"You don’t want the next Penguin update." Google's search general Matt Cutts, - August 15, 2012 Serountable.com
But it's coming anyway. And we should note that some people who were present at the conference where this statement was made dispute the comments or at least Matt's intent.
The bottom line is, fretting about Google updates is no fun and they are not something we as webmasters and business owners can control. Therefore, it's important not to be too dependent on something we have no control over and be sure to exercise maximum control over the things we can.
Two Ways To Reduce Dependence on Google Search (SEO) Traffic
In other words if you're getting a majority of your traffic from SEO I'd seriously consider building alternatives traffic sources as soon as possible. Two reliable ways to do that are Google AdWords and
The clicks you get from referral traffic are an underground current of traffic that is not measured publicly. But smart webmasters watch their site analytics and can see how much traffic comes from people encountering your name or material other places then clicking through directly through to your site. This isn't bought and it doesn't come through Google search results. And if the the number of referral clicks you're now getting are low it's probably just because you haven't invested a lot in building up this type of traffic. But you should because it's some of the highest quality traffic out there.
Referral Traffic Is Interested Traffic
People who visit your site are coming from places they trust and where they're already researching your topic. These visitors are much more likely to be closer to buying as they're already mining your particular vein for information.
SEO and AdWords can drive a high volume of clicks, but many are "Looky-loos" who are still in initial search phases (higher funnel, not yet ready to buy). Referral traffic doesn't have a per click cost per se, but if you're losing visibility on Google - and remember you can't control Google traffic ever - it's worth the investment in time to build up these referral click streams because once you get the quantity up you might be surprised at how much better this referral traffic converts.
Bring A Gift: Original Content
So much of online marketing is the in line with familiar aspects of offline human relationships. In this case, when you're invited somewhere show up with a gift and be a polite and conversant guest.
What does this mean exactly? It never hurts to come offering some content for the site owner or the forum if you hope to get that information published and clicked on. Also, what you bring, an article, post or comment, needs to be cogent, well written and offer value to the reader and the person hosting it.
Know Your Keywords
SEM Rush is a great tool because in one simple interface it gives you access to almost everything you need to quickly find good keywords, your rankings, competitors traffic sources and backlink opportunities.
Enter a URL from your site, a competitor or an industry leader and see:
- Top Terms Driving Traffic
- Related Keywords
- Related Websites
- Volume of Searches for Top Industry Terms
- The Site's Ranking for All Keywords
- Backlinks to Site
The free version will give you about five lines of results in each category. This can be interesting if you haven't seen the data before but if you're wondering what you're missing, each of those categories become complete spreadsheets with hundreds of lines of information that can be downloaded and sorted by Ranking, Keyword, Volume, etc. when you have access to the full report.
Try out the service with partial results and sign up for a free trial at SEMRush
Use 500 Word Articles
Once you know an attractive keyword (which is often more than one word), it will be necessary to use an article of at least 500+ words on your topic.
- We sell 500-word articles for $10 each or five for $45. They're in perfect English, researched and original content. Email us for more information on how to buy them.
Post the article on your own site first if you want original credit and need the material, or submit it to Ezine Articles if you're a user of their site. Ezine only accepts pieces that are of high quality and have only been published on your own site.
If you don't need the new content for your site contact a respected and visible partner and offer to them original material. Original writings are much more attractive to high quality websites.
Find Relevant, High Value Link Opportunities
Open Site Explorer by SEOMoz - With this FREE tool you can enter a competitor's site or the site of a major industry player and discover all their high-value backlinks, which you can then contact as well to get your own backlinks from them.
You can use this tool for free and view a limited number of links. Since it takes some time to follow up with the potential partners you'll find, consider getting the 30-Day Free Trial in order to sort all the links.
Traffic Generating Blog Comments and Forum Postings
Dropmylink.com - This is a free fast easy way to find blogs and sites in your field that you can post a comment on. You shouldn't post just anything in order to leave a spammy comment. You're going to find a lot of good, related blogs using this tool. This isn't just a tool to get one backlink at a time, if you find a related post and write an intelligent comment it will drive traffic from real visitors who are clicking through to learn more from the intelligent poster.
Also, you might want to contact the blog owner to offer to write a guest blog or he or she may contact you after reading your comment on their site to see to learn how you might work together.
It's not about leaving "spray and pray" high volume link tactics now, now all the work you do can and should result in building relationships with site owners and their readers.
Second Traffic Method - Learn How To Use Google AdWords
Post Penguin we've noticed that any search with a brand name in it now delivers mostly commercials results in the top of Google. The top right is now product feeds (now placement you have to buy, formerly they part of Google organic results) and the top of the primary search field commonly has three ads taking up several inches of the top of the top of the page. In a reduced sized browser window you might only see paid results in your window on searches with brand names.
For a long time a little on-site SEO optimization and a good backlinking strategy were sufficient to get page one rankings, but thin affiliate sites watered down the quality of search results Google had to take action and they did. And Google has a right and a duty to make money so it's not surprising that they're selling their top real estate to make money. To us this is no big deal.
As we always point out, Google Rewards Relevancy. If by selling more top level space is how Google wants to protect the integrity the integrity of their results - by asking those who want to benefit from prominent placement to prove thaty are relevant enough in the topic to invest in it - than that's Google's choice.
AdWords Is Good ROI
"Free" SEO techniques that worked in the past still had a cost in the form of time invested as well as actual expenditures on linkbuilding and SEO tracking and research tools. And today's safer and recommended Content Marketing strategies also cost time to create, outsource and oversee.
So if you've turned away from AdWords because you think it costs too much or were trying not to spent at all make sure you are really making an accurate comparison.
AdWords's Scalability Lets You Learn It Cheaply
In AdWords it's possible to limit your spending by setting cost per click limits and set daily budgets, and by running ads in areas as small as a few blocks in a neighborhood. These fine tuning abilities not only make it possible to run very cost-effective local campaign with little wasted spending, but they also make it easy to practice learning the AdWords interface and write and test effective ads which can then be rolled out to a wider audience or under a bigger buy.
And with lots of free Google AdWords coupons online and in business magazines you can even master the basics and get some traffic and revenue using Google first $100.
How To Do AdWords Basics
For step by step information on how to use Google AdWords check out our learn AdWords post here. In it we give you the basics of how to set up a solid initial campaign and there are links to more in depth AdWords books, training and resources.
Buy A Content Marketing Package From Right Hand Planning
Because we're big believers in Content Marketing as an effective tool we sell 500-word articles for $10 each or five for $45. They’re in perfect English, researched and original content. Email us for more information on how to buy them.