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Seven iron-clad methods to drive traffic to your website

You’ve written and published an awesome blog post, and now you’re waiting for that website traffic to start pouring in?

Well, I hope you’re comfortable because it’s going to be quite a wait.

While the benefits of content marketing are well-known, they are well-known to everyone. Blog posts, case studies, and white papers are published left and right (four million pieces each and every day, actually) so getting through the clutter can be difficult.

How do you get noticed in such an oversaturated environment? You master these two important skills:

  • Writing educational, engaging, and timely content, and
  • By working hard on driving traffic to your website.

I’ll assume that you know how to write engaging content (if you don’t, this article could help you) and focus here on seven methods of driving traffic to your website.

Some are conventional (like social media and email) but it’s the unconventional ones that I hope you will put to good use. Ultimately, it’s a mix of both that will help you generate a steady stream of website traffic, and I hope that you’ll find some of the ideas here inspirational enough to try them out.

Conventional methods to drive website traffic

1. Organic Traffic (SEO)

Organic search engine traffic is the Holy Grail of website traffic.

Most authority sites in your niche get the bulk of their visits from organic Google searches but this is an important traffic channel for every type of website (see screenshot below – 12% traffic from organic is nothing to be scoffed at for an ecommerce store).

Here are a couple of evergreen tips for you to keep in mind when writing content and doing SEO for your website:

  • Keyword research – Spend some time learning how people search for content in your niche. Identify keywords that you have a chance to rank for (long-tail keywords with low competition, for example), and write content around them.
  • On-page and technical SEO – Work on your headings, keyword density, meta descriptions, load times, and similar. Most importantly, make your content engaging, informative, and fun to read. For more on on-page SEO, check out this guide that we published recently.
  • Backlinks – Backlinks are the votes that other websites cast that tell Google that your content is worthy of that top spot in the search engine results pages (SERPs). They can occur naturally but you don’t want to depend on it – make sure you have a couple of backlinking strategies up your sleeve whenever you publish a really good piece of content.

2. Promotion on social media platforms

Social media is dominating the web, and if you’re not there promoting your content and your website, you’re missing out on a very important source of website traffic.

Depending on your niche, you’ll want to consider (at least) making an appearance on the following social media platforms:

  • Facebook – Set up your Facebook business page as soon as possible, and start working on growing your base of followers. Regularly publish your content here but make sure to cross-post to other relevant groups and pages on Facebook. Check out this post for more tips on how to get the most out of your Facebook business page.
  • Instagram – To interest your Instagram audience, you will need to become a visual storyteller (think infographics and beautifully designed images). Since Instagram doesn’t allow links, get creative and use your bio section, Instagram Stories, and IGTV video descriptions to drive traffic to your website (for more details, read this Instagram traffic generation guide from Tailwind).
  • Twitter – This is a very cluttered and noisy social platform but it’s still great for sharing bite-sized pieces of your content. Use a post scheduler like Buffer, TweetDeck, Hootsuite or others to get several tweets out automatically during the day. On Twitter, it pays to be provocative, funny, and on time (think about hijacking trending topics and hashtags) if you want people to click on the links you share.

When using social media to drive website traffic, the most important thing is to make sure that you’re on all of the platforms where your target audience(s) tend to hang out.

3. Email marketing

Marketing your content and your offers to a curated list of people who have already expressed an interest in what you have to say is a no-brainer, right?

To drive traffic to your website using your email list, consider the following:

  • Send out a newsletter regularly, highlighting your recently published blog posts, unique tips and tricks, or special offers.
  • Segment your list and send special reminders to different subsections when you publish something that might be of particular interest to that group.
  • Add social media buttons to your email blasts so that your subscribers are reminded to follow you on your preferred networks. Encourage them to share your newsletters with friends either via social networks or by forwarding the emails.

Unconventional methods to drive traffic to your website

4. Slack communities

Slack is a tool that teams use to communicate but it’s also home to Slack Communities where like-minded people hang out. Even if a group has only 1000 members, a lot of them will be active at any given time, which means that your potential audience will have a chance to see and interact with your link in real-time.

How to do it

First, find Slack communities that fit your niche.

Note that you will quickly get a feeling whether or not Slack is the right traffic channel for you – communities mostly revolve around marketing, tech, business, SEO, and similar digital topics (check out this list of great SEO Slack communities from Ahrefs).

Don’t get discouraged if you’re not in marketing: photography, writing, design, web dev, community management – if you publish content in any of these niches, you’re golden.

