyed [Something specific from their article].

Also, I just published a new guide on [Your Topic]: [URL].

As someone that writes about [Topic], I thought you’d enjoy it.

My guide may also make a nice addition to your page. Either way, keep up the awesome work with [Website]!

Talk Soon,
[Your Name]

This script is the best resource that I have found for achieving high levels of personalization without too much effort.

 

Simple Tactics to Build Directory and “List Links”

In addition to building manually earned links, you should also spend time building directory and resource links.

These websites exist for the sole and express purpose of linking out to other content making them a perfect target for your link building efforts.

The process for finding relevant directories and earning a link is very simple.

First, go to Google and use a query like “Keyword + best resources” or “Keyword + Best Blogs”.

So, using OutreachMama as an example, we would use the query “Best link building tools 2017”.

Then, after filtering through the top results and looking at each page’s authority, select 2-3 of the most relevant directories or resources pages.

Then use the following script (once again kudos to Brian Dean for this one) to reach out to the website owner and discuss the possibility of earning a backlink.

Subject: Question about [Their Website]

Hi [Name],

I was Googling around for content about [Topic] this morning, when I came across your excellent resource page: [URL].

I just wanted to say that your page helped me a ton. I would have never found the [Resource They Link To] without it.

It’s funny: I recently published a guide on [Topic] last month. It’s [Brief Description].

Here it is in case you’d like to check it out: [URL].

Also, my guide might make a nice addition to your page.

Either way thanks for putting together your list of resources. And have a great day!

Talk Soon,
[Your Name]

 

Link Building Services and Software that Will
Simplify the Process

While I have compiled an exhaustive list of the best link building tools in the industry
(which you can check out here), my three favorites are as follows.

SEMRush

SEMrush is positioned as your “All-in-one” SEO toolkit.

And no statement could be more accurate.

SEMrush not only helps you perform day-to-day tasks, but also provides in-depth analysis that is very clear and can be easily incorporated into your digital marketing strategy and significantly improve your performance. ~Umit Yilmaz, SEO Engineer at Ebay.com

SEMrush comes with more tools, bells, and whistles than you can shake a stick at.

And not just for link building.

I mean, sure, its content and PR tools allow you to monitor mentions, track industry trends, and perform backlink audits and analysis.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

With SEMrush we are able to identify opportunities and react to them in less time by having a trusted source of data that is extremely easy for the whole team to access.

~Kenyon Manu, Director of Search at Overstock.com

SEMrush also allows you to complete technical SEO audits, paid traffic analysis, and generate content trend summaries.

Considering the sheer volume of tools at your disposal, the $99/month price tag is almost laughable.

And with a money back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose.

Try SEMrush for free. Start right here.

 

Ahrefs

Ahrefs allows you to check your competitor’s backlink profiles, top pages, link, link growth, and countless other statistics.

Many of the top SEOs in the world use and recommend Ahrefs and it has been one of the leading tools on the market (almost) since Al Gore invented the internet.

Ahrefs offers a 30-day free trial and pricing packages that are comparable to Moz Pro making it a great alternative for Moz-averse marketers.

 

Linkio

Managing multiple pages, different types of links, anchor text plans and several months worth of activity can be a challenge for any marketer, especially if you’re just setting start with SEO.

Linkio takes the complexities of long term link building and boils it down into a simple workflow that improve outcomes for SEO teams.

More specifically, you can create long term anchor text roadmaps for all of your important pages and then break down the game plan into monthly chunks and start executing using the tactics described in this article.

Check out the free tool here.

Niche Keyword Research Guide: Finding Keywords in Your Industry or Niche





Niche keywords are the highly specific long-tail keywords that pertain to a narrow industry vertical. It’s important to optimize your site and your pay-per-click campaigns for niche keywords and not just broad, popular terms, which are often too difficult to rank for, especially as a new venture.



When you’re just getting started with a search marketing initiative—whether you’re a new affiliate marketer, new to an industry, or launching a new product—it can be very hard to predict the impact of a new search campaign, as well as to determine an attack plan for your industry niche.

We built a Free Keyword Tool for this very purpose.

SEMrush

This guide explains how to perform niche keyword research, using our Free Keyword Tool, in three easy steps. Read on to start finding industry-specific keyword opportunities that deliver high ROI.



Step 1: Use a Keyword Research Tool to Find Niche Keywords

Before you can get started in earnest, of course, you need to choose your niche. Let’s say you’ve decided to build an affiliate site offering organic baby product reviews. Regardless of how much you know about baby products, it’s challenging, if not impossible, to know ahead of time what keywords are going to be profitable for you.

Keyword research will help you identify a wide range of potential keyword opportunities including less obvious terms that could potentially drive traffic and sales. Since this site is a new endeavor, you don’t yet have historical data to leverage as a predictor of future performance. So you need a good basket of potential keywords to drill down on.

The Free Keyword Tool by WordStream is ideal for introductory niche keyword research:

niche keyword research for ppc

Most keyword suggestion tools only generate a brief list of terms. But you’re trying to generate a broad portfolio of keywords, including keyword variations you might not be able to come up with on your own.

As you can see, WordStream’s niche keyword tool returns hundreds of keyword ideas for the phrase “organic baby.” This is a great start. But, unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that all of these keyword suggestions will ultimately be valuable to you.

Step 2: Refine Your Niche Keyword List

A list of keywords has no inherent value—they are, in fact, just suggestions. It’s what you do with your keywords that matters. So it’s key to find an effective method of refining your list.



There are several ways to refine your keywords using WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool.

