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Targeted Traffic Building

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) has been with us for as long as search engines have been with us -for decades now, and they've come a very long way in those decades.

I remember a time when search engine marketing was repeating the same keyword more than your competition, while simultaneously trying to keep a page "user-friendly".

Thankfully, those days are gone and now people can actually get way closer to what they're trying to find without delving into the multi-paginated depths of keyword spam.

Search Engine Optimization Has Changed, or Has it?

The spam, like I was talking about above, is mostly gone, but what has really changed?

I remember the link spam days too.  The days where rampant blog comment spam actually worked, asking for links from anywhere was a good thing to do, and any link, especially free links were good links.

That’s not really true these days, in fact, some links can actually count against you.  So, that’s one thing that is pretty different than “the good old days”.

I have to say, being able to throw together a spammy little site and have it rank in a week as the number 1 result for whatever you wanted was a lot of fun, but it did little for those legitimately trying to solve a problem or learn something.

Suffice it to say, I like the fact that those days aren’t here anymore too.

All that aside, links still play a vital role in site ranking.  Links are still one of the best ways to determine the value of a site, or what a site is about.

All the algorithm based search engines still value links highly, however, unlike the past, there are links that can hurt you.  That’s been the case for a while now, and some people get really paranoid about it.

Search Engines are Not the Only Game in Town Anymore

Here’s something else that is vitally different today than it was in the past.

Once upon a time, getting ranked in Yahoo or MS (Bing), was cool, but the “holy grail” of ranking was getting to the number one (1) position on Google.

The number 1 position could be the difference of $15,000 a month and $1,000 a month for position two, three or four.

That means that your little business would live or die by the thrashing of Google.

If Google were to go through one of its so-called dances, you’d wait with baited breath to see if you were going to live or die, in many cases, literally.

Don’t get me wrong, even though Google doesn’t really “dance” anymore like it used to, they can still eliminate you with a flip of an algorithmic switch.

What’s awesome is that SEO and SEM is no longer the only game in town.  Like your finances, diversifying is a must.  Diversifying on the Internet is a matter of survival.

Enter the Social Networks

Social networks are excellent sources of traffic all by themselves.  They augment Google very well, in fact, they have so much clout today they actually influence the ranking of sites in search engine results.

But that’s not the point, where that helps a great deal, the point is the targeted traffic from a top performing social campaign.

Sure, if Google drops your site for whatever reason, you’ll likely suffer.  But if you have targeted traffic coming from:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Stumbleupon
  • Tumbler
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • And many others

…then you aren’t dead.  In fact, you can even go full bore on social to help augment the lost results of Google traffic!

Then, when Google comes to their senses, which they always seem to do, you’ll be in an even better position!

Kind of crazy, isn’t it?

A Strategy Consists of Many Things, Just Don’t Do Them All at Once!

Today a viable strategy for marketing sites, setting up the plumbing for traffic, and mining data is a combined effort requiring proficiency across multiple disciplines.

As you gain insight into the finer points, you’ll undoubtedly start to feel overwhelmed at the sheer volume of the technologies, services, and tools at your disposal.

Just remember, you don’t have to know everything.  Also, a single person can eat an elephant all by themselves.  They just have to do it one bite at a time, over the course of many days.

Eating this proverbial elephant is no different.

My advice to you is to focus on getting your site up and write almost every day.  Write in a helpful way, a way that is going to be useful or at least entertaining to people that care about your subject.

The One Main Success Secret You Must Always Remember

All of the topics that you will go through, all the time you spend trying to influence the results of systems that already exist will not help you if you don’t remember, and practice, this one thing:

Write for people!

That’s it.  That’s the REAL secret.  If you are:

  • Writing to make a sale
  • Writing to try to win over search engines
  • Or writing just to write, hoping someday you’ll get lucky and stumble into the photonic lottery

…then you aren’t going to do well.

However, if you are writing because you believe in something and writing because you are trying to actually help or amuse people, then everything else WILL fall into place eventually.

Social platforms will love you because people are sharing your stuff.  Search engines will like you for the same reason, and because you are useful and relevant, of course.

Your readers will love you because you provide them with something that is worthwhile and what they were looking for.

The point is, even if “Google doesn’t like you” …persist.

If you can’t make friends on Facebook …persist.

If you don’t understand how Pinterest works …persist.

If you don’t get why nobody will retweet your tweets on Twitter …persist.

If you aren’t getting any traffic at all …persist.

Because if you are writing good content, with interesting and original material, when people do finally begin to discover you, and they will, then it’s all going to happen at once, and you'll be ready for it!