When you find a community that interests you, send a request to join.

Here’s some advice on how to use Slack to drive traffic to your website (without getting booted out of a community on day one):

  • Introduce yourself and let people know what it is that you do, and what you expect from joining the community.
  • Don’t just spam your links everywhere – answer questions in full, and only add a link to your content if it adds context and details to your answer.
  • If a question has a weird angle (not exactly something you talk about in your content) but it’s related to a piece of content you’ve written, consider updating the post and then answering the question and adding your link.

Slack communities are searchable. If your comments are particularly valuable, you can expect other users to share them with newcomers from time to time. Because of this, even older comments can yield a small trickle of website traffic from time to time.

5. Blog and forum comments

Blog comments may not be a very reliable SEO link building technique, but they still work for traffic generation.

How to do it

First, look for blog posts related to your content. Pull up recent articles by clicking on the “tools” box on the search result page.

Copy the URL of interesting posts to a spreadsheet (do the same with interesting forum topics). Keeping these links in one place helps you build a database of sites in your niche for future reference.

The key is to make thoughtful comments and only link to your content when it’s actually relevant. Try to add real value to the blog post with every comment that you make.

Each blog comment may only drive a few visitors to your site. But, if the post goes viral or sits on Google’s page one for a long time, that’s enough to get a steady stream of visitors to your website every month.

6. Appear as a guest on popular podcasts

Podcasts are huge – around 51% of the US population has listened to one or more in the last few months. Somewhere around 35% of them listen to the entire episode once they start it.

This means that podcasts are a great opportunity for savvy marketers.

And, what’s best, you don’t even have to record one, you can simply pitch your ideas to hosts of existing podcasts to try to secure an invite to a future episode.

How to do it

  • Do a quick Google search – just type in “top [your niche] podcasts” and go through the list while recording URLs (and requirements to guest star) in a spreadsheet.

  • Craft an interesting (and personalized) pitch, and send it to the host, outlining why you should be invited to star in one of their future episodes.
  • When appearing, be informative, interesting, and educational. But, above all else, be shameless when promoting your content and your website. Answer questions thoroughly but don’t be shy about adding “By the way, you can read all of this on my blog, which you can access if you visit [your website]”.
  • Ensure that the episode description mentions your name clearly, as well as links to your website and some of the more interesting pieces that can be found there.

7. Use QR Codes to drive traffic to your website

QR codes (or quick response codes) are another great, but a severely underutilized way to drive traffic to your website.

By placing a QR code on business cards, flyers, and posters (and even your Facebook and LinkedIn pages), you give people a quick way to access your website. All they have to do is scan it and their phone will open up any URL associated with the code.

How to do it

Use a free QR code generator to create a unique code that people can scan. Add a general code that leads to your website to your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

If you’re visiting a conference or a meet-up, consider adding content-specific codes (meaning, the ones that link to a piece of content on a specific topic) so that people scanning them land on something that will feel a bit more personalized and tailored to them.

Closing note

Driving traffic to your website is an 80/20 game  – 80% of your traffic comes from 20% of your actions. Once you have enough data to determine where that 80% of traffic is coming from, it will be easy to ramp up your efforts in that area. But, to get there you will have to experiment with both conventional and unconventional methods of driving website traffic. Try some of the ones listed here and then comment here to let me know what worked best for you.

The post Seven iron-clad methods to drive traffic to your website appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Seven SEO tips for image link building to generate more traffic

A picture is worth a thousand words. If we talk about digital marketing, a strategically used picture could be worth a thousand links. Links play a pivotal role in the success of your digital marketing and eventually, your brand’s growth strategy and that’s why image-based link building is a key factor for your search engine ranking.

Put simply, link building is getting your website including your blog, articles, and resources linked by other websites. Your images, infographics, and memes, too, can be used for link building and turn your page into a link magnet.

Readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. According to research by Brain, three days after reading or hearing a piece of information, people can remember only 10% of it. However, if the information is presented in an easy to grasp graphic, that percentage goes up to 65%.

And for that reason, 32% of marketers insist that images are the most important type of content in their digital marketing strategy.

Images can increase your website traffic by 12%Social media updates with images get 150% more shares than those without any image.

Want to see your images generating backlinks and generating traffic? Check out the following:

1. Create images that others want to engage with

If you are a digital marketer, you cannot avoid using images. But, creating images that encourage people to take some kind of action – such as to share or to fill up the contact form – requires strategic efforts.