When you add a keyword or URL, the Keyword Tool generates a comprehensive list of search queries along with their Google Search Volume:

niche keyword research keyword volume metrics

Remember, your keyword list should be as specific to you, your site, and your business as possible. Keywords are only as valuable as they are relevant to you: you don’t have to adopt every suggested term, but you should be aware of them. After all, they might indicate behaviors or purchasing patterns that can be used to inform your Display or Facebook advertising.

Step 3: Determine How Competitive Your Niche Keyword Phrases Are

Finally, you’ll need to analyze how competitive each keyword phrase is—in other words, evaluable the relative difficulty of ranking for each niche keyword. Unfortunately, relative “competiton” alone isn’t enough to conduct this sort of analysis.

Luckily, we’ve developed a proprietary algorithm that exists within the Keyword Tool as WordStream Opportunity Score (the rightmost column in the image below):

niche keyword research proprietary evaluative metrics

Once you’ve connected your AdWords account to the Keyword Tool, our algorithm is able to assess the viability of a given search query within the context of your existing PPC strategy. You can use it to weed out superfluous (or overly competitive) terms, ensuring that you only implement keywords that relate to your business.

So Keyword Research for My Niche Site Is All Set Now?

Not quite. Don’t let your niche keyword research efforts come to a dead stop at step three. Successful keyword targeting requires constant monitoring and tweaking.

You’ve invested a lot of time and energy into identifying the best niche keyword opportunities—now you can collect on that investment by consistently tracking how those keywords perform on your site and in accordance with your specific business goals. It’s important to remember that just because a keyword tool returns a keyword doesn’t mean you’ll be able to rank for it, or that the traffic it sends from search engines will end up converting. Make continual keyword research a priority and be vigilant about analyzing and acting on keyword research to improve your results.

How to Increase Website Traffic – Beginner´s Guide to free traffic





Have you struggled to increase your website traffic, even though you’ve tried every “method” out there?



No matter what you do, your website traffic numbers don’t budge…

And your website doesn’t make enough money.

Well, I have some good news…

SEMrush

You DON’T need to be an expert at copywriting or SEO to increase your website traffic.

I’ll walk you through the whole process in a moment, but first… Why is getting traffic so dang hard?

The problem: most likely, you’re focusing on the wrong metrics and reading the wrong content…

You see, there’s a lot of content out there about how to increase website traffic. Some of it old, some of it okay, but none of it really that actionable…

Here is what’s lacking: a proven system. One that you can implement with your website right now, and see your website traffic skyrocket in a matter of weeks (or even less).

When you have the right system, it’s really not that difficult to increase website traffic.

At that point, it’s just about following the right steps and BOOM – before you know it you’ll see exponential growth in your traffic numbers.

So, what system am I referring to? It’s the same system that I (and many others) have already used to increase website traffic.

The system is comprised around three steps:

Step #1: Optimize Your Website Content (jump to step 1)

This is the foundation of the system. If you want to truly increase website traffic, you first need to make sure your website content is optimized. Otherwise, the traffic will be fleeting and only temporary.

Step #2: Crush It With Social Media (jump to step 2)

Once your website is prepared for more traffic, you must start driving traffic to it! You’ll discover how to do this with the unique social media strategies we’ll outline.

Step #3: Master Content Outreach (jump to step 3)

Social media is only one part of the puzzle. You must also get your content in front of new audiences. You’ll discover how to do this as well (even if you don’t have hours of extra time to write guest post after guest post)…

How’s all this sound? Let’s jump in and get started with the system!

 

Step 1: Optimize Your Website Content


1. Know Your Current Traffic Statistics

Before you start growing your website traffic, you need to know your current traffic stats. This is your baseline. From here, you can see how your efforts are affecting your traffic growth.

So, make sure you have your Google Analytics tracking code set up. (If you don’t have it set up yet, do it now).

Once you have at least a few days of traffic under your belt, check your website traffic report on Google Analytics.

Here are some of the most important metrics you should note:

  • Unique visitors
  • Pageviews
  • Pages per visit
  • Average time on site
  • Bounce rate
  • Traffic sources (direct, search, and referral)
  • Exit pages

2. Check Website Traffic Often

You’ve probably heard of the old saying, “What gets measured, gets managed.”

Well, it’s true! You’ll be testing new traffic strategies, and you need to know how they’re performing.

So, check your website traffic often – at least a few times a week. This way, you’ll know what’s working, and what’s not, and you can double down on the good stuff to maximize your traffic growth.

3. Create a Better Content Marketing Strategy

Here’s where many businesses fall off the tracks. They either don’t have a content marketing strategy, or if they do, it’s seriously off the mark.

You can try all the SEO hacks, but without a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll be wasting your time.

So, how do you create a better content marketing strategy? Before we get into that, let’s talk about the types of content that should be included in your strategy:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics

A good content marketing strategy has a mix of all these different types of content. Now, as for your actual strategy…

It should include the following elements:

1) The primary goal of your content (i.e. Increase traffic, generate leads, etc.)

2) Your audience, defined (i.e. Who are they? What are their biggest pain points? How can you help them through your content?)



3) How you plan to add value and set your content apart from the competition

4) Frequency of posting

5) Content amplification (i.e. How will you get your content in front of more eyeballs?)

4. Write More Compelling Blog Headlines

A compelling headline is what sells the content. If you want your content to be read – and also to rank in search engines – then great headlines are key.

Now, there are two things you must optimize for with your headlines: Social traffic and search traffic.

To do so, your headlines should have the right keywords, the right length, and also be compelling enough for social media users to click on them.