Wikipedia Wasn’t Built in a Day

And your site won’t be either.  It takes time people, so keep going, but do it right!

I see people that pop their cyber-cherry, throw up some chintzy little site, and expect thousands to come in the very next week or month; and they are disappointed when it doesn’t happen!?

That’s like turning 18 years old, running out and buying a single lottery ticket, and being pissed off when you don’t win.

You haven’t "paid the piper" yet.  You have some learning to do first.  You have some dues to pay.

Expect that you are going to be in "learning mode" for about a year… and that’s if you stick to it consistently practically every day!

Figure the first 500 hours are going to be you "learning the ropes".  Figuring out how to write, and what to write about.  Getting yourself into the habit of writing and researching.

Just to put things in perspective, 500 hours is about 42 (of the 52) Saturdays and Sundays, devoting 6 hours each day, for a year.

That means that if you are only working weekends, then that's fine, but it's going to likely take you a year to get any traction at all!

Figure that it’s going to take about 1,500 hours to get things right more than you get them wrong.

It’s going to take 3,000 hours spent to get to the point where you can assess the value of something with regard to its ability to drive traffic, convert, and perform just by looking at it or listening to someone pitch it.

It’s going to take 6,000 hours spent to get to where you are truly proficient and can realistically utter the words, “I think I know what I’m doing”.

It’s going to take 10,000 hours spent to hit guru status, someone that your peers think, “he or she knows what he or she is doing”.

The good news is that what comes after 3,000 hours is just "gravy" because, by the time you hit that point, you're likely making some pretty good revenue.

You might be able to do all that in less time, or it might take you more time.  But those are real expectations, get used to it!

If you aren’t willing to put in that kind of time (at least 3,000 hours), then you aren’t serious about making a living online.  That's a simple truth!

That said, you can put in a much smaller amount of time if all you are doing is looking for a little extra spending money or a hobby.  And that’s perfectly OK.

The Internet is the great equalizer.  You can do almost anything you want, and sooner or later you will develop a following.

If all you want to do is make 100 bucks a month, you can do that pretty easily, but it's still going to take time.

Here's Secret Number Two, and this is Huge!

Learning a skill for a job will take a similar amount of time, that's just a fact and has been proven throughout history.

But what follows is the difference between building an online business and learning a skill that you would use to get a job.

When you spend 3,000 hours learning a skill to get a job, you've likely earned very little and you've simply spent 3,000+ hours, and you have nothing to show for it other than your "mad skills" and likely debt.

BUT!  When you're building an online "empire", every action you take can be permanent!

Every article you write, every title you tweak, and every site you create works for you not only at the time you do it, but it continues to work for you for as long as it's available online.

In fact, often you'll find that when you write something, it will do poorly for months, and then suddenly take off 3 to 6 months later!

So what I'm saying is; when you are building content and tools for people online, the time you spend is cumulative, and can actually cause your investment in time to have compound returns!

Whereas, if you are simply learning a skill to get a job, you may profit eventually, but that time is pretty well burned up, never to yield any dividends in the future unless you keep applying it by getting up every day to go to your job.

Let me put it like this:  Would you rather spend one hour and get a little smarter.  Or spend one hour getting smarter while putting something online that will continue to pay you for weeks, months, years or even decades?

Get it?

The Latest Information in this Category

Below (and in the sub-menu above under "Search, Social, and Tools") you will find more information on the topic of:

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization
  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing
  • PPC – Pay Per Click
  • Social Networks
  • Social Marketing
  • Generating and Driving Traffic from any source
  • Tools of the trade for search, social, analytics and site management
  • And basically, anything else that I think fits here more than any place else

Please Share and/or Comment

Oh, and before you run off, take a minute and scroll all the way to the bottom of this page to leave me a comment, about anything really.  I don’t care if it's just a, “hi, how are you doing” type comment, I want to hear from you!

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10 thoughts on “Targeted Traffic Building

  1. Dinh

    Good point about social media as a backup for traffic.
    Most of my traffic is from free organic searches and social media is the other chunk. I agree with you that using social media to ramp it up is good idea.

    And yeah, don't expect things to happen overnight right away. 🙂

    Reply
    1. James

      Organic traffic from searches is like mana from heaven, there's definitely nothing like it. I mean, how do you beat free (hopefully qualified) traffic?

      But like I was saying, social media is a great way to overcome the dependency that once was mandatory.

      Thanks for commenting Dinh!

      Reply
  2. Helder

    Great informative post. I like how you covered all the topics and described everything in plain English - very easy to understand from an outsider's perspective. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. James

      I appreciate the compliment, Helder. I try to keep things as simple as possible. So many sites tend to spew technobabble and my aim is to only get as complicated as is necessary so that even members of my audience that are neophytes can grow.