The best way to do that is to create something that your users might be interested in. Share something that revolves around and resolves their pain points.

Keep your images simple and the information in it easy to digest. Some of the most engaged-with images are those that have facts, how-to guides, tips, and quotes.

Shares by content type

Source: Buzzsumo

Be regular with your posting and keep monitoring the behavior of your audience on each of your updates. The ones that get most shares, likes, comments, and downloads are the ones your audience likes to see and the ones you should center on.

2. Use image resources and creation tools

First, you need images to support your articles, blogs, web content, and social media updates. Then, you will need to fine-tune those images to fit into your requirements.

ShutterStock, iStockPhoto, and AdobeStock are some of the top platforms to get high-quality graphics for your updates and articles. If you are looking for high-quality images without stressing your marketing budget, Pexels, Pixabay, StockSnap, and Unsplash are a few places to visit.

For editing and creation, you could use Canva, the best online platform for creating compelling graphics for your texts and social media updates. With their sea of pre-loaded templates, this task becomes a cakewalk. Some other image editing tools are AdobeSpark, Fotor, and Pixlr.

3. Use infographics to make your content easy to digest

Although there is a mention of infographic in the article earlier, the point is vast and important that it gets a separate cover.

In modern digital marketing, the use of infographics allows marketers to increase their text’s readability and drive engagement. Infographics grab more attention. In fact, an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a purely textual article.

About 65% of B2B marketers use infographics for their marketing emails, presentations, and blogs. And 30% of them create infographics on their own.

Creating engaging infographics requires hours and days of research, along with a creative mindset to come up with an interactive, interesting, and unique layout.

You could use tools like Piktochart, Venngage, Visme, and Easel.ly to create infographics like a pro. You can also create infographics with Microsoft PowerPoint.

4. Make your images discoverable

So, now you know how to create graphics for your website and social media. What if people can’t find your image?

No matter how impressive your images are, if no one can find them when they need it most or if no one seeing it, it is of no worth.

To be found on search engines, your images will need to be crawled by crawlers or robots sent by search engines to your website. Since these robots cannot decipher images, you will need to make some alternative arrangements so search engine robots can understand and index your images.

On social media, you will need to follow a completely different strategy in order to make your graphics easy to find by users. On Twitter and LinkedIn, there is an option to add a short description for your images. Pinterest too asks you to add a description to each of your posts.

On Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms including Twitter and LinkedIn, you can increase the visibility of your posts by using the right and trending hashtags.

The easier it is to find your images, the higher is its visibility and engagement.

5. Find out who is using your image

As a marketer, you should know how many websites link to your images and how many are using them without your permission. It is an important metric for your business and digital marketing strategy building.

If you have uploaded an image on the Internet, you cannot actually control it or stop people from using it. But, there are ways to find out who all are using your graphics.

There is no harm if you are given credit or backlink. But if someone unauthorized or without allowance is using your image, it could have an impact on your search engine ranking.

Open Google Image Search, and upload or paste the link of your picture. You shall see a list of similar images being used by others.

A couple of similar tools to locate your images on the World Wide Web are TinEye and ImageRaider. Using both these tools, you can also figure out if your images have been cropped, reversed or flipped.

Once you have found unauthorized use of your images, ask the webmaster or admin of the page to give you credit or remove it from their database.

6. Instagram and Pinterest paid marketing

Social media is an unavoidable practice for a digital marketer. It is an immense boost to your SEO efforts.

To make the most of your high-quality images, you could turn to Instagram and Pinterest – the most happening image sharing platforms – that are also in the list of top 10 most used social networks.

That makes Instagram a very popular and super-active marketing platform. With Instagram marketing, you can connect with your audience across multiple channels. You can also create eye-attracting ads that have high engagement rate and improved ROI.

86% of brands use Instagram and at an average 72% of these brands post at least 1 picture every week. Engagement on Instagram graphics is growing with every passing year and Pinterest is 80% more viral and 3x more effective at generating leads than Twitter. In fact, Pinterest Marketing converts more and faster than any other social media platform. Another plus side about Pinterest is that it has fewer steps from discovery to conversion and it saves marketers a lot of time.

Posting and tracking Instagram and Pinterest activities on a day-to-day basis could be is challenging. So, you could consider using social media management tools. which can ease your day by allowing you to check analytics and schedule your updates.

7. Analyze your competitor’s images

Checking out the activities of competitors has always been a part of traditional marketing strategies. Even in the era of digital and social, you should always be aware of what your competitors are doing.