To find the right keywords, use Google Keyword Planner. Plug in some possible search terms for your blog post idea. For example, if you’re writing a post about how to quit your job, you can plug in terms like, “How to quit your job,” “How to quit your 9-5 job,” “How to quit your job and travel,” and perhaps even “How to become an entrepreneur.”

Here are the results of that query:

Using Google Keyword planner
Google Keyword Planner for the keyword: ‘How to quit your job’

From here, you know that “How to quit your job” and “How to become an entrepreneur” get the two highest average monthly searches, and you can choose which to include in your title.

From there, you can use some of these compelling headline templates so that the title is also compelling for social media:

(Note: just try and keep your title under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in Google Search.)

  • “How X Can do X” (i.e. “How Employees Can Quit Their Jobs and Become Entrepreneurs”)
  • “X People/Things Who Are Doing X” (i.e. “15 Brands Who Are Crushing It on Instagram”)
  • “How to Do X (Even If [Obstacle])” (i.e. “How to Start Investing [Even if You Don’t Have Tons of Money Saved Up]”)
  • “How to X” (i.e. “How to Get More Followers on Instagram”)

And here are some general tips for writing better headlines:

  • Use list posts (i.e. “10 Ways to Do X in Record Time”)
  • Ask a question
  • Create curiosity
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Aim to trigger emotion in the reader
  • Use alliteration occasionally
  • Use power words
  • Make the value as clear as possible

5. Write Better Content

A great content marketing strategy with catchy headlines won’t matter if you don’t have compelling content. Any readers who come to your site will just bounce out immediately – and that will make for an ugly traffic report.

So, how do you write more compelling content?

You can start by infusing these hacks into your writing…

Hack #1: Hook readers in from the beginning. People have low attention spans. If you don’t have a compelling “hook” at the beginning of your blogs, people will click off in seconds. You can hook them in by teasing the benefits of the article (see the intro to this article for example!), telling a story, or stating a common problem that your audience faces.

Hack #2: Use shorter paragraphs. Avoid long paragraphs and huge blocks of text. The more scannable your content, the better. So, try to keep paragraphs under 5-6 lines (ideally 2-3).

Hack #3: Read your writing aloud when editing. What looks good on paper doesn’t always sound good. So, by reading your content aloud, you can discover clunky phrases – and any errors will jump out to you.

Hack #4: Tell more stories. Stories connect with us emotionally and drive us to take action. Add stories into your content to prove arguments, hook readers in, explain a problem, and for whatever else you can think of. Stories are gold.

6. Use Eye-Catching Photos

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? We think so…

Eye-catching photos can do wonders for your traffic. They can make your blog more visually appealing so readers stay on your site longer, and they also make your content more shareable on social media.

In a study by Socialbakers, researches found that images on Facebook constituted 93% of the most engaging posts, compared with all other status updates.

When you combine your title with a strong image, you give it the best opportunity to generate traffic and clicks.

The best part? You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars paying for stock photos. You can use free stock photo sites like Unsplash to find hundreds of eye-catching images (without having to spend a dime).

7. Internal Linking (important!)

Internal linking refers to adding links from one page on your website to another page on your website. This can mean you’re adding links from one blog post to older posts, or from certain pages to other pages.

Most websites don’t use internal linking nearly enough. Sure, you shouldn’t overdo it with 40-50 internal links in each blog post – but there is a happy medium.

Why bother with internal linking? These types of links are useful because they help your readers navigate your website, help improve the search rank of the pages you link to, and help define the architecture and hierarchy of your website.

Here’s how you can get the most out of internal linking:

  • Create more content. The more quality content you create, the more quality content you can link to. It’s really that simple.
  • Use the right anchor text. Using our previous example: if you wanted to internally link to the “how to quit your job” blog post, you can write a sentence in another blog, like “Once you know [how to quit your job], you can start a business and travel the world.” In this case, the reader has a compelling case for clicking on the link because of both the anchor text (“how to quit your job”) and the context of the sentence. There is a clear benefit from clicking the link.
  • Link to relevant content. Don’t link for the sake of linking – always link to content that will add to your readers’ experience.
  • Don’t overdo it. Anywhere from 5-10 internal links can be used in a 1,000-word blog post. Any more than that and you’ll overdo it.

8. Conduct a Content Audit

What if you could delete and third of your content, and yet triple your website traffic? Well, that’s exactly what Todd Tresidder did.

He conducted a content audit, deleted a third of his content, and saw a massive increase in traffic.

You see, when you’ve had a website for several years, you can start running into problems like redundant and irrelevant content that no longer matches up with your message.

By conducting a content audit, you can solve these problems.

A content audit can also improve your SEO ranking. Think about it: quality is the new SEO. Google wants the best quality experience for their users, and by conducting a content audit, you signal that you’re trying to deliver the highest quality experience.

So, how do you conduct a content audit? Before we get into it, here’s what you need to do first…

Go through your entire archive of content and put it into a spreadsheet – every page and every post. Check off and categorize each one according to one of four categories:

1) Keep (good content that will stay on your site)

2) Improve (it’s on-brand, but needs updating)

3) Consolidate (for example, short content on a similar subject can be combined into a single post)

4) Remove (delete because it’s irrelevant or off-brand)

From there, use this step-by-step for conducting the content audit:

Step #1: Edit and improve the content in the “Keep” and “Improve” categories. Consider creating lead magnets for higher traffic articles.

When analyzing this content, use the following criteria:

  • Is the formatting on point?
  • Are the images SEO friendly?
  • Is the writing quality up to par?
  • Is it easy to scan and read?
  • Is the title optimized for search engines AND social media?
  • Are the affiliate links correct?
  • Are there enough internal links? Can older posts link to newer posts?