      Reply
  3. Julie

    I LOVE this article! I recently became involved with a program, and frankly, I am nervous. I love to write, so I've got that going for me. And, I'm pretty good at it, if the grades I got on my papers I wrote during my college years indicate anything. I think the more you enjoy what you're doing, the better at it you'll be. So hopefully this will help me build my writing skills - and as you say, the more you do it, the better you'll get. I really needed the "nudge" you gave in saying that this is not going to happen overnight. I need to really commit to it, put the required effort in and make this work! You really provided some inspiration for me, so thank you!

    Reply
    1. James

      You're very welcome Julie! I'm thrilled that I was able to inspire you.

      It's true, very few things come to us instantly and without work. It's a blessing when they do, but in my experience, everything worth anything takes time and effort.

      I've been a developer for about 30 years now, and I'm pretty good at it if you don't mind a little "horn tooting". In fact, I'm so good at it that I am typically the resource that people go to whenever there is something particularly difficult.

      However, I didn't get to that point my first year, or even my fifth. It took a long time to get to the level that I am and I think I can safely say that I'm an expert in my field.

      Other pursuits, like writing, I have less time invested. I do fine, but there's much room for improvement. I can tell you this; when you finally achieve a level where you are approaching proficiency in something, and you hit that "groove" that we all naturally fall into, that feeling ...well it's like nothing else in the world. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Furkan

    You are absolutely right about Google. There can be changes even a day later. However which social media platform is “better”? I always hear that Facebook offers amazing opportunity with their ads. Do you have any experience or info about it? If you can share, that will be really nice.

    Reply
    1. James

      Hi, Furkan! That's a great question and one that I'll be publishing an entire series on in the near future. So I would recommend making certain you come back and check often. I'll likely post the first in the series at the beginning or the middle of next month.

      For now, I will give you a broad answer.

      As in all things, it depends. Some sites are better served by Facebook, others by Google Plus, still others by Instagram and Pinterest.

      If you have videos and a lot of pictures, then Instagram and Pinterest are definitely your friends. Twitter is a great platform for instant and broad reach. Facebook is also great for immediate gratification, assuming you have a network in place. But Facebook also is great for longer term exposure.

      One social platform that (again, depending on your network) can give you a good deal of instant gratification is Google Plus. As a bonus, it's also great for long term exposure and long-term organic results. Putting time into getting not only your site some authority but also your Plus account is always a good investment.

      One platform that is arguably less social, but can get you some great instant traffic is Stumbleupon, but it's got its own idiosyncrasies when it comes to being successful.

      Reddit is absolutely awesome, and it always amazes me how many people tend to steer clear of it. Probably because it's not for the faint of heart, and if you don't know the etiquette expected, your efforts there can be really frustrating and short-lived.

      Anyway, I know it's probably not the detailed answer you were looking for, but when I start to get the series going I'll come back and update this comment with some links.

      Thanks for the questions!

      Reply
  5. Janakhan

    Great article on SEO, social networks, and what to expect from an online business.

    I completely agree with you. I am grateful all that spammy stuff is all gone now and has paved a way for serious bloggers who are putting out real solid content and building up their websites the right way.
    Google CAN BE very unpredictable.

    I guess in a way, their updates help the real bloggers who are putting out solid content and breaking the people putting up fluff stuff just to get traffic to click on their ads.

    I have been utilizing social networks right from the get go.

    Diversifying your efforts to get your content out is the smartest thing to do and you outline that very clearly in your article. You are definitely passing the right information along to us readers!

    WRITE FOR PEOPLE! Couldn't agree with you more. Identify who your end user is going to be and write for their enjoyment and benefit. This trumps any spammy moves and even backlinking and what not. Why?

    Because if you are getting the right people to your site and they are enjoying your work, you will have organic sharing through social networks, mentions from other blogs with links, etc.

    Persistence is key and the lifeline, not only in business, but in life itself! Love it that this was outlined in the article.

    The hours needed to get where we need to is very sound and realistic. Thanks for putting it out like that. Made me realize how much work is ahead and i look forward to it!

    I love how you outlined "building an online empire, every action you take can be permanent." That is so true and you just can't get that at most regular day jobs.

    VERY INFORMATIVE article you have here my friend. Thanks for all the knowledge. I will be applying some of your words in my work.

    Keep up the great work!

    Janakhan

    Reply
    1. James

      You know what? I'm typically a fairly verbose person, so normally I would expound on what you said, but you said it so well ...I think I'll simply say:

      Thank you for the compliments and such an insightful comment.

      Reply

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