Follow their feeds anonymously and check out their social media updates and website more often.

Doing so, you can keep yourself updated with the latest marketing trends. This also helps find out the type of content they are leveraging to draw traffic and engagement.

With that, you can take inspiration for your content strategy and gain customer attention through your marketing campaigns. You can even engage with your competitors, sometimes, to draw engagement and attention.

Take an exchange of Tweets between Audi and BMW from last year. BMW tweeted a marketing material using the logo of Audi.

 Image link building example BMW and Audi

 

Taking a note of it, Audi commented with the following:

Image link building example Audi

That simply shows that Audi not only follows BMW but doesn’t hesitate in engaging with their update. BMW, too, didn’t ignore their mention. They came quickly with a hilariously mouth-shutting reply.

It is both an example of keeping an eye on competitor’s activities as well as never letting a chance of engagement slip. Both BMW and Audi are competitors both follow each other on all social networks.

PostPlanner has compiled a list of top brands to follow to take inspiration from for your social media graphics. This list compilation includes brands from different industries. So, no matter what industry you belong to, this list is going to be a great help for you.

There is another way, you can perform competitor analysis. Find free and paid productivity tools based on your budget and requirement. One such tool is a must-have resource for your SEO and SMO teams these days.

I hope these tips help you create outstanding visual graphics for your brand, boost your social and on-site engagement, and generate more traffic to your website. The focus should be on creating pictures that offer users some information they can use. And that is the most important point here.

Moving forward, prepare a list of your on-site images that Google and other search engines have indexed. Make another list pointing out the images that have been used legally by others. They are an authentic backlink for your image and site. Make efforts for the ones used illegally and turn them into an official backlink.

The post Seven SEO tips for image link building to generate more traffic appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Google Clarifies Seven Points On Mobile-First Indexing After Much Confusion

Image credit to Shutterstock

Let me start by saying all of these points, in my opinion, is something we’ve covered here before but the interesting thing is that Google felt these seven items are things SEOs who give presentations have confused over the past several months…


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Seven Myths About Solar Panels Debunked




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It was easy to rule out solar energy as science fiction in the early days. Not only the technology was irregular and inconsistent, but also very expensive. But now, affordable residential models that are available, people are finally taking this form of energy seriously. Not surprisingly, critics have grown more desperate in recent years. You are trying to protect a source of power established, or simply do not believe in solar panels, critics were spreading lies and half truths at an unprecedented pace. Take a moment to discredit some of our favorites.

Myth: Only the rich can afford them.

Fact: According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the price of the installation has dropped more than 73 percent since 2006. State and federal subsidies have made solar panels generous affordable for all Americans economic strata.

Myth: They need much maintenance.

Fact: Because no moving parts, residential systems require minimal maintenance. The only advise installers is to inspect dirt and debris every few months. Apart from this, these units are virtually maintenance free.

Myth: They will not work in certain fields.

Fact: It is true that solar panels work more efficiently in areas that receive a lot of sunlight, that can still produce energy from ambient light on rainy or cloudy days. As such, they will work well in the country.

Myth: They damage ceilings.

Reality: In fact, the opposite is true. Many studies have found that the panels effectively protect roof surfaces of the weather. We must also add that equipment, when installed correctly, no damage to your roof in any way. You can put in or taken without damaging the wood shingles or below them.

Myth: It hurts resale value.

Fact: Again, this is not even close! Several studies have shown that residential work system can add thousands of dollars to the value of the average home. In fact, a recent report found that ownership of the host system could add up to $ 15,000 and resale value of a home.

Myth: They are not made to last.

Fact: As with any new technology, there are bound to be some people who have had a bad experience. Critics have seized on incomplete reports of disgruntled to question the structural integrity of residential systems. Are really hard and durable enough to withstand the elements? According to the companies that sell they are! That’s why most vendors offer warranties of 20-25 years in their units. Not surprisingly, most have proven to last as long or longer.

Myth: It’s easy to use.

Reality: Again, critics seek to scare people to use new technologies tell half the story. Yes, there was a time when you had to be a techie to harness the power of the sun. But because of recent improvements, solar panels today are as easy to use as a microwave, DVD player, or any other appliance in your home.

Now that you know the truth about solar energy, you can make your own decision on the fastest growing form of alternative energy.

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Seven of the most interesting SEM stories of the week

This week: the sheer massiveness of this year’s holiday weekend spend, a couple of Google updates and a shameless plug.

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Seven of the most interesting SEM stories and stats of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

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