For posts that you update and consolidate, make sure to delete older comments that are no longer relevant, so as not to confuse readers.

Step #2: Consolidate the shorter, similar blogs into new blog posts.

You’ll probably have several groups of similar posts to consolidate. Once you consolidate them, you should:

1) Choose the most popular blog post of the consolidation grouping.

2) 301 redirect all of the other blog URLs of the consolidation group to the URL of the most popular blog.

(Note: A 301 redirect is a way to send users and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested. The redirect saves 90-99% of the link juice to the redirected page. Implementation of the 301 redirect depends on your web hosting – so contact your host for how to do this.)

Step #3: Delete content from the “Remove” category.

Simply delete the content you no longer see fit for your site!

Now, the content audit isn’t an easy process. But if you put in the work and actually do it, you can see some great results with your traffic numbers. So, we highly recommend giving it a shot.

 

Step 2: Crush It With Social Media


9. Share Your Content the Right Way

In terms of how to get traffic to your website, social media is the next big key. You need to make sure you share your content the right way so that you get highest increase in traffic.

Here are some tips for sharing your content so that you get the most engagement, shares, and traffic:



Tip #1: Optimize for each platform

Social media posts appear differently on different platforms. So, you need to optimize your posts so that each can be eye-catching and shareable.

For example, for Facebook, a great post constitutes the following:

  • A high quality photo (like we talked about earlier)
  • Quality description (according to a study by TrackMaven, posts with 80+ words get 2X as much engagement
  • A compelling link description underneath the photo

Do your research and learn how to optimize your posts for the other social media platforms as well, so you can get a higher amount of shares, engagement, and traffic.

Tip #2: Create a sharing schedule

How often are you sharing content on social media? That’s where a sharing schedule comes into play. This schedule helps keep you organized, so you’re not over-sharing or under-sharing your content.

Your schedule should answer the following questions:

  • Which social messages are sent immediately after publishing content? For which platforms?
  • Which messages are sent the next day?
  • Which messages are sent in a month? Two months?

With a consistent schedule, you won’t have to scramble every time you post new content. You’ll know exactly which platforms to post on and when to post.

Tip #3: Don’t be spammy

If a post doesn’t pick up steam the first time you share it, don’t try to keep reposting it the same way.

This is spammy behavior and will turn your audience away if you keep doing it.

Instead, aim for a good mix of social media content – share blog posts and videos, as well as content from other influencers, and also share other interesting and value-adding statuses.

Tip #4: Add sharing buttons to your website

Sharing your content out the right way is important – but an added bonus is if you can get your audience to share it straight from your website. To do that, you need some easy social sharing buttons.

There are plenty of free social media share buttons on WordPress. Select the one you like best, and place the share buttons directly below your articles.

Tip #5: Post during peak hours

According to Hubspot, here are the best times to post to the biggest social media platforms:

(Note: Snapchat isn’t listed here, but you should be posting throughout the day on that platform!)

  • Facebook: Weekends between 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.; Wednesdays between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Twitter: Mondays through Fridays between 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.; Wednesdays between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • LinkedIn: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Plus, Tuesdays between 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Pinterest: Evening hours everyday and 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Fridays at 5:00 p.m.; Saturdays from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
  • Instagram: Anytime Monday through Thursday, except between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

10. Dominate With Quora

Dominating with Quora is one of the best ways to become an authority in your industry and increase your website traffic.

If you haven’t used Quora yet, here’s a quick synopsis of the platform from its founder, Adam D’Angelo:

“Quora connects you to everything you want to know about. Quora aims to be the easiest place to write new content and share content from the web. We organize people and their interests so you can find, collect and share the information most valuable to you.”

The format is quite simple: People ask questions, and you post answers. And if you post good answers with relevant links back to your site, you can receive a big boost in traffic.

Here’s how can you start dominating with Quora:

1) Open a Quora account. Go to Quora.com and create an account.

2) Create and optimize Your Bio. Your bio is what people see when they click your profile. So, optimize it by adding a few sentences about yourself and your experience in your industry, as well as a link to your website.

3) Select relevant categories. Quora offers thousands of categories for you to choose from. Choose carefully, because your Quora feed will be filled with questions based on these categories. Aim to add at least 10-15 relevant categories.

4) Search for great questions. This is key. The better the question, the better the chance your answer will go viral and bring you thousands and thousands of visitors. What constitutes a great question? Look for the following:

  • Correct grammar
  • Nice formatting (i.e. bold, italics, etc. Not just a giant block of hard-to-read text)
  • Relevance to your industry
  • Are fairly new (don’t have any great answers yet)

5) Post strong answers. You must follow up those great questions with strong answers of your own. Here’s how you can write a strong Quora answer:

  • Use the first few lines to hook them in. Users can only see the first 3-4 lines in their feed, so you need to hook them from the beginning so they’ll click on your answer.
  • Tell stories. Some of the best Quora answers contain personal stories of beating obstacles and figuring out problems
  • Use correct grammar and formatting. If your answer isn’t scannable and easy to read, users probably won’t bother reading it.
  • Add relevant links back to your site. Throughout your answer, sprinkle a few relevant links back to your website. The more relevant they are to the question, the more clicks and traffic they will generate. You can also end your answers with a link to your lead magnet, concluding with something like: “Want to know more about how to start a business? Check out my free checklist with 10 steps for starting your first business!” and link to the lead magnet (in this example, the checklist).

Used right, Quora can be a powerful traffic generator for your website. And unlike most other social media, a viral Quora answer can generate steady traffic to your website for a year or more. So, make sure not to overlook this platform.

11. Post and Promote on Reddit!

Reddit is another powerful, yet underused social media platform that can increase website traffic. If you can find where your audience hangs out on Reddit, and deliver the right content, you can generate tens of thousands of visits literally overnight.

(That’s right – you don’t have to hit the Reddit front page to make a big impact!)

So, how do you find your customers on Reddit and promote your content the right way?

Use this 2-step strategy:

Step #1: Find Your Relevant Subreddits

1) Once you go to Reddit.com, use the search box in the top right hand corner of the screen.

2) Search for a relevant keyword and hit “enter”.

3) From here, you’ll find a list of subreddits related to the keyword. Skim through each one and subscribe to those you think are a good match.

4) Repeat this process for the most relevant keywords related to your business.

Got it? These will be your target subreddits. These are the places your audience hangs out on Reddit.

Step #2: Post and Add Value

Once you know your target subreddits, it’s time to start posting.

(Note: before you post in a subreddit, make sure to look at the posting rules for that subreddit on the right sidebar.)

You should include a few elements in your posting strategy:

1) Answers questions and respond to comments in popular threads. This will build your reputation.

2) Post a link to one article per week in the most relevant subreddit (if you can get 100-200+ upvotes on the link, you can expect upwards of 2,000-3,000 visits depending on the subreddit)

3) Always focus on adding value. Balance your links with good advice so you don’t appear spammy.

4) Mix it up. Don’t just submit links to Reddit. Switch it up and add text versions of your blog posts or advice, then, add a link to your post at the end.

5) Post at the right time. Let’s say you want to post in the r/Entrepreneur/ subreddit, but there’s already a post in the #1 spot with 200 upvotes, and it was posted 4 hours ago. If you post then, you probably won’t overtake that #1 spot, and you’ll get less traffic. However, if you wait a day, check back, and see that the new #1 spot only has 12-15 upvotes, then you have a golden opportunity. It will be much easier for you to hit the #1 spot and get hundreds of upvotes.

 

Step 3: Content Outreach


12. Use Republishing to Get Featured on Large Websites

Your website and social media are optimized, but you still need the final step: get your content in front of new audiences.

One of the best ways to do that is to get your content republished on large publications. This is ideal because you won’t have to spend hours writing tons of guest posts every month – and you can also get the link juice from large publications with high rankings.

Now, you may have heard the myth that republishing is bad for SEO. However, Matt Cutts, Google’s “Head of webspam” dispelled this myth. In reference to republishing content, he said, “I wouldn’t stress about this unless the content that you have duplicated is spammy or keyword stuffing.”

So, you’re in the clear here.

As for how to get your content republished on larger publications, it’s a simple process:

Step #1: Find large publications in your industry that republish content.

Large publications have huge content needs. So, if they allow republishing, and you have good, relevant content, then you’ve got a good shot.

With a simple search through their “contribute,” “write for us,” or “guest posting” page, you can see if they allow republished content.

So, find 5-10 large publications in your industry and start this process.

Here are a few publications that republish content to get you started:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Huffington Post
  • The Next Web
  • Lifehacker
  • The Verge

Step #2: Choose relevant content for the publication

What type of tone, style, and content is the publication looking for? Which one of your content pieces matches up with this tone, style, and content?

If you don’t have any content that matches up exactly, you can tweak it to make it a better fit.

Step #3: Pitch the Publication

Your pitch is key. It’s best practice to submit an original piece of content first, so you get your foot in the door before pitching content from your site.

So, you should always be networking and trying to connect with influencers. The more influencers and connections you have, the easier it will be to get published on the larger publications.

As for the actual pitch, here’s how to do it right:

  • Craft a strong subject line
  • Make sure to pitch the right editor
  • A reference to a personal connection (if possible)
  • A quick explanation of how your content will add value to their audience
  • A link to the content (or a Word doc)

Step #4: Prepare your content

Once your pitch is accepted, you need to prepare your content for republishing. Here’s a process you can follow:

  • Review and follow the site’s publishing guidelines
  • Aim to include 3-4 backlinks to your blog posts, as well as a bio with a link to a lead magnet (if you have one)
  • Change the title (so Google doesn’t get confused when ranking the posts)

With this strategy, you can get 3-4+ posts a month republished, without much extra work on your part. And these can bring you a ton of traffic.

13. Get More Guest Posts With This Outreach Strategy

It’s nice to get your content republished, but you should still write 2-3 guest posts a month (or more, if possible). Guest posting helps improve your SEO rank, and it also introduces your content to new audiences.

Now, when it comes to guest posting, the outreach email is very important. But we have an outreach strategy that works well, and we recommend you try it out.

Here’s the basic format:

1) Introduce yourself and explain that you’re a huge fan of their work. Reference something you learned from a specific blog post, ideally one that is a few months old.

2) Explain aside from thanking them for the awesome content, you’re also reaching out because you’re interested in writing a guest post for them. Tell them you have 4 ideas you think their audience would love based on some of their most popular articles.

3) From here, go to Buzzsumo and type in their URL. Then, take a screenshot of their top results. Here’s an example below using Entrepreneur.com:

Results from buzzsumo

4) Send 4 related guest post ideas that are somewhat related to these most shared topics on Buzzsumo (include the title and a 1 sentence explanation for each idea).

5) Explain that you know they’re busy, and that you can write everything up and sent it in one Word document. Also explain that you’ll handle all the editing as well, so it’s all super easy for them.

6) Close it out by promising that it will be engaging content that their audience will love, and asking, “What do you think?”

7) Sign off with your name and website URL

That’s it! That’s all it takes to get more traffic.

You no longer have to wonder about how to increase website traffic.

If you take action and use this proven system, you will get more traffic to your website – and that traffic will stick around for the long haul.

To recap, here is the three-step system:

Step #1: Optimize Your Website Content

Step #2: Crush It With Social Media

Step #3: Master Content Outreach

Interested in getting your visitors back to your website? Build an email list. Here are couple of well-known email marketing software that I recommend using.

You now have all the action steps. So, start putting this system to work and take your website to the next level.

7 Website Analyzer Optimization Tools for Webmasters





SEMrush

The most important rule for web development is always to seek improvements (optimizations), and there’s no better way to accomplish this than to use analysis tools. Keep in mind that no website is already successful in the first build. As a webmaster, you need time to monitor a site’s performance and identify weaknesses that can be improved. Moreover, with the right tools, you can significantly cut the time it takes to gather data and execute optimization. Without further ado, below are seven website analysis/optimization tools that any webmaster can use:



1. SEO Analyzer

neil-patel
Useful for: Obtaining a full performance report on any website within seconds

SEO Analyzer is a lightweight, web-based analysis tool that can give you a full report on your site’s performance in an instant. All you need to do is to enter your website’s URL and hit the big orange “Analyze” button.

Aside from useful insights on your websites’ SEO, content marketing strategy, and competition, you also get free recommendations on how to improve your SEO and page loading speed. You can also download the report in PDF format so you can easily share your findings with your team.

2. Pingdom Website Speed Test

pingdom
Useful for: Quickly identifying website issues that affect loading speed



Your website’s loading speed directly affects user experience and, in turn, conversions. To look for possible bottlenecks that slow your site down, only go to Pingdom Website Speed Test, enter your website’s URL, choose your target audience’s location, and press “Start Test.” Right off the bat, you get a quick analysis of your website’s speed and how it compares with other tested sites.

However, the main advantage of using Pingdom is the comprehensive list of performance factors along with actionable recommendations on how to improve them. You can even view how long it takes to load every single file on your website.

3. Google Mobile-Friendly Test

google
Useful for: Seeing how your site performs on mobile devices

Making sure your site looks and performs just as good in smaller screens is essential, in particular with the ongoing rise of the mobile industry. With Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, you are given a straight answer to whether or not your site can deliver a good experience to mobile users.

4. Google Search Console

 

google-webmasters-support-learn-connect-search-console-google-2016-11-14-11-37-48
Useful for: Keeping track of all your websites in a single location

In Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, you have the option to link your Google Search Console account so you can test multiple sites at once. Apart from that, Google Search Console can also provide you with a thorough SEO analysis for all of your websites.



You can also use the “Fetch as Google” feature to manually update the indexed versions of your site. This is useful if you recently made changes such as new title tags, fresh content, and so on. Just remember that you have to go through the verification process first to prove your ownership of the websites you wish to track.

5. Netpeak Spider

netpeak
Useful for: Directly observing how web crawlers navigate through your site

Netpeak Spider is a desktop app that simulates how search engine crawlers navigate your website. One of its primary purposes is to identify issues that can prevent search engines from discovering or indexing specific pages – from missing headers to connection errors.

It is worth noting that you can get Netpeak Spider with Netpeak Checker, which is a website analysis platform that aggregates data from SEO services like Alexa, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Serpstat, and social networks. Doing so allows you to unify your SEO efforts in a single service.

6. LinkResearchTools

linkresearch
Useful for: Outperforming your competition in the link-building aspect

Modern SEO revolves around building quality backlinks. Surprisingly, a lot of online marketers and site owners are still unsure of how link building works. With LinkResearchTools, you can quickly identify what works and what doesn’t in your link-building strategy.

Remember that LinkResearchTools is not just a single app; it is a suite of tools that can help you with every facet of link-building. You can conduct competitive analysis, monitor the creation or deletion of backlinks, remove bad links that drive your rankings down, and so much more.

7. Google Analytics

ga
Useful for: Collecting raw performance data

You cannot have an analysis tool list without including Google Analytics – one of the most comprehensive, free tools out there for measuring raw site performance. It can help you track the average session duration, bounce rate, the volume of traffic, conversion rate, and so on. In addition to in-depth data, Google Analytics also provides explainer videos that can help you understand what you’re seeing.

Conclusion

Analyzing and optimizing your website’s performance are crucial to online success. With the tools above, you can have all the data you need for better decision-making.

8 Free Online SEO Tools for Webmasters





SEMrush



There are some great tools available to help webmasters with their SEO. Unfortunately. Many tools require subscriptions and paying for them all can very expensive. However, there are also quite a lot of free tools available and many of the subscription services do offer valuable free tools as well. In this post, we’ll look at 8 of the most helpful and free SEO tools available.

 

1. Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed
The speed of your website is an important SEO ranking factor. The faster your website, the better chance it has of ranking higher. Faster websites also retain users longer and have superior conversion rates.

You can easily check the loading speed of your site on desktop and mobile devices by using the free Google PageSpeed Insights Tool. Simply type in your URL and the tool will measure the loading time and performance of your site. The results give you a mark out of a hundred for each device, identify the things which slow your loading time and present you with a list of useful suggestions to make your site even faster.

 

2. Keywordtool.io

Keywordtool

When it comes to SEO, getting the right keywords is vital if you want your site to rank for the right searches. Keywordtool.io is a very useful little tool that provides you with up to 750 keyword ideas based on a single keyword.



All you have to do is enter a keyword, such as ‘men’s shoes’ in the example above, and the tool will provide you with a detailed list of keywords and long-tail keywords to help you rank higher.

What’s particularly useful about this tool is that it finds keywords for particular types of searches. So, if you are looking for keywords that will do well on Google, you can narrow that down to find the best keywords for Google.co.uk. You can also search for the best keywords to use on a range of other sites such as Bing, Amazon, YouTube and the iTunes app store (each of these can be filtered by country too).

 

3. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics
remains one of the most powerful free tools at the fingertips of any webmaster, giving you a complete oversight of the traffic you get to your site. There’s pretty much everything you need to help you understand how well your site is performing and where its weaknesses lie.

Find out where your traffic comes from (location, device used and source), where they land, how long they stay, how they move from page to page, and which pages they exit from. You can track movement and dropout rates from landing pages to checkout pages and even set up goals to measure conversions and other events. Using Google Analytics is a no-brainer – there’s nothing else which is free that has anywhere near the capabilities.

 

4. Google Search Console

Google Search Console

In conjunction with Google Analytics, you should also use Google Search Console, the webmaster tools it provides gives you highly detailed website analysis as well as important alerts and error reports.

Google Search Console enables you to understand how well your site is indexed and whether there are any problems that prevent your pages being found; it gives you vital information about whether your site has been given a manual penalty, and provides a wide range of useful information including letting you know what search terms you rank for, what your rank is for each search term and your click through rates for those terms. Also useful for SEO, it shows you which other sites link to yours.

 

5. Google Trends

Google Trends



Another excellent free tool from Google is Google Trends. This tool lets you compare up to four search terms to analyse changes in their search volumes over time. You can analyse over different periods of time, by location and by a range of other factors, too.

Google trends can give you very powerful insights. If you were thinking of selling a new product and noticed that, year by year, the number of searches were getting smaller, then it would be a clear indication that the product’s popularity was on the decline. It can also throw up some surprising results. Looking at the image above, it’s obvious that far more men in the UK go shopping for shoes online than women. It also shows that they key term ‘kids shoes’ is searched for much more than ‘children’s shoes’ – all very helpful information to have for online businesses.

 

6. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb

Sussing out the competition is an important SEO strategy for any online business. Some companies pay hundreds of pounds per month to use the powerful, in-depth competitor analysis tools that are available. If you are looking for a free tool, then SimilarWeb can be very useful.

Although you need the pro version to use all its features, the free tool let lets you compare two different websites at the same time, giving you detailed information about their ranking, traffic numbers and sources as well as various other insights into their analytics.

 

7. Find Broken Links

Find Broken Links
Having broken links on your website can affect your ranking because by sending users to error pages you are offering a poor user experience, which neither search engines or visitors like. Links to internal pages or external websites can be broken if content is removed or the URL is changed.

Manually, it would be difficult to keep track of external links and sometimes it’s not easy to remember all the internal links on your own website (links in images tend to be the main source of broken links). However, the Find Broken Links tool can find them for you automatically.

All you have to do is type in the name of your homepage and leave it to run. It will crawl your entire site and provide you with a detailed list of every broken link it finds. You’ll then need to remove the broken links or replace them with working URLs.

 

8. Copyscape

Copyscape

Search engines have a serious dislike for duplicate content, so if another website has identical content to you, it may affect how well you rank. This is particularly important for eCommerce companies and bloggers.

eCommerce companies who simply cut and paste the product descriptions supplied from manufacturers may find that there are thousands of other websites with the same, word for word, content on their pages.

For bloggers, the problem is that content can be stolen. Another website wanting content on a subject you have written about can just copy it from your website onto theirs. It happens all the time.

Copyscape is an excellent tool for checking content duplication. Enter a URL for your website or blog and Copyscape will show you if the same content is found elsewhere.

 

Conclusion

As you can see from reading this post, there are many useful, free to use SEO tools for webmasters. They can help with everything from website analytics, to keyword research to finding duplicate content. Hopefully, there will be tools here which will be of benefit to you.

Best Keyword Research Tools For SEO: 2018/2019 Edition





SEMrush



The basic foundation of SEO is keyword research.

Afterward, other factors like on-page optimization, quality of content, a good site UI, and some other factors come into the picture.

Many companies invest thousands of dollars to pay for keyword research to get such targeted content.

But you don’t need to do that. Just follow this guide…

The keywords you choose to focus on for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are critical to the success of your website’s rank.

Choosing the right keywords isn’t always easy or intuitive and you need a lot of data to know whether a given keyword will work for you.

If you are completely new to keyword research tools and the process of keyword research, here are some guides from the past which will help you understand the basics:

• Importance of Keywords in SEO

• Keyword Research for Beginner’s Using the Google Keyword Planner Tool

So now you know the basics of keyword research and you have an understanding of how valuable it can be.

Fortunately, there are many tools available that can help you figure out which keywords work the best for your overall web strategy. There are mostly two types of Keyword research tool:

 

1 Basic Keyword research: Use the seed Keyword to find profitable Keywords

2 Competitor based Keyword research: Find proven keywords which are helping other sites to drive traffic.

Personally, I find Competitor based Keyword research to be more effective as the purpose of the Keyword research is to find profitable Keywords. What could be more profitable than something which is already working for someone?

All you need to do after that is to create a page targeting that profitable keyword & reap the benefit of keyword research.

In this exclusive guide, I have covered both the type of Keywords. Most of these keyword research tools are paid and only a few of them are free.

Here are the list of tools listed below:

1Google Keyword planner

2SEMRUSH  (Have given a link below to try SEMRUSH worth $199)

3Ahrefs (Offers 7 days trial for $7)

4LongTailPro

5KWFinder (Have free plan as well)



6SpyFU

7WordTracker

8SERPStat

Best Keyword Research Tools: 2018 edition

1. Google Keyword Planner <Free>

The Google Keyword Planner tool is one of the most used and popular keyword research tools out there.

The only reason for it being so popular is it’s free and is directly integrated with Google AdWords.

To start using this tool you need to have an AdWords account (which you can create one for free).

• Features: The biggest feature of the Keyword Planner tool is the deep information it offers on Google (the largest search engine).

• Limitations: In some ways, that’s also a limitation. If you want to know how your site or a given keyword is doing on other search engines, you won’t get it here.

• Pricing: Free to use.

The Keyword Planner tool is a good, basic tool for the early stages of a website’s SEO.

This my favorite free tool, but if you need more detailed and competitive analysis, I would recommend going for one of the advanced tools that I have listed below.

Check out the Google AdWords Keyword Planner here

2. SEMRUSH <14-Day Free Trial (worth $199)

“What is the easiest keyword research tool for a blogger?”

The answer:

• SEMRUSH

SEMRUSH is not a typical keyword research tool; it offers so much more than just researching keywords.

Unlike other tools where you need to add seed keywords to start your research, here you just need to add your URL (or your competitor’s URL) and it will show you all of the keywords that are ranking for that site.

This makes it easier for you to find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can target and beat out your competition.

You can get in-depth details on:

• Traffic stats

• Search engine reports

Adsense CPC

• and so many other details that you need in properly managing an SEO campaign.

This is a highly recommended product.

• You can read a detailed review of SEMRUSH here.

Download a 14-day (completely free) trial of SEMRUSH here

3. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool

Ahrefs is one of the most popular keyword tool out there. What I really like about them is extensive detail including the keyword difficulty. Ahrefs uses clickstream data to also show how many clicks you will get from the search engine. This is very useful after knowledge graph integration, as many keywords may have huge traffic but they hardly get any clicks from search engine. Reason being, they get answers directly from the Google search result. Example of one such query is: “birthdate of any celebrity”



Another thing which makes Ahrefs Keyword research tool stand out is the great UI & the amount of data they provide. You can also create a list of keywords to target directly from Ahrefs dashboard. You don’t need to use excel & this is a huge time saving.

Take 7 days trial of Ahrefs for $7

4. LongTailPro <$30 Discount>

LongTailPro is a cloud based software for keyword research and one of the most popular in this list.

This is a paid keyword research tool which will help you find amazing keywords for your niche/micro-niche sites. With their “platinum” version, you can get a really amazing and really detailed keyword analysis feature.

They also have a competition checker, which will make it easier for you to pick the right keyword.

You can see a detailed review of LongTailPro here.

Get $30 off of LongTailPro here

5. KW finder: 

If you are looking for one tool which is completely dedicated to Keyword research only, KWFinder is your best bet. They are new in the market yet they are one of the fastest growing SEO tool company.

KWFinder helps you get the Keyword that will help you drive highly targeted traffic. Using Questions based Keyword research option you can quickly find long tail keywords that are related to problem solving. It’s no brainer that problem solving content helps us get more targeted traffic & conversion.

KWFinder offers both free & paid plans. For most of the users basic plan is the best. However do use the free account to see the effectiveness of KWFinder keyword research app.

Visit KWFinder

6. SpyFu

SpyFu is one of the best SEO optimization software products on the market. It’s especially useful if you’re trying to analyze and stay ahead of the competition in a tight niche.

Here’s what you need to know about this one:

• Uses: SpyFu is highly useful for two important reasons.

1 Understanding your competition’s SEO platform.

2 Discovering under-served, un-tapped, or emerging markets.

• Features: SpyFu also has several modules.

Compare Websites module

Keyword History module

Domain History module

Related Keywords module

• Limitations: This program doesn’t have the depth of keywords that some competitors do, although this is changing. Also, the data for SpyFu is monthly, rather than real-time.

• Pricing: SpyFu offers two basic pricing plans as well as an “Agency” plan.

◦ The basic plans are $79 and $99 per month (with a discount of more than 40% if you buy a one year term).

◦ The “Agency” pricing is $999 per month.

SpyFu is a solid SEO product.

It’s useful if you want to check up on the competition as well as find new areas in which to market.

Check out SpyFu here

7. WordTracker

WordTracker is used by small businesses to research keywords, build new links, and develop a strategic SEO platform.

• Uses: The three main tools in WordTracker are the-

Keyword Tool (which helps you research keywords)

Link Builder (which identifies inbound link prospects)

Strategizer (which takes a step back and looks at your entire SEO ranking strategy).

• Features: There are some features that are really cool here.

◦ The Link Builder tool is unique to WordTracker and are not found on any of the products on this list.

◦ The Strategizer gives you a kind of bird’s-eye view that you won’t get anywhere else.

• Limitations: WordTracker often gives fewer results than other services and the interface isn’t particularly intuitive.

• Pricing: WordTracker includes a 30-day free trial.

◦ Monthly pricing is $69 per month.

◦ Subscribe to a full year at $449.

Check out WordTracker here

I would not recommend you pick up all of the tools listed above, but instead stick to one or two and get used to its system.

If you have been using the Google Keyword Planner tool for a while, you have a good basis for getting started with any of the paid and professional tools listed here.  Take a look at some of these tools and decide which works bestfor your business strategy.

My recommendations:

• If you are looking for an easy, yet a great solution, go for SEMRUSH.

• If you are researching keywords for micro-niche sites, use Ahrefs

Whatever you choose, use these tools to supercharge your SEO.